[Haskell-cafe] haddock as a markdown preprocessor

Conal Elliott conal at conal.net
Wed Feb 20 19:43:08 EST 2008

There was a chat today on
(15:08 to 16:10) about evolving haddock.  I'd like to get comments.

The goal is to get the full functionality of a general purpose,
programmer-friendly markup language like markdown.  One example is image
embedding.  Another is friendly links (no visible URL).

The idea is to make a future haddock be a *preprocessor* that generates
pandoc's extended markdown (or some such).  Documentation would be mostly
markdown, with very few extensions for code documentation ('foo' and "
Foo.Bar", maybe a bit more).  Most of the doc would simply be passed through
untouched.  The code-doc extensions would get rewritten into standard
markdown and mixed in with the rest.

Pandoc could then take the generated markdown and produce HTML, LaTeX,
DocBoook XML, etc.

Perhaps there will be ways in which markdown falls short in expressiveness.
If so, I'm guessing the shortcomings wouldn't be specific to the task of
code documentation, and so could be approached as improvements to
markdown/pandoc (which is written in Haskell).

Since the old and new doc languages would be quite incompatible, we might
want to specify in a .cabal file which language to use.


  - Conal
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