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Case in point.

For those too lazy to click, the original Wikipedia article reads:

The Mariana Trench [...] is currently estimated to be up to 10,971 m (35,994 ft) deep. [...] The trench is about 2,550 kilometres (1,580 mi) long but has a mean width of only 69 kilometres (43 mi). It reaches a maximum-known depth of about 10.91 kilometres (6.78 mi) at the Challenger Deep[.]

However, the inlined snippet in the chat reads:

The Mariana Trench [...] is currently estimated to be up to deep. [...] The trench is about long but has a mean width of only . It reaches a maximum-known depth of about at the Challenger Deep[.]

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1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Yes, the Wikipedia oneboxes only do a very simple stripping of the content returned from Wikipedia's API. To show the full content, we'd need a full Wikitext parser and all of Wikipedia's templates. Considering that the current handling works fine in most cases, and that you'd read the actual article on Wikipedia itself if you wanted to know more, I don't think it's worth the huge complexity.

Wikipedia now has an API (or rather, MediaWiki has an API extension that's enabled on Wikipedia) that allows you to retrieve a plain text extract of a page – precisely what we need for the onebox content. So from now on, the text will look as expected:

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I used to think that our javascript editor preview did not need to be 100% accurate due to the huge complexity as well, but apparently not everyone agrees.. –  Jeff Atwood Feb 25 '11 at 17:02
    
Hmm, was going to post about this--but saw this post. Works fine in MOST cases. ;-) –  Manishearth Apr 5 '12 at 0:51

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