Really Simple Discussion

RSD is a markup language that can be used to annotate discussions. Email threads or news groups present significant limitations in their ability to present and follow long multi-author discussions.

This markup language has nothing original in itself. What makes it interesting is that is associated with the Really Simple Markup (RSM). RSM was designed to facilitate the annotation of text documents such as emails, reports, ...

A discussion is made of topics. A topic is made of topics, points, issues requirements, decisions and action items.

The language is "author oriented", once a point, issue or action is identified, then it is followed by a series of comments made by authors. When comments are nested, it means that author is responding to the previous comment.

The goal of this markup is to create a discussion aggregator and navigator. So discussions can continue in parallel, provided that they keep the same id, they will be aggregated back as needed.

Really Simple Markup

<element>                     element|

</element>                    |element (or | for short, or may be omitted if unambiguous )

<element attr="123">          element|attr=123;    or element|attr="123";

<!-- this is a comment -->    (! this is a comment !)        

The only reserved symbols are: |, ^ and @. When a reserved symbol is used in a text node, it must be preceded by ^, e.g. ^|  or ^@ or ^^

RSM is knowledgeable about RSD and HTML, other reserved symbols can be used for extensions.

The author tag in RSD is represented by the name of the author followed by the @ sign. An JJ@ markup will automatically create an author tag with JJ as the dname attribute value.

For instance, and RSD document might look like:


Discussion|Really Simple Markup;   (! title attribute is used by default!)

Topic|RSM Description;             (! title attribute is used by default!)


||this is a comment !


The author tag is replaced by its dname attribute value followed by the @ sign. 





This is equivalent to:


<Discussion xmlns="https://www.ebpml.org/rsd.xsd"




       title="Really Simple Markup">

    <Topic title="RSM Discussion">


            <Author dname="JJ">The author tag is replaced by its dname attribute value followed by the @ sign.</Author>






Please take a peek at some examples.


Register your dname in the RSD registry


Name        email




RSD relies on a very smart piece of work done by Oliver Becker, (sure would have taken me years to write it myself !)


Any schema, style sheet, source code or executable file developed for RSD or RSM is licensed under the GNU General Public License. The goal is to make this tool as useful as possible and as free as possible.


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Happy discussions !

Jean-Jacques Dubray

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