Data loss issue: Adjacent List Types
david.chambers.05 at gmail.com
Tue Jun 7 02:23:43 EDT 2011
David Parsons <orc at pell.portland.or.us> wrote:
John Gruber might have some opinions about this; I'd certainly be more
> attentive about list merging if the reference dingus changed to split them.
Every member of this group writes a lot of Markdown, and has its best
interests at heart. In addition, this list contains several implementors and
dozens of people who have created extensions for Markdown or integrated it
into their applications. John Gruber continues use Markdown on a daily
basis; quite possibly he remains the most prolific author of Markdown
documents (based on the length of some of his pieces). John's opinions will
always be held in high regard when he chooses to share them.
That said, if John were to consider Markdown "complete", should we stop
thinking of ways in which it could be improved? I'm grateful on an almost
daily basis to those who answer "no". These individuals have made it
possible for me to include definition lists, heading ids, and metadata,
without resorting to HTML tags. This, to me, is a triumph in the true spirit
of John's original design.
Should the fact that John does not often call upon definition lists in his
own writing mean that syntax for this structure has no place in Markdown? In
my view, no.
I don't think it's realistic to expect John to remain essentially the sole
contributor to this project. If John remains the source of truth, things
will remain as they are today, with each implementation providing its own
set of extensions, solving the same problems but sometimes via incompatible
If the community (by which I mean the members of this list) agrees that
syntax should exist for a certain HTML element or structure (definition
lists, for example), I'd love to see a collaborative effort to standardize
the syntax. This would involve highlighting the syntaxes currently in use
(both as Markdown extensions and as parts of other plaintext formatting
languages), to see whether a convention is already firmly established.
Discussion of the various options could then commence with the goal of
agreeing upon a standard syntax for all implementations to adopt.
The problem is, though, that not everyone on this list agrees that
standardizing Markdown's extensions is desirable. I've created a repository
on GitHub — https://github.com/markdown/discussion — whose issue tracker
could be used by those of us interested in such discussion. I've just
created a thread <https://github.com/markdown/discussion/issues/1> for
further discussion of possible `time` element syntaxes, and I'll start
another once I've had time to research existing definition list extensions.
On 6 June 2011 19:05, David Parsons <orc at pell.portland.or.us> wrote:
> On Jun 6, 2011, at 6:50 PM, Seumas Mac Uilleachan wrote:
> On 06/06/11 02:26 PM, Alan Hogan wrote:
>>> Given that I still struggle to see a downside to making my proposed
>>> change, I’m really hoping we can achieve a rough consensus here.
> How often do people complain? Once every 5 years?
> The only complaint I've ever seen about list merging was
> when I first wrote discount and got complaints that the
> lists *weren't* being merged.
> Compare that to the almost nonstop complaining about
> middle-of-word emphasis, which seems to have bitten
> everyone who seriously uses markdown.
> John Gruber might have some opinions about this;
> I'd certainly be more attentive about list merging
> if the reference dingus changed to split them.
> I also remember copy-pasting some info from the web that had a sentence
>> starting with 1999. (or similar) as there was a hard return in the line
>> before it. It took me ages to figure out where that list was coming from in
>> the middle of the paragraph. Eventually found the hard return and deleted
> That's a different issue, though, which has bitten
> enough people so that it's actually mentioned in the
> syntax document on daring fireball.
> -david parsons
> Markdown-Discuss mailing list
> Markdown-Discuss at six.pairlist.net
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