I’ve been a self-taught HTML writer since the early 1990s. During that time I designed hundreds of websites for local businesses and online businesses throughout the world. But in the past 10 years HTML has become much more difficult and i find that when I need to write a website I’m using a WYSIWYG editor like Dreamweaver. Basic HTML has been left for blog postings.
Therefore when David Sparks from MacSparky and Eddie Smith from Practically Efficient decided to release their new book Markdown I had to download it and see what all the fuss about Markdown was about.
The iBook is another of MacSparky Field Guides. They are well-written, and contain a combination of text, screencasts, and audio. They take a subject and cover it 360°. This iBook is no different. Markdown is covered in every conceivable way.
They start by teaching you all the major Markdown tags. They discussed how the tags are used and give you a screencast to show you how they’re used. When I finished that segment I was very comfortable in writing Markdown language for any webpage I may need from any text file I’ve created. Overall basic material but very well presented.
Next they discussed Markdown tools for the Mac and even a few for the PC. This was my favorite segment. Even though I use many of the apps they suggested I still learn much more about them and how they worked with Markdown. In fact, I found myself purchasing more apps after reading about them and seeing them in action. Just what I needed!
David and Eddie spend time showing you how they implement Markdown in their every day workflow. They also talked about using third-party apps to speed up the workflow. I especially enjoyed the chapter on Textexpander with Markdown. After a few hours I could see how Markdown could help me speed up my workflow every day and make me become a bit more efficient.
They spent time talking about Multi-Markdown and what it was and where it was going in the future. I thought the Brett Terpstra Markdown Services chapter was worth the cost of the iBook alone. Brett is a genius when it comes to making Markdown work with other apps and in this case, OSX. David and Eddie presented his Services and demonstrated them so I understood how best to use them and save tons of time and effort from everyday tasks.
Eddie and David finished off the book with interviews with the developers of Markdown and Multi-Markdown, and with well-known Mac folks that use and promote Markdown everyday. They discuss each other’s workflows and how they use Markdown to make them more efficient and save them time. A great listen.
Overall I am very happy with this iBook, it took Markdown and in one day taught me everything I need to know about using it, and making it a part of my workflow. I am certain I will become a more efficient Mac user with the knowledge gained. Thank you David and Eddie. Make certain you spend the $9 at the iTunes store and pick up a copy for yourself.