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Markdown is a lightweight markup language.
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Why is Markdown popular?

If you loathe Markdown, read this. If you love Markdown, read this.

I truly loathe Markdown. Truly. But given the widespread use of Markdown, it might seem strange that I have such aversion to it. If you somehow really like it, or are so used to it by now, you might be tempted to think I’m the oddball. But I’m definitely not alone in my dislike of the format…

It’s popular and got a lot wrong, but also a lot right. 🤔


MiaoYan - A markdown Mac note-taking app for engineers

🏂 Fantastic – local use, security, syntax highlighting, dark mode, source file saving, international, presentation mode, PPT Mode, single edit mode, export file, internal jump, document auto typesetting, picture upload, LaTeX, Mermaid, PlantUML, Markmap.

🎊 Beauty – minimalist design style, folder + file list + editor 3 column mode.

🚄‍ Fast – using Swift5 native development, the performance experience is much better compared to the Web.

🥛 Simple – very light, pure editor input experience, many shortcut keys to help you fast.

VS Code

VS Code's major Markdown tooling upgrade

Lots of cool stuff for Markdown authors in April’s VS Code release. Namely:

  • drag and drop files into the editor to create a Markdown link
  • find all references to header|links|files|urls inside of Markdown
  • rename headers|links inside Markdown (and propagate the changes)
  • rename Markdown files (and propagate to all references)

The Dendron team is excited because their primary vault hosts over 400k lines of Markdown 🤯

VS Code, and IDEs more broadly, help developers manage large code bases by making available tools to leverage and manipulate the syntax of programming languages. By shifting some of this tooling to markdown, can we do the same for large Markdown repositories?

Smashing Magazine Icon Smashing Magazine

Thoughts against Markdown

Knut Melvær with a thoughtful attack on one of my all-time favorite tools:

Markdown is a signifier for the developer and text-tinkerer culture. But since its introduction, the world of digital content has also changed. While Markdown is still fine for some things, I don’t believe it’s should be the go-to for content anymore.

There are two main reasons for this:

  1. Markdown wasn’t designed to meet today’s needs of content.
  2. Markdown holds editorial experience back.

Now, I did say it’s a thoughtful atttack and it’s also a long one (30 minute read). Knut does the work, diving deep into Markdown’s history and John Gruber’s desires for it:

I want to build my advice against Markdown by looking back on why it was introduced in the first place, and by going through some of the major developments of content on the web. For many of us, I suspect Markdown is something we just take for granted as a “thing that exists.” But all technology has a history and is a product of human interaction. This is important to remember when you, the reader, develop technology for others to use.


Slidev – presentation slides for developers

The motivation for building Slidev:

I always found myself spending too much time styling and layouting slides when using apps like PowerPoint / Keynote / Google Slides. Whenever I need to share code snippets, I would also need to use other tools to generate the highlighted code as images over and over again.

So as a frontend developer, why not solve it the way that fits better with what I am good at?

Looks slick: themeable, hackable, and you write your slides in Markdown. 👌

VS Code

A local-first, markdown-based note taking tool for VS Code

whereas most tools (try to make it) easy to get notes in, they tend to make it hard to get them back out later, and it only gets worse as you add more notes. Dendron helps you get notes back out and works better the more notes you have.

There are a zillion and one note taking apps out there, but I like how Dendron positions itself here. I’ve never had a note-taking system that I stuck with, mostly because I rarely go back and find things in my notes that are useful. Most of that’s on me, but I wonder if some of it is on my tools not making retrieval a priority…

A local-first, markdown-based note taking tool for VS Code


A cross-platform markdown editor written in Kotlin Multiplatform

Press was created as a proof-of-concept for exploring Kotlin Multiplatform, as well as the author’s frustration from the lack of minimal markdown note taking apps that work on all platforms, especially Android and macOS. If you relate to either of these reasons, Press is looking for contributors.

Markdown editors are the new Twitter clients.

A cross-platform markdown editor written in Kotlin Multiplatform


A simple web server for serving static GitHub Pages locally

This is useful for making sure things look right before pushing your content up to GitHub for serving. It’s better than python -m http.server and the like because it handles lack of file extensions and absolute paths better.

It doesn’t support Jekyll-based GitHub pages, but it will take your Markdown files and send them off to for character-perfect rendering.


Notable – The markdown-based note taking app 'that doesn't suck'

The thing about taking notes apps is everyone likes ‘em a bit different. Here’s what the author of Notable was after:

Notes are written and rendered in GitHub-flavored Markdown, no WYSIWYG, no proprietary formats, I can run a search & replace across all notes, notes support attachments, the app isn’t bloated, the app has a pretty interface, tags are indefinitely nestable and can import Evernote notes (because that’s what I was using before).

If that resonates with you, click through. 😄

Notable – The markdown-based note taking app 'that doesn't suck'
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