WikiClip

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WikiClip is a utility to convert the standard MediaWiki wiki syntax (used by Wikipedia, for example) into a new format we call Wiki Edit Format (or "WEF," described below) in order to make editing wiki pages in either Microsoft Word, Notepad, or a professional-level text editor such as Emacs or TSE/QuickEdit much easier. (We call the Wikipedia format "wikitext".)

Contents

Wiki Edit Format (WEF)

Wiki Edit Format (or WEF) is a text document format used to facilitate easier editing either in a professional text editor such as Emacs or TSE/QuickEdit, which can wrap paragraphs with indentation, such as this paragraph:

  • This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System — this is only a test. For the next sixty seconds, this station will conduct a test of the Emergency Broadcast System.

appearing in the text editor as:

* This is a test of the *Emergency Broadcast System* -- /this is only a
  test/. For the next sixty seconds, this station will conduct a test of the
  *Emergency Broadcast System*.

Other attempts have been made to "webify" plain text, for example Markdown and reStructuredText. Wiki Edit Format is significantly more powerful and expressive than these, in part because it captures the underlying power of MediaWiki in the first place, which is already capable of handling Wikipedia.

However, Wikipedia lacks basic support for writing technical documentation. Support for numbered and and bulleted lists, nested lists, different type styles, and overall readability is weak.

Therefore, Wiki Edit Format:

  • Adds extra text formatting shortcuts.
  • Adds extra character substitution shortcuts.
  • Intelligently parses bulleted and numbered paragraphs, for example:
    1. Item number 1.
      1. Item 1.a. (Wikipedia cannot do this!)
      2. Item 1.b.
      Item number 1 continued. (Wikipedia cannot do this!)

      This paragraph continues the Item number 1 continuation. Continuation paragraphs are very cumbersome in regular wikitext as they require the use of <p> and </p> HTML tags.

    2. Item number 2.
    Note that "Item number 1 continued" is true continuation of "Item number 1," and not just an indented paragraph — just as this paragraph is a true continuation of the "Intelligently parses" bullet paragraph.
  • Generally makes it possible to read the text you are editing. This can be very difficult using regular wikitext.

This is how the above bulleted list looks in in Wiki Edit Format:

Therefore, Wiki Edit Format:

* Adds extra text formatting shortcuts.

* Adds extra character substitution shortcuts.

* Intelligently parses bulleted and numbered paragraphs, for example:

*# Item number 1.

*##a Item 1.a. (*Wikipedia* cannot do this!)

*## Item 1.b.

*#- Item number 1 continued. (*Wikipedia* cannot do this!)

    This paragraph continues the Item number 1 continuation. Continuation
    paragraphs are very cumbersome in regular wikitext as they require the
    use of $<P←>$ and $<←/p←>$ HTML tags.

*# Item number 2.

*- Note that "Item number 1 continued" is true continuation of "Item number
   1," and not just an indented paragraph -- just as this paragraph is a
   true continuation of the "Intelligently parses" bullet paragraph.

* Generally makes it possible to read the text you are editing. This can be
  very difficult using regular wikitext.

(Note the use of the ← "literal character" escapements to break up what might be construed as HTML paragraph tags and an italic start character were they not present.) Now, on the other hand, this is how the above appears in wikitext:

Therefore, Wiki Edit Format:

* Adds extra text formatting shortcuts.
* Adds extra character substitution shortcuts.
* Intelligently parses bulleted and numbered paragraphs, for example:
*# Item number 1.
*##a Item 1.a.
*## Item 1.b.
*#- Item number 1 continued. ('''Wikipedia''' cannot do this!)<p>This paragraph
continues the Item number 1 continuation. Continuation paragraphs are very cumbersome
in regular wikitext as they require the use of <code>&#60;p&#62;</code> and
<code>&#60;&#47;p&#62;</code> HTML tags.</p>
*# Item number 2.
*- Note that "Item number 1 continued" is true continuation of "Item number 1," and
not just an indented paragraph&nbsp;&mdash; just as this paragraph is a true
continuation of the "Intelligently parses" bullet paragraph.
* Generally makes it possible to read the text you are editing. This can be very
difficult using regular wikitext.

Some of the text above is word-wrapped. The problem is you can't tell the difference between wrapped text and hard carriage returns that are required to separate paragraphs.

Wiki Edit Format vs. Wikitext
Wiki Edit Format Traditional Wikitext Sample Output
*Bold text* '''Bold text''' Bold text
/Italic text/ ''Italic text'' Italic text
*/Bold Italic text/*
(or /*Bold Italic text*/)
'''''Bold Italic text''''' Bold Italic text
#Keystroke text# <tt>Keystroke text</tt> Keystroke text
$On-screen text$ <code>On-screen text</code> On-screen text
@Button text@ <cite>Button text</cite> Button text
~User-typed text~ <var>User-typed text</var> User-typed text
&Small text& <small>Small text</small> Small text
^Superscript text^ <sup>Superscript text</sup> Superscript text
M -- Dash M&nbsp;&mdash; Dash1 M — Dash
N --- Dash N&nbsp;&ndash; Dash1 N – Dash
<<Chevrons>> &laquo;Chevrons&raquo; «Chevrons»
Non``breaking``spaces Non&nbsp;&nbsp;breaking&nbsp;&nbsp;spaces Non  breaking  spaces
Dot ** character Dot &middot; character Dot · character
Bullet *** character Bullet &bull; character Bullet • character
<<<< Comment >>>> <!-- Comment -->
Line\\break Line<br>break Line
break
←← ←\ ←: ←- ←< ←> ←' ←` ←& ←# ←$ ←~ ←@ ←^ ←* ←/ ←_ ←| ←{ ←} (Various literal characters2) ← \ : - < > ' ` & # $ ~ @ ^ * / _ | { }
  • 1 Note that in HTML, you must put a &nbsp; in front of a dash to keep the paragraph from wrapping in front of it and starting the next line with the dash. WikiClip takes care of this automatically.
  • 2 In practice, most characters can usually be written normally without the preceding escapes.

Examples

Regular *bold* text.
  • Regular bold text.

The * character is used for a number of things, but when enclosing words it generates HTML <b> and </b> tags.

Regular /italic/ text.
  • Regular italic text.

The / generates HTML <i> and </i> tags when enclosing words.

Combined /*bold and italic*/ text.
  • Combined bold and italic text.
Press #Alt#-#A# then #Enter#.
  • Press Alt-A then Enter.

The # character shows keystrokes. You can remember that the "#" is known as the "pound" character and that you "pound the keys." It generates HTML <tt> and </tt> tags.

Push @OK@ to continue or @Cancel@ to go back.
  • Push OK to continue or Cancel to go back.

The @ character shows on-screen buttons. It looks like a button. It generates HTML <cite> and </cite> tags.

The $Cross streets$ field contains the nearest major intersection.
  • The Cross streets field contains the nearest major intersection.

The $ character shows on-screen text, in particular the names of entry fields (also known as captions). It generates HTML <code> and </code> tags.

Enter ~Fifth & Main~ in $Cross streets$.
  • Enter Fifth & Main in Cross streets.

The ~ character shows "quoted" text typed by the user. It is above the single-back-quote, just as regular quotes are above the regular single-quote. It generates HTML <var> and </var> tags.

; Item : Definition.

; $Cross streets$ : The nearest major intersection or...
Item 
Definition.
Cross streets 
The nearest major intersection or other easily identifiable landmark.

Unicode

You can include unicode characters using standard HTML escapement. For example, "The default is , meaning yes" is entered as:

The default is ~&#x2713;~, meaning /yes/

At some point in the future, WikiClip will have direct support for numeric coding and/or named constants for at least commonly-used symbols.

Also, in the future, WikiClip will perform "Windows: Western" and/or OEM to ANSI to Unicode translation.

Tables

Tables are not yet processed by WikiClip per se. This documentation applies to MediaWiki in general. As such, tables cannot currently exist inside a bullet or numbered list, only as regular outside paragraphs.

Say we want to do this:

                 Table Title
+------------+----------+----------+----------+
| T/L Corner | Column 1 | Column 2 | Column 3 |
+------------+----------+----------+----------+
| Row 1      | Item 1,1 | Item 1,2 | Item 1,3 |
| Row 2      | Item 2,1 | Item 2,2 | Item 2,3 |
+------------+----------+----------+----------+
* Table note

to appear like this:

Table Title
T/L Corner Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
Row 1 Item 1,1 Item 1,2 Item 1,3
Row 2 Item 2,1 Item 2,2 Item 2,3
  • Table Note

Here is the wikitext for the table:

{| class="wikitable"

|+ *Table Title*

! T/L Corner

! Column 1

! Column 2

! Column 3

|- align="center"

! Row 1

| Item 1,1

| Item 1,2

| Item 1,3

|- align="center"

! Row 2

| Item 2,1

| Item 2,2

| Item 2,3

|}

* Table Note --or-- \\
Table Commands
Wikitext Description
{| class="wikitable" Start of a wiki table.
|+ <text> Optional title centered other the top of the table. It is not bolded or italicized by default.
 ! <text> "Header" cell. Bold, darker blue, and centered. The first header in a table is the top left corner cell and is often blank.
|- Start a new row. Default is left-justified (align="left"). You can specify either align="center" or align="right" to change this.
| <text> Regular cell contents. These follow one another filling out each row until a |- command starts a new line.
|} End of a wiki table.
* <text> An additional "footnote" after the end of a table.
\\ After the end of a table, an extra blank line is required if not using a table note.


Using WikiClip

  • Copy the files from the RPOWER Guest FTP site and put them into your C:\WINDOWS folder.
  • Navigate to C:\WINDOWS, find WikiClip.exe and right-click drag a shortcut to it out to your Desktop.
  • Call RPOWER to get a user name and password. You will get back command-line parameters used on a QuickEdit or Microsoft Word shortcut you will put on your desktop (and/or QuickLaunch area). You will also create a copy of this shortcut for uploading images.
  • To edit an article, you simply view it up in Internet Explorer and double-click your editing shortcut. Whenever you save the document you are working on, the page will be saved on the server. Refresh your document in Internet Explorer to see your changes.
  • To add a new article, first put a link to it on an existing page (by editing that page). Then click that link. You will get an error page saying Login required to edit and "You have to login to edit pages." Ignore this and just bring up your editor. Type some text and save it. In Internet Explorer, click your Back button. The link to your new page will now work. Click it to view your new page.

RPOWER Screen Shots

When RPOWER is set up for Screenshot Mode, you can take a picture of your entire screen with Ctrl-Alt-S, and just the foreground window with Ctrl-Alt-W. This file will be named according to the article you are editing (or viewing, if you are not editing anything) in your browser.

Bring up your RPOWER screenshot folder. The default is underneath RPOWER\EXPORTS.

To add a picture to the article you are editing in Microsoft Word, do the following:

  • After taking a picture, the wikitext link to it is placed in your Clipboard. Bring up your Microsoft Word and press Ctrl-V (or select Edit, Paste) in at the start of the paragraph to which the picture is associated.
  • Edit the caption, which is pasted in as just the word "Caption."

Upload the picture by dragging it from the screenshot folder to the Upload Image icon you created on your desktop (or QuickLaunch area). Uploading a picture puts a wikitext link in your clipboard just as taking a shot in the first place does.

Oops! Page Is Blank!

If you reload the page on which you are working and it comes up completely blank, don't panic! This happens once in a great while due to unknown technical difficulties. If your editor is still open, just make a change to the file and save it. If not, however, you can recover the last-saved file by following these steps:

  1. Push your Windows Start button, and Run... or type in the search box %tmp% and press Enter. This brings up your Windows Temp directory.
  2. There is a folder called WikiClip. Go into it. A last-saved copy of every article you've edited is in there.
  3. Bring up your article in Notepad. Push Ctrl-A and Ctrl-C (select all, copy) or click Edit, Select All, Edit, Copy from the menu at the top.
  4. Bring up the (now blank) article again in WikiClip. Paste using Ctrl-Ins in QuickEdit the whole article. Alt-S to save it.
  5. Refresh the page in Internet Explorer to make sure it is there. You're done! You can close your Notepad if you didn't already.
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