[erlang-questions] wkipedia rendering engine

Joe Armstrong <>
Mon Jun 30 12:53:43 CEST 2008

On Mon, Jun 30, 2008 at 12:38 PM, Andre Engels <> wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 30, 2008 at 11:39 AM, Joe Armstrong <> wrote:
>> We (collectively) promised to help Alexander - I promised to provide him with a
>> rendering engine (in Erlang) for the wikipedia markup language.
>> Before I start hacking has anybody done this before?
> What exactly do you mean by a 'rendering engine'? Translating the
> markup language (its name is Mediawiki, by the way) to something else?

I want a number of functions

     mediaWiki_to_rtf(bin()) -> rtf().
     rtf_to_html(rtf()) -> html().
     rtf_to_pdf(rtf()) -> pdf()

etc. where rtf(), html() pdf() are abstract datav types representing
(abstracted) rich text, html, and pdf() etc.

The rendering engine is a wrapper round these routines to display ther
result in a browser or generate PDF etc.

> It's not a trivial task you have set yourself. There are some elements
> that are quite complex, for example the fact that '' is italics and
> ''' is bold. Notice the difference between:
> '''this is bold'''
> '''this is italic, starting with a ' ''
> '''this is bold '' and this part italic as well '''''

This is almost trivial :-)

> Also deciding on what point of the analysis to expand {{templates}}
> can lead the same code to get very different results.

Glurk - you mean it's *undefined* - wow - I'll guess I'll discover this


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