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Creating a language, part I: define the language

The idea of Johnny.Decimal is well formed. It works, as a concept.
My struggle has always been with the management of the system. It's the page I dislike the most on the site: tracking your numbers. It feels incomplete, because it is incomplete.
I've tried all sorts of things, over the years. Spreadsheets, notes, databases – you name it, I've stored my Johnny.Decimal database in it. But none of them have stuck.
It's been obvious to me that I need to write something custom to support the system. Now, I still have no idea what that thing is. But let's go back to basics: what is the minimum that I need to get started? What's the foundation at the base of this thing?
'CRUD' = create, read, update, delete; a standard database term
The first thing I need to do is decide on some notation, some standard way to represent a collection of numbers.
I'm a massive fan of John Gruber's Markdown. It's a simple, human-readable, documented standard that anyone can just use. This one's a no-brainer: mine needs to be the same.

Design decision 1

The standard way to represent a collection of JD numbers will be human-readable plain text.