Recursion/Nesting in Columns Plugin?

This is an odd question, but I was wondering if there is a way to allow nesting of one (columns...) (...columns) container within another. Right now it prints the opening tag as normal text and uses the closing tag to end the parent columns container.

Thank you!

I don’t think this will work, you can read all about the columns plugin here.

Unfortunately this is a general limitation with the RegEx language. It can’t match nested tags.

But why do you need nested columns? Maybe this can be solved in a different way.

Well I really only need nested block-level elements (well they technically could be inline also, but are coded as block-level). Full disclosure: I’m trying to hack together an editor-friendly stretchtext implementation a la http://codinginparadise.org/ebooks/html/blog/stretchtext.html

This would ideally be able to pull text from other pages as well (which may end up being easier?)

Not even with non-greedy flag? Just wondering, I’ve never tried so far.

Nope. I’ve tried and failed.

But then you wouldn’t need nested columns containers but strechtext containers inside columns containers. This should work if you use two separate filters that are applied inside-out.

Unordered lists can be nested. Excellent! The only problem is, a line break ends the current list item. Possibly something to hack this? To indicate the beginning and ending of a list item?

This is a nice idea, but it only allows two levels of nesting…

Well, you could also nest a third tag inside the first two. They only need to be different. But why do you need three levels?

A fair question. I don’t need three levels of nesting, but infinite! Suffice to say it’s an art project.
The end result will be a stretchtext document which will have multiple authors and the ability to reference itself…

Think “GNU is Not Unix”

Although now I’m realizing that this task would only work if it were dynamically generated. back to the drawing board haha.

Infinite levels definitely won’t work with the columns plugin.

You could however only replace opening and closing tags themselves with the appropriate HTML tags without caring about the contents. This won’t be a problem for the RegEx.
Keep in mind that you won’t actually be able to use it like the columns plugin, as the column separators would be ignored (remember: “without caring about the contents”).