Whither MT-Textile 2?

In case you were wondering, MT-Textile 2-point-oh is sort of on hold.

Don't worry -- I have a very good reason.

Dean Allen (yes, that Dean Allen) and I are collaborating on the new features. That is, I've shown him what I added and he's suggesting back some additions and changes. We go back and forth refining and improving.

So it's in a bit of flux at the moment. But let me tell you... the result of all this will be amazing. And best of all, it will have Dean's blessing. I made the mistake of improving on Textile with MT-Textile 1.0 and I didn't want to make that mistake again with 2.0. The 2.0 syntax I was adding was deepening that rift, to the point that it would be harmful to keep calling it Textile. But now that we're working together and defining a common syntax, it will be better for everyone. I just don't envy Dean's work of doing the 2.0 improvments in PHP. I think Perl is just a little easier at implementing regex.

In the past few days, we have added:

  • Style definition. You can provide style attribute assignments to paragraph, list, image and table elements.
  • Alignments. You can specify alignment for paragraph, table and image elements.
  • Table improvments. You can now identify rowspan in addition to colspan. Cell data can be written on multiple lines. You can even place lists inside table cells.
  • Footnotes.

I've been incrementally adjusting the Perl Textile code as we've been fleshing out the syntax so it's still close to release, but unfortunately is going back to internal testing. The updates have added another zillion test cases to think about. Then it will return to beta for another round of tests. (Sorry to do this to those of you that have helped with the beta testing thus far.)

The Perl implementation of Textile will be capable of producing HTML (with or without CSS), XHTML 1.x and tenatively XHTML 2 output. The MT-Textile wrapper for the Textile module will continue to tie to SmartyPants and adds support for MT-CodeBeautifier for formatting code excerpts.

With all the improvements, Textile is going to be better than ever. I appreciate Dean's willingness to work with me on this, since it's his baby.

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3 Comments

Mark said:

Any chance of cutting other implementors in on the action, or do I just have to wait until it's released and play catch-up?

Brad Author Profile Page said:

Mark: I will be happy to share my implementation with you. I can't speak for Dean regarding his PHP version. And I believe you created yours using that version as a basis? If so, you'll probably want to use it instead (once it's finished) for your update since mine is very different (my Textile 'port' is less of a port than a rewrite since I originally did not have source to work with).

The same goes for anyone else that has done a port of Textile. Just contact me by e-mail. Or wait a few days for the code to return to beta.

mini-d said:

Brad, I had many troubles using Textile 2.0 with HTML entities in a post, for example:

This is a test i want to write @@ but textile translates the & to &. I read the documentation but it seems you don't specified how you can write code without parse HTML entities.

I'm using smartypants too.

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This article was published on June 30, 2003 11:02 PM.

The article previously posted was A Non-Funky MT RSS 2 Template.

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