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Re: Wiki-Style syntax for posting (DWIM)

by tye (Sage)
on Oct 15, 2008 at 03:54 UTC ( #717133=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Wiki-Style syntax for posting

Yeah, I think this argues for making much more focused hints. Just note P tags and CODE tags (and that < and [ might need CODE tags), quite concisely, with examples, directly above the Title box (with a ?-style link to more detailed help). (Maybe also discourage BR tags; we hates them fat, stupid, nasty habitses.)

As for more DWIM, I wouldn't do any of the many "wiki" mark-up styles nor would I do POD (at least at first). But I would like to take a couple of good ideas that are common to many of those:

  1. Turn blank lines into <p> tags
  2. Enclose indented blocks in <code> tags

Another DWIM feature that I'm surprised has never occurred to me before nor do I recall ever having seen it suggested: Require a space (or open paren or quote) before and not after [ for it to be transformed into a link (for users who haven't chosen "expert" mode).

I think those three "simple" DWIM features would eliminate a sizable majority of the formatting mistakes here. There is a bit of a trick in how to decide whether to apply those features to a particular node.

I think the most likely way to get this is to add a "format type" field to all write-ups and as a user setting. The choices would need to include at least "traditional PM" formatting that does no DWIM (for existing write-ups and for users who don't want any "improvements") and a "DWIM" formatting that uses the above 3 DWIM features while allowing all of the traditional PM mark-up. I'd probably just have all users default to "DWIM" formatting for their future nodes. A per-node over-ride would also be nice, especially for persistently anonymous monks.

It might be worth-while to have other formatting choices but I've talked myself out of all of the other options I've considered recently. I even considered having a UTF-8 format option, but I think it would be better to just convert the database en masse to UTF-8 (which would also tempt me to restrict the character set for node titles, but then Perl 6 would just use some such restricted obnoxious character for some strange operator and then we wouldn't be able to talk about it properly).

Oh, I just did some spelunking via SQL and my nefarious plan for /(?![^\s(>"])\[(?!\s)/ being optionally required for links to be expanded appears to indeed be a very effective heuristic. :)

I will try to get around to trolling the recent previous suggestions for how to redo the "hints" and come up with my own exact recommendation for the new to-the-point and in-your-face hints.

- tye        

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Re^2: Wiki-Style syntax for posting (DWIM)
by jethro (Monsignor) on Oct 30, 2008 at 17:44 UTC

    IMHO this would be by far the most important change (in a positive sense) to this website since I'm a perlmonk.

    I have used up many hours on perlmonks, learned a lot but also wasted quite a few hours. The wasted hours were on account of typing all that <p> markup and having to read all the unformatted and unreadable questions of anonmonks and posting something like "Please use p- and c-tags...".

    And yes, I don't believe it is the fault of lazy (anon)monks that so many don't use the markup. A big reason ist that the information comes after the input box. And gives a lot of information and links, but never directly talks about just the two tags needed for 99% of all nodes by new users (i.e. the code tag is only mentioned indirectly as something to use if you wanted pre-tags. My knowledge of HTML is from a time when I used <verbatim> for code, didn't even know pre-tags).

    Even if we subscripe to the 'lazy' argument, that lazyness also hurts the readers of a node, not only the writer.

    In other words, mighty ++ for these changes.

      When I first started at Perlmonks, my knowledge of HTML proved to be a hinderance. Because <code> is a valid HTML element.
Re^2: Wiki-Style syntax for posting (DWIM)
by ww (Archbishop) on Oct 16, 2008 at 12:27 UTC
    Just note P tags and CODE tags (and that < and [ might need CODE tags), quite concisely, with examples,
    Something on the order of the approach in <shameless promotion> [id://674668 </shame>?

    Update: corrected link: Markup in the Monastery

      <shameless promotion> [id://674668 </shame>
      Wow, you open a shameless promotion tag and then close the shame tag I guess it's a good thing to be shameless when you try to process markup like that (especially when linking to Markup in the Monastery!).
        Ah, point well taken! ++, Annonymonk!

        ... but this too -- like the markup rules here in the monastery -- is NOT congruent with either the usual .html or XHTML standards.

            :-)

        Far worse, from my perspective was the missing ] in the link, Markup in the Monastery.

Re^2: Wiki-Style syntax for posting (DWIM)
by blazar (Canon) on Oct 17, 2008 at 13:01 UTC
    As for more DWIM, I wouldn't do any of the many "wiki" mark-up styles nor would I do POD [...] I think those three "simple" DWIM features would eliminate a sizable majority of the formatting mistakes here. There is a bit of a trick in how to decide whether to apply those features to a particular node.

    I personally believe that (oh, ++, BTW!) one may reasonably argue that those three "simple" DWIM features could be considered a wiki-like markup language already. In fact they would make for a quick input method of formatted text.

    --
    If you can't understand the incipit, then please check the IPB Campaign.

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