Automatic links syntax (was: automatic links within backticks not escaped properly)

Michel Fortin michel.fortin at
Fri Dec 3 13:16:59 EST 2004

Le 1 déc. 2004, à 4:55, david scotson a écrit :

> Returning to my point about using '<>' instead of '[]', would it be
> possible to include the square bracket as an alternative character
> choice for automatic links? Just to make it consistent with the other
> linking schemes and therefore easier to explain/remember for those
> like myself, and I imagine most of my intended audience, who are
> unfamiliar with the <url> convention.

What are you suggesting? Something like this:


It could convert to:

	<a href=""></a>

Currently we get this:

	<a href=""></a>

... and I can't really see how it can be useful.

But I'm not sure having two completely different syntaxes for one 
feature (automatic links) is a good idea, even if the second syntax is 
compatible with normal links. Beside, by writing `[](url)`, I expect to 
have a link with no text since no text was put into the brakets.

I believe the current syntax for automatic links is great because it 
looks like the URL is part of the text -- which it is in the output 

If you want to stay consistent, you should simply use `<...>` for 
normal links too:


The only problem is that it seems there is a bug in the current 
implementation of Markdown and PHP Markdown leading to this garbage 

	<a href="a 

So better not use it until there is a fix.

* * *

Recently, I suggested a `<URL:...>` syntax to handle unknown protocols 
because it's not really possible to discern every url scheme. But I 
think Markdown could also treat anything beginning with some 
alphanumerics followed by a `://` as an url too (when inside an 
automatic link). This would allow it to work with most protocols, while 
keeping the `URL:` syntax for others that won't work.

Michel Fortin
michel.fortin at

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