There’s some irony in the fact that David Sparks’ (MacSparky) book on Markdown – a format dedicated to being as simple as possible – is published as an iBook which contains audio, video, screenshots and everything else, along with its text.
But if you are either Markdown-curious, or a hardcore Markdown user who just wants to nerd out for an afternoon or two, it’s worth checking out.
The Markdown Field Guide is an extravaganza. I have only flipped through the pages and read the TOC and a few snippets, so this is in no way a review. But it’s also the book I want to grab, along with a pot of hot chocolate or coffee depending on the weather, and take to my cheap but comfy Ikea Poang armchair this afternoon.
The book is structured to give you the basics of Markdown (a plain-text format that can be used to write complex, human-readable markup in any text editor know to man. Even Word. Even VIM!), and then take you through the various apps that are dedicated to it on the Mac, iOS, the PC and the web.
Then we get to see inside the way various internet celebrity nerds (Merlin “‘sorry’ to interrupt you” Mann, Federico “just one more espresso” Viticci and Brett “I just built this” Terpstra, to name a few) use Markdown, plus a well-explained guide as to how to actually use the Markdown syntax.
I write everything in Markdown, except short emails and and texts (and even then I add emphasis with asterisks), and even I have already found some interesting sections I want to read through in full. If you never used Markdown, then consider giving David and his co-author Eddie Smith their cut of the $10 asking price as probably the best intro you’ll get.
And if you’re already a fan, you have likely already downloaded it.
Not got an iPhone or iPad? The book is also available as a PDF for the same price, although you lose out on a lot of the bells and whistles (not real whistles, sadly).
Go grab it!