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

<-- Previous | Newer --> | Current: 980662819 JoshuaGrosse at Sun, 28 Jan 2001 06:20:19 +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 ''many'' 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 all countries, all countries in Asia, all Muslim countries, etc., each on their own pages (in the near or distant future anyway), and more importantly, that a full text search is possible.  Why impose a category scheme in the ''naming convention''?

So 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.  This is the convention I've been following, anyway.  And, of course, for multi-word topics, capitalize all the words (except, perhaps the conjunctions and articles?) and mash 'em together.

That's my take, but go and do whatever you like! -- LarrySanger
Well, LarrySanger has good points, too.  I think we can all agree that alphabetical page names like 'AaA' are bad.  I want to organize all the CountriesOfTheWorld, but someone else will want to organize all the SportS or whatever.

I have changed my index pages, but so far I have not made any alteration to the country names.

One problem with LarrySanger'''''s proposal, for multi-syllabic words, is that people may not know what is the strongest syllable.
We could, should we so desire, make only two very simple rules.  First, multiple words get capitals at the beginning of each word.  Single words (and we could choose, here - and spread the word to attain consistency) get caps on the first and third, or first and last letter.  Hence, GoD is accurate in either scheme by default, and hell would either become HelL or HeLl.  Likewise, AfGhanistan or AfghanistaN.  We would not do both, but one or the other.  At least such a rule would be simple and easy to apply in all cases.  (but then how would we link to "id?" heh)
Wouldn't it be a good idea to add a tool on each page helping us to find names with incorrect or missing links. My suggestion is to modify the preview page to include a list of all words or combination of words present in the text that have entries (independant of capitalization) in wikipedia. In that way it would be simple to pin-point errors in capitalization and the need for rules diminishes.  --LinusTolke
The first and last letter approach requires the least thinking to apply, for single word topics.  In any case, it seems kinda plain that we ought to try to standardize a bit here, since otherwise "accidental linking" is going to be a lot less accidental.  ;-)  -- Bryce
Thank you, Bryce.  I, too, would be fine with the "first and last" rule on single word topics, to go along with the "first letter of every word" rule on multiple word topics. All the rest, what say ye? -- AyeSpy
On the other hand, it wouldn't be too hard to change the wiki to allow links like [[word]] for single-word topics.  See WhichWikiShouldWeUse for further discussion of this idea.  Otherwise, the last-letter capital is probably the best idea that fits within the wiki conventions. --CliffordAdams
The discussion so far has left out a class of single words that I would like to bring attention to.  Those being the words that have something of a natural way of being broken up that reflects the structure, history, and/or root meaning of the word.  Like PhiloSophy, terms that end in -logy, -ory, etc.

I rather like the reminder of the roots of a term.  Sort of an antiNewSpeak type thing.  That having been said, seeing -ism capitalized all over the place has become a bit unnerving.  Further, many people don't want to bother learning the roots or be reminded of them.

However, I would like to offer this as an alternative (for some words) to the last-letter idea and read what others think of it.  Oh, and the [[word]] seems the best solution since it lets me play with roots and frees the wiki of an arbitrary constraint  --PhillipHankins

''In most cases this can be codified fairly easily, and so applied without an etymological dictionary.  Usually the letter immediately preceding the first O would get capitalized: GeoMetry, DemoCracy, PhiloSophy, BioLogy.  Words that end in I stems would have the last I capitalized: MarxIsm, PolitIcs, ChristianIty, SkiIng.  Failing those, you could just look for some common stem words: Al-, -Lysis, -Archy, etc.''