Preprocessors for Weblogs.

   19 March 2004, early evening

Those of you who enjoy writing on the web, but are less then impressed with the way MT converts your writing into HTML, may want to look at the following two programs: Textile and Markdown.

Textile has been around for a while, and is basically a shorthand for HTML. Instead of using the tag <em> to emphasizes some piece of text, you simple mark your text with underscores, like so: emphasis. There is similar notation for most of the important html tags you would want to use. Also, textile will automatically encode entities (like &), will convert—to ’—’, and make your quotes curly. There is a moveable type plugin to let you use textile to format your text instead of using moveable type’s lame ‘convert line breaks’ function.

Markdown has all the features of textile as far as I can tell, but the design ideas behind it are slightly different. You can read in-depth the reasoning for the syntax markdown uses here.

I don’t use either program at the moment. Most of what I write is short, and not filled with lots of HTML. However, if you find you put a lot of HTML in your posts, then these programs definitely will make the code for the posts much easier to read.



Don't be shy, you can comment too!

Some things to keep in mind: You can style comments using Textile. In particular, *text* will get turned into text and _text_ will get turned into text. You can post a link using the command "linktext":link, so something like "google": will get turned in to google. I may erase off-topic comments, or edit poorly formatted comments; I do this very rarely.