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    I was skeptical at first, but then I saw John MacFarlane’s name.

    In case you weren’t already aware, he (jgm) has a lot of experience trying tame Markdown’s ambiguity. He wrote the excellent pandoc (Haskell) and also experimented with PEG-based C implementation. In my opinion, if there’s a Markdown specification effort to support, it’s this one.

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      yeah; his involvement is the only reason to even consider caring about this.

      but really, i don’t care at all about standard markdown, and would just prefer to use pandoc’s extended markdown as the standard. but furthermore, i don’t care about markdown at all; i care about how pandoc treats files in the format it calls markdown.

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      Standard Markdown is so last week. It’s Common Markdown now.

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        An interesting point showed up in some of the comments there: John Gruber’s Markdown software (i.e. Markdown.pl) has a license that precludes use of the “Markdown” name without prior written permission.

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          I wonder if this falls into the “You’ve never enforced this before, so you can’t enforce it now” sort of thing like with trademarks. Is a software license selectively enforceable?

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            No, software licenses work on copyright which has no required defense clause like trademark. Copyrights may be invoked arbitrarily and at any time before they expire.

            That said, it’s not clear what impact the software license has on the software’s name. Can Gruber copyright the name “markdown”? Maybe, I’m not an IP lawyer. But regardless, the actual license on markdown.pl probably doesn’t apply.

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              No, software licenses work on copyright which has no required defense clause like trademark. Copyrights may be invoked arbitrarily and at any time before they expire.

              And what part of John Gruber’s copyrighted code has the Standard/Common Markdown project used?

              AFAIK, they used none of it. So copyright doesn’t apply.

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        I’m actually very excited about this, and the fact that there’s a formal definition for, as an example, writing Markdown inside of an HTML block.

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          The name selection is a bit odd. “standard” is a pretty loaded term.

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            True, though it’s less laughably presumptuous than other uses of it I’ve seen recently (I’m looking at you, ‘pass’ author(s)).

            The markdown situation does seem like one that would benefit from standardization though, so it seems to me like a good thing to push for. That said, I don’t see any mention of plans for submitting their spec to any official standards bodies, which seems like the obvious thing to do if they’re serious about making it a standard. (Though personally I’m not sure exactly which such body would be appropriate – IETF? ECMA? W3C?)

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            As Markdown’s creator Gruber has noted - “ambiguity is a feature.”

            Sure, that’s a tongue-in-cheek observation. But I haven’t had any issue using Markdown for the last decade. I don’t agree with an arbitrary handful of devs/personalities defining the “standard.”

            Are the millions of existing documents classified as “legacy Markdown” now?

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              They can’t even get the FAQ right with regard to the Yankees, so I can’t take this seriously at all.

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                I’d like to see diffs of rendered HTML from different Markdown parsers to exemplify how needed StandardCommon Markdown is.

                Relying on Markdown parsers to render HTML predictably has been… painful.

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                  (Another) Standard Markdown