Embedded diagrams and pandoc

24. Januar 2012 um 13:02 Keine Kommentare

If you don’t know John MacFarlane’s Pandoc, the “Swiss army knive of document formats”, you should definitely give it a try! Pandoc’s abstract document model and its serialization in an extended variant of Markdown markup let you focus on the structure and content of a text instead of dealing with formats and user interfaces. In my opinion pandoc is the best tool for document creation invented since (La)TeX (moreover pandoc is a good argument to finally learn programming in Haskell) Images in pandoc markdown documents, however, are only referenced by their file. This requires some preprocessing if you want to create different files for different document formats, especially bitmap images and vector images. So I hacked a little preprocessing script that let’s you embed images in pandoc’s markup language. For instance you write

~~~~ {.dot .Grankdir:LR}
digraph {
A -> B -> C;
A -> C;
}
~~~~

and you get

or based on rdfdot you write

~~~~ {.rdfdot}
@prefix foaf: <http: //xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/> .
@base <http: //example.com/> .
<alice> foaf:name “Alice” ;
foaf:knows [ foaf:name "Bob" ] .
~~~~

and you get

A detailed description is included in the manual which has been transformed automatically to HTML and to PDF. Compare both documents to see that HTML includes PNG images and PDF contains vector images!

Feel free to reuse and modify the script, for instance by adding more diagram types! For instance how about ASCII tabs and ABC notation if you write about music?

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