Further thoughts on the maelstrom rewrite. One really annoying set of tags in html were the hn tags: h1, h2, h3 etc. Inevitably, you added even more outer structure to the page but had nowhere else to go: you were already using h1. Or you wanted some intermediate structure but were already using h1 and h2. Inevitably, it was search-and-replace night.
Whatever syntax I end up with, I want to avoid doing something isomorphic to this. I'd like to have a generic way to say "here's some substructure," and I don't want to worry about forgetting to close the substructure. Maybe indent level (or :set ts=2 in my case) is the way to do this. This, coupled with the ability to source in other files, allows one to define arbitrarily structured composite pages ala Wikimedia's "Main article" subsections. It's like the dual space of hypertext: rather than linking out to other pages, you can also flatten them into one big page, efficiently via some cgi / caching mechanism if need be. Over time it could acquire a sort of fractal structure as the page itself descends into tendrils of detail.
I think this will help me resist the urge to impose taxonomy on the content via some external system like categories. Things are not really hierarchical; only anal retentive human brains are hierarchical. This is why OOP is not so useful in the end...your data is usually more useful as a loosely related graph of stuff than as a rigidly defined hierarchy. Boy I'm starting to sound too Web 2.0 for my own taste here...oh yes and tagging, I absolutely need tagging! and a karma system! and proprietary magical algorithms to run on the graph of stuff that make random "fun" connections between things!Posted by Alan at September 14, 2006 12:20 AM