ZachIR's Blog - Writing Blog Posts In Markdown

Writing Blog Posts In Markdown

I have found a new method for writing my blog posts, which I will be giving a shot today (and hopefully keep, as I just migrated my local copy of my website to it), where I have every page written in R Markdown, with a template.html file, which I use as the template for pandoc to compile everything into html. Additionally, the template.html file loads my main.css stylesheet, which means that I can have a separate stylesheet, and have it loaded for every page; additionally, every page has the same header and footer; as well, I don’t need much fanciness within the content of each blog post, so Markdown is a perfectly viable language to write them in.

And this has the added benefit of, when I decide to update the stylesheets, header, or footer, I can change one file and it will compile into every page.

This was the latest advancement I found out about in terms of Markdown/pandoc processing, a rabbit hole which I started down in response to a few videos by Luke Smith, about writing presentations and pdfs in Markdown.

During this process, I have learned a lot about the extensibility of so called pandoc-flavored Markdown; I discovered that, just as when I used Hugo to generate my website (also using Markdown), the section at the top (between the two lines of three hyphens) is used for formatting purposes; for example, this page has three variables, “title”, which is the webpage title, “author”, which is me (and I am not using yet), and “date”, which I have not set for any page yet.

This actually comes shortly after me learning about emmet-vim, which actually simplified writing plain HTML for me each time I wrote each post in HTML, as it makes writing tags easier.

I would be curious if there’s a similar plugin to make Markdown even faster than it already is, although I’m sure I could write some macros for stuff like hyperlinks. That said, Markdown is pretty popular, so there proably is.