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Author Topic: What do you find lacking in markdown?  (Read 1075 times)

Paul Keith

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What do you find lacking in markdown?
« on: January 10, 2013, 02:18 PM »
Just a micro-task I've been planning to make up for my lack of coding skills.

The idea is to use a form of manual markup/simplified markdown style syntax for a concept that can sidestep the task of paper -> software -> tablet import/export.

It has some principles of GTD and I already have some things figured out but it can be hard to figure out the flaws for markdown without having some experience developing a more complex syntax.

The things I have found so far are:

-Table formatting (Even with Knowsy Notes special format recognition, this is pretty flimsy even for basic table cell insertion and white space reduction)

-Links (no quick jumps so the syntax has to be special in order to work well with find but also work well with eye skims to work well for paper)

-No file import (so any specialized task has to beat and exceed the traditional Date - Do this <entry> or @ <person name> format of GTD to be notable)

-Kills the freeform of paper such as Cornell Method Style Notetaking for software but often kills the paper because software needs tabs. Also even software to software copy - paste, more syntax means more rote memorization towards the syntax

-Visually discouraging syntax. A poster I read wants __this word__ to be underline formatted in meaning but instead it italicized it. I'm also not a fan of double symbols. **this word** takes longer to write then mouse -> B or highlight text -> ctrl+B

-Lack of dashboard and kanbans that are so crucial to making kanbans and sticky notes work. I think David Allen has also shifted slightly towards the sticky note is in the spot where you need to perform a task instead of adding a location to a list type of thinking for GTD.

-Different aligned syntax. I think it just becomes Forster's Autofocus minus a highlight pen instead of markdown if everything begins with @ or format stays more as a template.

What I have right now is just something that looks kinda sorta a mindmap but not being one and it's not notable enough yet to be shared (it currently relies on just one symbol and it still uses redundant double typing of symbols) but I wonder if anyone can help provide some hint of other things I may be missing. Specifically if you guys have an idea for minimum number of syntax symbols before it becomes complicated or forgettable, I would appreciate the hints. The elegance of a true markdown syntax is something that I have never quite figured out.  I also lack experience with asciidoc but all the screenshots I've seen seemed scary and appears to be hallmarks of any image associated with ascii.

Like a three equal symbol I think is good enough for a table:

the word came before the egg

but the first google image search result for ascii is

the word came before the egg

I get that it could just be preference but I think it's a weakness not a strength of markdown when syntaxes start becoming drawdowns rather than markdowns especially if the image is merely to hint at a separator.