[pmwiki-users] proposed markup for rowspan in simple tables

john.rankin at affinity.co.nz john.rankin at affinity.co.nz
Mon Aug 25 03:51:04 CDT 2008

I like the idea of putting rowspan markup at the end of the text,
rather than the beginning. An excellent suggestion.

But I'm not sure about the \ character.

In this case, does the objection to the = character still carry
the same weight? Luigi's character pairs proposal is also an
interesting one.

Luigi says:

My feeling is that coupling |= might do.
It is consistent with || and allows for |=|= repetition.
Also, it clearly cannot be confused with the == (heading) and leaves
space to any =sum or other spreadsheet like functions.
It is plain to type on my keyboard and visually recalls what indeed
rowspan is for.

Just in case: why was Peter's caret ^ rejected? That also could work,
either alone (which I would *not* prefer, as it is already widely
used for other purposes like ^2) or better coupled with the table
markup |^

Peter says:

||text ||^^^span rows ||
||abc || def ||

If you put colons around it (or some such) you might be able to get
away with a "v" for obvious orientation semantics...

||text ||:vvv: span rows ||
||abc || def ||

John's comments:

On my keyboard, | ^ and _ require a shift and = does not.

I see merit in, and would be happy with, any of the following.
On the whole, I prefer A, then B, then C, but it is not a strong

||text ||span rows |_|_|_||
||abc || def ||

||text ||span rows |=|=|=||
||abc || def ||

||text ||span rows |^|^|^||
||abc || def ||

Peter's :vvv: seems like an "orphan markup" in that it's not
related to any other markup sequences. For example, it was
a deliberate choice to use '_subscript_' whereas some other
wiki markup uses the letter v.


> Looking in another direction, and this is what I favour, we use
> backslashes to join lines and force new lines.
> (see http://pmwiki.org/wiki/PmWiki/TextFormattingRules#Paragraphs)
> (it is unfortunate we use the same character for both, but lets go for
> it as an idea)
> So
> ||span with next row \||
> ||span with next two rows \\||
> ||span with next three rows \\\||
> This does have a similar flavour with
> ||span with next column ||||
> ||span with next two columns ||||||
> cheers
> Simon
> or perhaps we could use a forward slash if it is not too confusing
> 2008/8/25 John Rankin <john.rankin at affinity.co.nz>:
>> On Monday, 25 August 2008 8:23 AM, john.rankin at affinity.co.nz wrote:
>>>> There's a small cognitive conflict in that the '==' markup sequence
>>>> is used to mean "heading" in many wiki markups, including Creole.
>>>> This includes table headings (where PmWiki currently uses ||!heading).
>>>> So, I'd prefer a different markup.
>>>The other option I considered is the underscore:
>>>||cell text ||___spanning text ||
>>>||aaa ||bbb ||
>>>One advantage of the underscore is that on my keyboard, both the
>>>| and _ characters require a shift, so it's easy to type.
>> On the other hand, how many underscore characters is this:
>> ||_____rowspanning text||
>> A + seems a bit arbitrary and it means bigger in a different
>> context. The * and # denote list markup.
>> The ~ is taken for signatures.
>> But if we eliminate = because it means heading in Creole and
>> others, eliminate _ because they are hard to count visually,
>> and reject _n_ as inconsistent with the normal "repeat n times"
>> convention, I think it leaves the "least worst" as:
>> ||++++text spanning 4 rows||
>> Any other suggestions?

More information about the pmwiki-users mailing list