Call it YAMF, leaven the brand, sell it on its merits (not its name)


#1

The activity on this site speaks of good will towards a standards development project.

John MacFarlane’s distinguished presence would lend gravitas and interest to anything.

But others are already calling it YAMF, it’s visibly (look at code-fencing) a Meteor, Reddit, Stack Exchange, and GitHub flavour, even if John MacFarlane has been recruited in the name of tightening up an unextended core.

And hoisting pirate flags like “Standard” or “Common” strikes an insecure note – each inspires about as much confidence as the Skull & Crossbones or the head of Struwwelpeter, and both suggest an anxiety that the product itself will not sell well on its intrinsic merits, and needs to be packaged as ANSI in drag.

So far, all that that approach (and membership) has achieved is to invite opposition and a slight sense of comedy.

If the thing is genuinely useful, demonstrate that convincingly, and the buyers will come to it under any name. YAMF is at least honest, and expresses a degree of self-confidence and some sense of humour.

If you want to build consensus, leaven the project with a wider range of members, recruit some human skills, and attend to the challenges of acceptance and adoption before you dive down the rabbit hole of particular technical issues.


Tables in pure Markdown
#2

Want it or not, it should have some name people can refer to. If you go by different names it will cause confusion.


#3

I disagree. The name is important to success, and in balancing the greater good on this critical topic to the FOSS community as a whole, against “respect to Gruber” I’m sorry he just doesn’t own the space, the original has been abandoned, he relinquished leadership long ago.


#4

Well it’s already being called YAMF … no need really to proliferate the names

Though if the current process, stewardship and balance of forces remain unchanged, it will essentially be JAM, and might well come to be known as such.

(Arguably more succinct and informative than YAMF)

PS

Though Jeff Attwood himself modestly prefers YAMF to JAM – in his post at:
http://blog.codinghorror.com/standard-markdown-is-now-common-markdown/

he says:

we have only ever wanted to be Yet Another Flavor of Markdown

So perhaps YAMF it will be …

( Personally, I still think JAM is more accurate and expressive, but he’s calling the shots … : - )


#5

“Jam” is already the name of the C++ Boost build tool. “YAMF” would probably be the better bet.


#6

Well, Stack Exchange doesn’t have a code fence feature. (Yet.)


#7

YAMF isn’t bad. Common Markdown isn’t as “official” as Standard Markdown, though, so I don’t see what the issue with it is.


#8

Common Markdown isn’t as “official” as Standard Markdown, though, so I don’t see what the issue with it is.

It’s more unnecessary over-reach – an allusion to ANSI’s achievement of consensus on a Common Lisp.

This process is no ANSI – at the moment it draws on first class technical skills, but it would be a stretch to say that it even draws on a second class grasp of consensus-building.

Rule one of building consensus – you can’t fake it with fancy names – that just alienates people. If you build something good, and really achieve a wide perception that it is in fact good and useful, YAMF may yet be widely adopted.

But if you announce a consensus that doesn’t exist, or claim false victories with over-reaching names, you may just end up, to borrow from the idiom of Dr Drang, with nothing more than YACF.


#9

John Gruber hasn’t “abandoned” Markdown. He just doesn’t want to add anything to the core language. I’d be supportive of names like Common Markdown or Standard Markdown if this was just about clarifying the standard, but you can see here that this isn’t standard Markdown – It’s Markdown with some extensions built in. It’s entirely reasonable that Gruber wants “standard Markdown” to be Markdown without any extensions.

And to be clear: I think this dialect is a good idea, but it’s not standard Markdown (and “Common Markdown” still sounds too official). I think this should either have a completely new name which makes it clear that this isn’t The One True Markdown, or be split into clarifications of standard Markdown + extensions.


#10

[quote=“The Article”]What it is is Yet Another Markdown Flavor, with a feature set tied to the needs of Meteor, Reddit, Stack Exchange, and GitHub. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it isn’t setting a Standard. It’s what everyone else does—some better, some worse. And in John MacFarlane’s case, he’s done it better at least three times.

… I’ve almost never run into the problems that YAMF, with its 15,000-word spec, was designed to solve …
[/quote]

The reason the author has never run into the problems Common Markdown aims to solve is because he is a single author using it as a publishing platform.

Common Markdown isn’t just about Reddit, GitHub, et al. – The presence of a spec will make Markdown easier to integrate into any software project. It also provides some measure of confidence that files written to be parsed as Common Markdown will be both durable and portable.

In that sense: I have to disagree that this project is “just another flavor of markdown,” it’s so much more! Common Markdown is precisely the sort of thing developers need to integrate Markdown into more projects.

If Markdown is for digital authoring; then Common Markdown is for embedding in digital authoring platforms. Which I think is a noble cause: and the name should certainly reflect that.


#11

Good project – clumsily named.

Certainly not standard, and very far from being common ground, even further from the institutional status of Common Lisp.

So far – technically competent, socially and interpersonally obtuse.

It’s the consensus side that needs work and reparation at the moment, not the technical side.

Stepping back from the combative and divisive naming would be a good start.


#12

+++ BrendanLong [Sep 05 14 18:18 ]:

John Gruber hasn’t “abandoned” Markdown. He just doesn’t want to add anything to the core language. I’d be supportive of names like Common Markdown or Standard Markdown if this was just about clarifying the standard, but you can see here that this isn’t standard Markdown – It’s Markdown with some extensions built in. It’s entirely reasonable that Gruber wants “standard Markdown” to be Markdown without any extensions.

I would, myself, be happy to strip it down to a minimal core, without these extensions, if it would bring Gruber on board.

From what I’ve seen, I don’t expect it would.


#13

I would say the case is clear. John Gruber doesn’t want to have a standard markdown specification.

And people here believe it should have one. I don’t want just Yet Another Markdown Flavor. No, I want a standard for how a .md file should be interpreted. A standard that works the same way across all websites in the world. Two years ago, Jeff Atwood wrote:

I was excited because, like David, I freaking love Markdown. I love it so much that I want to see it succeed and flourish over the next 20 years. I believe the best way to achive that goal is for the most popular sites using Markdown to band together and take ownership of Markdown as a standard. I propose that Stack Exchange, GitHub, Meteor, Reddit, and any other company with lots of traffic and a strategic investment in Markdown, all work together to come up with an official Markdown specification, and standard test suites to validate Markdown implementations. We’ve all been working at cross purposes for too long, accidentally fragmenting Markdown while popularizing it.

Like any dutiful and well-meaning suitor, we first need to ask permission for this courtship from the parents. So I’m asking you, John Gruber: as the original creator of Markdown, will you bless this endeavor?

The answer is clear: No. I won’t.

With the position John Gruber has taken, Markdown will go down. I bet in 20 years, nobody uses it anymore. We need a new language. Let’s call it: MarkUp (M↑).

MarkUp should have allmost the same goal as markdown has, namely allowing people to “to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format". But besides this it should also have as goal, as Jeff Atwood wrote:

to be an unambiguous, basic standard that everyone using Markdown MarkUp (M↑) can expect to work in the same way across all web sites in the world when they begin typing.


#14

I think people are assuming too much bad faith from John Gruber. I did originally, but after looking into it more, I see why he’s annoyed:

@waxpancake But there is a beauty that comes from stability. Markdown being stable allowed others to build on it and variants to flourish.

— John Gruber (@gruber) September 5, 2014

@gruber We shouldn't add anything to Markdown, but seems like they just want to clarify the parsing. Wouldn't that be a good thing?

— Brendan Long (@brendankblong) September 5, 2014

@brendankblong Read their proposal. That’s not what they’re doing.

— John Gruber (@gruber) September 5, 2014

I don’t want to put words into his mouth, but at least part of his problem with YAMF is that it claims to just be canonical Markdown with some ambiguity removed, but it’s actually that plus some changes.

The other problem is that John Gruber seems to be “acting like a dick”. What you might not know (and I didn’t) was that this has happened before:

This has been going on for years, and my stance has remained unchanged: http://t.co/uIv5NBzXn3

— John Gruber (@gruber) September 5, 2014

And Jeff Atwood has tried to take over Markdown (and change it) before:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4716501

John Gruber also has a tweet to the effect that, “Markdown isn’t perfect and I’d like to fix some parts of it still”. I wish I could link to the tweet but I can’t find it.

Anyway, it seems clear to me that John Gruber is:

  • Not opposed to making a new Markdown dialect, just opposed to implying that it’s The One True Markdown. For example, he’s completely fine with “GitHub-flavored Markdown”.
  • Not opposed to creating a new standard and giving it a name that isn’t Markdown. This standard can be The One True X, as long as “X” isn’t “Markdown”.
  • Not opposed to fixing ambiguity in the official Markdown spec. It’s worth pointing out that in most of the cases found by Babelmark, either the Markdown parser is wrong according to the official Markdown spec or Babelmark is being pedantic about the exact HTML output.

#15

Per:

http://talk.commonmark.org/t/standard-markdown-is-now-commonmark/434

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