[ZWeb] ZWiki on Zope.org Future

Jeffrey P Shell jeffrey@cuemedia.com
Sat, 25 Jan 2003 19:54:40 -0700

Alright.  I just barely landed from New York and am starting to catch 
up.  I've come to the conclusion that there is only one way I'll be 
comfortable with the "One Gigantic Sprawling Wiki" (well, "comfort" and 
"one way" are loosely defined ;):

Turn off CamelCase.

Succintly, the problem is that CamelCase based Wiki links don't gel 
well with technical material - too many words are camel cased as a 
result of their class name (SimpleItem, ObjectManager), and the links 
show up in too many unwanted places, such as code examples.  Often, the 
original page author has no intent on filling in a page about 
ObjectManager or SimpleItem, and may be hoping that one currently 
exists or will exist in the future.  Eventually, someone decides to 
start one of these pages, but only puts in the text "An ObjectManager 
manages objects", which is not very helpful.  Seeing many pages like 
this may add to my general discomfort with Wiki's - too many unintended 
uninformative pages, and you have no way of knowing a page is 
uninformative until visitation.  It doesn't take too many of these 
pages to turn a visitor off to the usefulness of the wiki as a whole.

Furthermore, CamelCase leads to funny spellings which may cause 
hemorrhaging: 'ZoPe', 'PyThon', 'WiKi', etc.

I know that it's possible to do explicit links for the latter, and to 
explicitly turn off wikilinkifying a camel-cased word, but I am of the 
opinion that such links should *always* be explicit, and *never* 

I think it's that by forcing this policy, Wikipedia remains one of the 
lesser offenders in the Wiki universe.


We may have to do something about the syntax for "free linking" as 
well.  The [] are often used in python API descriptions to signify 
optional attributes, leading to funny question-mark appearances in 
intended-to-be-harmless documents like some in the Interface/Interfaces 

Again, I think these links should be enabled explicitly instead of 
having to be disabled explicitly.  reStructuredText often uses a 
trailing underscore for linking, footnotes, etc; so a link to 
ObjectManager would be [ObjectManager]_.

Explicit is better than implicit, especially if we want people to be 
able to contribute documents, comments, etc, without fear of Wiki (and 
StructuredText in many cases) munging their input.