[Haskell-cafe] GSoC Project Proposal: Markdown support for Haddock

dag.odenhall at gmail.com dag.odenhall at gmail.com
Fri Apr 5 21:49:43 CEST 2013

Personally I think Markdown sucks, although perhaps less than Haddock


* No document meta data
* No code block meta data like language for syntax highlighting
* No tables
* No footnotes
* HTML fallback is insecure
* Confusing syntax (is it []() or ()[] for links?)
* Syntax that gets in the way (maybe I don't want *stars* emphasized)
* Above point leads to non-standard dialects like "GitHub Markdown" (no,
GitHub doesn't use markdown)
* Not extensible, leading to even more non-standard hacks and work-arounds
(GitHub Markdown, Pandoc Markdown, other Markdown libraries have their own
incompatible extensions)
* Not well suited for web input (e.g. four-space indentation for code
blocks), although not that important for Haddock

An important thing to note here is that no, Markdown has *not* won because
no one is actually using *Markdown*.  They're using their own, custom and
incompatible dialects.

Only two of the above points apply to reStructuredText (web input and
syntax getting in the way), and those particular points don't apply to
Creole.  Therefore I tend to advocate Creole for web applications and
reStructuredText for documents.

On Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 6:49 PM, Johan Tibell <johan.tibell at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all,
> Haddock's current markup language leaves something to be desired once
> you want to write more serious documentation (e.g. several paragraphs
> of introductory text at the top of the module doc). Several features
> are lacking (bold text, links that render as text instead of URLs,
> inline HTML).
> I suggest that we implement an alternative haddock syntax that's a
> superset of Markdown. It's a superset in the sense that we still want
> to support linkifying Haskell identifiers, etc. Modules that want to
> use the new syntax (which will probably be incompatible with the
> current syntax) can set:
> {-# HADDOCK Markdown #-}
> on top of the source file.
> Ticket: http://trac.haskell.org/haddock/ticket/244
> -- Johan
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> Haskell-Cafe at haskell.org
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