Originally published at: http://www.sitepoint.com/best-markdown-editors-windows/
Markdown, originally written as a Perl script by John Gruber and Aaron Swartz in 2004, has caught fire and the technology has exploded into many different forms of “text to HTML” markup engines.
The original Markdown code has largely been unchanged through the years, while alternative versions have come to build on it. Since the creators of Markdown don’t want anybody using the “Markdown” name, each fork of the project adopts another name, which gets confusing.
Other projects include PHP-Markdown, PageDown, Parsedown, and Pandoc.
To make matters worse, large websites that adopt text-to-html technology tend to tweak it to their liking, and so you’ll sometimes hear things like “Vim-Flavored-Markdown” and “GitHub-Flavored Markdown” as well. The Stack Exchange network uses Markdown known as Pagedown, and MarkdownSharp on the server side, with bits of PHP-Markdown thrown in.
Web forums and comment boxes are beginning to adopt limited Markdown syntax too. It’s the Wild West!
Regardless, you tend to see “Markdown” being used as a general term for text-to-HTML. But really that is just one tool out there and not the umbrella name of this technology.