Letter-ordered lists


This is a good point, the list markers might not match the rendered output. I’ve been assuming that authors would update their lists to the actual letter used, e.g.

a. First item
b. Second item
c. Third item

instead of the lazy style:

a. First item
a. Second item
a. Third item

It would only be in the first case that authors could accurately refer the starting letter. However, I also think that at least in smaller documents, the author would clean up their lists to use the literal letter marker, and manually change the letter to refer to the correct list item in other parts of the text. This is, after all, what you would do in a plain text file, which is what Markdown is in it’s raw form. The advantage of doing it this way, rather than requiring a special reference syntax, is that authors can create and refer to letter ordered list without any special knowledge besides how to write a plain text document; this makes the syntax ideal for casual forum posts, etc.

Perhaps some kind of reference syntax (similar to how links and footnotes work) should be added for more complex scenarios.


I would argue that a good reason for inclusion of letter-ordered or a roman numeral-ordered lists in commonmark is that people commonly write these in regular text files

As a markdown user, when I’m writing, I’m writing a text file which also happens to magically compile to give a rendered output.

Having numeral lists be rendered but not letter / roman-numeral lists causes an inconsistency in rendering, which forces me to mentally change my writing style to just use numeral lists. I don’t want this mental overhead of remembering that I must use only certain kinds of lists because only certain kinds work with markdown.

Since both numeral and letter lists work in the text, I expect them both to behave consistently after rendering as well.

Common use-cases:

1. Item
  a. Sub-item
  b. Sub-item

**Definition**: Mathematical definition, and conditions (i) - (v) hold:
 (i) First condition
 (ii) Second condition
 (iii) Third condition
 (iv) Fourth condition
 (v) Fifth condition

I'm taking notes on something, the reference text using a) b) c)
1. But
2. My List
3. Uses 1, 2, 3,

So now whenever they refer to c, I have to remember to translate it to 3. Which sucks.