I was considering adding a feature to Jekyll that would let me provide “.txt” links that return Markdown versions of posts the way that MacDrifter’s Pelican install does and I’m pretty sure Gruber used to. I got bored with the idea of writing a generator for it, so I hacked a workaround that turned into something quite different from the original objective. That happens a lot.

If you look under the little gear icon in the upper right of this site, you’ll now see an “Add to nvALT links” option. Clicking it will turn on “nvALT” links next to “[tweet : adn]” for every post, both on the index pages and on permalinks. Clicking this — assuming you have nvALT installed — will use Marky to generate the Markdown version as an nvALT url that will execute itself automatically and… long story short, it adds a Markdownified version of the post straight to nvALT.

You can, of course, just drag a url to the notes list and hold down Option to run Readability and Markdownify on any article, but I figured I’d make it really easy1. I made it opt-in on my site, but there are some bookmarklets on the Marky website for doing it anywhere.

It also highlights the fact that Marky can return JSON (with a JSONP wrapper if called with callback=?). This makes it usable in any web application, in addition to the main website and its command line tool (see the API docs on one of the Marky pages). I know it still has some issues, especially with images within links, but it sure can come in handy.

  1. It was more an “I think I can do that” hack than anything terribly useful (I don’t really need to save my own articles to nvALT, most of them are already there). I once even built my own web-based version of Antique for my own use… it’s a disease.