Markdown – markup language

Markdown is a lightweight markup language. It allows individuals “to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML)”. Markdown’s syntax is intended to be used as a format for writing for the web. Whereas HTML is a publishing format, Markdown is a writing format.

Markdown is intended to be as easy-to-read and easy-to-write as is feasible. Readability, however, is the priority.

Markdown is also a Perl script converting text input to (X)HTML.

Markdown was released in 2004 and has been adopted by many sites to help discussion between users such as GitHub, Stack Overflow, and reddit.

Features include:

  • Emphasizes source code readability.
  • Syntax is very small, corresponding only to a very small subset of HTML tags.
  • Syntax is comprised entirely of punctuation characters.
  • Supports two styles of headers: Setext and atx.
  • HTML export and import tools.
  • Tables can be implemented using direct HTML.
  • Link titles.
  • Class attribute can be implemented using direct HTML.
  • ID Attribute can be implemented using direct HTML.
  • Automatic email address obfuscation.
  • Export formats: HTML, LaTeX, ConTeXt, RTF, PDF, OpenDocument, DocBook, EPUB, MediaWiki, ReStructuredText, Man page, S5 (file format).

Developer: John Gruber
License: BSD-style open source license

Return to Lightweight Markup Languages Home Page

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