Programming - - By Troels Knak-Nielsen

Flowing Markdown Upstream

Markdown has gained a foothold as one of the most popular (of not the most popular) alternative markup language recently. One of the reasons is that it has been ported to most platforms (Or is it the other way around?). Recently, I’ve tried using it as an input format for end users, although with mixed results. Those who are tech savvy, learn it quite quickly, and the results are far better than traditional wysiwyg editors, based on contentEditable. However, the less technical people have come to expect wysiwyg, and the idea of writing a markup language – even as elegant as markdown – is alien to them.

Inspired by the markdown port to javascript, I got an idea, which I have been fleshing out for the last couple of weeks. The idea is to combine markdown input with real-time preview, and the result is a sort of middle ground between raw markdown input and wysiwyg; As a user, you still have to write markdown, but the feedback is visual and immediate.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any candidates for trying it out on, but I’ve now put it on github, so now it’s out there. There are of course room for improvements, but the basics are in place. I’ve even incorporated an extension-capability, since this is something I’ve used myself, when using markdown in a CMS.

There’s a demo at: http://troelskn.googlepages.com/upflow.html

And you can fetch the code from: http://github.com/troelskn/upflow/tree

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