[Wikipedia-l] Transitioning toward a clean wiki syntax.

Brion VIBBER brion at pobox.com
Sat Aug 10 22:06:57 UTC 2002

The Cunctator wrote:
> On 8/10/02 4:20 PM, "lcrocker at nupedia.com" <lcrocker at nupedia.com> wrote:
>>An advantage of using double breackets only is that we'll then
>>be able to use single brackets as regular punctuation, which would
>>be especially handy in math articles, among others.
> Since the number of times we make links in Wikipedia vastly outnumbers the
> times we use single brackets as regular punctuation, it would benefit the
> efficiency of the project to have single brackets denote links.
> Or so the argument goes.

Looking at [[Wikipedia:How does one edit a page]], I notice that most of 
our wiki markup breaks down into roughly two types:

One or more symbols at the beginning of a line; terminated by line end
  - " " space for preformatted text
  - *, #, : etc for lists

Two or more symbols, terminated by the same number of symbols:
  - ''italics'', '''bold'''
  - == Headings ==, === more headings ===, ==== etc ====
  - [[Freelinks]]

So using double brackets is:
* consistent with our other markup
* not a significant effort (oh no, double keystrokes!)
* much less likely to conflict with legitimate use of single characters 
(see below)

> The counter-argument I think would have something to do with the
> alternative, that is, how would we denote unmagical brackets when necessary?

Currently the very unwieldy <nowiki>[a]</nowiki>.

>>The answer to your first question is easy--you know where the code
>>is.  Like everything else here in Wiki land, the "authority" falls
>>on the ones willing to do the work.
> Again, Wiki land != Wikipedia backend code development. What I'm saying is
> that being in charge of the code vests huge power, which behooves at least a
> front of humility. Is that coherent?

What do you want, the programmers should walk three steps behind 
everybody else and not speak unless spoken to? ;)

-- brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com)

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