Bart likes to give credit to the sites he references in his shownotes but the links get fairly clutterly. He wrote a very short (17 line) perl script and put it inside TextExpander to make pretty links instead. He wrote this for Markdown but since I like html better he created a version for html as well. He walks us through his detailed tutorial here: www.bartbusschots.ie/…. Then he tries to convince me that Markdown is awesome and html is dreadful. Listen along to see if he succeeds.
I mentioned an video tutorial series created by Richard Baker on TextExpander. Here’s a link to the one he did on embedding scripts into TextExpander: www.youtube.com/…
What's the Point of Markdown?
Markdown is a text markup language invented by John Gruber, who wrote it for the best geek reason of all – to scratch his own itch. He found HTML markup too distracting while composing blog posts and articles, so he wanted a format he could use to markup his text that was non-intrusive, but could be automatically converted to HTML for publishing.
Markdown is designed to look like plain text, and that's what makes it so cool. If you sent someone a markdown document as a .txt file, they could read it perfectly, and would probably never even guess that it was a marked up document. They would intuitively see lines starting with stars as bullet points, short strings starting with hash symbols as headers, and words surrounded by stars as emphasised in some way.
I compose a lot of my blog posts and show notes for various podcasts in Markdown. My readers and listeners have no idea that I do that, because the format you write in does not have to be the format you publish in. All my posts and notes end up published in HTML, but many of them get written in Markdown.
- Markdown is much less distracting than HTML, so it stays out of your way better while writing
- Markdown can be read by anyone – no prior knowledge required!
- Markdown can be automatically converted to HTML, so no effort involved in getting from Markdown to the final output format I need
- Markdown files cannot become obsolete. Unlike old Windows Write of Claris Works files, markdown files will always be readable – they are just text!
- Markdown doesn’t support “target=_blank” that we just learned about which keeps the viewer on the same page and opens link in a new tab/page
- Markdown is harder for me to remember
- The asterisk means bold but also bullets and if you use two of them it’s italics
- I can’t ever remember whether the alt tag goes first or second on an image
- I can’t remember if the square brackets go first or the round ones
- I can’t remember if the bang goes before images or links