When I wrote my Ruby Readline tutorial I felt I came up with a cool concept. I started with a Markdown file, translated it to html, and I used the headers to generate a Table of Contents on the fly.
It didn’t take me long to realize that I could turn this into a framework where I could turn any Markdown file into a tutorial exactly like this one. So with surprisingly little work I modified the scripts to work with any markdown file and the html automatically generated from the standard Markdown.pl script.
I called this markdownorial. Laugh all you want at the name, but I still think the concept is very cool. I’ll probably be using this more and more to automatically generate and format a pretty cool looking tutorial from a single markdown file. The start to finish time for a project like this has instantly dropped to just the raw content part, no design or coding needed!
Writing Markdown is very fast and efficient.
Time is spent writing the content. Not messing with design,
Table of Contents is automatically built for you.
Useful permalinks are automatically generated. Very useful when passing around links.
Clean user interface that focuses entirely on the content but the Table of Contents is always available!
Git Repository means if I update the design its just a `git pull` away to get the update.
Right now the tutorials shows up elegantly in all standards compliant browsers. Safari/Webkit and Chrome display it perfectly. Opera has some very minor Unicode issues but displays everything perfectly. Firefox has some separate Unicode issues and if you don’t have the latest version it has some working but slow animation. Overall, its entirely usable for people using decent browsers.
Let me know what you think. Feel free to use it and improve it. Its all up on Github.