the future of markdown, according to jeff atwood (and/or david greenspan)

Alan Hogan contact at
Thu Oct 25 21:36:23 EDT 2012

On Oct 25, 2012, at 6:21 PM, Bowerbird at wrote:

> >

Quoth Atwood:

> Markdown is a wonderful tool, but it does suffer a bit from [lack of project leadership][].

[lack of project leadership]:

He must not have seen last week’s email, which cleared that up once and for all!

Kidding aside, though: It’s a really good post with a really good vision (which must be partially accredited to David Greenspan (of Etherpad and Meteor).

> > I want this new language – working name "Rockdown" – to be seen as Markdown with a spec

> ...

> I realize that the devil is in the details, but for the most part what I want to see in a Markdown Standard is this:


> 1. A standardization of the existing core Markdown conventions, as documented by John Gruber, in a formal language specification.

> 2. Make the three most common real world usage "gotchas" in Markdown choices with saner defaults: intra-word emphasis (off), auto-hyperlinking (on), automatic return-based linebreaks (on).

> 3. A formal set of tests anyone can use to validate a Markdown implementation.

> 4. Some cleanup and tweaks for ambiguous edge cases that exist in Markdown due to the lack of a formal specification.

> 5. A registry of known flavor variants, with some possible future lobbying to potentially add only the most widely and strongly supported variants (I am thinking of the GitHub style code blocks which are quite nice) to future versions of Markdown.

I’m in, to whatever extent I can make worthwhile contributions.

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