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Markdown vs MediaWiki: What are the differences?

Introduction

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
    Intuitive
  • 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
      Non-extensible
    • 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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      What are some alternatives to Markdown and MediaWiki?
      MarkUp
      It allows you to turn your website into a dynamic canvas ready for feedback and collaboration. Streamline your feedback with a quicker, easier, and clearer process.
      JavaScript
      JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
      Git
      Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.
      GitHub
      GitHub is the best place to share code with friends, co-workers, classmates, and complete strangers. Over three million people use GitHub to build amazing things together.
      Python
      Python is a general purpose programming language created by Guido Van Rossum. Python is most praised for its elegant syntax and readable code, if you are just beginning your programming career python suits you best.
      See all alternatives