Do we need Mediawiki syntax when we have WYSIWYG editors?

Gerard McGarry's picture

After spending/wasting a lot of time this weekend trying to get a functioning wiki built using a combination of wikitools, pearwiki filter and freelinks module (in combination with TinyMCE).

I ran into a hell of a lot of problems trying to implement the PEARWiki filter in conjunction with Wikitools and TinyMCE and in the end I just gave up completely!

What I want to know from others who've tried the same thing is - do we need a mediawiki parser when we're already providing visitors with a WYSIWYG interface? Personally, the only feature that I consider essential is the content autocreation/double-bracketted linking method that allows a new page link.

Anyone else care to share their thoughts on this one?

Comments

Yes, we do. Well, maybe you

Morbus Iff's picture

Yes, we do. Well, maybe you don't. But I certainly want MediaWiki. Wiki syntax didn't spring up because there was a lack of good WYSIWYG editors (which is the corollary you're making) - it sprang up because folks needed and wanted a faster way of entering in styling. When I'm typing, I never touch my mouse - I can just bold this and /emphasize/ that, or underline this. That may not be MediaWiki syntax, but it's syntax in a number of other editors, and is commonly supported in email clients as well (use those stylings in Thunderbird, and you'll get bold or italicized text, for instance). If you force me to use my mouse to get lists, or headers, or bold text, the only thing you're training me to do is /not/ use them at all.

The other implication is folks coming from MediaWiki into Drupal. If we want the mass of existing wiki users to give Drupal a fair shake (instead of a blanket "why aren't you using MediaWiki?"), then the easiest way to do that is providing as close to what they expect as possible. The lack of strong Template functionality in Drupal, for example, is the prime reason why I'm still using MediaWiki - it's nearly impossible to bootstrap that onto Drupal (though, I've been experimenting with a front-end to Flexifilter for that).

Yes and No

SamRose's picture

While agree with Morbus in general and in principle:

I would say that it depends on your end users. If you are working with a bunch of people who've never used wiki previously, you can hust use wikitools, freelinking, diff and WYSIWYG and give them a really good intro to wiki.

But, if the community of people who are using the wiki prefer Mediawiki markup, it would seem best to give it to them.

Usually, in most open wiki communities I have been a part of, these things are decided by the community, at least to some extent. If the community is stuck with something they don't like, they'll make some noise about it. Moral of the story: talk to your users, let them drive how you do it.

PS. If you are using Media wiki syntax, then my advice is to leave WYSIWYG out of the picture for wiki pages

Sam Rose
Social Synergy
Open Source Ecology
P2P Foundation

Yes, it depends...

Gerard McGarry's picture

Thanks for your responses guys. I guess it depends - the Wiki isn't live yet, and I'd expect a mixture of regular users and MediaWiki users.

In an ideal world, I'd like to provide both input methods - TinyMCE plus MediaWiki - but I appreciate Sam's points about not using the two in tandem. However, isn't the problem that modules such as TinyMCE can't be disabled on a per-content-type basis? Or is there a way to disable the WYSIWYG editor for the Wiki content type?

As for the site I'm working on, it's an extension of our blog that allows our visitors to interact in more ways. The Drupal site isn't live yet, so there's no audience to consider just yet - I'm just surmising that there'll be a mixture of users working with the wiki content.

Can be used in tandem...

Boris Mann's picture

What is needed is a TinyMCE plugin that translates MediaWiki syntax -- much like the "drupalbreak" plugin. I actual recall that someone had done this as a proof of concept (someone working with Gunnar Langemark if I recall correctly...), but it was never contributed any where as far as I know.

This would be awesome. It is

SamRose's picture

This would be awesome.

It is possible to do this with OddWiki and Moinmoin with FCKeditor.

Also, eventually an affordance that allows for import/export of mediawiki pages, just like what is now found in mediawiki. (It exports an XML file if I recall correctly)

But yes, to your point, being able to do wikisyntax right in the WYSIWYG is great, just like in OddWiki, Moinmoin, and Social text. Socialtext and moin actually do it the best, but the way they do it might be a bit of work to accomplish in Drupal (they translate all xhtml formatting to wiki markup when you toggle back and forth between wysiwyg and plain text)

Sam Rose
Social Synergy
Open Source Ecology
P2P Foundation

Fckeditor (and tinymce) give

SamRose's picture

Fckeditor (and tinymce) give you options to disable based on fields in node creation and other forms.

By default they are enabled in many, but beneath each is an admin message telling you how to disable it (for fckeditor). Tinymce has affordance in the settings to do it.

Sam Rose
Social Synergy
Open Source Ecology
P2P Foundation

Sam, I'd love a couple of

Gerard McGarry's picture

Sam, I'd love a couple of pointers on this for TinyMCE - is it done in the module's visibility settings, or elsewhere? How might I do this in TinyMCE?

It is done in the module's

SamRose's picture

It is done in the module's visibility settings in TinyMCE. Under admin>settings>TinyMCE (in drupal 5.7)

Only local images are allowed.

Sam Rose
Social Synergy
Open Source Ecology
P2P Foundation

Aha! I actually tried that

Gerard McGarry's picture

Aha! I actually tried that option at the weekend, and the problem that arose was whenever I tried to edit the post, the path changes to /node/18/edit, which becomes independent of the content type originally implied at /node/add/wiki.

In that respect, FCKEditor, has a lot more granularity in terms of class and ID types. The only issue I have with FCK is (rather petty) the fact that it uses depreciated HTML syntax like B and I instead of STRONG and EM. Maybe that's an acceptable sacrifice though.

you might not need pearwiki then

dugh's picture

"Personally, the only feature that I consider essential is the content autocreation/double-bracketted linking method that allows a new page link."

You don't need the pearwiki filter then. Just use freelinking.

That's how I am doing it. I am using FCKEditor for the wysiwyg editing, IMCE for embedding/uploading images, wikitools for wiki functionality, and freelinking for bracketed links.

Also I am using video_filter to make it easier to show embedded videos [video:url to some video]
and the interwiki module for some other easy types of links like:

[map:123 Main St., Mycity, MS]
[dictionary:someterm]

If you do want full mediwiki syntax support, then perhaps install pearwiki or flexifilter, and then create a separate input format (admin/settings/filters) that just uses that.

But to import wiki pages from other sites with fckeditor or tinymce, you just copy and paste the page right out of your browser and into fckeditor/tinymce. I mean copy the styled text or raw html, not the mediawiki syntax.

Some weeks ago I have

Nchase's picture

Some weeks ago I have disabled FCK as I'm faster using the pearwiki filter. FCK is nice and really straight forward but it doesn't really help me in formating questions. Once I'm on the keyboard I don't want to use the mouse. Using both worlds, fck and wiki brings a lot of disadvantes which I don'T like. The only problem I ran into was the tag which for examle wikipedia offers to create reference links at the end of the document...

Synergy is something essential - New-Tronic.com

Mediawiki

khyatipandit's picture

i am having problem in my mediawiki .The mediawiki syntax are not recognized in my wikipage..i have installed the pearwiki filter for that and followed all the steps for the installation of mediawiki that are given in http://stephenondrupal.blogspot.com/2007/10/set-up-wiki-with-drupal-5.html i am unable to get the Image:Example.jpg tag's result.Even my internal links are not working as it is supposed to work.kindly help me out its urgent.

I had similar issue tonight

apperceptions's picture

I had to do a few things to get this to work:

1) install and set up pearwiki filter as per instructions
2) go to Administer > Site Configuration > Input formats and select 'edit' for the wiki filter. Select the configure tab and be sure base path for images is set (my default was 'files', but i had to change to '/sites/default/files'. note initial slash)
3) with Drupal 6, I got a warning from pearwiki_filter/pear_override/render/Xhtml/Image.php that indicated that this was still a D5 query (not sure how that happened). For now I patched Image to use both upload and files table. This may not be issue if you are using D5.

Then it worked!

Ping me if you need more specifics.

Hopes this help.

--

Markus Sandy
http://apperceive.com
http://ourmedia.org

still not working

khyatipandit's picture

I have changed the path also but the same is the case i mean i am unable to see the image by using the Image:Example.jpg .i mean i have created a interwiki prefix called Image: and set its path to the files folder of my drupal.but its converting it to link and i am not able to view the image..kindly reply back its urgent

Naming conflict?

apperceptions's picture

I did not have to change any Interwiki Mappings in my case. Try it without any interwiki map named "Image". Once that works with a local image, then try define your mapping (perhaps with a different name than "Image:"). Are you trying to access images on a different wiki? I have never tried to use the two features (images and interwiki mappings) together. Please let us know how it goes and what settings eventually work for you.

--

Markus Sandy
http://apperceive.com
http://ourmedia.org

Its working but problem in table of contents now

khyatipandit's picture

Thanks for replying....Now the images are coming but the problem is to how to arrange the weight of the filters i have done the settings as given below with the proper weight settings
MediaWiki filter -3
HTML filter -2
URL filter 0
PEAR Wiki Filter 1
freelinking filter 2
Interwiki filter 3
Template Filter 4
Table of Contents 5
Headings to Anchors 6
above are the weight that i have assigned to the filter kindly please suggest me the order as to how the table of contents and heading to anchors may be arranged..kindly reply back..

Same here

apperceptions's picture

I did get it to work, but not how I wanted.

First off, note that the TOC readme states that Headings to Anchors filter should come before the TOC filter (e.g., lower weight):

"Be sure to set headinganchors to be before the tableofcontents filter."

Even so, I was only able to make this work by putting the HTA and TOC before the PEAR Wiki filter, but that means I have to use h2 instead of wiki ==. Have not had a chance to look into this yet. What one really wants is that HTA & TOC come after PEAR Wiki so that =='s have been converted to h2 in time for TOC build.

--

Markus Sandy
http://apperceive.com
http://ourmedia.org

Back on thread

apperceptions's picture

Was helping out with some specific details in a comment on this thread, so I thought I'd respond to the original topic since I have been working recently with many of the modules mentioned here.

We also tried using the tinymce and fckeditor. This made client reconsider what about wiki was important. It wasn't wikimedia syntax they had started with. As mentioned by others, it was features like freelinking, wiki search and page creation, diffs, revisions, etc.

We also ran into the "wish the wysiwyg editor would work with wiki markup" at first. +1 for that idea. For now, we turned off the WYGIWYG editing too.

--

Markus Sandy
http://apperceive.com
http://ourmedia.org

Again the problem with the mediawiki

khyatipandit's picture

I am having problem with the mediawiki the standalone mediawiki works fine but when i have integrated it with my drupal.5.7 by using mediawiki module it does not support the image tag and internal links...The toolbar that we get after using the mediawiki markup does not work with the wikipage only the normal headings and table of contents are working when we use the image tag it does not show the image it shows a link to the original image...is their any way to deal with kindly help its really required by us thank you in advance ...