Aviva Directory » Computers & Internet » Data Formats & File Extensions » Markdown

Markdown is a lightweight markup language that uses a plain-text format that allows it to be converted to several output formats, although the original Markdown tool supported only HTML.

The language was created by John Gruber and Aaron Swartz in 2004, who designed it to allow people to write in plain text, both easy-to-read and easy-to-write, which could be converted to valid HTML or XHTML. The chief goal in its design was for it to be readable as it is, without being marked up with tags or formatting instructions.

Markdown has since been reimplemented by others, particularly in open-source environments like GitHub and SourceForge, which use variants of Markdown to facilitate discussions between users.

Several Markdown implementations have been introduced, largely by people who desired additional features, such as tables, footnotes, and so on. Variants of Markdown include MultiMarkdown, GitHub Flavored Markdown, Pandoc, CommonMark, and Markdown Extra.

CommonMark was the result of a standardization effort led by John MacFarlane, Jeff Atwood, and others, beginning in 2012. Originally known simply as Markdown, Gruber objected to the project's use of the name, so it was renamed CommonMark.

In 2017, GitHub released a specification of an implementation of CommonMark that follows the CommonMark specification, except for tables, strikethrough, auto links, and task lists, which the GitHub specification added as extensions. Its implementation is known as GitHub Flavored Markdown.

Based on Markdown implemented in PHP, Python, and Ruby, Markdown Extra is a lightweight markup language that adds features such as markup within HTML blocks, elements with id/class attributes, fenced code blocks, tables, definition lists, footnotes, and abbreviations. Released in 2014, Markdown Extra is supported in content management systems (CMS) like Drupal, MediaWiki, and TYPO3.

There are implementations of Markdown for more than a dozen programming languages, as well as for every major blogging platform.

The original implementation of Markdown, as well as any subsequent implementations, are appropriate for this category, as well as any websites whose topics are focused on Markdown.



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