[Wikipedia-l] Re: [Wikitech-l] Hyperlink convention

Gerard Meijssen gerardm at myrealbox.com
Thu Sep 30 22:06:17 UTC 2004

David Friedland wrote:

> Jens Ropers wrote:
>> My 2 [[eurocent]]s:
>> The possibilities for diverse British/American spelling being so 
>> widespread, the adoption of "both options"-markup would absolutely 
>> _guarantee_ that every single article's markup would become so 
>> convoluted that it will more successfully prevent new contributors 
>> from joining the Wikipedia than all other "less than optimal" 
>> proposals combined.
>> The differences between British/US English DO NOT impair 
>> understanding of the article text for most people.
>> Extra markup to "cater for" these differences DECIDEDLY WOULD impair 
>> understanding of the markup text for most people.
>> IMHO the motion to introduce the proposed markup epitomizes the 
>> victory of grammarian stormtrooping over the KISS principle.
> Every suggestion to add a feature to wiki markup gets immediately 
> denounced by certain people who insist that adding any new feature 
> will make the wiki markup too complicated and drive away new users.
> And yet, no one has ever shown that that new users have been put off 
> complex wiki markup. In fact, the number of editors grows every day, 
> and continues to grow, regardless of the complexity of wiki markup. 
> This kind of reactionary opposition to the addition of features to 
> wiki markup is unwarranted. We already have wiki markup for 
> mathematical formulas and even Egyptial hieroglyphics. Why is support 
> for dialect variants such an onerous addition? Do want to not 
> implement a feature that actual people want and desire and will use 
> because there may be hypothetical people who might not join the 
> project because we have the feature?
> It seems to me that the syntax for templates, image thumbnails, 
> tables, and mathematic formulas have already made the wikitext hard to 
> read and understand for new users. The reality is that in the creation 
> of an encyclopedia, there are complicated things and ideas that 
> require complicated markup. Is localized dialectical consistency not 
> something worth striving for? And who should make that decision?
> Is
> The -{en-us colors; en-gb colours}- of the U.S. flag are red, white 
> and blue.
> going to dissuade users from editing an article any more than the 
> following?
> <div style="border: 1px solid black; background: #ffefcf; padding: 
> 7px;">If you were looking for an article on the abbreviation "VFD", 
> please see [[VFD]].</div>
> {{Shortcut|[[WP:VFD]]}}
> {{deletiontools}}
> {{VfD_header}}
> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 
> [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Wikipedia:Votes_for_deletion&action=edit&section=0 
> <small>edit</small>]
> Rather than trying to live in the fiction that en-us and en-gb are 
> equally understandable and mutually compatible, we should admit that 
> they are different, that those differences can and empirically do 
> cause problems, and that we should create a solution to solve it.
> - David Friedland

Please consider that there is English spoken outside us and uk, consider 
our dear friends down under, who are said to be understandable while 
speaking English, Please consider these poor sods who do not speak 
English right from the tit. Yes, there are differences, but when I, 
someone from the Netherlands am to write stupid markup where I am not 
even really aware if it is American or English what I write, I promis 
you that you will find many people like me leaving the English wikipedia 
as an editor.

The difference with table markup and whatever markup is, that they add 
value, they add content that everyone understands. Not only that, this 
mark-up works in ALL wikipedia and is not so parochial. The difference 
between en-uk or en-us or en-au is not something that adds value for 
many, while complicating wiki beyond recognition. If this extra markup 
is hidden from view when editing, we are talking. But as long as we are 
to see this markup, we will lose many people and for what, for who ?


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