Tightening the rules for literal `[` and `]` chars in link ids

Michel Fortin michel.fortin at michelf.com
Mon Sep 25 20:25:47 EDT 2006

John Gruber wrote:

> After a few more minutes of thought, I'm having a hard time coming

> up with a good reason why `[` and `]` shouldn't just be banned

> characters for link ref IDs.

Jacob Rus wrote:

> What's wrong with just forcing users to write:


> In [his [distorted] view][hisview], this isn't something to worry

> about.


> [hisview]: http://something.com


> I really don't get the advantage of having absurd reference names.

Is there any advantage in not supporting them? Personally I see no
reason why square brackets should be disallowed when properly escaped
or nested. From the track record it doesn't seem likely that this
will cause any problem.

There is an idiom: if it ain't broke, don't fix it (or it may just
create new problems). I think it applies here: there is no problem
reported on this after a couple of years of people all around the web
using Markdown.

I'm all okay with fixing the completely illogical and bogus behaviour
of creating reference definition `like][that` when the brackets are
not escaped because I can't see anyone expect this to produce the
result it does. But I think escaped or correctly nested brackets
should still work simply because there is some logic in them and
because Markdown allowed that for a long time. Right now I have seen
a couple of suggestions but little justification for completely
removing brackets.

Michel Fortin
michel.fortin at michelf.com

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