Mark Down and Write Monkey
Its no breaking news that I like apple products and I follow Apple on a daily basis. I keep track of apple not by just surfing the interwebz for news about apple, I relegiously consume audio and text from quite a few prominent people in the apple community. I follow John Gruber (thats a no brainer and you dont call yourself an apple fan if you havent stumbled across his blog 😉 ), Marco Arment, I listen to their podcasts at 5by5 (actually am typing this while i am listening to this weeks episode of build and analyze) along with subscribing to read and trust feeds, where most of the bloggers are Apple enthusiasts, who follow apple closely as well.
It was on marco’s blog that I stumbled upon the word Markdown for the first time when I was checking out what software powered his blog. I ve heard about markup earlier, but markdown was new and I started digging up a bit more and was surprised to find it was created by John Gruber along with Aaron Swartz. That was an eyer opener about John’s other contributions. The nerd that I am (though i dont code as such like most do, i do suffer N.A.D.D ), I quickly grasped the need for markdown. BTW you should have a look at the syntax to get the feel of its usability and simplicity. I really wanted to give it a try for my blog posts at the very least.
I am always looking for a better offline blog editor, and so far there hasnt been anything better than live writer on windows, which wasnt great(sometimes it could be a pain especially if you switch themes on your blog) but enough to get your job done. Since I knew live writer isnt markdown capable, I was looking for an editor with markdown support and as well publish to my blog. Unfortunately there isnt any such for windows yet. So i had to settle to writing in markdown, converting to HTML and manually copy-paste the HTML to my blog. I would love to hear if you have any suggestions to automate this.
I stumbled upon write monkey when I searched for a markdown editor for windows. I am mind blown at its capabilities and simplicity. I heard about write room for mac 2 years back. I was tempted by its simplicty to try it, but hardly were there any that could even come close on windows and finally after 2 years of search, I’ve found something comparable in write monkey. The app is hardly a 3 MB zip file and runs out of the box(no installation required if you have.NET framework 3.5 and above). Prepare to be surprised when you launch the app for the first time, Coz you might not be sure if windows blanked out on you as usual or what?, actually the blank screen is the sacred space for distraction free writing with no window borders, crappy buttons etc, . Write monkey has a wide set of features and can look a bit alarming on the first look at the shortcuts and controls, but once you get used to it, its a breeze . Just get used to the function keys and you are good to go. Just like every where F1 is your help around. Just press ctrl+Shift+H to convert your selected markdown text to HTML.It cant get any simpler.
To sum it up Write Monkey is a simple,hassle free, elegant writing tool and i recommend you try it. Also feel free to donate to write monkey project at the website by clicking the paypal link to keep the project alive.