doesn't that make you wonder?

Sherwood Botsford sgbotsford at
Thu Oct 20 09:20:44 EDT 2011

Not a great example, as strong and emphasis are commutative tags.


I take that back. With CSS styling, they would not commute if both CSS
styles defined some of the same attributes. E.g. If strong was defined as
color:pink and emphasis was defined as color:green, they would no longer

Previously on this topic, the discussion turned to how to unify things.
Since we have no Authority, then building Concensus is what remains.

Does anyone have a ranking of MD variants by either pages or number of

Would it be possible if not to come to a single MD spec, to at least reduce
the number of specifications.

E.g. Suppose that Fletcher is open minded, and eager for consolidation.
Further suppose that MMD is the #4 variant. He contacts #1,2,3, and 5, and
asks if as a group they can agree on a spec. #2 says, stuffit, but 1,3 and
5 agree. They get together, and modify the code. Each introduces a flag,
"-new" to the command line (or preferences for apps) to support the new
syntax during the transition period. Later on -new will be the default
behaviour, and -traditional is used for the current behaviour.

If agreement is reached, then the group looks at variants 6,7,8,9 and
inquires if they would like to join in this effort.

Part 2.

Has anyone collected a would-be canonical list of either the ambiguous cases
in original MD, or the variants between the versions of MD?


Sherwood of Sherwood's Forests

Sherwood Botsford
Sherwood's Forests --
50042 Range Rd 31
Warburg, Alberta T0C 2T0

On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 4:33 PM, John MacFarlane <jgm at> wrote:

> +++ Emmanuel Bégué [Oct 19 11 12:04 ]:


> > But it's also not certain that the official approach would solve all

> > problems. The first example you gave (*test **test* test**) is

> > "invalid Markdown" and a formal specification could very well decide


> I don't think there's any such thing as "invalid Markdown."

> At any rate, the syntax description does not define anything as

> "invalid". And markdown processors (at least those that I'm

> familiar with) don't ever give you an "invalid markdown" error.


> But if you don't like that example, consider this one:


> ***hello***


> Should this be


> <strong><emph>hello</emph></strong>


> or


> <emph><strong>hello</strong></emph> ?


> Nothing in the spec settles that. This is just one of many, many

> examples one can come up with by considering precedence ambiguities.


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