Markdown development

David E. Wheeler david at
Sun Mar 21 20:27:28 EDT 2010

On Mar 21, 2010, at 6:13 AM, Aristotle Pagaltzis wrote:

> They look OK but are a pain to edit. (I haven’t seen a table

> syntax that I find easier to edit than raw HTML. Well, the fact

> that Markdown won’t touch the contents makes them still a pain.)


> I think this editing|reading tension is fundamental, therefor not

> resolvable.

Well, I didn't have that issue with the definition lists (the formatting is not, after all, all that different from unordered lists), but agree with you on tables. I likely would load data into PostgreSQL and let psql format things for me for all but the simplest tables. But at least I'd have that tool.

The advantage over HTML is of course plain if you want them to be legible as plain text.

> I wouldn’t want any configurable behaviours, though. To me it is

> a very important point that you can take a Markdown document from

> one environment to another without breakage.


> In case you are referring to my own recent mail, I never said it

> needs *Gruber*’s blessing specifically. What it does need is one

> central voice. If you think it doesn’t, then ask yourself why all

> of the reimplementations have added their own features, yet none

> of them have copied each other.

There doesn't need to be one voice, but one spec would definitely be valuable. There can be community consensus building toward developing that spec, but a dictator is hardly necessary.

> But that’s the point. To get more than Just Another Fork, it neds

> to have weight of voice to bring all the other forks together

> behind it.

Or the consensus of those on this list, especially if Gruber were to formally resign.

> The problem with tables as I see it is as above: I think that

> tables fundamentally cannot be both easy to edit and easy to read

> within the constraints of plaintext.

No, but one can use tools to format them when necessary.



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