Affordance that helps a Wiki grow.
- at a given moment in time you may have a topic you are exploring deeply, while still skimming along on others (making brief notes as you come across interesting pieces from other people, for your own future reference)
you don't have an immediate payback/deliverable associated with your writing, so an overly FormalProcess isn't something you wish to follow.
you want to branch off new thoughts easily; you may think of some during creating/editing a given page, but not want to go off in that direction at the time
or someone else may be inspired to branch off a new thought, in a shared environment.
have a writing system that makes the creation of new pages, and linking to existing pages, as simple as possible
ideally, a system that allows some kind of Automatic Linking!
Wiki typically does this through the Smashed Together Words approach. You Link As You Think. Then you, or someone else, can spin off a new page without even editing the current page. (And the create-new-page link for each phrase missing a page is a form of inspiration/nudging.)
What other approaches to Automatic Linking might work?
putting brackets around key phrases isn't bad, though Smashed Together Words is more likely to nudge you into picking a sufficiently short and reusable expression of your concept. Which will lead to greater Accidental Linking.
- also note that in a constrained environment like Twitter, using double-square-brackets eats up 4 extra characters for every WikiWord you use. I use Smashed Together Words in Twitter, EMail, Discussion Forum-s, etc.
- hmm comprise by using Hash Tag in front of Smashed Together Words? That makes the rendering code easier, but doesn't really improve things for the writer or reader.
Sept'2015: rethinking my preference for Smashed Together Words
Why: because people writing for non-wiki-natives don't want to look weird or have to explain themselves.
- The SmartAscii/Mark Down view is cleaner, no extra punctuation littering the page.
- Faster to type, esp on Mobile Keyboard where bracket keys are buried away.
- You get Page Name As URL.
- Single-word WikiWords are a nightmare, you have to arbitrarily capitalize an extra letter.
- Names with mid-caps get separated in rendering (Expanding Wiki Words) (e.g. Dave McClure).
- Smashed Together Words phrases can't have any punctuation.
- btw note that
'is allowed in a URL! Hmm, so could have
Here'sAPhrase, if your WikiEngine handles it right. Here'sAPhrase - MoinMoin does not
- but can't use
?, and I think
.is potentially confusing, so probably good to strip and ending punctuation
- is there any other punctuation you'd find necessary within a WikiWord phrase?
- '/' like
- '/' like
- btw note that
Facts that don't affect design decision
So latest thinking
- do double-bracket Free Link
- document/encourage "best practice" for that (to maximize Fractal Dimension Of A Hypertext Space)
- decide on some code features to catch/correct slight linking errors
Next: look at some "good" sites that use Free Link to catch any weird punctuation cases I'm not thinking of...
- using period - esp for people with initials -
I. F. Stone
- using parentheses
- using commas
- using question mark
- using non-ascii latin - looks right but character gets dropped entirely from URL (I'd call that a bug)
- basically, for the URL, SFW makes all lower-case, turns spaces into dash, and anything that isn't ascii-alpha/num/dash gets stripped
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