Fri 05 September 2014

Filed under Markdown Flavors

Tags Markdown Standard Markdown Pandoc

My thoughts on Standard Markdown/Common Markdown/Whatever John Gruber Won't Throw a Hissy Fit About If We Name It That Markdown:

Not abandoned

"Mr. Salinger..."

For once, something about Markdown is actually high profile enough that it might not require an explanation. But, see here for one if needed.

Standard/Common/etc. is actually not all that interesting to me personally, because I don't write in vanilla MD2; I use MultiMarkdown. And because it's not like it's a huge ambitious departure; it's basically just trying to clear up ambiguities that result from Gruber having functionally abandoned vanilla MD for about a decade. I doubt the proposed changes will make much of a noticeable difference to people who write in MarkDown. (It could matter a lot to people who are building things that use Markdown, though.)

The announcement of The Markdown Formerly Known as Standard had some problems -- in particular, it wasn't clear enough what it is they're trying to do. That led to a lot of confusion, especially for folks who read their front page but didn't actually look at the spec.

But I really don't understand Gruber's reaction at all.1

My gut sense of the situation is:

Gruber hasn't done anything with or to Markdown in a very long time. Even the way he's talking about it now seems to keep circling back to its branding/SEO value rather than anything functional.

Meanwhile, it's become extremely important to a lot of people -- although almost never in vanilla form, b/c vanilla Markdown does very little. Markdown is only interesting because of what others have built on top of it.

Plus, the spec and code for Standard/Common/whatever was mostly done by John MacFarlane, who makes Pandoc, and is clearly a goddamn wizard.

  1. Seriously, he did compare himself to Salinger. 

  2. Vanilla Markdown is what I habitually call Gruber's original version of it. I forget where I picked this up. 


Sat 23 August 2014

Filed under Document Workflow

Tags Pandoc Windows OSX LaTeX PDF

Pardon the overflowing services menu.

This is, for me at least, the most magical thing about using Pandoc: I can set things up in OSX and Windows such that I can just right click on a plain text, pick an item out of the context menu, and have a well-formatted ...

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I don't know whether anyone else will actually find this useful. But I do enough Markdown evangelizing that I decided I may as well just go ahead and put the basic spiel in one place that I'll be able to reference later. Heads up: I mention a lot ...

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