A Modest Definition List Proposal (David E. Wheeler)

Sherwood Botsford sgbotsford at gmail.com
Wed Feb 25 23:18:51 EST 2009

> If you're going to write a Perl program for creating Markdown tables, why

> not create tables in HTML directly? It'd be a lot simpler to write a

> converter for that, and it would avoid cluttering the syntax with something

> you need a special program to make anyway.

Depends on how you use the program. I end up doing most of my actual
coding in vi. In vi I write markdown source, because it's quick, I can
sort of see how it lays out, and I don't worry about a billion html
tags. I spend my time writing content, not matching tags.

In my other writing I use "par" a lot. This is a program to reformat
ascii text. It can do clever things like reformat email with multiple
quoted levels, to different line lengths without sprinkling >'s
everywhere midline.

If you are a dedicated markdown user, a perl program that you can pipe
a table through to put it in whatever syntax your favorite version of
markdown likes, AND such a program removes a lot of the tedium of
adjusting the space so that you, the writer can live with it, you have
a win.

I don't want to have a separate source file for my table, nor do I
want to include an html table in my markdown. I want a perl command,
or vi macro that takes bad table text (from markdown's view, and my
personal view) and turns it into good table text. KIS

Tables are complicated. How they are represented in simple text is
going to be a compromise between control and legibility.
The idea solution would be one that maximizes legibility in simple
cases while allowing control short of full html code where the author
needs it.

Sherwood Botsford
Sherwood's Forests
Warburg, Alberta T0C 2T0

More information about the Markdown-Discuss mailing list