[WMS] Re: Thoughts on standards

  • From: Florian Festi <festifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wiki@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2004 14:45:10 +0200 (METDST)

> Goals:
> I don't beleieve that it will be a reasonable goal to persuade all wiki
> engine developers to convert to a new standard.
> A more likely goal would be to support such an interwiki markup in one
> way or another.
> Which ways:
> * on edit: (optional, aka InterWikiMarkup)
> Support a markup option, so that the user can decide in which markup the
> text should be interpreted. old markup, new markup, interwiki markup, ...
> The engine then calls the appropriate markup parser.

Using several kind of markup on the same page by converting is is not 
practical IMHO. First problem is that the two markups have to be 
convertable losslessly which is not trivial. And second you can convert 
correct markup but you run into trouble if the markup is not correct. Then 
you offer the users some strange special chars that have no meaning to 
him and he doesn't know how to correct.

I think this is a really hard task for two markups you can tweak to make 
everything work, to remove the subtile differences. I have doubts if this 
can work in the Interwiki context.

> * on import/export: (required, aka InterWikiExchangeFormat)
> either support additional options to read and write to/from interwiki
> format.
> or support external converters to and from native exchange format to
> interwiki exchange format.

I would not mix Markupstandard and WikiExchangeFormat (WXF). A WXF 
has to deal with converting features between wiki engines. We all know 
that is is impossible for advaced features like plugins, LaTeX formulas, ...
So a WXF needs possibilities to express these non standard features and a 
converter has to deal with them on a engine to engine basis.

As every wiki need as WXF to markup converter WXF schould be maschine 
readable. If we want to lay the burden of right nesting on the engines I 
would suggest an XML format.

>>> Beyond that, I believe that we should try to distinguish different
>>> "groups" of standards and standardize within these: the UseMod-likes,
>>> the TWiki-likes, and so forth.
>> Agreed!
> I don't think that this is a good way.
>   similar syntax, completely different syntax. fragmentation. good
> guys, bad guys.
> let's ignore the syntax the various engines for now, and concentrate on
> an interwiki exchange format (if XML, MIME, SEXP or TEXT) and on a
> reasonable interwiki markup format. (as described on the wikipage)
> let's just define our goals and our syntax, and make it easy for the
> engine developers to achieve these goals, and make it easy for the users
> to use the interwiki format. if it's just import/export or maybe
> optionally on edit also.

Yes, this is not a good way. It is about good guys and bad guys. This is 
about forging alliences to gain enough weight to force others to follow.
But that's what we are have to go through. There is no other way IMHO.

What you suggest is nothing really different. You just limit the number of 
standards to one.

I don't belive in this two standards per wiki engine thing. And even if I 
would it puts massive pressure on the developers to change to the 
InterwikiMarkupStandard (IWMS). Which is IMHO not acceptable, and which 
put the standard in danger of being ignored.

I hope this was not too directly for someone.


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