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Why Text? Why Markdown?

Welcome. A collection of arguments why text is the past, present and future of writing and publishing.

[ANNOUNCEMENT] Looking for the latest news, tools, tips & tricks, and more about markdown and friends? Follow along the Manuscripts News (@manuscriptsnews) channel on twitter for updates.

Contributions welcome. Anything missing? Send in a pull request. Thanks!

Single Source Publishing - One Text, Many Formats

HTML, LaTeX, PDF, ODF, DOCX, and More

Example #1 - Latin Alphabet - Wikipedia Article

# Latin alphabet

The classical Latin alphabet, also known as the Roman alphabet, is a writing system that evolved
from the visually similar Cumaean Greek version of the Greek alphabet. The Greek alphabet,
including the Cumaean version, descended from the Phoenician abjad while The Phoenician alphabet
is derived from Egyptian hieroglyphics [^1].


[^1]: Michael C. Howard (2012), Transnationalism in Ancient and Medieval Societies. pp. 23

(Source: abc.text)

in several formats all produced from the single source:

  • HTML => abc.html
  • PDF => abc.pdf (via LaTeX => abc.tex)
  • DOCX => abc.docx

Single Source Publishing - One Text, Many Designs

Example #1 - The Zen of Book Designs - One Book, Many Designs

2016 Edition - Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

# Story of the Door

Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance, that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and 
embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary, and yet somehow lovable...

(Source: /dr-jekyll-and-mr-hyde)

Example #2 - The Zen of Page Designs - One Page, Many Designs

It's Just Text - Works Anywhere

World Wide Web, Apple OS X, Microsoft Window, Linux, and Friends

It's Just Text - No Copyright, No License, No Rights Reserved

Free ABC-Like or 123-Like Public Domain Writing (and Formatting) Conventions for Everyone

It's Just Text - Works like the ABC - Will Still Work in 1000+ Years

No "Special" What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get Word Processor De Jour Required

It's Just Text - Minimalistic File Size - Fault Tolerant "What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get" Literally

No Binary Black Box Format or "Open" XML Haystack

Easy to Learn - Learn Formatting Basics in 5 Minutes


Bibliographies & Citations

Math Typesetting

Unicode Scripts - One Text, Many Languages



The Why Text? Why Markdown? list is dedicated to the public domain. Use it as you please with no restrictions whatsoever.

Questions? Comments?

Send them along to the wwwmake mailing list. Thanks!


Why Markdown? Why Text? The Past, Present and Future of Writing and Publishing



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