Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.
In further praise of Markdown
Merlin Mann | Feb 11 2005
I got my first PalmPilot in 1997 or so, and I knew it had begun to get its hooks into me when Grafitti characters started popping up in my longhand—most often as “e’s??? that looked like backward threes and “m’s??? that resembled McDonalds’ golden arches. It was a testament to how even your most ingrained physical gestures can be rewired over a relatively short period of time.
Well, friends, I now find I’m writing—in longhand, mind you—using Markdown. For those who haven’t tried it yet, Markdown is John Gruber’s insanely great syntax and transformation tool for turning structured text into valid XHTML.
I’m discovering that, when I’m jotting quickly, headings become “
As ever, I really recommend you take a spin with Markdown, particularly in the context of gu.st’s wonderful HumaneText No.4. It’s a terrific OS X Service that combines Markdown with Smartypants and html2text (Aaron Swartz’s elegant reverse-MD Python script).
HumaneText is a breeze to install, and I promise it will shave minutes of brainless markup from your day, every day—even if you do start noticing the disturbing side effect of occasionally replacing a perfectly useful straight line with “
(For you Wintel/Cygwin kids, be sure to check out Sippey’s smart little hack: markdown for windows.)
|EXPLORE 43Folders||THE GOOD STUFF|