Github, Reddit, and StackExchange Propose Markdown Standard Syntax

    Markdown Markup Language was developed in 2004 by John Gruber and Aaron Schwartz. The philosophy of Markdown is to write text that is easy to read and at the same time automatically converted to regular HTML. The authors immediately released the Perl parser, which quickly gained great popularity, and Markdown went to the masses.

    Unfortunately, the generally accepted Markdown specification has not yet been adopted, which causes some confusion . Gruber's canonical description does not provide answers to all questions, as well as the code of the aforementioned parser, which turned out to be slightly buggy. In many cases, it produces a clearly bad result. In general, the problem persists for 10 years.

    An activist group that included John McFarlane from the University of Berkeley (author of the markdown converterPandoc and test Babelmark ), representatives of the company Meteor, Github, Reddit, StackExchange and Discourse. Over two years of collaboration, they agreed on “the most optimal syntax specifications” in the Standard Markdown ( Standard markdown) project . They also released a comprehensive test suite to test each Markdown implementation for specifications.

    The project has good prospects, at least based on the composition of the participants. If all these sites switch to a single Markdown syntax, then it can indeed become a de facto standard, even without official specifications. In the end, the same Perl nothing prevented the successful development without them.

    It would seem that the initiative is worthy of all praise. However, John Gruber himselfI’m somewhat outraged that strangers call the next syntax implementation “standard”. There are more than two dozen implementations of the syntax , and why should the 25th suddenly be called "standard" from the very beginning? In general, this is a classic situation that is very common in the IT world.

    In addition, some time ago the W3C consortium created the Markdown Community Group , which should coordinate efforts to develop a single version of Markdown. The work and release of “standard” specifications behind them is at least an indicator of some disrespect for those who have spent time and effort on this project.

    However, Meteor, Github, Reddit, StackExchange are sites that have a big impact on web developers. And if they agree on a single syntax implementation, there is a good chance that many web developers will follow suit. And this is the most important thing. The authors of Standard Markdown say that after discussion with the community they are ready to release version 1.0, which can be recognized as "standard and unambiguous."

    You can compare 20+ Markdown syntax implementations using the unofficial MDTest test .

    C99 and JavaScript parser implementations and spec tests are published on Github .

    The actual text of the Standard Markdown specifications with over 400 examples is published here.(source markdown : spec.txt ).

    Judging by the first reviews in the community of web developers, another holivar is coming.

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