I was just reminded that markdown+pandoc is a kickass, open source combo that not everyone might be aware of.

Markdown is a super simple rich text markup language that I use every day for notes, recipes, instant messaging, and longer texts like essays and blog posts. It's even supported on most Mastodon instances.

Pandoc is an "under the hood" tool that allows you to convert any document to pretty much any other format worth using. It supports bibliographies and citations in markdown files.

markdown criticism 

@uncomics the fatal flaw of markdown is that its so much less powerful than BBcode let alone HTML. Even those recipes will get into trouble when it can't handle superscript and subscript (or tables!) Pandoc has trouble eating markdown with HTML tags in it.

markdown criticism 

@bookandswordblog I'm sorry, "BBcode"? Now there's something I haven't heard about in 10+ years, and I struggle to see how it's as useful or versatile as markdown.

I personally haven't had use for super- or subscript, but there is basic tables support in Github-flavoured markdown (using pipes).

markdown criticism 

@uncomics @bookandswordblog pandoc's markdown has native support for super- and subscripts, and tables. Here: happy to answer questions about it, as an everyday user.

markdown criticism 

@manolomartinez @uncomics having to add extensions for somethig I use in forum posts and blog posts every month is not 'native support', and Marktown table syntax is incredibly ugly a d unreadable compared to HTML which is an achievement

markdown criticism 

@manolomartinez @uncomics I wrote my second book in Markdown and ny opinion that its like Bbcode or the conventions for writing formulas in Ascii but useless is a professional one

markdown criticism 

@bookandswordblog @manolomartinez Uh huh. Also, very much *an opinion*. The fact that you insist on comparing markdown to BBcode — an eccentric emoji system developed only for use in online forums — makes me think this is a dead end conversation. Have a nice day.

markdown criticism 

@manolomartinez @uncomics people talk about the bad computer science in Gruber's definition of markdown (from lack of a formal mechanism for extensions, to conventions which are hard to process with a state machine) but not enough about the failure of theory of mind in not making sure that his idea of 'sufficient typography for quick notes' was generalizable

markdown criticism 


I don't know what to tell you. I write rather complicated academic papers in pandoc's markdown and it's a joy. As with everything, ymmv

markdown criticism 

@bookandswordblog (complicated in that there's figures and tables and notation and everything in between; as for the content itself, well...)

@uncomics Use this combo all the time for my emails in neomutt. Also there's a new player in town: orgdown (

@wwwgem I never got into orgmode myself, so orgdown might be a hard sell? But I know a lot of people live by orgmode, and I'll orgdown a look.

I have found that Zettlr helps my workflow (it includes Pandoc), as I'm no longer constantly going back and forth to the terminal just to view a few changes.

And Zettlr is much more student friendly, which I found was a definite boon when introducing long-form academic writing.

@zeerph Yeah, I've had Zettlr installed for a few months now. I like the outliner-ish document/folder structure, and the general direction of the project. Nevertheless, I keep opening my old, simpler MD editor for writing notes, to-do's etc...

Good to meet a fellow Zettlr user and markdown enjoyer!

Though, I am curious as to why you keep going back to the older markdown editor for smaller tasks.

@zeerph 1. Habit, and 2. I like the utility of a markdown editor; Zettlr is both specialised and opinionated in regards to use cases.

It's great for longer, structured texts in dedicated project folders, but not for jotting down quick general notes that I want to save wherever. Unless of course I'd want to dig into Zettelkasten, which is not inviting.

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