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[REBOL] Re: make-doc-pro: how to handle tables?

From: joel:neely:fedex at: 22-Sep-2001 3:23

Robert M. Muench wrote:
> > -----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. -jn- -- Communicate not so that you MAY be understood, but so that you MUST be understood. --James Neely joel&dot&neely&at&fedex&com