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RFC 7764 - Guidance on Markdown: Design Philosophies, Stability

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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                        S. Leonard
Request for Comments: 7764                                 Penango, Inc.
Category: Informational                                       March 2016
ISSN: 2070-1721

                         Guidance on Markdown:
  Design Philosophies, Stability Strategies, and Select Registrations


   This document elaborates upon the text/markdown media type for use
   with Markdown, a family of plain-text formatting syntaxes that
   optionally can be converted to formal markup languages such as HTML.
   Background information, local storage strategies, and additional
   syntax registrations are supplied.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Not all documents
   approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2016 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Dive into Markdown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     1.1. On Formats  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     1.2. Markdown Design Philosophy  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     1.3. Uses of Markdown  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     1.4. Uses of Labeling Markdown Content as text/markdown  . . . .  6
     1.5. Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
   2.  Strategies for Preserving Media Type and Parameters  . . . . .  7
     2.1. Map to Filename and Attributes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     2.2. Store Headers in Adjacent File  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     2.3. "Arm" Content with MIME Headers . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     2.4. Create a Local Batch Script . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     2.5. Process the Markdown in Advance . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     2.6. Rely on Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     2.7. Specific Strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
       2.7.1. Subversion  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
       2.7.2. Git . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   3.  Registration Templates for Common Markdown Syntaxes  . . . . . 10
     3.1. MultiMarkdown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     3.2. GitHub-Flavored Markdown  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
     3.3. Pandoc  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     3.4. Fountain (Fountain.io)  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
     3.5. CommonMark  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
     3.6. kramdown-rfc2629 (Markdown for RFCs)  . . . . . . . . . . . 15
     3.7. rfc7328 (Pandoc2rfc)  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
     3.8. PHP Markdown Extra  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   4.  Examples for Common Markdown Syntaxes  . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
     4.1. MultiMarkdown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
     4.2. GitHub Flavored Markdown  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
     4.3. Pandoc  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
     4.4. Fountain (Fountain.io)  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
     4.5. CommonMark  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
     4.6. kramdown-rfc2629 (Markdown for RFCs)  . . . . . . . . . . . 22
     4.7. rfc7328 (Pandoc2rfc)  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
   5.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
   6. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
   7. References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
     7.1. Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
     7.2. Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
   Author's Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

1.  Dive into Markdown

   This document serves as an informational companion to [RFC7763], the
   text/markdown media type registration.  It should be considered
   jointly with [RFC7763].

         "Sometimes the truth of a thing is not so much in the think of
         it, but in the feel of it." -- Stanley Kubrick

1.1.  On Formats

   In computer systems, textual data is stored and processed using a
   continuum of techniques.  On the one end is plain text: computer-
   encoded text that consists only of a sequence of code points from a
   given standard, with no other formatting or structural information
   [UNICODE].  Plain text provides /some/ fixed facilities for
   formatting instructions (namely, codes in the character set that have
   meanings other than "represent this character graphically on the
   output medium"); however, these facilities are not particularly
   extensible.  Compare with Section 4.2.1 of [RFC6838].  Applications
   may neuter the effects of these special characters by prohibiting
   them or by ignoring their dictated meanings, as is the case with how
   modern applications treat most control characters in US-ASCII.  On
   this end, any text reader or editor that interprets the character set
   can be used to see or manipulate the text.  If some characters are
   corrupted, the corruption is unlikely to affect the ability of a
   computer system to process the text (even if the human meaning is

   On the other end is binary data: a sequence of bits intended for some
   computer application to interpret and act upon.  Binary formats are
   flexible in that they can store non-textual data efficiently (perhaps
   storing no text at all, or only storing certain kinds of text for
   very specialized purposes).  Binary formats require an application to
   be coded specifically to handle the format; no partial
   interoperability is possible.  Furthermore, if even one bit is
   corrupted in a binary format, it may prevent an application from
   processing any of the data correctly.

   Between these two extremes lies formatted text, i.e., text that
   includes non-textual information coded in a particular way, that
   affects the interpretation of the text by computer programs.
   Formatted text is distinct from plain text and binary data in that
   the non-textual information is encoded into textual characters that
   are assigned specialized meanings not defined by the character set.
   With a regular text editor and a standard keyboard (or other standard
   input mechanism), a user can enter these textual characters to
   express the non-textual meanings.  For example, a character like "<"

   no longer means "LESS-THAN SIGN"; it means the start of a tag or
   element that affects the document in some way.

   On the formal end of the formatted text spectrum is markup, a family
   of languages for annotating a document in such a way that the
   annotations are syntactically distinguishable from the text.  Markup
   languages are (reasonably) well-specified and tend to follow (mostly)
   standardized syntax rules.  Examples of markup languages include
   Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), HTML, XML, and LaTeX.
   Standardized rules lead to interoperability between markup
   processors, but a skill requirement for new (human) users of the
   language that they learn these rules in order to do useful work.
   This imposition makes markup less accessible for non-technical users
   (i.e., users who are unwilling or unable to invest in the requisite
   skill development).

     informal        /---------formatted text----------\        formal
      plain text     informal markup   formal markup    binary format
                     (Markdown)        (HTML, XML, etc.)

    Figure 1: Degrees of Formality in Data-Storage Formats for Text

   On the informal end of the spectrum are lightweight markup languages.
   In comparison with formal markup like XML, lightweight markup uses
   simple syntax, and is designed to be easy for humans to enter with
   basic text editors.  Markdown, the subject of this document, is an
   /informal/ plain-text formatting syntax that is intentionally
   targeted at non-technical users (i.e., users upon whom little to no
   skill development is imposed) using unspecialized tools (i.e., text
   boxes).  Jeff Atwood once described these informal markup languages
   as "humane" [HUMANE].

1.2.  Markdown Design Philosophy

   Markdown specifically is a family of syntaxes that are based on the
   original work of John Gruber with substantial contributions from
   Aaron Swartz, released in 2004 [MARKDOWN].  Since its release, a
   number of web or web-facing applications have incorporated Markdown
   into their text-entry systems, frequently with custom extensions.
   Fed up with the complexity and security pitfalls of formal markup
   languages (e.g., HTML5) and proprietary binary formats (e.g.,
   commercial word-processing software), yet unwilling to be confined to
   the restrictions of plain text, many users have turned to Markdown
   for document processing.  Whole toolchains now exist to support
   Markdown for online and offline projects.

   Informality is a bedrock premise of Gruber's design.  Gruber created
   Markdown after disastrous experiences with strict XML and XHTML
   processing of syndicated feeds.  In Mark Pilgrim's "thought
   experiment", several websites went down because one site included
   invalid XHTML in a blog post, which was automatically copied via
   trackbacks across other sites [DIN2MD].  These scenarios led Gruber
   to believe that clients (e.g., web browsers) SHOULD try to make sense
   of data that they receive, rather than rejecting data simply because
   it fails to adhere to strict, unforgiving standards.  (In [DIN2MD],
   Gruber compared Postel's Law [RFC793] with the XML standard, which
   says: "Once a fatal error is detected [...] the processor MUST NOT
   continue normal processing" [XML1.0-5].) As a result, there is no
   such thing as "invalid" Markdown, there is no standard demanding
   adherence to the Markdown syntax, and there is no governing body that
   guides or impedes its development.  If the Markdown syntax does not
   result in the "right" output (defined as output that the author
   wants, not output that adheres to some dictated system of rules),
   Gruber's view is that the author either should keep on experimenting
   or should change the processor to address the author's particular
   needs (see [MARKDOWN] Readme and [MD102b8] perldoc; see also

1.3.  Uses of Markdown

   Since its introduction in 2004, Markdown has enjoyed remarkable
   success.  Markdown works for users for three key reasons.  First, the
   markup instructions (in text) look similar to the markup that they
   represent; therefore, the cognitive burden to learn the syntax is
   low.  Second, the primary arbiter of the syntax's success is *running
   code*.  The tool that converts the Markdown to a presentable format,
   and not a series of formal pronouncements by a standards body, is the
   basis for whether syntactic elements matter.  Third, Markdown has
   become something of an Internet meme [INETMEME], in that Markdown
   gets received, reinterpreted, and reworked as additional communities
   encounter it.  There are communities that are using Markdown for
   scholarly writing [OCCASION], for screenplays [FOUNTAIN], and even
   for mathematical formulae [MATHDOWN].  Clearly, a screenwriter has no
   use for specialized Markdown syntax for mathematicians; likewise,
   mathematicians do not need to identify characters or props in common
   ways.  The overall gist is that all of these communities can take the
   common elements of Markdown (which are rooted in the common elements
   of HTML circa 2004) and build on them in ways that best fit their

1.4.  Uses of Labeling Markdown Content as text/markdown

   The primary purpose of an Internet media type is to label "content"
   on the Internet, as distinct from "files".  Content is any computer-
   readable format that can be represented as a primary sequence of
   octets, along with type-specific metadata (parameters) and type-
   agnostic metadata (protocol dependent).  From this description, it is
   apparent that appending ".markdown" to the end of a filename is not a
   sufficient means to identify Markdown.  Filenames are properties of
   files in file systems, but Markdown frequently exists in databases or
   content management systems (CMSes) where the file metaphor does not
   apply.  One CMS [RAILFROG] uses media types to select appropriate
   processing, so a media type is necessary for the safe and
   interoperable use of Markdown.

   Unlike complete HTML documents, [MDSYNTAX] provides no means to
   include metadata in the content stream.  Several derivative flavors
   have invented metadata incorporation schemes (e.g., [MULTIMD]), but
   these schemes only address specific use cases.  In general, the
   metadata must be supplied via supplementary means in an encapsulating
   protocol, format, or convention.  The relationship between the
   content and the metadata is not directly addressed here or in
   [RFC7763]; however, by identifying Markdown with a media type,
   Markdown content can participate as a first-class citizen with a wide
   spectrum of metadata schemes.

   Finally, registering a media type through the IETF process is not
   trivial.  Markdown can no longer be considered a "vendor"-specific
   innovation, but the registration requirements even in the vendor tree
   have proven to be overly burdensome for most Markdown implementers.
   Moreover, registering hundreds of Markdown variants with distinct
   media types would impede interoperability: virtually all Markdown
   content can be processed by virtually any Markdown processor, with
   varying degrees of success.  The goal of [RFC7763] is to reduce all
   of these burdens by having one media type that accommodates diversity
   and eases registration.

1.5.  Definitions

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

   Since Markdown signifies a family of related formats with varying
   degrees of formal documentation and implementation, this
   specification uses the term "variant" to identify such formats.

2.  Strategies for Preserving Media Type and Parameters

   The purpose of this document and [RFC7763] is to promote
   interoperability between different Markdown-related systems,
   preserving the author's intent.  While [MARKDOWN] was designed by
   Gruber in 2004 as a simple way to write blog posts and comments, as
   of 2014 Markdown and its derivatives are rapidly becoming the formats
   of record for many communities and use cases.  While an individual
   member of (or software tool for) a community can probably look at
   some "Markdown" and declare its meaning intuitively obvious, software
   systems in different communities (or different times) need help.
   [MDSYNTAX] does not have a signaling mechanism like <!DOCTYPE>, so
   tagging Markdown internally is simply out of the question.  Once tags
   or metadata are introduced, the content is no longer "just" Markdown.

   Some commentators have suggested that an in-band signaling mechanism,
   such as in Markdown link definitions at the top of the content, could
   be used to signal the variant.  Unfortunately, this signaling
   mechanism is incompatible with other Markdown variants (e.g.,
   [PANDOC]) that expect their own kinds of metadata at the top of the
   file.  Markdown content is just a stream of text; the semantics of
   that text can only be furnished by context.

   The media type and variant parameter in [RFC7763] furnish this
   missing context, while allowing for additional extensibility.  This
   section covers strategies for how an application might preserve
   metadata when it leaves the domain of IETF protocols.

   [RFC7763] only defines two parameters: the charset parameter
   (required for all text/* media types) and the variant parameter.
   [RFC6657] provides guidance on character-set parameter handling.  The
   variant parameter provides a simple identifier -- nothing less or
   more.  Variants are allowed to define additional parameters when sent
   with the text/markdown media type; the variant can also introduce
   control information into the textual content stream (such as via a
   metadata block).  Neither [RFC7763] nor this specification recommend
   any particular approach.  However, the philosophy behind [RFC7763] is
   to preserve formats rather than create new ones, since supporting
   existing toolchains is more realistic than creating novel ones that
   lack traction in the Markdown community.

2.1.  Map to Filename and Attributes

   This strategy is to map the media type, variant, and parameters to
   "attributes" or "forks" in the local convention.  Firstly, Markdown
   content saved to a file should have an appropriate file extension
   ending in .md or .markdown, which serves to disambiguate it from
   other kinds of files.  The character repertoire of variant

   identifiers in [RFC7763] is designed to be compatible with most
   filename conventions.  Therefore, a recommended strategy is to record
   the variant identifier as the prefix to the file extension.  For
   example, for [PANDOC] content, a file could be named

   Many filesystems are case-sensitive or case-preserving; however, file
   extensions tend to be all lowercase.  This document takes no position
   on whether variant identifiers should be case-preserved or all
   lowercase when Markdown content is written to a file.  However, when
   the variant identifier is read to influence operational behavior, it
   needs to be compared case-insensitively.

   Many modern filesystems support "extended attributes", "alternate
   data streams", or "resource forks".  Some version control systems
   support named properties.  If the variant defines additional
   parameters, these parameters should be stored in these resources,
   where the parameter name includes the name of the resource, and the
   parameter value is the value of the resource (data in the resource),
   preferably UTF-8 encoded (unless the parameter definition explicitly
   defines a different encoding or repertoire).  The variant identifier
   itself should be stored in a resource with a name including the term
   "variant" (possibly including other decorations to avoid namespace

2.2.  Store Headers in Adjacent File

   This strategy is to save the Markdown content in a first file and to
   save the metadata (specifically the Content-Type header) in a second
   file with a filename that is rationally related to the first
   filename.  For example, if the first file is named "readme.markdown",
   the second file could be named "readme.markdown.headers".  (If stored
   in a database, the analogy would be to store the metadata in a second
   table with a field that is a key to the first table.)  This header
   file has the media type message/global-headers [RFC6533] (".u8hdr"
   suggestion notwithstanding).

2.3.  "Arm" Content with MIME Headers

   This strategy is to save the Markdown content along with its headers
   in a file, "arming" the content by prepending the MIME headers
   (specifically the Content-Type header).  It should be appreciated
   that the file is no longer a "Markdown file"; rather, it is an
   Internet Message Format file (e.g., [RFC5322]) with a Markdown
   content part.  Therefore, the file should have an Internet message
   extension (e.g., ".eml", ".msg", or ".u8msg"), not a Markdown
   extension (e.g., ".md" or ".markdown").

2.4.  Create a Local Batch Script

   This strategy is to translate the processing instructions inferred
   from the Content-Type and other parameters (e.g., Content-
   Disposition) into a sequence of commands in the local convention,
   storing those commands in a batch script.  For example, when a MIME-
   aware client stores some Markdown to disk, the client can save a
   Makefile in the same directory with commands that are appropriate
   (and safe) for the local system.

2.5.  Process the Markdown in Advance

   This strategy is to process the Markdown into the formal markup,
   before a recipient receives it; this eliminates ambiguities.  Once
   the Markdown is processed into (for example) valid XHTML, an
   application can save a file as "doc.xhtml" or can send MIME content
   as application/xhtml+xml with no further loss of metadata.  While
   unambiguous, this process may not be reversible.

2.6.  Rely on Context

   This last strategy is to use or create context to determine how to
   interpret the Markdown.  For example, Markdown content that is of the
   Fountain.io type [FOUNTAIN] could be saved with the filename
   "script.fountain" instead of "script.markdown".  Alternatively,
   scripts could be stored in a "/screenplays" directory while other
   kinds of Markdown could be stored elsewhere.  For reasons that should
   be intuitively obvious, this method is the most error-prone.
   "Context" can be easily lost over time, and the trend of passing
   Markdown between systems -- taking them *out* of context -- is

2.7.  Specific Strategies

2.7.1.  Subversion

   This subsection covers a preservation strategy in Subversion [SVN], a
   common client-server version control system.

   Subversion supports named properties.  The "svn:mime-type" property
   duplicates the entire Content-Type header, so parameters SHOULD be
   stored there (Section 2.1).  The filename SHOULD be consistent with
   this Content-Type header, i.e., the extension SHOULD be the variant
   identifier plus ".markdown" (Section 2.1).

2.7.2.  Git

   This subsection covers a preservation strategy in Git [GIT], a common
   distributed version control system.

   Versions of Git as of the time of this writing do not support
   arbitrary metadata storage; however, third-party projects add this

   If Git is used without a metadata storage service, then a reasonable
   strategy is to include the variant identifier in the filename
   (Section 2.1).  The default text encoding SHOULD be UTF-8.  For other
   or different properties, a header file SHOULD be recorded alongside
   the Markdown file (Section 2.2).

   If a metadata storage service is used with Git, then use a convention
   that is most analogous to the service.  For example, the "metastore"
   project emulates extended attributes (xattrs) of a POSIX-like system,
   so whatever "xattr" methodology is developed would be usable with
   metastore and Git.

3.  Registration Templates for Common Markdown Syntaxes

   The purpose of this section is to register certain syntaxes in the
   "Markdown Variants" registry [RFC7763] because they illustrate
   particularly interesting use cases or are broadly applicable to the
   Internet community; thus, these syntaxes would benefit from the level
   of review associated with publication as IETF documents.

3.1.  MultiMarkdown

   Identifier: MultiMarkdown

   Name: MultiMarkdown

      MultiMarkdown (MMD) is a superset of "Original".  It adds multiple
      syntax features (tables, footnotes, and citations, to name a few)
      and is intended to output to various formats.  Additionally, it
      builds in "smart" typography for various languages (proper left-
      and right-sided quotes, for example).

   Additional Parameters:
      options: String with zero or more of the following tokens
      delimited by whitespace (WSP):

            "memoir" / "beamer"
            "full" / "snippet"

            The meanings of these tokens are defined in the
            MultiMarkdown documentation.


   Contact Information:
      (individual) Fletcher T. Penney <fletcher@fletcherpenney.net>

3.2.  GitHub Flavored Markdown

   Identifier: GFM

   Name: GitHub Flavored Markdown

      "Original" with the following differences:
      1. Multiple underscores in words
      2. URL (URI) autolinking
      3. Strikethrough
      4. Fenced code blocks
      5. Syntax highlighting
      6. Tables (- for rows; | for columns; : for alignment)
      7. Only some HTML allowed; sanitization is integral to the format


   Contact Information:
      (corporate) GitHub, Inc. <https://github.com/contact>

3.3.  Pandoc

   Identifier: pandoc

   Name: Pandoc

      Markdown is designed to be easy to write and to read: the content
      should be publishable as-is, as plain text, without looking like
      it has been marked up with tags or formatting instructions.  Yet
      whereas "Original" has HTML generation in mind, pandoc is designed
      for multiple output formats.  Thus, while pandoc allows the
      embedding of raw HTML, it discourages it, and provides other, non-
      HTMLish ways of representing important document elements like
      definition lists, tables, mathematics, and footnotes.

   Additional Parameters:
      extensions: String with an optional starting syntax token,
                  followed by a "+" and "-" delimited list of extension
                  tokens.  "+" preceding an extension token turns the
                  extension on; "-" turns the extension off.  The
                  starting syntax tokens are "markdown",
                  "markdown_strict", "markdown_phpextra", and
                  "markdown_github".  If no starting syntax token is
                  given, "markdown" is assumed.  The extension tokens

                  Extensions to turn off (on by default):



                  Extensions to turn on (off by default):


   Fragment Identifiers:
      Pandoc defines fragment identifiers using the <id> in the
      {#<id> .class ...} production (PHP Markdown Extra attribute
      block).  This syntax works for Header Identifiers and Code Block


   Contact Information:
      (individual) Prof. John MacFarlane <jgm@berkeley.edu>

3.4.  Fountain (Fountain.io)

   Identifier: Fountain

   Name: Fountain

      Fountain is a simple markup syntax for writing, editing, and
      sharing screenplays in plain, human-readable text.  Fountain
      allows you to work on your screenplay anywhere, on any computer or
      tablet, using any software that edits text files.

   Fragment Identifiers:
      See <http://fountain.io/syntax#section-titlepage> and
      <http://fountain.io/syntax#section-sections>.  In the following
      fragment identifiers, the <key> and <sec*> productions MUST have
      "/" characters percent-encoded.

      #/       Title Page (acts as metadata).
      #/<key>  Title Page; <key> is the key string.
      #<sec1> *("/" <secn>)
            Section or subsection.  The <sec1>..<secn> productions are
            the text of the Section line, with whitespace trimmed from
            both ends.  Subsections (sections with multiple # characters
            at the beginning of the line in the source) are addressed
            hierarchically by preceding the subsection with higher-order
            sections.  If the section hierarchy "skips", e.g., # to ###,
            use a blank section name, e.g.,


   Contact Information:
      (individual) Stu Maschwitz <http://prolost.com/>
      (individual) John August <http://johnaugust.com/>

3.5.  CommonMark

   Identifier: CommonMark

   Name: CommonMark

      CommonMark is a standard, unambiguous syntax specification for
      Markdown, along with a suite of comprehensive tests to validate

      Markdown implementations against this specification.  The
      maintainers believe that CommonMark is necessary, even essential,
      for the future of Markdown.

      Compared to "Original", CommonMark is much longer and in a few
      instances contradicts "Original" based on seasoned experience.
      Although CommonMark specifically does not mandate any particular
      encoding for the input content, CommonMark draws in more of
      Unicode, UTF-8, and HTML (including HTML5) than "Original".

      This registration always refers to the latest version or an
      unspecified version (receiver's choice).  Version 0.13 of the
      CommonMark specification was released 2014-12-10.


   Contact Information:
      (individual) John MacFarlane <jgm@berkeley.edu>
      (individual) David Greenspan <david@meteor.com>
      (individual) Vicent Marti <vicent@github.com>
      (individual) Neil Williams <neil@reddit.com>
      (individual) Benjamin Dumke-von der Ehe <ben@stackexchange.com>
      (individual) Jeff Atwood <jatwood@codinghorror.com>

3.6.  kramdown-rfc2629 (Markdown for RFCs)

   Identifier: kramdown-rfc2629

   Name: Markdown for RFCs

      kramdown is a markdown parser by Thomas Leitner; it has a number
      of backends for generating HTML, LaTeX, and Markdown again.
      kramdown-rfc2629 is an additional backend to that: It allows the
      generation of XML2RFC XML markup (originally known as markup that
      is RFC 2629 compliant, now documented in RFC 7749).


   Contact Information:
      (individual) Carsten Bormann <cabo@tzi.org>

3.7.  rfc7328 (Pandoc2rfc)

   Identifier: rfc7328

   Name: Pandoc2rfc

      Pandoc2rfc allows authors to write in "pandoc" that is then
      transformed to XML and given to xml2rfc.  The conversions are, in
      a way, amusing, as we start off with (almost) plain text, use
      elaborate XML, and end up with plain text again.

      RFC 7328

      Contact Information:
        (individual) R. (Miek) Gieben <miek@google.com>

3.8.  PHP Markdown Extra

   Identifier: Extra

   Name: Markdown Extra

   Markdown Extra is an extension to PHP Markdown implementing some
   features currently not available with the plain Markdown syntax.
   Markdown Extra is available as a separate parser class in PHP
   Markdown Lib.  Other implementations include Maruku (Ruby) and Python
   Markdown.  Markdown Extra is supported in several content management
   systems, including Drupal, TYPO3, and MediaWiki.

   Fragment Identifiers:
   Markdown Extra defines fragment identifiers using the <id> in the
   {#<id> .class ...} production (attribute block).  This syntax works
   for headers, fenced code blocks, links, and images.


   Contact Information:
     (individual) Michel Fortin <michel.fortin@michelf.ca>

4.  Examples for Common Markdown Syntaxes

   This section provides examples of the variants in Section 3.

4.1.  MultiMarkdown

Title:    Example of MultiMarkdown
Keywords: IETF, example, footnotes

# MultiMarkdown Example #

MultiMarkdown supports several cool features, as well as
several output formats:
*   HTML
*   PDF
*   OpenDocument
*   OPML
*   LaTeX

## Footnotes ##

Footnotes are described in the
MultiMarkdown Syntax Guide.[^somesamplefootnote]

[^somesamplefootnote]: Here is the text of the footnote itself.

                    Figure 1: MultiMarkdown Example

4.2.  GitHub-Flavored Markdown

# Start Out #

GFM is like regular Markdown with a few extra features. For example,
http://www.example.com/ will get auto-linked. ~~This is strike-through
text, demarked by the double tildes.~~

function test() {
  return "notice this feature?");

# Table Alignments #

| Left      | Center  |  Right |
|:--------- |:-------:| ------:|
| cats      | Paxton  |  $1600 |
| dogs      |  Ruff   |    $30 |
| zebras    | Stripes | $20900 |

               Figure 2: GitHub Flavored Markdown Example

4.3.  Pandoc

% Pandoc User's Guide
% John MacFarlane
% August 30, 2014

Synopsis {#syn}

pandoc [*options*] [*input-file*]...

Description {#desc}

Pandoc is a [Haskell] library for converting from one markup format to
another, and a command-line tool that uses this library.

#### Extension: `header_attributes` #### {#ext-header-attributes}

Headers can be assigned attributes using this syntax at the end of the
line containing the header text:

    {#identifier .class .class key=value key=value}

Thus, for example, the following headers will all be assigned the
identifier `foo`:

    # My header {#foo}

    ## My header ##    {#foo}

    My other header   {#foo}

                          Figure 3: Pandoc Example

4.4.  Fountain (Fountain.io)

?AGENT MORTIMER lies bleeding in the corner. The car ROCKS gently.
Mortimer pulls out his cell phone and dials.

Come on. Pick up.

ext. hotel bar - day?
A fiercely gorgeous brunette sips the last of something from a
rocks glass. This is REBECCA.

Behind her, a dark FIGURE approaches. She seems not to notice.

REBECCA?(to Bartender)
Rittenhouse, neat.

Ritenhouse, neat.

She turns to find the source of the voice.

Excellent choice.

Before she can reply, her phone RINGS.?



Where MORTIMER is just barely holding on to life.

                       Figure 4: Fountain Example

4.5.  CommonMark

   CommonMark is like Markdown.

   Here are some entity names that you can use with CommonMark: `&nbsp;
   &amp; &copy; &AElig; &Dcaron; &frac34; &HilbertSpace; &DifferentialD;

   You can see more at [the CommonMark website](http://commonmark.org/

   - foo
   - bar

   Tildes can be used for fenced code blocks:


                      Figure 5: CommonMark Example

4.6.  kramdown-rfc2629 (Markdown for RFCs)

title: STUN/TURN using PHP in Despair
abbrev: STuPiD-excerpt
docname: draft-hartke-xmpp-stupid-excerpt-00
date: 2009-07-05
category: info

ipr: trust200902
area: General
workgroup: XMPP Working Group
keyword: Internet-Draft

stand_alone: yes
pi: [toc, sortrefs, symrefs]

    ins: K. Hartke
    name: Klaus Hartke
    email: example@tzi.org


    target: http://www.example.com/oob
    title: STUNT & out-of-band channels
      name: Robbie Hanson
      ins: R. Hanson
    date: 2007-09-17

--- abstract

NAT (Network Address Translator) Traversal may require TURN
(Traversal Using Relays around NAT) functionality in certain
cases that are not unlikely to occur.  There is little
incentive to deploy TURN servers, except by those who need
them&#x2014;who may not be in a position to deploy a new protocol
on an Internet-connected node, in particular not one with
deployment requirements as high as those of TURN.

--- middle

Introduction        {#problems}

"STUN/TURN using PHP in Despair" is a highly deployable protocol for
obtaining TURN-like functionality, while also providing the most
important function of STUN {{RFC5389}}.

The Need for Standardization   {#need}

Having one standard form of STuPiD service instead of one specific to
each kind of client also creates an incentive for optimized


        STuPiD   ```````````````````````````````,
        Script   <----------------------------. ,
                                              | ,
          ^ ,                                 | ,
          | ,                                 | ,
    (1)   | ,                                 | ,  (3)
    POST  | ,                                 | ,  GET
          | ,                                 | ,
          | v                                 | v

        Peer A   ----------------------->   Peer B
{: #figops title="STuPiD Protocol Operation"}

Terminology          {#Terminology}
In this document, the key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED",
and "OPTIONAL" are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14, RFC 2119
{{RFC2119}} and indicate requirement levels for compliant STuPiD

--- back

Sample Implementation     {#impl}


header("Cache-Control: no-cache, must-revalidate");
header("Expires: Sat, 26 Jul 1997 05:00:00 GMT");
header("Content-Type: application/octet-stream");

{: #figimpl title="STuPiD Sample Implementation"}

                  Figure 6: Markdown for RFCs Example

4.7.  rfc7328 (Pandoc2rfc)

   Pandoc2rfc expects multiple files as input.  The following figure is
   example of "middle.mkd".

# Introduction

<?rfc toc="yes"?>
<?rfc symrefs="yes"?>
<?rfc sortrefs="yes"?>
<?rfc subcompact="no"?>
<?rfc compact="yes"?>
<?rfc comments="yes"?>

This document presents a technique for using Pandoc syntax as a source
format for documents in the Internet-Drafts (I-Ds) and Request
for Comments (RFC) series.

This version is adapted to work with `xml2rfc` version 2.x.

Pandoc is an "almost plain text" format and therefore particularly
well suited for editing RFC-like documents.

> Note: this document is typeset in Pandoc.

> NB: this is mostly text to test Pandoc2rfc, the canonical
> documentation is [RFC 7328][p2r].

[p2r]: http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7328

# Pandoc to RFC

> Pandoc2rfc -- designed to do the right thing, until it doesn't.

When writing [](#RFC4641) we directly wrote the
XML. Needless to say it was tedious even though the XML of
[xml2rfc](http://xml2rfc.ietf.org/) is very "light".
The [latest version of xml2rfc version 2 can be found

               Figure 7: Pandoc2rfc Example (middle.mkd)

5.  IANA Considerations

   IANA has registered the syntaxes specified in Section 3 in the
   "Markdown Variants" registry.

6.  Security Considerations

   See the respective syntax descriptions and output media type
   registrations for their respective security considerations.

7.  References

7.1.  Normative References

   [MARKDOWN] Gruber, J., "Daring Fireball: Markdown", December 2004,

   [MDSYNTAX] Gruber, J., "Daring Fireball: Markdown Syntax

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,

   [RFC5322]  Resnick, P., Ed., "Internet Message Format", RFC 5322,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5322, October 2008,

   [RFC6657]  Melnikov, A. and J. Reschke, "Update to MIME regarding
              "charset" Parameter Handling in Textual Media Types",
              RFC 6657, DOI 10.17487/RFC6657, July 2012,

   [RFC7763]  Leonard, S., "The text/markdown Media Type", RFC 7763,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7763, March 2016,

7.2.  Informative References

   [UNICODE]  The Unicode Consortium, "The Unicode Standard, Version
              8.0", (Mountain View, CA: The Unicode Consortium, 2015.
              ISBN 978-1-936213-10-8),

   [HUMANE]   Atwood, J., "Is HTML a Humane Markup Language?", May 2008,

   [DIN2MD]   Gruber, J., "Dive Into Markdown", March 2004,

   [MD102b8]  Gruber, J., "Subject: [ANN] Markdown.pl 1.0.2b8", message
              to the markdown-discuss mailing list, 9 May 2007,

   [CATPICS]  Gruber, J. and M. Arment, "The Talk Show: Ep. 88: 'Cat
              Pictures' (Side 1)", July 2014,

   [INETMEME] Solon, O., "Richard Dawkins on the internet's hijacking of
              the word 'meme'", June 2013,

   [MULTIMD]  Penney, F., "MultiMarkdown",

   [PANDOC]   MacFarlane, J., "Pandoc",

   [RAILFROG] Railfrog Team, "Railfrog", April 2009,

   [RFC793]   Postel, J., "Transmission Control Protocol", STD 7,
              RFC 793, DOI 10.17487/RFC0793, September 1981,

   [RFC6533]  Hansen, T., Ed., Newman, C., and A. Melnikov,
              "Internationalized Delivery Status and Disposition
              Notifications", RFC 6533, DOI 10.17487/RFC6533, February
              2012, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6533>.

   [RFC6838]  Freed, N., Klensin, J., and T. Hansen, "Media Type
              Specifications and Registration Procedures", BCP 13,
              RFC 6838, DOI 10.17487/RFC6838, January 2013,

   [XML1.0-5] Bray, T., Paoli, J., Sperberg-McQueen, M., Maler, E., and
              F. Yergeau, "Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 (Fifth
              Edition)", W3C Recommendation REC-xml-20081126, November
              2008, <http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-xml-20081126>.

   [OCCASION] Shieber, S., "Switching to Markdown for scholarly article
              production", August 2014,

   [FOUNTAIN] Maschwitz, S. and J. August, "Fountain | A markup language
              for screenwriting.", <http://fountain.io/>.

   [MATHDOWN] Cherniavsky-Paskin, B., "math in markdown",

   [SVN]      Apache Subversion, December 2015,

   [GIT]      Git, <http://git-scm.com/>.

Author's Address

   Sean Leonard
   Penango, Inc.
   5900 Wilshire Boulevard
   21st Floor
   Los Angeles, CA  90036
   United States

   EMail: dev+ietf@seantek.com
   URI:   http://www.penango.com/


User Contributions:

Comment about this RFC, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: