[Mediawiki-l] case insensitive links

Rowan Collins rowan.collins at gmail.com
Fri Feb 4 16:18:21 UTC 2005

On Fri, 4 Feb 2005 11:01:38 -0500, Muzaffer Ozakca <mozakca at indiana.edu> wrote:
> I think an article title should be however the first creator assigns it to
> be. If the first person gives "Microsoft windows xp" it should be titled
> that way until somebody moves it to the correct title. However, all
> references (links) to "Microsoft windows xp", "microsoft Windows XP" should
> point to the only page existing. We can't assume people know the correct
> capitalization all the time, even then they will make mistakes. So, search
> in the database should be case insensitive but the correct capitalizations
> should be achieved manually.

I guess my general opinion is that any reference to "microsoft windows
xp" is incorrect and needs fixing *anyway*, so why bother making the
link work? I know in many cases it's not as clear-cut as that, but on
any site that's aiming for a reasonable consistency of style, even a
phrase like "list of software design companies" will have a "correct"

I guess I should have thought that the obvious system is to have a
particular capitalisation stored as the title, with only *links* being
case insensitive - and hope that someone will spot that it needs
moving. But how you could ever track down incorrectly typed instances
under such a system, I'm not sure - links to "microsoft windows xp"
would be buried in "what links here" along with all the correct
references. At least under the current system you can create a
redirect, or move the page leaving a redirect behind, and then the
incorrect pages can be identified as linking to that redirect.

In other words, I think such a system would just encourage sloppy
style, whereas MediaWiki (due to its primary role of running Wikipedia
et al) is largely designed to aid in authoring "professional-looking"
content (I would claim the very existence of [[free links]] as opposed
to CamelCase, as well as things like seperation of discussion pages,
as examples of this design goal).

Rowan Collins BSc

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