Proposed table specification (long!)

David Parsons orc at
Wed May 18 14:15:37 EDT 2011

On May 18, 2011, at 10:21 AM, Bowerbird at wrote:


> but all of that is a dodge as well. gruber isn't really the factor

> here.

> the _real_ problem is that there's several different implementations,

> and they differ between each other, and none of 'em is significantly

> better than the others, so none of them can overcome the stalemate.

What stalemate? It's not as if extensions don't exist (tables,
definition list support) and it's not as if the various implementations
don't converge upon the same extensions over time.

> > The idea of Markdown, not the implementation, is what's special.


> nope. lots of other people had "the idea" long before gruber.

I believe you misunderstand what's meant by "the idea"; there
have been quite a few klunky and horrible ascii markup languages
out there, but markdown tries to stick to the sort of formatting
that was already found in mail and usenet news messages.

Not having do so apl-style token soup or html with character
substitution ([i]...[/i] instead of <i>...</i>, for example) to
prettify your text is one of the reasons that markdown is actually
popular with users, most of who don't seem to care very much
that you can't use markdown for extra-fancy formatting, but who
do like it that they can do routine formatting without making their
fingers or eyes explode.

> decided to develop "markaround" to go _around_ gruber, you could.

I'm perfectly happy to support regular markdown with extensions.
I like being able to go from iOS apps to Reddit to Github to my
own web pages and use basically the same markdown.

> i haven't shared my own z.m.l.

> with the world

I had a vanity markup language once, too. I found something

> that might be the way you've explained it. (like michel's work,

> your documentation seems to be aimed at the _format_wonks,_

> who care about "block level versus span level" and such things.)

If you're defining how a language works, you need to aim it at
the technically competent. If you want to explain it to a user,
you can use a help sidebar like the markdown dingus uses. Different
audiences want different information.

-david parsons

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