Posted on Tue 13 December 2011

Recently I’ve been writing a lot of markdown. Now “What the hell is markdown” you might ask. Markdown is a markup language that serves to simplify the task of writing HTML, which is both cumbersome and annoying at times, since It requires you to write all those HTML elements you you need for your website or your fancy blog post. You know the ones you need but don’t actually want to have to type every time, like lists, paragraphs or even headers.

If you’re tired of writing everything down in clean HTML too you should definitely try writing in markup. Tumblr can easily accept input in markdown and there are plugins available door several other blogging platforms, even referenced on the project page on daring fireball. I have not checked if there are plugins available for WordPress but I’d argue that there’s usually a plugin for everything on that platform.

That is if you intend to use such a platform’s editor. Gruber provides Markdown as a Python script on his website which can convert his Markdown text into valid HTML and/or XHTML. If you’re using Linux or OS X your OS probably came with Python installed. I don’t know how to use Python on Windows and there’s a chance I’ll never know unless someone tells me.

In order to use the script as an easy command in your terminal emulator of choice you have to copy it into a folder which you specify in your terminal’s PATH and remove the file ending should you wish to do that (as the script is prepared to work even without its file ending).

So I suggest giving markdown a spin and see if it speeds up your workflow or just find it to be convenient like I do.