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Yesterday, I announced on Meta Stack Exchange that we'll switch all sites on the Stack Exchange network to CommonMark, a standardized and well-supported Markdown flavor.

You can read up on the details in the post on Meta.SE if you're curious.

We'll maintain an evolving migration schedule to show which site is supposed to switch over to CommonMark when.

We've got to learn and reflect as we're starting out migrating the first few sites, that's why you'll see that the migration schedule is still pretty empty except for a few sites.

Movies & TV (both, meta and the main site) are going to be among the first sites to be migrated and we've scheduled them to be migrated on Thursday, June 4th, 2020.


Why start with Movies & TV?

We've tested the migration thoroughly on data that resembles production data of some of our communities. Still, we know that certain sites use different styles of writing and there's a chance we're going to detect some issues that we haven't found yet when running our tests.

Movies & TV uses certain features that are not widely used on other sites of the Stack Exchange network, namely YouTube video embedding and spoilers.

We want to be double-certain that we're not missing any edge cases around these features, that's why Movies & TV is a good site to quickly learn and see if things are working out as expected.

Can this break existing posts?

We don't want to break hundreds and thousands of posts. That's why the migration will only apply updates to those posts that will look exactly the same after being updated to CommonMark. As part of the migration, we'll detect if a post changes visually after the CommonMark update. If it does, we won't update the post automatically and investigate what's going on.

What if stuff goes wrong?

If things should go horribly wrong, we've got an automated rollback in place that will undo the migration for all posts.

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I'm repeating my bug report from the main meta post here for completeness:

The automatic migration on Movies & TV omitted this answer, either because it failed to convert it into an HTML that didn't change or because it didn't recognize it as a case that needs adaptation.

However, it clearly needs it since it has both multi-paragraph quote blocks and multi-paragraph bullet points and when trying to edit it, it looks like a mess needing manual fixing. The problem seems to be, though, that it has multi-paragraph quote blocks inside a list, so it doesn't seem to be able to introduce both the added indentation and the > quote marker on the same line.

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  • Furthermore, if this gets fixed (which I would assume), would this then get run again on this site or would we be stuck with the premature migration and need to fix these manually? In the latter case, would there be any other automated help available from SE, if only a list of the cases that failed the HTML comparison? – Napoleon Wilson Jun 4 at 15:39
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Migration is starting in the next few minutes. This means from the moment we start, CommonMark will be enabled for new posts and edits.

I'll update this post once we've started and once more when we're done. Sit back and enjoy.


  • Migration on movies.meta.stackexchange has started. Commonmark is active now.

  • Migration on movies.meta.stackexchange has finished successfully.

  • Migration on movies.stackexchange has started. Commonmark is active now.

  • Migration on movies.stackexchange has finished successfully. That's all, folks!

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