Re: It's a Markdown processor, right?

Andrei Fangli andrei_fangli at
Sun Sep 7 03:50:44 EDT 2014


I think not. When I hear Markdown processor I think of a specialized word/text processor (see which is more an application that helps you write stuff and print it, eventually export it to html. If you were to write an application that helps you write documents (e.g.: insert list, quote etc. via buttons/commands) and use Markdown as the underlying format would be a Markdown processor. If you would write an application that translates a Markdown document to html, that would be a Markdown translator and the whole process would be called translation (or Markdown to Html Translation). See

For me, Markdown implementation sounds a bit odd. Markdown is not standardized nor is its specification clear enough to draw a deterministic procedure for translating Markdown into html (or an Abstract Syntax Tree). You cannot say that there are multiple Markdown implementations if they do not yield the same output for any given input (if you would then I could swap implementations however I wish and get the same result).

I’d simply name the specification (or flavour) and append “Translator” at the end (e.g.: Github flavoured Markdown Translator, Common Markdown Translator etc.). That way it’s all clear what specification is used and what the intent of the application is. The real working horse behind a translator is a parser, once you have that you can pretty much do anything else. Saying that you have a Markdown parser is almost the same as saying that you have a Markdown translator, the remaining effort is close to a days work if you want to make it really fancy.

Andrei Fangli

From: Sean Leonard
Sent: ‎Sunday‎, ‎7‎ ‎September‎ ‎2014 ‎02‎:‎55
To: markdown-discuss at

Hello Markdown World,

Last month draft-seantek-text-markdown-media-type was adopted by the 
IETF Apps Area Working Group (APPSAWG). I am working on revising it.

I am trying to use uniform terms. An implementation that converts 
Markdown content to another format--most typically HTML--is called...a 
Markdown processor, right?

I have been using the term "Markdown processor". Just want to see if 
there is substantial disagreement about using that term to refer to the 
collective set of Markdown implementations out there.



PS I suppose it could also be called a "Markdown implementation". But 
I'm going to stick to my original nomenclature in the absence of a push 
for something else. For instance, graphical tools such as [MarkdownPad] 
may be implementations of Markdown, but they are not processors. 
MarkdownPad is a Markdown editor, that has built-in support for various 
Markdown processors (such as a GitHub Flavored Markdown processor, and a 
Markdown Extra processor).


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