I've patched the default Markdown extension so it uses RDiscount instead of BlueCloth. The point was to improve the accuracy of Radiant's Markdown conversion; for an added bonus it's also really fast. Although the difference in speed diminishes as the amount of Markdown to convert goes down, so if you just have little bits of Markdown here and there, skip it, if you're publishing lengthy articles or pages heavy with Markdown behind the scenes then you'll probably notice a significant difference. See the links at the end for a demonstration.

The only down sides are that it requires the `rdiscount` gem to be installed on the server and a little change to the order extensions are loaded. The github page has all the details. It should be noted that the change to extension load order is probably becoming the standard order eventually -- I think unless some reason not to pops up.

If none of that's a problem for you then head over to github for the download and a bit more information.

There is also the `markdown` branch in my radiant fork where I am trying to get together something that could possibly, eventually be applied to the core; so if you have the `rdiscount` gem installed you get its Markdown filtering and if not you get the standard BlueCloth rendition.

Any preference between the standalone extension and getting the `markdown` branch into the core?

[bluecloth]: http://johnmuhl.com/test/markdown-bluecloth
[rdiscount]: http://johnmuhl.com/test/markdown-rdiscount
[github]: http://github.com/johnmuhl/radiant-markdown-extension
[radiant]: http://github.com/johnmuhl/radiant
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