[Pmwiki-users] More on attachments

John Rankin john.rankin at affinity.co.nz
Wed Nov 20 17:33:22 CST 2002

I agree, but ...
John Rankin

On Thursday, 21 November 2002 11:32 AM, Patrick R. Michaud <pmichaud at sci.=
tamucc.edu> wrote:
Basically you're proposing to create a WikiStyleSheet syntax with author-
editable stylesheets. =20

Here's my basic take on content versus presentation markup: =20
IN PRINCIPLE I fully agree with separating content from presentation--this=20
was what HTML was intended to do (it failed) and what XML+XSL are=20
supposed to do (success yet to be determined).

IN PRACTICE I don't think it quite works that way, because naive authors
(a primary audience for PmWiki) don't make mental distinctions between
content and presentation.  People authoring pages don't think "I want=20
to display a booktitle"; they tend to think in terms of "I need this=20
title to be blue text, bold, 14-point Times Roman".  So even if you give=20
people the content-based tags and the ability to create them, they tend=20
to be ignored.

I'm not sure it's a big deal. While a purist might question use of %=
bigboldblue%, if that's what the author wants to do, so be it. Isn't the =
author better off being able to reuse the %bigboldblue% markup? Wiki can =
provide a capability without taking a stand on what constitutes 'the right =
way to use this feature'. The key question which I think you are =
suggesting is: "Would a naive author use this feature?" As you point out, =
they do so with "Q:" and "A:" -- is this a huge leap beyond that? I don't =

Here's a terrific example--let's see a show of hands here--be honest!
  1.  How many people have actually used the HTML <ADDRESS> tag for
      displaying an address?
  2.  How many people even knew that HTML *has* (had?) an <ADDRESS> tag?  :=

PmWiki already supports "stylesheets" at the administrator level--this
is what the $DoubleBrackets and $InlineReplacements arrays do.  They
allow customized stylesheets.  The faq.php add-in is an example of
a customized stylesheet; it simply adds "Q:" and "A:" to the markup=20
and changes the rendering of the text following the "Q:" or "A:".

I've long wanted to define a standard "reserved" markup for style-based
markup; e.g., have everything look like "%q%", "%a%", "%book%", etc.
So far the double-% is the best I've been able to come up with and
I'm not terribly fond of it yet.  What you're proposing is to make
it possible for wiki authors to author/edit the stylesheet markups
instead of requiring an administrator to do it....and I'm not quite
ready to make the leap to user-authored stylesheets just yet (although
I've toyed with the idea many times).


Most authors probably wouldn't want to. It would be easier for an =
administator to use a browser to edit a GroupStyles page than to customise =
the installation via php scripts. Presumably, such a page could be secured =
if the administrator didn't want authors to change it. Presumably, it =
could be designed so that by default only an administrator could edit it. =
As an author, it would be easier for an author to visit a GroupStyles page =
to see what reserved markup exists than to remember what customisations an =
administrator has created (and may or may not have documented). With a =
GroupStyles page, the act of creating reserved markup also documents it. =
Thus appeals to my lazy streak.


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