[Pmwiki-users] Wiki Syntax

Patrick R. Michaud pmichaud at sci.tamucc.edu
Wed Apr 23 13:29:54 CDT 2003

On Wed, 23 Apr 2003, Bernhard.Weichel at t-online.de wrote:

> If I compare the various Wikis I see that they all use slightly different
> syntax.
> Can someone tell me why?

Sure, because there's no real "standard" for Wiki syntax, and
each person designing a wiki has his or her own ideas about what
the syntax should look like.

There have been some efforts at creating a "standard" for
wiki syntax, but I think that ultimately they'll largely fail
because certain variations work better for certain purposes
than others.  For example, some wiki systems think it's
important to allow arbitrary HTML in text, while other wiki
systems (including PmWiki) avoid it as much as possible.
Many of the syntaxes depend on the audiences that are being
served by the wiki.

PmWiki's philosophy is to make it easy for the WikiAdministrator
to add customized syntax.  One of my pet peeves about HTML
(and XML to a similar extent) is that there's no real way to
extend or customize the markup language for specific applications.
To me, that's like having a programming language where one cannot
create programmer-defined macros or functions.  And I have
many examples of where people have taken great advantages of
the ability to create custom markup for their application needs.  :-)


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