[erlang-questions] wkipedia rendering engine

Joe Armstrong <>
Mon Jun 30 12:58:38 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.

Thanks - I didn't know the name of the format - seems like the
processof parsing is
reasonably easy -- see


It seems pretty amazing that there is no formal specifiation of the
grammar of the markup language and that this
is decided *after* there are a few quadzillion pages of markup text :-)


>> 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?
> 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 '''''
> Also deciding on what point of the analysis to expand {{templates}}
> can lead the same code to get very different results.
> --
> Andre Engels, 
> ICQ: 6260644 -- Skype: a_engels


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