[Mediawiki-l] Template Expansion

Gabriel Sandor gabi.t.sandor at gmail.com
Thu Oct 14 14:52:13 UTC 2010

Hello everyone,

I am trying to obtain through a web request from an application i'm working
on the raw wikitext version of an arbitrary Wikipedia article. However, i
prefer the templates to be already expanded into their constituent wikitext
and/or HTML, and from what i read on the Wikimedia API documentation this
should be done by appending "&templates=expand" to the query string; thus,
if I wanted the English version of the article about Barcelona in wikitext
with template expansion, the URL would be:
However, i soon found out that not all of the templates are actually
expanded, the exception being those templates enclosed in wiki tags, which
are left unexpanded (perhaps the most common example being {{cite ...}}
templates inside <ref></ref> tags).

I eventually learned that the API provides an individual template expansion
module, accessible through
. This was not really the solution I hoped for actually, since it is
impractical for long templates (i assume there's a limit imposed on that
query string) and for each of the unexpanded template i'd have to send a
separate request to the server, which could prove highly expensive in terms
of performance. I've also seen there's the special Wikipedia template
expansion page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:ExpandTemplates ), but
I don't know if and how I could access its functionality from my application
and how I could use it for several templates at once.

Could anyone please suggest a solution for expanding all the templates or at
least a viable workaround for this issue ?
Thanks in advance,
Gabriel S.

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