It’s not a secret I hate markdown. It’s annoying to remember various commands, and one of the things I loved about WordPress from the start was that I didn’t have to learn bbCode or anything beyond the HTML I knew. When Jetpack included Markdown, I was a huge opponent. I thought it was useless and pointless and a waste of space.
I now use it in many of my posts.
You see, I don’t write in the visual editor. I used to, but there are ‘glitches’ with it. Like I couldn’t see the embed for Facebook (it showed up blank for some reason), and I had trouble embedding video content that required me to paste in script code. Then when I starting writing code, like I do on this site, I needed to make sure the formatting didn’t get mangled. It all boiled down to giving me two places where I use the Visual editor, and everything else is text.
That’s all well and good until I fell in love with my iPad mini.
You see I also have a major annoyance with the iOS app for WordPress. It’s too easy to post to the wrong site and it’s problematic when you want to upload featured images or make custom excerpts or have any custom post types. That means I use Chrome or Safari on iOS to write blog posts. If I’m offline, I write it up in Notes or Byword and just have it there until I’m ready to import. But I use WordPress in my browser because that’s where it works ‘best.’
Except HTML on an iPad is a pain in my ass.
It really, really, is. The number of clicks you have to do just to make a header, or strong text, is annoying. It’s three clicks to make an
<h2> and it’s not even in the same place. It’s one click to get to the numbers, another (one up from where you hit to get to numbers) to go to advanced characters. Then you can press the button. Any chance I have to minimize my clicks means I can type even fast.
And you bet your bippy I’m fast at typing on my iPad.
Markdown’s syntax is intended for one purpose: to be used as a format for writing for the web.
John Gruber’s Markdown syntax primer is the only place that really took the time to make sense of Markdown to me. Everyone else just said ‘It’s what we use’ or ‘It’s faster’ or (worst) ‘It’s better.’
No. No. No. Better is what works for you. HTML, for the most part, works for me. And for me, a small subset of markdown syntax terms work very, very well to speed up my writing:
## Title ### Subtitle &amp;gt; Blockquote
There are a few more, like the codeblock (which I don’t use, since I like pretty formatting better) but the ability to use backticks and say
<code> is pretty nice.
So do I like Markdown? No. It’s hard to remember ‘new’ syntax. But the ones I can use without having to close tags makes me a little happier and speeds me up a bit. For that, it’s pretty good. I can use it to enhance my HTML, and I wish that MediaWiki let me use HTML and Markdown instead of their woe begotten WikiSyntax. My kingdom for
<table> in MediaWiki. Am I right?
Now. If I could just get John Gruber to increase his font size.