turn files with wikipedia syntax to html (simple python script using mediawiki api)

I needed to convert a huge batch of mediawiki-files to html (had a 2010-03 copy of the now dead limewire wiki lying around). With a tip from RoanKattouw in #mediawiki@freenode.net I created a simple python script to convert arbitrary files from mediawiki syntax to html.


  • Download the script and install the dependencies (yaml and python 3).
  • ./parse_wikipedia_files_to_html.py <files>

This script is neither written for speed or anything (do you know how slow a webrequest is, compared to even horribly inefficient code? …): The only optimization is for programming convenience — the advantage of that is that it’s just 47 lines of code :)

It also isn’t perfect: it breaks at some pages (and informs you about that).

It requires yaml and Python 3.x.

#!/usr/bin/env python3

"""Simply turn all input files to html. 
No errorchecking, so keep backups. 
It uses the mediawiki webapi, 
so you need to be online.

Copyright: 2010 © Arne Babenhauserheide
License: You can use this under the GPLv3 or later, 
         if you add the appropriate license files
         → http://gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html

from urllib.request import urlopen
from urllib.parse import quote
from urllib.error import HTTPError, URLError
from time import sleep
from random import random
from yaml import load
from sys import argv

mediawiki_files = argv[1:]

def wikitext_to_html(text):
    """parse text in mediawiki markup to html."""
    url = "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/api.php?action=parse&format=yaml&text=" + quote(text, safe="") + " "
    f = urlopen(url)
    y = f.read()
    text = load(y)["parse"]["text"]["*"]
    return text

for mf in mediawiki_files:
    with open(mf) as f:
        text = f.read()
    HTML_HEADER = "<html><head><title>" + mf + "</title></head><body>"
    HTML_FOOTER = "</body></html>"
        text = wikitext_to_html(text)
        with open(mf, "w") as f:
    except HTTPError:
        print("Error converting file", mf)
    except URLError:
        print("Server doesn’t like us :(", mf)
    # add a random wait, so the api server doesn’t kick us
parse_wikipedia_files_to_html.py.txt1.47 KB
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