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5.1 publishing and blogging

5.1.1 blogging

Blogging is pretty straightforward, since it generally just involves publishing lightly-formatted text, interspersed with media such as images and videos or perhaps social media posts. Markdown is a great tool for this job, and has been integrated in the system to much success: There are two different types registered with converts: text/markdown and text/markdown+span. They both render to HTML (and DOM nodes), so they are immediately viewable as part of the system. The only difference for text/markdown+span is that it is limited to a single line, and doesn't render as a paragraph but rather just a line of text. This makes it suitable for denoting formatted-text titles and other small strings of text.

The problem of embedding other content together with text comfortably is also solved easily, because Markdown allows embedding arbitrary HTML in the document. This made it possible to define a set of pseudo-HTML elements in the Markdown-convert, <mmm-embed> and <mmm-link>, which respectively embed and link to other content native to mmmfs.

5.1.2 academic publishing

One of the 'standard' solutions, LaTeX, is arguably at least as complex as the mmm system proposed here, but has a much narrower scope, since it does not support interaction.

Academic publishing is notoriously complex, involving not only the transclusion of diagrams and other media, but generally requiring precise and consistent control over formatting and layout. Some of these complexities are tedious to manage, but present good opportunities for programmatic systems and media to do work for the writer.

One such topic is the topic of references. References appear in various formats at multiple positions in a academic document; usually they are referenced via a reduced visual form within the text of the document, and then shown again with full details at the end of the document.

For the sake of this thesis, referencing has been implemented using a subset of the popular BibTeX format for describing citations. Converts have been implemented for the text/bibtex type to convert to a full reference format (to mmm/dom) and to an inline side-note reference (mmm/dom+link) that can be transcluded using the <mmm-link> pseudo-tag.

For convenience, a convert from the URL -> cite/acm type has been provided to URL -> text/bibtex, which generates links to the ACM Digital Library API for accessing BibTeX citations for documents in the library. This means that it is enough to store the link to the ACM DL entry in mmmfs, and the reference will automatically be fetched, and therefore stay up to date with potential remote corrections.

5.2 pinwall

In many situations, in particular for creative work, it is often useful to compile resources of different types for reference or inspiration, and arrange them spatially so that they can be viewed at a glance or organized into different contexts etc. Such a pinwall could serve for example to organize references to articles, to collect visual inspiration for a moodboard etc.

As a collection, the Pinwall is primarily mapped to a Fileder in the system. Any content that is placed within can then be rendered by the Pinwall, which can constrain every piece of content to a rectangular piece on its canvas. This is possible through a simple script, e.g. of the type text/moonscript -> fn -> mmm/dom, which enumerates the list of children, wraps each in such a rectangular container, and outputs the list of containers as DOM elements.

The position and size of each panel are stored in an ad-hoc facet, encoded in the JSON data format: pinwall_info: text/json. Such a facet is set on each child and read whenever the script is called to render the children, plugging the values within the facet into the visual styling of the document.

The script can also set event handlers that react to user input while the document is loaded, and allow the user to reposition and resize the individual pinwall items by clicking and dragging on the upper border or lower right-hand corner respectively. Whenever a change is made the event handler can then update the value in the pinwall_info facet, so that the updated position and size are stored for the next time the pinwall is opened.

5.3 slideshow

Another common use of digital documents is as aids in a verbal presentation. These often take the form of slideshows, for the creation of which a number of established applications exist. In simple terms, a slideshow is simply a linear series of screen-sized documents, that can be advanced (and rewound) one by one using keypresses.

The implementation of this is rather straightforward as well. The slideshow as a whole becomes a fileder with a script that generates a designated viewport rectangle, as well as a control interface with keys for advancing the active slide. It also allows putting the browser into fullscreen mode to maximize screen space and remove visual elements of the website that may distract from the presentation, and register an event handler for keyboard accelerators for moving through the presentation.

Finally the script simply embeds the first of its child-fileders into the viewport rectangle. Once the current slide is changed, the next embedded child is simply chosen.