Thursday, September 20, 2007


It turns out I've been reinventing a wheel. A few posts ago I spoke of creating a script that converts a text file to HTML, where the text file itself is highly readable. With clever ASCII usage, headings should look like headings, emphasized words should look like emphasized words, and so on, and there should be no ugly tags peppered throughout.

I came across AsciiDoc, which does exactly this, and is far better, older, and more capable than my simple script. Interestingly, the format I came up with does not differ that much.

I've converted a few pages on my homepage to AsciiDoc. This format makes the most sense to me. HTML files with their space-hogging outlandish tags are unpleasant to read. Text files convey the same information, are easy on the eyes, and can be converted to HTML in no time.

Also, why should I spend so much time making sure I'm using the right tag, and that my tags are nested properly and so on? Computers are supposed to do the mundane stuff for us. Generally speaking, computers should automate as much as possible so long as it is efficient and the process does not hamper human comprehension.

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