[Doc-SIG] Use cases for inline directive references

Moore, Paul Paul.Moore@atosorigin.com
Mon, 19 Nov 2001 09:05:34 -0000

From: Alan Jaffray [mailto:jaffray@pobox.com]
> I'm uncomfortable with the current "forgiving" rules.  It's clear that
> you've put a lot of thought into them, and they're clever, and they
> handle many cases well.  But they're not clever enough to prevent
> the user from being surprised if they use unquoted characters without
> knowing the rules, and they're sufficiently complicated and ad-hoc
> that knowing all the rules is difficult.

I agree that they are somewhat confusing to *write*, but they are very
natural to *read*. In other words, I agree that there are many borderline
cases which I, as a non-expert, would quote because I don't understand that
I don't need to. On the other hand, when I read text written by other people
which use things like 2*x inline, with no quoting, I find it very natural to
read, and much less obtrusive.

So, in my view, I would say that the current rules are good, as they enhance
the goal of *allowing* marked-up text which is readable in raw form. (The
fact that they don't quite manage to *encourage* writing of such text,
because the rules are a bit more complex than the minimum possible, is a
shame, but worth it). It boils down to whether you like DWIM-type rules
(which are never 100% perfect, by their nature).

But I don't mind much about the character-level markup issue...