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Re: format/fill of text in a cell in tables

From: tomas
Subject: Re: format/fill of text in a cell in tables
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2021 19:46:22 +0100

On Fri, Dec 17, 2021 at 11:11:47PM +1100, Tim Cross wrote:


> Yes, sometimes tables are extremely useful - especially wrt 2-d
> relationships I'm not against the use of tables, but do find their use
> as a formatting/layout tool limited [...]

Yes, but at the end, layout is but a thinking device as all the others
are :-)

This reminds me of people advocating "semantic backup" (e.g. use
"emphasis" instead of "italics", until one realises that you just
managed to peel off one layer of the sematic onion. The onion just got
smaller (some literature perhaps might want to play with the ambiguity
of italics?), and if you continue, you end up with no onion at all.

> Many years ago, I worked on a system which used an interesting interface
> which used 'cubes' to represent database information [...]

Sounds a bit awkward, at the same time. I guess the gains to be had from
going from 1D to 2D are significantly higher than those beyond (OTOH,
beyond 5 or 6, things get strange again, with most of the volume of
things getting stuck in thin shells).

> I have been legally blind my whole life and for 17 years [...]
> [...] I'm sort of between worlds - enough sight to prevent me really
> developing 'sightless'skills

Thanks for sharing your experience. That's the only way others can

> I know a few totally blind mathematicians and their skills are
> impressive. Quite a few of them have ended up working in fields relating
> to topology [...]

This is interesting. I always was wondering how different person's
strategies in this situation have anything in common and how they
vary wildly.

> > * WYS ain't WYG


> Yes, I can see why people like WYSWYG when editing. However, my
> experience with such systems as more often than not been extremely
> frustrating as I seem to end up constantly fighting with the system to
> get it looking right rather than focusing on the content [...]

There is a lot of potential in being "between the worlds", and Org
tries to exploit exactly that. But that's, I think, also where its
conflicts are.

You can see similar patterns in other fields. Serialization formats
which deliver abstract and concrete syntax in "one package"
(S-expressions, XML (and those others), JSON) tend to be wildly successful,
but tend to run into the same troubles time and again; trying to do
the right thing and separating abstract and concrete syntax (think
ASN.1) tend to end up in niches (OK, ASN.1 is actually successful,
but only because people get paid to do that :-)


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