[darcs-users] Converting MoinMoin to Markdown/RST

Gwern Branwen gwern0 at gmail.com
Sun Jan 25 19:41:41 UTC 2009

Hash: SHA512

So, I've see any number of complaints in #darcs about the failings of
our MoinMoin wiki on darcs.net, and people besides myself think it
might be nice to switch to a Darcs-backed Gitit wiki*.

In general Gitit is currently a reasonable replacement for the
MoinMoin wiki since none of the pages are particularly complex and
we're not doing the complex & advanced things people routinely do on
the English Wikipedia. (See http://bugs.darcs.net/issue1243 ) And
switching would have certain benefits:
1) dogfooding
2) The wiki as a Darcs repo, with all the distributed benefits thereof
3) A much nicer interface
4) Markdown/RST input (as opposed to MoinMoin markup)
5) faster?

However, what stymies me currently is figuring out how to actually
convert the pages in the wiki! Leaving aside the issue that
http://wiki.darcs.net/DarcsWiki/TitleIndex doesn't seem to distinguish
between human-written & MoinMoin-made pages (we only want the former),
I can't see how to convert from MoinMoin to Markdown/RST.

Pandoc might seem to be the tool to use, but
http://johnmacfarlane.net/pandoc/README.html says "It can read
markdown and (subsets of) reStructuredText, HTML, and LaTeX".

MoinMoin can export to DocBook, MoinMoin markup (raw), and HTML. I've
googled a fair bit, and I've found MoinMoin -> MediaWiki**, MediaWiki
- -> MoinMoin, DocBook -> HTML, HTML -> Markdown, HTML -> MediaWiki***
and a few other possible conversion paths (such as MoinMoin wiki ->
Ikiwiki wiki****, which may include a MoinMoin -> Markdown parser if I
could just figure out the perl in those 3 repos).

There isn't any obvious route. One could probably convert MoinMoin ->
HTML -> Markdown, but I've no idea how lossy it is. I see a few
1) Just dump all the MoinMoin content into a Gitit. Let people convert
by hand as they edit pages.
2) Hack up some regexp script of our own. '== .* ==' would be convert
to '## .*' and so on.
3) Look harder for some conversion routine.

* Which was released yesterday, in case anyone missed the -cafe ANNs.
** http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MoinMoin#MoinMoin_to_MediaWiki
** http://moinmo.in/MediaWikiConverter
*** HTML::WikiConverter
**** http://ikiwiki.info/users/joshtriplett/

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