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WYSIWYG vs markup

Markup language haters (including markdown haters):

One thing that was… not good back in the WYSIWYG days was that you couldn’t easily see where bold ended and plain ended. Quotes, spaces, commas, newlines… which were part of the bold and which weren’t? It was fraught!

Speaking of WYSIWYG, that’s another advantage of markup languages. People, even schmucks and randos, are more likely to realize that what you write is just the text and it’s gonna get mangled anyway and they are slightly less likely to make faux semantics like bolding&cranking up the size instead of marking as a header, or tabbing a hundred times to make it look centered.

People are starting to have some sort of intuition that the content isn’t the presentation. That the way you write a text message on your phone might have completely a different font and colors on the recipient’s phone.

That’s thanks to markup languages.

People would ask me back in like 2001 (before LibreOffice, Google Docs etc) what I used instead of word processors. I was like “I use markup languages”. They were like whiskey tango foxtrot why would you even do that to yourself. But these days they’re common, partially thanks to simple “pass-through” languages like Markdown that helps you with paragraphs and headers but lets you drop down to real HTML just by adding some tags.

I don’t try to “style” a text message the way people were obsessed with styling everything in the WYSIWYG nineties. I just let the text flow and I just let the text be text, like God intended.