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Markdown is a great format for representing an application's internal data structures for debugging and diagnostic purposes. It is a flexible format that is readable in its raw form yet capable of being transformed into HTML for documentation or reporting.

MarkdownLog can produce all features described in John Gruber's original spec from common .NET types.

Tables

A table can be built from a List of objects:

var data = new[]
{
    new { Year = 1991, Album = "Out of Time", Songs = 11, Rating = "* * * *" },
    new { Year = 1992, Album = "Automatic for the People", Songs = 12, Rating = "* * * * *" },
    new { Year = 1994, Album = "Monster", Songs = 12, Rating = "* * *" }
};

Console.Write(data.ToMarkdownTable());

Produces:

     Year | Album                    | Songs | Rating   
     ----:| ------------------------ | -----:| --------- 
     1991 | Out of Time              |    11 | * * * *  
     1992 | Automatic for the People |    12 | * * * * *
     1994 | Monster                  |    12 | * * *    

Once passed through a GitHub-flavoured parser, you get a HTML table, complete with headings and alignments:

Year | Album                    | Songs | Rating   
----:| ------------------------ | -----:| --------- 
1991 | Out of Time              |    11 | * * * *  
1992 | Automatic for the People |    12 | * * * * *
1994 | Monster                  |    12 | * * *    

Lists

A collection can be output as a numbered list:

var planets = new[] { "Mercury", "Venus", "Earth", "Mars", "Jupiter", "Saturn", "Uranus", "Neptune" };

Console.Write(planets.ToMarkdownNumberedList());

Produces:

   1. Mercury
   2. Venus
   3. Earth
   4. Mars
   5. Jupiter
   6. Saturn
   7. Uranus
   8. Neptune

When passed through a Markdown parser, this becomes:

  1. Mercury
  2. Venus
  3. Earth
  4. Mars
  5. Jupiter
  6. Saturn
  7. Uranus
  8. Neptune

Instead of numbers, you can use bullets:

var beatles = new[] { "John", "Paul", "Ringo", "George" };

Console.Write(beatles.ToMarkdownBulettedList());

Produces:

   * John
   * Paul
   * Ringo
   * George

And is parsed to:

  • John
  • Paul
  • Ringo
  • George

Bar Chart example

A barchart can be produced from a collection of KeyValue or Tuple objects

var worldCup = new Dictionary<string, int>
{
    { "Brazil", 5 },
    { "Italy", 4 },
    { "Germany", 4 },
    { "Argentina", 2 },
    { "Uruguay", 2 },
    { "France", 1 },
    { "Spain", 1 },
    { "England", 1 }
};

Console.Write(worldCup.ToMarkdownBarChart());

Produces:

    Brazil    |#####  5
    Italy     |####  4
    Germany   |####  4
    Argentina |##  2
    Uruguay   |##  2
    France    |#  1
    Spain     |#  1
    England   |#  1
              ------

Bar charts are not supported by standard Markdown. When a barchart is passed through a Markdown parser, it is rendered as a code block that retains its structure.

A bar chart can be produced from floating point and negative numbers and scaling can be applied as desired:

const int valueCount = 20;
var chart = new BarChart
{
    ScaleAlways = true,
    MaximumChartWidth = 40,
    DataPoints = from i in Enumerable.Range(0, valueCount)
        let rad = (i * 2.0 * Math.PI) / valueCount
        select new BarChartDataPoint
        {
            CategoryName = string.Format("Cos({0:0.0})", rad),
            Value = Math.Cos(rad)
        }
};

Produces:

    Cos(0.0)                     |####################  1
    Cos(0.3)                     |###################  0.95
    Cos(0.6)                     |################  0.81
    Cos(0.9)                     |############  0.59
    Cos(1.3)                     |######  0.31
    Cos(1.6)                     |  0
    Cos(1.9)               ######|  -0.31
    Cos(2.2)         ############|  -0.59
    Cos(2.5)     ################|  -0.81
    Cos(2.8)  ###################|  -0.95
    Cos(3.1) ####################|  -1
    Cos(3.5)  ###################|  -0.95
    Cos(3.8)     ################|  -0.81
    Cos(4.1)         ############|  -0.59
    Cos(4.4)               ######|  -0.31
    Cos(4.7)                     |  0
    Cos(5.0)                     |######  0.31
    Cos(5.3)                     |############  0.59
    Cos(5.7)                     |################  0.81
    Cos(6.0)                     |###################  0.95
             -----------------------------------------

Paragraphs

Strings can be written as a word-wrapped paragraph:

var text = "Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.";

Console.Write(text.ToMarkdownParagraph());

Produces:

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip 
of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on 
the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

After parsing, this becomes:

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.


MarkdownLog is developed and maintained by BlackJet Software. It was initially designed for use in iOS app "Shopping UK" to assist with performance and smoke testing. It was released as open-source in 2014.

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Lightweight .NET component for generating Markdown programmatically. Useful for producing rich diagnostic logs with minimal dependencies.

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