--- Comment #9 from Philippe Verdy <> 2010-10-10 20:49:40 UTC 
Given the VERY HUGE usage of string manipulation templates in English
Wikipedia, the past decision to NOT apply support for more efficient string
manipulation parser functions in Wikipedia should be reconsidered.
The argument that "Mediawiki is not a programming language" proves to be wrong,
because Mediawiki is already used extensively in a way that needs these string
functions, but using very ugly template hacks, which are already trying to
bypass the decision of not using such "programming language" features on almost
all article pages (infoboxes and stub templates are present almost everywhere,
sometimes several times on the same page).
Clearly this demonstrates that those string parser functions are really needed
and it would be in fact more reasonnable to allow them directly as parser
functions, in order to obsolete all these ugly [[en:category:String
manipulation templates]] (str left, str right, trunc, str len, str rightc, str
index, and so on...), or rewrite their implementation in a much more efficient
way for helping the transition.

After all, Mediawiki is already and basically a janguage for generating complex
texts, templates are already programming features. in comparison, WordPress
already has these natural builtin functions, and sites built with WordPress are
still not critized for abusing these basic string manipulation functions.

This is the same rationale that was applied when #expr support was added, and
then slightly extended to support a few trigonometric functions and safer
conversions to integers (less limited and bogous than the "round" operator).

Let's be pragmatic. A decision to not implement these features has already been
bypassed extensively throughout English Wikipedia that already wants these
functions and use them in almost all its articles of its default namespace
(just count the number of pages (and the thousands of infobox an stub
templates) already using these ugly string templates !

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