I think getting rid of the / is an important goal for Larry and others. So
I'd change you system to use the new approved style:
Elves (Middle Earth)
The other question is what happens if we try to use this for something where
there's likely to be a "real" article on the wikipedia which we might want
to link to as well? Certainly there were "elves" in folklore before Middle
Earth. My suggestion is that we could use some escape symbol to tell the
system not to use the alias...
That said, this seems like the simplest suggestion so far for context
sensitive linking. And conceivably the most flexible, because we could
configure this to use nested alias namespaces. This means that we could
#alias [[Middle Earth]]
#alias [[Fantasy Novel]]
#alias [[Fantasy Movie]]
#alias [[20th Century Novel]]
at the top of the page on The Fellowship of the Rings. And links on that
page would look for a link to [[Elves]] first in the Middle Earth alias
namespace (which might contain an alias for [[Elves of Middle Earth]], and
then to the Fantasy Novel namespace which might also contain an alias for a
general article on the history of the use of elfish characters in fantasy
novels. And so on. At any point using the escape character before a link
will skip out of all namespaces, and just point directly to the [[elves]]
Though nested namespaces is helpful in the case of self contained worlds, I
expect that it would be almost necessary on pages like [[mitochondrial DNA]]
where different sequences of DNA are used to mark off an amino acid when
compared to those used in non-mitochondrial DNA. In other words one gene
triplet (for example[[CTA]]) could mean something entirely different in the
context of Mitochondrial DNA than it would outside that context. (Though I
don't remember at all which triplets are actually different, I'm sure
someone with a biology background would know this.) My point is that there
are cases like this where nature is uses context sensitive namespaces, and
it would be very helpful to be able to do the same in the wikipedia
And of course things like the [[poker]] pages would benefit by something
like this as [[stud]] means something entirely different in poker,
construction, and animal breeding contexts.
Any Object Oriented programmer knows that nested namespaces are a very
useful tool for keeping large projects with many programmers working
smoothly. As long as data is properly encapsulated, there's no need to know
what variable names are being used elsewhere. And I think the same thing
will be true in the wikipedia. Someone writing an article on construction
shouldn't have to know that there's and article named [[stud (poker)]],
another article named [[stud (construction)]] as well as one named [[stud
(horses)]], and yet a fourth named [[stud (breeding]], they should just be
able to write [[stud]] and have their article point to the correct page.
Just a few thoughts...
From: Uri Yanover [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2002 2:34 PM
Subject: [Wikipedia-l] An alternative idea to resolve the [[Middle Earth]]
Hi everyone again,
Having thought some more about how it is possible to make editing
[[Middle Earth]] easier once again, I've invented another solution
to the problem: aliases.
Here's how it should work: we create a new Alias namespace.
Inside it we'd have entries like [[Alias:Middle Earth]]. This page
would look like the following:
Bilbo Middle Earth/Bilbo
Faramir Middle Earth/Faramir
Frodo Middle Earth/Frodo
Gandalf Middle Earth/Gandalf
In general, the idea would be to match the ad-hoc "short" versions
of the page titles to the "long" version. Each page that that would
want to use the alias, will have to include a directive, explicitly
telling it to, e.g. #alias [[Middle Earth]].
This way we could both keep the longer (and the more informative)
names like [[Middle Earth/Elrond]] and still make short linking
(like [[Elrond]]) possible from the pages that require this.
What do you think about it?
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