[pmwiki-users] Planning for 2.2.0
crisses at kinhost.org
Sun Sep 24 12:30:37 CDT 2006
On Sep 24, 2006, at 11:17 AM, Marc Cooper wrote:
> No, they are typographical tools; in the sense that they render
> to the author's demands. Wiki markup is not a text formatting tool;
> although text formatting is a subset of what it does.
I strongly disagree. Pm Philosophy #1 declares PmWiki an authoring
tool. I've been using it as a writing tool for quite some time,
well before 1.0, and always consider it an authoring and writing
instrument, not a typographical tool. It supports paragraphs and
publishes them to the web. Everything else is gravy. Except keeping
bad people from ruining my good work :)
Now -- the fact that I've been a writer since age 11 is probably why
I consider it first and foremost a writing tool. Computers came
later, when I was 15 and begged my mom for a word processor cartridge
for my C-64. I've been auto-typing instead of auto-writing ever
since. At 15 I became a programmer, at 22 I started doing graphic
design, typography, typesetting, etc. Before that I couldn't care
less what it looked like as long as my words were being recorded, now
I couldn't care less as long as my words are being recorded and
It's when I'm doing anything else that I come out of the authoring
mindset and craft recipes for PmWiki, help out people on the list, or
consider extending the functionality of my own wikis. I'm active at
the moment because I have a client paying me to craft a wiki. That
will feed me so I may write another day ;)
> There is a difference between typography and text formatting.
Yes -- and typography (under the definition of the look of text, or
the forming of lead plates used on a printing press if you want to be
archaic) is not really what wikis do best. Over the years, and with
the invention of CSS(yay!) wikis do it better & better, but first
they're an authoring and collaboration environment. I don't care if
the paragraph is indented in 12pt helvetica or full justified in
times new roman (eww!).
CSS is for typography. HTML and wikis should be for function over
format. Call a header a header, and let the designer worry about
whether the header is bold and blue or not. The lovely part is that,
if it's done right, you get a consistent "brand image" -- i.e. a look
& feel that tells the viewer they're still on the correct website.
Perhaps the word you mean is typesetting?
>> and appeal to people who don't carefully distinguish between
>> content and form (because they don't have to), and for these, making
>> line breaks insignificant is just a pain in the a**.
> You are making a sweeping generalisation in the first part of your
> sentence that is incorrect. Clearly, there are folk who have simple,
> basic needs that use wikis, just as there are those who wish to use
> in more demanding ways.
I definitely agree.
> The reason I used that example was to invite you to imagine the tasks
> involved in typesetting content of the scale of a book - just a novel,
> not a technical book, which is far more demanding. If you can't
> it, then download an example from Gutenberg and try it. You'll soon
> the tools that you need and why line break = line break makes your
> unimaginably awful.
I agree with that case. I'm not looking forward to trying to typeset
my poems to the wiki software. There are times when
linebreak=linebreak is certainly helpful. Typing \\ at the end of
every line could easily drive me crazy and YES I might build a script
to help me out... or block out a whole entire wiki area with a
> . But that is something entirely different to attributing
> semantic meaning to a line break. Once you do that, you can't undo it.
> That's the heart of the problem. That's why it's the wrong thing to
This comment baffles me. We're in a dynamic & fluid medium -- why is
it that you can't undo something? "attributing semantic meaning to a
linebreak...you can't undo it" -- how a linebreak is treated by a
program doesn't do anything irreversible to the semantics involved.
I almost wish there were a checkbox on the authoring page, it would
remember your preferences, and you could turn whether it ignores
linebreaks on & off. The problem is whether it would reformat the
pre-parsed text -- that would be a mess if I put in a poem and used
the wrong setting :)
>>> Other than WYSINWYG apps, writing tools don't behave in this way.
>> Which tools? I haven't encountered one of this kind in years, so I'm
>> genuinely curious.
> All typographical tools - any half decent editor can, of course, be
> configured to behave any which way. As I said, don't confuse text
> editing with typography.
I'm not sure where you're coming from. InDesign/Illustrator/Quark?
Vim/vi? LaTeX? I think the term typography is really throwing me
off after being a graphic designer....
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