[Haskell-cafe] [ANNOUNCE] Fmark markup language

Richard O'Keefe ok at cs.otago.ac.nz
Wed Sep 19 01:24:48 CEST 2012

On 19/09/2012, at 12:04 AM, José Lopes wrote:

> Hello Richard,
> When you say "(for) some people (...) you special syntax is not natural"
> that's a good thing. I want these people involved in the project. I want
> to understand what they find natural in order to weigh the options and
> make a proper decision.

One important question is how many *scripts* you want to support.
Do you, for example, want to support Greek?  There is a Unicode
character for Greek question mark U+037E, some documentation I've
seen says that the preferred character is U+003F.  So does ";"
terminate a sentence or not?
How many *languages* do you want to support?
Are you going to support Armenian, where the question mark that
ends a sentence goes not _after the last letter_ of the last
word but _over the last vowel_?

(As someone who only writes in English, I have no trouble with the
answer "only the Latin script, only the English language".)

I don't actually believe that there _is_ a natural convention for
italics, boldface, superscripts, etc.  Even _this_ is an artificial
convention going back to mechanical typewriters that could underline
but not change font.
> On the README file in the github page you will find a brief explanation
> of the markup elements. I need to elaborate you that though because
> I feel I explain it too fast.
> https://github.com/jabolopes/fmark

I did read the README.md.  I disagree that there exists any problem
of manual removal of special characters.  If I want to remove XML markup,
I just do unxml foobar.xml >foobar.txt.  If I want to convert from one
kind of markup to another, there is pandoc, which is admittedly a touch
buggy, ...

The problem is that the README.md does not in fact explain what any
of the 'markup elements' are.

Let's take one little example, a letter of the kind I used to write
by hand.

			123 Copper Road,
			         New Zealand 9999.
			31 February 2016.

Dear Schnorer,
   I am writing to you because I am tired of frobulating.

			Yours without wax,
			   Dr Strabismus of Utrecht
			      (whom God preserve!)

How do I tell Fmark about this structure?
How do I get this layout?  (The '1' and 'Y' should be in the centre.)

> Let me answer your questions about sections. The amount of indentation
> is not fixed. You can use whatever you want. There is also no nesting limit
> in Fmark, however, there is a nesting limit in the Latex backend. For now,
> quotations, block quotes, source code embedding, etc, are not implemented.
> Those will be added in the future.

These answers belong in the README.me.
> About embedding a Fmark document in another document. That seems to
> be a very cool feature. I will definitely think about it! Maybe you can come
> up with a "natural" way of doing it?

The last time I thought I had a natural way to do anything like that
I found that the SGML design was worse broken than I would have believed possible.

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