Markdown development

Arno Hautala arno at
Wed Mar 17 20:37:26 EDT 2010

On Wed, Mar 17, 2010 at 02:56, Albert Skye <mistlail at> wrote:

>> Is there a way Gruber could "anoint" someone ...


> Yikes, this sounds ... ;}

A lot of this thread sounds :}
It's a solution looking for a problem. Or at least a poor solution to
an undefined problem.
Though looking back I see several others with my core thought: the
current state of Markdown is pretty much good enough.

> I think the community can just cooperate and develop a common tool.

It seems to me that for the vast majority of users and uses, Markdown
is just fine. The forks that have grown up either fill a niche or
have made some manner of incremental improvement. Of course there is
room for further development and consolidation; but so far, what's
been suggested here mostly boils down to wishing that Gruber would
pick up development.

> A wiki (with Markdown syntax of course) might be useful for such development.

Why doesn't someone just start such a wiki? Start with the reference
documentation and flesh it out where need be. Add pages for
inconsistency, ambiguity, conflicts, etc. Finally add in potential
for improvement. Start with the forks and pick the common features or
those that would benefit the majority of users. Actually start
working towards that standard. Periodically, send a direct request
for Gruber's input. If at any point he expresses... "a different
point of view" [1] and the community decides to move in a different
direction, then do it, but don't try to coyly reference that this is a
new version of Markdown. Reference the heritage, and move on.


> It need not be called "Markdown" nor strictly supeset Markdown. It simply needs to be useful to the community. It needs no *one* to control it but without cooperation we may as well follow our own forks.

On Wed, Mar 17, 2010 at 10:55, Sherwood Botsford <sgbotsford at> wrote:


> If you want to be true to JG's heritage, he is asked to rule on any specific

> corner case of the original specification. He's also asked to put a link to

> the MSG web site on his MD page. This gives him a say in what happens, and

> is a graceful way for him to pass down his heritage without spending a lot

> of time involved with it.

If development on Markdown wants to see any sort recognition or
"blessing" from Gruber it would need to get him excited about the
project. This means care paid to testing, documentation, and above
all else, syntax extensions that are sensible, clean, obvious, and
within scope. I do not foresee this as the sort of project that will
be slapped together with "no *one* [in] control". At the least it
needs one or two motivated individuals with the effort to sort through
all the forks, or the balls to ignore all that and just lay down what
makes sense.

Me? I'm happy with PHPMDExtra. And really that's just for the
footnotes and definition lists. Plenty of other forks support both.
The headache is that so many support one convention but not another.
It also emphasizes the point that this is Markdown, not HTML. It
can't and shouldn't support everything. Take "Markdown in Python".
Does a Markdown implementation really need to be able to output an
image gallery [2], or RSS [3]? Even the table syntax used by MDE
gives me bad vibes. If your table is simple enough to be defined in
MDE, there's probably a better way to convey that data. If it's
complicated enough to stretch what MDE can do, you should probably
just code the table. Markdown is not always the right tool for the


On Wed, Mar 17, 2010 at 10:55, Sherwood Botsford <sgbotsford at> wrote:


> I think it wise to change the name, but it should be clearly derivative.

> E.g.

> * Markdown 2

> * Markdown II

> * Markdown NG

> * MarqueDown

May as well just go with "Suck it Gruber (beta)". Derivative does not inspire.

arno s hautala /-| arno at

pgp eabb6fe6 d47c500f b2458f5d a7cc7abb f81c4e00

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