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Wiki Markup Language

Wikis have developed their own simple markup language, to provide accessibility to everyone by not requiring them to learn HyperTextMarkupLanguage. With the impending advent of UseMod 1.0 and the large number of WikiPatches that are candidates for inclusion it is time for some discussion on this.

See Wiki:MarkupLanguage for some interesting comments on this. The reality is that whatever you call it there are conventions and rules about the way we do things around here - see ours at TextFormattingRules. Further it seems that one of the differentiating features of wikis is the power they provide users to do more and more with wiki pages thru added constructs and syntax.

Suggestions and Discussion

I'd like to make a few suggestions and see where the discussion goes -- SimonDavis

Existing Guidelines

hence we deprecate '' and ''' in favour of <i> and <b>
There are some of us who prefer using double and triple quotes over the Html tags. Please keep this feature.
we also already use the following simple HTML elements <b> <i> <pre> <tt> <code>
formatting that affects paragraphs should be required to be in the first character position (eg bullets, heading, lines)

Special Syntax


There are however inconsistencies and duplications.

Carriage Return inconsistency

Sentence entered of first line. Second sentence entered on a second line - ie separated by a carriage return.

Second sentence entered on a second line - ie separated from bullet by a carriage return.

First character inconsistency

Headings are required to have their first character at the start of a line, lines (horizontal rules) are not.

nowiki and ""

Two double quotes can be used to terminate (WikiName""s) WikiNames, so can <nowiki></nowiki>, not to mention six single quotes (WikiName''''''s) WikiNames

paired WikiMarkup

Headings require = before and after, additionally they require a space to separate then from the heading text, eg
=Test 1=
= Test 2
=Test 1= = Test 2

Bold and italic makup are paired, but not indentation or bullets - contributing to the Carriage Return Inconsistency above.

New Proposals

There are a number of new proposals that involve various abstruse and possibly complex markup. See for example

List of Some New Proposals

I think http://www.iawiki.net/ has a syntax for 'overstrike' mode. Does anyone know?

yes, it is -/strike/- or -\strike\-
use the HTML markup <s>...</s>

On UnrealWiki we've:


; A definition term : <wiki>This term is:
* interesting
* useful
* amusing</wiki>

This will produce the HTML bullet list nested inside the Definition list, and thus indented. Also very useful for putting lists, headings etc in tables. For example, with the <wiki> tag, this entire section, complete with the sample above, would be indented as part of the bullet point.

I might add that the example above could also be produced by the following markup. <wiki> is more useful if you intend to put complex markup at places where the syntax would usually just allow for a single paragraph to the end of the line -- a bit like braces in C or similar programming languages. -- MichaelBuschbeck

  ; A definition term : This term is
  ; * interesting
  ; * useful
  ; * amusing

Other mixed-type lists work too:

 * a bullet
 * second bullet, but this has
 * # sub point  one
 * # sub point two


I've implemented a syntax for incorporating DIV and SPAN in a 'Tavi dual-mode wiki at http://allmyfaqs.com/wbt (dual-mode 'Tavi wiki -- this is the visitor view), also explained at http://hytext.com/iwiki/markup.htm which is part of the documentation for WikiWriter at http://hytext.com/cgi-bin/ww.pl , a standalone Windows-based wiki tool used to generate textbase, help systems, and web sites. The documentation for WikiWriter shown at http://hytext.com/iwiki was created in WikiWriter. A companion, work-alike wiki using the same syntax is at http://hytext.com/cgi-bin/ibasic.pl -- JerryMuelver

Formatting within <pre> </pre> tags

I have added the ability to have WikiNames and italics within <pre> </pre> tags. I have added a new tag to my implementation to provide this facility, but is there any basic reason why this can't or shouldn't be provided within the standard <pre> </pre> tag implementation? --PaulMorrison

See also

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Last edited January 26, 2013 10:42 pm by JuanmaMP (diff)