Standard Flavored Markdown

In 2009 I lamented the state of Markdown:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Really gets you back in touch with your geeky roots when an announcement like this makes you shake with glee. :cake: for everyone!

I’d also like to nominate a representative from the Ghost project to be part of this working group. Markdown is of critical importance to them, and they clearly care about it a great deal. I believe they’re in the process of making their own MD library.

Also, between Stack Exchange, Reddit and Discourse you’re missing the Long-form (richly formatted) Article use case.


Good to hear John was on the project. Pandoc is my go to for converting files, that’s all I write in any more for documents, pandoc-style markdown. It would be nice to have a partial implementation of pandoc from markdown to html and maybe later even to other formats in javascript. I’ve thought about working on it myself but I don’t even know where I would start.

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I was looking for a formal markdown standard/spec few months ago when I stumbled on your old post from 2009.

I added your blog to feed reader hoping to see this post one day! :slight_smile:

Today, that day has come!

Cheers to new markdown standard! :beers:

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Thank you! Every time I use a new web app with its own flavor of markdown, it usually takes a few tries to get a simple, unordered list to render properly.

I’m wishing the like button here could be pressed multiple times to deliver multiple likes so I could click on it spasmodically 10000 times or so. That’s how happy this makes me.

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Great news, especially regarding the members of the working group (seconding @erlend_sh, Ghost would make a nice addition).

Mid-term to long-term, I’d like a more extensive standard to build on this one: It should comprise the Asciidoc features that are currently missing from Markdown (but maybe in more of a formal syntax instead of something ASCII art-ish). Rationale: Markdown is increasingly being used for serious publishing and should better support this use case. Now that I think about it, Leanpub would also be a great working group member.

Flavored Markdown is dead! Long live Standard Markdown! :smiley:

Exciting! Thanks for leading the charge, Markdown really needs this. I’ll check how Apiary can support this with API Blueprint.

First of all congrats on the achievement. But as much as I love markdown, this might come a bit too late now that Asciidoc has gain so much traction lately. Another point in favor of Asciidoc is how easy is to add extension points for your particular needs.

I looked at the standard and the reference implementation but could not find a grammar… does the standard really not have one or did I miss it?

I’ve just read the posts and have started a discussion around it. As soon as people wake up, I think there’ll be input :smile:

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Congratulations on this great initiative. I am involved in a small effort called Scholarly Markdown, and Standard Markdown will make life much easier for us. I have to read up on the stmd specification to understand how extensions to markdown are supported, and we could extend the test suite for things we need in scholarly markdown such as citations.

That’s my question as well … for the same reasons I have switched for my personal needs to reStructuredText. Let’s see how the Standard Markdown catches up.

Interesting. For some time now I’ve been toying with the idea of making a project for community-sourced, uncopyrighted books for schools. The current situation in the school book market (expensive, paper-only, teachers may not copy, etc) is simply disappointing. But I could not figure out what format would be the easiest to use. I considered LaTeX, since it’s a de-facto standard (and very powerful), but it also has a very steep learning curve. If there would be a good support for all necessary features in a Markdown dialect, that would be awesome. :slight_smile:

Well guess what other language did not have a formal specification until recently?

Why wasn’t Gruber included in this? Did he pass?

Jeff this is not a good idea. Come up with a new name and proceed with excellence.

Otherwise someone else is going to do what you’re doing, in parallel, and they will claim to be the one true boss of Markdown, and then before you know it Markdown, which now means something, despite your saying otherwise, will mean nothing.

We all use Markdown, not just you and your pals. It isn’t yours to do with as you please. Create something new, and respect prior art. That’s fantastic.

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I agree 100% with Dave. What you are doing is fantastic, but don’t call it Markdown. By doing so, you’re making things worse, not better.

Besides that, the hubris involved in calling your fork standard is a bit much.

I suppose you wouldn’t mind me making a blog commenting system and calling it Discourse Pro, would you?

I think it’s fantastic that there’s now a usable standard for Markdown, and having compatible implementations of Markdown in different languages (e.g. Java and JS) will help a lot. But I really think you should consider changing the name, particularly because there are some obvious candidates for new names. Standdown and Newmark come to mind immediately, and I’m sure there are tons more options.