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Extending POD (was (indented tables))

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Bryan C . Warnock
August 1, 2001 15:47
Extending POD (was (indented tables))
Message ID:
(migrated from perl-qa)

On Wednesday 01 August 2001 03:10 pm, David L. Nicol wrote:
> "Bryan C. Warnock" wrote:
> > I didn't have a good solution for tables, mainly because I didn't like a
> > tab, comma, or pipe separated solution.  (Which isn't intended as
> > commentary on Ziggy.)
> Here's a possibility -- new rows are indicated by a flush-left line,
> each column has a line.  (this happens to be how I like to lay out
> my <table><tr><td>data</td></tr></table> data.)
> Table of Students:
> Last Name
> 	First Name
> 	Exam Grade
> 	Semester Grade
> 	Cup Size
> Aardvark
> 	Chris
> 	D
> 	B
> 	A
> The thing might end at the first blank line.

It's too awkward to read and write, particular if you have a lot of columns.

I toyed with automatic column detection for a while - (convert any tabs to 
spaces, convert whitespace to 1s, non-whitespace to 0s, and & all the lines 
together.  Splitting on /(1+)/ allows determination on each individual 
column width, as well as the space between columns.  Then generate the 
appropriate format on the fly, and fill it in with the heavy use of substrs. 
It was supposed to allow table creation in the same vein as "I'll figure out 
what you're trying to do, just do it.", and it worked fairly well for me.  
Couldn't handle multiline entries, was my biggest problem.  Then I realized 
that I was doing it all in a fixed width font, and the whole thing was 
worthless in the customer's WYSIWYG environment.  But I digress...)

I basically came to the conclusion that there was no real easy way to 
produce a table without resorting to input that makes you focus more on the
table itself than the data you're putting in.  And when it comes to 
documentation, the latter is much more important than the former.

Unlike Ziggy, however, we didn't have a lot of tables to produce, so the 
customer was content with table production in a spreadsheet, which I could 
then process during page generation.

Obviously, that won't work for POD, and I do feel that POD needs table 

Bryan C. Warnock

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