ikiwiki needs a wysiwyg markdown editor. While there have been tries using WMD etc, they are not fully satisfactory, and also the license of everything around WMD is unclear.

Hallo is the closest to a solution I've seen. The user can edit the page by clicking on the html part they want to change and typing. Selecting text pops up a toolbar to modify it.

Demo of Hallo with live WYSIWYG markdown editing This demo uses showdown, and I still don't know what the license of showdown is. However, the showdown part seems to only be to handle the live conversion from the markdown source in the edit field to the html. The (edited) html to markdown conversion is accomplished by Hallo.

So, ikiwiki could use this in a page edit UI that does not show the markdown at all. The user would edit the live page, entirely in wysiwyg mode, and on saving hallo's generated markdown would be saved. Probably there would need to be a button to bring up the current markdown editor too, but without showdown, changes in it would not immediatly preview, so it'd make sense to disable hallo when the editor is visible.

Issue: Ikiwiki directives can generate html. We would not want that html to be editable by halo and converted back to markdown. Also, the directives need to appear in the html so users can edit them. This seems to call for a special page rendering mode for editing, in which directives are either not expanded, or are expanded but the generated html wrapped in some tag that makes hallo refuse to edit it (which would probably require that feature be added to hallo, currently it acts on all blocks with class=editable), or otherwise allows it to be stripped out at save time. --Joey

old discussion

The StackOverflow site uses markdown for markup. It has a fancy javascript thing for showing a real-time preview of what the user is editing. It would be nice if ikiwiki could support this, too. The thing they use on StackOverflow is supposed to be free software, so it should be easy to add to ikiwiki.

See wikiwyg. Note that I do not have a copy of the code for that, or it'd be in ikiwiki already. --Joey

I just had a brief look at the wikiwyg page and the link to the plugin was broken. The StackOverflow site uses the WMD editor, which seems to be related to the ShowDown javascript port of Markdown. Interestingly, WMD source is now available under an MIT license, though it is supposedly undergoing heavy refactoring. It looks like there was previous discussion ( Add showdown GUI input/edit ) about a showdown plugin. Maybe a WMD plugin would be worthwhile. I might look into it if I have time on the weekend. -- Will

Below is a simple plugin/patch to make use of the WMD editor.

Now added to ikiwiki, thanks! --Joey

Turns out it isn't hard at all to get a basic version going (which doesn't handle directives at all, nor does it swtich itself off when you're editing something other than Markdown source). I've removed the done tag so this is visible as a patch. -- Will

Hmm, it would be good if it turned off for !mdwn. Although this could be difficult for a new page, since there is a dropdown selector to choose the markup language then. But it should be doable for editing an existing page.

I agree. I'm working on this for for both new pages and existing pages. It shouldn't be hard once I get WMD going through the javascript API. At the moment that is inexplicably failing, and I haven't had time to have a good look at why. I may not get a chance to look at this again for a few weeks.

Can I get a license statement (ie, GPL-2+) ffrom you for the plugin? --Joey

Certainly. You're free to use the code I posted below under the GPL-2+ license. You'll note however that I haven't said anything about the WMD code itself. The WMD web page says:

"I'm refactoring the code, and will be releasing WMD under the MIT license soon. For now you can download the most recent release (wmd-1.0.1.zip) and use it freely."

It might be best to contact support@attacklab.net to for an explicit license on that if you want to include it. -- Will

So, I wonder if I should add a copy of the WMD source to ikiwiki, or rely on the user or distribution providing it. It does not seem to be packaged for Debian yet. Hmm, I also can't find any copyright or license info in the zip file. --Joey

This is a good question. My thought is that it will probably not be packaged any time soon, so you're better off adding it to IkiWiki. I'd contact the author of WMD and ask them. They may have more insight. -- Will

Note that the WMD plugin does not handle directives. For this reason the normal preview button remains. Some CSS to clean up the display of the live WMD preview would be good.

Can you elucidate the CSS comment -- or will it be obvious what you mean when I try it? Is it what's needed for the live preview? --Joey

In the version of the plugin below, a new div is added just below the form. WMD populates this div with the HTML it generates from the Markdown source. This is not very pretty at the moment - it appears in the same place as the preview used to, but with no header or anything. Any standard IkiWiki preview will appear below the WMD live preview. I recommend having a look at http://wmd-editor.com/examples/splitscreen for what a little CSS could achieve. -- Will

Hmm, now that I've tried it, I notice that it does live preview by default, below the edit window. Which is nice, but then if I hit the preview button, I get two previews.. which is confusing. (Also, minor, but: the live preview is missing the "Page Preview:" header.) --Joey

I wonder how annoying it would be to add some kind of simplistic wikilink support to wmd's preview? And/or a wikilink button? While not supporting directies is fine, not supporting wikilinks in a wiki seems a bit lacking. It may also entice novide users to not use wikilinks and instead use the hyperlinks that wmd does support. --Joey

Bug: When I preview, all the text in the edit field seems to be converted from mdwn to html. I think that wmd is converting the mdwn into html when the form is posted, so it would also save like that. I assume that is designed for websites that do not use markdown internally. Doesn't it have a setting to leave it as markdown?

Found setting, fixed. --Joey

As I noted above, I've been working on the non-markdown page issue. Below is my a new javascript file that I'm using, and below that a patch to enable it. This patch makes the normal usage prettier - you get a side panel with the live preview in it. It also adds a new config option, wmd_use101api, which turns on code that tries to use the wmd api. At the moment this code doesn't seem to work - moreover the code that uses the new API dies early, so any code after that point is completely untested. I will not get a chance to look at this again soon though, so I thought I'd post my progress so far. -- Will

Place the following file in underlays/wmd/wmd-ikiwiki.js.

// This is some code to interface the WMD interface 1.0.1 with IkiWiki
// The WMD interface is planned to change, so this file will likely need
// updating in future.

if (useWMDinterface) {
    wmd_options = { autostart: false, output: "Markdown" };
    var instance = null;

    hook("onload", initwmd);
} else {
    var typeSelector = document.getElementById("type");

    var currentType = getType(typeSelector);

    if (currentType == "mdwn") {
        wmd_options = { output: "Markdown" };
        document.getElementById("wmd-preview-container").style.display = 'none';
    } else {
        wmd_options = { autostart: false };
        document.getElementById("wmd-preview-container").style.display = 'block';

function initwmd() {
    if (!Attacklab || !Attacklab.wmd) {
        alert("WMD hasn't finished loading!");

    var typeSelector = document.getElementById("type");

    var currentType = getType(typeSelector);

    if (currentType == "mdwn") {

    typeSelector.onchange=function() {
        var docType=getType(this);

        if (docType=="mdwn") {
        } else {

function getType(typeSelector)
    if (typeSelector.nodeName.toLowerCase() == 'input') {
        return typeSelector.getAttribute('value');
    } else if (typeSelector.nodeName.toLowerCase() == 'select') {
        return typeSelector.value;
        // return typeSelector.options[typeSelector.selectedIndex].innerText;
    return "";

function enableWMD()
    var editContent = document.getElementById("editcontent");
    var previewDiv = document.getElementById("wmd-preview");
    var previewDivContainer = document.getElementById("wmd-preview-container");

    previewDivContainer.style.display = 'block';
    // editContent.style.width = previewDivContainer.style.width;

    /***** build the preview manager *****/
    var panes = {input:editContent, preview:previewDiv, output:null};
    var previewManager = new Attacklab.wmd.previewManager(panes);

    /***** build the editor and tell it to refresh the preview after commands *****/
    var editor = new Attacklab.wmd.editor(editContent,previewManager.refresh);

    // save everything so we can destroy it all later
    instance = {ta:editContent, div:previewDiv, ed:editor, pm:previewManager};

function disableWMD()
    document.getElementById("wmd-preview-container").style.display = 'none';

    if (instance != null) {
        // inst.ta.style.width='100%'
    instance = null;

diff --git a/IkiWiki/Plugin/wmd.pm b/IkiWiki/Plugin/wmd.pm
index 9ddd237..743a0b8 100644
--- a/IkiWiki/Plugin/wmd.pm
+++ b/IkiWiki/Plugin/wmd.pm
@@ -17,6 +17,13 @@ sub getsetup () {
        plugin => {
            safe => 1,
+           rebuild => 1,
+       },
+       wmd_use101api => {
+           type => "boolean",
+           description => "Use the advanced, but unstable, WMD api for markdown preview.",
+           safe => 0,
+           rebuild => 0,

@@ -24,29 +31,25 @@ sub formbuilder_setup (@) {
    my %params=@_;
    my $form=$params{form};

-   return if ! defined $form->field("do");
+   return unless defined $form->field("do");

    return unless $form->field("do") eq "edit" ||
-           $form->field("do") eq "create" ||
-           $form->field("do") eq "comment";
-   $form->tmpl_param("wmd_preview", "<div class=\"wmd-preview\"></div>\n".
-       include_javascript(undef, 1));
-sub include_javascript ($;$) {
-   my $page=shift;
-   my $absolute=shift;
-   my $wmdjs=urlto("wmd/wmd.js", $page, $absolute);
-   return <<"EOF"
-<script type="text/javascript">
-wmd_options = {
-   output: "Markdown"
-<script src="$wmdjs" type="text/javascript"></script>
+               $form->field("do") eq "create" ||
+               $form->field("do") eq "comment";
+   my $useAPI = $config{wmd_use101api}?'true':'false';
+   my $ikiwikijs = urlto("ikiwiki.js", undef, 1);
+   my $wmdIkiwikijs = urlto("wmd-ikiwiki.js", undef, 1);
+   my $wmdjs = urlto("wmd.js", undef, 1);
+   my $previewScripts = <<"EOS";
+       <script type="text/javascript">useWMDinterface=$useAPI;</script>
+       <script src="$ikiwikijs" type="text/javascript"></script>
+       <script src="$wmdIkiwikijs" type="text/javascript"></script>
+       <script src="$wmdjs" type="text/javascript"></script>
+   $form->tmpl_param("wmd_preview", $previewScripts);

diff --git a/doc/style.css b/doc/style.css
index a6e6734..36c2b13
--- a/doc/style.css
+++ b/doc/style.css
@@ -76,9 +76,16 @@ div.tags {
    float: right;

 #editcontent {
    width: 100%;
+#wmd-preview-container {
+   width: 49%;
+   float: right;

 img {
    border-style: none;
diff --git a/templates/editpage.tmpl b/templates/editpage.tmpl
index b1cf015..1d2f080 100644
--- a/templates/editpage.tmpl
+++ b/templates/editpage.tmpl
@@ -15,6 +15,14 @@ Page type: <TMPL_VAR FIELD-TYPE>
+<div id="wmd-preview-container">
+<div  class="header">
+<span>Live preview:</span>
+<div class="wmd-preview" id="wmd-preview"></div>
 Optional comment about this change:<br />