[pmwiki-users] Markup for Compose?

Stirling Westrup sti at pooq.com
Wed Sep 13 09:11:13 CDT 2006

I'm doing a survey of opinions here. Lately I've been thinking of
writing a recipe that allows for character composition and definition of
new character entities as one goes. I'm not sure what a reasonable
markup would be. I'm tempted to use a backslash, but I fear it would
interfere with existing markup. The idea would be to allow someone (like
me) who occasionally writes in another language, but who doesn't have a
keyboard that supports it, to insert accented and special characters in
a simple way without cutting and pasting from a character map.

I'm thinking of something like this:

  caf\e' => café
  d\u` => dù

I considered just making the various ASCII accent-like characters into
combining chars, but it could cause mayhem:

  don't == dońt or donť, depending

The question is: is this a reasonable markup? I want something
lightweight and easy to type, but I don't want it to interfere with too
many existing recipes. I also want to be able to add more on the fly.
So, a page might have:

(:defchar ae=æ snowman=☃:)

so that appearances of \ae are replaced by the ae ligature, and \snowman
are replaced by the Unicode snowman char.

I'm also wondering if these are best done as ROS patterns or as normal
markup. Making them ROS would make the resulting text easier to edit
later I suspect, but would make it less clear to a second editor how a
particular char was inserted.

What thinks the list?

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