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Part of the utility of the wiki is that it will try and link pages together for you, and create new pages (and opportunities for pages) for you. On the WorldWideWeb, you explicitly link to a known address when you want to link, you never link to a page that does not yet exist.

In a wiki, precisely the opposite is true. It is GoodPractice to use WikiWords to create links to potentially interesting topics. You will link pages by topic and coincidence as you type instead of explicitly.

Explicit links have their place (link to Ikselam/FanFiction for example), but they have limits.

Using WikiWords promotes frequent linking and helps to integrate ExaltedWiki's content together. Using BracketLinks brings the social baggage of the WorldWideWeb's link policies to the wiki. Bracket links are useful when called for, but when overused they reduce wiki integration. Discussions in BestPractices have suggested a more integrated wiki is desirable.


Blink. The 'baggage of the World Wide Web's link policies'? What?

[ What I just said. In wiki, more links are desirable and link validity is not an issue. Therefore, LinkAsMuchAsPossible. In the WorldWideWeb, invalid links are a pain and link identifiers are complex (not to mention the pain of typing a link tag). ]

See, I see working on the wiki more like being at a writer's group meeting. We each present our ideas, provide feedback to one another, and possibly even play grammar editor to one another's work. The archivability and ease of change the wiki provides make it a vastly superior environment for such than a standard forum. However, that doesn't mean that all of us are working from or towards the same vision of Exalted. Why create some overwhelming and unnatural need to interlink all the ideas; all that does is discourage ideas that don't fit the tight framework.
Put another way- having a loose collaboration (except for explicitly collaborative projects) gets both the non-interlinked and the interlinked ideas. Trying to make Interlinking Ideas the be all end all of the wiki discourages non-interlinked ideas. This results in fewer ideas and thus less content.
Or, more succinctly, more links are not in and of themselves a good thing. Links are only good in so far as the facilitate finding content. DS

And the style of integration you're proposing isn't one that everyone universally wants. There can be multiple types of collaborative work, as Charlequin pointed out on the PrettyWikiProject.

[ Feel free to catch up with what we're talking about at any point. When I say collaborative I mean that if someone wants to permute their work non-destructively, they can. This involves either a copy to a new page and edit, comments (the most common method currently), or a syntactically noticeable way of differentiating new content from old. All these options are non destructive, and credit will be preserved. All of these allow both purely collaborative and purely individual works to intersect without killing each other, as Ikselam has mentioned in BestPractices.

How exactly is this bad or undesirable? You keep talking about collaboration in its worst case scenario (destructive), but no one is suggesting that. ]

The examples you have given of what you want (Refactoring pages to summarize comments, people arbitrarily changing Charm prices, etc) have not been what I would consider a beneficent, constructive model. Archiving the old comments and discussion is constructive, because it allows for new material to appear on a smaller page, while not destroying the old content. DS

We have, in fact, been doing find with slash pages. We've been doing fine with primarily user page's having multiple walled gardens. Can you actually cite where it has been harmful to the community? And can you not see how people might want to group, not by power level of Charm or whatever, but by the relevant author's style? -- DS

[ Yes. Right here at ExaltedWiki. I wasn't the one who started the initiative. Telgar did because his friends were having a lot of trouble finding anything on the wiki. It is difficult, and because of all the BracketLinks and SlashPages, the search feature runs very slowly and is expensive. Further, because people don't use WikiLinks, the form of links is rather arbitrary. When you use WikiWords, links rapidly begin to form into regular patterns (See PortlandPatternRepository's "Category" pages and "Sucks" pages). This means that when you feel like linking, you can probably guess the correct page name and link without even knowing if the topic exists or not!

The PortlandPatternRepository also tries to reduce the amount of walling going on. They originally did not and eventually had such a problem that they committed to a major rewrite of a big chunk of content to even things out. ]

If it was Telgar's friends that were having the hard time navigating, maybe we should ask them what would make life easier? Also, the list of things Telgar originally named on the PrettyWikiProject were not things that people are presently objecting to; it's your specific vision of what 'cleaning the Wiki, making it pretty, and use Important Links to navigate around to everything' means that is.
Additionally, on the intuitiveness of WikiWords. Which of the following makes more sense: Charms/DariusSolluman or CharmsSolarMeleeDariusSolluman? Maybe it's the CS and web-browsing geek in me, but the slashes improve readability. Even if the wiki is relationally organized, pretending there's a hierarchy at work makes life easier. DS

Moved from ConsideredHarmful...

See, to me, the use of WikiWords is bloody painful. They're ugly and harder to read and to type than double brackets.

[ Some WikiWordification can be ugly. I consider ReFactor to be an example. Some are not. BestPractices is not particularly ugly.

Most people do not feel they are especially hard to read. AreWikiWordsHarderToRead?

They are not harder to type. They are easier. This isn't a matter of opinion either, because WikiWords do not require your hands to move from the home row of your keyboard. Less finger distance travelled means easier to type. ]

That's like claiming Devorac is easier to type. It's only mathematically true; in practical terms, it's false. People grow up with QWERTY keyboards and typing in a certain fashion. Likewise, they grow up putting spaces between words and using proper capitalization; having them do otherwise requires conscious effort on the part of both the reader and the writer.
I would consider any wiki word that, if it weren't a link would be a simple phrase, to be uglier as a wiki word than as a jammed together thing. DS

Likewise, the recent proliferation of people not integrating their work into the existent architecture (such as spawning WikiWord pages to their Charms, characters and campaigns and such) has been far more harmful than anything else.

[ This is partially true. It's more that we have no BestPractices. There is no inherent superiority to SlashPages. In fact, if I turned them off but made "/" a valid wiki link character (instead of a terminator) they would work exactly the same. You could even UseColonsInsteadOfSlash and get the same effect.


I believe the problem is more than this wiki has no agreed upon BestPractices and so newbies ape other newbies who only partially understand what was mostly improvised to begin with. This Wiki has had three major format changes. One very early, one shortly thereafter, and finally what you see today. None of them were very well thought through, and this is probably my fault for not helping more with revision two and three. ]

This I can agree with (the newbies aping newbies, the lack of a clear style guide). And it might, frankly, be easier if you did make the "/" a valid wiki character; hell, I don't know your regex expression, but could you have it scan for slashes the way it must for capitals? So that if a single word (no spaces) has a capital and a slash it will autolink? Tangent thought. Back on topic.
While I fully agree with the need of a Best Practices type page, I simply disagree with a lot of your goals, and the means to achieve those goals. People over-reacted, but that was because you didn't present your thoughts as thoughts, you presented them as decisions. You didn't solicit comments, you made a joke about how these changes weren't the end of the world. Which are typical of the way that bosses, teachers and parents present decisions that have no appeal. DS

The problem with navigation is purely one of having a logical system which wasn't ever clearly articulated. The solution is to articulate that system and enforce it, not scrap it for a new system.

[ I am not advocating that we scrap the current system. I am suggesting we change our link practices. Slash links aren't really problematic at depth one. ]

You're also suggesting people randomly wander the Wiki and ReFactor pages, summarizing comments. You're also advocating that people change content without leaving a comment, and that this should be expected behavior. Your goal also seems to be that everyone must agree and interlink all content, with no room for individual thought or expression. These are Bad Things, in my opinion.

And to stick obviously controversial subjects, such as this, under Discussions, rather than providing a definition which we haven't agreed on- or under your own page, if you want people to know that it's what you think. -- DS

[ UseWikiWordsNotSlashLinks is a discussion page. Moving it to Discussions isn't going to make it any more of one. This isn't a cosmetic issue, DS, this is a usability issue (WikiWords are easier to work with and learn than the semantics of BraceLinks, less syntax and special forming is required) and a technical issue.

Moving it to Discussions would not simply be a cosmetic issue; a page under the discussions stuff is clearly marked AS A DISCUSSION. Anyone that wandered by the Recent Changes would see that, and go 'Huh. A page entitled 'Discussions/UseWikiWordsNotBrakcetLinks'. I bet they're talking about the relative merits and flaws of wiki words and bracket links'. Seeing just the title as it is makes it look like either a commandment or a definition, because that is how pages that are neither clearly collaborative nor user pages have been interpreted here for quite some time. You want to clarify navigation? Proper indexing and classification of ideas is a good start.
And if WikiWords are easier to use, then people would use them. If they were easier to read, people would use them. People here use the Brace links because they are easier to read and use. They've had their fight in the marketplace of ideas. Now, the technical issue I can't comment on; if they're that much of a problem, disable them, by all means. But not because you prefer WikiWords. DS

Periodically we have to accept that technology may force us to make compromises. If we continue to use brace links everywhere, we will continue to lack an easily learnable link scheme. I feel DiscussionPages is inherently superior to Discussions, for technical and practical purposes.

Brace links function more like HTML hyper-links. They may be appropriate in some cases, but in general they discourage linking.

The wiki inherently wants to link things for you. Why not let it? ]

The wiki does not 'want' to link things for me. It requires me to make a conscious effort in either case to make a link. And I don't get where you've gotten the idea that brace links somehow discourage people from linking. Where would you see people link more to? DS

I think Dave wants / expects people to change the posted definition rather than posting comments to it. That's his whole point. - Quendalon

[ In this case, it's a discussion. In the case of pages like ConsideredHarmful, modifying the definition is okay so long as it's a good definition. There isn't much debate over what ConsideredHarmful or WorldWideWeb means. It's just who can provide the most succinct definition. ]

Actually, yasee, there is debate over what is ConsideredHarmful. See, I disagree with you. I'm trying to do so in a civil fashion wherein everyone rationally exchanges ideas, until a rational decision is made which everyone can be reasonably supportive of.
If I were to modify the definition of ConsideredHarmful to include examples like 'interlinking everything, to the point of discouraging non-interlinked content' and 'using WikiWords', you would rightly say I was a bit on the biased side. To not see how you're making the same claims are the mirror of those.
Definitions should really be left to things that do actually have a definition. Something which has fuzziness around it, such as the subjective nature of 'harmful', can't really fit that. DS

[ -- DaveFayram ]

But if we just change the definition, there isn't a discussion; we don't know what the other parties are thinking, or why they're acting the way they act. Meaning that nothing gets done, and no one knows what's going on, save the two people that see the change first on Recent Changes.DS

Where there is discussion, let there be discussion. Where there isn't, then there won't be. No one is going to spend the long hours of the night arguing about things like ConsideredHarmful (since it merely states what we mean). In that case, just editing the definition to make it more clear is just fine. If you do a horrible job, someone will just revert the page.

Pages with original content like charms or stories should not be subject to this rule. You don't destructively edit something which isn't entirely CommonContent. Thusly, people get to keep their charms (additive edits might be okay, depending on the method. We're still working on that) and stories, but less subjective or creative things like ConsideredHarmful and WalledGarden get edited to be concise.

-- DaveFayram

... Kay, see, Dave, that's like, the OPPOSITE of what you initially were saying about original content. I can quote you, if you are unclear as to how people misread you so badly. DS
Yeah, see I was talking about what C2 does. They allow stuff like that. I didn't say that was the new policy, or even desirable here. I am strongly in favor of being able to edit where it is needed or where it would be desirable to do so. I said, OVER AND OVER, that the wiki community itself needs to decide what is best here.
Try reading the whole thread before you jump in. I know it's in desperate need of a ReFactor, but I'm rather tired of repeating myself. First you, now Charlequin. Yay.
I'm irritated beyond belief at people who don't even bother to get informed before they inflict their impassioned opinions on others. Especially given how many times I repeated myself as we were going.
Oh well, more evidence of why ThreadMode stuff really needs to be ReFactor-able.
-- DaveFayram

For Chrissake people, SIGN YOUR COMMENTS and PUT THEM IN ONE PLACE! This page is utterly illegible. - Telgar

I'm interested to know how the things I've been calling "prettified" or "obfuscated" links interact with the wiki's search function. I am talking about things like Best Practices, which is written [[BestPractices|Best Practices]], as opposed to [[Best Practices]]. If they don't futz things up, they could be used to address the "readability of WikiWords" issue -- they cause pagenames to follow the WikiWord format (which I am convinced is good for a couple of different reasons), while making the actual link easier on the eyes.\\ _Ikselam

Those do "prettify" the links. This isn't so bad from a search point of view. The amount of time it takes to search a page is directly related to its size, so it does increase it slightly. When I refer to bad searches, it's usually backlink checking and keyword checking.

It's quite possible using the [[]] notation to make words that don't come up in searches correctly. Experiment a bit and you can see what I mean.

The main reason I prefer WikiWords is that they are much easier to type. It requires no forethought. A lot of times I realize only after I have written a phrase that it'd be excellent as a WikiWord. A quick flick of the cursor and it's magically a link. Further, it's easier to guess wiki-word structure.

If you try an explain to a newbie that all links must be typed twice to keep them pretty, they're going to avoid linking, or just use WikiWords.

The proliferation of links does one very valuable thing. It keeps the distance between related pages very low. Rather than forming a spidery mess, instead the wiki will naturally form into "Clumps" in which related things are always only a few clicks from each other. You can even make this explicit as a WikiGnome by doing a "See Also:" at the end of a page.

Then, we can keep some "spikes" drilled into these clumps, like ImportantLinks. These will give navigational references to people looking for specific things. Once they have found something close to what they are looking for, then it's practically guaranteed that they can find like things very easily. This is one of the reasons that many wikis get popular. You can see it happen with WikiPedia and the PortlandPatternRepository as well.

-- DaveFayram

The main problem I have with the PrettyObfuscatedLinks is that they can make actually linking a bit harder. If I see a page called MeritsAndFlaws, I know immediately how I have to link to it. If I see a page called Merits and Flaws it can get a bit confusing. I might type MeritsandFlaws, which doesn't work, before I realize that I'm supposed to capitalize. Anyway; that's why I'm -- personally -- cutting down on the use of obfuscated links. They ARE good for some purposes, though. -- CrownedSun

My suggestion is not that people shouldn't use WikiWords. I do in fact think that they should be the default method of typing links, especially those which don't already have targets. My suggestion is that if WikiWords bother people, it's relatively easy to go through and prettify them, without creating a situation where you can't link to certain pages by using WikiWords. This is of especial use on fairly static pages, such as content indices, or UserPages which only one person habitually edits. It's also good for inline links in fluff (esp. when you want to do something like make "Rhubardin Ergheiz" link to Characters/DaveFayram or whatever).

The main issue I see it creating is that (as CrownedSun notes above) it would make linking less transparent to novices. But for people dead-set against WikiWords, it is a better option than bracket-links, since although it is somewhat more involved, it is also much more inclusive. People who use bracket-links seem to do so for aesthetic reasons; by prettifying, they can achieve the same result without causing a schism in the actual wiki structure, or alienating people who prefer utility over appearance.\\ _Ikselam

What I find funny is that people type stuff in WikiWords but the links that are formed go -nowhere- because there's no page made for that link. What's the point? Adding gold to the text? I like bracket links much better, and I think they look nicer and are more comfortable to read. The search function isn't the only way to look through ExaltedWiki, after all. - Seiraryu