about indent-based tree structures
line indentation can be used to create a tree-like structure where the length of empty space at the beginning of lines determines nesting depth
an indent-tree can be parsed and interpreted in more than one way. following are three possible interpretations for this text:
line-1 line-2 line-3
one entry for each line with an integer for the indent-depth
((0 line-1) (1 line-2) (0 line-3))
indent-depth equals nesting-depth
(line-1 (line-2) line-3)
((line-1 line-2) line-3)
(depth-0 (depth-0 depth-1 (depth-1 depth-2 depth-2) depth-1))
sub-list prefixes are the roots of sub-trees
if nesting depth increases by multiple steps at once like in the following example
line-1 line-2 line-2-1 line-3
then line-2 could be interpreted as having no prefix
(line-1 ((line-2 line-2-1)) line-3)
operator arg1, arg2, argn, ...
operator operator arg1, arg2
with optional round brackets or in other languages corresponds to
operator arg1 arg2 . argn ...
operator : operator arg1 arg2 . a
only space is needed to create a nesting structure and only the beginning of lines needs to be marked. the potential for variation in formatting is lower than for alternative tree notations like s-expressions or xml. the same structure notated by different authors, who otherwise tend to invent and use personal formatting styles for brackets, whitespace and nesting, will look very similar, especially without empty lines
indent alone can not mark multiple sub-lists on the same line, like in this s-expression:
(+ (* 1 2) (/ 4 2))
line wrapping can be done with continued or one-step increased indent on following lines. naive line wrapping starts at the beginning of a line and can be more difficult to read
two spaces per indentation step is a widespread convention. use of the tab character is also common, which introduces all the complications associated with tab character usage, including the introduction of a second invisible space character and therefore a possible incorrect mix of spaces and tabs, the designation of an extra character for text compression, the necessity for viewer and editor programs to render it and the required configuration of all potential viewer and editor programs to show the tab character with an appropriate and preferred width. tab is usually rendered as 8 spaces tabular aligned to the next equidistant spacing from the beginning of the line, which isnt how people usually want to indent. indent isnt hard to recognise and viewers could display it in users preferred width regardless of the use of space or tab character
here is an indent based, machine and human readable text format for titled, separated parts of text or notes. words can be tags or make up a headline. nested structures can be created in content, but dont need to be parsed. if words are tags, then note lists can be processed to extract, merge or analyse notes by tag. an itpn management utility is part of sph-script. "indent tree packet notation", itpn
word word content-line content-line content-line content-line word content-line content-line
here is a generic, indentation based syntax for structured documents. it includes forms that can be evaluated by custom procedures to create output like lists, tables and more. "indent tree markup language", itml
#(identifier scheme-expression ...)
#identifier scheme-expression ... scheme-expression ... ...
##(identifier plaintext/itml-expression ...)
##identifier plaintext/itml-expression ... plaintext/itml-expression ... ...
#identifier: scheme-expressions ... ##identifier: plaintext/itml-expressions ...
###identifier plaintext ... plaintext ...
the text is passed as a parsed tree without any nested expressions evaluated. this can be used for example to create block escaping
a line before increased indent becomes a heading
this is a heading this is content and more example text a sub-heading more content
each empty line, two newlines, creates one line break in the output
example text more text after empty line
inline expression prefixes, colons and backslashes can be escaped with a backslash
\: \# \## \### \\
###escape content content content