thoughts on a table specification (short! 10 simple rules!)

Bowerbird at Bowerbird at
Mon Jun 6 14:38:19 EDT 2011

wander said:

> A few remarks...

thanks for your feedback! :+)

> Using tabs to format tables

> will make your table look awful

> for people with different tab sizes.

yes, i get that.

but as i said, this is for my own system,
where i've programmed the viewer-app,
and that program sets all the "tab stops".

i didn't bother to say _how_ it does that,
but a short version is that it copy-fits the
table to look nice in the current view-port.

indeed, one description of how my viewer
earns its praise as an "intelligent" app is
it copy-fits the entire book to the window.

one example is its widow/orphan control.
another is headings are sized to copy-fit.

> If your table is so complex

> it needs stuff like cell merging

i mentioned cell-merging as a possibility,
and only a possibility. it'll take examples
from the real-world to see if cell-merging
(a) is possible, and (b) is necessary...

> Making row and column headers required

> would annoy me greatly.

well, i wouldn't want to "annoy you" at all,
let alone "greatly", so i would probably just
tell you that to signal a table, it is required to
put a space in column 1 and a dot in column 2,
_but_ that you could _skip_ the dot in column 2
if you wanted to put a row-header there instead.

> The single to mark empty cells

> feels too magical for me.

the whole thing should feel "too magical" for you.

but i'm going to make it work. you just watch me.

> Having to include images to make sure everyone

> can read your Markdown document feels... wrong.

it's not a requirement. it's just a good suggestion.

my users are making e-books. the hard part is the
writing and the editing and the polishing and all that.
creating a few images, to make sure that the content
is properly appreciated, is a very small price to them
for the peace-of-mind that the redundancy brings...

> All in all, I wouldn't really like this

> going in mainline Markdown.

i wouldn't either. because then "jaguar" wouldn't be
so special, especially in comparison with markdown.

but elegance has a brilliance that spreads itself widely.

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