[Wikipedia-l] Transitioning toward a clean wiki syntax.

lcrocker at nupedia.com lcrocker at nupedia.com
Fri Aug 9 08:11:50 UTC 2002

Whatever we decide the final wiki syntax is going to look like (and
I'll write up my vision on that shortly), it's clear that to avoid
massive culture shock we should transition gradually.  With that in
mind, I'd like to propose a change or two to make right away, and
I'd like to get opinions on what the impact might be.

The first thing I'd like to do is eliminate the non-bracketed
external URL syntax.  Specifically, I'd like to keep the single-
bracket syntax [url text] for external URLs, and double brackets
for internal page links and images, and eliminate entirely the
interpretation of URLs in plain text.  It would simplify the
syntax, eliminate the problem of punctuation after URLs, it would
make all the image links report correctly (ones that look external
don't show up as links on the image's page), and eliminate a whole
bug-prone pass in the interpreter.  I's also eliminate the auto-
numbering thing and make a bracketed simple URL without text just
show the URL like an unbracketed one does now.  Finally, I would
not interpret external links to images as inline images, so /only/
the [[image:]] syntax would work for images (though you could still
link to external images; they just won't be rendered on the page).

I don't see that this will lose any functionality at all, but if I'm
wrong, or this will break something useful, or if there's a lot of
people who will scream, let me know.

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