[pmwiki-users] Great pagelist question...

Patrick R. Michaud pmichaud at pobox.com
Wed Aug 30 18:50:15 CDT 2006

On Wed, Aug 30, 2006 at 06:47:47PM -0400, Stirling Westrup wrote:
> Neil Herber wrote:
> > Please be so benevolent as to *NOT* use the colon as the 
> > distinguishing mark in this case. It is almost as invisible as the 
> > leading space used to denote preformatted text.
> Actually, I don't like the colon either, but its in running text that I
> don't like it. As someone who tends to overuse colons in my writing, I'm
> worried that I'll be defining these things without even realizing it. I
> can't help but worry I might just trigger it by posting a single IRC
> log:
> JoeBlow: whazzup?
> Jimbo: Yaknow, stuff.
> JoeBlow: good stuff?
> And I'll have defined a whole bunch of these data fields. 

At least my current vision of things, having colons in the
markup text (as above) doesn't cause anything different to happen
to the page it's written in.  Everything remains exactly as

Instead, it's when the page variable is used (as in {$:XYZ})
that the magic happens -- at *that* point a page's markup is
scanned looking for an XYZ: field to fill it.  But the page
itself is unchanged.

> I'd like them far more if they either a) used a different markup that 
> would be uncommon in English text .

In many cases, the best markups are those that are common
in normal text and don't require any special handling.  
For example, see the properties at the top of each Cookbook page;
a person simply writes what is natural to write and the right thing 
happens automatically.

(As another example of "natural markup is best", see 
http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/ChessMarkup, where a person
simply writes standard chess notation anywhere in the text, 
without any extra special symbols or punctuation that 
say "hey, PmWiki, this is a chess move!")


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