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Do you use underscore for italics / emphasis?
jducoeur wrote in querki_project
Quick poll of the audience.

QText is, as I've mentioned before, based on Markdown. As it happens, Markdown has two different mechanisms for producing italics: you can either surround something *with asterisks* or _with underscores_. Personally, I never, ever, use the underscore version. Indeed, that's not what I expect underscores to do -- if anything, I'd expect them to produce underlining instead. And regardless, the underscores in Querki are currently a pain in my tuchus since we use underscore as the leading character for most system identifiers. The result is that, in the documentation, it all-too-frequently winds up interpreting those underscores in names as emphasis, and turns things italic by accident.

At the very least, I need to make the parser smarter, so that it doesn't interpret an underscore after a space as end-italics. But I think I'd actually rather just remove underscore from the language entirely: it's causing problems for no particularly obvious benefit. Providing multiple ways to do the same fairly arbitrary thing doesn't actually seem like a huge win unless people intuitively use it, and I don't actually see it in the wild very often nowadays.

Hence the question: do *you* use _this form_ for italics with any frequency? Is it something you expect that you would commonly use? I'm willing to leave it in if folks actually use it to a non-trivial degree, but "because we can" is not a reason to write a feature, or even to leave one in, and I long since decided that full Markdown compatibility is *not* a priority...

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I use underscores for italics constantly, in large part because I've been using FosWiki/TWiki for over a decade, and spent a modest amount of time on Usenet for one chunk of my life.

That being said, losing underscores as italics wouldn't be terribly disturbing; FosWiki's parsing doesn't handle cases like "I like this _(only I don't)_." well, so I end up using html about half the time. What will break my head is using *s for italic, as they are deeply ingrained as meaning "boldface" in my mind (again, due to FosWiki and Usenet).

Well, now that I've breached the HTML Whitelisting rubicon, adding <i> would be near-trivial (and is safe), so feel free to request that...

I use 'em both, for different emphasis, though I couldn't really explain the difference. Not a hugely frequent usage, though.

*I* use asterisk to indicate bold text, and _underscores_ mean underlining, and /this/ is either a very small regexp or italics.

This. Systems should do this when possible.

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G+ uses underscores for italics and asterisks for bold. I use them quite frequently. I'm always confused by other wikis that have seemingly varying syntax for italics and bolding - which just makes me crazy.

I've always found markdown to be backwards in this case as well. I too prefer *asterisks* for emphasis, and would expect _underscores_ to underline something. But when you've already mapped asterices to heading sizes (and here I would expect more asterices to mean bigger, not smaller.... sheesh) you most reach for something else...

I don't think you're correct about it using asterisks for headings -- those are done with hashes instead. (Or by underlining the header with dashes, although I may well get rid of that: I find it produces more errors than benefit.)

But yes, asterisk is pretty overloaded...

I use asterisks for italics, and was surprised the first time I typed them in G+ and got bold instead (wrong!).

I don't use underscores for formatting. Or, outside of code, hardly at all.

I (like most everyone) use asterisks routinely for emphasis. Some days I expect to get italics, some days I expect to get bold. In my *head*, I use both italics and bold when writing, but in *practice*, I use them both in the same writing chunk rarely enough that I haven't gotten "used to" using anything other than asterisks. When I feel I really need two differing emphasis methods, I need to consciously think about how to write that.

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