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Inkscape – Open Source Vector Graphics

Inkscape is an amazing vector graphics editor. It is free and open source and works on a variety of platforms, including Linux, Windows and OSX. Inkscape replaces Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator and can read their files, and is a first class citizen among these other editors. > This page will be semi-regularly updated to put my own Inkscape experiences into words. Last updated 19-Mar-2019.

Inkscape on Linux (Debian)

Install Inkscape from flakpak:

sudo apt install flatpak -y
sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
sudo flatpak install flathub org.inkscape.Inkscape
sudo flatpak update -y

Adjust the shortcut to run flatpak run org.inkscape.Inkscape

Inkscape on OSX

Unfortunately the mainstream OSX release runs on xQuartz which is slow and doesn't support the standard OSX keystrokes and menus. Plus the windowing is not flexible enough. The main branch has continued development while the idea is to get a native release working with Gtk 3, but it is unclear if or when that will take place. For years I have used an old 2013 release from Valerio Aimale. There is now a 2017 release for Inkscape 0.92.2 but it doesn't run on OSX 10.01 (Yosemite), so I am unable to test or use. While s_uv is working on a next version of OSX with Gtk integration (called OSX Menu), it still is wrapped in xQuartz, with the same issues. As of mid-2018 I no longer use OSX, so things may have changed since then.

Inkscape Features and Functionality

  • Inkscape Keyboard and Mouse Reference I use Inkscape as a drawing and illustrating tool and also for editing images in terms of compilations, extraction and svg-ification, logos, book covers, basically everything under the sun. As with any tool, getting efficient with Inkscape is a discovery process with a learning curve. As well, I happen upon a variety of features that continue to amaze, including:
  • Barcode generation: > Extensions > Render > Bar Code
  • etc. Inkscape supports extensions including:
  • Inkscape Map Inkscape SVG files to HTML image map or coordinate list
  • Inkscape Table Support
  • Etc.
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MediaWiki vs. WordPress

There of course is no MediaWiki vs. WordPress in the sense of a battle. As Wiki and Blog platforms go, each is the winner in their category in terms of raw number of users/pageviews. That said, there are definitely (different) concerns with each platform, architecturally as well as accidentally. And therefore, we dreg up the battle metaphor. To the fighting pits!

Markdown vs. Wikitext

Markdown isn't the default in WordPress, indeed there is way too much emphasis on the visual editor. That said, Markdown is common and available via plugins, and shortcode functionality is also prevalent. For MediaWiki, the wikitext markup remains dominant, to the exclusing of Markdown. But no where else than MediaWiki is wikitext deployed.

Namespaces and Transclusion

MediaWiki namespaces are ways of organizing kinds of documents (sometimes without much real effect other than naming), as well as allowing for transclusions and templates. For WordPress templates, or better custom post types, are monolithic and govern an entire page of a certain kind (for example, products). While custom posts and templates are distinct, and there can be more than one template for a given custom post type, they essentially are managed as an area for programming, vs. the looser, and easier to edit templates (powered by WikiMedia transclusion extensions), so that moderately capable editors can customize the look and feel of pages without needing administrative access. This gives MediaWiki a more democratic and flexible system, that however ends up creating an additional level of administrative editing work. I've you've got millions of editors, this is fine, and necessary, but if not, it becomes more difficult to manage.

Caching Techniques

MediaWiki has some built-in caching, and for WordPress this is the domain of plugins. Still, these sit on top of PHP, MySQL, and Apache, so the caching strategy is the same.

Themes and Skins

Themes in WordPress are where the look and feel, layout and design live, while for MediWiki these are skins. As with most things CSS (and a little javascript), the customization can be extensive. The trouble with skins, besides the fact that most are very ugly, is that the paradigm of the Wikipedia page generally dominates. Wikiwand has gone far to beat back that design, and done so effectively.

Templates, Templates, Templates

Templates tend to grow like mushrooms. For example this page has 53 templates. There are mainly just a few template types: - Page or fragment formatting templates - Info-box style templates - Weird parsing or inclusion templates From an architecture perspective, this is obviously nuts (a technical term). First off, getting down to the root of it, there should be widgets, templates, and plugins. While certainly it is convenient that this is the WordPress model, the reality is that not managing these issues site-wide is a recipe for disaster. One ends up with... 53 templates. Bartleby the Scrivener, indeed.

Javascript and CSS

For WordPress, including javascript and css is generally straightforward, and there are plugins such as the masterful HeadSpace which makes insertion of includes straightforward. In comparison, MediaWiki's approach doesn't always work very well. There are the common files, but adding includes is not obvious. Wikia documentation helps out (but again, is incomplate). Technical documentation of MediaWiki is by far the weakest and most troubling part of the distribution. Technical documentation is either non-existent, incomplete, or out of date -- usually a combination of all three.

MediaWiki and WordPress - Deep in Technical Debt

The attempts to make sane improvements to MediaWiki and WordPress (and most recently, WooCommerce) have exposed an enormous amount of technical debt. MediaWiki makes mention of this, but their attempts to address this are essentially don't touch what we can wait to touch later. WooCommerce 3.0, in less than a month, has released six bug-fix patches, having broken a huge amount of their customer base. The insanity continues on WordPress releases, which no longer have timelines (only some kind of undefined feature release rationale).

A Revisit for Sanity

Both MediaWiki and WordPress have extremely poor core technology stack, and while it can be made to work and scale, the process is generally painful. In addition, with core version control distributed collaborative editing and website display, there are few reasons not to build something that can fix both of these problems, provided the core functionality of both applications is built first, and the architecture is thought out better. This should fix speed issues and caching issues.

Challengers and Replacements

Because part of the issue has to do with the database requirements, flat file systems have a distinct advantage. Additionally, active, full-featured projects that are able to do some kind of migration/import, are a strong consideration. Two in particular are: - WordPress / Woocommerce --> Grav / Gravcart - Mediawiki --> Dokuwiki

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Status of Copyright – Nov 2016

TPP and Copyright provisions

There have been several developments regarding copyright law, the most profound being that TPP appears to be dead in the water. TPP copyright provisions would have negatively impacted many countries in terms of costs to consumers, including Canada, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Viet Nam.

  • A New Zealand analysis disingenuously compares Australian with New Zealand impacts and claims that the New Zealand impact is less believable because it is three times per capita of the Australian estimate. However, Australia has less to implement, specifically the Life + 70 provision for copyright length (Australia already has this, New Zealand has Life + 50). Nevertheless the costs are high, at $ 55m NZD for New Zealand, a country with 4.5 million population, and $ 88m AUD for Australia, a country with 23.1 million population. Canada's cost based, on the New Zealand study, is set to be around $ 454m CAD, for a population of 35.2 million.
    • However, because John Key and his corrupt government is in the pockets of big media, they have actually passed all provisions required to meet the TPP guidelines, even after Obama has called an end to TTP promotion and the president-elect of the United States has campaigned against TPP and made a statement after the election that he will withdraw from the TPP in the first 100 days. Really this is a time-wasting exercise since these new provisions become law only if the TPP comes into effect, which requires 85% of GDP signatories, and without the US, that bar cannot be passed. Still, the political language is unclear and copyright length in particular may be extended without any reference to the TPP.
    • Note that this is the same government which implemented an ebook tax of 15%. Since this is collected by ebook providers (specifically, the big five of ebook publishing: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google)
  • Japan is in a particularly difficult position with extending copyright length as well as other provisions, as there are healthy creative communities which rely on current protections and fair use. Anime and Manga are particularly at risk. In addition, any benefits to Japan and Japanese creators would be far outweighed by increased costs largely to the United States media companies. Not only would certain creative traditions and markets be made illegal based on an alien law foisted upon them -- a law whose passing in the United States was solely based on the vast lobbying funds of the US media conglomerates. This is a corporate power and money grab of historic proportions.

WIPO Marrakesh Treaty Comes into Effect

In September 2016, Canada became the 20th signatory to the Marrakesh Treaty of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). This is the first WIPO copyright treaty which expressly promulgates limitations and exceptions for consumers, rather than increased property rights for creators. Marrakesh becomes effective 30 September 2016.

Fifty one countries were signatories to the treaty, and twenty countries have ratified it, including: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, Israel, Mali, Mexico, Mongolia, North Korea, Paraguay, Peru, Singapore, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, and Uruguay. Marrakesh is not a law, per se, but rather a requirement on countries to include in their copyright laws, specific provisions regarding accessibility to works for the blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled.

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Video Workflow – Free Tools

The best part of video is how convenient it has become. However, it is still a lot of work. The tools I like to use also need to be fast... and free. This is an important aspect of liberty. Even for short videos there is usually a combination of images, video clips and audio that needs some kind of manipulation. I've got a quick workflow that seems to do the trick.

YouTube Video Editor

The key to this is the YouTube video editor, which enables very fast splitting and combining of video and also the creation of single image video segments as well as slideshow videos. Where this falls down is on the audio side, as YouTube does not allow (though it once did some time ago in the past) the uploading of one's own audio (apart from audio already embedded in an uploaded video).

Creating Audio files for use in YouTube

To get your audio up so it can be added to YouTube: 1. Create a black image 1920 x 1080 (Inkscape or Gimp) 2. Upload to YouTube in the video editor 3. Drag the image into the video timeline, and extend the image time from the default 5 seconds to the length of the audio track 4. Create the video (set to private) 5. Download the video 6. Open the video inside of Avidemux 7. Add the audio track 8. Set for MPeg4 AVC (x264) video, AAC (Faac) audio, MP4 Muxer output format 9. Save the video 10. Import that back up to YouTube Note that there is a little glitch in that the audio track must be continuous, so add the same audio but set the volume to zero, so that there is a placeholder. For cutting to a different video (but same audio) of say a narrator, just use multiple copies with segments that cross back and forth from (video + audio) to (audio only) to (video + audio) This may seem like a bit of a contortion, but we are still dealing with a free, fast, web-based video editor.

Video Editors and Other Tools

  • Avidemux is a cross platform open source video editing tool. It does a few things quickly, especially swapping out audio, slicing video into smaller parts, transcoding, etc.
  • YouTube Video Downloader Chrome Extension
  • FBDown Video Downloader Chrome Extension
  • Inkscape is a fantastic vector graphics drawing tool with PNG output
  • Gimp is a painful to use, but fully featured (if you can find out how) image editor and painting tool
  • Blender is a 2d and 3d animation tool with a built-in NLE (non-linear video editor). It takes a bit of configuring, but when dealing with more complex issues than a five minute video with a few different cuts, this the tool par excellence.
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Style Guide

This is a permanent page about style guides used in writing and for marketing. In particular there two kinds of Style Guides: - Brand Style Guide (for product designers, pr types, and all public and corporate communications) - Publishing Style Guide (for writers, editors, publishers) These two intersect and the Brand Style Guide should refer to the Publishing Style Guide.

Publishing Style Guide

This includes all forms of media (text, audio, video, graphics) and includes those elements and forms usually covered by manuals of style. Included are such things as spelling preferences, form of English (American, British, etc.), punctuation (Oxford comma), preferred voice/pronoun use (3rd person). As well the kinds of markup used (PHP Markdown Extra) and preferred editors and other writing and publishing tools. Workflow can be included in the Publishing Style Guide to some extent, but likely is best in a separate document, titled Publishing Workflow.

Brand Style Guide

This includes all forms of media related to the brand imagery including graphic logos, typography, color palette, as well as contact information and other standardized corporate boilerplate. Everything about the brand name and visual and interactive personality should be included. Also such things as the corporate mission, vision, tag-lines, and the like, as well as things like business card templates, letterhead, etc. - Example of color palette

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Visual Studio Code Editor

Visual Studio Code Editor -- aka vscode, code -- is my current editor of choice. I used the venerable Atom editor for a number of years. Both use Electron as the platform for development, aka node/js/css. Atom was a Facebook project which has since been abandoned. It is very similar, and not difficult to switch to. In the past I've looked at, and used, quite a few editors, but vscode is the best for a desktop operating system. For something like browser-only or a mobile OS (e.g., ChromeOS, Android), then something horribly limited like Caret is an option, though I prefer the Android app QuickEdit Pro.

Continue reading Visual Studio Code Editor

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Markdown Specifications and Editors

I use Markdown daily. The flavor I use is Markdown Extra. I use this in WordPress websites with a very old (2013) version of the Markdown Extra plugin, which simply continues to work. I also use this in local files that I then turn into epub and pdf files using Pandoc, which supports Markdown Extra (markdown_phpextra).

For files, I use the .md extension and simply write in Markdown. I don't generally have to look at display code, except when working with complex tables. The open preview option in VSCode works well in this case. VSCode uses Markdown-IT implementation, which has nice extentions that make it pretty much like Markdown Extra, and better. For example the markdown-its-attrs and markdown-is-footnote mostly completes the Markdown Extra syntax I regularly use. There are also additions such as markdown-its-table-of-contents which makes it easy to create a wiki-like [[TOC]] table of contents.

There are additional ways to extend Markdown, such as supporting embedded media, such as for WordPress using the shortcodes to easily drop in YouTube videos and the like.

For VSCode and markdown-its extensions there are things like Markdown+Math which embeds KaTeX for math rendering, and Markdodwn Extended that includes a number of popular extensions in a bundle. There is also things like the Graphviz Markdown Preview extension.

Another option is to run Pandoc as the Markdown parser for preview, and there are extensions that enable that. In fact Pandoc might be a great global processor suitable for desktop and server implementations. Be that as it may, a multitude of implementations that can be tweaked to provide good enough markup support is really all that is needed, and is quite accessible.

Preface

Markdown, a sleepy little implementation and thousands of related projects has finally metastasized into several projects/collections aimed to provide better guidance. Basically it is growing up, Gruber be damned. As such, editing (and storing) markdown text is important as well. Commonmark and reference implementations such as Pandoc and Markdown-IT, with extensions, pretty much cover the version 2.0 of Markdown and offer guidance and support.


BELOW NEEDS TO BE DRASTICALLY REORGANIZED/CUT SO THAT ONLY THE IMPORTANT SYNTAX IS LEFT


What to Know - Markdown and Editors

Below are more resources, but in simple terms, markdown (now wrested out of Gruber's grasp), however it may be called or named, is the means by which we edit text that will be displayed in books and on the web and mobile devices. Yes, there are helpers and complementors, and TeX/LaTeX/XeLaTeX does not go away (but becomes more important).

So, all writing should be in this format, get rid of the WYSIWYG, stop using Google Docs, get everything into plaintext with simple markup. True, there are problems with spreadsheets as they don't markup easily/well, but we'll deal with that later. Editors should be open source, period. Yes, we can use cloud services, but all data in the cloud should be (with minor exceptions such as configuration) downloadable and editable offline (and of course portable, that is in plaintext). Github issues is a great example:

So, we go with the Atom editor. If that makes us a Github fanboy, so be it.

Markdown Initiatives

Retarded Markdown

Markdown qua Markdown has been retarded since birth (or slightly thereafter). In that sense it is kind of a dwarf or a little person. That is, it can do some things, but not the kind of workload required of the fully grown. People make a big deal out of Markdown not being broken, and it certainly isn't, when taken at face value and measured at the level of a dwarf. But we need more grown up and developed markup in the modern world, and all the grafted-on appendages will not due. Hence the proliferation of Markdown extensions. People call these flavors, and they are certainly enhancements to make Markdown taste better (or really, become more functional). But this grafting on of limbs always has the feeling of personal modifications and the result a beauty contest between Frankenstein monsters.

Recent Developments in Markdown

Interestingly, there are two significant developments in Markdown, a more-fully-specified Markdown syntax called Common Markdown and an IETF/APPSAWG Markdown media type draft. Both represented long-needed steps forward, Gruber be damned. CommonMark has both C and Javascript implementations of Markdown as well.

These changes are significant in that, text/markdown can be recognized as a media type, that is a label for content, such as that transported via HTTP/HTTPS.

So better, let's start with a plan, not to operate on the small historical body of markdown, but to see it as a single species in a world of evolution, and to learn better and more from its better adapted cousins. Namely: TeX/LaTeX/XeLaTeX, HTML, and ePub (a form of HTML). For this is where we have come.

  • Example of simple need to extend markdown but with the incessant rejoinders that extending it makes it not markdown

Markup for Publishers = MarkPub

What we have are several standards that we use, as well as specific needs (publishing, though that could be considered to be quite broad). And so, we can produce a markup which can be used in these cases (and possibly others).

There are several limitations of retarded markdown vis-a-vis html which make for an easy target, specifically the use of CSS classes.

Math Issues

MathJax (see StackEditor implementation) vs. MathML vs. other such...

Commenting

Some text1. Final bit of text for the paragraph.

Some more text, another paragraph here.

![This is the figure caption][fig_id]

[fig_id]: http://mmd.png "This is where the title goes" height=45px width=120px

To strike-through text:

This is is a test. This is {--is --}a test. This is is a test.

To add text:

This a test. This {++is ++}a test. This is a test.

to change text:

This isn't a test. This {~~isn't~>is~~} a test. This is a test.

to add comments:

This is a test {<>} This is a test.

Bland Markdown

As noted, there are various flavors of markdown (see also whatismarkdown.com), including original markdown, as well as Github Flavored, Reddit flavored, StackOverflow flavored, SourceForge flavored, Tumblr markdown (possibly PHP Markdown Extra), PHP Markdown Extra, MultiMarkdown, and Pandoc flavored. This is not to mention supersets such as Maruku and Kramdown.

Non-Implementation Syntax Recommendation

So, due to this proliferation, we introduce a non-implementation recommendation. The need for this is felt most by editors and writers (and publishers), for whom implementation details are not important, but a single style guide syntax to follow is a necessity. In order for one's Markdown code to be as portable as possible, a single subset that is most widely used is seen as the best approach for an organization as well as individuals who produce and edit Markdown markup now and in the future. Hence, Bland Markdown aka Markdown bland aka Mb.

Bland Markdown

Bland Markdown Syntax Rationale

The main features animating the decision regarding the particular syntax of Bland Markdown is to define a set of syntax that is easy to use and edit. This means that in some cases where there are several options for particular Markdown markup, a single markup is chosen for memorability and ease of use, along with the widest Markdown flavor implementation support. We use a modified icon based on the Markdown icon, with the down arrow replaced with a lower case b for bland.

Note that a recommended bland syntax is preferable over testing tools such as Babelmark 2 (which doesn't fully work properly as the PHP Markdown is not parsing, as of this posting). (See also the PHP Markdown dingus for markdown reformatting.)

Note also that Jeff Atwood tried to do a call for large site users of Markdown to get together and create a standard, which unfortunately has not gotten much mileage, another reason for a bland syntax.

Update: this actually did get takeup and became CommonMark. And there are still yet reasons for a non-implementation syntax recommendation, along the lines of a Markdown Style Guide.

Bland Markdown Syntax

License: Bland Markdown is released under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Headers

Hash/Pound sign is used to denote H1, H2, etc., as in:

# Header
## Subhead

Ordered and Unordered Lists

Ordered lists are numbered lists, and unordered lists are bulleted lists. Bulleted lists are to be created using the minus sign.

- We suggest the minus sign, as it is easier to type than a plus sign
- And will not be confused with the asterisks used for bold and italics

Whereas ordered lists have actual numbers and periods in them (though in fact ordered lists ignore the actual number and create a new numbered order starting at 1).

1. The first item
2. The second item

Bold and Italics (aka Strong and Emphasis)

*Italics*
**Bold**
***Bolded Italics***

Notes: For a while I was using underscores (_italics_, __bold__, and ___bold italics___) but I ran across some incompatibilities in some markdown implementations. At the time I was also using * as bullets, but prefer to use a character to mean only one thing in the Bland syntax recommendation (either bullets, or italics/bold, but not both). If you can support both formats, then that would be the most compatible and portable in terms of markdown marked up content.

For more about _ vs * for em/strong See: Commonmark discussion. Note that it is useful to go back to the typewriter, which had only two options:

  • Underscore was used for emphasis, which has now become italics in printed material (and on the web is replaced by html markup or a typeface), though some typographic philistines still use underscore.
  • ALL CAPS was used for STRONG, which still exists but is largely replaced by bold strong (which is now, as with italics/emphasis, in html markup or a typeface).

Bland Markdown is a syntax recommendation that tries for compatibility and portability of content across systems, which is why we want to use asterisks for both italics and bold, as it behaves more consistently, and has the merits of providing a better visual indicator in untransformed text (along with a hyphen used for unordered list items).

Images

![Alt text](URL to image)

optionally include a title

![Alt text](URL to image "Optional Title")

Note also that we do not recommend any kind of Figure markup, as this is not straightforward and can best be handled manually (in a separate paragraph, say with manually numbered and italicized text) or with external scripts.

  • Thanks to Andy Van Den Heuvel of Shuttle for pointing out that Alt Text is required in HTML.

Another great feature of Markdown Extra is the ability to add classes and IDs, such as:

![Alt text](URL to image "Optional Title"){.img-right}

This would add class="img-right" which in the css style could image float right.

Note, if you wanted to have an image link to a different image, the syntax can follow this image style guide:

[![](/images/mcneill/2016/future-of-the-desktop/intel-compute-stick-t.jpg "Intel Compute Stick"){.img-right}] (/images/mcneill/2016/future-of-the-desktop/intel-compute-stick-l.jpg "Intel Compute Stick")

(Note the code here has been artificially truncated for legibility, the four lines above are a single line.)

URLs

URLs are either plain (where the link text is nearly identical to the URL) or with custom link text. In the case of plain URLs, simply enclose in angle brackets (less than and greater than signs), as such:

`` Hence, If URLs have link text, then use the image markup, minus the exclamation mark, as such: [Jeff Mcneill](https://jeffmcneill.com) Hence, Jeff Mcneill

Code Blocks

Paragraph-level code blocks simply have four spaces to begin each line, whereas inline code is marked up with backticks, as in:

This is marked up `code`

Escaping backticks is performed by using double backticks to enclose the code block and inside single backticks will be exposed as literals.

Fenced Code Blocks

Fenced code blocks come in many flavors: Github, PHP Markdown Extra, Pandoc (a superset) and MultiMarkdown just adopted the Github style of fenced code blocks (following Github). Four spaces or three backticks and a newline provide Github style, as well as some syntax highlighting by naming the code being fenced. PHP Markdown Extra uses three tildes, and also supports class naming (as does Pandoc).

Line Breaks

Handily, line breaks can be instituted by typing two spaces at the end of a line. For visuals, simply add a single hard return after the two spaces, and not two hard returns as normally to institute a paragraph break. Note: This alone (the use of two spaces to create a <br />) should be a caution to people who have the unfortunate two spaces after each period habit.

Horizontal Rule

Five asterisks separated by two hard returns above and below is the most compatible format, as such:

*****

Quoted Text

Taken from email correspondence, quoted text simply has a greater-than symbol > and a space for each line, as such:

> Quoted text

Tables

Tables are trouble for several reasons. While Markdown is an improvement over basic HTML, tables are difficult to edit in terms of viewing the data. Also, not all Markdown flavors support Markdown inside of the tables, and there is also a variety of formatting that would need to be done in raw HTML. Finally, there are many viewers, i.e., early ebook readers, which do not deal with tables well if at all. Therefore, most tables are best rendered as images and then used and shared as such. That said, sometimes an HTML table is something to have. Therefore we suggest the following syntax:

Right | Left | Default | Center -----:|:-----|---------|:-----: 12 | 12 | 12 | 12 123 | 123 | 123 | 123 1 | 1 | 1 | 1

Renders as follows:

Right Left Default Center
12 12 12 12
123 123 123 123
1 1 1 1

Bland Markdown Extended (aka Spicy Markdown)

There are two kinds of extensions to Bland Markdown, one for the web, and another for print/epub (sometimes for both). In the future, this may be dispensed with, but each has some requirements that can both be met. A full implementation of Spicy Markdown (SM) will be developed in 2014.

Superscript and Subscript

MultiMarkdown recently adopted a similar syntax for superscript and subscript to that of Pandoc. For syntax, use carets or tildes, as in:

x^2 or x^2^ y~z or y~z~

The single delimiter terminates at first whitespace or punctuation. Dual delimiter allows for punctuation to be scripted, but not white space.

Footnotes

Footnotes are supported similarly (though not identically) in PHP Markdown Extra, MultiMarkdown and Pandoc. The markdown consists of a named footnote marker (rendered as a superscripted number), and the footnote itself.

[^footnote-name] Hence, [^footnote-name]: Footnote text

Math Formulas

We recommend the use of LaTeX (XeLaTeX) and for the web some kind of plugin to parse the native LaTeX markup, such as Enable LaTeX or LaTeX for WordPress.

Document metadata

This part is left to be done, including Pandoc, MultiMarkdown and LaTeX document metadata styles.

CriticMarkup

As more applications integrate CriticMarkup this somewhat unwieldy markup, it can be used (or perhaps a more streamlined version).

Image Markup

A part of the syntax recommendation should also be image naming and location, but that is more along the lines of a Common URL Structure.

Another key factor of image markup has to do with captioning as well as figure numbering. This can be done in CSS (for x/html/ebook implementations) as well as LaTeX, but there should be something that works well in Markdown. Unfortunately, the MMD syntax doesn't work for Pandoc, or something is screwy. I've got to work this out further. See a fork of the Php Markdown extra...

Better would be to also include layout information such float:left;margins 0 10px 0 0. People make a big deal about partitioning this information, but that becomes harder to maintaim. When one is inserting an image, they are thinking about layout and presentation, which is why having that facility is important.

Video Markup

There is a handy Smart YouTube plugin which allows for appending a v at the end of http of a YouTube video url, and will embed it (along with HTML5 support). Other video sources are also supported. In addition, there are many controls for default site-wide YouTube video settings in the plugin.

A better approach would be simply embedding a YouTube video URL within something like [ embed ] . . . [ /embed ]

Embedded Slideshows

Slideshare slideshows can be embedded in WordPress with a plugin. That supports the embedding of the Slideshare share code for wordpress.com but better is the use of open-source slideshows and/or documents (especially open standards). Wikipedia and other wiki projects have struggled with this with alternative viewers/players and such, but if we focus on syntax there should be some kind of embedding or playing that could have a markdown-like syntax (perhaps in the future). Note also that I've yet to work out Markdown markup for slideshows that could then be converted into X/HTML/ePub/PDF slideshows and then uploaded to Slideshare (to be embedded as such). There are various syntax options out there for this, such as found in Pandoc. TBD...

Spicy Markdown

Spicy Markdown is a significant departure from Bland Markdown as well as many/most other Markdown implementations. Most such implementations try and limit themselves to the spirit of original markdown in terms of parsimony, and extend it only in terms of some additional incremental (but important) extensions. Pandoc tries to do a bit more.

Spicy Markdown

Note: This post is under occasional update.

Difference in Spicy Markdown from other Markdown

  • Spicy Markdown is different because it is an attempt not so much to extend Markdown but to create a superset of website tools. It might be better called - Spicy Shortcode instead of Spicy Markdown but indeed Markdown is the core markup.
  • Spicy Markdown aims to produce a static html page that is fast, and includes ways of optimizing images for effective display.
  • Spicy Markdown also supports various other kinds of features of Wordress (such as ` Continue reading Markdown Specifications and Editors

  1. Here is the text of the footnote