Markdown development

John MacFarlane jgm at
Fri Mar 5 16:17:53 EST 2010

+++ Yuri Takhteyev [Mar 05 10 14:27 ]:

> > I'll second that. Though it would be best if we could still use the

> > Markdown name; a different one would just make one more confusing

> > text-markup specification for people to ignore. If we could call it

> > Markdown2 or something similar, it would be obvious that it expands on,

> > and supersedes, the original Markdown.


> Required reading:






> Of course, there are many many other relevant threads, but this would

> give you a taste.

A lot has happened since early 2008. For example, we now have
two implementations based on a PEG, which could serve as a basis for
a formal specification of markdown's grammar:

(Of course, this is just my interpretation of the markdown syntax
specification, which leaves a lot undecided.)

The main problem is political. After following this group for several
years, I'm doubtful that we'd be able to come to consensus about a
grammar. Perhaps we could agree on a process, with a voting system for
deciding disputed issues and a mechanism for deciding on extensions.
But that's a big undertaking, and it's not clear what authority such
decisions would have. Currently big players like reddit and github
use forms of markdown that depart significantly from John Gruber's
official specification; if they're going to ignore that, then I'm
guessing they'd also ignore a more detailed grammar devised by a
markdown working group.


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