Thoughts on simplicity

Sondre k's Avatar

Sondre k

06 Oct, 2015 02:21 PM

I came across criticmarkup about a year ago, and instantly found that it was a good idea. I had been trying to come up with a similar solution for my own private work. However, I found some aspects of the syntax a bit troublesome. I realise that once these things are adopted there isn't much to do about it, and so far I just haven't bothered using it, but it occurred to me that I should let someone know.

To me, the greatest value of criticmarkup is to be follow the principle of markdown, namely to be "publishable as-is, as plain text, without looking like it’s been marked up with tags or formatting instructions."

As it stands, I find the criticmarkup syntax hugely distracting in a text. It is very difficult to actually read the marked up text.

I find that the more characters are added, the more cluttered it becomes. Criticmarkup uses 6 characters to indicate a comment:
{>>a comment<<}
To me, the added value then is non-existent to just using an HTML comment:
<!--a comment-->

Ideally, using only 2 characters should be enough:
+an addition+
-a subtraction-

I realise curly braces probably make for easy parsing and fewer conflicts, but one can make do with something a bit more minimal:
{+an addition}
{-a subtraction}

So I hope you will forgive me, but for now I have chosen to pass on criticmarkup, instead using my own scheme for tracking changes and commenting on my text.

  1. 1 Posted by David Mundie on 16 Feb, 2016 02:31 AM

    David Mundie's Avatar

    You complain about Criticmarkup comments using 6 characters, but the HTML comment uses 7 characters. Not a very convincing argument.

  2. 2 Posted by Sondre k on 25 Feb, 2016 08:41 AM

    Sondre k's Avatar

    In case I didn't make my case clear, I don't think html comments are better in this respect. 7 or 6 characters just doesn't make much of a difference to me.

    However, using only 2-3 characters would make a big difference.

    Best regards,

  3. 3 Posted by Sondre k on 25 Feb, 2016 08:57 AM

    Sondre k's Avatar

    The reason I used the html comment as an example is that markdown is made to be significantly easier to read and write than html, and so it seems reasonable that criticmarkup should follow that ideal as well.

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