[REBOL] Re: make-doc-pro: how to handle tables?
From: joel:neely:fedex at: 22-Sep-2001 3:23
Robert M. Muench
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: [rebol-bounce--rebol--com] [mailto:[rebol-bounce--rebol--com]]
> > On Behalf Of Andrew Martin
> > Sent: Friday, September 21, 2001 10:22 PM
> > To: [rebol-list--rebol--com]
> > Subject: [REBOL] Re: make-doc-pro: how to handle tables?
> > I quite like:
> > first cell second cell last cell
> > second line
> > where the large spaces are tab characters.
> Hi, I don't like using white-spaces as formating rules because
> not so experienced users don't understand the difference between
> usig space, tab etc.
> These people need a visual feedback, that's why I used the |
> character, which is IMO quite logical. Robert
Whitespace is also ambiguous (even for more experienced eyes,
IMHO). When using whitespace one must address the issue of
how much whitespace is considered a column break (since it
also may appear *within* a column, e.g. between words). Tabs
do not solve this problem, as one cannot in general look at
printed or displayed text and distinguish tabs from blanks.
Using a distinct, visible character eliminates those issues.
Since, in general, one does not know what data may appear in
the content, any pre-selected character will eventually be
wrong for some purpose. Therefore my preference for allowing
the delimiter to vary.
These observations are coming from my experiences with mailing
list management and conversion, data transformations in a
variety of application areas, and developing pre-press software
for book production. Although YMMV, I've always found it very
useful to be as explicit as possible.
And I must give credit to a saying I learned from my father,
during his career as an aerospace engineer, quoted in my
sig block below.
Communicate not so that you MAY be understood,
but so that you MUST be understood.