Re: [dev] wswsh: a mksh web framework

From: Paul Onyschuk <>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2013 12:46:06 +0100

On Fri, 13 Dec 2013 01:53:09 +0000
Nick <> wrote:

> Quoth Thorsten Glaser:
> > I absolutely d̲e̲t̲e̲s̲t̲ Markdown.
> Really? Why? I quite like it (at least smu's subset). Works for the
> simple usecases I need it, and keeps the angle brackets of doom away
> from me.

Markdown solves only one shortcoming of HTML (shared by all
markups/formats from Addams Family): verbosity. It is still non-strict,
which is main source of pain for me, not sure about Thorsten.

Splitting in paragraphs is pretty much implicit, moreover empty line is
also used to end blocks of other kinds. Switching between line
concatenation and line breaking is too terse: two spaces at the end of
line - I don't consider that a good choice.

It is very easy to hit corner cases with Markdown. Example: code block
inside bullet list. Some flavours of Markdown have fenced code blocks,
sometimes with different syntax, some don't have that sugar at all. So
there is no universal solution.

This is another issue with Markdown, which is a supposedly
interchangeable format. It isn't, thanks to implicit nature and
non-strict syntax, it is almost guaranteed that every implementation
will behave a bit differently (add flavouring on top of that).

There are solutions for some of this issues. When formating something
with Markdown becomes tricky, invite Uncle Fester back (HTML). Still
mixing HTML and Markdown defeats somehow whole purpose of using
lightweight markups.

This comes from experience I had few years ago: converting more than
100 pages of old documentation in custom markup (similar to Plain Old
Documentation) to Markdown. In the middle of process I wanted to hurt
someone badly: one additional or one missing empty line that breaks
half of document (welcome back MS Word?). It is easy to write own
custom Markdown parser, but throwing the same document at e.g. Github
is a major advantage you probably don't want to lose.

Still I'm more than fine with using Markdown for simple thing like
generating list of links and so on.

Paul Onyschuk
Received on Fri Dec 13 2013 - 12:46:06 CET

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 13 2013 - 12:48:07 CET