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

Sherwood Botsford sgbotsford at
Thu Oct 25 23:37:04 EDT 2012

*I agree. Since M. Gruber will neither document the fringe cases, nor take
on any role in the continueing development, the torch needs to pass to

I would add a couple point to your proposal:

6. The initial version should be bug compatible with Gruber's MD, possibly
using a command line flag. That is Rockdown --original should produce the
exact same HTML as GMD on the test suite.

This allows users to drop it in as a replacement, and handle the exceptions
one by one.

As a seventh point there may be merit in putting in some way to add
extension modules. This way the can (hopefully) be common development on
the core of NarkDown (comes after Markdown. The next one would be
ParkDown) while individual authors integrate multiple formats, different
conventions, and so on.

An extension, I suspect would require two modules -- one that would change
the parsing tree, and one that would change the output. I'm not this sort
of coder.


Sherwood of Sherwood's Forests

Sherwood Botsford
Sherwood's Forests --
50042 Range Rd 31
Warburg, Alberta T0C 2T0

On 25 October 2012 19:36, Alan Hogan <contact at> wrote:


> 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.


> Alan


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