Support for GFM-like checkboxes


Please add support for checkboxes, like GitHub-Flavored Markdown * [x]/* [ ] checked/unchecked syntax. This way, websites that use CommonMark checkbox syntax can add WYSIWYG Markdown checkboxes, a great feature for tracking work done in complex tickets!


I’ve added this to the list of proposed extensions.


I think this is a good candidate for an extension, I imagine this would be fairly trivial to parse and add to the AST, but maybe @jgm can chime in with an idea on complexity to implement.

@chrisalley, being new here I am not totally clear about extensions and how they work. Where can I find out more on extensions to Commonmark? Are they part of a separate specification Commonmark Extensions and then implementations can enable/disable these extensions as plugins?


See my reply in the topic Sorely confused about “Extensions”. I think it answers your question, but myself or others here can clarify further if need be.


FYI and FWIW, a community plugin for this feature exists for Discourse.


Where are we this this? Checkboxes are the last thing I need to completely replace all my notes with Markdown! It would be great if it was on the official spec.


Checkboxes are unlikely to be added to the core CommonMark spec since it deals with features from the original Markdown spec. However, there’s a extension that is part of the GitHub Flavoured Markdown spec (based on CommonMark) called Task List Items that you can use.


Checkboxes are unlikely to be added to the core CommonMark spec since it deals with features from the original Markdown spec.

If that’s the case, and with all due respect, do you expect any major features to be added to core CommonMark? It doesn’t seem to me there’s much energy to add even a popular feature like footnotes, and looking at the spec’s change log, it doesn’t look like any major features have ever been added.

I don’t mean to ask this in a pessimistic tone; I only mean to gauge how seriously the authors of CommonMark take discussion about adding features, because it does genuinely seem to me that none of the features in the list to which you link will see the light of day.

But perhaps I’m missing something? Perhaps after the first major release expected later this year, there will be more concrete moves to enrich the spec with added features?


I don’t expect any major features will be added to the core CommonMark spec, since it covers just features from John Gruber’s Markdown. I believe the original plan was for new features to be added as optional extensions to the CommonMark spec. I am not the best person to ask regarding whether those extensions will still be speced as part of the CommonMark project or if we will need to rely on third party specs such as GFM. In any case, GitHub does have a spec for this extension whereas the CommonMark project does not.