Sam "mugwump" Vilain refers to each of these syntaxes as /Pod dialects/. He is working on more formally defining the common model or "AST" that these dialects map to.Why? Seriously, why on earth do you want to encourage the proliferation of variant markup languages?! There aren't enough? My effort here was to try to PREVENT the proliferation (e.g. by Kwid and POD butting heads and ending up in a stalemate). The only problem is that, presented with a compromise, the Kwid folks seem to be content to ADD it to the list of variants rather than, in fact, compromise and collapse the list. I'll continue only as far as is needed to propose this in full as an example parser / converter, and then I'm going to stop. My goal is not to proliferate the number of markups further, and I'd MUCH rather see Perl 6 rely on POD than fragment the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT TASK in creating code to share with the world: documentation.
Well, I don't think anyone wants to see as many POD dialects as there are wiki text formats (BBCode, anyone?). Maybe there will be something very close to the original POD, but with a verbose way of making tables, and an enhanced linking syntax. But otherwise identical to the original Perl 5 POD.
Note that POD dialects, and differing POD conventions already exist in Perl 5 and are in common use. They were designed in the original POD with the =for tag. At the moment, tools like `pod2html' have to be heavily aware of the POD dialect, which I think is sub-optimal when it comes to some of the really interesting things people have achieved with POD. Look at MarkOv's OODoc, or Test::Inline, for instance.
All I'm trying to do is giving these beasts a name, and defining a mechanism by which they can be used by tools that only know how to deal with "standard" documents - thus giving users the freedom to define a local convention if one of them doesn't quite fit their needs.
Using a local Subversion repository, and Request Tracker, and want to be able to put hyperlinks in POD to refer to these entities? No problem, just extend the dialect and add a link style. Then select from a dozen output tools or variants to see which one works for you.