October 2, 2015

Markdown vs Asciidoc

While playing around with this Cryogen based blog genertor, very soon I hit the limit. It was very easy to get started, I even put some (moderate) effort and very quickly adapted my CV using Markdown syntax.

The process is very easy. Just copy the content from the web page, paste it to the new file, and adapt a few things to fit the Markdown syntax. The resulting page looks quite usable, except for the few details. For example, in the "Personal data" section it is not possible to have picture on the left side, and personal details on the right. Also, I'd prefer to have columns aligned there. It's a small thing, a matter of preference, but those small things can become annoying pretty quickly.

That would be a perfect case for HTML tables, but Markdwn, as basic as it is, doesn't support table-like formatting. After looking around a bit, I found out that Asciidoc do support tables, as well as manu other more advance formatting options. It is so similar to Markdown, that could even be considered as a superset of it. Except that it isn't. There are some changes, namely the links formatting and few more small things. I'd like to give it a try, but I'm too lazy to convert all of my content here (all three pages).

Cryogen does support both Markdown and Asciidoc, but not the mixture. You either need one or another for all pages and blog posts. I can't see a reason why it couldn't distinguish the engine type by file extension, and allow for mixed sources. I think I would just open a Cryogen feature request and see if someone else is interested in it. I may even do it myself when I find some time, but I'm sure people already familiar with the code base would do it much faster.

Update: The Github issue to allow different formats for individual pages is here

Tags: journal