A Modest Definition List Proposal (David E. Wheeler)
David E. Wheeler
david at kineticode.com
Wed Feb 25 12:37:39 EST 2009
On Feb 25, 2009, at 6:57 AM, Sherwood Botsford wrote:
> One minor change. You don't need pipes in the horizontal separator
> lines. E.g:
> id | name | description | more info
They could be optional; I prefer them.
> Tables are critters where formatting is tangled with content. And
> with proportional type, a text only system requires agreement on tab
> spacing at minimum to get anything to look right. (I'm not a fan of
> monospace, so all these examples are wonky.)
I think you might be using the wrong markup language, then. The use of
monospace fonts is an expectation for reading Markdown. Really, it's
the whole point.
> Add to this, the need for centering, the need for column spans.
> Allignment could be done with your horizontal separators.
> |-----------| Means use your default alignment. (Same as cell above)
> |<--------| Means left alignment. The < can appear anywhere between
> the |'s
> |---------->| Means right alignment.
> |-----=----| means center alignment.
I dislike these. I have other ideas for alignment, but I need to do
some more thinking and drafting before I have a proposal to submit.
> Column spans could be done by replacing the pipe with an underscore.
> |This is a cell that spans two|
> columns, and is centred.
> |Column 1 |Column 2|
> I'm working in a proportional font, so the above example is sure to
> be wonky.
Yes, and basically illegible.
> Note that these two ideas are contradictory.
> To merge, them (makes reading slightly harder, but writing slightly
> | Default alignment |
> |< Left Alignment <|
> |> Right Alignment >|
> |= Centered alignment =|
> The alignment tags don't have to be paired, but can be for eye candy
> || Spans two columns of the stuff below |
> | Column 1 | Column 1 |
IMHO, any formatting should be invisible in Markdown. That is, it
should be implicit. The use of all these extra characters to show
alignment and whatnot makes for ugly text-only tables.
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