Vadim Antonov's Grail

Laurent Martelli
05 Jan 1999 19:15:25 +0100

>>>>> "Pieter" == Pieter Dumon <> writes:

    >>  ....  a man page to know the subtle details of the format. I
    >> am not against reading the docs, but if you have a general and
    >> unique format, you just have to read them once. And having meta
    >> information allow edit-time type-cheking and other consistency
    >> checking.

    Pieter> How teh hell would you implement such a general format. It
    Pieter> would be SGML-like or so, so FAARRRRR to difficult for
    Pieter> users.

Something like Lisp's lists seem sufficient to build any data
structure that you may dream of. And to make the end user happy, you
just have to build a nice interface allowing viewing and editing in a
convenient manner. This possible if we have meta-information. See
Emacs custom extensions. Instead of just using (defun my-var my-value)
you use (defcustom my-var meta-information my-value), where
meta-information may contain the type of the variable plus additionnal

SGML is considered complicated mainly because there are no widespread
convenient editor for it. (not enough people know Emacs+psgml) If your
editor tells what elements you can insert at any given place, it
becomes very easy. And if you replace the textual representation of
tags with something more appropriate, your mother can use it!

Laurent "Yes Unix is still a good OS, but we are here to make
something better, aren't we?" Martelli