Link syntax (was: definition lists?)

Waylan Limberg waylan at
Fri Nov 21 12:59:57 EST 2008

On Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 12:26 PM, Jason Blevins
<jrblevin at> wrote:

> Waylan Limberg wrote:

>> On Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 11:36 AM, Jason Blevins

>> <jrblevin at> wrote:

>> >

>> > I couldn't find any discussion of it on the list, but here's the

>> > changelog entry:

>> >

>> > 1.0.2b2 - 20 Mar 2005

>> >

>> > + Experimental support for [this] as a synonym for [this][].


>> Interestingly, this a completely different use for single-bracketed

>> text than I use and see on a daily basis. As I mentioned before, I see

>> it more as a shortcut footnote type syntax for links only when text is

>> expected to be read in plain text format.


> Thats a good point--I wasn't making the distinction before. Using

> numbers in brackets like so [1] is definitely a common notation for

> footnotes. I use it myself in emails but I didn't make the connection.

> It's also common for math and engineering journals to use that notation

> for references.

Just to be clear, I'm not at all suggesting that markdown should adopt
[1] at an alternate syntax for [^1]. I only ever use it for links in
emails. I don't believe I said anything diferant than that, and no-one
thus far seems to think I was, but I wanted to close that door before
anyone opens it.


> Interestingly, that's how peg-markdown (with extensions via -x) renders

> footnotes. Instead of the link being a superscript '1', you get '[1]'.

> I actually like that better for the web I think. Superscripts are nice

> in print, but there you don't have to click on them.

I have seen that before, and I have mixed feeling about it. It's a
little easier to see them, but they also detract from reading the main
text a little more than a superscript. Of course, they don't bother me
in plain text emails, so it's no big deal.

Waylan Limberg
waylan at

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