monospaced fonts

Alexander Williams thantos at
Thu Feb 26 16:56:42 EST 2009

On Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 4:37 PM, <orc at> wrote:

> Where is whitespace alignment important except at the start of

> a line? (And just what font would have sizeof(N.) be large

> enough so that you'd need to indent more than 7 leading spaces

> to line up with the text items? Wouldn't that count as a

> pathological case ("If you use the super-wide-periods font,

> your list items will look raggedy. Sorry.") and be ignored?)


The scary truth is that aside from the start of a line, "basic Markdown"
doesn't give two burps in a whirlwind about monospace versus proportional.
Secretly, *I* usually use Verdana as my typical editing font. It's *only* when
having characters line up vertically becomes an issue that I use a mono
font, and that's relatively rare. Primarily it really hits the fan whenever
anyone starts talking table formats because then communicating vertical
alignment becomes *meaningful*. Until then, it largely doesn't matter.
If I had my druthers, Markdown would be more like some other "indentation
aware" systems I use in which the actual amount / number of indentational
whitespace characters at the beginning of a line don't matter, just the
relative indentation to other text. That'd make it hard to do more than one
level of indentation stepping at a time, but how often does that come up in
actual practice? But, sadly, that's not how it's defined. And we get on.

*(My personal theory is that the holy wars re monospaced vs proportional may
be part of why there's no native table design in Markdown ...)*

Alexander Williams (thantos at
Operation BSU (
"Like a morning show. Only interesting. And at night."
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