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[Cheetahtemplate-discuss] Overcoming TeX nastiness

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  • Mike Orr
    ... Every structured-text format has the disadvantage that it s an ad-hoc solution, using its own custom format, and processable only with its own small set of
    Message 1 of 34 , Nov 5, 2001
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      On Mon, Nov 05, 2001 at 01:07:10AM -0800, Chuck Esterbrook wrote:
      > Regarding the nastiness of TeX, how would you feel doing the docs in a
      > Wiki or Wiki-like syntax?
      >
      > *bold*
      > _italics_
      > __bolditalics__
      >
      > * bulleted
      > * list
      >
      > some paragraph
      >
      > <span class=foo>tags when you need them</span>

      Every structured-text format has the disadvantage that it's an ad-hoc
      solution, using its own custom format, and processable only with its own
      small set of tools. The only formats suitable for long-term maintenance
      and storage are TeX or one of the DocBook-like formats (which I've never
      used, but they've worked well for Linux documentation). If we're not
      going to switch to another widely-used, full-featured and well-tested
      standard, I'd rather just stick with TeX and grumble. Otherwise, we're
      just going to have to switch again down the road.

      Wiki formats don't give you very precise control over the look of the
      page. Even standard HTML tricks like having preformatted text inside a
      list item are problematic because the wikis want to introduce a new
      paragraph every time they see a newline. You have to compromise what
      you want to do in order to fit within the format conventions.

      Wikis are a valuable tool for brainstorming and organizing ideas and
      paragraphs for the documentation. They are also useful to store
      cookbook-style documentation: short examples. But the wiki editing
      environment is not suitable for "long works".

      I'm thinking of putting a DevelopmentIssues section in the wiki, as a
      place to flesh out proposals for batching, filters, etc.

      > I ask because it's an interesting question for any project. Webware
      > currently uses plain HTML, but I would consider going to a Wiki syntax
      > and either using one of the existing Python modules for this
      > (StructuredText?) or rolling my own.

      Rolling your own would be reinventing the wheel. Using one of the
      existing ones -- maybe, if it does everything you want, including robust
      formatting and convertable to HTML/PS/PDF. (*I* don't care about PDF,
      but I know you do. :)

      > You could also tie this into Cheetah templates. It would be a
      > post-processor that would kick in just as Cheetah was about to return
      > the results of the page.

      <dtml-var myVar formatter="StructuredText">

      That may not be the exact syntax, but that's essentially what DTML
      offers. We can do similar tricks with output filters.

      --
      -Mike (Iron) Orr, iron@... (if mail problems: mso@...)
      http://iron.cx/ English * Esperanto * Russkiy * Deutsch * Espan~ol

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    • Tavis Rudd
      from Cheetah.ImportHooks import install install() ... This SF.net email is sponsored by: Splunk Inc. Do you grep through log files for problems? Stop!
      Message 34 of 34 , Jan 23, 2006
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        from Cheetah.ImportHooks import install
        install()

        On Monday 23 January 2006 1:29 pm, Mike Orr wrote:
        > On 1/23/06, Shannon -jj Behrens <jjinux@...> wrote:
        > Hence, I think it's important and useful
        >
        > > for the tutorial to come across with "Cheetah is just like Python, but
        > > with '$', '#', and 'end'." If you can convey that level of Cheetah
        > > comprehension within 5-15 minutes, you'll have succeeded. After that,
        > > you'll probably need to cover how to use Cheetah with the import hook
        > > in some random Python app.
        >
        > Um, does Cheetah have a builtin import filter now? Do you import some
        > kind of enable_cheetah module at the beginning of the program? I
        > thought the import hook was just for Webware servlets.
        >
        > I've always said Cheetah is just another way to write Python source,
        > one that's more friendly to large chunks of text.
        >
        > --
        > Mike Orr <sluggoster@...>
        > (mso@... address is semi-reliable)
        >
        >
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