[pmwiki-users] Re: pmwiki-users Digest, Vol 3, Issue 1

H. Fox haganfox at users.sourceforge.net
Fri Sep 2 16:16:32 CDT 2005

On 9/2/05, Bronwyn Boltwood <arndis at gmail.com> wrote:
> Free links:
> - can be as few or many words as required
> - can use characters not available to WikiWords
> - are easier to read
> - preserve the author's desired capitalization and spacing
> - are a more natural typing pattern for ordinary people (vs. programmers)
> - improve the overall quality of the accidental links, because you
> have no "DemocracY" vs. "DemoCracy" kinds of problems
> Realistically, there are no accidental links.  If I want WikiWord to
> be a link, then I have to capitalize and unspace it.  That's work, but
> the pattern used is familiar to programmers from VariableNames, and
> wikis began as a way for developers to document their code, so a lot
> of WikiWords were probably VariableNames or FunctionNames in fact as
> well as typing convention.
> People don't write like that outside of software development, though.
> They use lowercase and spaces between words, so writing in WikiWords
> requires overriding some deeply ingrained habits.  Writing [[wiki
> word]] is also work, but creates less cognitive dissonance.  I just
> add some brackets instead suppressing my typing conventions.  I can
> easily see which words are part of the link, and [[]] is not terribly
> hard to reach on my keyboard.  Also, link-leve compatibility with
> mediawiki really is not a bad thing.
> So, the most efficient kind of link is generally the kind that your
> fingers help you type quickly and accurately.

Well said.

To that I'd add that WikiWordsCanBeDistractingToRead, too. For most
sites, anything that distracts from the information conveyed in the
content reduces the value of the site, even if only slightly.


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