Formal Grammar?

Eric Astor eastor1 at
Sat Jul 8 19:58:22 EDT 2006

First – I think I’m a Markdown convert. I like the syntax, and it all feels
very natural. In fact, this turns out to be extremely valuable to something
I’m working on, where Markdown could be an excellent composition format,
thanks to its concise form and easy learning curve.

One question, though – does anyone know of a formal grammar for the Markdown
syntax? I’ve been trying to write one, but considering I’ve never written a
grammar before, this is difficult. I’m having particular trouble
understanding how to translate the list item, block quote, and code block
parsing into a formal structure (probably some BNF variant, in particular
bison/flex grammar). You see, I need a high-performance, low-footprint
parser without a backend format restriction, and I think a generated parser
is probably my best bet.

If there is no established grammar (even for a significant subset of
Markdown), then I’d be glad to keep working on mine. Would anyone be
interested in contributing to this effort?

Thanks very much,


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