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There's no greater metaphor for the detachment of the tech-elite from the average user than the pervasiveness of Markdown. Its a poor answer to a problem that exists solely because of lack of coordination among the very tech-elite who rely on MD.

An open spec for efficient binary encoding of formatted text is the thing we've needed for 20 years - not more MD tools.




A major point of markdown is that it is not a binary format and can be read anywhere without a dedicated markdown viewer. Personally I absolutely hate rich text editors, because they try to be smart with formatting, text adjacency, and copying.


I have two questions: 1) What's the problem that's being solved? 2) And what's a good answer?

I'm genuinely curious because I've never considered Markdown anything more than a way to more easily render text -- which it seems to do fine. But, maybe I've just exposed myself as an average user..


1) See here[1] - problem very specifically being solved is lack of readability of HTML (and HTML being the only open portable spec for formatted text).

2) A good answer is another, more efficient open spec for encoding formatted text - meaning I can use any app to format my text, then open it in another app and be sure I have full fidelity. This fidelity would be constrained by a requirement of HTML output.

[1]: https://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax#philosop...


Isn't the answer CommonMark?


The average-user goes only with WYSIWYG.

The power-user had to with HTML before markdown/restructuredtext/other came along. I'd call that an improvement.

If anything, the "elite" is powered by latex only. Which is another level of crazy entirely.


> An open spec for efficient binary encoding of formatted text is the thing we've needed for 20 years - not more MD tools.

How would this improve anything? Is there something about Markdown that makes it inherently inferior that I don't know about? I don't consider myself a tech-elite and Markdown seems just fine to me.


An efficient binary encoding is not necessary. Just use HTML, which has existed for over 20 years.


Nobody wants another binary encoding, and there's HTML already.


I in general share your sentiment about standardization and fidelity of tools.

I disagree on this completely, here is why:

It is simple format and users can figure it out and it will empower them. Some will know very basic things, but others can learn and do more.




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