clean linking

The only way to create links freely on whatever wiki-engine and thus prerequisite to come to an agrement without excluding anybody
[de]sauberes Verlinken
[en]clean linking
[fr]connexité idoine

[de]Arbeitssprache: en
[en]working-language: en
[fr]langage de travail: en

Internal clean linking syntax to use :
[CleanLinking clean linking]

External clean linking syntax to use :
[ community-wiki: clean linking]
[CommunityWiki:CleanLinking community-wiki: clean linking]

Clean linking makes it possible for any kind of links on any kind of wiki to:

Recommendations on how to use clean links in order to unify Wikilandia:

(click “Edit this page” to see how the links get done)

Internal clean linking:

External clean linking using the URL of a page:

This page here exists on several other wiki running different engines to show how easy it could be. We first make clean links to each of these pages using the pages URL and then using near-links. You’ll recognize no difference between them unless you look at the page in edit-mode.

now the same using near-links:


How It All Began

Mattis posted the following to the CommunityWiki page:

Bold, eh? Changed this page to the multilingual way used in the multilingual experiment. It leads us into a wikiwide discussion on how to use editable titles the right way. Before it was different all over. Now there is a chance to find a common way to name things.

I feel:
In English:
community-wiki, meatball-wiki. Nouns are small-case in English when not at the beginning of a phrase or in a header. Special names are big-case thus: Ca’Foscari-wiki. It would be Gemeinschafts-Wiki if you translated it to German. I don’t feel like translating it.

Seems like it’s time to make a page explaining how to link in a uniform and “clean” way all over Wikilandia. This page should be cloned on wikis running on different wiki engines and these pages all should be linked to each other. That way somebody who’d like to do this new way of clean linking could just jump to the page on the wikiengine he wants to make edits on to see how it is done on that specific engine. Else it takes ages to figure out. With a hand full of pages one could explain to a major part of Wikilandia how to stick together. I’ll do it for:

From each wiki there could be a page linking to the clean linking page of the respective engine where you can read how it’s done. And from there you get further to pages where you can see how it gets done on other engines. Seven main pages and a couple of dozens or hundreds of pages just naming a link to one of these seven create a sense of how different but how unifyable nevertheless we all are. Would be nice.


  • Point1. I wonder how to index pages using clean linking syntax. In other words, in any wiki, there is a index page that gives all WikiWords using camel-case spelling. Will there be an other function that gives clean links ?
  • Point2. I just googled “clean linking” and couldn’t find this page nor any NearLinks. Then I googled “cleanlinking” and immediately found a NearLink. Question : do we have to swich from Google to MetaWiki search engine? (I searched “clean linking” via MetaWiki and it gave me meatball-wiki: clean linking !)

Heiwei, I did not think about that. That makes it even more radical, a lot more actually. Feels like getting a hint: “Make it all new. Rebuild the world from scratch and this time do it fair. You can do it.”

“Clean linking index” will be “index” and the camelcase-index will be “camelcase index”. When “somehow” coding that the first language-tagged paragraph of a page always contains the editable titles we could surely do such an index. Beautiful like a bookindex it will be. One of the first camel-case free pages.

I didn’t want to be radical, i just wanted to imagine some way to go further a simple inter-wiki surfing tool. This idea of getting rid of the camel-case is interesting because it will help wikis to go out from the ghetto. Using camel-case syntax is funny for those who just start using wikis, but I think it is a break for interoperability with internet and search-engines. If clean linking syntax is widely used, I think there will be a chance that Google will soon point out in first the wiki-pages explaining the concept. A step toward internet wikization? Maybe…

Education : clean linking syntax is a bit complicated. If we want it to be used by wiki contributors, I think we should help him in providing the syntax at the top of each page, so that he will just have to make a “copy-paste” in the editor-window. (and not force him to edit the page to look for the clean linking syntax). That’s what I did for this very page.

Index : “Clean linking index” as the default “index”. What a nice thing! But I’m not sure this is possible because most of wiki-engines work with camel-case references. An alternative would be to implement new fields using [WikiSemantic? semantic wiki],as Charles Nepote described in crao-wiki: wiki sémantique.

MetaWiki : I find this tool interesting as an alternative to Google. Why not upgrade it with new functionalities? Nota: CommunityWiki is not referrenced in this tool.

I asked to integrate community-wiki in meta-wiki, the wiki search-engine. I also googled for “clean linking” and it finds all the “clean linking”-pages I created. Googling “cleanlinking” it find them all as well. I see no problem using google. Just feed it camel-case or the “clean link” - whatever you want. 😉.

Mattis, I think that clean linking is a worthwhile concept. I think that it is also worthwhile in combination with deep linking.

However, I wonder if trying to actually use clean linking in wiki engines that don’t employ it in page name creation might be asking too much? For myself, there is mostly the time issue. I have limited time to participate in wikis, and I’ve trained myself to use wikis as AlexSchroeder explains below in “Arguments Against”. So, this actually slows me down quite a bit.

Now, I can understand why you want to get people doing things this way as much as possible in different wikis. Because, from your perspective, the more people that are doing it, the easier it will be to get others to adopt the protocol/standard. Plus, if people are doing it while they are creating content, then it makes it easy for your clean linking standard to work with deep linking between wikis.

But, I think it practice, it’s going to be tough to get people to do something that goes against the grain of the way the wiki engine is programmed to deal with page content.

So, what is the solution for clean linking, then? I think the solution might be getting the majority of wiki users and wiki engine creators out there to agree on a standard for clean-linking, then to help them modify their wiki engines to use this standard. Also, it may be possible to then create scripts that transform the links in the wikis to the new link standard.

But, I personally can’t live without begin able to create links to other pages, and page names on the fly. So, I don’t mind if someone else comes along edits my links manually, but I can’t get into the flow of doing it myself while using wikis. One of the biggest reasons I use wiki is because of the flow that AlexSchroeder mentioned below.

Thanks Sam. Fixed clean some links in your text. I hated it in the beginning and it took me out of the flow. I do it automatically now and keep my flow. Demonstrating that it works with text written without any link creation at all and then comparing it to a database of editable titles and create clean-links in the preview window for correction before saving might make sense.

Arguments Against so-called "Clean Linking"

Earlier wikis were based on a very simple idea: Page Names are Link Names . This idea was very powerful, because it lead to the development of pattern languages on wikis and, in its relaxed form, to the creation of a LinkLanguage.

Clean linking breaks this. When looking at the link name, you don’t immediately know the page it links to. The names and the concepts drift apart.

This sucks.

Let’s take clean linking. You want a uniform page name for it as you understood a uniform page name is possible. You do not want a uniform mame in the url as you understood this is not possible. You choose clean linking and you hope it will be accepted. You choose small case as the color is enough to point out that it is a link. You choose small case as in most of the context it will be used in small case is orthographically correct. You do not not choose neither CleanLinking (CamelCase imperium) nor Clean_linking (Metawiki imperium) as these exclude each other. And that’s not good. You just use clean linking. It’s rather enabeling than destroying link language. And Wikilandia-wide so, not just locally. It’s on the engineers to automatize it.

Linkname = Pagename. Simple. Works. It’s the important part about it. If you don’t like it, then maybe you are using too many links in your sentences. If you need it in the flow of a sentence and it doesn’t work, then don’t write it. Write another sentence that says: See CleanLinking for more information.

More about it on oddwiki-center: clean linking. Clean linking especially makes sense in combination with deep linking.


Define external redirect: WakkaWiki WackoWiki WikiSemantic

EditNearLinks: MetaWiki TikiWiki WikkaWiki WikiWords PmWiki PhpWiki OpenWiki ProWiki UseMod CamelCase MediaWiki MoinMoin


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