A Modest Definition List Proposal

David E. Wheeler david at kineticode.com
Mon Feb 23 12:34:57 EST 2009

On Feb 23, 2009, at 8:59 AM, John Gruber wrote:

>> Thanks John. Like I said, I prefer it to a colon because, in my

>> mind at least, a colon goes at the end of things, not the beginning

>> of things.


> I lean toward colon because I see colons coming not at the beginning

> or end, but in the middle, between things. In this case, between a

> term and its definition(s).

I can see that, but:

1. The same is true for tildes; even more true, since
there is usually a space on either side of a tilde
2. The colon is very hard to see in some fonts; it
makes a lousy bullet, IMHO, especially when it's the
first character on a line
3. I've been thinking about table syntax, looking at
what the OSS databases do, and PostgreSQL has a nice
use for colons to show continued records:

id | name | description
6 | Inset | An inset element type
8 | Related Stories | A related stories element type.
5 | Illustration | An illustration media type
: and I think you know what I mean.
2 | Column | A weekly column story type
10 | Story | A story document type

That seems kind of nice to me because a colon is kind of like a broken

But that's for a later discussion, and might not conflict with PHP
Markdown Extra's use of a colon for DLs, anyway. As I said, we could
support both just as we support `*`, `+`, and `-` for unordered list



More information about the Markdown-Discuss mailing list