★ Markdown: For general writing I really don’t get it

December 29, 2013 linked by Nikolaj Raahauge

David Hewson wrote this post about Markdown and it’s usability and worth for writers. I think that it’s good to see more debate about this, because right now, Markdown seems to be in fashion. Here`s Davids argument:

“I’m a big fan of ‘if it works for you then stick with it’. So if Markdown really does unlock something for you then stick with it. But we need to get away from the idea that creativity can be found in gimmicks. Markdown was never meant as a replacement for an industrial strength word processor. It’s a superb minimal markup language for people dealing in computer code or writing for the web.”

And the thing about using ‘whatever is in fashion’, is that fashion changes. It might just be shifting your focus away from actually being productive, to instead, implementing yet another tool or writing process. Which is pretty lame, especially as Markdown is a plaintext format which would imply the simplest of tools.

A boon with Markdown, or essentially, all formats based on plaintext, though, is longevity. The formatting is caused by markup in a plaintext file, as opposed to arbitrary formats like thise of Apples Pages and Microsofts Word. But that still does not make it the best tool for all writing purposes, which often is an effect of being ‘in fashion’.