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Markdown: another ‘Plain Text to HTML’ lib

Web: Plain text, transparently turned into nice markup, is an idea that’s clearly never going to go away.

Setext has been around for over a decade, I wrote EtText myself for use in WebMake and elsewhere (including this very weblog!), Zope came up with StructuredText, and more recently, there’s been Textile and reStructuredText. Now welcome the newest arrival: Markdown.

First impressions: looks an awful lot like EtText, TBH, but I’d presume that’s the shared heritage from Setext. ;)

My feedback: I’d recommend supporting ‘-‘ (dash) for list bullets — it turns out that’s a whole lot more widely supported than ‘*’ (asterisk), including in Vim. Also, automatic link inference is very handy; picking up http: URIs and turning email addrs into mailto: links may not look super-pretty, but saves a lot of typing, and EtText Auto links are pretty handy for stuff that’s never going to be anything other than a link (take uncommon nouns like ‘SlashDot‘, for example).