Time to try Markdown

In the past I’ve tryed different blogging platforms, searching for a one that permit me to manage my blog (posting, reviewing, deleting and more) everywhere from all my devices.

Finally, I landed to Postach.io: this service is great for me, primally because it works with Evernote. > The Evernote Powered > Blogging Platform

In practice:

  • Postach.io is binded with a Notebook in your Evernote
  • Every post in the blog is a simple note in that notebook
  • You must use Markdown in your note for managing text formatting
  • You can embed images directly in your note
  • Every tag you add to your note is managed as post tags
  • When you add the tag ‘published’ to the note, this go online on your blog

So, it’s necessary for me to start using Markdown a little more to became more confortable with the language. And, for my habits, the best way to do that, is to using Markdown more and more.

Using Markdown

After some time using that markup language, I started to see the convenience. Some features are great with that.

Markdown is plain text

The Markdown files is plain text files. Commonly, the .md extension will be used, but is not really necessary. I know, I’m an old dog, but Vi is still my favorite text editor on OSX. The only graphical exception I use is MacVim, that is always Vi, but with a nice window :D

So, Vi is great for editing Markdown files, considering also that Markdown have the power to be nice and simple to read even when is unrendered. With really little work, you can enable the Markdown syntax highlight on Vi

01

Many editors are available on iOS

There are plenty of markdown-specific editors on iOS. Of course, you can use any plain text editor to do that (unfortunately, Vim isn’t really confortable on iOS), but working with a Markdown editor which provide syntax highlight and rendering preview is quicker than using a generic one (for me, because I haven’t started a lot ago with this language). After reading the Federico Viticci’s article, my choice landed on Byword. The iOS app isn’t really cheap ($4.99 for the app, plus $4.99 for the additions), but it’s a good app, and I’m happy to pay for good apps.

02

Editors for OSX

Byword is also available for OSX but, as I told before, I can’t live without Vi (and the shortcuts it provides), so I found this workaround. On OSX, you can find the directory ~/Library/Mobile Documents/…byword/Documents containing all files generated with Byword on iOS (if you don’t know yet, the ~/Library/Mobile Documents directory on OSX is the iCloud documents container for you account, so you can find here all documents saved on iCloud by all your OSX/iOS apps). I got the directory, and put that in my Finder’s sidebar, so now I can quickly see, edit, add and remove documents managed by Byword iOS app. Great.

Now I need to see the preview of Markdown documents on OSX. Normally you need a Markdown editor to do that, but my editor is Vi, and I don’t want to clutter my Mac with another editor which I will use only for preview. I found an extension for OSX QuickLook to rendering Markdown file directly from finder. You can download from the link, and place the QLMarkdown.qlgenerator directory in /Library/QuickLook. Restart the Finder and now you can select a Markdown file from that, press ‘Space’ key, and enjoy my preview.

03

Conclusions

I love the well done works, and Markdown is one of this kind. It’s easy to remember, easy to read (either raw or rendered) and can permit me to keep using my favorites editors for post blogging. Now I will try to enhance my Markdown knowledge and start usign Markdown always when I write notes (either for this blog or general notes).

Written on March 21, 2014 - #Evernote