OK, so I’ve become addicted to using Markdown syntax for virtually everything I do. Indeed, my previous posts on here were composed using that syntax in Textmate, after which I generated HTML from it and copied into WordPress. Imagine my delight to find reference to a WordPress plugin, entitled Markdown on Saved Improved that will allow me to use that syntax directly. I’m still exploring the possibilities, but the purpose of this post is to try it out.

So why Markdown? Here are a few thoughts:

  • It’s easy. With just a short learning curve, one can generate HTML (and other format) documents that can be posted to the web or to other applications.
  • It’s spreading. Most text editors, like Textmateand Text Wrangler (for Mac – I’m sure there are ones for the evil empire as well) have Markdown formatting built in, making generation of decent documents straigtforward.
  • It’s flexible. One can generate code directly from one of the aforementioned editors, or (if more intrepid), one can use one’s own style sheets and embedded HTML code.
  • It liberates me from commercial word processors. I have hated Word for years; since I’ve started using Markdown, I usually only go to it when I need to edit other people’s documents.

There are things that take getting used to. Like HTML, it has some odd ways of dealing with line feeds and paragraph breaks, and generating tables takes some patience. But in my view, for creative writing unimpeded by the vagaries of a full-fledged (and constantly changing) word processor, it can’t be beat. And the plugin is extremely nice – it publishes the html version but saves the Markdown one for editing, so that updating already published documents is a cinch.