Having read https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=16268 and https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=11627, this enhancement proposal is sufficiently different and is based on different discussion.
There is a wide consensus of editors who would like to see syntax highlighting in the standard editing window turned on by default, particularly for references, for wiki markup. This consensus has been reached in two discussions on en.wiki, one at the Village Pump http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_%28proposals%29/Archive_92#Differentiating_reference_syntax_in_the_editing_window. and one in a Request For Comments that was a part of Centralized Discussion for 30 days: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Syntax_differentiation_in_editing_window. Given the course of the discussion, and the overwhelming support for this functionality, I decided to submit this proposal to bugzilla.
Many participants in the above discussions expressed that adding a syntax highlighter would make editing a more accessible experience for newer users. In fact, direct feedback from new editors has suggested that this has been a problem (e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:FeedbackDashboard/46104). They are also unsatisfied with
Previous proposals have stated that implementing this internally is not possible. However, this is incorrect; there are at least some examples of non-external editors that work or could work reasonably well:
- jsfiddle: http://jsfiddle.net/ (with implementation: http://doc.jsfiddle.net/)
- AceWikiEditor: http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hjelp:AceWikiEditor
- en.wikipedia user RememberTheDot's syntax highlighter: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Remember_the_dot/Syntax_highlighter (which I use).
The only thing I would have liked to see more of in the above discussions were persons who might be able to discuss a specific implementation. Some discussion of that is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Syntax_differentiation_in_editing_window#Implementation. Such discussion would be helpful here, given the above information on how it may be viable to implement this internally.