Why I keep using markdown

Here is a short post that explains why I keep using markdown for my blogging, no matter what language or framework I choose.

Markdown is a lightweight markup language that you can use for pretty much everything, which is extremely rare for a language.

Whether it’s for a website, a blog, a presentation, technical documentation, or any other document, it’s very convenient for various reasons.

Portable

You can open and edit markdown files with any text editor, on whatever operating system, with absolutely no proprietary restrictions.

In other words, it’s standalone. You can even use your mobile phone to edit markdown.

Universal

You can source from markdown files with an extensive range of CMS, languages, frameworks, and software, making any migration from one fancy tool to another almost seamless.

You know, I like to test and practice things before writing anything about them, and my blog is the perfect candidate for that, as I have multilingual content, paginations, different content types, custom sortings, etc.

Without markdown, that would be a massive pain, especially when moving from a static generator to any dynamic system and reciprocally.

Readable and accessible by design

The syntax is straightforward and light. Unlike WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors, there is no way to copy/paste junk HTML chars with wrong encoding or missing closing tag!

You want a title you use “#” (~ h1), you want a subtitle you use “##” (~ h2), and so on. If you want something in bold, you surround it with “**”.

No need for any buttons to format your text, so you don’t have to interrupt all the time.

Of course, there are diverse markdown flavors, which are syntax variations, and different implementations too, but the core language is pretty robust and stable.

Never obsolete

Markdown is here to last. Unlike the latest fancy CMS or framework, you won’t throw it away as soon as a competitor gets famous.

It’s safe to say you will still be able to open a markdown file decades from now.

Flexibility

As I said, it’s easy to source from markdown files. That means you can easily convert it to HTML for the web or rich text for your emails. You can also import your markdown files in whatever programs to add content in layouts.

You don’t need anything else

You can use GitHub pages and Jekyll to publish your markdown files and get a completely free but still customized website.

You don’t need a “Ph.D. in tech” to start blogging. Only a few configurations are required, and it stays light.

Wrap up

Compared to markdown, everything seems overkill. The most “bloat-proof” approach I’ve found for now is Jekyll, but you can use markdown files as a source in almost all CMS, frameworks, and tools.

It just works.

Merry Christmas everybody \o/

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash