[conspire] markdown and pandoc

Margaret Wendall mwendall at gmail.com
Thu Apr 19 19:36:39 PDT 2012

Thank you for doing this with Tex *etal*! I spent almost 30 years in the
typography business and one of the things that was drummed into my head on
my first day was "Keep It Simple Stupid." (The other was to leave
everything I read at work in the shop.) Good advice.

On Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 2:52 AM, Nick Moffitt <nick at zork.net> wrote:

> Dan Bikle:
> > Generally for me,
> > Higher Level is better.
> > LyX now on my Radar.
> I have to say that I like "higher-level" markup specifically in that I
> prefer my source text to be as legible and readable as possible.  To
> that end I can't stand HTML's requirement that you insert a flurry of
> tags with awkward-to-type </> characters just to make a new paragraph.
> I would always start with something that respects a blank line as a
> paragraph separator.
> I've come to enjoy pandoc, which uses an advanced dialect of markdown
> as its preferred source markup language.  It supports some of the
> features of TeX/LaTeX (bibliographic citations, for example) that aren't
> in pure markdown, but it won't do everything.
> But for the most part, pandoc source documents look just like
> 1990s Usenet ascii-only markup traditions.  You have *italics* and
> **bold** and > for quoted matter, and indentation has the effects you'd
> hope for.
> You can specify custom templates for each of the output formats (HTML,
> LaTeX->PDF, epub, etc.) if you need better styling.  A friend of mine
> has been working on a no-nonsense stylesheet for the sort of bare HTML
> pandoc spits out:
>        https://gitorious.org/typesetter-css
>        (live examples at http://zork.net/~st/typesetter/ )
> The goal of this project is to set good typographical defaults for
> things, rather than splash art-school design elements all over the
> place.  I kind of wish I could reliably insert this stuff into my
> browser defaults somehow!
> One other nice thing is that pandoc actually *parses* the markdown,
> instead of just being a match-and-pray series of regexes (as is the
> original markdown reference implementation).  This is really helpful in
> its goal of being a translator between formats.  You can even feed in an
> HTML document and have it spit out mostly-correct markdown for you.  I
> wonder if I can use that as my reader for the odd html-only mail...
> I used to like reST (as used by Python projects for documentation), but
> the HTML spat out by the docutils processors is really uncomfortable to
> work with in CSS.
> --
> You are in an open field west of a big white house
> with a boarded front door.
> There is a small mailbox here.
> > _
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Margaret Wendall
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" - Juvenal
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