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Wikitext in MediaWiki

Wikitext , wiki code , wiki syntax or wiki markup ( Engl. ) Is a set of simplified markup language , which is a simplified alternative to HTML represent and be used to articles in Wikis format.


The markup symbols of these languages, usually referred to as " tags " in English , are entered in the input window within the text and, after saving, ensure that it is provided with attributes and formatting (for example, italic, underlined, indented or linked) at the relevant places. In order to make the source text more readable and structured, there are usually combinations of characters that assign a format template to the selected text , which in turn is composed of several wiki tags.

The tags are by and large similar, but differ in details depending on the wiki software used . However, it is common to all dialects that they have a much simpler structure than the HTML used historically in the World Wide Web. This restriction to the essentials enables a large group of people, especially computer laymen, to participate in this system with little learning and writing effort.


In MediaWiki , like other wiki systems, square brackets are used, for example, to create a link. Older wiki systems like Ward Cunningham's WikiWikiWeb , however, used a CamelCase notation for automatic linking. In both cases, the user is spared the input of much more complex HTML constructs:

  1. [[Hyperlink]]links the word Hyperlinkto the article hyperlink .
  2. [[Hyperlink|Interner Link]]links the words Interner Linkto the article hyperlink .
  3. [ externer Link]links the words externer Linkto the website

In HTML you would have to type:

  1. <a href="/wiki/Hyperlink">Hyperlink</a>
  2. <a href="/wiki/Hyperlink">Interner Link</a>
  3. <a href="" title="externer Link">externer Link</a>

The concept of interwikilinks is used for the special networking of wikis . A prefix can be used to create a link to a page in another wiki. For example, links in the German-language Wikipedia to the article “ en: Link ” in the English-language Wikipedia and not to the German article “ Link ”. The prefix responsible for this is marked in italics. [[:en:Link]]

Automatic creation

Some programs can automatically generate Wikitext based on texts created using the what-you-see-is-what-you-get process. OpenOffice Writer from version 2.3 from September 17, 2007, for example, is able to export documents (text, character formatting, web links, tables) into the MediaWiki format.


There is no generally accepted standard. Grammar, structure, possibilities, keywords, terms, etc. depend on the software used in the individual wiki. However, all languages ​​have in common that there is a simple way of linking, but there are differences in the syntactic conventions .

Some wiki programs allow the use of HTML tags in addition to wikitext, others only allow a limited amount of HTML, and others do not allow HTML at all. Certain programs allow you to set restrictions on the use of HTML for each individual page. Basically, Wikitext allows the free and mixed use of HTML and the Wiki language, and that with an easy-to-read syntax that also allows users to write articles who do not know HTML.

With Creole, there has been an effort since 2006 to define a “common markup language” based on elements of existing markups. A uniform markup language would be the "cornerstone for the simple exchange of information between different wikis." In July 2007, the Creole 1.0 specification was published, which has meanwhile been integrated by several wiki engines.


Web links

MediaWiki: Wikitext standard  - Free Wiki software

Individual evidence

  1. D. Ammelburger, R. Scherer: Web development with CakePHP . O'Reilly Publishing House . 2008. ISBN 978-3-89721-863-5 . In it: "In addition Textile is Wikitext a well-known representative of this kind of markup languages." Limited preview in Google Book Search.
  2. S. Hanke: Online Communities in Web 2.0: An economic analysis of cooperation and knowledge problems . 2007. ISBN 978-3-8366-5605-4 . In it: "This syntax, called wikitext or wiki syntax ..." limited preview in the Google book search.
  3. A. Blumauer, T. Pellegrini (Ed.): Social Semantic Web: The Convergence of Social Software, Web 2.0 and Semantic Web . Springer Science + Business Media, 2008, ISBN 978-3-540-72215-1 . In it: "Most of today's wikis use a simple markup language, often referred to as wikitext , for entering information, which allows important formatting to be entered relatively easily without requiring a deeper knowledge of current web standards such as XHTML or CSS ." Limited preview in Google - Book search.
  4. P. Hitzler, M. Krotzsch, S. Rudolph: Foundations of Semantic Web Technologies . CRC Press . Boca Raton, 2010, ISBN 978-1-4200-9050-5 . In it: "This syntax, usually called wiki text , differs among implementations, and even is sometimes hidden beneath a graphical user interface." Limited preview in the Google book search.
  5. Press release of September 17, 2007
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