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Markdown vs MediaWiki: What are the differences?


Markdown and MediaWiki are both lightweight markup languages used for formatting text on the web. While they share some similarities, there are several key differences between the two.

  1. Syntax: Markdown uses simple, intuitive syntax that is easier to learn and write compared to MediaWiki. Markdown uses special characters like asterisks and hashtags to denote formatting, while MediaWiki uses more complex markup tags and templates.
  2. Compatibility: Markdown is more widely supported across different platforms, text editors, and websites. It can be used with various tools and converted to other formats, making it more versatile. On the other hand, MediaWiki markup is primarily used within MediaWiki software, limiting its compatibility.
  3. Richness of Formatting: MediaWiki offers a wider range of formatting options compared to Markdown. It supports features like tables, footnotes, mathematical formulas, and more. Markdown, however, focuses on providing simple and basic formatting options, resulting in a more streamlined and minimalist approach.
  4. Collaborative Editing: MediaWiki is specifically designed for collaborative editing and content management. It includes features like revision tracking, user permissions, and discussion pages. Markdown, on the other hand, is primarily intended for creating static content and lacks built-in collaboration features.
  5. Link Syntax: Markdown uses a simpler and more intuitive link syntax, with automatic detection of URLs. In MediaWiki, link syntax can be more complex, involving square brackets and pipe characters to define both the displayed text and the target page.
  6. Image Embedding: In Markdown, images can be easily embedded using a simple syntax and referencing the image file's URL or location. MediaWiki, however, requires more complex syntax and additional steps, such as uploading the image to the server and references to its specific page.

In summary, Markdown offers a simpler and more widely supported syntax with limited formatting options, while MediaWiki provides a richer set of features but is more complex and specific to the MediaWiki platform.

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Pros of Markdown
Pros of MediaWiki
  • 345
    Easy formatting
  • 246
    Widely adopted
  • 194
  • 132
    Github integration
  • 41
    Great for note taking
  • 2
    Defacto GitHub lingo
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    Cons of Markdown
    Cons of MediaWiki
    • 2
      Cannot centralise (HTML code needed)
    • 1
      Inconsistend flavours eg github, reddit, mmd etc
    • 1
      Limited syntax
    • 1
      Not suitable for longer documents
    • 1
    • 1
      No right indentation
    • 1
      No underline
    • 1
      Unable to indent tables
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      What is Markdown?

      Markdown is two things: (1) a plain text formatting syntax; and (2) a software tool, written in Perl, that converts the plain text formatting to HTML.

      What is MediaWiki?

      It is a free server-based software. It is an extremely powerful, scalable software and a feature-rich wiki implementation that uses PHP to process and display data stored in a database, such as MySQL.

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      What companies use Markdown?
      What companies use MediaWiki?
      See which teams inside your own company are using Markdown or MediaWiki.
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      What tools integrate with Markdown?
      What tools integrate with MediaWiki?

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