On Saturday June 8th – exactly a month from today – the PLOS San Francisco offices will host a workshop/hackathon about using markdown for science. A lot of people are experimenting with markdown for authoring scientific articles – see blog posts here (http://blog.yoavram.com/markx/?), here (http://inundata.org/2012/06/01/markdown-and-the-future-of-collaborative-manuscript-writing/?) or my post here (http://blog.martinfenner.org/2012/12/13/a-call-for-scholarly-markdown/?), and the scientific manuscript here (https://github.com/weecology/data-sharing-paper/?).
Markdown is a simple markup language for text, and is primarily used for HTML content on the web, but can also be converted to PDF, LaTeX and others. One challenge with markdown is that there are a number of slightly different “flavors” out there, from the original markdown to multimarkdown, github-flavored markdown and pandoc. Some of the advanced formatting of scientific documents – tables, citations, math – is still a challenge for markdown.
Will markdown become our next authoring format for scientific content? Will there be yet another flavor, scholarly markdown? How will markdown writing tools be different from LaTeX tools or Microsoft Word? If you care about any of these questions and are in or near San Francisco, join us on for all full day on June 8th. Free registration is open at http://mdsci13.eventbrite.com (http://mdsci13.eventbrite.com/?). We are collecting workshop ideas at https://github.com/karthikram/markdown_science/wiki/workshop (https://github.com/karthikram/markdown_science/wiki/workshop?), the Twitter hashtag is #mdsci13.
This event is organized by Stian Håklev (http://twitter.com/houshuang?) and myself, with generous support by a 1K Challenge prize from Force11 (http://www.force11.org/node/4358?), and hosting provided by PLOS.