markdown conversions

Bowerbird at Bowerbird at
Sat Jun 25 15:10:32 EDT 2011

richard said:

> This seems like a bad idea to me.

it still seems like a great idea to me, richard... ;+)

(i'm responding just for the sake of discussion,
not because i consider any of this to be "vital".
so understand that this is all very lighthearted.)

> in the mission of Markdown

i was talking about my own system,
which doesn't give a stinky fart about
"the mission of markdown", thank you. :+)

> that the content comes first and

> it should never be dictated or

> impacted by the markup.

except the markup is the whole purpose of markdown.

how can the purpose and the mission be inconsistent?

(that's a rhetorical question. just for the discussion.)

> Requiring unique headers is much more intrusive

> than somewhat ugly markup.

maybe, but the unique headers allow anyone at all
-- even someone looking at a printout -- to know
what the unique i.d. for a given header _will_ be...

with certainty.

i think that's worth it.

besides, forcing headers to be unique gives the reader
better navigational aid when they're inside the e-book.
(and remember that e-books are the focus of my work.)
a repeated header just causes confusion about location.
it's better to elaborate on the header so it gets specific.

so, in the long run, this isn't just about links at all...
it's about making a book with a transparent structure.

> Markdown extra makes a common mistake among

> extensions - it sacrifices readability of the plain text

> to ensure a unique element and simplify parsing.

it's clear that duplicated text in the file just junks it up.
so, in the abstract, i agree... plus z.m.l.'s readability is
far better than markdown's. but, again for discussion,
i say "readability of the plain text" is highly over-rated.

simply because nobody's gonna read the markdown file.

the only reason you added the markdown cruft is so that
the content can be turned into .html. so read that .html.
why should the reader "imagine" big bold headers when
s/he can view rendered headers that _are_ big and bold?

the reason light-markup is cool is not better readability,
but better _edit-ability_. markup of any kind is obtrusive.
and intrusive. it's an obstacle, one that gums up editing.
put the focus where it belongs -- on editing, not reading.

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