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From: Brey, Edward D (EdwardDBrey_at_[hidden])
Date: 2002-01-29 17:22:39

> From: Stewart, Robert [mailto:stewart_at_[hidden]]
> [@:80]@[1]@Example@[2:8.2^~]
> which means divide an 80 character field into four equal regions (20
> characters each), putting the value of argument 1 in the
> second region,
> "Example" in the third region, and the value of argument 2 in
> the fourth
> region. Furthermore, the formatting of argument 2, within
> the fourth region
> uses a field width of 8, a precision of 2, centers the value,
> and uses "~"
> as the fill character.
> What do you think?

I like it. The @ within the opening []s threw me for a bit. It makes me
wonder if it might be better to find a way to specify the width without
using the column separator character. Otherwise, it looks quite nice.

> > wouldn't there be some cases where it would be handy to
> hand-specify the
> tab
> > locations? This reminds me of HTML tables. It also points
> out a fuzzy
> > line: When does format go too far such that it becomes its
> own mark-up
> > language (i.e. Lynx in library format)?
> I don't think we should go that far. You can do a surprisingly varied
> amount of formatting with spring tabs. Anything beyond that
> would get too
> complicated -- one of the things we're trying to eliminate --
> and would
> certainly encroach on many other methods for rendering text.
> Besides, look
> at my example above; you don't want to make things any more
> complicated than
> that, do you?

I agree that we shouldn't go anywhere near a system like HTML->text. My
mentioning of the concept was meant as a warning of the feature creep
danger. I think basic alignment, like centering and spring tabs, is a good
compromise: quite useful but still quite manageable.

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