Needs some kind of Markdown syntax support!!
WorkFlowy is great! But it didn't support code formatting. I want to use WorkFlowy to write down some thoughts about coding every day.
I use workflowy as a recipe book. It would be nice to have a markdown lib that adheres to the CommonMark spec like markdown-it from npm. It would look so much nicer in Markdown! SimpleNote does this nicely in there editor/viewer where you can mark it as markdown and you double click to start editing the markdown in the original format. Here's an example of a recipe:
So just to be clear... it seems like most folk here are not looking to use Markdown syntax for portability – taking your WorkFlowy data places. Is this a "readability" thing?
Let me throw in this blog post to stimulate the conversation a bit:
... starting with "Dual-mode irksomeness"
Personally I'd really like to have "on-the-fly" markdown rendering while typing or after finishing a list bullet by pressing enter. For me it's mainly about readability. Plain text only takes you so far even with nice lists of bullets. And keyboard shortcuts aren't as easy, flexible and powerful than a proper syntax imo. It's very nice to be able to do `code blocks`, *bold*, _italics_, (embedded)[links] and all those things by just typing the encapsulating markdown syntax, and it helps so much with readability and keeping the notes neat and tidy.
Personally I would like to have markdown support in the notes, for code, general formatting, exporting to other apps, graphs (mermaid) or math syntax. Even if its just support for attaching a markdown file and the ability to render it in workflowy. Then one can use an external app for editing.
Adding another voice for (light) markdown support. Personally, I look at how it works on places like Discord, Slack, Jira as an ideal: effectively providing quick(er) ways to format as you type. Want something bold, just stick an *asterisk* either side of it and once the closing "tag" is in place, the asterisks are removed and everything in between becomes bold.
Yes, we can already do this with ctrl+b/cmd+b, but it's quicker with markdown syntax. Unbold can still be controlled by the WYSIWYG/keyboard shortcut; I see no need for Workflowy to support a Markdown editor view, and plenty of other inline editors have shown that having both control methods in place is manageable.
There are a couple of keys benefits:
- Users already familiar with these markdown shortcodes (which are increasingly used across most common input interfaces on messenger apps and productivity tools) get a productivity boost out-the-box
- Additional inline formatting support, such as `code`, can be added which would be very beneficial to certain markets e.g. technical documentation and programming in general
Personally, I think it would be great to support more MD in Notes as well: headings, bullets, code blocks, quotes, etc. It's not something I would use a huge amount, but for storing code snippets it would become invaluable, and I can see others using it to draft out blog posts, emails, etc.
It would probably be best to allow MD to be toggled on/off from the Settings panel, for those users who dislike it.
We're already getting plenty of inline shortcode-style functionality, like the autocompleting Dates and links. I guess what I'm really asking for is to broaden the scope of that to include elements like strikethrough and inline code, and Markdown is a common way of achieving that.
Well you can already make your text bold/italic/underlined (CTRL + B / CTRL + I / CTRL + U) sooooooooo ... if you added Markdown on top of that you would have to break what already exists :/
The solution could be to have a special shortcut for code styling, but adding Markdown support would break what already exists.
Personally when I'm editing Markdown, syntax highlighting is all I want from a text editor. Markdown is perfectly readable. I only ever use dual-mode for printing.
I guess my main complaint here is writing large blocks of text. Paragraphs, more specifically. We have two options:
1. Use a note. But that's ugly: there's still the useless but mandatory text field in the bullet point, and the rest of the text is too small.
2. Use a separate bullet for each paragraph. But bullets are too big, and I explicitly do not want them to be nestable.
Both feel like a hack, and I keep trying to find a cleaner option instead of focusing on the thing I'm trying to write :(
More generally, I think Markdown is just a very common format that strikes a balance between many use cases. It's a bunch of different features that we take for granted in other contexts. We're all asking for Markdown support for different reasons.
Right, Markdown is not the goal by itself. (Though being able to just copy-paste text to and from Workflowy would be nice.) We still want a significant number of it's features, and implementing Markdown would be a straightforward way to provide them.
Does Workflowy have a vision we can read? Is storing large blocks of text out of scope? Is there a convenient way to link to another service and back, to combine text and Workflowy's structure?
As far as WorkFlowy's vision/ M.O./ no-go areas, the CEO has expressed on several occasions that bimodal Markdown support is not desired. This would, for sure, also make a very big demographic of WorkFlowy users rather unhappy.
Markdown annotation can easily be used (for portability). Folk have written books (myself included) using Markdown syntax. The original idea of Markdown according to John Gruber was readability in plain text:
> Markdown is intended to be as easy-to-read and easy-to-write as is feasible.
In effect, MD can be implemented anywhere... even in a .txt file. So this can certainly be done (and I do this regularly for anything that will be exported)... however, it seems like the feature you're wanting is akin to what Markdown editors do, including apps like Slack and a few others. WorkFlowy does not want to be a bimodal MD editor, where what you're writing on cursor focus will toggle to HTML when not in edit mode. By and large, WorkFlowy users are not interested in this dynamic. This would change the entire feel dramatically. If you've had the chance to play around with "DL" (WorkFlowy clone), you will have noticed this duality. It is quite jarring. Definitely and firmly not the direction WorkFlowy wants to go in.
Those who are serious about MD for portability reasons are more than happy with WorkFlowy's current lack of a dual-mode MD and would prefer not to see this as a baked-in feature.
I guess I'm having difficulty seeing how Markdown relates to the following:
> "Though being able to just copy-paste text to and from Workflowy would be nice"
> "Is storing large blocks of text out of scope?"
Users do this all day, every day... whether in bullets (so as to better slice and dice your info.)... or in notes.
As far as getting text into and out of WorkFlowy in the right formatting, it's an integral part of many users' workflows... even via MD.
Your 3rd-to-last post expresses your dislike at the way bullets and notes are implemented. You suggest MD as a solution... but not how this would be implemented. There is still no clear indication of how MD would help you, perhaps other than having WorkFlowy behave as MD editor just because. IOW, it's not clear what you're proposing.
Whether talking about dual-mode MD dynamics or any other MD dynamic, WorkFlowy is simply not wanting to behave like a Markdown editor... and if we're not talking about a markdown-editor-type dynamic... then back to the point that regardless of this capability, one is able to use MD syntax anywhere one can type... text files, Word Docs, Google Docs... absolutely everywhere... and from there it's hop, skip and a jump to a MD editor to render your writing into HTML.
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