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Re: simplemail draft RFC available

1993-04-16 17:21:17
I like the simplemail proposal.  *Kudos!*


I also would like to see a more formal syntax specified -- this will
make it clear what's legal and what's borderline or beyond.  Things
like "it would be nice if the parser was somewhat clever in figuring
this or that out" don't help the poor implementer whose C may be
better than her English!  (I think we can borrow the rules for what
kinds of punctuation end sentences from TeX or LaTeX, these are
precisely defined and seem to work well in practice -- at least for

I agree with the sentiment, and I'll try to get a more formal syntax
out.  As I explained in an earlier message, I think that delimiter
phase can only be detected heuristically.  The way people will use
such markup (the way it is used today) does not insist that the marked
phrase be an entire sentence.  And, in any case, TeX often needs help
even in English to find the end of a sentence. (That's what `~` is

One suggestion: lines starting with "colon space" (instead of "colon
somechar space") currently don't have a defined meaning.  We could
assign this the function of "colon single-quote space", making it both
less visually obtrusive and easier to type by hand.

Interesting that you should mention this.  In the draft I gave to
Bill, "colon space" was used for what turned into "colon U space"
(unfolded line, but no special interpretation).  I still think that
this is a good idea.

BTW, one variant of emphasis currently used on the net places
underscores between words, like this: _these_words_are_all_italics._
Can this be supported?

Interesting that you should mention this :-).  In an earlier draft, I
had exactly this (delimiter characters between words would be
considered as whitespace).  Bill convinced me that this wasn't
necessary.  As you say, however, it is a current practice (at least
for underscores), so perhaps we should go back to allowing it.  What
does everyone think?

:S --Guido van Rossum, CWI, Amsterdam 

Wow!  Even I haven't started marking my sig!

Thanks for the feedback.

Evan Kirshenbaum                       +------------------------------------
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