Comments on 2021-07-13 The wiki aesthetic

A side effect of using Oddmuse is that the markup is easy to extend, so I do it all the time. I added extensions to support Wiki Creole, Markdown, automatic smart quotes, automatic en and em dashes, bbCode, Gemtext, special purpose link types, special markup for IRC conversations, and on and on. And this mess is starting to be a burden, in a way. So sometimes a formatting rule get changed or dropped, a global search and replace operation tries to migrate the pages, and perhaps it works and perhaps it doesn’t. There definitely is degradation.

– Alex 2021-07-13 12:18 UTC

I’ve been struggling with similar questions concerning the No Time To Play wiki, given how the site has changed in recent times, and my plans for the future. So far my best answer is to use it! A wiki is not a museum. They die if left to sit there. For better or worse, I’m going to keep updating it, even if it gets a little messy. Life is messy. And wikis are the most organic way to make a website.

Felix 2021-07-13 17:19 UTC

Wikis are the most organic way to make a website. So true.

– Alex 2021-07-14 07:14 UTC

With community wikis I’ve learned to make a “Recent changes” list a prominent part of the front page. That’s one of the first things I do now.

Our old li’l ancom wiki is deader than disco since more than a decade now, but I have a non-public wiki for my D&D group that all the participants heavily use and having a “Recent changes” list is so awesome. It just clues everyone in at what is going on. For my own blog I don’t do the same. I treat it as sort of a hybrid between blog and wiki, but it’s not running wiki software, it’s more a mentality of “I will go back and edit these pages if I come up with ways to make them better—each page is meant to be the canonical representation of its idea”. That’s why I don’t have dates in the title. Each page is a resource that I can link to again and again.

As far as link names go, I’m bummed out that more wikis don’t work the way the old Tomboy app worked, that would just automatically create links if a page existed with that name.`

Originally, I saw the low interconnectivity between my text pages as a feature. Each page is an island and not trying to upsell you to go see the rest of the site. But I’m reconsidering that. I’m working on something that’ll maybe zettelkast the whole thing some more. The site has been up for ten years but ⅔ of the pages are from this last year. (Pandemic isolation drove me back online.) If it keeps growing at this rate, the time to do this sort of linktastic overhaul is now; enough pages to work with but not so many that I can’t get an overview of them.

Sandra 2021-07-14 09:43 UTC

Ah, the joy of AccidentalLinking. 😄

– Alex 2021-07-14 12:00 UTC

I think the whole of the Internet is very much like a wiki in the sense of lots of old pages and hot spots of activity. Also in the sense that it’s hard to refer to things that haven’t been mentioned by someone already — you have to digitize and upload them yourself, instead of just linking. That may actually be an important part of the mechanism creating this sort of structure.

– deshipu 2021-07-20 15:02 UTC

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