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Author Topic: NANY 2015 Release: MarkdownBuddy  (Read 6575 times)

wraith808

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NANY 2015 Release: MarkdownBuddy
« on: October 08, 2014, 10:38:58 AM »
NANY 2015 Release Information

Application NameMarkdownBuddy
Short DescriptionTool for viewing the parsed version of a markdown document
Supported OSesWindows 7 (Should work in Vista/8 also, but untested)
Web Pagehttp://thinkshui.net...tware/markdownbuddy/
Setup FilePortable
DescriptionMarkdown has taken off in a big way, and I use it in everything from publishing posts on websites to documentation in my code to writing fiction.  I love the descriptive nature of the formatting, and that all of the files are in plain text!  In many cases, however, I like to write in different barebones tools- but I can't see how it looks when it's formatted without opening it in some other editor.  I like the editors that have the real-time preview, but my favorite ones to write in don't have that facility.

On the mac, there is a application called Marked.  It is a Markdown Previewer. Now, you might think as I did- what is the use in having something that's not an editor?  It just previews?  But after you get further into markdown and the various tools out there, it quickly becomes evident that such a tool is invaluable if not essential.
FeaturesImplemented
  • Allows you to pick a file to be previewed
  • Allows the preview to be refreshed manually
  • Allow the export of the parsed document (HTML or PDF)
  • Specify an opacity of the window
  • Allow the changing of the background of the window
  • Allow the user to choose to update the document when it is saved

Planned
  • Allow the user to specify whether the window should always be on top or not
  • Allow the changing of options in the parsing of the document
ScreenshotsMarkdownBuddy1.png
Screencastplaceholder
Documentationplaceholder
InstallationWith .NET 4.5 installed, unzip application to location and run.
UninstallingDelete application install location.
NotesRequires .NET 4.5.


Original Precis:

Quote
I've gotten into Markdown in a big way, and one thing that I miss from my mac when I'm writing on windows is Marked.  So just like last year when I did the overlay tool from a tool that I found on the Mac, I'm going to do something similar to Marked for Windows.

From the Marked site:
Quote
Marked is a previewer for Markdown files. Use it with your favorite text editor and it updates every time you save. With robust features for previewing, reviewing and exporting beautiful documents, you can work in plain text while reveling in rich formatting.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 09:02:06 PM by wraith808 »

dr_andus

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Re: NANY 2015 Pledge: Markdown Previewer
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2014, 11:24:45 AM »
Sounds good!  :Thmbsup:

I don't have a Mac, so I don't know how Marked works exactly. I'd tried a number of Markdown editors/viewers in Windows and none of them worked for me. The main issue is that their Table of Contents tend to be limited (e.g. they only get displayed in a certain part of the window or only temporarily, so you can't write and look at it simultaneously). For this reason I write in WriteMonkey, which does have a good repositionable TOC (the "jumps" feature). Then I use Gingko to convert the Markdown text to a .docx file, and then I do the rest of the work in MS Word.

So, would your previewer work with WriteMonkey (.NET 4.0 framework)?

wraith808

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Re: NANY 2015 Pledge: Markdown Previewer
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2014, 02:15:56 PM »
it should work with anything.  Basically, whatever file you have up, I'd hook into the filesystemwatcher for that particular file, and when it is changed (i.e. saved), I'd re-render it.  That way you can use any editor... and still have the benefit of preview as you go.

That's the idea, anyway.

wraith808

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Re: NANY 2015 Alpha Release: MarkdownBuddy
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2014, 03:23:37 PM »
Original Post updated with Alpha Release, and name changed to MarkdownBuddy.

wraith808

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Re: NANY 2015 Alpha Release: MarkdownBuddy
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2014, 11:07:08 PM »
Updated to add PDF export (which took the project from less than 200k to 30MB(!?!)).  I'm using the Pechkin wrapper around the wkhtmltox0.dll- which is the largest part.  I might look into other export engines.  Also thinking about adding HTML export.  Since it's rendered in HTML anyway... I figure I might as well.

UPDATE: Added HTML Export.  Need feedback on whether its confusing- instead of putting some dropdown or something, I just used the expedient of the selected file filter, i.e. if you choose PDF in the save dialog, it will export in PDF- otherwise it's HTML.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 11:15:52 PM by wraith808 »

wraith808

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Re: NANY 2015 Alpha Release: MarkdownBuddy
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2014, 11:46:20 AM »
Any feedback... positive or negative on this?  I'm moving right now, so probably won't be able to finish the additional features until week after next, but wanted to see if there was any feedback.

Thanks!

skwire

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Re: NANY 2015 Alpha Release: MarkdownBuddy
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2014, 02:09:18 PM »
Doh, I overlooked this so I'll check it out when I get back from the store.

dr_andus

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Re: NANY 2015 Alpha Release: MarkdownBuddy
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2014, 03:57:02 PM »
UPDATE: Added HTML Export.  Need feedback on whether its confusing- instead of putting some dropdown or something, I just used the expedient of the selected file filter, i.e. if you choose PDF in the save dialog, it will export in PDF- otherwise it's HTML.

It's not confusing, but it didn't work on my system. Even when PDF is selected (which is the default option), it still saves it as HTML (and so does the HTML option). Personally I don't need the PDF option. Normally I print to PDF, and looks like CTRL+P does trigger the printer, so that's sufficient.

Clicking on the Information icon crashes the app on my system (Win 7, 64-bit).

Also, I had some encoding issues, with dashes, apostrophes, quotation marks and French accented characters being replaced by a dark square with a question mark.

I wasn't sure what the button before the close button is for. It didn't seem to do anything.

Otherwise it works fine, renders Markdown correctly. Aesthetically speaking, I'd prefer if it didn't justify paragraphs or at least the headings (i.e. align text left instead), as it makes the text look messy, by stretching it out (actually the paragraphs look fine, it's the longer headings really that are a problem).

But it's coming together nicely, so keep up the good work! Thanks! :Thmbsup:

wraith808

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Re: NANY 2015 Alpha Release: MarkdownBuddy
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2014, 07:36:00 PM »
UPDATE: Added HTML Export.  Need feedback on whether its confusing- instead of putting some dropdown or something, I just used the expedient of the selected file filter, i.e. if you choose PDF in the save dialog, it will export in PDF- otherwise it's HTML.

It's not confusing, but it didn't work on my system. Even when PDF is selected (which is the default option), it still saves it as HTML (and so does the HTML option). Personally I don't need the PDF option. Normally I print to PDF, and looks like CTRL+P does trigger the printer, so that's sufficient.
it is based off of the extension currently, so if you don't put an extension in, it will default to html.  I might find a different way to do it if I can't get the filter.

Quote
Clicking on the Information icon crashes the app on my system (Win 7, 64-bit).
Can you provide any more information?  I have a win7 64-bit machine and it is working which is why I ask for more information.

Quote
Also, I had some encoding issues, with dashes, apostrophes, quotation marks and French accented characters being replaced by a dark square with a question mark.

Was it that way in the export?  And can you provide a sample document?

Quote
I wasn't sure what the button before the close button is for. It didn't seem to do anything.
It doesn't.  Haven't gotten that in yet.

Quote
Otherwise it works fine, renders Markdown correctly. Aesthetically speaking, I'd prefer if it didn't justify paragraphs or at least the headings (i.e. align text left instead), as it makes the text look messy, by stretching it out (actually the paragraphs look fine, it's the longer headings really that are a problem).
it shouldn't be justifying anything.  I'm rendering the HTML using a flow control... so the only thing it should be doing is wrapping lines.  Because it's a flow control, it might change spacing until it can wrap.  And I don't see it justifying headings... that first line in the screenshot is a heading and it's aligned left.  I might need a screenshot or even a sample if you can to understand what you're saying?

Quote
But it's coming together nicely, so keep up the good work! Thanks! :Thmbsup:

Thanks for the feedback!

dr_andus

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Re: NANY 2015 Alpha Release: MarkdownBuddy
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2014, 10:25:35 AM »
Sorry, wraith, I can't test this version any longer as I had to delete it from my system. I suspected that the PDF widget in there may have interfered with my PDF-Xchange Printer Lite 2012 driver. When I tried printing a PDF from MS Word today, it all came out blank, which never happened before. I can't be certain that it's your app, as I also had Acrobat Reader updated yesterday (so it could be that), but after deleting the Markdownbuddy folder and restarting the system my driver came back to life. As I said above, for me there is no value added in having the PDF save option, as I can do that myself.

wraith808

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Re: NANY 2015 Alpha Release: MarkdownBuddy
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2014, 11:27:08 AM »
It shouldn't be the pdf assembly, as it's self contained in the directory, and not installed- it's just a library that I call.  I also use a (few different) PDF drivers on different machines, and haven't seen any behavior like you've said.  I'd like to test that out... but I understand if you're not willing.

Thanks for the feedback in any case!

wraith808

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Re: NANY 2015 Release: MarkdownBuddy
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2014, 09:04:09 PM »
Updated with the final release.

Sorry, wraith, I can't test this version any longer as I had to delete it from my system. I suspected that the PDF widget in there may have interfered with my PDF-Xchange Printer Lite 2012 driver. When I tried printing a PDF from MS Word today, it all came out blank, which never happened before. I can't be certain that it's your app, as I also had Acrobat Reader updated yesterday (so it could be that), but after deleting the Markdownbuddy folder and restarting the system my driver came back to life. As I said above, for me there is no value added in having the PDF save option, as I can do that myself.

I downloaded the PDF-Xchange Printer Lite 2012 driver and installed it on two different computers (my test computer and my development computer) and MarkdownBuddy didn't interfere with the driver.  I don't think that the libraries interfered with yours... though with more information I could perhaps locate something?

monkeytits

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Re: NANY 2015 Release: MarkdownBuddy
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2015, 09:33:27 PM »
this a great tool! works wonderfully.

only gripe is that I use portable text editors because of IT restrictions at work and 4.5 Framework isn't installed. :-(