Faint insights into (mostly) the world of automation


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I have been using MultiMarkdown for a while now. I use it for creating simple text files that I want to read in text mode but also want to perhaps “dress up” as either a HTML or PDF file (mostly the former).

Since it is text oriented, it is easy to use scripts to automate things into or within this format. Many of my UAB pages are built with it (I use a .mmd file extension) and I built an extensive set of scripts and processes for maintaining IEEE Region 3 meeting agendas with the tool. I successfully turned this package over to the new Region 3 Secretary so there is now “user 2” for this automation.

The MultiMarkdown site has a good documentation as well as some files to download as examples. For my course web pages, I use a banner to provide breadcrumb like linkages to other parts of the university, my department, and my web site. This banner as well as the heading of one of my typical MultiMarkdown pages looks like

Title:        What Tools Do I Need?
Author:       David Green
Affiliation:  UAB
Date:         DATELM
Format:       complete
LaTeX XSLT:   article.xslt

[UAB][1] -> [ENG][2] -> [ [ECE][3] / [ECE Intranet][4] ] -> [ [DGreen][5]


[DGreen Intranet][6] ] -> [EE448/548][7] -> TITLE

* * *


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc vestibulum


justo, eget tempor ligula accumsan nec. Proin dignissim fermentum


Donec scelerisque vehicula dui ac imperdiet. Integer est dolor, varius


ultricies a, facilisis sed tortor.

Fusce quis orci turpis, eget fringilla arcu.
Quisque a ligula a tellus commodo gravida dapibus nec massa. Fusce eu urna


ac molestie odio.

I use a script to process TITLE to match the title in the header as well as change the text DATELM to the present date. My script, after doing some substitutions like the ones described, calls the MultiMarkdown script mmd2XHTML which generates the web page.

By removing, the header through the TITLE (and its underline) lines, it can be processed using the MultiMarkdown script to produce a nice looking PDF document.

Finally, I should note that many blogs (including tumblr.) accept Markdown formatting which is the initial motivation for the MultiMarkdown tools.