[Doc-SIG] How to traverse a document object

Paul Moore gustav@morpheus.demon.co.uk
Thu, 25 Oct 2001 22:35:47 +0100

On Thu, 25 Oct 2001 09:45:12 +0100, "Tony J Ibbs (Tibs)"
<tony@lsl.co.uk> wrote:

>Meanwhile, I happily use blockquotes a lot to inset text for
>"commentary" purposes - something that is difficult to convey otherwise
>(of course, I also use parentheses and em-dashes a lot in writing text,
>so perhaps I'm not a perfect examplar).

That's going to come back to haunt you if another output processor
formats blockquotes more "quotishly".

My point was the reverse. I use indented text a lot in plain text, for
things like lists. I'm happy for reST processors to indent lists
automatically for me, but I don't like to lose the ability to format
reST source for readability.

I prefer::

    This is how I would normally format a list in plain text:

        1. First item
        2. Second item

to this::

    This is how reST requires it, if I am to avoid spurious blockquotes:

    1. First item
    2. Second item

Maybe simply defining a special case - a blockquote which contains
nothing but a list, is treated as a simple list, without the blockquote.
Of course this makes it impossible to write a blockquote containing only
a list, and it *is* a special case, which is bad in itself.

I'm focussing on the fact that reST should be readable in its raw form,
as well as after processing. Maybe that's not the best view to take, but
I'm not sure how often reST will be read unprocessed. At the moment,
99.999% of the reST I see is unprocessed (not just due to the lack of
output processors - for example, I would never bother putting an E-Mail
through a formatter, I'd read it "raw". And I *like* using reST in
E-Mail - it enhances the expressiveness).

I dunno. Maybe it's simply a case where you have to accept that reST
can't be expected to handle "pure" plain text without *any* concessions
to markup needs...