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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...

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