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Some article formatting standards for gemtext


I have noticed that I have followed a somewhat stricter syntax when writing in Gemtext, so in this rather short article I will describe it.


The first character in the Gemtext file (other than an involuntary UTF-8 BOM) is always "#", and therefore the first line is a header line. This header line is the title of the article.


It is always followed by a blank line.


The next line (paragraph) is the introduction of the article. It should both be able to stand alone to act as the summary, and also flow naturally with the rest of the text. This is fairly easy to do and it helps with some readability. There is no need to add any additional markers like "tl;dr" which is common in other parts of the internet.


Afterwards, everything is pretty much just normal prose.


Lines that start with #, other than the title line, are always tightly hugged by a normal text line afterwards, with no blank line between them. Other header lines are separated from it by a blank line.


A link line can be integrated into a paragraph by sandwiching it with two text line. It should be a whole sentence or at least a phrase.


Don't use emoji at all. I never found them useful in any context, and they are more often displayed in colour which I find rather bad.


But why?


The main reason is actually because Lagrange renders things like that. In particular, it has an option to make the first paragraph slightly larger. This encourages me to write things like that.


Which brings me to one of the reasons why I wrote this. Certainly clients are able to format the articles as they could because of the specification. But I am thinking that trying to adapt the style of writing to one specific client that is overwhelmingly popular – and I think Lagrange is coming close to being that – might end up being the next <marquee>. But then again, who knows. I have kind of an excuse to doing this myself, as I am using this structure to partially replace metadata that I would embed into, e.g. an org-mode document, when doing some processing for things like the automatic directory program and the atom feed maker.

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