Jed Shatwood (not really)



  • I owe my career to Zed Shaw and his Learn Python The Hard Way.

    I would never be so productive if I hadn't started there.

    Atwood is calling for a new markdown tutorial.

    Guess where my bias is.

    I'm not saying markdown doesn't need a tutorial. It probably does.

    You know what's awesome? I'm not using it right now. I can express myself quite clearly without out it.

    That's what Jeff doesn't get.

    Markdown is and always has and should forever be optional.

    Fine. Whatever. Atwood has done some things that are as useful as Zed Shaw's. But only barely, in my estimation.



  • I opened this thread hoping for this:
    Two Men Enter One Man Leaves – 00:31
    — mosesfly

    I am disappoint.



  • I'm not clicking on that.

    But whatever it is, I'm sure it's amazing.

    I'm just busy listening to other things, and I don't really want to turn them off right.

    So, Like for the effort. Don't care because you didn't say anything useful.



  • Are you suggesting Zed Shaw shuld write a Markdown tutorial?

    (When I read the title, I was expecting to be notified about some contretemps between the two named in the topic title—I was expecting something of the CommonMark Attwood/Gruber confrontation. This... is not that...)



  • Mad Max—the one with Tina Turner in it?


  • :belt_onion:

    Yeah. Dunno about that link, really, I think that might be stretching the concept of the title a bit too much IMHO. I mean, I'm fine with giving it some leeway for the joke to work, but this just went a bit beyond Thunderdome...

    Yes, I had to, now I'll be going.



  • How about Discourse switches to WYSIWYG and Jeff writes a WYSIWYG tutorial?

    It'll be 7 words long.


  • :belt_onion:

    @CreatedToDislikeThis said:

    It'll be 7 words long.

    Write stuff. Click buttons. No more Markdown.

    Good enough?



  • I side with whoever said that Markdown is an abomination that sucks syphillitic camel's balls and should die in a terrible agony, but I still fail to see what Jeff Atwood and Zed Shaw have to do with it, or moreover, what they have to do with one another in the first place.



  • @CreatedToDislikeThis said:

    How about Discourse switches to WYSIWYG and Jeff writes a WYSIWYG tutorial?

    It'll be 7 words long.

    Write something. Discourse will fuck it up.



  • Oh oh! I got one too!

    Gardening hose vs "The One" by Metallica

    I'll start by saying that "The One" is a great, great song. And the part with the drums simulating artillery and his scream spilling into solo is just fantastic. But that's all there is to it. Just 8 minutes of not that well produced music. You listen to it and you're done.

    Hose, on the other hand, has a million different uses. You can water your garden, wash your car, troll your dog. Even put out a fire you started for fun and then it got out of control. "The One" would be useless there and would probably just get you arrested. It is a bit annoying having to drag the hose around and dirty your hands, but IMO benefits far outweigh the downsides.

    So, while I enjoy me some Metallica, I'll have to go with the gardening hose on this one.

    Also, the solo after the "Left me with the life in hell!" bit is too long, if we are being honest.


  • :belt_onion:

    @cartman82 said:

    troll your dog. Even put out a fire you started for fun and then it got out of control.

    You sure have some weird notions on how to have fun...

    @cartman82 said:

    It is a bit annoying having to drag the hose around and dirty your hands, but IMO benefits far outweigh the downsides.

    This might help a bit:

    Infomercialism: X-Hose – 05:38
    — Mike Jeavons



  • Reminds me of "I Miss You More Than Pearl Harbor Sucked"

    Team America - Pearl Harbor Sucked – 02:20
    — nird7



  • Man, I can't even make sense out of this post. Late night. One martini too many, I guess.

    I was reading this https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9275357 yesterday and found the comments surprising.

    I also saw this: http://blog.codinghorror.com/toward-a-better-markdown-tutorial/

    I guess I was thinking something along the lines of how much I would love for someone to write a learn python the hard way style tutorial for markdown, except, that no one should fucking have to!

    Writing is such a key component of the internet that it seems really really stupid that anyone should have to write a tutorial for how to mark up your prose.

    I guess there's really not that much of a connection between the two links after all. One guy wrote an awesome tutorial. Something I finished in a day or two and went on to use and make a career out of. No one is going to make a career out of markdown, unless common markdown takes some really bizarre changes. The other is someone asking for a better tutorial.

    If Markdown needs a Learn Markdown the Hard Way, then markdown isn't the right solution for "normal" users. You don't get a potential long-term benefit out of learning markdown, unless common markdown changes in some very bizarre ways.

    You know what doesn't require a better tutorial? Buttons. Yes, we all hate them. But buttons work.

    If you could replace Python with buttons (preëmptive pendantry: yes, I know you can replace any program with the right number of switches) then I wouldn't deserve to have a job, and no one should have ever written a Python tutorial in the first place.

    Okay, so basically, my original post was sleep-deprived drunken ramble. This is my attempt to make sense out of that. Probably failed.

    Bring on the hate and lashings.



  • Oh well, at least you didn't pull a @lucas...



  • Drunken rage quit?


  • sockdevs

    IIRC, the drunken and the ragequit were separate things; the latter happened after he tried to revive a four-day-old flamewar, and everyone told him to just drop it already, like everyone else had done four days prior.



  • Ah, I see.

    Well, we can just let this die.



  • @glathull said:

    If Markdown needs a Learn Markdown the Hard Way, then markdown isn't the right solution for "normal" users.

    I think it's safe to say you're preaching to the choir on this site.

    The only one here who actually likes it is Alex (apparently?) and he doesn't even participate. Other than that, the most generous thing I've heard said about it is, "it's almost maybe ok a bit".


  • sockdevs

    For a bit of bold or italic, it's OK. But for anything more complex, like lists, I prefer BBCode.



  • Markdown works fine for the simple stuff. The problems come once you start getting fancy, with lists and images etc.

    You might say "just go GUI", but I would argue you'd run against the same wall. Simple stuff will be great, but try adding images and links and you're back in the world of hurt. Ever tried dealing with images in MS Word? Honestly, sometimes I'd rather just have a code editor than all the toolbar buttons in the world.

    The truth is, there's just no perfect solution for non-technical people to painlessly enter rich text into a site. As far as solutions go, markdown is not a bad idea IMO. They just need to fix the fucking buggy implementations and spec.



  • I get your point. Sort of.

    But I think we're outside the realm of what normal users want to do and what markdown attempts to do.

    Writing well and clearly is its own domain. That can and should be simple.

    But adding tables and lists and pictures and charts is not really the same thing as writing good prose on its own. Those things are difficult (obviously, because no one has really found a good solution yet that no one bitches about).

    Those are about more than just writing though. Those things encompass a larger domain of communicating, and I don't know of anyone who thinks of that problem as an easy one to solve.

    My opinion is that markdown is really just about writing. It's just about text. It allows you to do a little more than that here and there, but it's never really been about anything but writing text.



  • Normal users just want buttons that make their text pretty. Other forum software solved this years ago.

    Even with buttons for some of it, Dischorse requires users to not only know the rest but also to remember (and deal with) the quirks / bugs / issues that come with it.



  • @glathull said:

    My opinion is that markdown is really just about writing. It's just about text. It allows you to do a little more than that here and there, but it's never really been about anything but writing text.

    Ok, and if you stick to writing text, you shouldn't experience any problems. So... problem solved?



  • Well, I pretty much do that in day-to-day conversations like we have here.

    When I need to present things like images, tables, lists, charts--I use libraries for that. Specific ones. That require some expertise.

    I'm not saying the problem is solved. What I'm saying is that the somewhat pervasive attitude here is something along the lines of, "It's just an internet forum, people! Why is this so hard to get right?!"

    My point is that an internet forum is immensely more challenging than just solving the text-authoring problem that markdown attempts to solve.

    Internet forums have to solve the problem of human communication, which is a pretty damn difficult problem to solve. And I would argue that no one has really done it well yet.

    If I had a point at the beginning of this thread at all--which is doubtful--I think it is this: a better markdown tutorial means that we are using markdown as a tool in all the wrong ways. Markdown might be a pencil. If it needs a better tutorial, it's because you are trying to use a pencil to do the work of a hammer.

    Yes. It can probably done. But should it?



  • @glathull said:

    http://blog.codinghorror.com/toward-a-better-markdown-tutorial/

    ...in Discourse we tried to build a rainbow tool that satisifies everyone. We support:

    • HTML (safe subset)
    • BBCode (basic subset)
    • Markdown (full)
      This makes coding our editor kind of hellishly complex...

    ORLY?
    (It's a tool that tries to satisfy everyone and ends up satisfying no-one...)



  • @glathull said:

    If I had a point at the beginning of this thread at all--which is doubtful--I think it is this: a better markdown tutorial means that we are using markdown as a tool in all the wrong ways. Markdown might be a pencil. If it needs a better tutorial, it's because you are trying to use a pencil to do the work of a hammer.

    Yes. It can probably done. But should it?

    OK I see your point.

    The original idea of markdown was, you just write text as you normally would and let us worry about making it pretty. And by having a tutorial, we are now treating it as an actual markup language you're supposed to master before you can use. And if we are already asking people to learn a skill so they can post on a forum, we should stop and think, is markdown still the right solution?

    And my answer is,... yeah, it seems so. The only real alternative is GUI. However, all the online (and offline) editors I've seen are awful in their own ways. And there's nothing to say you can't build a GUI on top of markdown.

    Bottom line, people want to post pictures and tables and lists and other shit online. And so far, markdown seems to be one of the better solutions for letting them do it quickly and with minimal training. I'd like to see some competition, but so far, markdown the best we got.



  • I want to be able to write a<b and see a<b.
    Is that so much to ask?



  • <i
    Oh, that's interesting...

    <pre There is such a thing as a partial HTML tag apparently. :/


  • Nope.
    a < b
    Easy peasy.



  • I though you would've used a < b...



  • @tar said:

    I though you would've used a < b...

    That's for noobs.



  •  Δ
    ΔΔ



  • @glathull said:

    I also saw this: http://blog.codinghorror.com/toward-a-better-markdown-tutorial/

    [quote=tfa]blah blah blah we can make a fun, interactive Markdown tutorial together.

    So here's what I propose: a small contest to build an interactive Markdown tutorial and reference, which we will eventually host at the home page of commonmark.org, and can be freely mirrored anywhere in the world.[/quote]

    [quote=later in the same article]https://github.com/gjtorikian/markdowntutorial.com and http://markdowntutorial.com/ by Garen Torikian[/quote]

    It's almost as if the exact thing he described already exists and is probably as good an execution of the concept as needs to be.



  • @tar said:

    It's a tool that tries to satisfy everyone and ends up satisfying no-one...

    So basically Dischorse is a rubbish hooker?



  • @codinghorror said:

    but it means that for you, the user, whatever markup language you're used to will probably "just work"

    Unless you try Markdown, then you're on your own.



  • Ha! Nobody gets used to Markdown!



  • What kind of world do you live in where markdown is one of the better solutions to the problem of total human communication?

    It's not. It's terrible.

    Communication is a hard problem to solve. You don't see my point at all.

    In the non-digital world writing words is a thing that we all grow up learning how to do. It goes along with learning how to think in the way that a lot of people never learn to write well and those same people never learned how to think very well.

    In the non-digital world some of us spend the time learning how to make pretty, informative charts and data tables.

    No one thinks that these are the same skill. They aren't the same skill. They aren't the same problem.

    Text and data are not the same problem. They aren't even really related.

    Markdown is about text. Whatever else you want to do with it is your own problem of not knowing what tool to use for a job.



  • Let me put it another way:

    You can take the idea of a hammer and say, "Hmmm. It's got this ability to extract nails from things. I want to do more nail extraction. What if I designed a hammer with the claw part on both sides?! Fucking brilliant, right?"

    The problem is that if you do that is that you have solved the nail-extraction problem by defeating the hammering problem. You might say, "Oh yeah, you can totes hit the nail with the middle part of the hammer without the claws."

    No. Fuck you and fuck this idea. You aren't understanding the problem. Or my point. We already have crowbars. We don't need the world's worst hammer.

    We need a hammer for hitting nails, and we need a crowbar for pulling them out.



  • Bonus points for the site that image came from :laughing:

    http://blog.codinghorror.com/



  • That's evee.

    Great thinker and even better blogger.

    And a person who spends a huge amount of time on IRC sitting around helping idiots like me.

    Give me all your points.



  • @glathull said:

    Give me all your points

    Who died and made you @blakeyrat?


  • area_deu

    Isn't that a Pokemon?


  • sockdevs

    Missing an e, but yes:



  • Your mom.



  • a < b?

    Seriously, it's not even hard.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @cartman82 said:

    And if we are already asking people to learn a skill so they can post on a forum, we should stop and think, is markdown still the right solution?

    It's not. LaTeX FTW!!!!1!!!!ONE!!!eleventy!!! :trolleybus:



  • I'm assuming deciding to omit the spaces is Doing It Wrong?



  • Discussing the merits of different markup formats is barking up the wrong tree. The very idea of markup—interspersing formatting instructions with text in a big stringy mess—is bad. Everybody knows that mixing presentation and content is bad, but still we persist, because creating a new markup language is so much easier to implement than any of the alternatives. Yet in the long run, the time people have wasted trying to perfect this fundamentally flawed idea could have been far better spent producing a proper, widget-based, document toolkit.


    Filed Under: @scholrlea



  • Is oneless thantwo? That means a<­b is true if aequalsone and bequalstwo.


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