Markdown packages (ala OSX directory packages)

hchapman-mmdcomposer's Avatar

hchapman-mmdcomposer

24 May, 2013 10:11 PM

Currently, we have support for File.md as a file. It would be nice to support File.md as a OSX-style package directory where File.md is a directory and the actual markdown file(s) and any accompanying images are contained within the top-level directory. I know that other apps similar to MMC have done this. Balsamiq mockups comes to mind. They originally had a single XML file describing a wireframe diagram which could import from other diagram files or external images similar to how markdown files are used. Microsoft Word is another that does something similar. I think they use a zip file instead of a directory.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Fletcher on 27 May, 2013 06:30 PM

    Fletcher's Avatar

    I have considered something like this. Some of the challenges include:

    1) A zipped format would make the documents incompatible with all existing software. Yes, anyone could unzip the file, but many users wouldn't understand this, and it would be inconvenient for those who did.

    2) An unzipped package bundle could still be treated as a folder by other programs, and the Terminal, which would allow access to the files inside. This would not be easily edited via a finder double-click in any app but Composer. Package bundles also bring new challenges in file synchronization (e.g. Dropbox) as files can be updated at different times, potentially leaving one copy in a "broken" state.

    As I wrote, this is something I have considered, and if I come up with a really good way to manage it, I will consider adding it in the future. I just want to make sure it's done properly if I'm going to do it.

    F-

  2. 2 Posted by hchapman-mmdcom... on 28 May, 2013 12:07 PM

    hchapman-mmdcomposer's Avatar

    Understood and thanks.

  3. Fletcher closed this discussion on 28 May, 2013 08:16 PM.

  4. Fletcher re-opened this discussion on 28 May, 2013 08:16 PM

  5. 3 Posted by Jonathan Moore on 29 May, 2013 08:27 PM

    Jonathan Moore's Avatar

    Not sure if I agree with this direction at all as I believe the whole benefit of Markdown files is that they're an open text based format that allow for true data portability across platform/operating system etc.

    That's not to say that I don't see the benefit of a supporting package based option which allows for support files to be included but to build it upon .md or .markdown files doesn't see to be the appropriate approach.

    It's one of the things that I dislike about OmniOutliner files. They require specialist transfer protocols when working with IOS (where they're effectively seen as a zipped package format).

  6. 4 Posted by hchapman-mmdcom... on 29 May, 2013 10:12 PM

    hchapman-mmdcomposer's Avatar

    VMware uses VM_Name.vmwarevm for a package directory name and the directories work fine on Windows and Linux. To OSX, they look like packages, to everyone else, just directories. In fact, you can take a VMware directory created in Windows and add .vmwarevm to make it a package on OSX. It makes it nice for moving markdown files and their attachments around. The real benefit is that markdown apps then have a place where they can copy and cache attachments automatically the same way Word or others work.

  7. Support Staff 5 Posted by Fletcher on 20 Jan, 2015 02:01 AM

    Fletcher's Avatar

    FYI --

    The TextBundle format is similar to this:

    http://textbundle.org/

    Support for this format is included in the upcoming MultiMarkdown Composer v3, Pro version:

    http://multimarkdown.com/2015/01/v3-announcement

    F-

  8. Fletcher closed this discussion on 20 Jan, 2015 02:01 AM.

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