Why don't people add that to the title? It would prevent non-mac users from getting their expectations up.
It does intelligent preview (the paragraph being edited is kept into view and highlighted), has autosave and a simple document manager that lets you export HTML or markdown (RTF coming soon), and also has a converter, to convert rich text TO markdown (for your legacy content).
Check it out! It's called "Akayame" for Yet Another Markdown Editor, at http://akaya.me
It's almost as if it's a statement _not_ to say it upfront.
It transmits the unspoken assumption that you don't care about anything else or you don't expect your visitors to.
It was just an oversight in the Hacker News post title which has now been corrected.
Your "giant ONLY ON MAC OS X disclaimer" is a strawman; what would be normal and courteous is simply mentioning that it's for OS X somewhere at the top. There are many, many product sites that do it successfully (e.g. http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/products/writeroom).
The post title on HN is a separate issue that's actually less of a problem. A random link to a product on HN doesn't carry an implicit assumption that it'll run on my OS. I don't mind clicking on it and discovering it doesn't (and besides, the author can't control the text of a link that leads to their site). But when I need to scroll down five pages on the site to ascertain I can't actually use it, that's irksome.
Markup syntax like markdown, asciidoc, reStructuredText, etc. strive primarily to preserve readability with the least obtrusive syntax, and with a smaller learning curve (at least for the most basic usage).
So why use it instead of HTML? Like you, I typically write HTML in HTML, but often use asciidoc for other purposes (documentation, recipes, quick notes, etc.), because:
- One source document can output to multiple formats, like XHTML, LaTeX, PDF, DocBook, EPUB, Man page, etc. It's even trivial to output to a specific HTML DOCTYPE. That's pretty neat!
- Diffs are far more readable when not swimming in markup soup.
- HTML is overkill for many purposes. In fact, lightweight markup has its roots in email/newsgroup markup. HTML email is still a compatibility nightmare. Wouldn't it be great if a new standard for rich text email was developed, based on something as simple as markdown? It would be trivial to support it in webmail interfaces and the source would still be readable in plaintext email clients or if the sender went overboard with style choices.
- Archivability. Many old HTML documents render poorly in modern browsers, mainly due to style choices that seemed sensible at the time. Lightweight markup focuses more on the content and discourages going off on a stylistic tangent you may regret later. In other words, it does a good job of separating content from presentation, so your source documents will always remain readable and transform to something readable with relatively few tweaks in external stylesheets or configuration files.
Because it's easy to learn without getting lost in the arcane details of validation and compatibility, it's understandable why it's gaining popularity.
Let's say you have a bunch of untrained writers who needs to do some semantic formatting. They don't know HTML, so you can't ask them to just write HTML. If you let them run rampant with a WYSIWYG word processor (probably Word) you'll wind up with monstrosities where fonts were manually bolded and enlarged to indicate headers and such, and someone has to clean up after it.
If you have Markdown editors, though, you can turn an untrained writer loose with a cheat sheet ("write # to get a header" and such) and you're all set. As a bonus, you can put the Markdown document in version control, export to formats besides HTML, and a few other useful things.
Some major websites like reddit have also successfully made use of Markdown and its competitors to permit rich text comments from people who know nothing about HTML.
I would't say markdown is any easier to write because the verbosity of HTML tags and structure is usually taken care of with editor macros. It's definitely easier to read the source though.
Do others keep their final versions in Markdown?
I have no affiliation, just a happy customer. MacVim + Marked side by side is a neat combo.
There're just too many comments and I can't watch this page minutes by minutes.
If you have questions or suggestions, please email me directly.
Thank you very much!
I just have two small requests.
First, it seems you're using libdiscount (or objc bindings to libdiscount) to compile markdown, could you give the ability to pass flags to the compiler ? (e.g. activate footnotes).
Second but less critical to me, I'd love to be able to tweak the CSS of the generated page (less critical because I can just tweak the style.css file in ORCDiscount).
If Mou had those two (small) features I'd gladly donate/buy it when it comes out.
It would also be useful if users could supply their own css for the preview rendering...that way you could see what it'll look like with your own stylesheet.
Custom css for preview rendering is already possible now.
Simply edit the css file inside Mou's app bundle:
But do backups first!
(OT: Nice clean personal website you have there.)
If possible, run it on Lion. :)
No syntax highlighting which is kind of a bummer.