Learn Markdown: Text-only Markup



Why This Quest

Markdown is a Markup Language. (If you do not know what a markup language is, you should find out now, before reading any further; if you do not know how to find out click the grayed text).

Access the Google search engine using a web browser. Type markup language into the search engine.

Markdown is among the markup languages that Discourse (the software that this site runs on) supports. It is also supported by several other translators that will convert Markdown into many different formats including Microsoft docx files, PDFs and HTML.

Since Markdown is how to write posts here and you will be writing dozens of posts here, it is important to spend a few minutes learning how to control what your messages look like. That is, any time you write a message here, you can use Markdown to do things like make links, include images, and so on.

What is Markdown?

According to CommonMark.org

Markdown is a plain text format for writing structured documents, based on conventions used for indicating formatting in email and usenet posts. It was developed in 2004 by John Gruber, who wrote the first markdown-to-html converter in Perl, and it soon became widely used in websites. By 2014 there were dozens of implementations in many languages.

Check out this demo for examples of how Markdown is rendered.

Where is there more help?

Discourse’s built-in editor provides considerable support. It has icons and keyboard shortcuts that will insert the various Markdown text. You can probably figure most of this out just by clicking on the icons.

CommonMark.org has a help page that is a good place to start.

Here is a tutorial that might be helpful. I find it slightly tedious, but if you are someone who wants step-by-step instructions, this might be just what you are looking for.

What to Do

Click reply-as-linked-topic (there is a link to the right) and create a post. See that it is in the appropriate topic for your course and includes the tag “learn-markdown.” Your post should say something about how you figured out how to solve this problem, demonstrate that you know how to use Markdown to create the following elements listed below, and tell us something interesting about yourself or something you care about. (Do not spend time belaboring the content. One could easily make just the "how I figured this out" part of this challenge quite interesting.)

Markdown elements

I encourage you to spend a few minutes practicing finding these things on your own, but if this is already taking you too long, click on the grayed out hints provided here.

  1. multiple paragraphs a blank line starts a paragraph
  2. at least 3 levels of headings put 1, 2, or 3 #'s at the start of a line
  • At least one emoji Type a colon
  1. make text (1) bold, (2) italic, and (3) bold italic surround with *, **, and ***, respectively
  2. a link that displays something other than the URL itself and displays other text when you hover over the link [link](http://google.com/ "A search engine)
  3. An image try dragging or pasting an image in the editor
  4. A block quote [quote]YOUR QUOTE[/quote]
  5. itemized list (bullets) *, + or - at the beginning of the line
  6. enumerated list (numbers) put 1. at the start of the line
  7. A spoiler (this is Discourse specific Markdown)

Discourse-specific features–images and oneboxes

To see how Discourse handles them “oneboxes”, paste in links on a line by themselves to:

  1. A wikipedia page
  • a youtube video
  • an image

Uploading Images

In addition to pasting in links to images, you can paste images right into the editor here (like you expect to be able to do in your word processor). Try it: Copy an image (e.g., open an image in an image viewer and type control-c), edit a post here and paste the image (e.g., with control-V). Did you get that? Rather than having to upload an image and then somehow link to it, you can just paste or drag-and-drop the image into the editor. The future is now.

Learn to edit a post

You will sometimes want or need to make changes to a post that you have made here. To do so, click the pencil icon at the bottom of the message. After you have posted your message, edit it and add something (if you are not feeling creative you can insert the text “I edited this post and inserted this text”). Everyone will be able to see that you have edited the text because a pencil will be at the top of the page. Clicking on that pencil will allow us to see previous versions of your topic post.

Optional: Make a Poll

One of the cool things about Discourse (or maybe Discourse’s Markdown) is that you can make a poll, just by typing words. You can find out how in the Markdown FAQ. That FAQ is the very same information you get if you click on the ? icon in the editor.

Check your work

  • Did you use the right tag (“learn-markdown”)? If you did, your post will be on this page.

  • Did you choose your course’s “completions” category? (e.g., #isd581-completions) – Click that link to check.

  • Did you do all of the listed formatting elements?

  • Did you earn the First Emoji badge?

  • Did you create 3 oneboxes? (I.e., do you see a youtube video on your post and earn the First onebox badge?)

  • Did you edit your post (i.e., did you earn the editor badge)?

  • Did you flag your post (and earn the first flag badge)?

Paste this text into the bottom of your post. You can then check these off as you complete them.

- [ ] included a learning narrative about how you solved this challenge.
- [ ] used ("learn-markdown") tag [this page](/tags/learn-markdown).
 - [ ] chose the "completions" category? (e.g., #isd581-completions)
 - [ ] included all of the listed formatting elements
   - [ ] multiple paragraphs
   - [ ] 3 levels of headings
   - [ ] have (1) bold, (2) italic, and (3) bold italic text
   - [ ] a [link](http://google.com/ "Google, a search engine") that displays something other than the URL itself
   - [ ] An image
   - [ ] A block quote
   - [ ] itemized list
   - [ ] enumerated list (numbers)
   - [ ] A "spoiler"
 - [ ] 3 oneboxes? (I can see a youtube video on this page)
 - [ ] Edited this post after creating it (there is a little pencil at
 the top and I have see multiple versions of this page). When you do, you will earn the "editor" badge. 

Text-Only Markdown: Rachel Gilley
Scavenger hunt or tasks to do in Discourse
Markdown: I hope this is correct!
Success...Fire Fox and Chrome AGAIN!
Success! Still A wake
Success: Learning About Markdowns Fall 2015
This is how much I know about Markdowns!
Success: Learning to markup with Markdown! Plus lots of links!
Success: Markdowns
Markup is actually cool