The Wiki engine parses a Wiki text in several Wiki syntax such as MediaWiki, Creole, Markdown, Dotclear and renders the result either in HTML, text or into another Wiki format. The Wiki engine is used in two steps:

  • The Wiki text is parsed according to its syntax to produce a Wiki Document instance.

  • The Wiki document is then rendered by a renderer to produce the final HTML, text.

Through this process, it is possible to insert filters and plugins to customize the parsing and the rendering.

The Ada Wiki engine is organized in several packages:

  • The Wiki Streams packages define the interface, types and operations for the Wiki engine to read the Wiki or HTML content and for the Wiki renderer to generate the HTML or text outputs.

  • The Wiki parser is responsible for parsing HTML or Wiki content according to a selected Wiki syntax. It builds the final Wiki document through filters and plugins.

  • The Wiki Filters provides a simple filter framework that allows to plug specific filters when a Wiki document is parsed and processed. Filters are used for the table of content generation, for the HTML filtering, to collect words or links and so on.

  • The Wiki Plugins defines the plugin interface that is used by the Wiki engine to provide pluggable extensions in the Wiki. Plugins are used for the Wiki template support, to hide some Wiki text content when it is rendered or to interact with other systems.

  • The Wiki documents and attributes are used for the representation of the Wiki document after the Wiki content is parsed.

  • The Wiki renderers are the last packages which are used for the rendering of the Wiki document to produce the final HTML or text.

Parsing and rendering example

Parsing a Wiki Document

To render a Wiki text you will first need to parse the Wiki text and produce a Wiki document instance. For this you will need to declare the Wiki document instance and the Wiki parser instance:

 with Wiki.Documents;
 with Wiki.Parsers;
    Doc      : Wiki.Documents.Document;
    Engine   : Wiki.Parsers.Parser;

The Ada Wiki Engine has a filter mechanism that is used while parsing the input and before building the target wiki document instance. Filters are chained together and a filter can do some work on the content it sees such as blocking some content (filtering), collecting some data and doing some transformation on the content. When you want to use a filter, you have to declare an instance of the corresponding filter type.

 with Wiki.Filters.Html;
 with Wiki.Filters.Autolink;
 with Wiki.Filters.TOC;
    Filter   : aliased Wiki.Filters.Html.Html_Filter_Type;
    Autolink : aliased Wiki.Filters.Autolink.Autolink_Filter;
    TOC      : aliased Wiki.Filters.TOC.TOC_Filter;

We use the Autolink filter that detects links in the text and transforms them into real links. The TOC filter is used to collect header sections in the Wiki text and builds a table of content. The Html filter is used to filter HTML content that could be contained in a Wiki text. By default it ignores several HTML tags such as html, head, body, title, meta (these tags are silently discarded). Furthermore it has the ability to hide several elements such as style and script (the tag and its content is discarded).

You will then configure the Wiki engine to build the filter chain and then define the Wiki syntax that the parser must use:

 Engine.Add_Filter (TOC'Unchecked_Access);
 Engine.Add_Filter (Autolink'Unchecked_Access);
 Engine.Add_Filter (Filter'Unchecked_Access);
 Engine.Set_Syntax (Syntax);

The Wiki engine gets its input from an Input_Stream interface that only defines a Read procedure. The Ada Wiki Engine provides several implementations of that interface, one of them is based on the Ada Text_IO package. This is what we are going to use:

 with Wiki.Streams.Text_IO;
    Input    : aliased Wiki.Streams.Text_IO.File_Input_Stream;

You will then open the input file. If the file contains UTF-8 characters, you may open it as follows:

 Input.Open (File_Path, "WCEM=8");

where File_Path is a string that represents the file's path.

Once the Wiki engine is setup and the input file opened, you can parse the Wiki text and build the Wiki document:

 Engine.Parse (Input'Unchecked_Access, Doc);

Rendering a Wiki Document

After parsing a Wiki text you get a Wiki.Documents.Document instance that you can use as many times as you want. To render the Wiki document, you will first choose a renderer according to the target format that you need. The Ada Wiki Engine provides three renderers:

  • A Text renderer that produces text outputs,
  • A HTML renderer that generates an HTML presentation for the document,
  • A Wiki renderer that generates various Wiki syntaxes.

The renderer needs an output stream instance. We are using the Text_IO implementation:

 with Wiki.Stream.Html.Text_IO;
 with Wiki.Render.Html;
    Output   : aliased Wiki.Streams.Html.Text_IO.Html_File_Output_Stream;
    Renderer : aliased Wiki.Render.Html.Html_Renderer;

You will then configure the renderer to tell it the output stream to use. You may enable or not the rendering of Table Of Content and you just use the Render procedure to render the document.

 Renderer.Set_Output_Stream (Output'Unchecked_Access);
 Renderer.Set_Render_TOC (True);
 Renderer.Render (Doc);

By default the output stream is configured to write on the standard output. This means that when Render is called, the output will be written to the standard output. You can choose another output stream or open the output stream to a file according to your needs.


The Document type is used to hold a Wiki document that was parsed by the parser with one of the supported syntax. The Document holds two distinct parts:

  • A main document body that represents the Wiki content that was parsed.

  • A table of contents part that was built while Wiki sections are collected.

Most of the operations provided by the Wiki.Documents package are intended to be used by the wiki parser and filters to build the document. The document is made of nodes whose knowledge is required by the renderer.

A document instance must be declared before parsing a text:

 Doc    : Wiki.Documents.Document;

After parsing some HTML or Wiki text, it will contain a representation of the HTML or Wiki text. It is possible to populate the document by using one of the Append, Add_Link, Add_Image operation.


The Attributes package defines a simple management of attributes for the wiki document parser. Attribute lists are described by the Attribute_List with some operations to append or query for an attribute. Attributes are used for the Wiki document representation to describe the HTML attributes that were parsed and several parameters that describe Wiki content (links, ...).

The Wiki filters and Wiki plugins have access to the attributes before they are added to the Wiki document. They can check them or modify them according to their needs.

The Wiki renderers use the attributes to render the final HTML content.

Wiki Parsers {#wiki-parsers}

The Wikis.Parsers package implements a parser for several well known wiki formats but also for HTML. While reading the input, the parser populates a wiki Document instance with headers, paragraphs, links, and other elements.

 Engine : Wiki.Parsers.Parser;

Before using the parser, it must be configured to choose the syntax by using the Set_Syntax procedure:

Engine.Set_Syntax (Wiki.SYNTAX_HTML);

The parser can be configured to use filters. A filter is added by using the Add_Filter procedure. A filter is added at begining of the chain so that the filter added last is called first. The wiki Document is always built through the filter chain so this allows filters to change or alter the content that was parsed.

Engine.Add_Filter (TOC'Unchecked_Access);
Engine.Add_Filter (Filter'Unchecked_Access);

The Parse procedure is then used to parse either a string content or some stream represented by the Input_Stream interface. After the Parse procedure completes, the Document instance holds the wiki document.

Engine.Parse (Some_Text, Doc);


The Wiki.Filters package provides a simple filter framework that allows to plug specific filters when a wiki document is parsed and processed. The Filter_Type implements the operations that the Wiki.Parsers will use to populate the document. A filter can do some operations while calls are made so that it can:

  • Get the text content and filter it by looking at forbidden words in some dictionary,

  • Ignore some formatting construct (for example to forbid the use of links),

  • Verify and do some corrections on HTML content embedded in wiki text,

  • Expand some plugins, specific links to complex content.

To implement a new filter, the Filter_Type type must be used as a base type and some of the operations have to be overriden. The default Filter_Type operations just propagate the call to the attached wiki document instance (ie, a kind of pass through filter).

TOC Filter

The TOC_Filter is a filter used to build the table of contents. It collects the headers with the section level as they are added to the wiki document. The TOC is built in the wiki document as a separate node and it can be retrieved by using the Get_TOC function. To use the filter, declare an aliased instance:

 TOC : aliased Wiki.Filters.TOC.TOC_Filter;

and add the filter to the Wiki parser engine:

 Engine.Add_Filter (TOC'Unchecked_Access);

HTML Filters

The Wiki.Filters.Html package implements a customizable HTML filter that verifies the HTML content embedded in the Wiki text. The HTML filter can be customized to indicate the HTML tags that must be accepted or ignored. By default, the filter accepts all HTML tags except 'script', 'noscript', 'style'.

  • A tag can be Forbidden in which case it is not passed to the document. If this tag contains inner HTML elements, they are passed to the document. By default, the html, head, meta, title, script, body are not passed to the document.

  • A tag can be Hidden in which case it is not passed to the document and the inner HTML elements it contains are also silently ignored. By default this is the case for script, noscript and style.

The HTML filter may be declared and configured as follows:

F : aliased Wiki.Filters.Html.Html_Filter_Type;
F.Forbidden (Wiki.Filters.Html.A_TAG);

With this configuration the HTML links will be ignored by the parser. The following configuration:

F.Hide (Wiki.Filters.Html.TABLE_TAG);

will remove the table and its content.

The filter is added to the Wiki parser filter chain by using the Add_Filter operation:

Engine.Add_Filter (F'Unchecked_Access);

Collector Filters

The Wiki.Filters.Collectors package defines three filters that can be used to collect words, links or images contained in a Wiki document. The collector filters are inserted in the filter chain and they collect the data as the Wiki text is parsed. After the parsing, the collector filters have collected either the words or the links and they can be queried by using the Find or Iterate operations. The following collectors are defined:

  • The Word_Collector_Type collects words from text, headers, links,

  • The Link_Collector_Type collects links,

  • The Image_Collector_Type collects images,

The filter is inserted in the filter chain before parsing the Wiki document.

Words : aliased Wiki.Filters.Collectors.Word_Collector_Type;
Engine.Add_Filter (Words'Unchecked_Access);

Once the document is parsed, the collector filters contains the data that was collected. The Iterate procedure can be used to have a procedure called for each value collected by the filter.

Words.Iterate (Print'Access);

The Wiki.Filters.Autolink package defines a filter that transforms URLs in the Wiki text into links. The filter should be inserted in the filter chain after the HTML and after the collector filters. The filter looks for the text and transforms http://, https://, ftp:// and ftps:// links into real links. When such links are found, the text is split so that next filters see only the text without links and the Add_Link filter operations are called with the link.

Variables Filters

The Wiki.Filters.Variables package defines a filter that replaces variables in the text, links, quotes. Variables are represented as $name, $(name) or ${name}. When a variable is not found, the original string is not modified. The list of variables is either configured programatically through the Add_Variable procedures but it can also be set from the Wiki text by using the Wiki.Plugins.Variables plugin.

The variable filter must be configured with the plugin by declaring the instance:

F : aliased Wiki.Filters.Html.Html_Filter_Type;
 Engine.Add_Filter (F'Unchecked_Access);

And variables can be inserted by using the Add_Variable procedure:

F.Add_Variable ("username", "gandalf");

Plugins {#wiki-plugins}

The Wiki.Plugins package defines the plugin interface that is used by the wiki engine to provide pluggable extensions in the Wiki. The plugins works by using a factory that finds and gives access to a plugin given its name. The plugin factory is represented by the Wiki_Plugin limited interface which must only implement the Find function. A simple plugin factory can be created by declaring a tagged record that implements the interface:

type Factory is new Wiki.Plugins.Plugin_Factory with null record;
overriding function
Find (Factory : in Factory;
      Name    : in String) return Wiki.Plugins.Wiki_Plugin_Access;

Variables Plugins

The Wiki.Plugins.Variables package defines a the variables plugin that allows to set or update a variable that will be replaced by the Wiki.Filters.Variables filter.

Conditions Plugins

The Wiki.Plugins.Conditions package defines a set of conditional plugins to show or hide wiki content according to some conditions evaluated during the parsing phase.

Template Plugins

The Wiki.Plugins.Templates package defines an abstract template plugin. To use the template plugin, the Get_Template procedure must be implemented. It is responsible for getting the template content according to the plugin parameters.

Wiki Renderer {#wiki-render}

The Wiki.Render package represents the renderer that takes a wiki document and render the result either in text, HTML or another format.

HTML Renderer

The Html_Renderer allows to render a wiki document into an HTML content.

The Wiki.Render.Links package defines the Link_Renderer interface used for the rendering of links and images. The interface allows to customize the generated links and image source for the final HTML.

Text Renderer

The Text_Renderer allows to render a wiki document into a text content. The formatting rules are ignored except for the paragraphs and sections.

Wiki Renderer

The `Wiki_Renderer allows to render a wiki document into another wiki content. The formatting rules are ignored except for the paragraphs and sections.

Input and Output streams {#wiki-streams}

The Wiki.Streams package defines the interfaces used by the parser or renderer to read and write their outputs.

The Input_Stream interface defines the interface that must be implemented to read the source Wiki content. The Read procedure is called by the parser repeatedly while scanning the Wiki content.

The Output_Stream interface is the interface used by the renderer to write their outpus. It defines the Write procedure to write a single character or a string.

HTML Output Stream

The Wiki.Writers package defines the interfaces used by the renderer to write their outputs.

The Input_Stream interface defines the interface that must be implemented to read the source Wiki content. The Read procedure is called by the parser repeatedly while scanning the Wiki content.

Output Builder Stream

The Output_Builder_Stream is a concrete in-memory output stream. It collects the output in a Wiki.Strings.Bstring object and the content can be retrieved at the end by using the To_String or Iterate operation.

HTML Output Builder Stream

The Html_Output_Builder_Stream type defines a HTML output stream that collects the HTML into expandable buffers. Once the complete HTML document is rendered, the content is retrieved either by the To_String or the Iterate operations.

Text_IO Input and Output streams

The Wiki.Streams.Text_IO package defines the File_Input_Stream and the File_Output_Stream types which use the Ada.Wide_Wide_Text_IO package to read or write the output streams.

By default the File_Input_Stream is configured to read the standard input. The Open procedure can be used to read from a file knowing its name.

The File_Output_Stream is configured to write on the standard output. The Open and Create procedure can be used to write on a file.