[Haskell wikibook] Using XHTML Elements in the Wikibook

apfelmus apfelmus at quantentunnel.de
Mon May 14 18:06:13 EDT 2007

PR Stanley wrote:
> One of you chaps once told me that XHTML elements had no place in the
> Wikibook: the rationale being that everyone, regardless of his knowledge
> of mark-up languages, should be encouraged to contribute to the wiki text.
> I'm wondering if a small amount of HTML tagging may not be such a bad
> idea considering the accessibility benefits.
> What does the list think?

Hello Paul,

Wikibook pages can be viewed in several modes. For instance, the URL


shows the page in the standard viewing mode as proper HTML. But the URL


shows the page content in editing mode, the source code for the viewing
mode so to speak. This source code is written in the wiki mark-up
language which is aimed to be "simple" and is very different from HTML.
Thus, in principle the wiki mark-up wouldn't understand HTML. That being
said, the language fortunately recognizes a small number of HTML tags,
including <i>,<b>,<h1>,<p>,<span>,<code> and others, see also


Note that the most HTML tags duplicate existing mark-up functionality.
For example, one can now either use

  ''this text is italic''


  <i>this text is italic</i>

to get an italic font.
One tag that is not HTML but nevertheless recognized is <math> which
encloses LaTeX formatted formulas.

Personally, I don't like the wiki-style mark-up language too much, but
as the Haskell Wikibook is only a small user of the infrastructure
provided by the general Wikibooks project, we don't have much influence
on the markup language. I think that the official Wikibooks project
guideline is to favor wiki-style mark-up, but I don't mind if you use
the supported HTML tags for the page source code. It's not always easy
to properly nest them with the already existing wiki-style mark-up,
though, and can result in garbled output in the viewing mode. In
particular, I'd suggest to avoid the paragraph tags <p> if possible,
separating paragraphs by a single blank line is enough and gets
translated into appropriate <p> tags in the viewing mode.

In any case, just edit as you see fits. At worst, we'll re-format the
mark-up if the viewing output becomes garbled.


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