[Haskell-cafe] [ANNOUNCE] Fmark markup language

José Lopes jose.lopes at ist.utl.pt
Tue Sep 18 14:22:11 CEST 2012


Like I said it's a tradeoff. I will try to use this philosophy as much as
possible. But it's also important not to be fundamentalist. We'll see
as it goes.

I like that strikethrough. You are right about the quotes, but we can
leave " for quoting and use the ' for something else.


On 18-09-2012 13:18, Ivan Lazar Miljenovic wrote:
> On 18 September 2012 21:53, José Lopes <jose.lopes at ist.utl.pt> wrote:
>> Hello Ivan,
>> I agree with your point: if you want a heading that ends with a punctuation
>> sign then you cannot do it in Fmark (for now). That gives me something to
>> think about. However, I will still look for a way that avoids (as much as
>> possible) special syntax. Do you have any suggestion?
>> I also agree with you on the "natural" conventions. I want to find a good
>> tradeoff between syntax and expressiveness. In other words, I want to
>> avoid as much those "odd choices" you mentioned. For example, I have
>> been thinking seriously about emphasis and what would be a good way
>> to do it. So far I could only come up with quotes (either " or '). What do
>> you think?
> I think that _emphasis_ is pretty "natural", as is *bold* and possibly
> -strikethrough-.
> But you _are_ adding in some aspects of markup now.
> Using quotes is bad because what happens if you're actually quoting someone? ;-)
>> Cheers,
>> José
>> On 18-09-2012 06:05, Ivan Lazar Miljenovic wrote:
>>> 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
>> --
>> José António Branquinho de Oliveira Lopes
>> Instituto Superior Técnico
>> Technical University of Lisbon

José António Branquinho de Oliveira Lopes
Instituto Superior Técnico
Technical University of Lisbon

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