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  1. #1
    Junior mwalimu's Avatar
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    Markdown and reading offline

    If a literary submission has been formatted using markdown, is there a good way to download it for reading offline and have it rendered properly when I do? For the sake of argument, assume the submission in question could be a 50K+ word novel.

  2. #2
    Premium User Runefox's Avatar


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    A NOVEL in markdown? Yikes. That'd take a while to write. That said, copying and pasting into MS Word or something similar should keep the formatting, but I think maybe a PDF download function should make it onto the wishlist.

  3. #3
    Junior mwalimu's Avatar
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    Downloading .pdf files is easily done already. When you have the submission page open, just right click on the Download button at the end of the selection and select Save Link As...

  4. #4
    Premium User Runefox's Avatar


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    When formatted as markdown? In that case, what is it you're suggesting / asking?

  5. #5
    Junior mwalimu's Avatar
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    My download reply was with regard to .pdf submissions. Markdown submissions appear on the site as .txt files. Were you suggesting a capability to download .txt files with markdown as .pdf files? If such a capability were added, .pdf would not be my first choice in an alternate format.

    If there's a .txt file browser with an option to recognize and render markdown, that might be an acceptable solution. I haven't done a websearch to find out if such a tool exists, but a similar search a couple of months ago for a bbcode-rendering .txt browser was unsuccessful, although I did find a website that could convert bbcode to html.

  6. #6
    Premium User Runefox's Avatar


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    Why would PDF not be optimal for downloading a written work? It's pretty universally supported, and unlike HTML, supports breaking the work into pages and chapters (which could be derived from markdown headers) with bookmarks and hyperlinks to boot. A table of contents could also be automatically generated based on that information, making a markdown-written work essentially into an eBook, which is the only reason I can think of that anyone would want to actually download a written work to begin with.

  7. #7
    Junior mwalimu's Avatar
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    My biggest complaint about .pdf is that it's best used for documents where preserving the exact page layout is desired. One of the most desirable features of any prose file reader or e-reader is the ability to resize the window or change the font size and have the text automatically reflow to fit. If .pdf files can be made to do that then I'll concede the point, but for many if not most .pdf files, it fixes the locations of the line breaks and the page breaks; if you enlarge them too much it doesn't reflow them, it gives you a side-scroll bar.

    .pdf is also one of the hardest to work with if one wishes to convert it to a different format, at least if you don't have a .pdf editor.

  8. #8
    Junior mwalimu's Avatar
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    I was reminded this morning that one format to consider as the "universal format for downloading" is .epub. First off, I haven't worked with the format that much and may not be totally up to speed on its advantages and disadvantages. But it does have the advantage of being supported by most e-readers such as the Kindle. I don't own or use an e-reader myself (yet), but if there's going to be a "universal download format" (other than being able to download files in their native filetype) then it should be one that has widespread e-reader support.

  9. #9
    The Lurking Wolfox Hendikins's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by mwalimu View Post
    I was reminded this morning that one format to consider as the "universal format for downloading" is .epub. [...] But it does have the advantage of being supported by most e-readers such as the Kindle.
    EPUB files are not supported by the Kindle, and PDF has wider support for desktop users.

    It does raise a question though - if the original submission uses markdown, why not use Calibre to generate files in the format of the user's choice? The input has been more or less sanitised, making generation of dodgy files less of a concern than it otherwise would be.

    Edit: I note that Calibre explicitly supports markdown input.
    Last edited by Hendikins; 01-26-2014 at 01:24 PM.

  10. #10
    Junior mwalimu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Folfykins View Post
    I already use Calibre as a reader sometimes, though I hadn't played around with its capabilities as an editor. Good to know it can read markdown; I hadn't known there were any browsers/readers with that capability.

 

 

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