Skip to content
Go to file

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time

wtf_fetch - submodule of wtf_wikipedia

wtf_fetch is submodule of wikipedia markup parser wtf_wikipedia developed by Spencer Kelly and contributors

wtf_wikipedia turns wikipedia's markup language into JSON, so extracting the content of a MediaWiki source as JSON data by parsing the wiki markup.

Demo HTML5-Application of wtf_fetch

The following wtf_fetch-demo is HTML-page, that imports the library wtf_fetch.js and

  • uses HTML-form elements to determine the Wikipedia article and the domain from which the article should be download.
  • Provides a Display Source button to show the current source file in the MediaWiki of Wikiversity or Wikipedia.
  • The download appends a source info at very end of the downloaded Wiki source, to create a reference in the text (like a citation - see function append_source_info()) :: Demo wtf_fetch
  • Wikipedia2Wikiversity uses wtf_fetch to download the Wikipedia markdown source into a textarea of an HTML file. The Wiki markdown source is processed and so that interwiki links from Wikiversity to Wikipedia work. Wikipedia2Wikiversity is also a demonstrator of an AppLSAC-0.

See also

The following repositories are related to wtf_fetch:

  • wtf_wikipedia is the source repository developed by Spencer Kelly, who created that great library for Wikipedia article processing.
  • Wiki2Reveal that uses wtf_fetch and wtf_wikipedia to download Wikipedia sources and convert the wiki sources "on-the-fly" into a RevealJS presentation.
  • Wikipedia2Wikiversity that uses wtf_fetch to download Wikipedia sources and convert the links for application in Wikiversity.

Decomposition of wtf_wikipedia in submodules

If you consider the source of wtf_wikipedia you can identify 3 major step:

wtf_wikipedia integrates all these 3 tasks in one module. The provide module decomposes one of those tasks in this submodules. The submodules wtf_fetch, wtf_parse and wtf_output may be required independently in different project repository by a require command. Furthermore it improves maintenance, reusability of submodules and it separates the tasks in wtf_wikipedia in the submodules wtf_fetch, wtf_parse, wtf_output. If the modules are there wtf_wikipedia can be used just for chaining the tasks and other submodule can be added to the process chain in wtf_wikipedia. E.g. citation management would be a submodule called wtf_citation that could be implemented to insert a the citations in a document and fulfills a certain tasks. This modules uses the modular structure of wtf_wikipedia in the folder src/ to extract the current task in a separate repository. Later the current local require commands in wtf_wikipedia can be replaced by a remote require from npm.

This could be documented in the as developer recommendation and helps developers to understand the way forward and how they could add new wtf_modules in the chaining process. In this sense wtf_wikipedia will become the chain managment module of wtf_submodules.


npm install wtf_fetch

var wtf_fetch = require('wtf_fetch');

wtf_fetch.getPage('Swarm Intelligence', 'en','wikipedia' function(err, doc) {
  // doc contains the download

on the client-side: You can use the source library of wtf_fetch

  • with a script tag for testing or just add the build of wtf_fetch.js or
  • just view the library wtf_fetch.js and save the library to your local HTML project or
  • get the library by cloning the wtf_fetch.js repository with git clone from the command line.
<script src=""></script>
  //(follows redirect)
  wtf_fetch.getPage('Water', 'en','wikiversity' function(err, doc) {
    // contains the download wiki markdown

What it does:

  • Downloads Wiki markup source for an article from a MediaWiki of the Wiki Foundation
  • Allows different MediaWiki source, e.g. Wikipedia, Wikiversity, Wikivoyage, ...
  • Creates a JSON with the following format stored as example in variable wiki_json:
var wiki_json = {
  "wiki": "This is the content of the wiki article in wiki markdown ..."
  "title": "Swarm Intelligence",
  "lang": "en",
  "domain": "wikiversity",
  "url": "",
  "pageid": 2130123

If you want to access the Wiki markdown of the fetch article, access the The language and domain is stored in the JSON for the article because the attributes are helpful to expand relative links in the wiki to absolute links, that work also after having the document available on a other domain.

Processing MediaWiki Markdown

The fetched wiki markdown e.g. from Wikipedia is in general processed within the browser or in the NodeJS application.


The primary library for further processing is wtf_wikipedia by Spencer Kelly (see wtf_wikipedia ).

wiky.js - wiki2html.js

wiky.js wiki2html are simple libraries that convert sources from a MediaWiki to HTML. With these converters you can start with, to learn about parsing a wiki source document downloaded from a MediaWiki.


Wikimedia's Parsoid javascript parser is the official wikiscript parser. It reliably turns wikiscript into HTML, but not valid XML.

To use it for data-mining, you'll need to:

parsoid(wikiText) -> [headless/pretend-DOM] -> screen-scraping

which is fine,

but getting structured data out of the Wiki source go ahead with Spencer Kelly library wtf_wikipedia


  • wtf_fetch.getPage(title, [lang], [domain], [options], [callback])


The callback or promise will get a JSON of the following type that contains the markdown content in the wiki property of the returned JSON:

  "wiki": "This is the fetched markdown source of the article ...",
  "title": "My Wikipedia Title",
  "lang": "en",
  "domain": "wikpedia",
  "url": "",
  "pageid": 12345  

Language and Domainname

You can retrieve the Wiki markdown from different MediaWiki products of the WikiFoundation. The domain name includes the Wiki product (e.g. Wikipedia or Wikiversity) and a language. The WikiID encoded the language and the domain determines the API that is called for fetching the source Wiki. The following WikiIDs are referring to the following domain name.


wtf_fetch.getPage(title, [lang], [domain] [options], [callback])

retrieves raw contents of a mediawiki article from the wikipedia action API.

This method supports the errback callback form, or returns a Promise if one is missing.

to call non-english wikipedia apis, add it's language-name as the second parameter

wtf_fetch.getPage('Toronto', 'de', 'wikipedia', function(err, doc) {
  var url = "https://" + doc.lang + "." + doc.domain + ".org";
  console.log("Wiki JSON fetched from '" +
       url + "/wiki/" + doc.title + "'\n" + JSON.stringify(doc,null,4));
  // = "Toronto ist mit 2,6 Millionen Einwohnern..."

you may also pass the wikipedia page id as parameter instead of the page title:

wtf_fetch.getPage(64646, 'de', 'wikipedia', function(err, doc) {
  console.log("Wiki JSON\n"+JSON.stringify(doc,null,4));

the fetch method follows redirects.


if you're scripting this from the shell, or from another language, install with a -g, and then run:

$ node ./bin/wtf_fetch.js George Clooney de wikipedia
# George Timothy Clooney (born May 6, 1961) is an American actor ...

$ node ./bin/wtf_fetch.js 'Toronto Blue Jays' en wikipedia

Command Line Interface was not implement so far.

Good practice:

The wikipedia api is pretty welcoming though recommends three things, if you're going to hit it heavily -

  • 1️⃣ pass a Api-User-Agent as something so they can use to easily throttle bad scripts
  • 2️⃣ bundle multiple pages into one request as an array
  • 3️⃣ run it serially, or at least, slowly.
wtf_fetch.getPage(['Royal Cinema', 'Aldous Huxley'], 'en', 'wikipedia',{
  'Api-User-Agent': ''
}).then((docList) => {
  let allDocs = =>;

Create Office Documents

wtf_fetch is just the first step in creating other formats directly from the Wikipedia source by "on-the-fly" conversion after downloading the Wiki source e.g. from Wikipedia.

Creating an Office document is just one example of an output file. ODT-output is currently (2018/11/04) not part of wtf_wikipedia but you may want to play around with the wtf_fetch or wtf_wikipedia to parse the Wiki source and convert the file in your browser into an Office document. The following source will support a bit in creating the Office documents.

PanDoc and ODF Editor

If you try PanDoc document conversion the key to generate Office documents is the export format ODF. LibreOffice can load and save even the OpenDocument Format and LibreOffice can load and save MICR0S0FT Office formats. So exporting to Open Document Format will be good option to start with in wtf_wikipedia. The following description are a summary of aspects that support developers in bringing the Office export format e.g. to web-based environment like the ODF-Editor. OpenDocument Format provides a comprehensive way forward for wtf_wikipedia to exchange documents from a MediaWiki source text reliably and effortlessly to different formats, products and devices. Regarding the different Wikis of the Wiki Foundation as a Content Sink e.g. the educational content in Wikiversity is no longer restricted to a single export format (like PDF) open ups access to other specific editors, products or vendors for all your needs. With wtf_wikipedia and an ODF export format the users have the opportunity to choose the 'best fit' application of the Wiki content. This section focuses on Office products.

Open Document Format ODT

Some important information to support Office Documents in the future

  • see WebODF how to edit ODF documents on the web or display slides. Current limitation of WebODF is, that does not render mathematical expressions, but alteration in WebODF editor does not remove the mathematical expressions from the ODF file (state 2018/04/07). WebODF does not render the mathematical expressions but this may be solved in the WebODF-Editor by using MathJax or KaTeX in the future.
  • The ODT-Format is the default export format of LibreOffice/OpenOffice. Supporting the Open Community Approach OpenSource office products are used to avoid commercial dependencies for using generated Office products.
    • The ODT-Format of LibreOffice is basically a ZIP-File.
    • Unzip shows the folder structure within the ZIP-format. Create a subdirectory e.g. with the name zipout/ and call unzip mytext.odt -d zipout (Linux, MacOSX).
    • The main text content is stored in content.xml as the main file for defining the content of Office document
    • Remark: Zipping the folder content again will create a parsing error when you load the zipped office document again in LibreOffice. This may be caused by an inappropriate order in the generated ZIP-file. The file mimetype must be the first file in the ZIP-archive.
    • The best way to generate ODT-files is to generate an ODT-template mytemplate.odt with LibreOffice and all the styles you want to apply for the document and place a marker at specific content areas, where you want to replace the cross-compiled content with wtf_wikipedia in content.xml. The file content.xml contains the text and can be updated in ODT-ZIP-file. If you want to have a MlCR0S0FT 0ffice output, just save the ODT-file in LibreOffice as Word-file. Also marker replacement is possible in ODF-files (see also WebODF demos.
    • Image must be downloaded from the MediaWiki (e.g. with an NPM equivalent of wget for fetching the image, audio or video) and add the file to the folder structure in the ZIP. Create a ODT-file with LibreOffice with an image and unzip the ODT-file to learn about way how ODT stores the image in the ODT zip-file.
  • JSZip: JSZip can be used to update and add certain files in a given ODT template (e.g. mytemplate.odt). Handling ZIP-files in a cross-compilation WebApp with wtf_wikipedia that runs in your browser and generates an editor environment for the cross-compiled Wiki source text (like the WebODF editor). The updating the ODT template as ZIP-file can be handled with JSZip by replacing the content.xml in a ZIP-archive. content.xml can be generated with wtf_wikipedia when the odf-export format is added to /src/output/odf (ToDo: Please create a pull request if you have done that).
  • LibreOffice Export: Loading ODT-files in LibreOffice allows to export the ODT-Format to
    • Office documents doc- and docx-format,
    • Text files (.txt),
    • HTML files (.html),
    • Rich Text files (.rtf),
    • PDF files (.pdf) and even
    • PNG files (.png).
  • Planing of the ODT support can be down in this README and collaborative implementation can be organized with Pull Requests PR.
  • Helpful Libraries: node-odt, odt

Word Export with Javascript Libraries


wtf_fetch is just a minor micro library to fetch the wiki markdown of an article in Wikipedia, Wikiversity, ... Please consider contribution to the wtf_wikipedia developed by Spencer Kelly - see wtf_wikipedia for further details and join in!


This library extracted the fetch method from wtf_wikipedia. The complete code was developed by Spencer Kelly. wtf_fetch itself is based on cross-fetch which allows fetching the markdown of articles from Wikipedia, Wikiversity even from a local HTML file, that imports the builds/wtf_fetch.js. This is great because you can fetch an article from Wikipedia and process the article within a browser without the need to perform processing on a remote server. The library jshashes was required as a lightweight library implementing the most extended cryptographic hash function algorithms in pure JavaScript. Special thanks to Spencer Kelly for creating and maintaining wtf_wikipedia. A great contribution to the OpenSource community especially for using Wiki content as Open Educational Resources.

See also:



Submodule of wtf_wikipedia for fetching the MediaWiki source article from Wikipedia, Wikiversity, Wikivoyage, ....




No packages published