I’ve written many, many times about how much I love writing in Org mode. I write a plain text file that I can then export to HTML, LaTeX, or several other formats. I can even, theoretically, write an Org mode document with some editor other than Emacs. But Org mode isn’t the only way of doing this. Another is Markdown a similar system that probably inspired the Org mode mark-up syntax.
One of the advantages of Markdown is that you can use it with any editor. Many editors, including Emacs, even have special Markdown modes that enable highlighting and interface with the Markdown script. I’d certainly be using it if I didn’t have Org mode so I read The Markdown Mindset by Hilton Lipschitz over at the The Hiltmon blog with particular interest. Lipschitz gives the usual list of benefits for Markdown: editor agnostic, plain text, flexible, exports to multiple formats, and so on.
But here’s what I don’t get. Lipschitz goes on about how he writes his programming notes using Markdown in BBEdit, his blog posts using Markdown in Byword, his manuals and related documents using Markdown in Scrivener, and his readme files using Markdown in TextMate. I don’t object to him doing this—whatever works for him—but I can tell you for sure that I’d be drooling and babbling incoherently if I tried something like that. After 5 years, I still have flashbacks to Vim and try to go up a line with 【Ctrl+k】 or something similarly hilarious. I simply can’t imagine trying to use that many editors. One of the advantages, to me, of Emacs is that I can stay in the same editing tool almost all the time. On my Mac I even have a special file that gives me (mostly) Emacs keybindings so that everything works pretty much the same even when I’m not in Emacs. Love them or hate them, there’s only one set of bindings to worry about. (Yes, yes, I know that statement gets muddied a little when considering some modes but it’s basically true).
I’d be interested in hearing what others think. Can you easily handle multiple editors routinely the way Lipschitz does or does leaving Emacs to use some other editing tool make you uncomfortable and less efficient?