## Markdown feedback, bugs, and suggestions

I will use this thread for feedback related to ThinkLab flavored markdown (TLFM).

# Smart Punctuation

Many markdown parsers have implemented smart punctuation, which includes en and em dashes, curly quotes, and ellipsis. Here are a few examples:

Hopefully, this can also apply to titles where I have been using lots of en dashes.

Smart Punctuation does not appear to be something Discourse, Stackoverflow, or GitHub have implemented. Perhaps there's a reason they haven't? Jeff Atwood seems to think its better to only use it in titles. But on the other hand that might screw up something like this.

• Daniel Himmelstein: The counterargument that "git checkout –" should be git checkout – is convincing to me. GitHub markdown has additional limitations, such as no formulas, that are not present in TLFM.

• Daniel Himmelstein: I start from the premise that TLFM should be capable of publication quality output. This is likely not the case for Discourse, Stackoverflow, or GitHub.

• Jesse Spaulding: Good points. I think we'll start with doing something with the titles and then go from there.

• Jesse Spaulding: @dhimmel Two dashes -- and three dashes --- now both automatically convert to em-dashes (—) in markdown and discussion titles. Additionally, quotes in discussion titles convert to curly quotes.

• Daniel Himmelstein: Why doesn't -- convert to an en-dash (–)?

• Jesse Spaulding: Because people commonly use -- in place of an em-dash. If we do what you suggest they will be getting en-dashes when they mean to get em-dashes! It seems strange to expect people to type 3 dashes to get an em-dash. I've never seen that.

• Daniel Himmelstein: I think that most users will expect -- to return an en-dash. Latex and other markdown extensions use -- for en and --- for em. Personally, I frequently use en-dashes for numerical ranges.

• Jesse Spaulding: Okay, what I've done is the following:

1. --- and (space)--(space) convert to em-dash
2. -- converts to en-dash

This should then work as expected in most scenarios. Let me know if you see a problem.

Status: Completed
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Discussion System   Feature Suggestion
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Daniel Himmelstein, Jesse Spaulding (2015) Markdown feedback, bugs, and suggestions. Thinklab. doi:10.15363/thinklab.d32