Responsible Open Source Code Parenting

I'm a big fan of John Gruber's Markdown. When it comes to humane markup languages for the web, I don't think anyone's quite nailed it like Mr. Gruber. His philosophy was clear from the outset:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

Nice post Jeff.

When it comes to Perl projects, I’ve found that anything significant
that isn’t on the CPAN or at least aspires to migrate into it “soon”,
is flying a giant red flag.

The benefits for testing, downstream packaging, and community input
are so large that to stay outside says something notable about the
nature of the project management.

Markdown, Twiki, and Kephra have all been rather flaky (although the
maintainer of Kephra has since repented).

Twiki, as I’m sure you recall, went through a rather spectacular
explosion and community fork.

If Markdown goes the same way, I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

Best Regards

Adam Kennedy
CPAN Admin

[Sorry comments were down when I first read this, and I just rediscovered the post in an old tab. This irked me so much when I first read it that I’d still like to respond.]

This post is naive, self-centered, wishful thinking. You have no claim on another’s time, until you start paying his wages. All of the things Atwood wants Gruber to do, Atwood should do himself, or hire someone else to do. It’s not like the source code is unavailable or something.

You might consider John MacFarlane’s pandoc:

It’s Markdown with fixes, pretty ASCII tables, and—best of all—a real parser with a delcarative spec, instead of the ordered-regex nightmare from the original Markdown.

And now, only four and a half short years later, we have an answer: if you do the work yourself, John Gruber freaks out and declares himself “infuriated.”

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