Jason Snell, on Six Colours:
When people ask me what features of BBEdit I use, I can mention Markdown tools and syntax support, which I use for writing stories like this one. But the other thing I use BBEdit for is a bit more esoteric and hard to describe—something I call “text munging”, for lack of a better word.
I recently used Excel for a similar purpose and was surprised how much I underutilize it for such tasks. Anyway, Jason’s expedition is a very interesting read, combining BBEdit, regular expressions, and the aforementioned Excel.
Markdown is also concise, and isn’t well served by a lengthy guide. Accordingly, I’ve written a mini-ebook to help you get started. It’s ultra-focused, digital only, and can be read cover-to-cover in about twenty minutes. A quick, approachable, readily digestible briefing, so you can go from zero to informed within a lunch break or a brief commute.
It’s called Writing in Markdown, it’s about 5,000 words long, and it’s available now.
I also prefer to write in Markdown. The biggest bonus that I see is that you end up with a bunch of plain text files which you should be able to access for many years to come — being able to open your files ten, twenty, or thirty years from now should be a high priority for everyone.
If you don’t know what Markdown is, get Matt’s book and also read this in your spare time
Having discovered Markdown completely by accident many years ago, I quickly got hooked on the concept and dropped Apple’s Pages and other apps to focus on plain text documents. The most important feature for me wasn’t Markdown itself—it was the knowledge that I’ll be able to read and access my files in the coming years without issues. It might seem ridiculous that we should worry about such things, but I have a set of 3.5” floppy disks with my school projects in various obscure formats which are completely unusable today.
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After yesterday’s shitstorm on Twitter, I was curious as to how things would evolve. To my surprise, John Atwood responded to Gruber in a post, apologised for the confusion and renamed the project to Common Markdown.
All seemed well with the world until hilarity ensued – please do take the time to watch this fantastically funny video of Hitler talking about Markdown.
I awoke to John Gruber’s second tweet on his @Mardown account today, which said:
“Standard Markdown” is neither.
Having recently listened to him and Marco Arment in episode 88 of The Talk Show, I quickly realised the rest of my timeline was about to get ugly. And it did.
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