Revised - Revised 2005 proposal for meta-data

Jacob Rus jrus at
Sun Jan 7 20:57:37 EST 2007

Jelks Cabaniss wrote:

> Jacob Rus wrote:

>>> John Gruber wants to introduce the

>>> [single braket] syntax as a shortcut for reference-style links in a

>>> future version of Markdown.[^1]


>>> [^1]: That future is not so far away: the shortcut reference-style

>>> link syntax is currently implemented in the latest 1.0.2 betas and

>>> present but commented out in the current PHP Markdown & Extra

>>> releases.


>> Wait, he does? That seems like a somewhat bad idea, likely to break

>> all sorts of existing uses. How is someone supposed to write [sic],

>> for example?


> By continuing to write [sic]. The only problem would be if you were put

> something like this at the bottom and not really mean it...


> [sic]:

This is a Bad Idea(TM) in my opinion. Because labels for reference
links are case-insensitive, this allows for all sorts of unanticipated
inconsistencies, without much tangible benefit. Sure, the extra pair of
`[]`s is a bit ugly, but it's ugliness with the useful side effect of
making the link obvious. With this new system, it is much harder to
tell whether [blah] is intended to be a link, or just an editorial
insertion. Masking that difference makes the resulting document less
readable, especially if the reference comes much later in the document.

There are plenty of areas of markdown that could use some touching up,
but this isn't one of them.


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