Markdown-Discuss Digest, Vol 139, Issue 3

Jeff McNeill jeff at
Tue Nov 11 01:38:44 EST 2014

> As a mere user, I've noticed the same thing. One of the purported 
> benefits of markdown is its portability, i.e., the ability of the user 
> to write in any editor, knowing that he can then load it into any number 
> of parsers and get consistent results.
> But, with all the different flavors out there, one now has to think, 
> "which parser will I use to convert this file?" and insert markdown 
> accordingly. I recently discovered at least four different ways in which 
> parsers deal with typographic quotes and dashes, from the original 
> SmartyPants to the Python Markdown implementation of SmartyPants to the 
> Calibre implementation of it to RMarkdown's implementation (not to 
> mention ReStructuredText and Textile, both of which do it differently, 
> yet). So, I have to commit to a given dialect and converter before I 
> begin to type. To me, that's defeating one of the fundamental purposes 
> of markdown.
> Virgil

I believe that is why a neutral, “Bland” Markdown recommendation is needed. Not as yet another parser or syntax but as something to tell writers and editors to use, so that their content can be properly processed.

This is actually not too difficult.

Jeff McNeill 

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