Bionic HTML

The other day I wrote a post about my relationship with Markdown and HTML. Half a dozen people responded with thoughts about their own relationship with both. As I read those responses I realised that I never actually type HTML.

Sure, what I write emerges marked up with HTML tags, usually as I write, but it's more bionic HTML. Take this post as an example. I happen to be using BBEdit to write this one, but it works anywhere that accepts text. I started with ,p. That triggered TextExpander to create opening and closing paragraph tags for me to type between.

To add the link to another post I switched briefly to MarsEdit, selected that older post in the Main Window then clicked a Keyboard Maestro palette to trigger a macro that uses Applescript to copy the title and URL, wrap them in appropriate HTML tags and put them on the clipboard ready for pasting. At the end of the paragraph another TextExpander trigger is zp that creates a closing then an opening paragraph tag so I move on to the next paragraph.

At various points I've used more TextExpander triggers to insert tags for quotes and emphasis. And so it goes.

Between TextExpander, Applescript, Keyboard Maestro, and on rare occasions selecting text and then wrapping it in tags from BBEdit's Clippings or Applescript menu or the MarsEdit Format menu, the chances that I'll actually type out an HTML tag are extremely slim.

So reading the discussion has made me realise that my thoughts are with HTML. I may realise I want to create a list, for example. I know exactly which tags to type and where, but I don't actually type them. Instead I trigger them somehow and use my Mac's power to automate them.

The wonderful thing though is that this discussion hasn't been about HTML versus Markdown. I don't aim to persuade anyone else to prefer one over the other. It was about how we all use these systems and respond to them differently.

I'd quickly become enraged if I had to type HTML tags to write anything, but beyond teaching others how to use HTML I haven't actually typed out HTML tags myself for years. Why keep a computer and do its work yourself?

Thanks @artkavanagh @smokey @macgenie @adders @decarbonization @Bruce for the discussion.

Miraz Jordan @Miraz

Please take a look at my Love Waikawa Beach website too.