maybe a year ago, but not today

Andy Lee aglee at
Thu Oct 20 16:05:17 EDT 2011

On Oct 20, 2011, at 3:08 PM, bowerbird at wrote:

> andy lee said:

> > I hadn't thought of it as "immense",

> > but I often edit Markdown documents

> > with Jonathan Rentzsch's MarkdownLive

> > (actually a slightly tweaked fork thereof).


> ok, maybe just maybe the markdown "grapevine"

> isn't quite as utterly pathetic as i thought it was...


> markdownlive should've been seen as a huge advance.


> mostly, though, as far as i could see, it was just ignored.



> > As completely basic as it is


> calling it "completely basic" is actually very high praise.

> crude and primitive is what it is, if we are being honest.

Sure. Speaking as a Mac programmer I saw it as "What would I do if there were no live-preview apps around and I wanted to whip up a quick app to make me happier while editing Markdown files?" And I saw it as an excellent answer to that question.

> but it demonstrated the point.


> and it is _open-source_...

<>, to be precise. I haven't looked at it in a long time, but there seemed to be at least a handful of active forks last I looked.

> and done in xcode, if i remember correctly,

You do. The version I've been using uses the discount C library. It adds a lightweight Objective-C wrapper around discount and plugs that into a basic "document-based" Xcode project. It looks like MarkdownLive has been worked on; I'll have to grab the latest version and see what's new.

> > As completely basic as it is, I strongly prefer it over

> > a plain text editor, even one that syntax-highlights.


> in other words, this one innovation makes up for

> a crude and primitive app, even over other apps

> that are full-featured, and even highlight syntax.

Yup. I can think of a million useful things that could be done, but simply having live preview gives me the first 80% of what I want while I wait for the other 80%, as they say, to become available.

> > MarsEdit's live preview is pretty huge too.


> oh crap. i always write these posts off the top of my head,

> and i completely forgot about marsedit. sorry about that...

I considered using MarsEdit as a kind of repository for my Markdown docs, but it doesn't really work for that. Still, just having live preview for my blog posts is great.

One of the "million useful things" I referred to is better tools for managing *collections* of related Markdown documents, in the spirit of a lightweight wiki. Markdoc is very much in this spirit, though not exactly what I want. <>

I keep meaning to work on this idea myself.

> i already had 6 developments, which was probably enough,

> quantity-wise, but i _definitely_ shoulda mentioned jalkut,

> since i believe he did the work of removing a dependency,

> which in turn gave multimarkdown _much_ greater viability.

> so that was a significant omission on my part; sorry, daniel.


> anyway, big ups to andy lee for fleshing out the full history!

I am your humble servant.


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