Absurd Followings (sswift6) wrote in suggestions,
Absurd Followings

Advanced Text-to-HTML Markup

Advanced Text-to-HTML Markup

Short, concise description of the idea
Improve on the auto-formatting options when updating journal/adding an entry using a markup syntax.

Full description of the idea
While the auto-format can make basic text-to-HTML conversions such as line brakes to br tags, users need to know HTML in order to format their entry.

Implementing a text-to-HTML markup language such as Markdown <http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/> increases the number of conversions the auto-formatter can perform.

The key here is that the computer is in charge of formatting by default, not the user. It allows for simple readable plain text when viewing the raw input from the user.

If the user did not wish to use this markup language, they could select basic auto-format (which would revert back to how it is now), or chose to turn auto-format off completely.

An ordered list of benefits
  • 1. Emphasis and lists would be easier to create by using natural methods such as *emphasis* and +item +item +item
  • 2. The markup syntax in the language 'Markdown' is growing in popularity, and known in the Movable Type world.
  • 3. A text-to-HTML converter will produce correct HTML where humans make errors.
  • 4. An entry written primarily in plain text (using the markup syntax instead of HTML) is easier to read if you go back and make edits.
  • 5. Those who wish to still use HTML formatting can, and there is no loss in functionality to users who don't take advantage of the markup syntax.

An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • 1. Markup languages are rarely universal, and will require people to learn the syntax.
  • 2. Because the markup language is based in plain text, it may format text when a user does not want it to (if the user doesn't know to turn it off).
  • 3. People may not see the need for another formatting method besides HTML syntax.

An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
  • 1. I would suggest looking at the open-source software 'Markdown' <http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/>. It's written in perl and has been ported to PHP.
  • 2. Forums and bulletin boards often use markup syntax for users to format their posts. You could look at an example phpBB board <http://www.phpbb.com> to see how it was implemented at both the front and back end.
  • 3. The idea behind markup syntax is to have your program search for certain combination of characters and have it replace the characters with a different set of characters (usually html which browsers can then interpret). Of course, you already know this because that's the idea behind lj-cuts.
Tags: markup, § historical
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