XWiki Rendering Framework

Last modified by Vincent Massol on 2024/02/19 11:40

Mission: Transform some textual input content in a given syntax into an output content in another syntax.

General Architecture


  • XDOM: A Java object representing the input as a tree made of Java Block objects (a.k. as an AST).
  • Parser: Parses some textual input in a given syntax and generate a XDOM object.
  • Renderer: Takes a XDOM as input and generates some output.
  • Transformation: Takes some XDOM and modifies it to generate a modified XDOM.

See Advanced Architecture for more details.


  • Parsers for multiple syntaxes. XWiki 13.3+ Parsers register the Syntax they support into a Syntax Registry.
  • Offers both a streaming API (useful for rendering large content) and an XDOM-based API (generates an intermediary AST on which transformations - such as macros - can be applied)
  • Round trip between XWiki Syntax 2.0 and XHTML. This features allows for example to have a strong WYSIWYG editor that doesn't loose information when editing wiki pages. Another use case is the ability to import Office documents in HTML and transform them into XWiki Syntax 2.0 without loosing information.
  • Ability to get the result of the parsing as an AST tree (called XDOM) which can then be used to get access to all structured elements from the flat text input.
  • Ability to transform the XDOM through a Transformation (list of of available Transformations).
  • Macro support (list of available Macros). Note that Macro support is implemented as a Transformation (see Architecture).
  • Supports wiki syntax in link labels even for input syntaxes that don't support it.
  • Automatic conversion from any of the supported input syntaxes to XWiki Syntax 2.0 or to XHTML.
  • Strong Parsers:
    • Based on Grammars (JavaCC)
    • Fix user mistakes (not closed or overlapping markup elements...).
    • Each block element (paragraph, table cells, list items, headers...) can spread over multiply lines.
    • Support for groups, i.e. ability to include content inside other content (equivalent of DIV in HTML).
    • All elements can have parameters associated to them.
  • Been used in XWiki for several years and is stable and performant.
  • Can be used standalone since it's independent of other XWiki projects such as XWiki Platform, etc.

The XWiki Rendering modules are all released under the LGPL license.

Supported Syntaxes

Input Syntax
It means there's a Parser that can be used to parse this syntax into a XDOM object
Output Syntax
It means there's a Renderer that can be used to render an XDOM into this syntax
NameIdInput Syntax?Output Syntax?Extension?Description
XWiki 2.0xwiki/2.0acceptacceptcancel 
XWiki 2.1xwiki/2.1acceptacceptcancel 
XHTML 1.0xhtml/1.0acceptacceptcancel 
XHTML 5xhtml/5acceptcancelcancelAvailable in XWiki Rendering 14.1RC1+ only. This is the same as HTML 5.0 except that input must be valid XML.
HTML 5.0html/5.0acceptacceptcancelAvailable in XWiki Rendering 6.4+ only. Input syntax is available in XWiki Rendering 14.1RC1+ only.
HTML 4.01html/4.01acceptacceptcancel 
Plain Textplain/1.0acceptacceptcancelPrint all than can be rendered in a simple notepad-like editor such as words, special symbols and spaces. It also generates link labels for links that have no labels and print the generated labels. Last it provides very basic formatting (e.g. separates paragraphs with new lines and separates list items with new lines).
DocBook 4.4docbook/4.4acceptacceptcancelAvailable in XWiki Rendering 3.2+ only.
XDOM XML Currentxdom+xml/curentacceptacceptcancelAvailable in XWiki Rendering 3.3+ only.
XDOM XML 1.0xdom+xml/1.0acceptacceptcancelAvailable in XWiki Rendering 3.3+ only.
XWiki 1.0xwiki/1.0acceptcancelaccept 
Confluence 1.0confluence/1.0acceptcancelacceptRemoved in 9.0. Should use 1.1 instead. See Confluence.
Confluence 1.1confluence/1.1acceptcancelacceptMoved to contrib in 9.0. See Confluence.
Confluence XHTMLconfluence+xhtml/1.0acceptcancelacceptMoved to contrib in 9.0. See Confluence.
LaTeXtex/1.0cancelacceptcancelRemoved in 10.2 and replaced by latex/1.0 (see below)
MediaWiki 1.0mediawiki/1.0acceptcancelacceptDeprecated and moved to the attic in 8.2RC1.
MediaWiki 1.6mediawiki/1.6acceptcancelacceptComes with the new MediaWiki contrib project.
Creole 1.0creole/1.0acceptcancelcancel 
Markdown 1.0markdown/1.0acceptacceptacceptExtracted out of XWiki starting 8.2M1. Output syntax supported starting with version 8.2 of the Markdown extension. Deprecated and remove in version 8.6 of the Markdown extension.
Markdown 1.1markdown/1.1acceptacceptacceptExtracted out of XWiki starting 8.2M1. Adds syntax for macros, superscript and subscript support over Markdown 1.0 syntax. Output syntax supported starting with version 8.2 of the Markdown module. Deprecated and remove in version 8.6 of the Markdown extension.
Markdown 1.2markdown/1.2acceptacceptacceptAdded in version 8.4 of the Markdown extension.
GitHub-Flavored Markdown 1.0markdown+github/1.0acceptacceptacceptAdded in version 8.7 of the Markdown extension.
APTapt/1.0acceptacceptcancelAvailable in XWiki Rendering 4.3+ only.
DokuWiki 1.0dokuwiki/1.0acceptcancelacceptComes with the new DokuWiki contrib project
LaTeX 1.0latex/1.0cancelacceptacceptAdded as a Contrib Extension.
Annotated XHTMLannotatedxhtml/1.0cancelacceptcancelUsed internally for the WYSIWYG editor (to keep track of Macros)
Annotated HTML5annotatedhtml5/1.0cancelacceptcancelUsed internally for the WYSIWYG editor (to keep track of Macros)
AsciiDoc 1.0asciidoc/1.0acceptcancelacceptAsciiDoctor Syntax.


This simple demo converts your input written in one syntax to another syntax.

This demo currently runs on XWiki Rendering 15.10.8



Check the getting started tutorial which contains all information to access the XWiki Rendering binaries.

Source files are available here.

Projects using XWiki Rendering

  • XWiki: of course...
  • eXo Platform: Uses both the XWiki Rendering and the XWiki WYSIWYG Editor to provide a simple wiki inside their tools
  • Wikbook: Uses XWiki Rendering to generate DocBook from content written using a wiki syntax
  • Jahia: Uses XWiki Rendering in its "Jahia Wiki module"
  • Grails XWiki Rendering Plugin: Grails plugin that allows to convert text using the XWiki Rendering Framework.


Here are some libraries similar to XWiki Rendering in purpose:

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