The Regular Old Text Formatting Language (ROTFL)

The Regular Old Text Formatting Language was created by Chris Lumens <>. It is a simple, line-oriented textual formatting language.

I will be maintaining some documentation for it, based of off Chris' current parser. I have written a converter for ROTFL to HTML/CSS, named rotfl2web.

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Mike Burns <>


This recurring motif I notice while reading through these pages over a decade later is that, for a generation of Web developers, cool URLs really do not change. I'm pleased as punch to discover that Chris had redirected the original ROTFL landing page to the new GitHub home.

Legend has it that during the punk days (which pre-date me), the music was so simple that it inspired a generation of people to pick up a guitar and make a band without any skill, because it clearly was not required. ROTFL takes place during that era of the Web: HTML was so new, weird, hacky, and maligned that anyone really could make a competing markup language if they wanted.

Anyway, HTML won.