underscore and italic policy
srjoseph at hawaii.edu
Fri Jul 7 22:08:00 EDT 2006
Michel Fortin wrote:
> Le 30 juin 2006 à 16:51, A. Pagaltzis a écrit :
>> The only reason that this hasn’t changed, I think, is that
>> unfortunately no new releases have happened in a long time.
> I'm not sure that's the only reason. John has been reluctant to
> change this part of the syntax now that we're past version 1.0 and
> that some people may be using that particular feature.
Do we have any *actual* examples of people using this feature
> In my opinion, the backward compatibility argument has merit,
> especially since in some languages (like Japanese) "words" aren't
> separated by a space character like in western languages. Such a
> change would break any emphasis already written with underscores in
> these languages; someone would have to either manually edit all of
> the texts to change underscores to asterisks or stick to the current
> version of Markdown.
I understand your point in principle, but I don't think Japanese
websites actually use italic. I read and write Japanese and my wife is
Japanese and we've never seen italics used in a Japanese language
website. Although of course it's conceivable it's used somwhere we
haven't seen, and of course we can't speak for other languages which
don't use spaces.
> On the other side, I admit that I've changed the behaviour when
> making PHP Markdown Extra and got only positive comments about it.
> This particular problem seems to pop up regularly both on this list
> and in emails I receive. I think this was the main reason I decided
> to implement the change to my "Extra" syntax, were backward
> compatibility was less of an issue.
Makes sense - I've created a patch for ruby BlueCloth which implements
Markdown, and will run my own "no embedded italics" in our site.
> Here is what I think could be a good, long-term solution: Markdown
> (the syntax) could change and remove underscore-emphasis within words
> while Markdown (the tool) could offer a "backward-compatible mode"
> preserving the old behaviour. This would solve the issue while still
> giving the possibility to upgrade Markdown to those relying on the
> old syntax, with the only hassle of setting a configuration variable.
Sounds like a reasonable proposal, although clearly there are now
multiple Markdown tools. I guess that John is the only person who can
make changes to the actual standard, whereas individual maintainers of
tools are responsible for changes to the tools ...
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