In my eyes this is still a great definition. And this week something important happened that is very relevant for Scholarly Markdown. A small group of people deeply involved in Markdown announced Standard Markdown:
We propose a standard, unambiguous syntax specification for Markdown, along with a suite of comprehensive tests to validate Markdown implementations against this specification. We believe this is necessary, even essential, for the future of Markdown.
Markdown is in widespread use, but a lack of standard syntax and set of comprehensive tests has hindered the adoption for more complex use cases, the development of cross-platform tools, and the use of markdown as a document interchange format. I am therefore 100% behind this initiative. In particular since this is not just an initiative by large commercial organizations heavily using Markdown such as Stack Exchange, Github or Reddit, but that the entire spec and both reference implementations have been written by John MacFarlane, the author of Pandoc, the universal document converter. Not only does Pandoc already support many of the features required by Scholarly Markdown (e.g. math and citations), but John is the Chair of the Department of Philosophy at UC Berkeley.
Markdown was developed in 2004 by John Gruber, and he holds the rights to the name Markdown. He didn’t want this initiative to use the name Standard Markdown, so the implementation was renamed to CommonMark.
The consequences of all this for Scholarly Markdown?
Introducing the Scholarly Markdown Bundle
Using Markdown to author scholarly documents is an attractive alternative to the standard authoring tools Microsoft Word and LaTeX. The feeling shared by many is that Scholarly Markdown is 80% there, and that more effort is needed for the remaining 20%...
The Grammar of Scholarly Communication
Authoring of scholarly articles is a recurring theme in this blog since it started in 2008. Authoring is still in desperate need for improvement, and nobody has convincingly figured out how to solve this problem. Authoring involves several steps,...
Citations in Scholarly Markdown
In the comments on Monday’s blog post about the Markdown for Science workshop, Carl Boettiger had some good arguments against the proposal for how to do citations that we came up with during the workshop. As this is a complex topic,...