MultiMarkdown 2.0.a Released

Fletcher T. Penney fletcher at
Mon Sep 18 13:51:26 EDT 2006

On Sep 14, 2006, at 7:06 AM, Michael Sheets wrote:

>> Check out the MultiMarkdown page for more information. And if you

>> use TextMate, I **highly** recommend you try out the new bundle

>> and theme. I believe it will make it much easier to create

>> MultiMarkdown documents, as well as to process them into other

>> formats with minimal effort.


> Is there any reason you've forked the entire Markdown bundle? The

> old version of the Markdown grammar you used is especially

> troubling as you've missed a ton of improvements we've made over

> the past month or so. Great strides have been made in the area of

> bold/italics, nested handling, block level content and such.

The order of some of the rules has to be customized to work with
MultiMarkdown, and I don't *think* it's possible to just reference
the base Markdown bundle. Instead it has to be copied over. As for
the changes, you were probably working on those improvements as I was
working on this bundle, so the changes weren't there when I started
and I wasn't aware that a new version was released. I'll look into
it, as there are certainly improvements needed in the base markdown

Where is the new version of the base Markdown bundle available?

> While forking the grammar itself was necessary, to support some of

> the new items in MultiMarkdown, splitting off all of the commands

> and snippets seems a touch extreme. With scopes we can customize

> commands to fire off differently based on the root scope when needed.

For the initial release, it was easier to copy over the commands that
are needed. There are a few reasons that I think it's easier to turn
off the base Markdown module, and therefore replicated the command
that are useful with MultiMarkdown. In reality, though, does it make
any difference if a few of the commands are replicated in both
modules as long as they work in the same manner?

> Also, the new bundle items use overly-broad scopes. Several end up

> firing in regular Markdown mode and some (e.g. the Latex commands)

> don't have any scope at all, meaning they are active in every

> language.

This can be fixed easily. I only use TextMate for testing this
bundle, and therefore only with MultiMarkdown and LaTeX documents, so
just hadn't noticed this issue. The next release will have narrower

> Finally, the key bindings in the new MultiMarkdown bundle are in

> conflict with several conventions we use for bundle commands.

> "Increase Quote Level" for instance is ⌘' the commands for

> 'process' use ⌘R and 'preview' is always ⌃⌥⌘P. The Latex

> related commands conflict with the "Toggle Line Numbers" command.

These commands are not available in the Markdown Bundle I have -
again, where is the newest release for the bundle - it does not
appear to have been included in the latest version of TextMate.

> I hope I don't sound too negative here, but I don't see the

> benefits in forking the bundle, and it negatively impacts the

> existing bundle.

Again - there are some incompatibilities between the original syntax
and the requirements of MultiMarkdown. You are welcome to see if
things can be rewritten to be compatible, but I don't believe they
are at this point. That is why I had to copy the grammar over and
make a few changes.

> There is no reason they can't coexist if we are careful.

> Additionally, by keeping the MultiMarkdown grammar integrated with

> the official bundle, we can keep it in sync with the Markdown

> grammar, and everyone can improve it.

If possible, this would be great, but I am not sure if it is possible.

> If you drop by ##textmate on irc:// sometime,

> we'll see if we can't help you merge what you've done into the

> official Markdown bundle.

I'm happy to correspond by email, but I'm not a big irc user. With
my work schedule, email is a lot more reliable for me.

> Until this is fixed up, however, I can't recommend that TextMate

> users install it because of the conflicts with Markdown and

> TextMate itself.

Well I think it depends on whether you use MultiMarkdown or regular
Markdown. Some people might find some of my features a compelling
reason to switch - specifically some of the automated formatting for
lists, headers, etc. But if you use a newer version of
MultiMarkdown, I think the switch is a requirement. As the author of
MultiMarkdown, I couldn't get my documents to properly compile using
the MultiMarkdown support in the vanilla Markdown bundle. That
prompted me to start a new bundle, and then I decided to improve on
it using TextMate's commands and completions.

Most importantly, this is why users have a choice - they are welcome
to pick whichever version offers the features and ease of use they
desire. But I agree that it may be possible to take the best of each
bundle and create a single version.

But from my perspective, if you want to use MultiMarkdown,
particularly version 2.0.a, it's a no brainer. Go with the
MultiMarkdown bundle. There are a lot of features that don't exist
anywhere else (autocompletion of anchor, image, BibTeX citations,
etc; automatic formatting of lists, tables, header data, etc; and
lots more)

You are certainly welcome to copy my changes back to the original
Bundle if a single common language grammar is possible, and I am also
happy to look at your new changes to the vanilla bundle and update my
version if you point me towards a newer copy.

Thank you for your feedback and suggestions, and I will incorporate
as much as possible into the next release.


PS> If anyone wants to discuss this further, we could certainly take
it off list.

Fletcher T. Penney
fletcher at

I have two very rare photographs. One is a picture of Houdini
locking his keys in his car. The other is a rare photograph of
Norman Rockwell beating up a child.
- Steven Wright

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