Markdown comments

Michel Fortin michel.fortin at
Sun Sep 17 21:00:18 EDT 2006

Le 17 sept. 2006 à 19:30, John Gruber a écrit :

> Michel Fortin <michel.fortin at> wrote on 9/16/06 at 5:23 PM:


>> * Changed the parsing of HTML comments to match simply from

>> `<!--` to `-->` instead using of the more complicated

>> SGML-style rule with paired `--`. This is how most browsers

>> parse comments and how XML defines them too.


> Interesting. I had no idea that SGML comment rules were being

> officially or semi-officially abandoned for HTML parsers. I

> certainly welcome this change.


> [...]


> I'd like to make this change to Markdown, because I genuinely

> believe HTML comments *should* follow the simple, obvious rule,

> not the SGML rules.

I think a good post about this comes from Ian Hickson, which was once
the big advocate of SGML-style comments. He now has reverted his
stance on the matter.


Ian is now leading the WhatWG's Web Application 1.0 spec, which, when
merged with Web Forms 2, will probably become HTML5 under the newly-
formed [W3C Web Application Format Working Group][1]. The new draft
specification defines comments the same way as XML, the only
difference being that the new well-defined HTML parsing rules
tolerates the ill-formed double dash in comments instead of issuing a
parse error and stop parsing.


> But I'd feel better about making this change in Markdown if Gecko

> were on board.

I certainly hope they switch back to simple comments. But seeing how
things go I think it is just a matter of time now, although I do
notice that Firefox 2.0b1 hasn't changed yet.

Michel Fortin
michel.fortin at

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