Wrong’Em Boyo

  • #Markdown throwdown: what happens when #FOSS software gets #corporate backing?

    Markdown is a Perl script that converts plain text into Web-ready HTML; it’s also a shorthand syntax for writing HTML tags without needing to write the actual HTML. Markdown has been around for a decade now, but it hasn’t seen an update in all that time—nearly unheard of for a piece of software. In that light, the fact that Markdown continues to work at all is somewhat amazing.

    Regrettably, “works” and “works well” are not the same thing. Markdown, despite its longevity, has bugs. But here, the software has an advantage. As free and open source (FOSS) software, licensed under a BSD-style license, anyone can fork Markdown and fix those bugs.

    Recently, a group of developers set out to fix some of those bugs, creating what they call a “standard” version of Markdown. From a pure code standpoint, the results are great. Yet there was no surplus of gratitude. Instead, the “standard” group found itself at the center of a much larger and very contentious debate, one that’s ultimately about who we want in control of the tools we use.

    • „Markdown began life as a little Perl script written by John Gruber and Aaron Swartz back in 2004.“

      Despite the disappointing state of the Web these days, there remain pockets of the Internet that still feel untainted. We jealously guard these spaces, our personal little Fugazis of the Web that we can point to and say, “See, isn’t taking venture capital,” "Metafilter isn’t manipulating me for an exit," or “Markdown is still a little script some guy wrote.”


    • John MacFarlane, creator of the tool Pandoc and the only CommonMark contributor not associated with a Big Internet Corp., told Ars that he first posted the spec to the Markdown mailing list in August, several weeks before making it more widely known. He used the name Standard Markdown and Gruber did not raise any objections at the time.

      It was only later, when Atwood announced the project and presented it as an effort backed by some of the biggest industry users of Markdown, that Gruber protested the use of the name.

      Tout cela est complexe et intéressant.

      #fork #récupération #standardisation

    • Dans les commentaires :

      In a perfect world, Gruber would release an update for Markdown.

      In a perfect world, Aaron Swartz could help him.

      Pluvia ArenaeArs

      Markdown began life as a little Perl script written by John Gruber and Aaron Swartz back in 2004.

      Could Gruber’s emotional reaction be partly due to Aaron Swartz’s participation in the original? Aaron’s death may be still feel quite recent to him, so maybe he feels like some big companies “coopting” Markdown is like people claiming his dead friend’s belongings for themselves.

    • À noter qu’il y a aussi un travail à l’IETF pour enregistrer le type de média text/markdown et que ce travail est actuellement bloqué par la discussion « faut-il juste enregistrer le type, sans se soucier de définir une sémantique, ou bien faut-il normaliser Markdown, ou bien faire un registre des variantes existantes ? »

      L’Internet-Draft, dans sa version actuelle :