RFC: Markdown Table Syntax
David E. Wheeler
david at kineticode.com
Fri Feb 27 01:44:10 EST 2009
On Feb 26, 2009, at 6:47 PM, Michel Fortin wrote:
> Perhaps you should mention that you're now forcing a table cells to
> be properly aligned using a monospace font. This in fact makes the
> syntax impossible to use in a proportional font context.
> While it's true that many people use a monospace font and that in a
> text editor you can change the font, I'd like to mention that
> Markdown is also used for writing comments and blog posts in
> textareas not formatted with a monospace font, and for which it may
> not be easy to change the font. Forcing proper alignment makes the
> table syntax unusable in these situations.
> Now, given that cell continuation using colons relies on that proper
> alignment with a monospace font feature (or else you risk mistaking
> colons in the text for column separators), I don't find that syntax
> very satisfying.
Well, they're not mutually exclusive. If we continue to allow the use
of the colon to suggest alignment, and if a user doesn't need to
continue a line, then the existing MultiMarkdown syntax should
continue to work, even with a proportional font. But to get the line
continuation feature, I don't see any way to do it other than
requiring proper spacing.
Of course, I'm so used to looking at database output in a terminal
session using [Consolas] that I'm sure I'm quite biased when it
comes to spacing tables with a monospaced font.
> Allowing `+` as column separator in the header underline looks like
> a good idea though.
Yeah, that alone allows one to simply paste most any output from psql
or mysql and have it just work.
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