[Doc-SIG] Call for opinions on "inline external targets" idea

Tony J Ibbs (Tibs) tony@lsl.co.uk
Mon, 8 Jul 2002 10:07:05 +0100

Garth Kidd wrote:
> I strongly prefer the current way of doing it. Inline is
> spectactularly messy, IMHO.

I vehemently agree with Garth (gosh, that's nice) and David (that's nice
too) that the inline alternatives being suggested look messy - there
are/were good reasons they've been taken out (I may have had to be
convinced of that in the past - don't remember - but if so, then that's
an even better reason to stay with the status quo).

Thinking about the sorts of HTML output I'm likely to generate (have
generated), I don't believe I would gain from the new syntaxes.

Hmm. I relatively recently produced an in-house document that did
contain a fair number of URLs related to what was being discussed (a
report from a conference I'd attended). In actual fact, it turned out
that the result I *wanted* in the HTML was of the form::

    Talked to X, Y and Z from ABC (http://www.....)

to make the URLs more obvious, and not less - so it (sometimes) goes.

OK - time for daft ideas again. Simon wants an *inline* way of writing
his URLs, 'cos that's how he likes to type (the "but I might spell it
wrong" argument isn't very convincing to me, since docutils either will
warn about mismatched/unused links and targets, or could easily be made
to, and link names should be distinct anyway). We don't particularly
want to give that inline form to him explicitly. But both sides think
that text like my example above is sensible (at some times). So why
doesn't Simon write a transformer/filter for docutils that takes a
Docutils tree, finds all the URLs that are in parentheses, and shifts
them out of line - i.e., backwards onto the preceding interpreted text
or single "word".?

Thus he would type my example above, but after filtering, the *result*
would be as if he had typed::

    Talked to X, Y and Z from ABC_

    .. _ABC: http://www.....

Now, assuming he never wants to mix the two styles (which I imagine he
doesn't), then that does more-or-less exactly what he wants...

Tony J Ibbs (Tibs)      http://www.tibsnjoan.co.uk/
Give a pedant an inch and they'll take 25.4mm
(once they've established you're talking a post-1959 inch, of course)
My views! Mine! Mine! (Unless Laser-Scan ask nicely to borrow them.)