phil wilson :: a geek commodity

12:32 AM

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Thursday, February 26, 2004

Textpattern by Dean Allen is finally out, and very nice it looks too. A quick play reveals an easy to use (although not entirely gripe-free application). But nevertheless pretty damn good for a 1.1 version.

Recently of course, Textile 2.0 (also by Dean Allen) hit the shops, or more rather MT-Textile 2.0 (a collaboration between the aforementioned DA and Brad Choate) did.

And boy did they ring in the changes.

MT-Textile 2.0 commands

All that stuff! Holy cow, Textile should just be about simplifying the writing of basic HTML, not inventing a syntax to replace it. Additions like the google and amazon linking mechanisms are nice, simple touches that add a whole lot of useful blogger-centric functionality, but the table-stuff? Just use <table>! (the same holds true for wiki syntax btw – table source code is always hard to read, whether it’s using tags or pipe characters, but someone who understands the table tags is far more likely to be able to understand your intent when they see the tags than the pipes). And all the language stuff, and ID/class stuff? It’d probably be quicker to type the full tags. Braces should never be used in something that's aiming at ease of use.

The new in-text footnote stuff is also nice, except that the actual footnote list is horrible: fn1. ? eek. It’s just too long.

These things bug me. I really love Textile and write almost the entirety of each of my blog posts using it (and that’s a few hundred now), but Textile is mooted as a “humane web text generator” and if humane is something that is supposed to be

marked or motivated by concern with the alleviation of suffering

then features in this new version do not follow that maxim. As the commands get longer and longer, you wonder if you may just as well have learned HTML in the first place…