I just got a message on my WordPress dashboard that Markdown On Save Improved, a plugin I use quite a lot due to its ease of use and flexibility, will no longer be updated. The following message has been added to the description of the plugin on its wordpress.org page as well: "This plugin is deprecated. Use the much-better-supported and more-frequently-updated Markdown module in Jetpack, by the same author. This plugin will not receive any updates or support from here on out."
Here's the problem. I've looked at this Jetpack plugin, and it appears it does way more than I would ever need or even want, and it appears to rely quite heavily on third-party products and services to do many of the things it does, including some of the things I’m already using other plugins to do, such as e-mail subscriptions and social features, many of which I handle internally rather than using a third-party API, with the obvious exception of the social networking stuff, which communicates directly with the sites involved. If I wanted all kinds of third-party products and services, external API’s and bloat, I would still be using Tumblr as my primary blogging platform, rather than hosting my blog on my own. My entire reason for the move was to be able to host my blog myself and customize it exactly the way I want it, with only the features I need, and none I don’t. However, I feel that I’m being pushed more and more toward wordpress.com and Akismet, which although they are run by the same people who wrote WordPress, are still external products and services that perform functions I should be able to handle internally, either with the base WordPress code or with a stand-alone plugin that performs the functionality I need without an external API.
At this point, I have dismissed the notice on my dashboard, and will not be converting my posts to work with the Jetpack Markdown module. However, as WordPress gets future updates, there may eventually come a time where Markdown On Save Improved no longer works. I can only hope that by that time, someone will fork the code from this quite useful plugin, or just maintain what is already available, so that it can continue to be used without the need for a much bigger and less manageable plugin. Otherwise, I would hope that a better stand-alone ([Markdown]https://daringfireball.net/markdown) plugin becomes available, if it isn’t already. I will be looking out for it.