[pmwiki-users] RFC: Core candidate offerings

Allister Jenks arj at zkarj.co.nz
Fri Mar 31 19:35:40 CST 2006


Time for me to weigh in on this, seeing as my name was invoked way up there.

Ben has already said it.  The way to separate paragraphs in HTML/CSS and in
MS Word and probably in many other languages/tools is to specify paragraph
spacing.  The use of additional paragraphs/linefeeds to visually separate
paragraphs that have run-on from a content point of view is not the correct
way to do things and usually causes problems further down the line.  Witness
what is happening here, and what happens when a similar approach is taken in
Word documents.

So, my requirement was that I be able to control the paragraph space across
a range of paragraphs.  Specifically, the problems I have been having are
because the only way to do this on a single page is to employ DIVs.  This is
fine except that I want my paragraphs positioned which in turn requires DIVs
or tables.  End game is they don't mix (nested DIVs or DIVs in tables) and
so my requirement, although relatively simple in HTML/CSS is (so far)
impossible to achieve in PmWiki.

The obvious solution is to allow authors to apply style to individual
paragraphs.  So, what is the most logical way to do that?  The problem is
that PmWiki paragraphs are currently all implicit.  Hence the various
suggestions of how to explicitly specify a paragraph to give a context for

Patrick, I can't agree that 'blank lines do not mean "paragraph", they mean
"vertical space", which is usually and exactly what the author intended them
to mean' because there is currently no other way to create *any* visual gap
between two lines of text - no way to create a new paragraph without also
creating vertical space.

I'm not overly fussed about the specifics of the markup, but I think we need
to address the distinction between 'paragraph spacing' and 'vertical
space'.  I do, however, agree with Ben that blank lines *in the source* can
be used to indicate paragraphs.  If we can devise a markup to use in that
context, there is no reason to change that.

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