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"font bug" from basile

From: Jeff Kingston
Subject: "font bug" from basile
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1993 07:17:06 +1100

It's not a bug, it's a feature, although admittedly a rather confusing
one.  Lout's parsing is based on precedence, and the precedence of
juxtaposing two objects together is larger than the precedence of
any symbol.  So

        In order to @I { emphasise }, one uses italics

is parsed as

        In order to @I {{ emphasise },} one uses italics

Looking at cases like this can quickly convince you that Lout has
chosen the wrong precedences.  But what about cases like this?

        @I over-compensated
        @Ref kingston88

Assigning a lower precedence to juxtaposition would result in just
over being italicised, and the @Ref symbol applying to just kingston,
not kingston88.  What it amounts to is that if the precedence of
juxtaposition is lowered, then people have to become aware that
kingston88 is two words juxtaposed - arguably more confusing than
the way things are now.

I'm speaking here about a pure precedence system in which the precedence
of any operator is independent of its operands.  One could argue that
in the presence of {} the precedences should be changed.  But it's not
an easy thing to get right, so I've kept with the pure precedence scheme.

This problem is discussed briefly and informally in Section 1 of the
Beginners' Guide, where it explains the use of braces.

Jeff Kingston.

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