Efficient Textual Representation of Structure

by   Brenton Chapin, et al.

This paper attempts a more formal approach to the legibility of text based programming languages, presenting, with proof, minimum possible ways of representing structure in text interleaved with information. This presumes that a minimalist approach is best for purposes of human readability, data storage and transmission, and machine evaluation. Several proposals are given for improving the expression of interleaved hierarchical structure. For instance, a single colon can replace a pair of brackets, and bracket types do not need to be repeated in both opening and closing symbols or words. Historic and customary uses of punctuation symbols guided the chosen form and nature of the improvements.


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