Styling Markdown approaches

Michel Fortin michel.fortin at
Fri Apr 19 22:22:53 EDT 2013

Le 19-avr.-2013 à 17:00, Sherwood Botsford <sgbotsford at> a écrit :

> That particular cat is out of the bag, however, and we have a score of

> implementations. From all apparent discussion here, there is no particular

> urge for the writers to get together to reduce the implementations. So we

> have 20 document formats already. And not all the implementers are

> concerned with backward compatibility.


> The same can be said of html and CSS. CSS configures how the html is

> rendered. So CMD could configure the way MD is rendered.

CSS doesn't change how the HTML is parsed, only how it looks (and sometime how it behaves). Similarly, configuration options in a Markdown parser that let you adjust *the output* to your linking are very welcome.

As for all the implementations, they mostly vary in edge cases and in their extensions to the core syntax. The core Markdown syntax (as defined by John Gruber) is pretty much the same everywhere, and this includes how HTML blocks are parsed. Implementations doing things differently than core Markdown are doing it mostly by adding restrictions out of security concerns with user-generated content.

By the way, if you really feel like it you should go ahead and hack your preferred implementation to do what you want. Just keep in mind that your documents using this tweaked syntax feature won't work right with other implementations. This might or might not come to bite you in the future depending on what you intend to do with those documents.

Michel Fortin
michel.fortin at

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