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I've seen a few duplicates like this question, but not exactly this question, so I'm going ahead and asking this.

As mentioned in the title, it's possible to create [custom](http://links.to.websites) in Markdown in comments, but I personally prefer using HTML globally because of its declarative, slightly more consistent behavior (just glance in the direction of the the ≳4294967296 "Markdown broke on my post / in <specific situation>!!1" questions on here) - and I often forget I can insert custom-titled (ie non-bare) links in comments because of this fact.

It'd be really nice to have this behavior, and equally nice if HTML/Markdown markup didn't add to a post's character count, too, which would go a long way toward making HTML/Markdown formatting a personal preference and not a system requirement to pack the most into posts. (Also, I'm not seeing the character limit boost mentioned in the link.)

  • Consistency would be nice; it would mean I could use the exact same formatting in comments as in questions and answers. But other than that, what's your point? Comments just aren't important enough to warrant the use of HTML. – Mr Lister Mar 20 '14 at 7:46
  • That may arguably be true, but I've personally found the Markdown parser to be unpredictable so generally stick to HTML for anything other than very simple one-level text stylization. For this reason, being able to stay using HTML in my comments would be a nice touch. – i336_ Mar 20 '14 at 9:01
  • No plz no :-( Using HTML instead of Markdown makes editing posts so much harder. – Doorknob Mar 20 '14 at 13:55
  • I completely agree, actually! I use Markdown's asterisks to embolden/italicize my text a lot, but there are a lot of situations where the parser simply cannot cope with the complexities of a particular sequence of characters, and the only recourse is to use HTML. One example is that it's actually impossible to add a comment with the sequence *<italic>emphasis</italic>* - ie, where the asterisks are outside the italics, which I think looks better, at least with Bitstream Vera Sans, Linux' default Sans-Serif font. – i336_ Mar 20 '14 at 18:45
5

You say in a comment below your question,

I've personally found the Markdown parser to be unpredictable so generally stick to HTML for anything other than very simple one-level text stylization.

complemented by the (presumably only slightly hyperbolic) number of 4294967296 "broken markdown" posts on meta (on which you should check the question age; most of those are ancient).

As for unpredictability, please post bug reports of such incidents.

Regarding your main point – here's the thing: Even if we wanted more than "very simple one-level text stylization" in comments, which we most certainly don't, allowing HTML in comments would make the comment parsing more brittle than you already found (claim) it to be.

This additional complexity would make the experience worse – more rules, more surface area for bugs, and so on. And even people like you who like to type <i> instead of * would have to learn yet another HTML whitelist (I hope I don't have to justify that we will not ever allow images, headers, bulleted lists etc. in comments).

And your other thing about not counting Markdown in the character limit – again, that's just making things a whole lot more complicated without any gain. The upper limit of 600 characters is a rather arbitrary number, and inventing complex rules about how the number of characters in a comment is computed (rather than the obivous, count the number of characters) would be just as arbitrary.

Overly long comments where this would even make a difference should be a rare exception. If someone consistently runs into that character limit, chances are they should be rethinking their commenting ways.

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