Can we create sentences where every word is a link?
My question is, when would we want to?
Now, it's a Monday and I haven't yet finished my morning tea, so I may just be crabby. But if I may offer my non-binding opinion, I don't like the tendency to M
akeEveryPhraseAlink and G
iveEveryTermItsOwnPage. A certain amount of this is playfulness, and PlayingIsGood
, but I think that if you're trying to communicate something, you'll be clearer if the sentences you write aren't strings of WikiName
s -- even if, with the use of SixSingleQuotes
, they don't link to other pages.
Part of my objection is to Fake
Significance. Creating a page for a term or phrase, or even just capitalizing it, implies that the term or phrase is worth talking about on its own. Increasingly, it seems (in 4/00), the page is just a definition or comment. WikiIsntADictionary, is it?
Another part of my objection is C
apitalizingEverything seems to reduce the discussion to cliches. If EverythingISayHasAlreadyBeenSaid, then why am I saying it again? (To me, it also sounds like I'm L
ecturingToIdiots, and that's a BadThing
Finally, here's an example formerly from SixSingleQuotes
: Under what circumstances would one need to SmashWordsTogetherLikeSo without forming a link?... When forming modified versions (plurals are a special case but not the only one) of WikiNames. (For instance, I'd rather write "RefactoredMercilessly" than either "RefactoredMercilessly?" or "refactored mercilessly".)
It runs against my old copy editor habits to write something in a non-standard way simply in order to... well, I'm not really sure what "R
efactoredMercilessly'' says that "refactored mercilessly" doesn't say in a less precious manner. -- TomKreitzberg
, who has now finished his morning tea but is still, evidently, crabby
Well, I wrote the text quoted and disapproved of above; I'll elaborate a little. I also don't think that everything should be Wikified; I do think that when referring to something that has a WikiPage
already, there's some value in noting the fact, unless the page is no good. The particular example I chose (RefactorMercilessly
) is, unless my memory is playing tricks on me, a page worth reading. So: What "R
efactoredMercilessly" says that "refactored mercilessly" doesn't is "note that there's a page about this". I'm saying nothing in favour of "creating a page for a term or phrase", nothing in favour of adding F
akeSignificance to things that haven't already had it added to them.
Perhaps I should also mention that the particular instance I had in mind was the appearance of a similar phrase on ConversationWithAnAlaskanGrizzlyBear?
, which was a joke
where the whole point was the allusion to the WikiPage
(My guess is that my contributions to Wiki have, in fact, a lower
proportion of G
ratuitousStudlyCaps than most.)
Having now eaten my lunch, I am content to beam benignly upon creation in general, and Gareth's creation in particular. I think, however, that a construct like "...refactored mercilessly... See also RefactorMercilessly" might work better, since it requires the reader neither to understand the idiom nor fish about for the variant of RefactoredMercilessly that is implied.
Exceptions for humor must, of course, be upheld. -- TomKreitzberg
I agree with Tom, to a certain extent. We shouldn't strive here to make every little phrase its own Wiki page. Sometimes the phrases don't deserve the attention. I mean, is anybody here enriched by the fact that we have a page for SureThing
? Wiki's not a phrase dictionary. (Is it?)
Not a phrase dictionary, but a concept dictionary. If someone makes a link they are saying it's a concept worthy of definition. Like everything else you may disagree. What does it hurt? Looking around I see relatively few links used in text.
An ideal Wiki would be one in which every single link has value. (In the same way that, say, every article in an ideal magazine would be useful.) In practice, such an ideal is most likely impossible to attain, but it's probably good as an ideal.
Doesn't overlinking increase the babble, adding more pages that threaten to hide the value? Again, I read a page like SureThing
and I have no idea what use it could be to anybody.
Existing examples, where nearly EveryWordIsaLink
- Wiki Pages, where only PlainEnglish in the strictest sense is allowed. In this case the BabylonTranslator or GuruNet expands each of its millions of words into a definition/usage text, containing synonyms, that again can be browsed.
- Source Text in an IDE (state of the art Integrated Development Environment), where each clicked identifier leads to its definition (or even a dynamically created page, containing its clickable use list).
- The CommonLispHyperSpec : all types, classes, functions and terms defined in glossary entries appear as hyperlinks.
A short poem...
When you think,
every word is a link.