(2012-10-25) Future Of Markdown

Jeff Atwood seeks a fixing of Mark Down. The so-called "spec" is anything but, and there are dozens of different flavors of Markdown out there, all with differences in the way they behave. While they are broadly compatible, Stack Overflow and GitHub have both tweaked Markdown in ways that can trip you up if you're familiar with one but not the other; compare GitHub Flavor with Stack Overflow Flavor. John Mac Farlane has documented specific issues. Jeff himself had tweaked the implementation at Stack Overflow before they left beta because of user confusion.

John Gruber hasn't been interested in such efforts so far.

(I think Mark Down has won the SmartAscii wars. The next time I migrate WikiEngine-s I'll probably force myself to switch over, esp if these inconsistencies get fixed.)

Update: Giles Bowkett thinks Jeff doesn't understand how Open Source projects work, and that GitHub is now the canonical implementation. I wonder which flavor the most popular Weblog Engine-s use?

Aug'2014 update: all the big players actually formed a group and have settled on a shared spec and reference implementations (in C and JavaScript)!


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