I’m writing this post using a combination of John Gruber’s Markdown and Smartypants. These are the first MT plugins that I have installed, as they seem to be quite straightforward.

Markdown is a text-to-HMTL processor that take easy to read (and easy to write) text, and formats it for the web. Smartypants adds typographically correct quotes (“double” and ‘single’), dashes ( — ) and ellipses (…) to the markup, all without having to deal with cumbersome search and replace. Both work together and save your post to the MT database as readable text. And they also allow you to mix in any XHTML that you want.

I particularly like the reference-style links that allow you to separate the URLs from the main part of the text, much as you might reference them as footnotes in print. I often do this in email where the flow of the email would be interrupted if I included the URL in context, so I refer to footnotes at the end of the email. It makes everything much more readable, but also allows me to back up arguments with examples. Now I can do the same thing with my blog entries…

Great stuff! Thanks John!


You can make it work as a service in OS X too, which is quite handy:

Posted by: d.w. on March 19, 2004 07:54 AM

Thanks for the link, d.w. I bet it wouldn’t be too hard to get SmartyPants working in a similar manner.

Posted by: Mark Newhouse on March 19, 2004 08:44 AM

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In which Mark talks about using John Gruber's Markdown...

March 16, 2004 | meta

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