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Issue 10.5 ('Real World 2012')
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Playing with Markdown

Converting Text with Perl

Issue: 10.5 (July/August 2012)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Author Bio: Marc taught himself programming in high school when he bought his first computer but had no money for software. He's had fun learning ever since.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 16,445
Starting Page Number: 56
Article Number: 10508
Resource File(s):

Download Icon project10508.zip Updated: 2012-07-03 14:40:11

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Excerpt of article text...

After being involved in more than one major computer technology transition over the years, I'm a huge fan of plain text. With plain text you can be fairly certain your data will be readable generations from now. If you use another format, who knows? (A few years ago I spent a whole day converting all my WriteNow and WordPerfect files because the software that reads those only ran under Mac OS "Classic" which was going away.)

For a while I loved XML, and I still do for complicated data, but XML is ugly, complicated, and overkill for simple text documents. My new love is a markup language called Markdown (http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/). In fact, I like it so much I am switching the workflow of RSD from using XML-based documents to Markdown-based documents. So this very article is written in Markdown. I also already use Markdown for my personal blog and eventually I will use it for everything I write (novels, books, etc.).

Markdown was invented by John Gruber (of Daring Fireball fame). It's a clever way of formatting plain text without tags or marks. His goal was to keep the marked-up text as readable as possible. Here's an example of some Markdown:

#Lorem ipsum for heading

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