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CSS-Tricks Chronicle V

Published by Chris Coyier

You can now use Markdown anywhere you would write something on CSS-Tricks, namely the comments section here on the blog or when creating or replying to threads in the Forums. I like it. I think it makes writing comments much quicker and flow nicer, rather than being interrupted to go back and add actual HTML anchor tags when making a link (which often leads to just pasted URLs) or for making lists (which almost nobody ever does, they just write the bullets or numbers right in the text).

I've now published up to video #75 in The Lodge. That's about half way done. I said it would take me a month to get them all done and it looks like that will be just about accurate. It takes a while because I don't just upload the video and be done with it, I also write up notes that go along with each video that include further thoughts and relevant links.

Speaking of Lodge videos, I'm enjoying the comment threads happening on those videos. Comment threads here on the blog are pretty good too in general, but the slower pace and more thoughtful (some long-form) comments happening in Lodge videos are fantastic.

Also speaking of comments, you can now leave Pens from CodePen in comment threads for blog posts on this site. See the comment thread on this post. It doesn't work on just any site's comment threads because it requires a <script> to work which usually (rightly) gets stripped from user generated content, but I load that script on this site.

I'd really like to get Pens working in forum threads. It should be easy, the problem is that Markdown in the forums is stripping the data-* attributes off the <pre> tags in the copy-and-paste code we give you from CodePen, which are required for it to work. Not sure why this happens in the forums but not on the blog. If anyone has any ideas, there is an open forum thread.

I take off this Saturday for Dallas, Texas and BD Conf where I'll be giving a brand new talk and workshop. I don't usually get super nervous for talks unless it's brand new material for a discerning audience, and, yep. I'm just going to have to practice more.

After I get back from that I'm only home a few days before I'm headed to Tallahasse, Florida for Converge FL. I'll be giving a talk there as well as doing some eye tracking studies for this website with a real eye tracking machine.


  1. I understand that you like Markdown but since you rarely post in the forums why not switch it back up to that simple pre/code button? It was much quicker to use. Plus, Markdown seems to be cutting off the code when using PHP.

    • Permalink to comment#

      The problem with that button is that 1) it was broken for me for some reason and 2) it was this huge jQuery plugin that was way overkill.

      The PHP issue is fixed I think.

      I’m all for bringing back a button, but I’d want it to be just a lightweight thing that would grab a chunk of code and indent it properly (so Markdown sees it as code). If you know of something like that lemme know. I bet it’s out there somewhere!

    • Permalink to comment#

      I agree — not a big fan of Markdown, I prefer the classic toolbar with a handful of buttons.

      When I want to format something, it’s nice to be able to do it the way it works everywhere else (word processors, emails, message boards, wherever else I type text). But right now I have the feeling I have to go to the Markdown page again and find out how something was done. I’m still not sure how it works exactly, to be honest!

      I have nothing against change (I wasn’t enthusiastic about CSS-tricks v10 but as I expected and predicted, it was a matter of getting used to and I like it now) but the changes on the functionality of the forum are a bit of a step back for me.

    • Permalink to comment#

      You know what looks pretty awesome is the StackOverflow buttons.

    • With all due respect, I just feel it was a bad decision to start using Markdown. On a UX level, I shouldn’t have to fiddle to try to get it working for over 5 minutes just to paste a simple code, you know? Having to do that for multiple forum posts is suicide. But hey, works just as well for the time being.

    • Khalid
      Permalink to comment#

      Markdown is awesome. The fact that you and other people aren’t used to it, is not a reason to complain about it. I am also a hardcore coder and did prefer html markup for all the comments and other writings. But now I just like to write articles and notes in iA Writer, a markdown editor.

    • Permalink to comment#

      As a follow up to this, I ended up putting in MarkItUp in the most efficient minimal way I could to get some buttons on the textareas in the forums. I’ll look into adding it here on the blog as well.

  2. mhumesf
    Permalink to comment#

    I love markdown. Glad to see you’ve enabled it in the comments. +1

  3. @Chris Coyier
    I admire all your work man, fan since version 6

    same as @khalid am hardcore coder and love markdown but truth to be said as @Christopher Burton says, the usability of this whole site and forums suffers a lot with it

    jsut imageine that for us “savvy – tech” people it can be faster to figure out but some beginners … it can turn them away

    honestly, I spent each day on this web, but ever since the markdown in forums I am using it ALOT less ebcause it just feels slower

  4. I love markdown, but if you’re looking for an alternative as a lot of people don’t seem to like it. I’ve just come across this one basecamp uses it:

  5. So bad that Google doesn’t support my country.

  6. Gavin
    Permalink to comment#

    Any thoughts on HTML5 being dead on arrival?

    • Permalink to comment#

      My experience with .net programmers is that they hate any change and don’t like semantics. Obviously, this is just the ones that I have met and I am sure it is not the usual case, but I think that HTML5 is a step in the right direction but can be a pain right now because of older browsers. At worst it gives us a few more tools than before at least. My $0.02

    • Andy
      Permalink to comment#

      I completely agree with your thoughts on many (not all) .net devs. I think a lot of this comes from the Visual Studio IDEs that provide a lot of wysiwyg functionality and encourage drag and drop. Been a long time since I have a done any .net dev, but that was how it was when I was doing it back during 2008 or so.

      Just an FYI, .net magazine is a general web design and development magazine – not a ASP.NET focused publication.

      To Gavin, dead on arrival is a bit strong, but I do agree with some of the sentiments in the article. I think there are certainly things that could have been done much better, in particular on how the new tags are meant to be used, but as with most things on the web, common use standards will develop over time. Tags aside though, there really are some great APIs and features that the HTML5 (even if not strictly html, but css or dom) movement has provided. Most importantly, in my opinion, is the hype seems to have prompted browser devs to get on the standards train.

  7. Hi fri i know there are some intelligent people but can u give me one simple answer basically what is Chronicle …….?

  8. First, I’ll say that I like Markdown. My only issues is that it seems to promise much of what Textile did as well. It works great, but getting others to adopt, accept and use it is tough though.

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