Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Blogging with Markdown

I was introduced to Markdown by GitHub a couple of years ago and instantly found it to be a very friendly method of formatting a document. A veteran of a number of Wiki markup styles I’ve managed to whittle the list down to two: Confluence style which is used at work, and Markdown, which I try and use everywhere else. The exception was blog posts.

Although I have the WordPress app on my iDevices (which are able to connect to the internet via a mobile signal) I find myself writing most of my posts on my laptop on the train – good though the iOS keyboard is, it just cannot compete with a real keyboard. Being a geek I write the posts in plain text and just do the markup by hand. This is a bit of a pain. This morning, while drafting a post I found myself copying text formatted using Markdown and redoing the formatting in HTML. After the second line I stopped, Googled “markdown editors for WordPress” on my iPad and shortly after arriving in the office had Markdown on Save Improved installed. I can now draft posts offline in Markdown using TextMate which, I discovered to my great joy the other day, supports Markdown formatting and rendering.

Incidentally the reference method of creating links really helps when writing offline as you can sprinkle the anchors in your text as you write, jot an empty reference at the bottom of your text and then add the URLs when you have internet access.

I hate WordPress

A couple of years ago I suffered quite a major hack on my sites thanks to a vulnerability in one of my WordPress plugins. After quarantining everything and disinfecting some key sites I got massively disillusioned with the whole self hosted internet presence thing and slunk off to go spam Facebook with my drivel instead. Facebook doesn’t scratch the blogging itch though and recently I’ve been trying out some alternatives to WordPress. Sadly, many years of using WordPress means, hate it as I do, I’m familiar with it. The plugins, themes and features I want are all there, and its got a very large and active community.

I was looking at using Habari, which showed promise, however it’s too immature at the moment. I may well return to it later if the issues I found with it and the plugins I wanted to use are resolved, but for the time being it’s a grudging return to WordPress. Fresh install, fresh database, fresh start, but WordPress is on its absolute last chance. If it fails me again I’ll probably go roll my own.

Meanwhile I’ve still got sites that I haven’t restored from the attack a couple of years ago. I think it’s time to accept that they’ll never be fixed, let the domain names expire and concentrate on slightly less things at once 🙂