HPR3254: The Markdown editor Retext

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"HPR3254: The Markdown editor Retext"

What is ReText?

The ReText website on GitHub says that ReText is a simple but powerful editor for Markdown and reStructuredText markup languages.

Doing a search on the HPR site returned the following two references to ReText.

The excellent Markdown and Pandoc HPR 1832 episode by b-yeezi makes reference to ReText

Dave Morriss mentioned using ReText as a possible tool when sending in shownotes as markdown is preferable to plain text. Refer to HPR 3167

Retext Version Info

As of the 1st of January 2021 I am running ReText version 7.0.1 the latest version was 7.1.0 this was last updated on the 4th of April 2020.

Why I am covering this

I’m covering this because in HPR show 3167 Dave Morriss said that Markdown was a preferred way to submit shownotes. Prior to this I had supplied my shownotes in plain text.

What is Markdown?

I guess I first must cover what markdown is I found the following definitions:-

Description of Markdown from Wikipedia

Markdown is a lightweight markup language for creating formatted text using a plain-text editor. John Gruber and Aaron Swartz created Markdown in 2004 as a markup language that is appealing to the human users in its source form.[9] Markdown is widely used in blogging, instant messaging, online forums, collaboration software, documentation pages, and even readme files Link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markdown

Description of Markdown from John Gruber's website, one of the co founders of Markdown.

Markdown is a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. Markdown allows you to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML).

Example text used in the show and how it looks

# This is a level 1 heading

## This is a level 2 heading

### This is a level 3 heading

This is a level 1 heading

This is a level 2 heading

This is a level 3 heading

Finally here are useful links that are available from within the ReText program. They can be found within the Help / About ReText menu:-

Link to ReText website

Link to Markdown syntax

Link to reStructuredText syntax

Final thoughts

  • Using ReText to pull these shownotes together disciplined me to hopefully put more meaningful titles within my shownotes.

  • It helped my to create meaningful descriptive links which will hopefully help accessibility for the visually impaired.

  • I edited the text on this occasion in live preview mode I found this made it very easy to see how the final version would look.

  • I think I ended up with more polished shownotes that hopefully needs fewer and hopefully no input from our band of HPR volunteers working behind the scenes.


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