Markdown Extra Specification (First Draft)

Waylan Limberg waylan at
Tue May 6 21:43:34 EDT 2008


First of all, realize that Michel is currently documenting existing
behavior. I like some of our suggestions, but they should have
happened years ago when the discussion happened here on the list.
Various other implementations have copied the existing behavior and
there are countless documents already using them, so I doubt we'll see
any changes, unless we move to Markdown 2.0 or something. I get the
impression that's not likely any time soon.

Anyway, there were a few things I'll comment on individually:

On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 6:18 PM, Sherwood Botsford <sgbotsford at> wrote:

> As a suggestion for the next pass at this, add an example of each, and how

> it should be rendered.

I agree. I was going to make the same suggestion. This would be helpful.


> 2.2.2 Abbreviation

> Again, I'd like a hook so that I can put these in an external file. In my

> tree farm web page I'd like to use botanical descriptions, but be able to

> let users see the definition on mouse over or click. But the word 'glabrous'

> may appear on 40 pages. Be nice if I only had to define it once. If someone

> is creating an annotated Shakespeare they would want to use an Elizabethan

> English dictionary as their external file, style it so that defined words

> are barely different from the text, and let the confused reader click for

> enlightenment.

An excellent idea! After all, I had the same idea some time ago and
implemented it in the Abbreviation Extension [1] for Python-Markdown.
However, I'm not sure this should be a requirement of a syntax


As I noted above, the rest I'll leave to existing behavior, even if I
like your suggestion better. We don't want to forget J.G.'s motivation
and goals for creating markdown to start with. A review of that will
answer some of your questions about current behavior. And, we must
also never forget the (even as implementors) we should not care so
much about how hard it is to implement if it makes if easier (and more
permisive/relaxed) for the document author.

Waylan Limberg
waylan at

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