> The question is, do we want relevant information
on one subject to be
> grouped together, or do we want to *unnecessarily* use the "hypertext
> medium" just for kicks? The latter seems like a gimmicky thing to do,
Well of course it does, because it's a strawman
(uninentionally on your part, I'm sure).
Oliver doesn't want to use the medium for *kicks* --
even the people that worked on [[Gnipper]] (below) weren't doing that.
So far I have not seen any solid arguments for the practice of having many
small, interlinked articles, other than "it's the web". This is why I am
referring to that practice as "just for kicks". That's not a straw man,
but it can be refuted by showing such arguments.
>> I don't think so. Merging small articles
into big ones increases the
>> number of redirects floating around.
> Replacing all redirects to FOO with redirects to
BAR is a job for a
> machine. Replacing all links to FOO with links to BAR is a job for a
> human, because you don't know in which verbal context these links appear.
I don't understand this comment.
Can you give an example (possibly hypothetical) of a situation
where you can contrast the effects of the different designs?
OK, let's say you have [[Characters in Atlas Shrugged]], and for each of
these characters you have a redirect on their page (e.g. [[John Galt]]) to
the [[Characters ..]] page, so that they can be linked to.
Now let's say we move [[Characters in Atlas Shrugged]] to [[Characters of
Atlas Shrugged]]. Whoops, now we have lots of double redirects for each of
the individual characters, and need to change the redirs. But this can be
done using a single DB query:
UPDATE cur SET cur_text="#REDIRECT [[Characters of Atlas Shrugged]]" where
cur_text="#REDIRECT [[Characters in Atlas Shrugged]]";
On the other hand, let's say you have
as individual articles, which all point to [[Atlas Shrugged]]. Turns out
that Ayn Rand actually called her book "Worship Me" and "Atlas
was just the working title. So we now need to fix all those links, but
because of the different context they can appear in, this may not be
possible with a DB query.
In general, having lots of small articles requires us to have lots of real
links (not just redirects) to tie them together, which may need to be
updated at some point. And this can get very messy. There's other stuff,
like the redundant intro texts which may need to be changed etc.
Agh, everybody forget how we *look*.
No. It may not be essential, but it is important. And how we look reflects
on what we are (yeah, very deep, I know). If we consider every Gnipper
relevant enough to get his own article, that says something about our
standards of significance, too.
But another problem with subpages is still present.
That problem was that we didn't know if it was best
to structure things as [[Stuff/Chap's views]] or [[Chap/Views on Stuff]].
By placing all of Chap's views on Stuff in [[Chap]], you choose the latter.
By keeping [[Chap's views on Stuff]] separate, Oliver avoids the problem.
As I said, where the situation is ambivalent, I agree that having a
separate page may be a better solution.
For a published encyclopaedia, which is a finished
I don't think that the ability to grow into a long article
makes any difference for their purposes one way or another.
That does have some relevance to us, but not to them.
Rather, they don't have [[Gnipper]] -- even as a redirect! --
because they don't consider that character significant enough.
Whether an article can theoretically grow is a somewhat counter-intuitive
way to *determine* significance, even for a non-dynamic encyclopedia. My
policy suggestion could also be phrased as "Insigificant subjects should
not have their own articles but instead be merged into longer ones", but
that's more vague and can perhaps be perceived as condescending ("Gnipper
is no unsigificant! He's the best dog EVER!").