[svlug] I've finished the first draft of the Stylz specifications

Akkana Peck akkana at shallowsky.com
Sat Jan 31 19:05:40 PST 2015

Steve Litt writes:
> Hi all,
> I just finished and uploaded the first draft of the Stylz book-writing
> specifications:
> http://www.troubleshooters.com/projects/stylz/

Sounds like a nice tool! Though you don't write much about what the
actual format will look like.

Since it sounds like you haven't started writing code yet, or a
formal syntax document, one thought:

Your document mentions a syntax like ::thetruth( ... )
I wonder if you'd considered using TeX/LaTeX syntax for markup,
especially since TeX will be one of your output formats. I don't
think it's really any more complicated than ::() (I say this as
a non TeX user -- always wanted to learn it but never had a good
excuse for it).  And that would make it easy to make your language
extensible in case someone needed to include, say, an equation.
And it would greatly simplify the Stylz->TeX->PDF exporter, and you
might be able to use ready-built TeX parsing libraries, and adapt
TeX-PDF and TeX-HTML libraries; and people editing Stylz documents
might be able to use existing TeX modes for emacs or vim.

In fact, could you get by implementing the whole thing as some
simple subset of TeX/LaTeX plus a preprocessor that handles the
"empty line means add a paragraph break"? That would make it super
easy to implement, while still making the learning curve easy for
people who aren't comfortable with markup languages.


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