[pmwiki-users] WikiTerms

Patrick R. Michaud pmichaud at pobox.com
Wed May 31 09:24:20 CDT 2006

On Wed, May 31, 2006 at 08:35:51AM -0400, Pico wrote:
> Patrick R. Michaud wrote:
> >On Tue, May 30, 2006 at 03:57:45PM -0700, Pico wrote:
> >>To use the example of "title" we have (:title:) page directive 
> >>and the {$Title} page variable that would 
> >>each point to the same page under your proposal: both 
> >>(:[[title]]:) and {$[[Title]]} would point to [[Title]].
> >
> >As far as telling the difference -- I think a Wikipedia-like
> >disambiguation approach might be most appropriate:
> >
> >    Title (Disambiguation)
> >    Title (Directive)
> >    Title (Page Variable)
> >
> 1. Improved searching for defined terms.  In Google, you can preface a 
> search with "define:" and get a targeted result.  For example, if I do a 
> Google search for "define:PmWiki" I get the following results:
> Definitions of PmWiki on the Web:
> PmWiki is free wiki software written by Patrick Michaud in the PHP 
> programming language.
> en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PmWiki
> That's it, nothing more, nothing less.  How could we support such a 
> functionality?

To me, the more basic question (from PmWikiPhilosophy #3) is
"do we really need such a functionality"?  I can count on one hand
the number of times I've done a "define:" search on Google. 

Let's suppose that we do add a "define:" syntax to PmWiki's search.
How would someone learn about it?  How often do we think it would be
used?  I just can't see it meeting the "avoid gratuitous features"

> The ability to target a search to some identifiable portion of a page 
> would seem like a great improvement that could start to address many of 
> the issues that have been raised about search results.  For example, if 
> a search could be limited to a particular division and could return the 
> entire text of that division, then authors could structure their content 
> accordingly, for example:
> >>define<<
> PmWiki is free wiki software written by Patrick Michaud in the PHP 
> programming language.
> >><<

We can *already* do this:

    Search directive:   (:searchresults fmt=#define:)

    #define pagelist template:
        (:include {=$FullName}#define:)

    Definition in page:

        PmWiki is free wiki software written by Patrick Michaud in the PHP
        programming language

> When it comes to defined terms, however, It would be even better if we 
> could make use of the existing html and PmWiki feature of defined lists. 
>  Using the example above, if we added the following to a page:
> : PmWiki : Free wiki software written by Patrick Michaud in the PHP 
> programming language.:
> Could we then provide a search functionality where "define:PmWiki" only 
> searched the term (DT) portion of definition lists and reported that 
> together with the definition (DD) portion?

Yes, we could do it.  But my question about "do we need it" still
applies.  I just can't see the typical visitor being aware of or
making use of the "define:" syntax in searches.

> [...lots of stuff snipped...]
> The question, at that point, would be whether the reference group could 
> be used as a category, so that links to the reference pages would 
> generate listings of referring pages.  In other contexts, Pm has 
> explained that he wanted to avoid the overhead of categories in the 
> distributed documentation.

No, this is not what I meant.  It's not an issue of "overhead"... it's
that if the distributed documentation makes use of the category
markup -- i.e., something like [[!Passwords]], then that interferes
with a site's ability to have its own custom "Passwords" category.

We can still have "categories" and "reference groups" -- just don't 
use the [[!Category]] markup to add a page to its reference
group.  For example, [[PmWiki.Passwords]] can be the reference
group page for all pages dealing with passwords:

    !! Other pages dealing with passwords

    (:pagelist link=PmWiki.Passwords:)


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