Alex Z. <> changed:

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--- Comment #118 from Alex Z. <> 2010-11-21 06:23:56 UTC ---
(In reply to comment #116)
> It isn't very difficult to parse a Newick format string and create a basic 
> tree
> display template from it. However, all this really would need is a full set of
> string functions. It's true that PHP and MediaWiki wasn't designed to be a 
> kind
> of parser or compiler, but what sort of alternative can anyone think of?
> Should we put in a request for MediaWiki developers to support the Newick
> format, and any number of other important display-independent representations
> of data widely used in Wikipedia? 
> I don't know if this can be added as a "bug" in and of itself, but it it does
> point out the fundamental problem. MediaWiki has text, graphic, audio, and
> video formats, but is missing the ability to parse certain other critical 
> basic
> information storage formats that the developers never considered.

This is kind of the main argument against string functions. Letting users
create parsers in wikitext is pretty much exactly the kind of thing that those
against it want to avoid. Wikitext is not supposed to be a programming
language.[1] This is also a good example of what Aryeh was talking about in
comment #110.

A well-defined language that has applications in thousands of pages is an
excellent candidate for something that should be handled by an extension.

> Who decides, and who does the work?

The same person who decides whether or not to enable string functions would
decide to enable a Newick extension. Anyone who knows PHP can do the work.


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