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Eclipsepedia:Organizing Content

As part of moving over the Buckminster content to the Eclipsepedia from a Wiki using a different format and structure I learned a couple of things regarding how to structure pages that may be of value to others. I wish I had known this before I started converting eveything though...

The Problem

The Wiki is a flat structure meaning that all the regular documents are in the same name space. How do you make sure they do not clash and at the same time end up with useful document names?

The Solution(s)

Use slashes

The first approach one can take is to use compound names (like regular file system path type names). As an example Buckminster/Documentation/Introduction. But, since this is just a name with slashes it does not add any extra functionality. There is subpage functionality in MediaWiki but this is not turned on in the Eclipsepedia. If it had been on, the wiki would add links to parent page, and it is somewhat more convenient to create subpages. Still - the functionality is very limited. Most wikis do not have this feature turned on.

To link to a page with slashes in the name and only have the last part of the name be shown the link must use the "pipe" notation. Using the same example you have to type [[Buckminster/Documentation/Introduction|Introduction]].

Use Prefix

An obvious solution is to include a prefix in every page name to denote the context. This is what I selected for Buckminster, not including the prefix however on pages that already had the word Buckminster in it like Introduction to Buckminster. With this approach names are simpler than in the attempt of structuring with slashes but there is still the need to abreviate links with pipe syntax. Oh, naturally the structure implied in the slash-type names is lost, but since there was no way to automatically navigate the structure this does not seem like an inconvenience.

Using a category creates structure. I added all the Buckminster pages to a [[Category:Buckminster]] which works very nicely as category pages contains an index of all the pages in the category. But - uh - oh, all the pages had the same prefix "Buckminster" so the category page has all the pages under the same letter "B". That looks silly.

Use Postfix

The new trick I learned is that it is possible to use a special postfix notation. If I instead of using Buckminster Introduction as a page name, call it Introduction (Buckminster), then I can easily get rid of the postfix by just using a single pipe! A link on the format [[Introduction (Buckminster)|]], gives me what I want (i.e. only the text "Introduction") without too much typing.

As a bonus this also takes care of the category page indexing.