Metadata syntax (was Universal syntax for Markdown)
jgm at berkeley.edu
Mon Sep 19 20:55:29 EDT 2011
+++ Sam Angove [Sep 20 11 10:33 ]:
> On Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 3:47 AM, John MacFarlane <jgm at berkeley.edu> wrote:
> > Another major problem, in my view, is that if a document starts
> > with a phrase followed by a colon, it gets swallowed into metadata:
> > [...]
> > Also, because this is recognizable as metadata wherever it occurs
> > in the document, one could then drop the requirement that the
> > metadata occur at the top of the document, which I think is
> > undesirable.
> Another alternative is to re-use the syntax that Markdown already has
> for document-level metadata:
> : http://example.com/
> [^f1]: A footnote here
> [title]: Here is the title.
> [abstract]: The abstract here.
> As with footnotes, lists etc., indented lines continue the block.
> [author]: John
> Not quite as natural as the unbracketed version, but more consistent
> with Markdown conventions and less likely to cause unpleasant
> surprises. (The obvious risk is the potential for collision with
> reference links, but I think it is quite minor, and could be minimized
> by special-casing metadata at the beginning of a document.)
> >From a syntax perspective, the idea would be that reference link
> definitions, footnotes, MMD-format references etc. are all removed as
> metadata. Keys starting with "^" are treated as footnotes, values
> matching the URI/title form may be re-inserted as reference links,
I think this is a very nice idea. Authors would have to be careful
not to use the same label for a reference link and a piece of
metadata, but I don't see that being a big problem.
If people didn't like the brackets, then I think the next best
idea would be to require a delimiter of some kind, but keep
the capacity for multiple paragraphs as with footnotes:
title: Here is the title.
abstract: The abstract here.
As with footnotes, lists etc., indented lines continue the block.
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