I tweeted a month ago that I was going to take the leap and try my hand at Markdown, considering that I’ve heard nothing but praise for the language from the likes of:
- Merlin Mann
- David Sparks
- … and its co-creator, John Gruber
Some of you know what Markdown is, some don’t. Here’s the Coles Notes version:
Markdown is a way to write plain text files which can easily be converted into another format. Most often Markdown is converted to HTML to write web pages, but it’s also possible to use it to create other formats such as PDF, RTF, LaTeX, and much more. (via The Unofficial Apple Weblog)
But seeing as I’ve just started to wrap my head around some of the more advanced aspects of HTML, why would I want to even attempt another language?
Well, Brett Terpstra released a post about why he uses it.
Then the latest Enough came out, praising Byword and why Mr. Rhone has adopted it as his new text editor. Summary: It handles Markdown phenomenally well.
Then I remembered that J. Eddie Smith has a screencast that illustrates how to write in Markdown in Notational Velocity.
“You can learn it in a weekend.”
So, I plan to do just that. Or at least plan to attempt to do so. I’m beginning The Journey to Markdown starting tonight.
I’ve picked up a couple of iPhone apps that’ll help me on that device:
- Markdown Mail
I’ve already got an iPad apps that will handle it in Writing Kit, which I’ve barely touched since installing.
As for on my MacBook Air? Well, after a recent decluttering my primary writing apps are…nvALT and Byword. I’m all set on that front. That said, I also picked up Marked just so I can have in tow.2
With so many fans of Markdown out there on the web that I trust and the fact that my goal is to be more productive with my work, this is really a no-brainer. I’ll chronicle my journey here over the next two weeks. Here’s what you can expect to see:
- The Journey to Markdown: On Day One
- The Journey to Markdown: On the Mac
- The Journey to Markdown: On the iPad
- The Journey to Markdown: On the iPhone
- The Journey to Markdown: On the Integration
- The Journey to Markdown: On the Workflow
- The Journey to Markdown: On the Results
This weekend is a long weekend, so I should have ample time to grasp Markdown — at least according to Mr. Kelly.1 I’m going to do my best to learn it over the span of a weekend and I’m looking forward to sharing the journey with you.
1 Yeah, I’m cheating a bit…but I also think that Brett might be giving me a bit too much credit or is overestimating my intellect. Or both.
2Thanks to John Win for setting me straight on where Marked lives.