New link syntax

Aaron Swartz me at
Tue Mar 30 20:04:14 EST 2004

> this would only turn into a link if you also defined a link like this 
> somewhere

This seems pretty likely to me. I'd much a prefer a system ala the old 
atx proposal, but with a slightly more complicated link syntax, 
something like so:

	_John_ asked me about _the new elephant from Trolltech_. _I told him_ 
I didn't
	know what he was talking about.


Now `_` is probably not usable for this (since it's already used for 
emphasis), but imagine it was replaced with something equally unlikely 
to be typed accidentally. That feels far more clean and natural than:

	[John][] asked me about [the new elephant from Trolltech][elephant]. 
[I told him][told] I
	didn't know what he was talking about.


But not only does it look better, it's easier to type. When writing, I 
don't have to think about the mechanics of making a link, I just need 
to highlight the portion of the text that I want to be linked. Then, 
when I'm done with the paragraph, I can go back and attach links to the 
key words in each phrase.

What if there are multiple matches? The resolution algorithm is: 
Process paragraphs backwards from link definition until start of 
document. In each paragraph, try matching against each potential link 
in order.

And, of course, the old link syntax could be permitted too.
Aaron Swartz:

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