New link syntax

John Gruber gruber at
Wed Mar 31 16:00:17 EST 2004

european bob <bob at> wrote on 03/31/04 at 9:45p:

> On Wed, 2004-03-31 at 21:05, John Gruber wrote:
> > Translation is a part of publishing.
> > 
> > Syntax checking is a part of editing.
> > 
> > It's very important not to blur those lines.
> I don't think I am blurring the lines; I didn't state when and where
> Markdown ought to emit errors :)

I agree that we're on the same page, thinking in the same direction. But you did write this:

> My current preference is to include the error in the output,
> something like:
> <div class="error" style="display: none;">
>   <p>You fool, you defined &quot;Click here!&quot; as a link twice</p>
> </div>
> ... since it's basically not there, but you could use CSS to bring it up
> on a development site.

and I think the output stream is always going to be the wrong place
to put errors/warnings.

> I think you're actually making my point for me here. gcc doesn't ship
> with a separate 'C checker'; it emits warnings when it detects them.

What about lint:

> Markdown is in exactly the same position. Possibly what you mean is that
> in some situations (ie., the web) it's more difficult to plug the
> compiler into the IDE?

It's probably a bad analogy on my part. It doesn't really hold up at
all when you think about the way Markdown is invoked for Movable
Type and Blosxom users, for example. No one sane is using gcc from
the other side of a textarea field in a browser.

> We might be talking at cross purposes here. Imagine you're editing
> Markdown in a browser window. What I'm suggesting is some kind of
> Javascripty button or something which brings up a popup and posts the
> document to (e.g.) /cgi-bin/ The difference between
> the two scripts would merely be that passes a
> "--check-document" flag or something, which makes it output errors
> instead of HTML, an the script presents those to the editor of the doc.

OK, now we're definitely on the same page.

Actually, I think a Markdown checker could be rather easily written
*in* JavaScript. Especially since the things that need checking are
rather easily detected.


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