Best Alternative for text files

Is there a reason why the ‘Best Alternative’ feature is only available for files with a markdown-family extension?

Yes I can rename the doc to .md, and I have a template for new docs, but I don’t understand why the distinction is necessary. Minor irritations, but still…

So, unless there is an underlying reason why not, a feature request to have Best Alternative view available for all plain text files regardless of extension, please.



Plain text files and Markup files will display differently e.g. with Markdown one needs to add two or more spaces before the return at the end of a paragraph to create a line break. Most of us that use Markdown are aware of the primary display differences, but the Best Alternative view could be confusing for those who do not write in Markdown.

I like @brookster’s reasoning and possibly the suggestion. But, following on to Greg’s point, there are vastly more plain text files (.txt or .text), than markdown files, present in the aggregate of all DEVONthink databases in the world. One can choose, via a hidden preference introduced recently (in 2.6.1 I believe), that the default view of markdown files is the rendered styled text version. So if DEVONthink treated all plain text as markdown, then by changing that new preference in favor of the few markdown files in a database, you could suddenly, unexpectedly (and usually weirdly) change the styling of all your plain text files. The rants might outweigh the cheers. :cry:

Why would there be an assumption that plain text files are markdown? MANY plain text files are not going to be Markdown so why would there be a blanket preference when it’s only a small subset that this would be useful for? :question:

I’m not sure where the confusion would come in, in practice, though.

I agree that if you’ve enabled the hidden default, then suddenly have all your text files appear rendered could be confusing. But I wonder how many people have actually made that change and stuck with it? (I did, but changed it back half an hour later as it became irritating…) It’s a hidden default precisely because it’s a niche market, and those who’ve changed presumably know enough to get round it anyway.

Assuming that you haven’t made the alteration, then the only time you’ll see rendered text is when you’ve explicitly asked for it. Change the menu item name to something more meaningful (‘Rendered Markdown’ or whatever) and I’m not sure that there’s much potential for confusion. Probably less than finding that your .txt files which can happily be rendered in Folding Text, Byword, MMC etc etc, can’t be rendered in DTPO without changing the document extension.

@Bluefrog: so you’re not really making a blanket preference, you’re simply allowing users to have the choice to view rendered text on any selected text file, which is the default behaviour in other programs, I think.

I’m not saying this is a big issue, just a minor inconvenience.