el Overview

Paragraphs in el are separated by blank lines. A tab size of 4 is assumed, although this will be made variable. Leading spaces are significant (and removed), trailing ones are (silently) trimmed.

Multiple spaces / linefeeds will be examined for significance then reduced to a single character.

A line containing only a single period in column 1 turns on line-for-line mode until a line containing a single comma in line 1 is encountered.

A line consisting of a 8 or more line characters {*,,_,-,=+} which is also a paragraph (i.e. it floats between newline characters) is considered to be a horizontal rule.

A paragraph consisting of a line of text underlined with a line of line_characters is considered to be a heading of some sort. Most commonly, the equalsign [=] signifies a big headline [H1] while a line of hyphens signifies a smaller one [H2].

A paragraph indented four spaces is considered to be a block quote unless the first character is one of {,-,=.

Lines in indented paragraphs starting with {,-,= followed by a space are condidered as list items of types unordered, ordered, and definition respectively.

Blocks and links may be nested by increasing the indentation, using a step of four spaces.

For definition lists the defined term begins with the first colon-space sequence and ends with the next space-colon.

Link originators [HTML HREF_A] are delimited with [; and ;].

If you don't care what the destination is named (and quite often you won't for short local references) that is all you need to do. If the page exists on either the LINKPATH or the LINKENV the link will be created when the HTML page is created.

Linktext greater than a certain minimum (8 characters for ISO9660 and MSDOS systems) will be provided with an automatic contraction,. If you want to control the destination, you may enter it within the link, preceeded by two semicolons ;; and followed by either a relative, absolute local filename or URL. The .html (or .htm for MSDOS) extension is assumed.

If it does not exist the generated HTML will just show the plain text (eliminating the dreaded "PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION") -- and as a bonus a schedule to "remind" you to fill in the page will be created for you. Eventually all you will need to do is provide the content to this "promissary" links and they will pop into visability.

Note that, unlike HTML the destination of the linktext, follows it. By the time this is written, prefix and postfix destinations should be largely irrelevant, with a slash or imbedded period signifying an address and spaces signifying multiword text.

Headings underlined with one of the characters specified above will be considered equivalent to a heading enclosed in parenthesis of the form [$ $] where $ is one of {,-,=+}.

Note that while - and = are translated as H2 and H1 mapping is functional, not typographic. el headings always generate an internal anchor (cf HTML's HREF_NAME) which may be referrenced even if not explicitly inserted. These anchors are considered to occupy a point, 0 characters long, directly before the start of the headline.

The [+ +] construct is used to signify a new file.

The breaking and concatenation of files is under review.

Inline graphics are specified by [*graphicname.png*]. A graphic with a destination is analagous to the test example [*graphic**destination*] although [;[[*graphic*];;dest;] should also work, by rights.

Anything which you could specify as the destination of an HTML anchor should also work in an el link. E.g. [;linktext with CGI param attached;;dest?param;]

Simple font markup like italics may be accomplished two ways. The prettyest, most convenient and efficient is to simply surround the words with one of {,-,=_} or the special -= and =- pair. = translates to italics; - to bold (since boldface is used more rarely and hyphens are used for lots of other purposes); and _ to underline. Because all these characters have conventional uses they will only work if the have no intervening spaces between themselves and the phrase they are hilighting and the next/previous character is an alphabetic. Originally I used this convention in *email* to hilight a single word, but it proved so useful that the usage has been expanded to take in phrases. -=bolditalics=- will eventually be part of HTML and are currently rendered thusaciously.

These renderings are efficient and convenient but potentially ambiguous, so the alternate forms [b[ [i[ and [u[ are part of the more formal light syntax. And of course if you slip into using <I> there is no penalty!


lo version 0.94 patch 134/026
24 June 1997