passing raw latex

Luca Ferrero's Avatar

Luca Ferrero

23 Sep, 2017 04:05 PM

Hello Fletcher,

In previous versions, we could use the HTML comments to pass raw text to the output files. This was extremely useful to me to pass latex commands. I have scores of beamer presentations, for instance, where I kept using <!--\pause --> and other latex commands using the HTML comments syntax. What should I do now to pass these commands to the tex file?

An additional benefit of the old way was that in MMD composer I could use stylesheets to make these comments light and unobtrusive. I hope that this is still going to be possible in the new version, otherwise, it would be a big step back for users like me. Thanks


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Fletcher on 23 Sep, 2017 04:22 PM

    Fletcher's Avatar

    That syntax has changed in MMD-6.

    I need to update the Quick Start documentation, but it's described here:

    (scroll to the bottom)

    The new approach offers more flexibility and consistency.


  2. 2 Posted by Luca Ferrero on 23 Sep, 2017 04:47 PM

    Luca Ferrero's Avatar

    I see - I used `\pause`{=*} to pass raw latex

    To be very frank, this solution just looks atrocious. I am really sorry that I did not see that discussion earlier and that it was committed to MMD. Now any of these raw texts will stand out visually like an eyesore - and there is no easy way to see what block of text is to be passed (because of the awkward and unmatched {=*} at the end

    Also, in the stylesheet, it seems impossible to isolate the entire text and its syntax to make it less visible -- because now it is parsed as a string of code in between ` ` but not the {=*}, which stands out even more. Ouch...

    I really hope that a better solution will be found in the future (I understand that this is now irreversible). This is so un-Fletcher-like (aesthetically speaking).

    Thanks for all the great work you have put in MMD and MMD composer. I am happy to continue supporting its development (I just bought the pro version) -- but this solution looks really really ugly to me.


  3. 3 Posted by Luca Ferrero on 24 Sep, 2017 11:27 AM

    Luca Ferrero's Avatar

    Hi Fletcher,

    I really really have a hard time accepting the new syntax for raw code. It is so inelegant and it goes against the very design philosophy of MMD, in my opinion. Would you please please reconsider it? Maybe there is still time, because as it is now it is killer, at least for users like me.

    I can send you some files to show you how terrible the new syntax looks -- how obtrusive the raw comments look like when I work so hard to make them unobtrusive.

    What is wrong with a proposal similar to this one below? It would just expand on a very elegant syntax that it is already implemented in v 6 and it would make it super easy to adapt to v6 (and also to revise old files to be easily available for the new version)

    <!--foo *bar*--> Html Comment

    <H--foo *bar*--> Html Raw Code
    <L--foo *bar*--> LaTeX Raw Code
    <*--foo *bar*--> Universal Raw Code

    This is also easy to expand, since you could always use a different character after the opening < to indicate a different format, whatever format might come along in the future.

    I take that this could be also applied to code blocks. For instance, a LaTeX code block would be something like


    Thanks for your consideration. Please, please consider revising this syntax!



  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by Fletcher on 24 Sep, 2017 11:53 AM

    Fletcher's Avatar

    1. The HTML comment approach was something I did early on, and honestly
    didn't think too much about it. If I had thought more about it, I would
    not have done it.

    2. More complex documents, especially those with multiple output
    formats, required some overly complex gymnastics to work. This was a
    definite shortcoming of the old way.

    3. The new syntax is shared with that planned for pandoc.

    4. I agree that when I first looked at it, I didn't love it. But I
    couldn't think of a better plan, nor did anyone else suggest a better plan.

    5. The longer I thought about it, the less the new syntax bothered me.

    6. Your modified version loses the one benefit of the old syntax, which
    was that it neatly "fell away" when run through non-MMD parsers. By
    using an HTML comment, if used in anything other than MMD, it was simply
    a comment, and ignored by the browser.

    7. The new approach, by using code spans/blocks will fall back to
    regular code if used in a parser that doesn't understand it. It won't
    look as intended, but I think the intent will be (relatively) clear.

    I'm always open to considering new things, if you have a better idea.


  5. Fletcher closed this discussion on 12 Oct, 2017 06:46 PM.

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