Posted on: 9th May 2020
Apostrophe, the prince of markdown editors
I found Apostrophe from the homepage of the AppCenter on Elementary OS. The markdown editor of my choice to compose my blog posts in. Mainly because the compose window in Write.as is designed to publish immediately. I am not that impulsive and the way to manage drafts is not very intuitive here. You can maintain only one draft. And then there’s the preview. I like to have the live preview to make sure I am not making any syntax errors. Besides, writing locally on the desktop gives me the flexibility to post via the command line.
Apostrophe is designed for Elementary OS. The app follows the design language laid out by the folks at Elementary OS making it feel like a part of the OS. There’s a neat trick Apostrophe pulls when you start writing - The title bar disappears leaving you with just your words. Go fullscreen by pressing F11 and now you have a no distraction mode. Neat. You can turn off title bar behavior in preferences if you wish so. Advanced writers who prefer Hemingway Mode / Focus mode can also set them via app settings (the gear icon on the top right). Apostrophe looks great even in the dark mode.
Markdown Language Format
I am a newbie when it comes to markdown and make do with the Plain Markdown for my purposes. Advanced users have the option to set the Markdown input to:
- Pandoc’s Markdown
- Github Flavor
- Plain Markdown
There are plenty of Markdown editors (Atom, VSCode) that can do fancy stuff like Flowcharts, Sequence Diagrams, UML etc with the help of plugins. Apostrophe doesn’t do that nor it has any plugins that will enable such a feature.
The developers fixed two major issues with the last update. One with the external image preview and the other with the opening of md files via file manager. However, they forgot to update the version number in the UI which points to 188.8.131.52 instead of 184.108.40.206. I wanted to report this minor issue but loathed to create any account in GitLab. Anyone who has a GitLab account is welcome to create this issue.
Plenty of tools available to even possible for me to list everything here. Do your own research for your choice of OS to find one. A popular markdown editor on Elementary OS that gets featured in every article is Quilter. It certainly is packed with more bells and whistles but I couldn’t warm up to it. Found this online editor dillinger.io which taught me how to add links at the bottom of the article you are writing to keep the content clean but unfortunaltely isn’t supported by Write.as. Thanks to this post by Justin Vollmer.
Day 12 - Join me in #100DaysToOffloadtags: 100daystooffload apostrophe opensource