[Wikipedia-l] New wiki markup

lcrocker at nupedia.com lcrocker at nupedia.com
Thu Aug 1 22:19:10 UTC 2002

> What happens if somebody inserts a new table/figure?
> You renumber? And the complexity step from doing no formatting
> to doing a little formatting becomes relatively big.

That's why I'm throwing the suggestion out there--to get feedback.

> Couldn't we just try a little harder to come up with a WikiWiki
> markup?  There is already table markup that does column-spanning,
> border selection and alignment of text in cells. 

I really hate MoinMoin syntax.  It's every bit as ugly and complex as 
HTML, without the benefits.

>  << float left <<
>  >> float right >>
>  >> center <<
> for tables and figures?

Not bad, but "<" and ">" are already something of a hassle; perhaps 
less if HTML goes away.

But the upshot of my proposal is that there already exists a 
technology for separating content and visual styling, and that we 
should do exactly that.  Style is important, and we need to be able 
to let people create attractive articles that take advantage of the 
technology, so we need /more/ style elements.  But content and style 
really are separate things, and the more wikisyntax we create for the 
purpose of style, the more it becomes a bloated, non-standard new 
language that does only half the job.  I disagree with Toby about 
HTML, but I agree with him that just reinventing the wheel with a new 
non-standard language isn't a solution.  CSS gives us an opportunity 
to really do it right: let the gurus tweak the style as much as they 
want, while still letting the regular folk see the content unobscured 
by megabytes of markup.

>And do we really need colored text?

Absolutely.  It's a function of the technology we have, and we should 
take advantage of it where it's useful (without overdoing it, of 
course).  See [[Poker]], for example.  Those articles would be much 
less readable and useful without red text and suit symbols.

Let for formally solicit proposals: folks, give me a clean, 
unobtrusive, user interface for (1) specifying spans and divs in 
wikitext with class and/or id; (2) attaching a stylesheet to a page, 
and being able to edit it.

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