I'm the author of a text-formatting library named s9e\TextFormatter. It handles BBCodes, HTML and other markup. If you're curious, there's a RFC about it at Area51.
I'm currently working on a Markdown plugin and doing research about Markdown usage in general, and in forums in particular. It's easy to see how Markdown is used in commenting system such as the ones used on Reddit, StackExchange or GitHub, where comments tend to be short and not reference each other, but it's harder to figure out how it relates to forums.
I have a few questions for the community at large, if you can answer any of those I'd be grateful
- Would you want to use Markdown in your own forums? Provided it does not pose a security risk such as allowing unchecked HTML.
- Would you want to decide between BBCodes and Markdown globally, or should it be a preference for each user? It would be complicated for a Markdown user to quote a BBCodes user, and vice-versa. Or would you want to use both at the same time?
While I'm at it, I don't want to influence the replies but here's my personal opinion. As a user, I like Markdown. It's great for quickly setting things bold or italic, using inline code with backticks, the link syntax is easier, and paragraphs look nicer than using two
<br/>. On the other hand, unlike BBCodes it's not extensible, the quote syntax suuuuuuuuuucks for forums (it's alright on Reddit) and having to escape some characters with a backslash is a bit annoying.