Trouble with parentheses in Markdown hyperlinks

Alan Hogan contact at
Wed Oct 24 23:20:20 EDT 2012

It’s a very good idea to use GitHub wikis, and I don’t want to detract from that *in the slightest.*

However, I can’t help but observe the irony of such wikis running GitHub’s customized Markdown. In some sense, it’s the “least standard” Markdown in common use:

1. No HTML allowed
2. Line breaks are never ignored
3. Plain hyperlinks (no angle brackets) are always hyperlinked
4. Extra syntax has been added, such as [[wiki]] notation and github-specific entity shortcodes

Interestingly enough, those modifications are pretty great ones.

#1 is a reasonable trade-off when the public is contributing code (although a good XSS scrubber works too)
#2 makes Markdown less confusing for most people.
#3 similarly is what anyone would really expect (when’s the last time you saw a URL you couldn’t click?)
Regarding #4, wiki syntax is a must on a wiki, and the other features of Markdown on GH make sense on GH, too.

So in a way, a GitHub wiki might prod us to keep thinking about more ways Markdown can be used, and perhaps even start thinking about adopting #2 and #3 in a hypothetical Markdown 2.0, and making wiki syntax an officially available option…

Or not.


Alan Hogan
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