on syndromes and naming and "promotion"

bowerbird bowerbird at aol.com
Sat Sep 6 13:30:22 EDT 2014

michel said:
>   I have some doubt it'll be fast enough in PHP.

i don't enjoy telling you that you are wrong.

certainly not when i know that it engenders your resistance.

but i say it anyway, because you need to know when you are wrong.

and i don't enjoy saying "i told you so".

certainly not when the things i am saying are so darn obvious.

but i say it anyway, because you need to know when i was right.

so let me call this one out loudly and clearly: you are wrong.

if you use john's algorithm, it _will_ be "fast enough".

and when you discover that it is, i will say "i told you so."

it might well end up being faster than your current version.
i'm not predicting that, but i would be surprised if it wasn't.
but what is most important is that it will be "fast enough".

>   regardless of performance, I can't swap my algorithm
>   with your algorithm and still call it PHP Markdown
>   if it gives significantly different results.
>   CommonMark does not pass the PHP Markdown test suite,
>   neither does it pass the original test suite made by John Gruber.

so not only do macfarlane and commonmark have to conquer
their own case of stockholm syndrome, but also that of others.

oh well, challenges make success that much sweeter.

but lord knows the world will be stronger when people discard
that rickety framework that markdown has been saddled with...

>   My understanding is that CommonMark is
>   a different flavor of Markdown that chose to diverge
>   in a couple of small ways from the original.

i don't know if that is an accurate characterization.

_but_ i would highly recommend that commonmark _should_
take that approach, even to the point of intentional divergence.

commonmark should refuse to offer any "compatibility mode"
with gruber-markdown. force the choice to be crystal-clear.
after all, isn't that precisely how gruber wanted things to be?
he forced the issue.  so now users deserve a clear choice.

>   I could obviously fork  it and "fix" things
>   so they can pass my test suite and John Gruber's test suite
>   and behave more like the original Markdown behave

no no no no no no no.

don't you understand, even at this late point in the game,
that this "forking" behavior is what _causes_ the problem?

if you wanna support gruber-markdown, use your old code.

if you choose to be the php point person for commonmark,
your job is to execute the algorithm faithfully, not "fork" it.
if you're unwilling to do that, let someone else take the job.

same for all you other developers with different languages.

we need greater _clarity_, not forks that muddy the water.

>   if I do port CommonMark to PHP
>   I'd probably call it PHP CommonMark

oh, absolutely.  you _must_ change the name, because
users deserve to know that they are making a _choice_.

>   and promote it as an alternative, better defined,
>   Markdown-like syntax.

you don't have to do any "promotion".  none at all.

if there was anything good that came out of this _mess_
when the announcement was botched so incredibly badly,
it was the realization that a huge number of people were
more than willing to blame gruber for being the "asshole."

um, sorry, folks.  but gruber was being perfectly reasonable
insisting that the new effort not use _his_ markdown name.


gruber has a way of being an asshole, sometimes, yes
-- such as calling atwood a "dicknose" -- but "markdown"
as a _name_ is something that _is_ his, so his insistence
was utterly understandable and perfectly reasonable.

a lot of people credit gruber for "inventing" markdown.
pure bullshit. he stole the idea redhanded from textile,
_and_gave_it_another_name_.  but that name is _his_.

and even on his recent podcast, he was good-humored
when insisting the new effort use a different name too.

indeed, that was the one-and-only-thing he asked for.

and then atwood-and-company went and used the name.

which, yeah, is really a dicknose thing to do.

and then atwood-and-company went with another name
that had the same problem as the first name.  dicknose.

so atwood-and-company had to surrender completely.
(why cause that ugly war if you were gonna surrender?)

but in spite of the fact that he was the reasonable one,
lots of people still ended up calling gruber "an asshole".

why?  because they're mad at him for the way he has
ignored the problems with markdown and its flavors.
they suffer from those problems, and want a solution.
to the point that they are willing to denigrate gruber
and take the side of dicknose atwood-and-company.
unfair, sure, but it reveals the depth of resentment.

lots and lots of people.  and they _want_ a solution.

i knew that resentment would manifest _eventually_
-- as y'all know, since i've predicted it right here --
but not even i realized that it's already very strong.

so people were willing to excuse the belligerence
of atwood-et-al to get some markdown solutions.

give people those solutions and you won't need to
do "promotion". they will knock your doors down.


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