Yep, Geeks Love Markdown, But Why Should You Bother?

Markdown loved by geeks

If you’re a geek, you may have heard about Markdown, a markup language that makes it easy to output HTML, without actually having to know even a lick of HTML. We joined the love fest ourselves recently, covering the basics, as well as looking at a Windows app and a Mac app that support Markdown. With the proliferation of what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) editors today, though, why should you even bother with Markdown?

I’ll admit – I wondered the same thing. We covered some reasons for using Markdown in our initial post, but we didn’t dive into the reasons too deeply. I initially used Markdown because I had a case of the “new and shinies,” and thought it was, well, cool. But there are more compelling reasons, too. The developer of Marked, a Mac app that brings Markdown support to most text editors, has written a great overview of why Markdown might be worth checking out.

One of the more important benefits of Markdown is that it is portable. Have an iPad? You can draft some text using Markdown syntax, and use it pretty much anywhere else. It’s also fast. The Marked developer points out that it’s fast to actually write the Markdown syntax, but it’s also fast from a hardware perspective- if you have a low-powered machine, there isn’t anything less hardware-intensive than a basic text editor.

For the full list, hop over and check out the post. Have you tried Markdown? If not, do you plan to?

Why Markdown? A two-minute explanation

Evan Kline

Hello, I'm Evan. I write about tech from my perspective – that of the average 40-something tech geek. You can also find me on Twitter and at my real-life job as a lawyer.    MORE ABOUT ME.

6 Comments:

  1. It strikes me as a nice idea, and very similar to WikiText.

    When I’m writing a Wiki article I need to learn a new formatting system (wikiText) which appears to be very similar to Markdown.

    Personally I like the idea and, as you say, the idea is that it makes it simple to write on any device/editor. I do find it more time consuming when doing anything overly-complicated (example, a table).

    For basic formatting — bold, indent, etc — it’s nice and fast

    I wonder if this is where Google got the idea for Google+ posts? When you post you can use * _ or – to format text

    • I think you hit the nail on the head, David. It is great for basic stuff, so I often blow through a quick draft using it, and then finalize it in something else. We’ll see if my fascination with it lasts, or I stop using it over time.

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  5. Hi, I check your blogs regularly. Your writing style
    is witty, keep doing what you’re doing!

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