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The Power of Indented Heredocs: Markdown, Textile, and BBCode in one file with no escaping

The Power of Indented Heredocs: Markdown, Textile, and BBCode in one file with no escaping

Scroll is a new language and static site generator that is mostly written in a new language called Grammar which are both built on a new syntax called Tree Notation.

In this demo, I extend Scroll by adding support for Markdown, Textile, and BBCode. I want to demonstrate how easy it is to compose many languages into one using Tree Notation, which is due to what you might call the Indented or Off-side Heredoc pattern.

My implementation is still researchy—Grammar still needs a lot of work—but my main point here is to demo how simple and powerful indented heredocs are. They allow you to compose unlimited languages in one file in a clean and scalable way. You don't need escaping. I think this is a very helpful pattern you can use in your own languages and code.

Traditional Heredocs

Traditional heredocs use start and end delimiters, like these examples from Ruby and Python and Markdown:

# Heredoc in Ruby puts <<GROCERY_LIST Grocery list ---- 1. Salad mix. 2. Strawberries GROCERY_LIST # Heredoc in Python print(""" Customer: Not much of a cheese shop is it? Shopkeeper: Finest in the district , sir. """) ```javascript // A heredoc/code block in Markdown console.log(123) ```

Indented Heredocs

In contrast here is the indented/off-side heredoc pattern in Scroll.

aftertext In contrast here is the indented/off-side heredoc pattern in Scroll.

The Demo

The code below:

markdown ### Markdown is best textile *No!* _textile is best_ bbCode [u]bbCode rules![/u]

Emits this:

Markdown is best

No! textile is best

bbCode rules!

More extensive examples are pasted below. Source is here.

Summary

A simple but largely accurate description of Tree Notation is that it is just indented or off-side HereDocs. Or in colloquial academic speak The Off-Side Rule is all you need. Most people learn of the off-side rule via Python. Imagine if your whole language was just the off-side rule. That's basically Tree Notation. But my code is not the important thing—the important thing is this pattern. Try it yourself—I bet you will love it.

Extended Examples

Markdown

markdown Marked - Markdown Parser ======================== [Marked] lets you convert [Markdown] into HTML. Markdown is a simple text format whose goal is to be very easy to read and write, even when not converted to HTML. This demo page will let you type anything you like and see how it gets converted. Live. No more waiting around. How To Use The Demo ------------------- 1. Type in stuff on the left. 2. See the live updates on the right. That's it. Pretty simple. There's also a drop-down option in the upper right to switch between various views: - **Preview:** A live display of the generated HTML as it would render in a browser. - **HTML Source:** The generated HTML before your browser makes it pretty. - **Lexer Data:** What [marked] uses internally, in case you like gory stuff like this. - **Quick Reference:** A brief run-down of how to format things using markdown. Why Markdown? ------------- It's easy. It's not overly bloated, unlike HTML. Also, as the creator of [markdown] says, > The overriding design goal for Markdown's > formatting syntax is to make it as readable > as possible. The idea is that a > Markdown-formatted document should be > publishable as-is, as plain text, without > looking like it's been marked up with tags > or formatting instructions. Ready to start writing? Either start changing stuff on the left or [clear everything](/demo/?text=) with a simple click. [Marked]: https://github.com/markedjs/marked/ [Markdown]: http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/

Marked - Markdown Parser

Marked lets you convert Markdown into HTML. Markdown is a simple text format whose goal is to be very easy to read and write, even when not converted to HTML. This demo page will let you type anything you like and see how it gets converted. Live. No more waiting around.

How To Use The Demo

  1. Type in stuff on the left.
  2. See the live updates on the right.

That's it. Pretty simple. There's also a drop-down option in the upper right to switch between various views:

Why Markdown?

It's easy. It's not overly bloated, unlike HTML. Also, as the creator of markdown says,

The overriding design goal for Markdown's formatting syntax is to make it as readable as possible. The idea is that a Markdown-formatted document should be publishable as-is, as plain text, without looking like it's been marked up with tags or formatting instructions.

Ready to start writing? Either start changing stuff on the left or clear everything with a simple click.

Textile

textile h1. level 1 heading h2. level 2 heading h3. level 3 heading h4. level 4 heading bq. this is blockquoted text fn1. footnote 1 fn2. footnote 2 This text refernces a footnote[1] # numbered list item 1 # numbered list item 2 * bulleted list first item * bulleted list second item _emphasis_ *strong* ??citation?? -deleted text- +inserted text+ ^superscript^ ~subscript~ %span% p(class). paragraph with a classname p(#id). paragraph with an ID p{color:red}. paragrah with a CSS style p[fr]. paragraphe en français p<. left aligned paragraph p>. right aligned paragraph p=. centered aligned paragraph p<>. justified text paragraph |_. head |_. table |_. row | | a | table | row 1 | | a | table | row 2 | "linktext":url !imageurl! ABBR(Abbreviation)

level 1 heading

level 2 heading

level 3 heading

level 4 heading

this is blockquoted text

1 footnote 1

2 footnote 2

This text refernces a footnote1

  1. numbered list item 1
  2. numbered list item 2

emphasis
strong
citation
deleted text
inserted text
superscript
subscript
span

paragraph with a classname

paragraph with an ID

paragrah with a CSS style

paragraphe en français

left aligned paragraph

right aligned paragraph

centered aligned paragraph

justified text paragraph

head table row
a table row 1
a table row 2

linktext

ABBR

BBCode

bbCode [b]bolded text[/b] [i]italicized text[/i] [u]underlined text[/u] [url]https://en.wikipedia.org[/url] [url=https://en.wikipedia.org]English Wikipedia[/url] [img]https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Example.png[/img] [quote]quoted text[/quote] [code]monospaced text[/code] [list] [*]Entry A [*]Entry B [/list] bolded text
italicized text
underlined text
https://en.wikipedia.org
English Wikipedia

quoted text

monospaced text

View source

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