Jekyll 4.0: Many Markdown engines removed. Reason?

I’ve finally got around to upgrading my blog from Jekyll 1.5(!) to a more modern version of Jekyll. However I notice that Jekyll 4.0 dropped support for the RDiscount and Redcarpet markdown engines, leaving only(?) the Kramdown engine.

I happen to use the RDiscount engine and I’m pretty sure that changing the engine of my site will break lots of old posts in subtle ways.

Is there a reason that support was dropped? The PR dropping the support didn’t mention a rationale. Neither did the release announcement for Jekyll 4.0.

I too use RDiscount for some projects (thanks for creating it!). Those project can only upgrade as far as Jekyll 3.9. Not a big problem at the moment, since Jekyll 3 is still the de facto standard, because it is used by Github Pages.

This Remove rdiscount issue says it and Redcarpet were removed for maintenance reasons. I’m guessing that supporting multiple Markdown processors was too large a burden.

I believe Jekyll 4’s new plugin system might allow alternative Markdown-processor plugins to be created, but I haven’t researched it deeply.

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That’s a shame. I wish there was more information.

I’d be surprised if there was much actual maintenance overhead because RDiscount has been very slow to issue new releases, since the underlying Discount processor is quite mature and isn’t seeing many changes itself.

I wonder if there will be a reckoning if/when GitHub Pages updates to Jekyll 4 and old sites that rely on 3.x-only features break. :thinking:I think I’ll wait and see before taking further action.†

† Probably either (1) advocating for a resupport of RDiscount, especially considering how little code is involved; or (2) creating a RDiscount plugin, if that’s the new blessed way to get Markdown processors supported these days.

For future reference, Jekyll’s Markdown Options page has a section on Custom Markdown Processors, which has a basic plugin skeleton.

The Jekyll project has a converter plugin for CommonMark, which might be useful as a template for an RDiscount plugin.

Thanks! This is very useful to know.

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