# Critic Markup

edited October 2018

Have you considered implementing syntax highlighting for something like CriticMarkup? (It's included in MultiMarkdown.)

I certainly wouldn't use all of that, but I have been looking for a way to semantically and aesthetically indicate text highlighting. For example, when I grab a paragraph-long quote, and want to keep it in context, but also highlight the key important phrase.

CriticMarkup uses {==this==} to highlight text. Since that doesn't currently work in The Archive, I've been playing around with using a mixture of regular emphasis, and critic-style markup. This way, I get syntax highlighting right now, but also indicate to myself that this is my insertion, not part of the original source.

For example:

Even consider reading email. Most current designs revolve around the manipulation of individual messages—reading them one-by-one, searching them, sorting them, filing them, deleting them. {==But the purpose of reading email has nothing to do with the messages themselves.==} I read email to keep a complex set of mental understandings up-to-date—the statuses of personal conversations, of projects at work...

And underneath, of course, I'm doing this:

{==__But the purpose of reading email has nothing to do with the messages themselves.__==}


That way it's fully CriticMarkup-compatible, and also gets the visual emphasis. Of course, part of the great thing about plain-text formats is that you don't need anyone's "permission" to start using a convention like CriticMarkup. But in this case, the visual emphasis is precisely what I'm looking for.

• MMD 6 support is coming, so that'll probably work, too, by accident

Emphasis is meant to stress parts of a text, so I wonder why you don't use that by default. Even in quotes, it's common enough to emphasize parts of the quotet text and then add a note like "emphasis mine" in the citation. When would you want to use the quote? When would you want to use it without the emphasis that you deem important in your Zettel? When you review an assembled draft, what's the benefit of removing CriticMarkup highlights over removing emphasis you don't find fitting anymore? (-- I don't see a benefit of considering an alternative to regular emphasis at all.)

Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

• @ctietze said:
MMD 6 support is coming, so that'll probably work, too, by accident

Great!

Emphasis is meant to stress parts of a text, so I wonder why you don't use that by default. Even in quotes, it's common enough to emphasize parts of the quoted text and then add a note like "emphasis mine" in the citation.

I suppose this is my way of leaving that note to myself. I can capture a quote, indicate it as a quote, emphasize the text, and indicate that the emphasis is mine...all without doing too much non-markup explanation.

It's also worth noting that I would prefer a genuine highlight. A big part of the point is to help me lock onto the gist of the idea as I'm scanning.

When would you want to use the quote? When would you want to use it without the emphasis that you deem important in your Zettel?

I collect lots of quotes, and use them verbatim on social media and such. Sometimes this is just "an interesting thing to share". But often, it's in answer to a question. And often the wording and the author is just as important as the thought.

When I do this, I usually want to have the full quote and context on hand, in case someone asks me about it (or I need to double-check how I'm interpreting something—I find this can easily shift). But I typically only share the most impactful parts of the quote.

Highlighting allows me to collect a quote in its context, emphasize the part that stood out to me (so I can quickly recall as I scan), suggest a possible shorter "shareable quote", but still allow for multiple forms of reuse and revision.

Your questions here bring up a more philosophical question about the Zettelkasten Method. Obviously, I'm pursuing some different results than you are. Does a use case like mine fit within the method? What is the "proper end result" that Zettelkasten Method is a good fit for, and what types of desired results would indicate that this is not the method for you?

• Hi Christian,

Any news on this front? It seems that critcmarkup is still missing from the latest release.

Best,
Maxime

• @ctietze said:
MMD 6 support is coming, so that'll probably work, too, by accident

Very cool! Looking forward to the release when MMD 6 becomes available.

• The good news is: the MMD 6 engine is working for a while in public releases

The bad or sad news is: you cannot yet theme these new structural elements, even though MMD under the hood sees them. The blindfolds will be lifted soon, so to speak; changing the syntax highlighting that way requires more care, though.

Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

• @ctietze said:
The blindfolds will be lifted soon, so to speak; changing the syntax highlighting that way requires more care, though.

Any further good news on highlighting?

• Yes, it got better behind the stages, but I want to get the scriptability out into the public before tweaking the theme syntax. Recognition of new elements (like tables) is a thing, though, so you can use regular fonts for everything, and monospace fonts for tables and code, only.

Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/