SlashLinksAreNotPaths

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It's important to remember that SlashLinksAreNotPaths. Many characters could be substituted for paths in WikiWords. The semantics of file system paths (like C:\Documents\MyDocuments) paths do not apply to WikiPages.

To define it precisely, by default WikisAreRelational. They are not Hierarchical.


DaveFayram says: \\ SlashLinks are merely a conveniance for you when you make your UserPage and want to make small sub-pages likeSlashLinksAreNotPaths/Archive orSlashLinksAreNotPaths/Charms. These are usually okay even if they are not WikiWords because the wiki will still automatically convert them to links for you without you having to care about braces.

See also: UseWikiWordsNotBracketLinks


I think that paths, slashlinks, or whatever you want to call them should be strongly discouraged. They are heavily overused. For example, on the Charms pages, or MeritsAndFlaws. There is no reason why the MeritsAndFlaws/SupernaturalMerits page should not just be called SupernaturalMerits, or why Charms/SolarMelee should not be called SolarMelee. Doing this would not carry a high risk of collision, and would actually make the page names look better since it gets rid of the slash. In addition, it would make it much easier to directly link to subcategories of Charms, MeritsAndFlaws, or whatever, from outside of the "parent" page.

The only places I feel that slashlinks should be used are:

  1. At the very bottom of archive structures, when you start separating by author. Example: SolarMelee/Ikselam (as opposed to Charms/IkselamSolarMelee. This makes universal author indexing slightly harder, but in all other cases I've thought about, it is significantly cleaner.
  2. When you want to make your content "private" by making it a child page of your UserPage. This practice should probably be avoided, too; at best, it's an illusion of privacy, and despite recent HeatedDiscussions, ExaltedWiki users do not tend to destructively edit FinishedContent, no matter where it lives. Making all your Charm pages children of your UserPage really serves no purpose except to make them harder to find and/or link to.

I partially blame myself for the current slashlink proliferation. See BestPractices for a more in-depth summary of what I think I and others did wrong in the first couple days after ExaltedWiki went online.

To sum up: the main reason I think slashlinks are bad is that they create bottlenecks. They make it so that in order to find a specific page (e.g., all Solar Melee Charms, or all Mental Merits), you must first find its "parent" page (e.g., Charms or MeritsAndFlaws). This is not always intuitive, and usually forces you to type LongStringsOfUnreadableIntercapitalizedRubbish when you want to link to the specific content (e.g., Charms/IkselamSolarMelee).

Basically, don't use "paths" unless they make things simpler.

_Ikselam

Again I am going to speak as the voice of compromise.

Slash links are elegant and logical, from a creator/organizer's point of view (though not necessarily a searcher's). Humans naturally organize things hierarchically - "this is the room where I keep my files; there are business files in that cabinet, sorted by date; in this next one there are household things, sorted by who's resopnsible for them and their date...etc. etc." - and it's very confusing finding items in the JumbleOfTopLevelPages.

That isn't to say that top-level pages are bad...but hierarchical organization isn't either. If you must have slashlinks to something that isn't a bottom-level page, then you should always create a top-level redirect. - willows

I agree with the top-level alias thing.

However, I am not sure that slashlinking actually helps in hierarchical organization, since the "pathing" it creates only goes down one level. Once you get into Charms, for example, you don't exactly have a JumbleOfTopLevelPages, but on the other hand you do, since every taxonomic level of Charms is a child of Charms.SlashLinksAreNotPaths/IkselamSolarMelee is a child of Charms. So isSlashLinksAreNotPaths/SolarCharms andSlashLinksAreNotPaths/SolarResistance. All that is accomplished by making these pages children of Charms is to reduce the size of the jumble.

This gave me a lot of trouble when I designed Charms' structure. I kept thinking of slashlinks as paths. I wanted to create structure based on how the pages were stored, as opposed to how they linked to one another. You can't actually do the former in ExaltedWiki. The result was a structure for Charms which I now think is highly inelegant.\\ _Ikselam

I went ahead and "fixxed" the MeritsAndFlaws page; since we've only got the three pages, it was easy enough. This WILL make it easier to use Paths whenever it becomes time (IF it ever becomes time) to have a separate page for every merit or groups of related merits -- so that's a good thing at the very least. I use paths a lot partially because it's become a habit; but yeah, especially for generic pages, it doesn't make a HUGE amount of sense to do it that way. -- CrownedSun

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