MarkedUp: The Power of Python

August 5, 2010

Yesterday I was stuck at the office while Darcy got a flat replaced. I decided to make a Markdown editor real quick, since I’m always using the web dingus to preview it, and that gets old.

I found the python-markdown2 library, and then decided to try out the WebKit integration in Qt4.

The best word for it is painless. Seriously, I got the first version glued together in about ten minutes, including finding the markdown library and reading all the docs for QWebView. It’s a brutal hack, but it worked just fine, and only took up 45 lines of code.

I’ve since dropped in three more markup languages, as well as cleaned it up to something readable. But I doubt I have more than a couple hours invested thus far.I think this is a quintessential demonstration of the power of Python, which breaks down to three things.

  1. Fast development
    No compile cycle, it reduces the barrier to creating a prototype.
  2. Huge Ecosystem
    There is a library for everything and it’s all easy to get to and use.
  3. Good Documentation & Intuitive Behavior
    Most packages have good documentation, and those that don’t still behave intuitively. Just pydoc around until you find what you need.

MarkedUp is now feature complete, stable, and available at your local github.

The MarkedUp Editor


  1. I did something similar a while back because I found myself always writing big documents in Markdown but having no good way to preview them. There was a short period of time where I was making 2 to 3 extra commits on GitHub just to fix stupid Markdown formatting issues that I had wrong.

    Mine is a silly web-based editor that is based on php-markdown ( but I use it all the time to preview my stuff.

    I guess this is a case of “great minds think alike.” :D

  2. john says:

    Nice, great minds and all that. I probably would have gone with a web frontend too unless I had found the QWebKit bindings. I always used Daring Fireball’s “official” tool, but never figured out why it was called the Dingus.

  3. john says:

    Totally didn’t notice I copied your great minds line. Oh the shame…

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