Artist's impression of the Parsoid HTML5 + RDFa wiki runtime

Parsoid allows an editor to use MediaWiki extensions such as VisualEditor.

Technical detailsEdit

Parsoid is an application which can translate back and forth, at runtime, between MediaWiki's wikitext syntax and an equivalent HTML/RDFa document model with enhanced support for automated processing and rich editing.

It has been under development by a team at the Wikimedia Foundation since 2012. It is currently used extensively by VisualEditor, Flow, Content Translation and other applications.

Parsoid is intended to provide flawless back-and-forth conversion, i.e. to avoid information loss and also prevent "dirty diffs".

On Wikimedia wikis, for several applications, Parsoid is currently proxied behind RESTBase, which stores the HTML translated by Parsoid.

For more on the overall project, see this blog post from March 2013. To read about the HTML model being used, see MediaWiki DOM spec.

Parsoid was originally structured as a web service and written in JavaScript, making use of Node.js. It is currently being ported to PHP; for more information see this tech talk from February 2019 (slides).

GitHub Repository:



Development happens in the Parsoid service Git repository. Code review happens in Gerrit. See Gerrit/Getting started to set up an account for yourself.

If you use the MediaWiki-Vagrant development environment using a virtual machine, you can simply add the role visualeditor to it and it will set up a working Parsoid along with Extension:VisualEditor.

See our PHP porting notes if you are helping with the PHP port.

Running the testsEdit

To run all parser tests and mocha tests:

$ npm test

The parser tests have quite a few options now which can be listed using node bin/parserTests.js --help. To run tests on the PHP port:

$ composer test

Converting simple wikitextEdit

You can convert simple wikitext snippets from the command line using the parse.js script in the bin/ directory:

echo 'Foo' | node bin/parse.js

The parse script has a lot of options. node bin/parse.js --help gives you information about this.

(In Ubuntu 13 and 14, node has been renamed to nodejs. There, either type nodejs or create a symbolic link or equivalent.)

Debugging Parsoid (for developers)Edit

See Parsoid/Debugging for debugging tips.

Technical documentsEdit

Links for Parsoid developersEdit

Links for Parsoid deployers (to the Wikimedia cluster)Edit

See alsoEdit


If you need help or have questions/feedback, you can contact us in #mediawiki-parsoid connect or the wikitext-l mailing list. If all that fails, you can also contact us by email at parsing-team at the domain.