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Re: Site HTML filtering, Phase II

by Abigail-II (Bishop)
on Feb 11, 2004 at 10:11 UTC ( #328208=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Site HTML filtering, Phase II

My god, how utterly complicated. Can't we just have a setting that puts an implicite <code> and </code> around our postings? I mean, I know plain text, I know POD, I know LaTeX, I know HTML, but in the almost 2 years I'm posting here, I still haven't quite figured out what kind of language I need to speak here, and now it's changing again.

When will O'Reilly publish a book about the Perlmonk markup language?

Abigail


Comment on Re: Site HTML filtering, Phase II
Re: Site HTML filtering, Phase II
by jonadab (Parson) on Feb 11, 2004 at 13:47 UTC

    Actually, the Perlmonks stuff is pretty simple. The only hard part is remembering which of the less common but harmless and useful HTML tags don't work. (ISTR that cite doesn't work, but I could be misremembering; maybe it was q that doesn't work. I'm not sure. I often just use them anyway, because when they're what you intend, there's nothing else with the right semantics.) That, and remembering the entity for escaping the left square bracket. (I usually just put code tags around it. Easier to remember.) If you want to see some needlessly complicated and gratuitously different site markup, have a look at Wikipedia sometime. I am continually thankful that Perlmonks markup is mostly just HTML.

    Can't we just have a setting that puts an implicite <code> and </code> around our postings?

    Well, you could always change your node template to that in protest. Such a protest would have about as much impact on the rest of us as Coruscate's XP/reputation/voting protest, but we'd all know where you stand on the issue.

    My first reaction when I read the description of these new changes is that the error checking is quite lenient. I suppose that's a good thing. If I had written the checker, it would probably just reject or escape anything that's not wellformed (in addition to anything that smacks of javascript), which would probably be a major annoyance to people who still write legacy HTML, of whom there are still quite a few out there I suspect, the number of years since XHTML was put forward notwithstanding. So, be happy that tye wrote it, because he did a pretty good job IMO of making the checker as lenient as could be reasonably hoped for. (There are people who would want no checker at all, but I think you understand why that would cause problems in practice.)

    update3: Hmmm... What I *thought* I saw was that it actually got stripped. What I *actually* discovered is that View Selection Source in Mozilla does not give exactly the same source as View->Page Source does. The former shows <hr> and the latter shows <hr />. Weird.


    $;=sub{$/};@;=map{my($a,$b)=($_,$;);$;=sub{$a.$b->()}} split//,".rekcah lreP rehtona tsuJ";$\=$ ;->();print$/
      The only hard part is remembering which of the less common but harmless and useful HTML tags don't work.
      No, no, no. The hard part is finding out which elements are named the same in both HTML and Perlmonks, but act differently. <code> for instance means something else in HTML than in Perlmonks. But I still haven't figured out how the <a> element is working on Perlmonks. Sometimes, it creates a link. Sometimes it appears as is.

      That, and remembering the entity for escaping the left square bracket. (I usually just put code tags around it. Easier to remember.)
      Easier to remember, but not easier to type. Having to type 13 extra characters to be able to type a common character in Perl isn't what I say "easy". At least in POD, you only need three extra characters: C<[>. And in POD, you don't even have to put any markup around a function() or a $variable. POD knows.
      If you want to see some needlessly complicated and gratuitously different site markup, have a look at Wikipedia sometime.
      Actually, I've contributed some bits to Wikipedia the last week. I vastly prefer the [[link]] syntax over [link] as it means one can use unescaped left brackets if they aren't followed by another left bracket. [..] is common when discussing perl. [[..]] is a rare appearance in Perl code. I also prefer mechanisms like ''foo'' or *bar* to make something emphasized/italics or strong/bold, like Wikis or news/mail readers do.

      Abigail

        There is only one "tag" that behaves differently on PM vs elsewhere, and that is <code>. <readmore> is an additional pseudo-tag, but has no meaning in normal HTML. (In fact, we make use of the fact that it is meaningless in normal HTML.) I have no idea what behavior you're seeing with <a>; if you give me further information, I can attempt to explain. Perhaps you'll trying to put it in a place where all HTML is escaped.

        As to <code>[</code> being difficult to type, you're correct, it is. However, it's rare to mention the [ character all by it's lonesome. When you do, &#91; is not difficult to type, or to remember. Code tags are useful semantic information, and allow for better visual cues. Please, don't abuse them for formatting.

        Allowing input-as-POD, or another semi-plaintext format is easy to do wrong and difficult to do right. So far, we've done pretty well, I think, at not doing things wrong.

        Having a tag like code that says "things inside this tag are PODish" is an interesting idea, and I may get around to taking a look into it at some point, but many, many, many things are higher up on my todo list.


        Warning: Unless otherwise stated, code is untested. Do not use without understanding. Code is posted in the hopes it is useful, but without warranty. All copyrights are relinquished into the public domain unless otherwise stated. I am not an angel. I am capable of error, and err on a fairly regular basis. If I made a mistake, please let me know (such as by replying to this node).

        I have been quiet on this matter, but i have to pipe in and say that replacing [ .. ] with [[ .. ]] is a SPLENDID idea and you hit the nail on the head why it is a better fit for this site. (typing &#91; is a royal PITA!)

        There seems to be two major problems (barring having all pages be W3C compliant (X)HTML)

        1. newcomers not knowing how to format code sections
        2. folks using "unescaped" [ .. ] sequences, inadvertently producing potential Google hits to their array indices.
        I think that getting newcomers to use code tags will always be a problem ... but switching [ .. ] to [[ .. ]] should completely alleviate the need for "inline" code tags, such as $this->[$example].

        As for using POD ... newbies have a hard enough with programming, let alone Perl. Offer them POD and watch them run screaming ... maybe not a bad idea after all ...

        My stock answer for posting with POD is pod2html | perl -pe 'custom filters here' | tidy which has served me quite well for several of my larger, premeditated posts.

        jeffa

        L-LL-L--L-LL-L--L-LL-L--
        -R--R-RR-R--R-RR-R--R-RR
        B--B--B--B--B--B--B--B--
        H---H---H---H---H---H---
        (the triplet paradiddle with high-hat)
        
        The hard part is finding out which elements are named the same in both HTML and Perlmonks, but act differently. <code> for instance means something else in HTML than in Perlmonks.

        code tags are something I use often enough that they're not hard to remember.

        But I still haven't figured out how the <a> element is working on Perlmonks.

        Hmmm. I haven't run into that one. As near as I can tell, it works like in regular HTML. Must be I just haven't tried the right (or wrong) thing yet.

        Easier to remember, but not easier to type.

        Agreed, I find having to escape the left square bracket annoying (I did say it was one of my two pet annoyances on pm, didn't I?), and doing the editing in a browser textarea control instead of a real editor doesn't help this any. Sometimes I'm tempted to do a whole post in Emacs and copy-and-paste it over. Sometimes I do that. I suppose the bracket syntax for perlmonks was taken from E2 and/or Wiki, but I've always wondered why the same things couldn't be done with angle brackets...

        How It IsHow It Could Have Been
        [jonadab] <node jonadab>
        [id://328276] <id 328276>
        [cpan://Net::Server::POP3] <cpan Net::Server::POP3>
        [Newest Nodes] <node Newest Nodes>
        [weird syntax >= escaping] <node "weird syntax >= escaping">

        However, retrofitting those changes now would be quite painful, as all existing nodes would be impacted (and that's ignoring developing and testing the code for the changes).

        At least in POD

        Please, no POD. I do *not* want to try deal with significant whitespace in a feature-impoverished browser textarea, and if you think getting newbies to use code tags and whatnot is hard with an HTML-like markup, just you think about trying to convince newbies who want help with PERL that they should post their question with POD markup. Gah. Gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it.


        $;=sub{$/};@;=map{my($a,$b)=($_,$;);$;=sub{$a.$b->()}} split//,".rekcah lreP rehtona tsuJ";$\=$ ;->();print$/

      If you give me a list of tags, and where you think they should be allowed, I'll look at them. Can't promise more, I'm rather busy at present.


      Warning: Unless otherwise stated, code is untested. Do not use without understanding. Code is posted in the hopes it is useful, but without warranty. All copyrights are relinquished into the public domain unless otherwise stated. I am not an angel. I am capable of error, and err on a fairly regular basis. If I made a mistake, please let me know (such as by replying to this node).

        If you give me a list of tags, and where you think they should be allowed, I'll look at them. Can't promise more, I'm rather busy at present.

        Please don't feel like there's any urgency here. I didn't mean to be complaining. These are actually quite small annoyances. Still there are some entities that I do occasionally miss being able to use...

        • abbr and/or <acronym title="FOO">Foreign Optometrists' Organization</acronym>
        • <cite>Citation</cite>
        • <q>Short Quotation</q>. Maybe I'm being silly with this one, since we can still use traditional "quote marks".
        • deleted text. This is semantically pretty much the same as <strike>strikethrough</strike>, except that <strike> is deprecated and <del> isn't. Again, maybe I'm being silly with this one. (Sometimes it's hard for me to tell when I'm being silly or not about things like this.) If <del> were supported, it would make sense to also support inserted text, as they seem to go together.
        • It's tempting in some ways to add <style> to the list, but I can think of N ways in which it could be abused, so it's probably best left out.

        <cite> happens to be the one I've used most often, forgetting that it wasn't permitted, though <abbr> when I do miss it is somewhat more bothersome.

        As far as where they should be allowed, I'm not sure I understand the inner workings of the site well enough to say, other than that it's usually in an ordinary node body (such as either a root node or reply in SOPW, obfuscation, Meditations, ... you know, a regular node). I don't recall ever missing the ability to use any of these tags in a node title. Hmmm... in the chatterbox maybe though.


        ;$;=sub{$/};@;=map{my($a,$b)=($_,$;);$;=sub{$a.$b->()}} split//,".rekcah lreP rehtona tsuJ";$\=$;[-1]->();print
      The XML-style closing / gets stripped out too

      What? Yes, </hr> gets stripped now and didn't used to. But for some time now, <hr> has been changed to the XMLish <hr />.

      Oh, I see. There is a bug in that <hr /> can *report* (if you have error reporting set high enough) that the / was stripped when in fact it wasn't. I'll fix that soon.

      Thanks.

      - tye        

Re^2: Site HTML filtering, Phase II (change?)
by tye (Cardinal) on Feb 12, 2004 at 07:33 UTC

    BTW, the node you are replying to isn't discussing any changes to how you mark up nodes at PerlMonks. Feel free to ignore it.

    The previous related node involved a fairly minor change: Instead of just expecting contributors to get their HTML elements properly nested, we are now checking for it and trying to fix any errors we find (trying to balance DWIM with code complexity/performance). We wouldn't be doing this except such errors can and do impact the contributions of others.

    This node is discussing (in quite a bit of detail) how much feedback you can choose to see from this process. If you find it too complicated for you to understand (or it just taxes your patience), then you should probably stop reading after the short summary (or just ignore it completely and keep the default settings or even just try different settings when you get bored).

    Implicit <code> tags would make for a rather ugly presentation (and a much less flexible one). I and others discuss POD elsewhere. With LaTeX, would we deliver the results as PDF or just big PNGs? (Sorry, I haven't used LaTeX in many years so I don't know how nice any LaTeX-to-HTML engines are -- but I suspect they'd take a lot more load than the current PerlMonks HTML production process.) Plain HTML would make posting Perl code difficult without using a program to help produce the HTML.

    I didn't have anything to do with the development of the "near-HTML-subset plus square bracket" syntax. I don't find it particularly hard to understand (and this was back when the documentation was much worse). And I appreciate the short cuts it provides (and realize it isn't a perfect choice for Perl, a language that makes fairly heavy use of nearly every printable ASCII character).

    If you simply want text, then the requirements are very simple:

    1. Put <p> where you want a blank line.
    2. Put <code> tags around any code (or other uses of &, <, >, [, and ] or text you need displayed in a fixed-width font, such as ASCII drawings). Try not to use this when you don't need it.

    You later complain about producing links. Plain text doesn't have links, so you need to decide whether you want plain text or not. If you want links, then please stop asking why you can't have plain text. (:

    - tye        

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