Provide make-replacer from decode.rkt / improve performance on heavily crosslinked pages
Closedopened 9 years ago by chipotle · 12 comments
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It's possible people might want to write their own versions of
smart-dashes, or write similar simple regex-replacing functions in
directory-require.rkt. (For instance, I have a long-standing habit of typing just two dashes to mean an em dash.) It'll be easier to do this if
make-replaceris defined with
If you’re asking for
smart-dashesto be customizable, that could be done.
make-replaceras a private helper function, so it’s neither general enough nor simple enough to be useful as part of the public interface. I’m not averse to making a better version of it. I’d just need someone who wants it to explain how it should work.
Well, what I was thinking of is essentially "run this regex style transform on the contents of the tag it's associated with," like
root. A while ago I was noodling around with an idea for an extensible markup thingy (so far only in notes rather than code, and likely to remain that way), and one of its notions was a "transform" command that basically did a regex search/replace on the document forward from the point the command occurred. I suppose in Racket this would be something similar to, for example,
To do a (probably dangerously naive) Markdown-ish italics conversion. It's possible that the best way to do this is for users to simply wrap
regexp-replace*in something that
#:string-prochandles, but you can probably think of a better interface. (I really know very little Racket or Lisp, and I'm sort of poking things with sticks until they seem to be the right shape.)
make-replacersimply chains together calls to
regexp-replace*, so it’s not doing any heavy lifting.
Moreover, the simplicity can be deceiving —
smart-quoteshas edge cases that
make-replacercan’t reach. Encouraging shortcuts is bad policy. ;)
BTW, if you’re asking a broader question about whether markup can be parsed with regular expressions — it’s tempting, but it leads to anguish. Even though markup looks like a string, it’s really a tree encoded in a string. Regexps aren’t designed to process trees, and fall apart when presented with anything but simple cases. See also this.
No, it wasn't that question, really. I've done conversions between markup styles with regexes before, but there was nothing I'd describe as "parsing" involved -- when I've actually had to write code that parses HTML, I've used a parsing library. :)
Really, these are just things that are coming up as I'm poking around with a project I'm trying with Pollen -- whether there are simple (or not-so-simple) tasks that could either be made easier, or maybe just put no a list of things to add to a "cookbook" section of the docs eventually. (The language I used over the last few days trying to figure out how to create a table of contents from a list was, ah, colorful.)
If you post a sample of the task, either a) I’ll have a better idea for how to do it or b) it will suggest something that should be added to the core Pollen functions to make life easier.
Either way, you win.
Well, while this is rather changing the subject from the initial issue title, the table of contents is actually the bigger stumbling block so far. I suspect I don't really understand how to use pagetrees particularly effectively yet -- the examples don't include making a table of contents or really using hierarchies (which I suspect is really what I want here). My attempts to create TOC-generating functions from pagetrees have so far ended in dismal failure. I have one that works from a list that you pass it:
But I suspect there's a better way of doing it. I don't want everything in the page tree, though (the table of contents page itself doesn't need to be listed, for instance, but it needs to be in the navigation on subsequent pages, ideally as its own "go up" link). Also, the TOC page renders really slowly with that.
This doesn't strike me as a core Pollen thing, but possibly something that -- down the road -- could be part of an optional library, sort of LaTeX is to TeX, if that makes any sense.
You're on the right track. The problem with a TOC — which I have also come up against, and have not adequately solved yet — is when it relies on something like
(select-from-doc 'h1 mydoc), you have to load and compile every page that's referenced. That's why it's slow. OTOH, the overall structure of a document doesn't tend to change as often as, say, the content of any individual source file, so an always-dynamic TOC is usually superfluous.
On practicaltypography.com, I've worked around this problem by using a static TOC and updating by hand. This is terrible, but not slow.
I think the solution might be to have a "caching pagetree" that is generated dynamically but not in real time. So it would store not just pagenodes but also the values from, say,
(select-from-doc 'h1 mydoc). Generating a TOC from this file would be fast because you wouldn't need to load the source files. But you could refresh it anytime from the source files (still slowly, but you control the timing).
As to your issues:
Generating the TOC from a subset of the main pagetree. Two choices.
navigation.ptree, and have the second one incorporate
(select* 'top-node-name main.ptree), and pass these to your TOC generator.
TOC function. Your code has the right idea. What you're missing is recursion (which is what you need to handle hierarchical data). I would probably do it like this:
This use of
condwith type-detecting branches is the idiomatic way of doing what the pros would call recursive descent. (The key innovation is callng
make-tocagain from within
make-toc.) But this will work on a pagetree with any number of hierarchical levels.
BTW Pollen does cache source files during a project-server session or batch rendering command. So if you were rendering every page anyhow, rendering the TOC after that would be fast. The slowness is evident when the TOC is rendered first, or alone, because it triggers the compilation of the other files.
Instead of introducing a new concept like a caching pagetree, perhaps I could just change the cache so it writes its data to disk when it changes. Then, when you start up, it could load this file, and you can continue from where you left off.
OK, the file-based cache is added. It works as expected. I'm seeing a big speedup (10–20x) on pages with a lot of links to other pages, like this. Time to convert my TOC to work dynamically …
Cool. I'd actually switched my project to a manual TOC but will play around with this. (My current fights are mostly relating to CSS, and aren't the sorts of things that Pollen can help with, unless there is a "make browser manufacturers implement CSS3 faster" feature you're working on.)
Using the Pollen preprocessor on your CSS files can save a lot of browser-related headaches. When you have a specific example in mind, post another issue.