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Is there a native Linux application that facilitates/enforces semantically marked-up text in a common format (HTML, Markdown, etc.) with instant feedback of how it looks with "pretty" formatting?

I'm looking for something like (the rather brilliant) browser-based WMD, but with the following additional features:

  • native application - can use it offline without running a web browser, take advantage of OS integration, input would not be in a fixed-size box.
  • single screen - can edit the "pretty" display directly (see the WMD link for an example of editable text and "pretty" display side-by-side).
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

LyX is WYSIWYM editor, and is a native Linux application. It's primarily geared as a way of creating semantically marked-up documents to be typeset with LaTeX to PDF, and used LaTeX as its underlying langauge, but it does also have a HTML export function. It doesn't start that way, but you can set it to show the mark-up at the bottom. You can edit the "pretty" display directly, but the pretty display isn't actually WYSIWYG, just WYSIWYM.

Similarly, gummi provides a two-pane approach with a space to edit a LaTeX document on one side and a live-updating preview on the right, similar to WMD. But I'm not sure you were looking for a LaTeX editor, and you can't edit the "pretty" display directly, so that's less optimal.

Personally for HTML, I just use gvim in one window, and in the next window, I put a firefox window. If I set vim to save the file with each change, and set Firefox to reload the page whenever it changes, then it's like having a live updating-preview. But of course, then you can't edit the "pretty side". Hopefully someone will know of a way you can.

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Thanks! All your suggestions very much welcome by me, but probably not so much by others in the office (who I want the software for) who are often perturbed by things like mono-space fonts or multiple open windows :) I'm downloading LyX though (and the 438Mb of packages it wants!). We'll see how it goes. –  Ian Mackinnon Sep 28 '10 at 16:15
Sorry about that. The huge number of packages are for the LaTeX back-end, and that's not even the full set of tex-live packages, which are over 1 GB put together. LyX itself isn't that big. –  frabjous Sep 28 '10 at 16:38
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