Obscure menu options.

tuxtlequino's Avatar

tuxtlequino

21 Sep, 2017 09:08 PM

Since the documentation for Multimarkdown Composer is the forum, I think that there should be some sort of documentation about some of the options. Again, I am not saying that MMC is a bad program, I am just trying to give feedback to make it better.

In the Preference Pane, there is a series of options that do not make sense unless you are making some sort of implied connections with a serious amount of knowledge in LaTex and MMD. For example,

"Automatically add anchors to headers"

The problem here is anchors. What is this supposed to do? There is no where in any documentation available an explanation available of what exactly an "anchor" is, much less what this is option accomplishing (The idea of "anchors" may be grasp by reading how the word is used in the documentation, but I am not even sure it is what I think it is!). Now, if you have submerged yourself in LaTex, MMD, and programming, that may be something that is very obvious and doesn't need an explanation. I also understand that this is something that is in an obscure menu somewhere, but I recommend to either;

1. Make the options something easier to understand.
2. Create a page here that explains what does each option do.

Maybe we can start by having people explain in their own words, what do they think each options accomplishes.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Fletcher on 23 Sep, 2017 01:57 PM

    Fletcher's Avatar

    I'll think about options. Additional suggestions welcome.

    That said, Composer does presume knowledge about HTML, Markdown, and MultiMarkdown, as well as the way they work.

  2. 2 Posted by tuxtlequino on 23 Sep, 2017 05:26 PM

    tuxtlequino's Avatar

    That said, Composer does presume knowledge about HTML, Markdown, and MultiMarkdown, as well as the way they work.

    Fletcher, this is one of the reasons why committing to use MMD Composer as an editor is kind of a pain. I am very familiar with all of those technologies, although I am not a programmer. The reason I am not using HTML or LaTex is because I have reached an age where it is just not worth the hassle and time to keep all of that in my mind when I am writing a document. That is the exact reason I want the simplicity of something like MultiMarkdown. And that is also the reason I choose to buy MMD Composer. I believe that is the reason of the existence of markdown!

    Now, please explain to me this menu.

    Use random footnote anchors

    Somewhere in the documentation, the word "anchor" is mentioned in relation to cross-references, but nowhere else is the concept of "anchors" in MultiMarkdown explained. I have to take that assumption and then assume that MMD Composer is going to automatically create cross-references to all my footnotes automatically. If that is the case, why not say it like that then?

    It is as if you have been assuming a bunch of things in the document that was supposed to explain things for the beginners. Beginners that are probably using MultiMarkdown because they don't want the all the hassle or learning HTML to produce something simple. Why have documentation if we are just assuming that people know most things then? Why be obtuse instead of making this option and many more like it a little bit clearer to understand?

    Just assuming that users are "idiots" or "lazy" is not the way to just admit that honestly, some of the wording in your menus could definitively have used some more forethought. I am not trying to make you upset nor anything like that. I cannot even imagine all the work you have put into developing Multimarkdown and how unthankful users are of all of your work and effort. Instead of saying, "thank", they find things to be picky about. I believe that is one of the reasons why so many great developer just quit open source projects that they speared or created.

    Let me then say thank you! I do appreciate your work. It is because I like your work that I have tried to support you by buying everything you have produced. I have been involved with MultiMarkdown as a user since 2011. I just want to make this even better so that other beginners can buy your products too. Because I am **assuming* that people that already have a good working knowledge of HTML, Markdown, and Multimarkdown are probably using SublimeText, Atom, or Vi to edit things anyway!*

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Fletcher on 23 Sep, 2017 06:43 PM

    Fletcher's Avatar

    <replying slightly out of order to improve the flow>

     > Fletcher, this is one of the reasons why committing to use MMD Composer
     > as an editor is kind of a pain. I am very familiar with all of those
     > technologies, although I am not a programmer. The reason I am not using
     > HTML or LaTex is because I have reached an age where it is just not
     > worth the hassle and time to keep all of that in my mind when I am
     > writing a document. That is the exact reason I want the simplicity of
     > something like MultiMarkdown. And that is also the reason I choose to
     > buy MMD Composer. *I believe that is the reason of the existence of
     > markdown!*

    IMO, Markdown (and MultiMarkdown) are useful not because they obviate
    the need to understand HTML (or LaTeX), but because they remove 90% of
    the repetitive work from those formats. "Back in the day", even
    something as simple as creating paragraphs in a blog tool was annoying.
    Manually adding `<p>` and `</p>` around each paragraph was frustrating.
    Several plugins solved that problem by looking for empty lines, and then
    Markdown came along and did so much more.

    But it still helps to understand HTML in order to do the other 10%.

    Yes -- *most* people can write *most* of their documents in
    MultiMarkdown and never need to think about the underlying syntax (be it
    HTML, LaTeX, ODT, etc.). But to be clear, my goal with MultiMarkdown is
    not to make understanding those things obsolete. It's to reduce the
    repetitive tasks associated with writing in those formats natively,
    *without* the ridiculous bloat usually created by "WYSIWYG" technologies.

     > Just /assuming/ that users are "idiots" or "lazy" is not the way to just

    I don't assume that any users are "idiots" or "lazy", and have never
    said that. Please don't put words in my mouth, especially negative ones
    like this.

     > admit that honestly, some of the wording in your menus could
     > definitively have used some more forethought. I am not trying to make

    I'm happy to refine wording where needed. But remember, the majority of
    the wording we have been discussing are simply check boxes that toggle
    the command line switches of MultiMarkdown on/off. MultiMarkdown has
    its own documentation:

    http://fletcher.github.io/MultiMarkdown-5/

    (Which needs to be updated for v6, but I've been busy on Composer).

    Also, the v6 Quick Start guide which documents the changes from older
    versions to v6.

    https://github.com/fletcher/MultiMarkdown-6/tree/develop/QuickStart

     > Now, please explain to me this menu.
     >
     > Use random footnote anchors

    Some people use MultiMarkdown in their blogs. Each article may use
    footnotes, which normally would all use the same sequential numbering
    (1, 2, 3, ...). But when multiple articles are put together on the home
    page, those footnotes would conflict with each other.

    The random option generates random numbers for the footnote links for
    each article, reducing the likelihood that there will be a conflict.
    (They still appear as 1, 2, 3 in the text, but the underlying links use
    longer numbers).

     > I cannot even imagine all the work you
     > have put into developing Multimarkdown and how unthankful users are of
     > all of your work and effort. Instead of saying, "thank", they find
     > things to be picky about. I believe that is one of the reasons why so
     > many great developer just quit open source projects that they speared or
     > created.

    I used to be frustrated by this, but finally realized that usually the
    people who get irritable when writing in are people who otherwise love
    MultiMarkdown and are struggling because there's an aspect that is
    getting in their way. If they truly don't like it, they usually don't
    bother to write in. Usually, we only get emotionally involved about
    things that we value.

    Understanding this made it easier (not always easy, but easier) to deal
    with those who are angry or make things personal. And the vast majority
    of the time, once the issue is resolved they are thankful and can be
    some of the more helpful users out there in terms of useful feedback.
    So I try to focus on fixing the problems, being appreciative of all the
    great users I have had the fortune to interact with over the years, and
    ignore the tiny minority that have nothing productive to say (which is
    probably only 1 or 2 people over the years at most).

     > Because I am **assuming/* that people that
     > already have a good working knowledge of HTML, Markdown, and
     > Multimarkdown are probably using SublimeText, Atom, or Vi to edit
     > things anyway!*

    Actually, some of the people I know with the best working knowledge of
    HTML, Markdown, etc. *do* use tools like Composer. They know it saves
    them time for the vast majority of the work they do. And they know that
    they can "fall back" to HTML when they need something that MMD can't do.
      I can write in MMD using Sublime Text, etc. But it's slower, and less
    "fun". Composer just streamlines most of the tedium associated with
    writing for computers so I can focus on the content in a way that other
    applications don't.

  4. 4 Posted by jonathan on 30 Sep, 2017 05:46 PM

    jonathan's Avatar

    Fletcher, I appreciate MMC, and know MMD, HTML and LaTeX. But I'm with @tuxtlequino in his/her request for more documentation on some of these options. There will be some who are using MMC precisely to avoid detailed HTML, and so won't know about anchors. There are also those who occasionally use footnotes who don't need to understand the complexities of long-form articles in many parts and the need for richer footnote support. As you say most are straight options from MMD, so it shouldn't be hard to copy over that documentation.

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