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Markdown considered harmful

asked 2011-11-08 11:10:16 -0500

kiilerix gravatar image

updated 2011-11-08 11:27:52 -0500

The markdown mark-up do that several posters post Q/As that is very hard to read and impossible to cut'n'paste. We could blame the posters for being stupid, but I think it shows that the default doesn't meet the expectations of the audience.

Some examples:

I think "ascii wysiwyg" with a bit of helpful htmlization (as in bugzilla) would have better usability.

I think ordinary "non-wizard" wysiwyg mode where you get what you write unless you press buttons or use keyboard shortcuts would be the best choice.

Using markdown behind the scenes or as an opt-in advanced mode (with a user setting?) would be perfect.

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Of course the parser of the input will have to be the same site-wide. Re: markdown maybe you are right, cannot promise how quickly we can switch the editor. We don't have too many requests for this.

Evgeny gravatar imageEvgeny ( 2011-11-10 07:07:29 -0500 )edit

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answered 2012-10-05 18:54:43 -0500

mattdm gravatar image

I think the right answer is to fix problems with Askbot where it is rendering markdown in poor ways. Markdown generally does the right thing when ignored and is a very lightweight and easy formatting system. It works for other big Q&A sites, including subsites aimed at both technical and non-technical audiences (cooking, English grammar, Ubuntu).

Where there are specific problems, let's list them and get them fixed.

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answered 2011-11-08 11:16:24 -0500

mether gravatar image

I am not sure this is the best answer to the problem however I will be willing to try it out. This has to be implemented in Askbot first however. If you are interested, come up to #askbot in or post it as a feature request in

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Asked: 2011-11-08 11:10:16 -0500

Seen: 2,295 times

Last updated: Oct 05 '12