#14 reST for TV/Radio/Play Script writers

closed
nobody
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5
2007-06-13
2007-06-12
No

I am a Radio/Podcast drama writer and am trying to use reST for my scripts. The basic format for a script would generally look like:

Freddy: So what are you doing to
effect the ship's performance?

Kevin: I've replaced the hyperfloat
numbers with a module of my
own creation.

Alternatively, if I'm lazy, I'd like to write:

Prof: You know, you don't all have to keep your lines so short. As a professor, I can say quite a bit more without taking a breath.

In both cases, I want the reader to know that the document structure is:

Name: Dialogue

Where name is a name, a colon and a consistent (tabular) number of spaces separate it from the text, and the dialog may be either block-quoted in-line (as in the first example) or straight inlined (the second example).

This would sort of be like compact definition lists. The other difference with existing reST writers is that it should look similar when written to other formats, such as in HTML and LaTeX. How the exact formatting could be rendered in HTML make be tricky. Certainly, you can set a hanging indent for text, but the dl tag will not compact and inline the text so it still looks like a definition list, what is not what I would like.

Ideally, a new style of this nature could be created. Similar to Definition Lists, but compact and evenly spaced. In fact, this might be rendered in a table in HTML to create the even spacing of each line of dialog, but that too has its drawbacks, since you don't want the renderer to generate:

Young So, do I get the job?
Woman:

As that would look silly.

Does this make sense? Is it clear what I'm trying to do? Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Discussion

  • David Goodger
    David Goodger
    2007-06-13

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    Two suggestions. For a tabular format, use field lists:

    :Freddy: So what are you doing to
    effect the ship's performance?

    :Kevin: I've replaced the hyperfloat
    numbers with a module of my
    own creation.

    See http://docutils.sf.net/docs/ref/rst/restructuredtext.html#field-lists

    With long field names (the text :between colons:), the field name will
    appear on its own lines. You can use --field-name-limit=X to increase
    the maximum width (number of letters) for side-by-side columns. See
    http://docutils.sf.net/docs/user/config.html

    For an inline, wrapped format, just use strong emphasis on the names:

    **Prof:** You know, you don't all have to keep your lines so short.
    As a professor, I can say quite a bit more without taking a breath.

    In future, please send mail to docutils-users at lists dot sf dot net,
    before opening a bug or feature request.

     
  • David Goodger
    David Goodger
    2007-06-13

    • status: open --> closed