On 23/09/05, Jimmy Wales <jwales(a)wikia.com> wrote:
I have proposed in the past that we could have a form
of redirect which
I would call a 'hard link'. This is an analogy to Unix-style
versus "hard links". There are some reasons this would be good, and
some reasons why this would be bad, and in any event, the idea has never
gained much support.
Yes, I was about to post something about that very issue - one of the
main issues, underneath the heated debating, seems to be that if you
search for/visit/follow a link to the page "aubergine", you get a
large heading saying "Eggplant", which seems to bias the page towards
that name. I don't think there really *is* such a bias, and all
variants of the term are bolded in the first sentence of the article,
but it is annoying that one should take precedence in the title
The problem with the "hard link" concept (a fairly neat analogy; the
point for those less UNIX-savvy being that both titles have equal
status, neither "redirecting to" the other) is that if linking to
"aubergine" displayed "Aubergine" as the header, it would actually
become *more* of an issue which term was used in *other* articles.
That is, the difference in *effect* between the two links
[[aubergine]] and [[eggplant]] would be that much more noticeable.
Of course, this would be a non-issue if we adopted the habit of always
mentionning all synonyms whenever we linked to the article (which I
personally think would be unwieldy and ugly); or, indeed, if we had an
automatic converter (which I'm currently rather sceptical of working).
But even with neither of those, it would perhaps be an improvement on
And it would *definitely* be better than having two articles with the
same content but for a copy-and-paste - which I see absolutely no
reason we would not end up with if we implemented a split-article or
split-wiki solution. Thinking about it, in an ideal world, all
"Wikipedias" would actually have the same content - it's really a
shame that so few people are multilingual that they have eached
developed into such separate entities.
In practise, I would say there are two main reasons why, say, the
French article on aubergines contains different content from the
1) Not enough people capable of and willing to translate between the two
2) Slightly different policies (e.g. the French allow recipes) because
the difficulty of holding together a single multi-lingual community
has led to what might be described as a "highly federal" structure...
Oh and, of course,
3) Laziness. ;)
The practical application of which thought is that neither (1) nor (2)
would present a barrier between en-us and en-gb [or "en-commonwealth"
or whatever] wikis, because nearly all users of either would in fact
be "bilingual", with merely a preference for one or the other. (3), of
course, would still play a part, but given the number of people
willing to correct interwiki links, by-pass disambig pages, etc, I can
well imagine a group of "translators" (armed with bots) springing up
to keep the two in sync. It does seem rather a waste of their time,
though - since the end result would be two copies of exactly the same
article, with for the most part only subtle linguistic differences.
although it does seem that the Americans have achieved
a sort of
dominate in the vegetables, while losing out in the sports/games area.
I'm not sure why, but that rather made me laugh.
Rowan Collins BSc