|Author:||Fletcher T. Penney|
|Copyright:||Copyright © 2013-2016 Fletcher T. Penney.|
Markdown is a simple markup language used to convert plain text into HTML.
MultiMarkdown is a derivative of Markdown that adds new syntax features, such as footnotes, tables, and metadata. Additionally, it offers mechanisms to convert plain text into LaTeX in addition to HTML.
MultiMarkdown started as a Perl script, which was modified from the original Markdown.pl.
MultiMarkdown v3 (aka 'peg-multimarkdown') was based on John MacFarlane's peg-markdown. It used a parsing expression grammar (PEG), and was written in C in order to compile on almost any operating system. Thanks to work by Daniel Jalkut, MMD v3 was built so that it didn't have any external library requirements.
MultiMarkdown v4 was basically a complete rewrite of v3. It used the same basic PEG for parsing (Multi)Markdown text, but otherwise was almost completely rebuilt.
MultiMarkdown v5 is basically the same code as v4, but the project has been restructured:
- It is built using my c-template project boilerplate -- I welcome suggestions and ideas for improvement about this.
- It is designed with the CMake build system, rather than just a Makefile
Why switch to CMake?
In early 2014, a user of MMD introduced me to the CMake build system. I
looked at it briefly, but didn't do anything with it. Later on, I looked
at it more in depth and created a parallel branch after 4.6. This would allow
me to experiment with CMake without breaking anything else in the
CMake isn't perfect by any means, but it does allow for some interesting things:
- Automatically generate GUI installers for OS X and Windows, as well as zip
files for *nix. I have not looked into using CMake to build
.debpackages, but that might be possible as well. My old system could generate GUI installers for Windows and OS X, but it was a complex process that required a lot of manual processing. This is much more amenable to automation.
- An improved organization structure for various tests, including Valgrind testing. The old system was getting rather messy.
- A templating system that better allows me to synchronize version, and other, information in code, documentation, and READMEs
- Automatic generation of project files for Xcode, Visual Studio, and
alternative build systems beyond
- An opportunity to reorganize my code directory hierarchy
- The option to start adding unit test code to the source. This probably won't happen, as it would be too much work. But it is possible.
The biggest problem is that this means that anyone wishing to compile the source will need to install CMake. This isn't hard, but it is an extra step.
As a temporary measure, you can use the
make deprecated command to use a
make recipe to compile a binary of MultiMarkdown for the current
machine. I don't recommend this approach, but it should work in a pinch until
you can upgrade your machine to support cmake.
I welcome feedback on this decision, but please note -- "I don't like it" or "bring back the old way" comments will be ignored. Please send meaningful criticism or suggestions.
Perhaps an approach if others want to contribute will be to do the reverse of
what I did before -- create a
make branch that includes a modified Makefile
designed to be used without CMake?
Additionally, the old Makefile had grown over time to include some tricks that users of various systems required. I have tested the CMake system on OS X, Ubuntu and Debian Linux, and MinGW on Ubuntu. I welcome suggestions for improvements to the CMake configuration.
Binaries for OS X and Windows are available on the github site:
Compile from Source
To compile MultiMarkdown, you will need to have CMake installed on your machine.
To download the source:
Obtain the source from the github repository (Downloading a zipfile of the source won't allow you to configure the submodules -- it's much better to use git):
git clone https://github.com/fletcher/MultiMarkdown-5.git
Configure the submodules with two helper scripts (This can be done manually on Windows systems by looking at the source):
Compile, and (optionally) test:
make cd build make make test
Like all versions of MultiMarkdown since v3, there is one test that will fail
(now helpfully called
markdown-should-fail). The other tests should pass.
The valgrind tests will not work on OS X, but should pass if valgrind is
installed and used on Linux machines.
If you want to make an installer, after the above, use the
inside the build directory.
For more information, checkout the
The MultiMarkdown User's Guide has complete instructions on how to use MultiMarkdown.
Charles R. Cowan (https://github.com/crcowan) added support for conversion to LyX. Support for this should be considered to be in alpha/beta, and is not guaranteed. Issues related to LyX can be added to the MultiMarkdown issues page on github, but will need to be answered by Charles. I am happy to include this code in the main MMD repo, but since I don't use LyX I can't support it myself. If this arrangement becomes a problem, then LyX support can be removed and it can be kept as a separate fork.
Be sure to read the relevant documentation:
make documentationand look at
- Relevant portions of the User's Guide
If you wish to submit pull requests, then be sure to work off of the
branch and configure the pull requests appropriately. I am trying to use the
"git flow" workflow described here:
I will not accept pull requests directly into the
NOTE: Additionally, I am trying to use a consistent convention for commit messages, so that I can quickly generate the framework for Release Notes for new versions of MultiMarkdown. For example:
TAG: Commit message with uppercase first letter and no period at the end TAG: Commit message one; TAG2: Commit message two
The list of TAGs is in flux, but currently includes:
- ADDED: New features or functionality
- CHANGED: Change to the way a feature works
- CODE: Change the code, but don't change the overall user experience
- FIX: Fix a bug
- IMPORTANT: Something major was fixed
- NOTE: These are mostly changes to the project itself (e.g. Makefile) and have no impact on the user experience
These TAGs are still in flux as I develop the system I am using, but this will
allow me to automatically generate most of the Release Notes for each new
version. I'll still need to go over them manually, but this gives me a head
start! (As an aside, any time you use one of the
make commands, the file
CHANGELOG-UNRELEASED will be updated to show you new features in the
development branch that have not been pulled into
By using the TAGs, I can sort the list of messages and group things into categories. By consistently using the semi-colon syntax, I can automatically split commits with multiple notes.
c-template project is released under the MIT License.
MMD 5 is released under the MIT License.
CuTest is released under the zlib/libpng license. See CuTest.c for the text of the license.
The MIT License
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.