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Re: [groff] Macros in their own package ...

From: Larry Kollar
Subject: Re: [groff] Macros in their own package ...
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:24:52 -0400

> Ralph Corderoy <address@hidden> wrote:
>> I’m typesetting entire books out of Markdown (specifically, >
>> MultiMarkdown).
> And that's the problem.  Markdown is ill specified, poorly thought out,
> and in consequence there are many dialects of Markdown. 

I always find it amusing when someone on a *roff list complains about
many dialects of Markdown. Let’s see… we have -man, -mdoc, -mm,
-me, -mom, and everyone extends -ms, so there’s about as many variants
of the latter as there are people who use it. ;-) And there are subtle
differences between Groff’s implementation of each, and the Plan9(?)-
based implementations. “But each of them have a different purpose!”
Yup, and the same goes for Markdown.

In practice:

1) Most of the dialects are close enough that moving a document from
one to another is a lot easier than, say, moving from -ms to -mom. If
you’re not using definition lists, tables, or metadata, it’s pretty likely
you won’t notice much difference between one or another.

2) GFM (Github-Flavored Markdown) is widespread enough that
most other dialects at least pay lip service to being compatible with it.
Even DITA, which is supplanting DocBook in the tech doc arena, now
supports GFM (and HTML5) documents as topics alongside its (far
more complex) XML doctype.

3) People using Markdown tend to pick one or two dialects, depending
on what they’re doing, and stick to them.

The versions I use produce VERY clean HTML, so you could use it to
compose a first draft, then import that to your tool of choice for further
work. And, as I said up-thread, I can take that HTML and transform it into
pretty much anything—including my own variant of -ms that I use to
generate printed (PDF) editions of my books. I should look into using
-mom for that, though.


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