By Deane Barker on September 2, 2004
Daring Fireball: Markdown Syntax Documentation: I’ve been playing around with some of the plugins in the MT3 Plugin Pack. Markdown is a plaintext to HTML convertor, much like Textile. However, there’s a philosphy behind it:
Readability, however, is emphasized above all else. A Markdown-formatted document should be publishable as-is, as plain text, without looking like it’s been marked up with tags or formatting instructions. […]
He’s really on to something here, because even unconverted, raw Markdown is really, really readable, due mainly to his removing URLs from the flow of the page. This seems like a small thing, but, in practice, it makes things SO much easier.
I really like the practice of the “reference” style URLs. For instance, this markdown…
[Gadgetopia][gdtc] is a good site.
…will link the words “Gadgetopia” to a URL specified anywhere else on the page, like this:
So you could set all your links up like footnotes at the end of the text, instead of jumbled up in the word flow. Very nicely done. I could actually see unleashing Markdown on users, whereas Textile was a geek-only affair.