[Haskell-cafe] [ANNOUNCE] Fmark markup language

Ivan Lazar Miljenovic ivan.miljenovic at gmail.com
Tue Sep 18 07:05:38 CEST 2012

On 18 September 2012 13:57, José Lopes <jose.lopes at ist.utl.pt> wrote:
> Hello Kris,
> Thank you for your email.
> At this moment, Fmark is not as powerful as Markdown, also because Fmark
> just started.
> Markdown offers things such as Blockquotes, Lists, Code blocks, links,
> emphasis, images, etc.
> Fmark does not offer as many features: for now, there are only paragraphs,
> headings,
> subsections (endless nesting) and footnotes. In the near future, I want to
> bolds/italics,
> ordered and unordered lists, links, and later on as many elements as
> possible :)
> The problem with Fmark is also its greatest feature. While other markup
> languages
> introduce special syntactic characters to give meaning to the document's
> elements,
> I would like to take a different approach: I want to use characters that
> people already
> use in document writing to achieve the same result. For example, in
> Mediawiki a
> heading is some text surrounded by equal signs. But in Fmark a heading is
> simply some
> text that does not end in a punctuation character, such as period or an
> exclamation mark.
> I argue that this is a more "natural" approach.

Is it possible to override this?  What happens if I want a heading of
"This is the greatest Heading Ever!!!!!" ?

"Natural" conventions seem to be to be rather hacky and with lots of
corner cases; I think it's better to define a specific syntax for
markup (e.g. what is the "natural" way of emphasising text?) and stick
to it (though I agree that Markdown has some odd choices; in
particular, the ability to use both _ and * for italics whilst
requiring ** for bold).

> I want to find a natural way of not burdening the user with the task of
> having to learn
> some special syntax in order to write a document. Instead I want to find
> "natural" ways
> of writing and use those ways to reconstruct the elements in a document. Of
> course,
> what is natural is subjective and that is why I want to find a good tradeoff
> between
> expressiveness and simplicity in the syntax. For example, in Fmark a
> footnote is some
> text surrounded by square brackets. Maybe you find this natural, maybe you
> don't. If a
> handful of people defend a more natural way of writing footnotes I want to
> implement
> the way they say. If there is a more natural way of doing this I want to
> find it. But for now
> I think square brackets are better than the equal signs or any other strange
> syntactic
> character such as exclamation marks and so on...
> Another thing about Fmark is styles. I want to use fmark personally to write
> papers, using
> Latex as backend. While experimenting with previous versions of Fmark I
> realized that I
> could not specify the title, the author, the date, and the abstract. which
> are essential in a
> paper. I came up with an idea which I think is quite interesting. I wrote
> another document
> also using Fmark which only had the words "Title", "Author", "Date", and
> "Abstract". And
> then I combined these two documents together, such that, Fmark associated
> title, author,
> date and abstract, with the corresponding content. I thought the idea was
> interesting
> because the content and style documents have both the same structure and are
> both
> written in Fmark. Of course, there is still a long way to go, in order to be
> able to fully
> customize a document.
> But styles are a good and simple approach, similar to document classes in
> Latex: the idea is
> to write one document (content) and then use multiple (predefined, user
> defined) styles, such
> as, article, report, etc, to stylize your document. Another interesting
> thing I have been thinking
> about (but not implemented yet) is recursion in document styling. In a way,
> weaving a style
> with content can be compared to matching a regular expression.
> Anyway, these are just some key ideas. I see Fmark as a work in progress and
> in a way as a
> research project, trying to find a natural way of writing documents while
> escaping as much
> as possible from the syntax of a programming language. I also have a
> metagoal with this
> project: if my father (the non programming guy) could use it to write his
> PhD dissertation,
> I would be quite happy :)
> If you have any more questions I would be happy to answer.
> But if you're interested in using markup languages for blogs perhaps a HTML
> backend
> in Fmark would be more interesting for you. Although, XML + JavaScript + CSS
> is also possible.
> Best regards,
> José
> On 18-09-2012 04:25, Kristopher Micinski wrote:
>> Jose,
>> So I'm interested to hear you opinion on this as well...
>> I use Pandoc with Markdown through Hakyll, which allows you to do a
>> fair amount of cute things that are just really helpful for
>> maintaining a blog (for example..).  But I didn't get this from
>> reading your github readme: what makes your markup language special?
>> Could you give an example of how the language is more expressive than
>> (say) markdown processed through Pandoc (I only mention because it
>> lets you process LaTeX, very helpful, right...) or something
>> comparable?
>> kris
>> On Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 11:09 PM, José Lopes <jose.lopes at ist.utl.pt>
>> wrote:
>>> Hello everyone,
>>> I just wanted to share a package I created called Fmark, now available
>>> on HackageDB.
>>> Feedback both on the project and on the code is greatly appreciated :)
>>> Fmark (Friendly Markup) is a very simple markup language without
>>> syntax and simple but sophisticated document styling, capable of
>>> producing PDF and XML files.
>>> The key philosophy behind this markup language is to eliminate the
>>> strange syntactic characters seen in most markup languages, but
>>> at the same time try to maintain a high level of expressiveness, using
>>> only document reconstruction.
>>> Check it out
>>> http://hackage.haskell.org/package/fmark
>>> https://github.com/jabolopes/fmark
>>> Best regards,
>>> José
>>> --
>>> José António Branquinho de Oliveira Lopes
>>> 58612 - MEIC-A
>>> Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Universidade Técnica de Lisboa (UTL)
>>> jose.lopes at ist.utl.pt
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Haskell-Cafe mailing list
>>> Haskell-Cafe at haskell.org
>>> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
> --
> José António Branquinho de Oliveira Lopes
> Instituto Superior Técnico
> Technical University of Lisbon
> _______________________________________________
> Haskell-Cafe mailing list
> Haskell-Cafe at haskell.org
> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe

Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
Ivan.Miljenovic at gmail.com

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list