By John Gruber
Build internal tools in minutes with Retool, where visual programming meets the power of real code.
Version 1.0b4 is out. No new features, just bug fixes and improved integration with Blosxom. Thanks to everyone who submitted bug reports. I strongly recommend this version to anyone using earlier betas.
A handful of people have asked if there’s a way to translate Markdown in reverse — to turn HTML back into Markdown-formatted plain text. The short answer is yes, by using Aaron Swartz’s new version of html2text:
html2text is a Python script that convers a page of HTML into clean, easy-to-read plain ASCII. Better yet, that ASCII also happens to be valid Markdown (a text-to-HTML format).
html2text works so well that I’m planning to use it to convert most of my old Daring Fireball articles (the ones I wrote in raw HTML). It’s worth noting that if you start with a Markdown document, translate it to HTML, then use html2text to go back to Markdown, it won’t give you the exact same document you started with. That sort of complete round-trip fidelity simply is not possible, but html2text comes pretty close.
Also, much like Markdown and SmartyPants, html2text works as a BBEdit text filter. Simply save a copy in the Unix Filters folder in your BBEdit Support folder.
Markdown and html2text are now available from the Mac OS X Services menu, thanks to Gust’s HumaneText, a free utility for Mac OS X 10.3 or later. This means you can use Markdown from Services-aware apps, including SubEthaEdit and TextEdit.