Seumas Mac Uilleachan
seumas at idirect.ca
Wed Mar 24 20:41:53 EDT 2010
On 24/03/10 01:49 PM, Bowerbird at aol.com wrote:
> sherwood said:
> > I don't understand.
> what's to understand? :+)
> > Are you saying that MD should recognize elastic tab stops
> > in a file and convert that to a html table?
> yes, that's what i'm saying, or at least part of it.
> > This is certainly a possible route, but given
> > the number of editors that don't recognize
> > elastic tab stops, this is daunting.
> at some point, you have to free yourself from the constraints
> that low-quality software imposes on your workflow, yes sir...
> but, you know, all it takes is for one brave leader to _lead_,
> and a number of non-cowardly followers to _follow_, and
> -- before you know it -- a new capability is taken for granted.
> > It also means that MD needs to recognize
> > at least two ways to do tables -- ets and markup.
> well, if you want to keep a horse around in addition to
> your new horseless carriage, by all means, feel free... ;+)
> > Are you saying that browsers should all be smart enough
> > to recognize elastic tab stops?
> yes. every text-editing environment should have the capability.
> because -- if you've programmed it, like i have -- you'll know
> that it's really not all that difficult to code. indeed, it's easy...
> and although i don't remember this in the work-up on them
> (because i conceived them long before that, independently),
> this functionality should include a feature that will convert
> multiple spaces to a tab character (the easy part) as well as
> convert a tab to the "correct" number of multiple spaces...
> (e.g., so the table displays correctly in a monospaced font).
> i'd think the default save-format would be multiple-spaces,
> just to accommodate the non-tab-aware software out there.
> there's nothing "magical" about this functionality. it's just
> a straightforward implementation of old-fashioned tabs,
> with the new wrinkle that the columns are self-adjusting
> to the size they need to be. which is something we could
> have reasonably expected our computers to do all along...
> (indeed, isn't this capability already in most spreadsheets?)
> > While an admirable goal, I won't hold my breath for the day
> > that 95% of browsing is done with ETS capable browsers.
> i'm not holding my breath for 95% of browsers being _capable_,
> in _any_ sense of the word, not as long as we have a microsoft...
> but in cost-benefit terms, cost being low, benefits being high,
> this particular feature is one that has a good cost-benefit ratio.
> all it will take is for somebody out front to "just do it"...
> this is _not_ a betamax/vhs situation. vhs was "good enough".
> nobody says our current table functionality is "good enough".
You're not really talking tables here though, you're talking
self-aligning columns of text. That is not the same thing as an html
table, even though that is what tables are often used for.
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