underscore and italic policy

Sam Joseph srjoseph at hawaii.edu
Fri Jul 7 22:00:14 EDT 2006

Hi Waylan,

Thanks for your input. Good point. Making them inline code is a good
suggestion. At the moment we're using ruby BlueCloth implementation of
Markdown which has a problem with backtick support (single backticks
cause an error, so I'm filtering them out at present), but that is
besides the point.

You are right that a faq entry should alert users to this issue, but for
many users I think we can rely on them not reading the faq.

Personally I would like to avoid having to type the backticks in because
I can't think of any situation where I would actually want embedded
italics, but then I can also see that if embedded bold works, it makes
sense to have consistent functionality for italics.

Hmm. The other issue for me is that we include auto_linking in our
system, on top of markdown, and thus underscores in urls get italicized
and break the auto_linked urls, but again that's an issue peculiar to
us, although I'm not sure why markdown doesn't just autolink urls, since
I can't think of many situations where I wouldn't want a url auto_linked
- I guess if it was a dummy link or something. And what if I want the
link text to be the link title. Right now I have to do:


which is a bit of a pain.

Just thinking out loud ...


Waylan Limberg wrote:

> I don't have anything to add to the italics policy, but when using

> file names and table names within a body of text, wouldn't they be

> considered inline code[1]? In my experience that is usually how

> documentation is formatted. That being the case, one would do:


> `my_fave_file.txt`

> `user_workspaces_tbl`


> which, IMHO makes the italics policy irrelevant in this case. True,

> you may have users who fail to use the backticks to start with, but

> the problem is easy to spot and a simple addition to your FAQ page

> should cover those issues.


> [1]: http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax#code



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