[ZDP] Structured text

Ken Manheimer klm@digicool.com
Mon, 10 May 1999 12:44:33 -0400

Tom Deprez: 

> Michel:

> >The contents of a subchapter must be indented to the next level under
> >that subchapter.  You will need to put *two* levels of indentation in
> >your text to get the paragraphs to looks right.
> >
> >Structured text was meant to be written using Emacs
> >With any other editor, writing structured text is a pain.  With
> >it's a breeze.  I would suggest looking into XEmacs.

> Woops, is DC going to keep it that way? I just thought that structured
> could give people with no knowledge of HTML to publish pages to Zope.
> XEmacs isn't a editor which you would give to people who don't know
> about PC's and already find Word very frustrating....

I would say michels characterization is a bit unfair.  I've always
assumed that the motive for using whitespace to delineate deeper
embedding is because it's visually apparent - you can tell from looking
at the text what the relationships are.  The important thing is that the
structure be apparent to the reader and strictly unambiguous for the
computer.  The indentation model serves that purpose quite well,
wouldn't you say - and i don't think it's likely to change.  (In fact,
the depth of the paragraphs in the text structuring you attempted
actually was amiguous, both to a computer parser and to the person-type

I know i've used other editors that do whitespace auto-indentation -
even with MS word it's not hard to create successively deeper paragraph
types that have successively deeper indentation.  It so happens that
programming styles almost always incorporate this indentation == depth
paradigm.  One language particularly near and dear to zope programmers,
python, actually  even institutes that premise in the block structuring
syntax.  Emacs just happens to be good for dealing with that programming
style, and this carries over to being good for the structured syntax
style.  Dare i say that good text editors should also be able to deal
with hanging indent, since it's not uncommon in good text?-)

Ken Manheimer