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Latest comment: 1 year ago by FeRDNYC in topic Confusing colons for semicolons?

Confusing colons for semicolons?[edit]

The opening text of this page repeatedly mentions semicolons when discussing the structure of template markup, indicating that the semicolon is recognized as a structural delimiter by the MediaWiki template parser:

Pipes, semicolons, and equals signs are, as far as applicable, taken as belonging to the innermost structure in which they occur

After fully determining which pairs and triples of braces (or double square braces) belong together, and which pipes and equals signs belong to the same structure, etc., the parser has identified the outermost structures delimiters, and the chunks of wikitext (possibly containing structures) that are inserted in those structures, between pipes, equal signs or semicolons attached to that level.

Note that since the structure parsing is done before the expansion, structure markers (pipes, semicolons, and equals signs) found in the wikitext that result from an expansion cannot be taken into account as markers for the embedding structure.

...But, semicolons don't have any structural meaning in template markup, do they? I can't think of one, and semicolons are never discussed anywhere else on the page.

Which has me wondering: is the intro mistakenly using "semicolons" to describe the colons that follow parser function names inside double curly braces, distinguishing them from template names or variables? Colons are indeed a special structural character to the template parser, whereas semicolons may have special meaning in wikimarkup, but (unless I'm mistaken) they're not in any way special to the template parser. FeRDNYC (talk) 14:37, 9 November 2022 (UTC)Reply