[Hpr] Community News (Completely Off-Topic)

Carl D Hamann carl.hamann at gmail.com
Wed Dec 9 12:09:58 PST 2015

On Wed, Dec 9, 2015 at 12:46 PM, Ken Fallon <ken at fallon.ie> wrote:
> I'm amazed someone actually made it to the end.

I actually rather enjoyed the show--particularly Ken's rants about UI
and the shownote discussion. Dave described something, which amounts
to a strict subset of markdown--the features most commonly seen in
plaintext: ordered lists, unordered lists, headings, paragraphs, etc.
I don't really see this as a problem because we have to do the same
thing when saying shownotes can be xhtml; the reality is we don't
really want a contributor to throw arbitrary javascript in their
shownotes even though it's valid xhtml.

> Plain text is great but we do run into a problem when someone wants to
> add even the most basic of formatting to it.
> Take for example his is a list
>  - Cow
>  - Dog
>  - Cat

Valid markdown.

> This is also a list
> * Cow
> * Dog
> * Cat

This too.

> and so is this
> + Cow
> + Dog
> + Cat

Also this one.

> What leads to most work is when someone *doesn't* pick a standard. We
> have had lots of examples where plain flowing text is mixed with html,
> with pre-formatted text, with what looks like markdown. This can take
> hours to sort out.
> So if there is any formatting in the text, it makes it a lot easier to
> process if we pick a standard and use it correctly. But which of the
> thousands, and what right do we have to dictate a standard to anyone ?

I am a huge fan of markdown, but not everyone knows what it is.
Additionally, there's the problem that there are a bevy of flavors of
markdown. For something like this, my recommnedation would be
[CommonMark](http://commonmark.org/), a formal spec put forward
jointly by some of the biggest users of markdown. The best way to
introduce it to users is to include some kind of live preview or
dingus like the one at
[commonmark.org](http://spec.commonmark.org/dingus/) and .

I can understand the trepidation against imposing one view on the
entire HPR community. My recommendation, therefore, is to let the
community decide. The most open-ended would be to have something like
a drop-down menu to select a format to use, with live-preview if
available. For example:

- markdown
- xhtml
- unformatted text
- please help

And if the list doesn't have someone's preferred format, all they need
to do is provide a tool for converting it to xhtml. Now it's up to the
mailing list to decide: are we ok with picking one or a few
automateable formats to use on the upload form?

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