Wiki markup syntax

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See also Wikitext syntax, Wiki syntax, Wikitax.

I'd like to suggest a large change to the markup used for the 'pedia. Currently, markup codes are used to format the text in an article and add wiki-text. My suggestion is that the markup language should instead be used to format the layout of the article itself. For example, to create a section, instead of using the equal-sign codes to create a header, perhaps use a Begin Section code followed by an identifier for the section, the section's text and finally an End Section code. I won't suggest a syntax formally but as an example:

{Markup Language|
Put section text here...}

And the wikipedia can interpret this to mean any number of things. The most obvious interpretation would be to insert the header Markup Language into the article. A not-so-obvious interpretation would be to insert an A html tag into the document with a NAME attribute set to Markup_Language. This way, the section itself can be the target of a wiki-link. If sections are nested within one-another, the wikipedia can create the headings for subsections one size smaller then for the headings of its parents. IE: 2 equal-signs for main sections and 3 equal-signs for sub-sections. I'd suggest that the codes for bold and italics also be removed and replaced with codes which suggest the meaning of the text itself (which can then be interpretted for formatting by current appearance standards).

Preferences can then be given to the user regarding how to deal with things like images, sections and code. For example, a user can opt to have the 'pedia add Header Link to the top of an article which point to that articles main sections. The user might also be given the option to expand/collapse sections by clicking a +/- symbol next to each heading. The user could perhaps be able to turn on or off horizonal rules between sections. If given the preference, a user might opt to have code snippets longer then 5 lines be truncated and a link be inserted to view the rest of the code in a separate window.

It would give articles a more unified appearance, especially if applied to tables and other rich content which currently have to be written in HTML. And it opens up new preferences for readers of the 'pedia. New scripts can be made available for users of bots as well. For example, instead of just being able to "edit" an article, an "add section" page could be created which takes an Identifier, Parent Section and section text as arguments. This would make it easier to (for example) add the demographics data to cities via bot by simply creating a new section.

Also, non-content data like links to non-english version of articles and article type should be set via a seperate form (also for auto-manipulation by bots). If the pedia knew that a given article were an entry for a City, for example, it would know that properties such as "population", "Area", "State/Country" and so on should be included. Now, the author only need supply a value for this property in a seperate form to update the article. Within the article text, the variable %Population% could be inserted to tell the 'pedia to insert the articles Population variable. Now future contributors or bots can update the population property without directly editing the file (practically impossible for bots and hard for humans). I'd suggest that articles for years, dates, people, places, languages, chemical elements and musical instruments (to name a few) be formal "Article Types" with associated format "Property Lists". In fact, I'm suggesting that contributors be able to create their own article types by creating an article under (for example) a 'Classes' namespace and setting the content of that article equal to an XML document (or something).

Just some ideas. But I'm ranting now. w:User:Rlee0001 05:54 Oct 28, 2002 (UTC)

"For example, to create a section, instead of using the equal-sign codes to create a header, perhaps use a Begin Section code followed by an identifier for the section, the section's text and finally an End Section code." I prefer the ==section== markup, because it is simpler. I also think the tags should use two {'s ({{tag}}), because source code examples use {'s alot.
user:Noldoaran 18:28, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC) (meta won't let me log in)

Why a new scripting language? Isn't this a perfect opportunity to use xml the way it was intended. <sectionHeader>Blah Blah </sectionHeader>

etc. - Bob Jones