This is the proposed v0.5 spec of Creole under discussion until 2007-Feb-24.  Also see [[reasoning]] for more information about individual markup elements.

Changes from [Creole 0.4]:
* alternate link syntax {{{ [[description -> link]] }}} and {{{ [[link <- description]] }}} (see [[Alternate Link Syntax Proposal]]) - note, this does not change the link syntax, but adds another way for users to enter links with descriptions
* space as escape character before ending triple curly braces in nowiki (see [[Add No Wiki Escape Proposal]])
* embedded nowiki/preformatted is allowed in tables
* Changed: "Any markup except for images within a link will not be parsed." -> "At least images inside links must be supported. Parsing other markup within a link is not required (optional)."
* equal sign directly following pipe defines a table header
* relaxed the "no markup allowed" rules

[{TableOfContents title='Overview'}]

!!!Single element examples

!!Bold and Italics

Bold and italic text can be used inside paragraphs, list items and table cells.
Links appearing inside bold and/or italic text should also become bold and/or italic.
The bold/italic text will end at the end of paragraphs, list items and table cells -- thus it cannot span several of them.

!Bold
%%commentbox
A star ({{{*}}}) is the most used symbol to emphasize text online.  Double symbols are generally used in Creole to avoid accidentally parsing text not meant to be parsed. [[Bold and Italics Reasoning|Reasoning]]
%%

Creole:
{{{ **bold** }}}

Recommended XHTML:
{{{ <strong>bold</strong> }}}

Sample Output:
__bold__

!Italics
%%commentbox
A slash ({{{/}}}) looks like slanted italics, so it is intuitive and thus easier to remember. [[Bold and Italics Reasoning|Reasoning]]
%%

Ignore // for italics processing if immediately following ''http:'' or ''ftp:''

Creole:
{{{ //italics// }}}

Recommended XHTML:
{{{ <em>italics</em> }}}

Sample Output:
''italics''

----

Creole:
{{{
Bold and italics should //be
able// to cross lines.

But, should //not be...

...able// to cross paragraphs.
}}}

Recommended XHTML:
{{{
<p>
Bold and italics should <em>be
able</em> to cross lines.
</p>
<p>
But, should //not be...
</p>
<p>
...able// to cross paragraphs.
</p>
}}}

Sample output:

Bold and italics should ''be\\
able'' to cross lines.

But, should //not be...

...able// to cross paragraphs.

!Bold Italics
Creole:
{{{
**//bold italics//**
//**bold italics**//
//This is **also** good.//
}}}

Recommended XHTML:
{{{
<strong><em>bold italics</em></strong>
<em><strong>bold italics</strong></em>
<em>This is <strong>also</strong> good.</em>
}}}

Sample Output:

__''Bold italics''__\\
''__Bold italics__''\\
''This is __also__ good''

----

Unacceptable:
{{{
**//bold italics**//
//**bold italics//**
}}}

!!Lists
Bold, italics, links, nowiki can be used in list items, but they cannot span several list items.  Whitespace is optional before and after the * or # characters, however a space is required afterwards if someone wishes to start a list element with bold text.  A list element ends at the end of a line, although it can contain line breaks forced with {{{\\}}}.  It is recommended to have support for a depth of at least five levels of nesting. Any line that does not start with a {{{*}}} or {{{#}}} (optionally preceded with some whitespace) ends the list.

__About unordered lists and bold:__ a line starting with ** (including optional whitespace before and afterwards), immediately following any list element on a line above, will be treated as a nested unordered list element. Otherwise it will be treated as the beginning of bold text. Also note that bold and/or italics cannot span lines in a list.

!Unordered Lists
%%commentbox
A large majority of wiki engines use an asterisk ({{{*}}}) to denote bullet lists.  The multiple asterisk approach for sublists was the first wiki syntax for sublists.  Users do not need to count leading spaces like in markups where a sublist level is determined by the number of its leading spaces. [[Lists Reasoning|Reasoning]]
%%

Creole:
{{{
* Item 1
** Item 1.1
* Item 2
}}}

Recommended XHTML:
{{{
<ul>
<li>Item 1
<ul>
<li>Item 1.1</li>
</ul>
</li>
<li>Item 2</li>
</ul>
}}}

Sample Output:
* Item 1
** Item 1.1
* Item 2

!Ordered Lists
%%commentbox
The number sign ({{{#}}}) is used for ordered lists in most wikis. [[Lists Reasoning|Reasoning]]
%%

Creole:
{{{
# Item 1
## Item 1.1
# Item 2
}}}

Recommended XHTML:
{{{
<ol>
<li>Item 1
<ol>
<li>Item 1.1</li>
</ol>
</li>
<li>Item 2</li>
</ol>
}}}

Sample Output:
# Item 1
## Item 1.1
# Item 2

%%commentbox
Using equal signs ({{{=}}}) is the most popular wiki header markup.  Since there are more equal signs for smaller headers, subheaders will become more indented making it easier to get a visual overview from the markup alone.  Closing equal signs are optional, making Creole more flexible since many wiki engines do not require them. [[Headings Reasoning|Reasoning]]
%%

Only three different sized levels of headings are required.  Closing (right-side) equal signs are optional, don't need to be balanced and don't impact the kind of heading generated. Whitespace is not allowed before the left-side equal signs.  Only whitespace characters are permitted after the closing equal signs.  No markup has to be parsed within headings.

Creole:
{{{
= Level 1 (largest) =
== Level 2 ==
=== Level 3 ===
==== Level 4 ====
===== Level 5 =====
====== Level 6 ======
=== Also level 3
=== Also level 3 =
=== Also level 3 ==
=== **not** //parsed// ===
}}}

Recommended XHTML:
{{{
<h1>Level 1 (largest)</h1>
<h2>Level 2</h2>
<h3>Level 3</h3>
<h4>Level 4</h4>
<h5>Level 5</h5>
<h6>Level 6</h6>
<h3>Also level 3</h3>
<h3>Also level 3</h3>
<h3>Also level 3</h3>
<h3>**not** //parsed//</h3>
}}}

%%commentbox
Almost all wikis use square brackets ({{{[[]]}}}) to make links.  Using double square brackets allows single square brackets to be used freely without worry of turning them into links. [[Links Reasoning|Reasoning]]
%%

Links can appear in paragraphs (also inside bold and italic text), list items and table cells. The links are bold or italic if they are part of bold or italic text. At least images inside links must be supported. Parsing other markup within a link is not required (optional).

Free-standing urls should be detected and turned into links. Single punctuation characters ({{{,.?!:;"'}}}) at the end of urls should not
be considered part of the url.

Creole:
{{{
[[MyBigPage|Go to my page]]
[[http://www.wikicreole.org/]]
[[http://www.wikicreole.org/|Visit the WikiCreole website]]
[[Weird Stuff|**Weird** //Stuff//]]
}}}

Recommended XHTML:
{{{
<a href="http://www.examplewiki.com/MyBigPage">Go to my page</a>
<a href="http://www.wikicreole.org/">http://www.wikicreole.org/</a>
<a href="http://www.wikicreole.org/">Visit the WikiCreole website</a>
<a href="http://www.examplewiki.com/Weird_Stuff">**Weird** //Stuff//</a>
}}}

Sample Output:

[Go to my page|MyBigPage]\\
[http://www.wikicreole.org/]\\
[Visit the WikiCreole website|http://www.wikicreole.org/]\\
[**Weird** //Stuff//|Weird_Stuff]

Spaces before and after the arrow are not required.  If there are multiple {{{->}}}, then a link cannot have a {{{->}}}, so that gets passed to the description.

{{{
[[the -> can be used to make a link -> TextFormattingRules]]
}}}

Recommended XHTML:
{{{
<a href="http://www.examplewiki.com/TextFormattingRules">the -&gt; can be used to make a link</a>
}}}

Sample output:

[the characters -> can be used to make a link|TextFormattingRules]

----

!!Paragraphs
%%commentbox
No markup tags should be necessary to start a new paragraph. [[Paragraphs and Line Breaks Reasoning|Reasoning]]
%%

One or more blank lines end paragraphs.
A list, table or preformatted block end paragraphs too.

Creole:
{{{
This is my text.

This is more text.
}}}

Recommended XHTML:
{{{
<p>This is my text.</p>

<p>This is more text.</p>
}}}

Sample Output:
This is my text.

This is more text.

!!Line breaks
%%commentbox
__blog-style vs. wiki-style__\\
There was a [long discussion|Talk.Change Linebreak Markup Proposal] whether to use blog-style or wiki-style (legacy-style) line breaks. We decided to change the original blog-style line break recommendation (treat linebreaks as line breaks) from [Creole 0.3] to the wiki-style linebreaks recommendation. Wikis __must__ support forced line break syntax {{{ \\ }}}.

We encourage engine developers that have already implemented the Creole 0.3 style (blog-style) line breaks not to throw away their implementation, but to add an option so that administrators can choose in which mode to run their installation. This way we hope to gain more experience with blog-style line breaks. In a blog-style line break mode, the forced line break syntax must be supported, so that line breaks will properly migrate when people copy text from a wiki with forced line break characters. [[Paragraphs and Line Breaks Reasoning|Reasoning]]
%%

{{{ \\ }}} (wiki-style) for line breaks.

Creole:
{{{
This is the first line,\\and this is the second.
}}}

Recommended XHTML:
{{{
This is the first line,<br />
and this is the second.
}}}

Sample Output:

This is the first line,\\
and this is the second.
----

Creole:
{{{
* This is a single list item
followed by a paragraph?
}}}

Recommended XHTML:
{{{
<ul>
<li>This is a single list item</li>
</ul>
<p>
followed by a paragraph
</p>
}}}

Sample Output:

* This is a single list item
followed by a paragraph

!!Preformatted
%%commentbox
There must be a way for users to enter text which will not be formatted by the wiki engine.  Triple curly brackets ({{{{{{~}}}}}}) were chosen due to their visibility and unlikeliness to be in the "code" itself. [[Preformatted and Nowiki Reasoning|Reasoning]]
%%

This works in-line or as a block. __No wiki markup is interpreted between these characters and all characters become monospace.__ As a block, the three curly braces should be on one line by itself to open and another line of three curly braces should be on a line by itself to close.

Creole:
{{{
{{{
//This// does **not** get [[formatted]]
~}}}
}}}

Recommended XHTML:
{{{
<pre>
//This// does **not** get [[formatted]]
</pre>
}}}

Sample Output:
{{{
//This// does **not** get [[formatted]]
}}}

!!Escaping preformatted/nowiki

The preformatted/nowiki markup syntax requires some kind of an escaping mechanism. Fortunately, the escaping is only necessary when there is "{{{~}}}}}}" at the beginning of a line present in the block. In this case, to avoid treating the braces as markup for the end of the block, it needs to be indented with a single space. Furthermore, any line consisting of only indented three closing curly braces will have one space removed from the indentation -- to allow representing any possible text inside the preformatted block.

So, for example, this markup:

{{{
{{{
int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
if argc>0 {
if argc<=1 {
--argc;
~}}}
~}}}
}}}

will produce this result:

{{{
<pre>
int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
if argc>0 {
if argc<=1 {
--argc;
~}}}
</pre>
}}}

----

Creole:
{{{
Some examples of markup are: {{{** <i>this</i> ** ~}}}
}}}

Recommended XHTML:
{{{
Some examples of markup are: <tt>** &lt;i&gt;this&lt;/i&gt; **</tt>
}}}

Sample output:

Some examples of markup are: {{{** <i>this</i> **}}}

!!Horizontal Rule
%%commentbox
All non-WYSIWYG wikis use hyphens ({{{----}}}) to denote horizontal rules.  Most wikis require four. [[Horizontal Rule Reasoning|Reasoning]]
%%

Whitespace is optional before and after the hyphens, but no whitespace is allowed between them.  The four hyphens must be the only characters (other than whitespace) on that line.

Creole:
{{{ ---- }}}
Recommended XHTML:
{{{ <hr /> }}}

!!Image (inline)
%%commentbox
The most common image markup was double curly brackets ({{{ {{}} }}}) which will then have the same internal structure as links for consistency. [[Images Reasoning|Reasoning]]
%%

Creole:
{{{ {{myimage.png|this is my image}} }}}

Recommended XHTML:
{{{ <img src="myimage.png" alt="this is my image"/> }}}

!!Tables
%%commentbox
Most wikis use single or double pipes to separate table cells.  Single pipes ({{{|}}}) allow better use of space and are faster to type than double pipes since pipes are not usually needed in table cells. [[Tables Reasoning|Reasoning]]
%%

All cells are separated by single pipes.  The ending pipe is optional.  You can embed links, bold, italics, monospace, line breaks and preformatted/nowiki in table cells.  Equal sign directly following pipe defines a header.  Headers can be arranged horizontally or vertically.  Comparison details found on [List Of Table Markups]

Creole:
{{{
|Cell 1.1       |Two lines\\in Cell 1.2 |
|Cell 2.1       |Cell 2.2               |
}}}

Recommended XHTML:
{{{
<table>
<tr>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Cell 1.1</td>
<td>Two lines\\in Cell 1.2</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Cell 2.1</td>
<td>Cell 2.2</td>
</tr>
</table>
}}}

Sample output:
|Cell 1.1       |Two lines\\in Cell 1.2
|Cell 2.1       |Cell 2.2

!!Placeholder
%%commentbox
This is the only new markup introduced in Creole.  Few wikis use angle brackets ({{{<<>>}}}) for markup and it is easy to type on most international keyboards.  This was mainly developed due to MediaWiki's extensive use of special characters making it practically impossible to implement Mixed Creole mode. [[Placeholder Reasoning|Reasoning]]
%%

When there is something advanced, a placeholder will show up, so users will not be confused seeing more than one syntax. (optional for wiki developers)

Creole:
{{{ <<x>> }}}

!!!Mixed syntax examples

Creole:
{{{
**[[Important page]]**
//**[[Important page]]**//
}}}

Recommended XHTML:
{{{
<strong><a href="http://www.examplewiki.com/Important_page">Important page</a></strong>
<em><strong><a href="http://www.examplewiki.com/Important_page">Important page</a></strong></em>
}}}

Sample Output:
__[Important page]__\\
''__[Important page]__''

!!Bold, Italics, Links, Pre in Lists
Creole:
{{{
* **bold** item
* //italic// item
# item about a [[certain page]]
# {{{ //this// is **not** [[processed]] ~}}}
}}}

Recommended XHTML:
{{{
<ul>
<li><strong>bold</strong> item</li>
<li><em>italic</em> item</li>
</ul>
<ol>
<li>item about a <a href="http://www.examplewiki.com/certain_page">certain page</a></li>
<li><tt>//this// is **not** [[processed]]</tt></li>
</ol>
}}}

Sample Output:
* __bold__ item
* ''italic'' item
# item about a [certain page]
# {{{//this// is **not** [[processed]]}}}