I’ve updated Marky the Markdownifier with a few key fixes and improvements. It’s getting more and more traffic and has some dedicated users, so it seemed like it was about time to solve some of the more annoying issues. It still needs a usability overhaul and some kind of iOS solution, but these issues were the ones that bothered me the most.

Marky now:

  • does not choke on linked headlines1
  • converts curly quotes (single and double) to straight quotes
  • handles definition list markup and converts to MMD format
  • does not indent reference link definitions
  • properly indents list items for MultiMarkdown (4 spaces)
  • uses quotes instead of parenthesis on title attributes in link definitions
  • includes unicode characters instead of replacing them with ASCII equivalents
  • doesn’t choke on API requests without trailing slashes
  • returns proper CORS headers and JSON formats
  • switching between HTML preview and markdown in the web interface syncs scroll position (within reason)
  • In the markdown preview on the website, click [text][1] format links and see where they link to in a tooltip (my favorite new feature, works with mobile, too)
  • URLS and reference links are clickable in the markdown preview
  • Night mode2

I have a very basic parser written for converting HTML tables to MMD format, but it chokes on more complex and nested tables, so it’s not live yet. It’s something I would really like to have, though, so I’ll try to wrap that up. marky.rb needs an update, too…

Lastly, I’ve given the styling a small kick in the pants. It’s not as bad as it was, but it still not great for smaller mobile screens. It’s pretty good on iPad, but it still mostly works like the Desktop app it was built as, and lacks mobile usability.

I’ve started playing with mobile solutions. I’ve adjusted most of the click handlers to watch for taps, and fixed up the elements of the design that Mobile Safari had the most issues with. It’s still rough, though.

There’s no elegant way I can find to get your Markdown to your clipboard, or even programtically select text for copying in iOS 7. If anyone knows different, please let me know. The site current looks good on iPhone and especially on iPad, but doing anything other than reading the text is difficult.

As an aside, there’s an in-flux Reader-only version that uses the same back end. Feel free to play with it, but it’s my “playground” and may or may not funciton properly at any given time. To use it, just pass a url to run Readability and formatting on to “?u=http://…” query string to it. Easy to work into a bookmarklet, which is it’s future purpose3.

I should mention that the API is getting messy as I add options, and I may rewrite it with more consistent and semantic methods and options in the future. I’ll keep v1 available for anyone who’s built cool bookmarklets and integrations for it, but v2 will be more well-planned.

These updates should help out people who use Marky on the web as well as those who access it through the API. If you’re a Markdown fan and haven’t tried Marky out, give it a shot.

  1. This was really, really bugging me. I had to learn more Python to fix it, but I did. 

  2. because the style I was modifying was already set up for an “inverted” class… 

  3. Not that there’s any lack of solid readability services out there, I just want something I can control and extend. Plus, none of the other ones will hand you formatted Markdown on demand…