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Edit Syntax Plugin

Edit TWiki content using your preferred wiki syntax


This plugin allows users to edit TWiki content with their favorite wiki syntax. Users can set their preferred syntax as a user preferences setting in their user profile page. Edit syntax converters convert the TWiki Markup Language (TML) into another syntax when a user edits a topic, and converts it back after edit. The content is always saved in TML, that is, different users can edit the same content using different edit syntax.

Syntax Rules & Activating an Edit Syntax

The edit syntax rules depend on the edit syntax converter activated by a user.

Currently available converters:

Syntax To Activate Syntax Summary and Help Converter topic
TWiki   * Set EDITSYNTAX = Summary, Help N/A
Mediawiki   * Set EDITSYNTAX = Mediawiki Summary, Help Mediawiki converter

Syntax converters are activated with an EDITSYNTAX preferences setting in the user profile page. Copy these bullets to the Personal Preferences section:

   * Activate preferred edit syntax (see available edit syntax converters at TWiki06x00.EditSyntaxPlugin) :
      * Set EDITSYNTAX = Mediawiki

To disable the converter (e.g. to use TWiki syntax), set the EDITSYNTAX to an empty value.

How to Create a New Edit Syntax Converter

Steps to create a new edit syntax converter, using the FooWiki syntax as an example:

  1. Decide on the base name, Foowiki. Base name must not be a WikiWord, e.g. not FooWiki.
  2. Create a FoowikiEditSyntaxRegex topic in the TWiki06x00 web, taking MediawikiEditSyntaxRegex as a template.
    • List regular expressions to convert the syntax from the TWiki to the Foowiki format, and vice versa. The converter format is indicated below.
    • All topics ending in *EditSyntaxRegex are listed automatically in the converter topic.
  3. Create a FoowikiWikiSyntaxSummary syntax summary topic in the TWiki06x00 web, taking MediawikiWikiSyntaxSummary as a template.
    • This is the short help text shown in the edit screen.
    • Replace /MediawikiTextFormattingRules in the "more formatting help" link with /FoowikiTextFormattingRules.
  4. Create a FoowikiTextFormattingRules syntax help topic in the TWiki06x00 web, taking MediawikiTextFormattingRules and/or Foowiki's edit syntax help text as a template.
    • This is the extensive help text shown when the users clicks on the "more formatting help" link.

Format of Edit Syntax Converter Topic

The converter topic contains bullets with RegularExpression rules: * TYPE: /from/to/ or * TYPE: /from/to/ # comment

  • TYPE is T2X for "TWiki to External" syntax conversion, or X2T for "External to TWiki" syntax conversion.
  • /from/to/ are regular expressions to convert from one format to the other.
  • # comments to annotate the expressions are optional. The hash sign needs to be prefixed with a leading space to be recognized as a comment.
  • Empty lines are ignored.
  • The sequence of regular expressions is relevant.

Example lines:

  • T2X: /(^|[\n\r])---\+([^\n\r]*)/$1=$2 =/
  • X2T: /(^|[\n\r])=(.*?) ?=(?=[\n\r]|$)/$1---\+$2/ # H1

Plugin Settings

Plugin settings are stored as preferences variables. To reference a plugin setting write %<plugin>_<setting>%, i.e. %EDITSYNTAXPLUGIN_SHORTDESCRIPTION%

  • One line description, is shown in the TextFormattingRules topic:
    • Set SHORTDESCRIPTION = Edit TWiki content using your preferred wiki syntax

  • Debug plugin: (See output in data/debug.txt)
    • Set DEBUG = 0

Plugin Installation Instructions

Note: You do not need to install anything on the browser to use this plugin. The following instructions are for the administrator who installs the plugin on the TWiki server.

  • Download the ZIP file from the Plugin web (see below)
  • Unzip EditSyntaxPlugin.zip in your twiki installation directory. Content:
    File: Description:
    data/TWiki/EditSyntaxPlugin.txt Plugin topic
    data/TWiki/MediawikiEditSyntaxRegex.txt Mediawiki edit syntax converter topic
    data/TWiki/MediawikiWikiSyntaxSummary.txt Mediawiki edit syntax summary topic
    data/TWiki/MediawikiTextFormattingRules.txt Mediawiki edit syntax help topic
    data/TWiki/MediawikiEditSyntaxTest.txt Mediawiki edit syntax test topic
    lib/TWiki/Plugins/EditSyntaxPlugin.pm Plugin Perl module
  • Configure the Plugin:
    • Run the configure script to enable the plugin
    • Change the plugin settings as needed
    • ALERT! For proper operation, tell TWiki to run this plugin after the WYSIWYG editor: Add the TinyMCEPlugin to the {PluginsOrder} setting, such as: SpreadSheetPlugin, TinyMCEPlugin
  • Test if the installation was successful:
    • Enable the Mediawiki syntax with this setting in your user profile page:
      • Set EDITSYNTAX = Mediawiki
    • Edit a test topic that contains headings, bullets, bold text and italic text
      • You should see the content in Mediawiki syntax
      • Save the test topic
      • View raw should show you the content in TWiki syntax
  • Show proper edit syntax summary in edit screen:
    • Create an EDITSYNTAX setting in your Main.TWikiPreferences and set it to an empty value
    • Edit twiki/templates/edit.pattern.tmpl and change "%SYSTEMWEB%.WikiSyntaxSummary" to "%SYSTEMWEB%.%EDITSYNTAX%WikiSyntaxSummary"
    • Change other twiki/templates/edit.*.tmpl template files as needed
  • Secure the *EditSyntaxRegex converter topics so that only TWikiAdminGroup members can edit the topics.


  • Security risk: The current implementation does no sanity check on the regular expressions of the Edit Syntax Converter topics. It is potentially possible to execute arbitrary Perl code by editing one of the converter topics. Secure the *EditSyntaxRegex converter topics so that only TWikiAdminGroup members can edit the topics. It is not recommended to use this plugin on a public website.
  • The MediawikiEditSyntaxRegex does not yet convert tables.

Plugin Info

Plugin Author: TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny
Copyright: © 2006-2011 TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny
© 2008-2011 TWiki:TWiki.TWikiContributor
License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
Plugin Version: 2011-06-04
Change History:  
2011-06-04: TWikibug:Item6701: Small doc fixes; change code from "use vars" to "ours" -- TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny
2010-10-29: Fix to make this plugin coexist with new WYSIWYG editor in TWiki-4.2 and later
2006-07-09: Initial version
TWiki Dependency: $TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1
CPAN Dependencies: none
Other Dependencies: none
Perl Version: 5.005
Benchmarks: GoodStyle nn%, FormattedSearch nn%, EditSyntaxPlugin nn%
Plugin Home: http://TWiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/EditSyntaxPlugin
Feedback: http://TWiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/EditSyntaxPluginDev
Appraisal: http://TWiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/EditSyntaxPluginAppraisal

Related Topics: TWikiPlugins, DeveloperDocumentationCategory, AdminDocumentationCategory, TWikiPreferences

Topic attachments
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Compressed Zip archivetgz EditSyntaxPlugin.tgz r6 r5 r4 r3 r2 manage 9.3 K 2011-06-05 - 03:37 PeterThoeny  
Compressed Zip archivezip EditSyntaxPlugin.zip r7 r6 r5 r4 r3 manage 15.3 K 2011-06-05 - 03:37 PeterThoeny  
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Topic revision: r6 - 2013-10-16 - PeterThoeny
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