2017-04-28 Markdown vs Wiki Creole

Remember Creole, the markup language for all wikis? These days, I’m starting to think that we should just move on and simply switch to Markdown.

I would like to switch this wiki and see how it goes. If it turns out to be necessary, I will publish a migration script. When I tried it, there were immediate problems regarding numbered lists, headers, and tables. Ugh!

For now, here are some of the global search and replace operations I’m considering.

Numbered lists, and nested numbered lists.

UseMod style headings.

Creole style headings. These are much more lenient so I am expecting more trouble.

Source code. This requires some manual interverntion because ##### turn into \#`` and the like.

Tables: The first row already gets the th element instead of the td element, so I think we should be fine just changin |= to |.

Quoted text using ##hashes## is also tricky.

Escaped WikiWords.



Not sure if that’s the best move. Sure, most things support Markdown (kinda), but Markdown does not even have tables… oops.

There’s CommonMark, and that’s what you should use, but it has its own problems.

There’s just no way to win :|

– AlexDaniel 2017-04-28 22:56 UTC

Also, perhaps it’s worth mentioning that Github renders markdown comments, markdown wiki pages and .md files differently, so you’re dealing with three different markdowns…

– AlexDaniel 2017-04-28 22:57 UTC

Sadly, you are correct. But all the text editing stuff on iOS I have used is either plain text or Markdown, e.g. iA Writer. GitHub and its large family of friends uses GitHub Flavored Markdown. Have you seen The Homebrewery? If you write stuff for D&D 5 or if you like the looks of it, here’s a tool to create awesome looking PDFs using Markdown, online, with menus to insert tables for classes, spells, monster stat blocks, and so on. And it is so beautiful and fast, it nearly makes me want to cry. Even the sample text used to fill the templates is great. This is just great.

(Still fiddling with the formatting rules.)

– Alex Schroeder 2017-04-28 23:02 UTC

The Common Markup spec raises interesting questions. Curious minds want to know about the corner cases. But as far as I can tell, it doesn’t have tables, right?

– Alex Schroeder 2017-04-28 23:15 UTC

\{\{\{(\S.*?)\}\}\} → `$1`

– Alex Schroeder 2018-03-08 07:29 UTC

I think you have made the right decision, Alex! I really rooted for Creole’s adoption, and not only it never happened but Markdown is in a lot of places nowadays.

However, regarding the Markdown Convert Extension, I think I just found a bug in it.

I tried to convert a Creole page that had links like:

[[https://XXXX.org/pub/hands_in_the_sea/ Hands in the Sea]]

And they were all translated to something like:

[[Hands in the Sea](https://XXXX.org/pub/hands_in_the_sea/)]

Notice the extra “[]” surrounding the whole line.

– Geraldo Amaral 2019-09-19 19:03 UTC

Another possible bug, Creole’s bold like **This is strong** was converted to ***This is strong***. Notice the 3 “*”, it should be 2 just like in Creole.

– Geraldo Amaral 2019-09-19 19:33 UTC

But isn’t the first one wrong? I thought the rule was [URL text] with just one set of brackets? Or perhaps that’s just what Oddmuse accepts and it wasn’t ever in Creole. Oops!

– Alex Schroeder 2019-09-19 20:18 UTC

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