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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.

Change Proposal #

[[ description -> link ]]
[[ link <- description ]]

Advantages #

  • used by PmWiki, so it is NotNew
  • works better with international keyboards
  • the order of link and description is indicated in the markup

Disadvantages #

  • new for most users
  • the '[', ']' and '>' characters are not available on some keyboards, eg. the russian keyboard layout
  • slower to type
  • really confusing on right-to-left languages like Hebrew (?)

Another Change Proposal to Creole #


Advantages #

  • description before link more intuitive (?)

Disadvantages #

  • conflicts with current Creole spec
  • is less popular order of description and link on current wikis

Add Markdown Style Links to Creole #

Perhaps an option would be to support the traditional Usemod style of links in addition to Markdown style links. This has the advantage of providing historical support for what most users are familiar with while still providing a more readable alternative for those that care.


For those that really care about readability, Markdown's footnote style link syntax might be a welcome addition as well:

... <arbitrary amount of text> ...
[id]: http://example.com/  "Optional Title Here"

Advantages #

  • Supports description|link style link which can be programatically differentiated from the link|description style
  • Description before link more readable (someone from Wikipedia mentions this from experience on this site)
  • Footnote style provides even more readability for those that care
  • An increasing amount of people are familiar with Markdown syntax

Disadvantages #

  • Conflicts with current Creole spec
  • Increases complexity with a second linking style

Current Syntax in Creole #


Advantages #

  • currently most used wiki syntax for internal links
  • similar to the most popular syntax for external links (minus the pipe)
  • faster to type

Disadvantages #

  • the order of link and description is not marked
  • the '[', ']' and '|' characters are not available on some keyboards, eg. the russian keyboard layout

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« This particular version was published on 06-Feb-2007 15:53 by