[Foundation-l] EBNF of Wikitext

David Strauss david at fourkitchens.com
Mon Jan 22 00:49:29 UTC 2007

Despite how ugly (E)BNF may be, it's the standard format for defining
the syntax of most prominent computer languages. It had the additional
benefit of automatic conversion (via Bison or a similar program) into a
native parser.

Gerard Meijssen wrote:
> Hoi,
> What the f* is an EBNF .. It does not help that you URL is wrong. Being 
> clever (ahum) I found Extended Backus–Naur form.. A question, do you 
> really think that an average Wiki editor will NOT get hopelessly 
> confused and get it hopelessly wrong as well?
> Personally I find it horribly ugly as well
> Thanks,
> GerardM
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikitext_Metasyntax
> Virgil Ierubino schreef:
>> I'm working on writing out an EBNF description of Wikitext at
>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wikiWikitext_Metasyntax , which I hear is much
>> needed, but have encountered a snag. I don't think EBNF has the power to
>> describe Wikitext. If anyone here can work out how EBNF can describe
>> Wikitext's system for bullet points, I'd like to see it. The problem is that
>> bullet points can build on each other, except each new level has to retain
>> the markup from the old level, plus a new symbol. e.g. **#* then **#* * then
>> **#** * then **#*** # etc.
>> On the topic of "things that need to be done" if writing an EBNF of Wikitext
>> isn't going to be beneficial for MediaWiki's longstanding success, I'll not
>> bother, but is there anything that needs to be done like this to create a
>> standard?
>> Please forward to any other mailing lists in which this might be
>> appropriate. Thanks!
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

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