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    Why not markdown?

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      Markdown does not support underlined text, and also it provides a lot features that I don’t need or want if I just want to add bold/italic/underlined text to a plain text file. I could use Markdown for bold/italic, but then I’d feel bound by its syntax for lists and code blocks and headings too.

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        I’ve always felt that markdown picked the wrong syntax. Rich.vim seems to have picked what I feel like are more natural choices.

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          I use italics way more often than bold, and having my Markdown source sprinkled with slashes would drive me up the wall. Gimme asterisks or underscores anyday.

          Don’t forget that Markdown allows embedded HTML tags. Disallowing slashes for italics makes parsing slightly easier.

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            In the past I typically used bold text to add emphasis, but now I almost exclusively use italics, something I started doing mostly because it was just easier to read and write in Markdown. I also prefer italics now as it’s more subtle and less in-your-face than bold text, although that’s perhaps also because I’m more used to it now (and not the reason I started using it).

            Interesting how the choice of writing tools influences the way we write.

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              I like using italics for emphasis and bold for introducing new terms.

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              Don’t forget that Markdown allows embedded HTML tags.

              You say that as if it’s a feature and not an abstraction pouring through John Gruber’s incompetence like an infinite waterfall of sadness.

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                Eh, I’d rather have a small markup language that’s extensible if needed than some bloated monstrosity that includes every formatting option under the sun…

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                  I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of it by being able to write in a simple markup language >95% of the time, and resorting to HTML on the rare occasions that didn’t suffice. I think it’s a good way to keep the common use case simple, while still allowing more advanced ones with an “escape hatch”.

                  Keep in mind that Markdown was created by Gruber as a simple Perl script just to write his personal weblog in. It has since taken off as a standard, but that wasn’t Gruber’s intention at all. It was just designed as a personal tool to solve a specific personal need.

                  Not a huge fan of insulting people as “incompetent” over these kind of technical disagreements by the way. Point your criticisms at Markdown, rather than its author.