I'm new to Tildes, but I've been using Markdown-based comment systems
for more than a decade: both Reddit and GitHub. My programming blog has
been written in Markdown for the past 8 years. Overall I've probably
written several novels worth of content in Markdown in my life.
I've already noticed that Tildes has made a serious mistake in its
handling of line endings: All line endings are treated as hard line
breaks. This diverges from CommonMark and most uses of Markdown in
practice. If I wanted a hard line break, I'd put two spaces at the end
of the line, as specified by both CommonMark and the original Markdown.
Line endings should be otherwise be soft.
GitHub made the same mistake with its "GitHub-flavored Markdown," though
fortunately this mistake has been limited to issues. GitHub README.md
files don't have this behavior, nor does GitHub Pages. It the only other
Markdown system I've used with this flaw.
Why does this matter? If I'm writing more than a single sentence, I
never edit my comment inside my web browser. I edit it using my text
editor of choice, Vim, since it's far more comfortable. I don't even
have to copy-paste the text between applications. Instead, I have an
add-on, Tridactyl, that does this seemlessly and effortlessly.
Hard line endings just don't work well with long prose — exactly the
type of content that Tildes is encouraging — particularly when edited in
a proper text editor that knows about paragraphs and can do its own line
wrapping. Editing long lines is annoying and takes extra care. That's
why we have soft line endings after all.
I'm leaving all my line endings in this post so that you can see the
mess Tildes makes with it, with the ragged right-hand side due to font
differences. If I had written this in nearly any other Markdown system,
the text would have flowed into the page without issues. It is a mistake
for Tildes to do differently. This sort of compatibility issue is
probably going to be annoying enough to keep me off the site.