Allow BB Code and/or HTML in addition to Markdown

Storm Engineer 8 years ago updated by Digby (Community Manager) 7 years ago 9

Markdown has its advantages and is preferred by some people, but for many of us, it is unreliable and a pain in the ass to use, especially when we need more complex formatting, like a price sheet, YCH information, etc. Having it as an option is great, but forcing it on everyone is bad practice.

Please add either BB Code or filtered HTML formatting as alternatives and make Markdown optional. Let us chose which one we want to use.

Also give us some means of disabling Markdown if we don't want regular characters to get parsed into formatting. This could be achieved many ways, including a global account setting and a "nomarkdown" BB/Custom HTML tag.

In another ticket I made a list of the problems with Markdown to explain why we need other options too, and also made suggestions in how to implement the ability to disable Markdown for certain texts. However, apparently most people don't read past the title and think I want markdown to be replaced - I DO NOT! I suggest it to be optional alongside BB Code or HTML.

See my other ticket for the issues with Markdown: http://support.furrynetwork.com/topics/650-/

That ticket asks for a toolbar or editor for Markdown and focuses on writers.
I ask for BB Code and/or HTML as optional alternatives, and I state it is needed by everyone, not only writers.


I know you posted this else where, but this in essence is what I want to see. Markdown is easy to use, but a little limited. Being able to use HTML alongside it would give people the flexability to set out a story as they'd like.

I completely agree with this sentiment. Markdown is the thing that - I think - has kept a number of writers off of Weasyl and on the other, bigger sites. If that was removed as a problem here, then I think that a number of authors in particular would be willing to come to FN and give it a shot.

As it stands, all users are being asked to throw out the common experience that they're used to on all the other big sites in favor of something that's a bit of a minority. I am a bit inexperienced, admittedly, in being on a number of different sites, but I've never had to try Markdown before Weasyl lifted its head, and due to the extreme difference and difficulty - and the lack of italics support - I couldn't work my stories in over there. That is going to be a big problem here as well.

BBCode is a pretty simple thing, when you get right down to it. A simple [, followed by your tag, followed by a ]. Almost anyone can learn how to do it. Anyone saying that Markdown is simpler is right only in the fact that you use the same key, only more times, to get an effect; it is NOT easier to memorize, nor easier to work with in terms of the versatility it offers.

Easier to use on mobile? No, but most writers and most posters of longer works - where we NEED this versatility - are not using mobiles. We're using keyboards, where the keys are easy to tap and there's no real worries about flexibility of keys, but more worries about remembering what the hell we're typing, and if we've picked the right sort, and whether we'll need to go back and fix it later. Which is a huge worry, for most of us.

Should Markdown be taken out? No.

Should it be the only choice? HELL no.

I don't know how coding works, and I don't know if there is a way to have both. But we need something better than Markdown for written works, or authors - at the very least - will be less invested in coming here, and anything involving more extensive work will have a hard time developing.

The recent decision about 'professionalism' being important to the site should be considered for this.


Markdown by default allows HTML, yet this was turned off on FN. Why do they take more options away from us?

People please vote if you would like to have more options for formatting, or if you at least are willing to recognize others' need for it.

I agree with allowing html, but I don't think having BBCode would be a good idea, especially because the html spec already allows everything you can do with it, and is also in the Markdown spec.

As for allowing markdown to be optional, I don't think that's really necessary once you have html. Conflict with syntax isn't an option, because all you need to do is escape your literals.

Disclaimer: I write all my stories in markdown.

I'm going to be honest here I don't even know what you mean when you say 'escape your literals.' I mean, it looks like english but I am about as computer literate as a well-trained monkey and I'm assuming that that's what its talking about, computer stuff, with the broken link and all that. Edit: Link isn't broken, just had to log in to see it. Still confused about what you mean though.

Markdown (and BBcode for that matter) treat certain characters as special, such as square brackets and parenthesis, where they are used for adding ilnks in Markdown (ex: [link](http://www.example.com) ) or for a tag in BBcode (ex: [url=http://www.example.com]link[/url] ) In order to use those special characters as they appear, (using them literally), you need to precede them by another special character, usually a backslash (\), and that process is called escaping.

Note that this problem applies to any markup syntax, including BBCode, Markdown, and HTML, so unless FN went with a WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) editor, you'd be required to escape your literals.


We're currently planning to implement a WYSIWYG editor for the website that will allow for custom formatting. I know that there are various ways to format text across the internet, and we want to go with something that everyone can use, even if they don't know HTML or BBCode.