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StructuredTextQuotedLine

Structured Text processing of quoted lines

(and fancier email message stuff)

I think STX has a big future in the web-based messaging department. After all, its syntax was created to mimic that of common and intuitive markers already used by the plain-text-only newsgroup community, right?

So, how might we deal with an email message? Here's a short brainstorm. Comments and suggestions would be greatly apprectiated. Let's say you have a message thus:

        Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 11:42:28 -0400
        From: Mike Lamb <bar@foo.com>
        To: foo@bar.com
        Cc:
        Bcc:
        Subject: Re: Baz Quux Quux
        Message-ID: <12345.67890@foo.com>
        Reply-To: mailing-list@foobar.com
        X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.61 [en] (Win98; U)
        X-Accept-Language: en
        Precedence: bulk

        On Wed, 13 Jun 2001 at 10:00am, David wrote:
        > On Tue, 12 Jun 2001, Clyde wrote:
        > > On Mon, 11 Jun 2001, Barry wrote:
        > > > On Sun, 10 Jun 2001, Alice wrote:
        > > > > I seriously doubt that. That's the most 
        > > > > absurd thing I've ever heard! How do you
        > > > > expect us to believe something like that?
        > > >
        > > > What makes you say that, Alice?
        > >
        > > Barry, I think Alice's point is valid.
        > >
        > 
        > You three don't know what you're talking about.

        So what do *you* think, David?

        'Later
        -Mike

Wouldn't it be cool to have STX render it something like this:

Mike Lamb, "Re: Baz Quux Quux" Wed, June 13 @ 11:42am

 

David Wed, June 13 @ 10:00am

 

Clyde Wed, June 12

 

Barry Wed, June 11

 

Alice Wed, June 10

 

I seriously doubt that. That's the most absurd thing I've ever heard! How do you expect us to believe something like that?

What makes you say that, Alice?

Barry, I think Alice's point is valid.

You three don't know what you're talking about.

So what do you think, Daivd?

'Later -Mike

Have a look at the source. The linedrawing bit isn't really very complex. You just strip off one level of indent markers, STX process the paragraph that remains, and wrap it in a quick table with a colored td on the left. Easy.

Of course, there's a lot more that can be added to this. It should optimally be able to do something fancy with the headers so that the information they contain is still accessable. I was thinking, toss that info into a DHTML layer that becomes visiable as you mouseover a specific part of the rendered text. Or something like that. Add your ideas!

I figure that if the DC guys a clever enough to build a system that processes ascii-drawn boxes into HTML tables, this should be cake. -datagrok


datagrok (Nov 2, 2001 11:12 am; Comment #1)
Even though I said that the table code was simple, using CSS to accomplish this cleans things up a lot. However, you end up looking ugly in non-css-supporting browsers. Your call, I suppose.

Try this example. View source to see how much cleaner the code is:

Test date
Test date
Test date
Test date
test
abcd
one two three