Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mylyn WikiText 1.0 Released

I'm pleased to announce that Mylyn WikiText 1.0 has been released as part of Mylyn 3.1. Mylyn WikiText provides lightweight markup (wiki) parsing and editing capabilities to the Eclipse platform, Mylyn, Ant and stand-alone applications. Mylyn WikiText is the result of more than a year of development and over 170 bug fixes and enhancements. This marks the first release of WikiText after its move from the Textile-J project. Many thanks to the Mylyn team and the Eclipse community for making this possible. Here are some of the highlights:

Mylyn Task Editor Integration

With WikiText the Mylyn task editor is now markup-aware, providing source formatting, integrated preview, content assist and markup help. The following shows how markup can be authored and previewed in the task editor:

Task Editor Integration

WikiText selects the markup language that best suits your task repository. This is great for users of JIRA, Trac and other repositories that provide support for wiki markup in task descriptions and comments. Users can also benefit from using wiki markup with task repositories such as Bugzilla that don't provide support for wiki markup.

Eclipse Integration

WikiText provides an editor for files containing wiki markup:

WikiText Editor

WikiText provides support for several markup languages, including MediaWiki, Textile, Confluence, TracWiki and TWiki. WikiText also provides an extensible parser framework for adding support for other markup languages.

Ant Integration

Users of Apache Ant now have access to Ant tasks for transforming wiki markup to alternative formats such as HTML, Eclipse Help, DocBook and OASIS DITA.

RCP, SWT and Server Applications

WikiText provides public APIs for integrating wiki markup capabilities into RCP applications and stand-alone SWT applications. These APIs make it easy to display markup and inspect its structure.

WikiText can also be used server-side to transform markup in web applications.

WikiText In The Field

WikiText is being used in many interesting ways:

  • The Mylyn project uses WikiText to convert MediaWiki content from Eclipsepedia to Eclipse Help content.
  • Mylyn WikiText authors help content in Textile and converts it at build time to Ecilpse Help content.
  • A recent addition to the Eclipse Examples project uses WikiText to create slide presentations based on files authored in MediaWiki markup.

Mylyn WikiText will also be presented at EclipseCon 2009 in WikiText: Generate Eclipse Help from Eclipsepedia.

More Information

Mylyn WikiText can be installed using an Eclipse update site or by downloading the standalone jars. See Mylyn downloads for details.

For more information about WikiText, see the Mylyn 3.1 New and Noteworthy, Mylyn FAQ or the Mylyn homepage.


Scott Kellicker said...

This looks great and useful to me.

But why is it part of Mylyn? Architecturally, this makes no sense to me.

David Green said...

@Scott Kellicker thanks! As usual there are more things at play here than just architecture.

WikiText is part of Mylyn because I saw a huge synergy between the goals of both projects, and because I love Mylyn. Also there are many benefits of being part of the Eclipse.org community, such as clean IP.

It's easy to consume WikiText without having to pull in the other Mylyn bits, so it should be a non-issue.

Scott Kellicker said...

Thanks David.

I'm looking forward to trying it out.

Chris Aniszczyk (zx) said...

Congrats on the release!

Mik Kersten said...

> But why is it part of Mylyn?

Scott, in addition to David's comments, note that WikiText is already an integral part of the Mylyn user experience. Mylyn users spend a considerable portion of their time in the task editor. With Mylyn 3.1, WikiText is now the default editor for text fields in tasks, as you can see from David's screenshot which includes the "New Comment" field. A key goal of Mylyn is to provide rich, offline and Eclipse-based editing facilities for the web-based artifacts that developers work with, such as taks, bugs, issues and other docs. As so many JIRA users who make use of Confluence syntax let us know, wiki markup has become a key part of authoring that content. Now that we have WikiText, I can't imagine using the task editor without it anymore, and am very thankful that David saw this synnergy and made such a valuable addition to the Mylyn project.

Also note that each of the top-level Mylyn components can be reused and installed independently. For example, the Task List can be installed without the focusing features. The monitor used for focusing can be installed alone for usage studies, with no Task List. The task repository connectors can be run server side as a Java API to task repositories like Bugzilla and JIRA. The same is true for WikiText. It can easily be installed as a UI for editing .textile files. Or you can use it as we do internally on the Mylyn project, for generating Eclipse Help system documentation from our wiki pages. This is the beauty of OSGi.


Mik Kersten
CEO, http://tasktop.com/blog
Lead, http://eclipse.org/mylyn

Achim Demelt said...

We grabbed WikiText a minute after its 1.0 release and integrated it into our toolset. It's fantastic, and to confirm everything said by David and Mik, we only needed to pull in a couple of WikiText bundles into our product. No trace of Mylyn anywhere.

Thanks for this great technology!

juano said...

I want to try to integrate WikiText into my RCP application. I downloaded the standalone packages but they don't include the UI code. Then I installed the mylyn packages from the update site and the mylyn WikiText packages are in my target platofrm but I'm not sure of the best way to use them. What I need is a editor/viewer control to add to my own views and editors. I will keep researching but any hint would be appreciated. Thank you.

David Green said...

@juano A good starting place is the WikiText Developer Guide which is installed into Eclipse when you install WikiText. There's a section titled WikiText and the UI that has a couple of examples.

For future the best place to ask this kind of question is on the Mylyn newsgroup. See the Mylyn support page for details.

juano said...

Thank you. I already have a view with formated text inside my RCP application. But too many eclipse dependencies :-/ like org.eclipse.ide. My application now shows Eclipse views and toolbars :) The ide was required by ui.editors.

David Green said...

@juano please file a bug under Tools/Mylyn/WikiText

Yog Guru said...

I'm not getting the content assist as it is shown in the screenshots. Is there any way to enable that?

David Green said...

@Yog Guru, we are using Mylyn WikiText on a regular basis without any trouble. I recommend starting here: http://wiki.eclipse.org/Mylyn/WikiText and if you need to ask a question the best place to go is the newsgroup: http://www.eclipse.org/forums/index.php/f/83/