DWiki now supports definition lists (<dl>, <dt>, <dd> in HTML). I started with what I think was Wikipedia's syntax but decided it was ugly in plain text so came up with my own that I like better.

A definition list looks like:

- <dt text>: <dd text starts here>
  and can continue on as an indented list.

Definition lists nest, because it was trivial to make them do the right thing this way; just add extra leading dashes. They nest with both themselves and other types of lists, and the result validates.

Usage case: I started thinking about documenting the configuration file format. This will have a lot of things like:

If present, this is taken as the root directory that further configuration directives can specify relative paths from.
The root directory of the page hierarchy.
The root directory of the template hierarchy.

I think this winds up looking all right, and better than the alternative of somtehing like:

(Yeah, I definetly think that the first one is easier to read.)

The one drawback of this way of writing them is that they don't entirely render in HTML the way they look in ASCII. However, this looks better than the alternatives I've seen and thought about so far.

(Yes, 'looks good in raw form' is one of ChrisSiebenmann's criteria for DWikiText. Don't look so funny; it's important if we want readable documentation, since we may spend a lot of time reading the plain ASCII wikitext version. If it makes our eyes bleed and we can't follow it cleanly, well...)

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Last modified: Sun May 29 06:29:30 2005
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