Styling Markdown approaches
waylan at gmail.com
Sat Apr 20 18:05:52 EDT 2013
I think the syntax rules regarding raw html  shed some light on this issue:
> Markdown is not a replacement for HTML, or even close
> to it. Its syntax is very small, corresponding only to a very
> small subset of HTML tags. The idea is not to create a
> syntax that makes it easier to insert HTML tags. In my
> opinion, HTML tags are already easy to insert. The idea
> for Markdown is to make it easy to read, write, and edit
> prose. HTML is a publishing format; Markdown is a writing
> format. Thus, Markdown’s formatting syntax only addresses
> issues that can be conveyed in plain text.
> For any markup that is not covered by Markdown’s syntax,
> you simply use HTML itself. There’s no need to preface it
> or delimit it to indicate that you’re switching from Markdown
> to HTML; you just use the tags.
In other words, if you want a *publishing* format, use raw HTML. If
you want to wrap some text in a div to add styling hooks, fine. But if
you want to format the contents of that div, then use HTML for that
also. After all, "Markdown is not a replacement for HTML."
Yes, some markdown implementations have added some optional extras,
but those extras generally fit into the philosophy quoted above (see
definition lists). That said, I have seen some pretty horrid requests
for extending the syntax as the maintainer of the Python-Markdown
project (which has an extensive API for writing extensions). While I
agree that user defined extensions are an appropriate way to go, one
should always be careful when introducing new syntax. John
MacFarlane's FAQ  is evidence of that.
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