Easier publishing

Written late in the evening in English • Tags: ,

Writing HTML is not exactly easy — all those angle brackets require lots of shift key pressing, and reformatting text from inside one set of tags to outside means working around these or those tags constantly. On the other hand, writing regular plain text email is rather easy. Ascii enhancements to highlight text have been around for ages, and with almost 20 years of writing messages they are practically automatic to my fingers.

With WordPress and other blog tools I’ve looked into different markup systems. I’ve really taken a liking to Markdown, as it is very close to how I write in email. As an added bonus, I can basically take any email and put it on my web server, and it turns into an HTML document almost without any work. And I can still email it as plain text!

Since the framework of this site is written in PHP I installed a PHP version of Markdown. Then I hunted around for a PHP version of SmartyPants for a couple of minutes before realizing I should just look at the WordPress code right under my nose… (Look in the functions-formatting.php file in the distribution.)

To tie it all together, I enhanced my page wrapper to handle .txt files in addition to the .html files it was already processing to add the “look-and-feel” of the site.