[Foundation-l] EBNF of Wikitext

Dirk Riehle dirk at riehle.org
Mon Jan 22 07:47:58 UTC 2007

It seems unrealistic to me to get try to get the full MediaWiki syntax
represented in EBNF---too many grammar issues outside its abilities.

If I were you, I would start with an agreed upon subset. We had a
session on this at WikiSym 2006 which lead to Wiki Creole, see
www.wikicreole.org (Please note Brion was there.)

I think you might want to sync up with the Wiki Creole people, which
are C Sauer and C Smith jointly with several leading wiki engine

Also, wikitech-l/research-l or wiki-standards/wiki-research seem
better places for discussing this.

Finally, I hope you'll submit your results to WikiSym www.wikisym.org.
We are all in desparate need of a good grammar and semantics


On 1/22/07, Alphax (Wikipedia email) <alphasigmax at gmail.com> wrote:
> Virgil Ierubino wrote:
> [fixed URL]
> > I'm working on writing out an EBNF description of Wikitext at
> > http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikitext_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.
> >
> If you can find an EBNF description of HTML, it would be a good place to
> start; in my experience, MediaWiki's Wikitext syntax is (mostly)
> directly translatable to HTML (eg. links turn into anchors, bullets turn
> into list items).
> > 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?
> >
> It /might/ be useful if you wanted to import/export between different
> wiki engines that use different syntax - IIRC the MediaWiki syntax is
> (fairly) similar to that of UseModWiki (Phase 1), but vastly different
> to that of eg. DocuWiki. However, I wouldn't rate it very high on the
> priority list.
> --
> Alphax - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax
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