Markdown is a lightweight markup language that is used to format text in a way that is easy to read and write. It is often used to format text in online forums, readme files, and documentation, and is designed to be simple and easy to use.
One of the main benefits of Markdown is that it allows you to format text without the need for complex formatting tools or HTML coding. It uses a set of simple, easy-to-remember symbols to format text, such as asterisks for bold text and underscores for italic text. This makes it very fast and easy to apply formatting to your text, and it also makes it easier for others to read and understand your formatting.
Another benefit of Markdown is that it is widely supported across a variety of platforms, including online forums, blogging platforms, and documentation tools. This means that you can use it to format text in a way that is consistent and easy to read, regardless of where you are publishing your content.
In summary, the benefits of Markdown include its simplicity, ease of use, and wide support across platforms. It is a powerful tool for formatting text in a way that is easy to read and understand, and it is widely used in a variety of settings.
Types of markdown
There are several different versions or flavors of Markdown that have been developed over the years. Some of the most commonly used versions include:
- Standard Markdown: This is the original version of Markdown, developed by John Gruber in 2004. It is a simple and easy-to-use markup language that is designed to be easy to read and write.
- CommonMark: This is a more formalized version of Markdown that is designed to be more standardized and easier to parse. It is based on the original version of Markdown, but adds additional features and clarifies some of the ambiguous parts of the original specification.
- GitHub Flavored Markdown (GFM): This is a version of Markdown that is used on the popular code hosting platform GitHub. It is based on the original version of Markdown, but adds additional features, such as support for task lists and tables.
- MultiMarkdown: This is a version of Markdown that was developed by Fletcher Penney as an extension of the original Markdown specification. It adds additional features and functionality, such as support for footnotes, tables, and metadata.
- Pandoc Markdown: This is a version of Markdown that is used by the Pandoc document converter. It is a very flexible and powerful version of Markdown that supports a wide range of formatting options, including tables, footnotes, and metadata.
In summary, there are several different versions of Markdown that have been developed over the years, each with its own set of features and capabilities. The most commonly used versions are Standard Markdown, CommonMark, GitHub Flavored Markdown, MultiMarkdown, and Pandoc Markdown.
I use MarkDown to write my own blog using the writing app Ulysses. You can check out my own, lightweight workflow for writing here.