Multi Wiki

An idea came to mind yesterday afternoon and I have been coding ever since. I am not sure if this idea is sound or sensible. Basically MultiWiki supports multiple namespaces using a dot-notation similar to Novell NDS. Its still very much work in progress, but I have an example script with some basic instructions running at: (BrokenLink 20040122)

-- DavidMcNicol

I have changed MultiWiki so that the namespaces build from right to left. It feels more like NDS now, but I don't know if that is such a brilliant idea, in the light of day. -- David

MultiWiki now supports external namespace. An external namespace is an association of a namespace with an arbitrary URL. References to pages in such namespaces, make a hyperlink by appending the page to the associated URL. This means, for example, that you can make the association: -->>

Then, a reference like "" would be linked to:

(I knew there was a reason why I wanted NDS style namespaces)

-- David

Why use dots instead of slashes? Why use right to left instead of left to right?

My instinct would be to make it look like a file system. I really hate the way URLs mix directions and conventions, as in I would prefer http://uk/co/bhresearch/www/Pixie/Index.html. It is more uniform and hides more implementation detail. -- DaveHarris

[Later] I'm less interested in MultiWiki, in the sense of making a big Wiki by gluing lots of small ones together. I'm more interested in making a big Wiki by letting a small one grow. Growth is smoother. That's what biases me away from discontinuous names. -- DaveHarris

I guess I was thinking of Java packages, NDS trees, DNS domains and the like. As for the right-to-left style, I felt that it placed the emphasis on the name of the page rather than on the containers. I also liked the notion that external pages looked like DNS entries. Note, however, that these are all very subjective, aesthetic reasons.

I now think that the pages and containers are far too tightly bound. PeterMerel mentioned making containers behave like categories. However, associating a page with a category is much less significant than placing a page in a container.

It just occurred to me that the "belongs-to" relationship might just be one of many relationships we might want between pages and categories. Why not have relationships like "is-an-antipattern-of" and "contributed-to".

-- DavidMcNicol

What I read into what David says here is the idea of adding a qualifier to the link - reminds me of the old semantic network stuff popular in AI about 20 years ago (has it really been that long?!?). I guess the question here is, what extra semantic applies to links of these formats? What makes 'em act like more than just, well, a link? -- PeterMerel

Hmm. I'm not sure if I was suggesting that we qualify the existing links with extra semantics. I was thinking that we could provide a separate mechanism which overarches the standard page/link structure.

The point DaveHarris makes above is valid, and I am beginning to understand Ward's call for simplicity on WikiConsortium (I am always a couple of weeks behind the pace). -- David

Some of the ideas here sound very similar to InterWikiLinks , which are already working on MeatBall, CommunityWiki, WikiFeatures, and several other wiki.


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