Text-Markdown reviews

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Text-Markdown (1.0.24) *****

This is not intended as a review for this module, but for Markdown itself, the markup system. It is quite easy to use, requires very little work to add markup to ordinary text, and intuitive: take any plain text message from Usenet, pull it through markdown.pl and the HTML you get is likely pretty close to what you would hope for. It's successful: it is used as the markup system Reddit (reddit.com/) and StackOverflow (stackoverflow.com/).

And this module and script here, is what started it all.

The way the module is implemented does not score highly for style, for me: conversion of input text to HTML is done by repeatedly replacing markup with HTML.

But it works. It's fast enough for most day to day uses: formatting takes just a tiny fraction of a second, for a normal input file. And up to now, I've never seen it go wrong and convert text to something that doesn't make sense. So it is definitely "good enough" technology.

There allegedly are implementations of Markdown (in other languages), that are based on a traditional grammar and its associated parser. I remember claims that it would be up to 2 orders of magnitude faster.

On the other hand, I think of the current implementation as "do what I mean" design. Just like Perl itself. Constructing a grammar for such a markup language is not trivial, and remote from the intuitive ideas how how it should work. Getting intuitive results is very important for markup systems, and I don't think you can guarantee that with a grammar based converter.

Markdown works. It's a good base to use for a simple markup system for a web site, a CMS, or a web forum. And if just server-side formatting doesn't work out, there are still other ports for other uses, for example Showdown, which is a client side Javascript implementation.

Bart Lateur - 2009-08-24T10:30:58 (permalink)

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Text-Markdown (1.0.3) ***

The documentation is off on another blog rather than in the POD, which is not ideal, but okay. The module itself works very well except for lacking wide character support. However, if you need wide character support, the patch in rt.cpan.org/Public/Bug/Display.html?i... works like a champ.

hanenkamp - 2007-11-03T21:38:47 (permalink)

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