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Nyctergatis Markup Engine

Creole is a collaborative effort to create a common markup language to be used across different wikis. It is a work in progress, and currently it is difficult to assess its potential success.

NME, or Nyctergatis Markup Engine, is an open-source ISO-C implementation of a markup parser based on Creole 1.0. The markup language it supports is described in its documentation.

NME also includes a tool to create EPUB files (electronic books which can be read with many devices and applications, such as iBook on the iPad).

If you are interested, you can experiment with an online sandbox. You can also read the source code documentation.


NME is now hosted by Launchpad, a service for open source projects that's big on collaboration. Many thanks to Mike Owens for his kind insistence and his commitment!

So for any question or bug report, please come to Launchpad.


23 March 2013 (source code, 134 KB)

  • Parenthesis in boolean expressions to suppress gcc warnings
  • Documentation of NME usage updated
  • Global XML entity dictionary NMEXMLCharDict
  • Links used verbatim as link text when no explicit link text is provided
  • Buffer overflow in addLinkBegin fixed
  • %L in beginDD fixed

4 October 2011 (source code, 131 KB)

  • EPUB support
  • support for RichEdit version >= 0x0200 on MFC
  • tracking of NME source line number
  • conditional expressions in output format strings with ?:
  • }}} handled as normal characters outside pre block
  • bug fixes related to nesting of output markup and hook calls
  • tests with new nmerandom tool
  • Visual C++ 2010 projects and code adjustments
  • improved Doxygen documentation
  • with LaTeX output, numbered and definition lists are translated to enumerate and definition environments respectively instead of itemize
  • gcc warning hex escape sequence out of range fixed in NMEPluginWiki.h
  • new functions NMEResetOutput and NMECurrentInputIndex
  • list following paragraphs without empty line resulted in invalid HTML; fixed

31 March 2010 (source code, 99 KB)

  • arrays in lists didn't balance closing tags correctly; fixed (arrays force list end)
  • sublists weren't converted to compliant HTML (they were outside <li></li> markup); fixed
  • the distribution archive lacked NMEStyle.c, NMEStyle.h and NMEErrorCpp.h; fixed
  • make distrib didn't work with what it produced; fixed
  • wrong description of function NMEPluginTOC; fixed
  • --null-plugins option in NMEMain.c
  • NMEPluginWiki.h, NMEPluginWiki.c and option --metadata in NMEMain.c (metadata and title extraction)
  • use id attributes for anchors instead of name in a separate a element
  • if useHTMLEmphasisTags is defined, use <em></em> and <strong></strong> instead of <i></i> and <b></b> respectively
  • }{ was wrongly recognized as an image opening tag; fixed
  • NMECurrentListNesting uses | for tables
  • context is available in wordwrapPermFun callback and used for NME output to prevent line breaks in tables
  • indentation wasn't always set correctly, resulting in too many leading spaces at the beginning of lines; fixed
  • new NMEOutputFormatDebug format for debugging, and --debug and --debug2 options in NMEMain.c
  • new --structspan option in NMEMain.c
  • Objective-C wrapper (files NMEObjC.h and NMEObjC.m)

19 November 2008 (source code, 87 KB)

  • new hook function charHookFun called when a character is copied to output; useful to match text fragments in input and output
  • new hook function getVarFun for custom variables in expressions
  • character = was skipped in headings even when it wasn't the optional trailing heading markup; fixed

25 August 2008 (source code, 86 KB)

  • new variable p in output format strings for output offset
  • new format NMEOutputFormatTextCompact with less blank lines than NMEOutputFormatText
  • reduced right margin for RTF output
  • tables should be followed by an empty line; fixed
  • --easylink option in NMEMain.c

15 October 2007 (source code, 83 KB)

  • unnested unnumbered or numbered list items weren't recognized when following sublists; fixed

12 October 2007 (source code, 83 KB)

  • NME output better escapes characters when it has to, but usually doesn't unless required
  • in NME output, support for mixed nested lists
  • double-slash is considered as a part of URL instead of italic markup only if it follows a digit, letter, '+', '-' or '.', and a colon; and it precedes a nonblank character; therefore, a tilde before the colon, such as abc~://..., restores the meaning of the double-slash sequence as italic markup

9 October 2007 (source code, 82 KB)

  • in lists, item markup must match, else it is interpreted as plain characters or as bold or monospace markup
  • NMEMFC.cpp compiles correctly without _UNICODE

4 October 2007 (source code, 82 KB)

  • link encoding for RTF output
  • NMEGtk tuning
  • parHook and divHook bugs, revealed by new option --checkhooks of NMEMain.c, fixed

29 September 2007 (source code, 80 KB)

  • new high-level function NMEGtkInsert to insert NME text directly into a GtkTextBuffer; NMEGtkTest.c modified to use it
  • NMEProcess optionally returns the output length in unicode characters, assuming UTF-8 input
  • in NMEMain.c, option --strictcreole doesn't disable escape character anymore
  • NMECpp.h uses C++ exceptions for error handling only if UseNMECppException is defined; else method getOutput returns an error code (the choice is useful for platforms where exceptions are not supported or have a large cost)
  • minor bug fixes in NMEStyle.c (plain paragraphs and tables)
  • refined NMEMFC.cpp
  • error codes in hook callbacks weren't handled correctly; fixed
  • support for links and images in span hook and NMEStyle
  • support for links in NMEGtk
  • in NMECpp and NMEStyleCpp, copy constructors and assignment operators
  • NMEEncodeURLFun has an additional argument for application-specific data, and structure NMEOutputFormat has an additional field for it

23 August 2007 (source code, 75 KB)

  • bug in unicode offset computation fixed
  • kNMEProcessOptXRef wasn't handled correctly; fixed
  • blanks following starting = or preceding ending = in titles are ignored
  • in NMEGtkApplyStyle, additional argument for the offset of NME output in GTK+ text buffer
  • in LaTeX output, braces are now escaped and bold italic is suported
  • monospace text wasn't signalled to spanHookFun; fixed
  • MFC glue with NMEMFC.cpp and NMEMFC.h (function NMEMFCSetRichText which renders NME text into a CRichEditCtrl)

5 July 2007 (source code, 70 KB)

  • option to have verbatim rendered as monospace (kNMEProcessOptVerbatimMono)

4 July 2007 (source code, 70 KB)

  • callback to check valid wordwrap points
  • bad unicode encoding for RTF fixed
  • tilde is an escape character before any nonblank character, including alphanumeric

19 June 2007 (source code, 69 KB)

  • support for UCS-16 offset (16-bit unicode offsets when the input is encoded in UTF-8)
  • C++ glue for NMEStyle (NMEStyleCpp.h)
  • in block preformatted, when 3 closing braces follow spaces at the beginning of a line, one space is removed

7 June 2007 (source code, 67 KB)

  • NMEStyle to separate text from style
  • NMEGtkTest.c, a test application for NMEStyle which displays a text file with NME markup in a GTK+ 2 window
  • support for placeholders (plugin option to use triple angle brackets instead of double angle brackets)
  • bug fixes

30 May 2007 (source code, 63 KB)

  • heading of level 1 and 2 following other paragraphs without a blank line were always numbered; fixed
  • XHTML-compatible image tag in HTML output
  • plugins source code in separate files
  • in plugin tables, single field for option flags instead of separate boolean fields
  • in plugin tables, option flag for plugins between paragraphs
  • characters weren't encoded in preformatted blocks; now there is a separate callback
  • new opaque structure NMEContext for output data and other contextual information, to reduce the number of arguments passed around and to support string output with embedded expressions from plugin and autoconvert functions
  • variable o (offset in source code) in embedded expressions, useful as unique identifiers for hyperlinks
  • hook functions for paragraphs and sections
  • functions to retrieve current output format and options in plugin, autoconvert and hook functions, and to copy input text from input to output
  • change in the arguments of NMEProcess, to keep original source code
  • table of contents plugin (sample code for the new features)
  • C++ glue (NMECpp.h)

24 April 2007 (source code, 47 KB)

  • optional automatic links for URLs beginning with http://, https://, ftp://, mailto:
  • optional separate source file for automatic links for camelcase and URL
  • options to disable indented paragraphs and definitions lists
  • in NMEMain.c, option --strictnme to disable features not in Creole 1.0

19 April 2007 (source code, 44 KB)

  • optional numbering of headings, level 1 and/or 2
  • images weren't supported in links; fixed
  • empty cells weren't output correctly in text format; fixed
  • in NMEMain.c, most plugins have reparseOutput set, so that word-wrap is applied to output
  • Python glue for the command-line application (

18 April 2007 (source code, 43 KB)

  • plugins now use the "placeholder" syntax, with double angle brackets
  • references to plugin globally-unique identifiers removed
  • option to match only the beginning of plugin names

16 April 2007 (source code, 43 KB)

  • doc header and trailer suppressed in plugin output
  • less references to Creole in source code
  • "null" format for producing no output
  • better handling of plugins, especially those which produce NME code which must be processed again
  • autoconversion plugins which make substitutions before NME conversion (as an example, NMEMain.c has an option to convert camelCase words to links)

30 March 2007 (source code, 40 KB)

  • wrong encoding of unicode characters >= 32768 for RTF output; fixed
  • optional processing of plugin output
  • calendar plugin in NMEMain.c

23 March 2007 (source code, 39 KB)

  • support for parenthesis in expressions in output strings
  • replicated strings themselves can contain expressions, and syntax for expressions in output strings has been changed to support it
  • default font size in structure NMEOutputFormat and support for default font size (with nonpositive values, HTML does not contain font size specifications at all, relying on the browser defaults)
  • argument withPreAndPostDoc of NMEProcess replaced by options
  • images
  • option to consider line breaks as paragraph separators
  • minor documentation fixes

20 March 2007 (source code, 35 KB)

  • Initial release
Copyright 2007-2013, Yves Piguet.
All rights reserved.