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MWParserFromHell is a parser for MediaWiki wikicode.

Project Description

mwparserfromhell (the MediaWiki Parser from Hell) is a Python package that provides an easy-to-use and outrageously powerful parser for MediaWiki wikicode. It supports Python 2 and Python 3.

Developed by Earwig with help from Σ.


The easiest way to install the parser is through the Python Package Index, so you can install the latest release with pip install mwparserfromhell (get pip). Alternatively, get the latest development version:

git clone git://
cd mwparserfromhell
python install

You can run the comprehensive unit testing suite with python test.


Normal usage is rather straightforward (where text is page text):

>>> import mwparserfromhell
>>> wikicode = mwparserfromhell.parse(text)

wikicode is a mwparserfromhell.wikicode.Wikicode object, which acts like an ordinary unicode object (or str in Python 3) with some extra methods. For example:

>>> text = "I has a template! {{foo|bar|baz|eggs=spam}} See it?"
>>> wikicode = mwparserfromhell.parse(text)
>>> print wikicode
I has a template! {{foo|bar|baz|eggs=spam}} See it?
>>> templates = wikicode.filter_templates()
>>> print templates
>>> template = templates[0]
>>> print
>>> print template.params
['bar', 'baz', 'eggs=spam']
>>> print template.get(1).value
>>> print template.get("eggs").value

Since every node you reach is also a Wikicode object, it’s trivial to get nested templates:

>>> code = mwparserfromhell.parse("{{foo|this {{includes a|template}}}}")
>>> print code.filter_templates()
['{{foo|this {{includes a|template}}}}']
>>> foo = code.filter_templates()[0]
>>> print foo.get(1).value
this {{includes a|template}}
>>> print foo.get(1).value.filter_templates()[0]
{{includes a|template}}
>>> print foo.get(1).value.filter_templates()[0].get(1).value

Additionally, you can include nested templates in filter_templates() by passing recursive=True:

>>> text = "{{foo|{{bar}}={{baz|{{spam}}}}}}"
>>> mwparserfromhell.parse(text).filter_templates(recursive=True)
['{{foo|{{bar}}={{baz|{{spam}}}}}}', '{{bar}}', '{{baz|{{spam}}}}', '{{spam}}']

Templates can be easily modified to add, remove, alter or params. Wikicode can also be treated like a list with append(), insert(), remove(), replace(), and more:

>>> text = "{{cleanup}} '''Foo''' is a [[bar]]. {{uncategorized}}"
>>> code = mwparserfromhell.parse(text)
>>> for template in code.filter_templates():
...     if == "cleanup" and not template.has_param("date"):
...         template.add("date", "July 2012")
>>> print code
{{cleanup|date=July 2012}} '''Foo''' is a [[bar]]. {{uncategorized}}
>>> code.replace("{{uncategorized}}", "{{bar-stub}}")
>>> print code
{{cleanup|date=July 2012}} '''Foo''' is a [[bar]]. {{bar-stub}}
>>> print code.filter_templates()
['{{cleanup|date=July 2012}}', '{{bar-stub}}']

You can then convert code back into a regular unicode object (for saving the page!) by calling unicode() on it:

>>> text = unicode(code)
>>> print text
{{cleanup|date=July 2012}} '''Foo''' is a [[bar]]. {{bar-stub}}
>>> text == code

Likewise, use str(code) in Python 3.


mwparserfromhell is used by and originally developed for EarwigBot; Page objects have a parse method that essentially calls mwparserfromhell.parse() on page.get().

If you’re using PyWikipedia, your code might look like this:

import mwparserfromhell
import wikipedia as pywikibot
def parse(title):
    site = pywikibot.get_site()
    page = pywikibot.Page(site, title)
    text = page.get()
    return mwparserfromhell.parse(text)

If you’re not using a library, you can parse templates in any page using the following code (via the API):

import json
import urllib
import mwparserfromhell
API_URL = ""
def parse(title):
    raw = urllib.urlopen(API_URL, data).read()
    res = json.loads(raw)
    text = res["query"]["pages"].values()[0]["revisions"][0]["*"]
    return mwparserfromhell.parse(text)

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Source None Aug 23, 2012

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