When I write a post for dx13, I write it in plain text with a special markup syntax. Some hacked together regexes then translate my markup into bold text, links and the like. This solution was a duct tape and string solution, often meaning that I had to go out of my way to make sure the regexes could parse and format my writings correctly.

It is not unknown for me to miss a failure in the parsing and for bits of formatting markup to then end up in the published items. This is somewhat unsatisfactory.

Over the past few years, there have been several more powerful and robust text -> HTML conversion scripts produced. These allow for much better formatting control and much less probability of error (presumably) than my home-brew solution.

Most of these new solutions were written with a view to server side execution, and were written in “proper” languages, such as Perl or Python. As this website runs on my wattle and daub ASP code, I needed a JavaScript version. As time has passed, JavaScript versions of many of the systems have been produced.

Following from the above, I am trying out a port of Markdown to JavaScript called Showdown. Markdown was created by the writer at Daring Fireball and Showdown is a recently released port of Markdown to JS. I hope this will make writing for dx13 a little easier and less prone to errors, making for a better reading experience for you all.

Only time will tell, and, of course, the quality of the writing may be more the problem for any sub-optimal reading experiences.

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