Wikipedia 10K Redux by Reagle from Starling archive. Bugs abound!!!

<-- Previous | Newer --> | Current: 979933444 at Fri, 19 Jan 2001 19:44:04 +0000.


Recommend naming one-word pages like AfghanistanCountry rather than the eminently ugly AfghanistaN.

In this same manner, every noun can have Person, Place, Idea, Invention, etc. tacked on to its end to identify its type.  You might even want to hold this convention for words that already meet the wiki naming conventions, like ThomasEdisonPerson.  You might name the "letter" pages things like IndexA, which might link to IndexAaAl and IndexAmAz (once you get big enough :-).

For example, say I want to link to a page from my site.  I have an [ InterWiki] prefix set up for WikiPedia on my own wiki.  Without going through the rigamarole of actually looking up something on WikiPedia, I have no ''a priori'' way of knowing whether to link to WikiPedia:AlAska, WikiPedia:AlaSka, WikiPedia:AlasKa, or WikiPedia:AlaskA.  Lather, rinse, and repeat for longer names like AfghanistaN.  If I knew there was an AlaskaState naming convention, then I wouldn't have to give it a second thought.

The arbitrary naming convention used so far is very inconvenient and doesn't contribute at all to [ AccidentalLinking].  At very minimum, you might investigate other wiki engines that support arbitrary link patterns like [Alaska] and [Ward Cunningham].  -- ScottMoonen
There is, however, a search form at the bottom of every page.  Isn't it both more convenient and more liberating in the end to let people do whatever they want, and just search for a string of characters whenever you think there might be related page already in existence, to which you might link?
:I respectfully disagree:
*AfghanistanCountry matches every search AfghanistaN matches.
*AfghanistanCountry additionally matches every search for "country".
*[ AccidentalLinking] is vital.  When I'm typing an article on the SovietUnion and want to link someplace I don't want to waste the time to go off and search whether it's AfGhanistan, AfgHanistan, AfghAnistan, . . ., AfghanistaN.  I want to know right off the bat what it is.

:I submit that there is nothing in the way of convenience or liberation that AfghanistaN can do for you and which AfghanistanCountry can't.  And it seems to me there are serious usability deficiencies in AfghanistaN.  Consider especially those persons who haven't experienced a wiki before.  OTOH, as I suggested above, you might research wikis that allow you to create one-word links that arent UgLy. -- ScottMoonen
I (JimboWales) am the one who started the bad naming convention.  I simply plead total ignorance.  I realized when I started that it was a problem, but I didn't know what to do, so I just kept plugging away.

I think that ScottMoonen''''s suggestion has great merit.  Unless someone beats me to it, I will work on making that change over the next few days.
I believe the above-proposed convention is, in ''some'' cases, too restrictive.  It creates titles that sound strange when used as parts of sentences.  E.g., if I want to say that Afghanistan is a country in Asia, I am forced to say AfghanistanCountry is a country in Asia, which sounds very awkward.

The argument that this convention makes it easier to search is obviated by the fact that, after all, people will organize countries, countries in Asia, Muslim countries, etc., all on their own pages (in the near or distant future anyway), and more importantly, that a full text search is possible.

Also, I would prefer not to include categories in ''most'' (not all, I suppose) topic names because that tends to restrict the discussion of the category.  For example, if I were to write "FiddleMusic" instead of "FidDle," then the tendency would be to discuss, well, fiddle music instead of all things fiddle.  I could write "FiddleMusicalInstrument," but then the tendency would be to discuss the fiddle ''qua'' musical instrument, and there are many other aspects of the fiddle apart from those directly related to the fact that it's a musical instrument.  Generally, I'm opposed to imposing pre-set category schemes: things do not wear their categories on their sleeves (as though they had only one supercategory) and we should not name articles as though they did.

Finally, I think it makes sense simply to capitalize the internal letter of one-word topics which begins the strongest syllable (or next-strongest syllable, if the strongest syllable is the first).  Thus: FidDle; AlAska; RusSia; DoneGal (yes, in fact that's the strongest syllable, the way the Irish use the name).  In cases where there is both one word and one syllable, I'd propose capitalizing the last letter: BasS; JazZ; SoaP. -- LarrySanger