Great post about implementing a version of Markdown for scholarly writing by.
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- Any new markup language will have even less support.Dec 25, 2012
- Markdown---even Markdown + LaTeX---actually has quite a bit of online support. It has more support in live environments than LaTeX.Dec 25, 2012
- And I don't think you'll get much support for LaTeX in disciplines that don't make use of equations.Dec 25, 2012
- I think that "academic blogging" will grow in popularity in the near future and there isn't a simple tool for the job. Asmentions in his post, one needs support for things like citations and internal references. Moreover, my guess is that the whole landscape of scholarly publishing will change. I love LaTeX and the PDFs that it produces, but imagine what we could produce if we allow ourselves to think outside the static figures that we include in a paper? I often have to include several figures to capture the ideas of a lemma. I could convey the ideas more effectively and efficiently if I included an animation with a slider for the reader to play with. These types of things and more are possible if we branch outside the PDF-paradigm.Dec 25, 2012
- Dec 25, 2012
- Perhaps the driving factor is not the markup language but the platform.
Markdown+LaTeX is probably as popular as it is largely because of its adoption on StackExchange. Not only does this mean that a large number of people are exposed to this particular markup combination, but it means that there are resources devoted to its maintenance and improvement.
But I think we should look at it this way: Markdown+LaTeX benefits from the fact that StackExchange is such a compelling system. So perhaps we shouldn't be discussing the markup language so much as the platforms it will be used on. That little light bulb went on when you brought up "academic blogging",
Consider a Wordpress-like CMS that makes it dead simple to create an individual journaling and blogging platform. Something that makes it convenient to take notes, scratch out some derivations, and collect relevant citations in private journal posts. As I collect my thoughts, it is constructing a centralized bibliographic database of every citation I make, so I don't have to re-enter the same article more than once. Obviously, I'll need to be able to include figures, source code, and equations on demand. Perhaps my posts include links to other people's "aca-blogs".
When I have something public to say, I flip a switch and one of these private journal posts becomes a blog.
When I have something public and longer to say, I push a button and the initial framework of a publishable paper is created, including a full bibliography, including perhaps citations of other "aca-blogs".
Now, if this platform sounds compelling, something that a lot of people will use, there is a lot of flexibility on what the markup language should be. Sure, Markdown+LaTeX sounds good, but so might the texvc subset of LaTeX.Dec 25, 2012