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Mark my words

A few weeks ago, I moved the majority of my worldly belongings to the Pink Cottage by the sea in The Village. For some reason I have been labelled The Writer (I might have mentioned this blog).

A few weeks ago, I moved the majority of my worldly belongings to the Pink Cottage by the sea in The Village. For some reason I have been labelled The Writer (I might have mentioned this blog). Village life didn’t start off very smoothly though: I managed to reverse the hire van into my new next door neighbour’s car before I’d even set foot on the Devon soil. By reputation more Village Idiot than Writer methinks.

Meanwhile, back at The Ministry, I have been continuing to champion Free Open Source Software in my series of Brown Bag Seminars, which have been going down very well. The last one was about Markdown, a lightweight markup language designed to be easy-to-write and easy-to-read, and it’s created by John Gruber and Aaron. I have been writing all my documentation in it, and I think it’s the business for writing any large quantities of content. I’m pretty fluent in HTML but the problem with using it for writing is that the source code doesn’t read very coherently.

The markup for Markdown is based on email formatting (so underlines for headings, double asterisk for bold etc.). The home page is pretty detailed, and there’s an online conversion tool. However, I was searching for plugins for my favourite text editors (Notepad++, Notepad2 and Bluefish) but to no avail. Luckily, there is a fantastic JavaScript implementation called Showdown made by John Fraser. The whole package can be downloaded so that you can use it locally. There is also a built-in Syntax Guide. Magnificent :)

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