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(by Insomania)

The original goals of creole were developed at WikiSym2006. and included goals which conflict with the generation of a clear specification such as a requirement to be CollisionFree,which implicitly suggests Creole is not so much a specificatiion of a form of wiki markup but is a compromise like the Israel-Palestinian"peace" which is doomed to failure.

If Creole is to become a markup specification, then it will invariably collide with some other forms of markup, and it is about time it made those aims clear, otherwise I'm wasting my timehere!! - indeed

A markup inherently collides with the simplest text editor where each and every character is defined as representing itself and therefore any other interpretation is a collission and so it is clearly TOTALLY impossibel to have a collission free markup and so this is a TOTALLY unrelistic goal.

The point about a specification is that it prescribes how to comply ... it inherently requires change to comply and if you do not accept that then it is not possible to write a single specification that will solve the problem of incompatible wikis


I used to work for a company that insisted all emails were sent as HTML using a specific font of a specific size, they even said how it had to be laid out on the page. They thought they were being clever, until I showed them what it looked like on my home PC which did not have their font installed - it was a total mess and then I pointed out that many of their customers were getting the same very amateurish looking text.

The problem was that the company was telling the customers how they had to read the emails. They weren't letting the customers pick the best font for them - did they care if someone had poor eyesight and so wanted to read emails with a particularly clear font - the company didn't care and so didn't want their business!!

Unfortunately, without html, some of the very common formatting isn't possible. It really is annoying not being able to emphasise part of the text. And so many times I've tried to put things in a tabulated table, knowing that only if people happen to use the same font will they see it the same.

So, what we need is a specification that lets people emphasis text, without telling them how to display it. ONe that doesn't insist you have Micro$oft fonts installed on your spectrum PC, but which lets you EMPHASISE.

So I am suggesting that creole should be a relative specification. That is to say, the specification says how parts of the text relate to each other not how those parts will be displayed absolutely.


  1. Times-New-Roman
  2. Red
  3. 12point/pica
  4. position on screen.
  5. Code?


  1. stronger emphasis
  2. different from the rest of the text
  3. more important
  4. raised up
  5. smaller text
  6. included as a note (how the note is displayed is absolute)
  7. included as a quote (how displayed is absolute)
  8. Tables - describe the relative layout of items

The meaning of underline#

Having said Creole provides a meaning rather than a format, I wondered what that meant.
  1. Underline is a form of highlighting that leaves the characters displayed as is. It shows the text is important without making the text stand out. Indeed, in some sense it reduces the prominence of the actual letters ... a bit like making a flower more prominent by putting it in a bigger flower pot. The emphasis is the meaning not what is said.
  2. Bold unlike underline makes the characters more prominent. It The equivalent of having the same size flower pot but with a bigger flower. Bold is like shouting without saying anything more important.
  3. Italic does not affect the prominence of the text, it differentiates the text without applying emphasis.
  4. Strike shows the negation of the text - the sense that the text should not be there
  5. Superscript is a meaning applied to the text like a sum squared.
  6. Subscript is a meaning subsidual to the full sized text.


What would creole sound like if it were spoken and not displayed?

  1. Underline .... deepen the voice, slow down, so as to speak with more authority.
  2. Bold make louder, speed up
  3. Italic ... adopt a new character e.g. an accent
  4. Strike ?????
  5. Superscript raise tone of voice
  6. Subscript lower tone of voice

Citing Insomania ...which implicitly suggests Creole is not so much a specification of a form of wiki markup but is a compromise like the Israel-Palestinian"peace" which is doomed to failure.

If Creole is to become a markup specification, then it will invariably collide with some other forms of markup, and it is about time it made those aims clear, otherwise I'm wasting my timehere!! - indeed

Well, Chuck and Me started with the goal of creating a markup standard, but it is an unrealistic goal either: We don't have a "standardisation body" that everyone trusts, like the W3C, thats what we had to learn from the Meatball:HeilbronnWMSDiscussion. We don't have the resources to do the traditional standardization process. This discussion and a long talk I had with Ward Cunningham and Eugene Kim at the Wikimania 2006 lead us to the current design of Creole.

We can't simply proclaim a "Peace". Engines have to grow together, an that will take time. Creole might be an intermediate solution, or a permanent, who knows. But if we don't start NOW we'll never know. It's a compromise, but who are you, who are we to say that all others are wrong? The only thing we can do is to convince all engine developers that it is reasonable and useful to have "Peace" even if that means that they have to invest time and give away land (People can more easily switch engines for example).

The only thing we, the users, can do here is to convince the governments (The engine developers) to tear down the borders by using the same markup, that is not dictated by a single other engine. Thats why the Wikisym 2007 Workshop proposed to convince the most powerful users, the big companies, to support Creole and make it a requirement if they introduce a wiki.

Please read through the Meatball:HeilbronnWMSDiscussion before you are wasting your time here.

-- ChristophSauer, 2008-Mai-24 12:26 (CEST)

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« This page (revision-13) was last changed on 24-Mai-2008 12:26 by ChristophSauer