[WMS] Re: Thoughts on standards

  • From: Mario Salzer <mario@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wiki@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 06 Oct 2004 15:48:28 +0200

MediaWiki:ErikMoeller wrote:
> ...
> 3) I think this effort right now is too narrow. The markup syntax is not
> the only aspect of wiki tech that we need standards on, and not even the
> most important one. Here's a few I can think of:
>  ...
> There's more, obviously. My point is that we shouldn't limit ourselves
> to working together in only one field. Now, I agree that we should first
> focus on addressing the markup situation, but we should make our mission
> statement broader than that so that this effort will lead into a new era
> of cooperation among wiki developers.

True, now that so many active and top developers are on this discussion
list we could standardize a lot more than just the text format. WikiSpam
and Copyrights/MetaData are very interresting areas that we should
address in the near future. However, I think we shouldn't keep this
effort focused a while on a central topic - if we tried to take on five
different dicussions at the same time (which it boils down to), then
nobody would listen in the end.

This list will stay open, after (if!) we have found a "markup standard",
and I'm sure we then take advantage of it, by going on with the second
most important topic.

An exchange format is as useful as a unified WikiMarkup, but my opinion
is, that this is 1) more work, and 2) would be less widely adopted
nevertheless (because XML is a bit Anti-Wiki, not easy enough to
implement for everyone). Besides what the MediaWiki crew currently works
on there are already other proposols (or at least discussions) at:

* http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?WikiXmlDtd
* http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?WikiInterchangeFormat
* http://www.google.com/search?q=IWML

So this makes a very valueable discussion point here. But again, my
opionion is, that we should postpone this standardization effort here
until we have a WikiMarkupStandard (or after we completely failed with
it). We do ourselves a favour if we keep these ideas in mind, but we
shouldn't stress it too much either.

>  * Cross-wiki transclusion. We all know about InterWiki links, but what
>    about transcluding content from one wiki to another? This could work
>    like this:
>    {{MeatBall:WikiMarkupStandardWorkingGroup#Goals}}
>    would transclude (dynamically include) the "Goals" section of the 
>    markup standard page in a wiki. Of course that content should be
>    cached. For this it is necessary that all wikis send last-modified
>    headers.

Now, that's surely what the "InterWiki" idea originally was about. But
again: too difficult to address up front. It will take a lot of time
until we get there. (We need an expanded InterMap list, with entries
for WebDav, Atom, XmlRpc, ... interfaces, markup variant= notes, or
<html> template breakup regex rules).

last-modified: Yes I know, some Wikis are pretty HTTP-agnostic. But again
only WebDav, Atom or a custom MeatBall:WikiWikiTrasportProtocol will help
us over that.

PhpWiki:ReiniUrban wrote:
> ...
> A more likely goal would be to support such an interwiki markup in one 
> way or another.

"InterWikiMarkup" sounds nice. And I think it is a reasonable goal to
ask engine developers to add a checkbox like "[x] convert from IWM".
Sure this brings some problems, if someone tried to mix markup on an
existing page, but on creation of new pages this seems a useful
workaround (for not completely supporting any WikiMarkupStandard in
the core).
Let's not forget, that some Wikis already support two or more different
formats internally (if they transited from an old markup set). So this
was proved possible already.


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