Home > Uncategorized > People more interesting than me

People more interesting than me

My writing efforts are, err, elsewhere at the moment. However, I’ll point you to Jeff Atwood’s Coding Horror Blog, which is sort of like what I wish my blog were.

And thumbing through his recent posts, I find two that are particularly good. One is “Crash Responsibly“, all about failing gracefully when your code runs into the inevitable bug:

Which one accurately depicts the way your software treats the user in the event of an emergency?

Another is “Is HTML a Humane Markup Language” which discusses the various difficult ways in which to mark up text quickly and easily.

None of these lightweight markup languages are particularly difficult to understand — and they’re easy on the eyes, as promised. But I still had to look up the reference syntax for each one and map it to the HTML that I already know by heart. I also found them disturbingly close to “magic” for some of the formatting rules, to the point that I wished I could just write literal HTML and get exactly what I want without guessing how the parser is going to interpret my fake-plain-text.

Which leads directly to this question: why not just stick with what we already know and use HTML? This c2 wiki page titled Why Doesn’t Wiki Do HTML? makes the case that — at least for Wiki content — you’re better off leaving HTML behind.

Myself, I think the quickest and easiest might be the classic Usenet markup of expressing *bold* and _italics_ (or /italics/). One character brackets; what could be simpler? At least have the parser understand such things and translate into this lightweight markup?

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