multiline header

Waylan Limberg waylan at
Tue Mar 2 11:00:12 EST 2010

On Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 1:32 AM, Aristotle Pagaltzis <pagaltzis at> wrote:

> * Waylan Limberg <waylan at> [2010-03-02 00:05]:

>> And that's the problem, lazy authors have been relying on the

>> existing behavior for so long that changing it now could break

>> thousands of existing documents.


> This sort of laziness seems like a design goal of Markdown, not

> a bug in its users.


Generally I would agree, but in this case I can't. Going back to those
original design goals; one was being able to run any existing email
(that was not specifically authored to be markdown text) through
markdown and get a reasonable result. Yet, most email systems
hard-wrap plain text email as 80 or less characters per line.

And then we have those of us that use plain text editors on the
command line, which also hard-wrap at 80 characters or less. Reading a
document in such a situation with 80+ long headers is a problem -- and
readability is supposed to count for more than writeability.

The original design goals also specifically stated that anything more
complex that the syntax already supported should be handled by raw
html. And, well, if you look at the source of his pages (add ".txt" to
the urls), J.G. almost exclusively uses raw html for his headers. But
that's not what I would call designed for lazy users.

But, well, we can't change it now.

\X/ /-\ `/ |_ /-\ |\|
Waylan Limberg

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