Video syntax

David Chambers david.chambers.05 at
Wed Sep 15 09:33:49 EDT 2010

I'm planning to update Mango <> to facilitate adding
video to Markdown documents. At the moment, of course, it's possible to
include video by including the appropriate HTML. There are three reasons,
though, that having syntax (official or unofficial) for video is a good

- *Simplicity.* Writing something like [youtube:gPbh6Ru7VVM] is easy.
Including half a dozen lines of HTML is much less so.
- *Readability.* Gruber created Markdown not just because he wanted to
avoid writing markup – he wanted to avoid *reading* it, too!
- *Separation of concerns.* Documents should provide for each video just
a link (and optionally alt text) the way they do for images. This way, the
application can take on the responsibility of generating the appropriate
markup. This is tremendously beneficial: HTML5 video is still relatively
new, sites are being updated to take advantage of native video, and new
video formats are emerging. Given this moving target it's difficult to be
sure that hard-coded video markup will remain correct a year from now.
Handing this responsibility to the application means that all video markup
on a site can be updated with a single update to the application.

My question is, *has anyone given thought to an appropriate syntax for video
in Markdown?* We're a long way (five years, at least) from being at the
point where `<video src="/path/to/video"></video>` will be sufficient to get
the job done, so this probably isn't something that Markdown itself will
include for quite some time. I'm nonetheless interested to hear others'
thoughts as to what an appropriate syntax might be.

Currently, we have:

[link text](/path/to/link) for links, and

![alt text](/path/to/image) for images.

Clearly one option is to use the same syntax as for images but with an extra
`!`, but what would we use for audio in that case? `!!!` would be

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