Markdown vs. the World

A brief overview of Markdown - Markdown is a way of writing formatted document, similar to Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), but simpler. It is a perl script that converts what you write, plain text, into HTML and render it beautifully. It does that under the hood and doesn't require folks to learn HTML or cascading style sheet (CSS.) Most importantly, it is free and open source.

Simple HTML Page
The Web - Now, Markdown doesn't have that visually pleasing feel or super attractiveness compared to HTML and cascading style sheet (CSS) or "the Web." HTML and CSS have always been the main ingredients of the Internet. Let's face it, writing HTML is hard, especially for people that are not web developers or work in that field. Well, writing anything is hard, especially writing this post. You have to learn HTML language, know what tags do what in order to write something in HTML. With the Internet evolution, it has turned everyone of us into a writer. People write on their Facebook profile, on Google Plus, Twitter, on a YouTube video, etc. The point is, everything that people write is now on the internet. What they write is plain text, there is an engine that converts the plain text into HTML and renders that based on the style sheet. Writing plain text is a way that people don't have to deal with HTML. If HTML was required to write such posts, very few people will be writing on the web. In fact, as I am writing this post, I do not care about HTML tags at all.

Verdict - Learning those HTML tags is one thing, but taking time to try and figure out where to put the tags is another thing. Many websites that allow people to post comment, or post, like this post in particular, usually employ a rich text editor that allows folks to format and type word-like document. In fact, I am writing in this big rich text editor right now. So, what's the deal with this Markdown stuff then? Well, because software and web developers are stubborn. No, really. From my perspective, developers want to be fast. We want to write something and not worry about formatting what we write later on, because we know what it would look like. Isn't that cool about developers? We have a mental pictures of what we work on in our minds, like a giant machines with parts that work together, waiting to be coded out. Usually, when people write a word document, they just write it first and then once they're done or satisfied with their writing, they will go back and try to format the document where they see fit. This, is not the case with Markdown. We do it in one go, WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get.) Here's a picture.
Markdown Preview
You can see on the left side, I'm writing plain text with Markdown Syntax. On the right side, the text editor renders what I write into a web page. By the way, I'm using Atom, the 21st century text editor. You should definitely check it out. Kudos to our friends at Atom. They really make a good editor. Back to the topic, you see what I'm saying? It's really simple to learn and type Markdown document and know exactly how it will look like.

That's it folks! That's my 2 cents on Markdown. Coming up next, I'll be showing you how to make a blog out of Markdown with ASP.NET and C#.

Stay tuned and brush up your Markdown.


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