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There are two possible approaches to definining syntax of links with descriptions -- they differ in the order in which the address and the link description appear in the raw text of the page. Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages -- in the end the preferences depend heavily on personal habits and style -- thus there is a number of wiki engines with one or the other approach. This is veru unfortunate for Creole, because no matter which option we choose, we make implementing the MixedMode in some engines impossible.

Initially, we have chosen to follow the voice of the majority, and choose the way of the UseMod wiki, with the address first and description last. The reason is simple -- many wikis based their markup on the UseMod's rules. There is, however, a number of text markup standards that use opposite order -- most notably CrossMark.

There is however a third way -- introducing own link markup format, that wouldn't conflict with markups of existing wikis. This allows to both stay compliant with Creole, and retain the preferred order of link and description.

Addition proposal #


The description is separated from the link with an arrow-like pair of characters "->". If there are multiple such pairs in the description, the last one is considered to be the separator.

Advantages #

  • used by PmWiki, so it is NotNew
  • avoids the pipe character, which is not present on all international keyboards
  • the order of link and description is indicated in the markup
  • doesn't conflict with the default [[link|description]] markup
  • provides alternative to the default order of link and description
  • doesn't depend on "smart" methods of guessing which part is the link
  • doesn't clash with the table markup, or any other existing Creole markup -- doesn't require modyfying existing rules
  • two-character long separator makes it easier to scan the raw text and reduces probability of conflict with other markup

Disadvantages #

  • new for most users
  • new in Creole
  • the '[', ']' and '>' characters are not available on some keyboards, eg. the for russian keyboard layout
  • slower to type than the default link syntax
  • lacks the intuitive counterpart that would use "<-"
  • introduces more than way of making links -- this means that the users need to know both ways
  • potential source of confusion when the separator is not easy to spot, eg. a | at the end of a complicate url with multiple parameters
  • ambiguity with current link syntax:
Is this a link to page "foo" with description "bar->baz", or a link to "baz" with description "foo|bar"?
  • inconsistence with the image syntax -- should images also have a similar addition?

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« This page (revision-18) was last changed on 26-Sep-2007 12:33 by ChuckSmith