Markdown in Agenda

I love Markdown. But Agenda does not react to markdown entries. Is this feature really only for import/export? Was looking here a bit and could not find an answer. Because I think Agenda is for sure a very intuitive software, I am just asking you…
Arik

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Hi Arik,

How do you mean it doesn’t “react to markdown entries”?

It is not a markdown editor, like some other apps. The internal format we use is not simple markdown text. We support more advanced features than you can build with pure markdown, and expect to add many more.

We did work hard to support the most common markdown shortcuts. Bold, headings, lists etc. What exactly are you missing?

Drew

Hi,

Code blocks would just be great. Even if there is no syntax highlighting. Or maybe i missed something ?

This is just the missing format to use Agenda for me .

Thanks for any feedback,
Wil.

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Have you seen the preformatted paragraph style? That is basically a code block without formatting.

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Yes indeed. But it’s quite « difficult » to see where i have code line.

Maybe something like this would really be enough:
https://screenshots.firefox.com/vtj9hs1k5PWpJoPv/null

Thnaks.
Wil.

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I see. So the request is more to make the preformatted format stand out more.

We will consider it. Thanks for the feedback!

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How about just being as one would expect? i.e. as a code box, not a <pre> tag.

I understand the limitations of MD, but it’s much faster to type

# My Title

and get:

My Title

For a heading, than go up to the menu bar or try to remember another set of keyboard shortcuts.

It’s also faster to type:


Some code block here



See how much clearer that is to read, with the grey background?

I mean, it’s rendering as one would expect in this forum, but not in your app? Is that a sensible business, let alone a sensible UX decision?

I’m not speaking as a leech, either, I’ve bought Agenda and am very disappointed that there isn’t at least an option to use standard markdown inline, not to mention the lack of actual code blocks. I often write my stuff in Agenda and then export the markdown and paste it in another app (then print to PDF) or in website like StackEdit.io if I want to share it with others.

This might just surprise you, but lots of people who use the web are familar with markdown – some of your customers are even developers, like you! Do you use Agenda to write internal notes to each other with code blocks, or do you yourselves use another tool? Do you see how deeply silly this is?

It’s fine to do a lot more than basic markdown, but imo it’s a big UX screwup to change the inline syntax from conventional markdown. Instead of replacing it, you should have extended it; that, or created the equivalent of another namespace for it, and let the user choose which convention they want to use.

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Agenda is not a markdown editor. We support some shortcuts that are based on Markdown, but we don’t preserve the markdown, and our internal format is unrelated to markdown. There are lots of markdown editors out there that are fully compliant if you want a markdown editor.

We decided not to add a background to performatted blocks. That was a design decision. We could certainly revisit it in future, and also add code coloring for languages. But that is a long way from “silly”.

We are developers; we use markdown; we use preformatted blocks for code in Agenda. It’s all compatible, as long as you don’t mistake Agenda for a markdown editor. It isn’t that.

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Looking forward to the code block feature!
Even if there is no syntax highlighting, just the gray background, it will still be a great feature!
You guys are great!
The user experience in Agenda is amazing!

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Please add support for markdown. I don’t need other formatting features. As a software developer it’s a must have.
Maybe you could add support for multiple note “templates” like in Quiver. So I can use a markdown note or a “normal” note.

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I was wondering one thing: Why not just build on top of Markdown and add features to it, rather than your own style? A lot of the functionality that people are seeking is inherent in Markdown so you’d handle a lot of the feature requests that are there now.

I appreciate that you’re not going to scrap everything you have and start over, I’m just a bit curious as to the choice of building a different style that translates to markdown (and engineering all of that) instead of just going with Markdown initially?

Personally, I’d love to see Agenda natively support markdown and add functionality on top of it - right now Typora (Markdown editor) and Agenda are my main tools for notes - but to be honest, Typora could easily be dropped if Agenda supported Markdown (and the features in Markdown) + LaTeX rendering (via mathjax which is already requested as feature).

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One reason we didn’t go with a markdown editor is that there are 101 of those already. Take your pick.

There are other reasons. We don’t particularly like the aesthetic of of markdown. People use it because it is easy and fast, but that’s about having “commands” to style quickly, not about how it looks. What you see is that otherwise great looking editors are held back by quite ugly markdown styling (eg hashes everywhere etc).

Personally — I can’t speak for others in Agenda — I find it a shame the world abandoned styled text in favor of markdown entirely. Markdown was introduced due to shortcomings in web editing, and we lost a lot when we went that way. But it is nice to have those editing shortcuts, so with Agenda we wanted to try something nobody else was doing: nice looking styled text, but with markdown shortcuts.

Besides those subjective points, there are other points too. Agenda is much more than just a text editor, and that will become more and more the case as we build out our vision. If markdown was our base format, it would be very difficult to build on more advanced functionality, and we would probably end up having to introduce some ugly, non-conformant new syntax to do it, just to keep everything in plain text.

How can I figure out what markdown shortcuts are supported? The whole point of Markdown is to make entering formatted text easier. If I type a dash and then space I expect to see a bullet point, but it doesn’t seem to work in Agenda.

Yes, it does work like that, but actually it will wait until you at least enter some more text after the space. But a dash, with a space, and then a word will convert into a bullet point.

Here is our list: Taking Notes

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ah thanks, that helps a ton

I would like to echo what other posters in this thread have said. Markdown is so useful and common to any environment I work in. Even this community support tool you use supports it:


soCool();



In response to one of @drewmccormack’s earlier comments, the reason I pick Agenda even though there are many other MD editors is because of all of the other amazing features and respectable/mutual support-based subscription model. Other great MD editors, like Bear, require continued subscriptions to use features you have “already purchased”. For those reasons, Agenda is a fantastic product. I just think… and it seems some people agree… that Markdown would take this application to the next level for editors and developers (at a minimum).

I remain very enthusiastic about Agenda and I look forward to the many updates you all will release in the future. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Cheers,

Damian

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We like markdown too, which is why we offer the shortcuts and export options.

At the same time, it is a bit of a hack introduced because the web community couldn’t figure out how to do real text editing. That’s why it is supported in this online tool: it is an easy way to hack in formatted text editing.

We don’t want to be a markdown editor, because a lot of customers don’t even know what it is, and we also think real styled text is nicer. But perhaps even more importantly, a lot of the features we add in Agenda depend on having a powerful text model. Plain text is not really up to it. Integrating with reminders, calendars etc requires a more complex model, and trying to pin that all on markdown would get messy. We have lots of features planned that would be restricted or messy to do just in plain text with markdown.

Hope this clarifies our position. Appreciate the input.

Kind regards,
Drew

+1 for your choice on this issue Drew. Markdown may be the bee’s knees, but not everyone uses it. If I need formatting, you have provided it. Agenda is perfect right out of the box (except maybe syncing , but I’ll wait for the next Beta to see how things improve).

Hi,

I join the group that asks for code blocks in Agenda. With or without inline markdown. Everybody inside software projects needs this.
Simple tables would be nice too. I really miss this stuff and it is really important to my work.
And yes I have MD editors as well. But not integrated in Agenda.

Thanks.

Agreed it would be nice to have these.

For the time being, I use the preformatted paragraph style for code. Not color coded, but at least monospaced font.