OpenWetWare talk:Information management/Article naming conventions

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  • Austin 18:19, 15 June 2006 (EDT): We also need a discussion about what these naming conventions should be. When should colons be used? When should slashes be used? One problem of using colons is that MediaWiki treats it "specially" for interwiki links (OpenWetWare:Namespaces) as I found out when trying to create an interwiki link to the igem wiki. Suddenly all pages beginning with IGEM: stopped working. Other issues include what should happen when someone names a page badly either intentionally or not. Who and with what means do we deal with it? Another thing that I don't particularly like about the current naming scheme is that everyone creates a page for their name (e.g. Austin Che). This pollutes the main namespace and is quite redundant with the user's page which most people have a redirect to in one direction or another. For example, I filter everything in the User: namespace out of my recent changes and having individual user pages in the main namespace essentially makes this filtering useless.
  • Kathleen 19:42, 15 June 2006 (EDT): I agree that we should decide what we want the naming conventions to be before we make this page. Personally, I like the "slash" technique because it automatically generates a link to the previous page. I think some combination of this and namespace usage makes the most sense, but we definitely need to make sure that what we decide is compatible with interwiki links, etc. I think if we establish a convention for new users, most people will try to follow it. And, as some people stated earlier, I'm not sure it's a huge deal if people use general names for stuff. Potentially, we could use the Openwetware namespace for all "whole wiki" pages and avoid the issue altogether.
  • RS 21:23, 15 June 2006 (EDT): I also agree that we should think about naming conventions carefully and Kathleen's proposal which is along the lines of what we are using now seems reasonable. On the issue of using the OpenWetWare namespace, I prefer using the OpenWetWare namespace for OWW related topics and no namespace for pages that are of general interest to the biological research community. For instance, OpenWetWare:Poster for posters advertising OWW and Posters to discuss how to put together a poster.
  • yeem 21:53, 15 June 2006 (EDT) FWIW, MediaWiki is phasing out and/or frowns upon using the slash to create subpages in article space, but doesn't care if it's done in user space. Reshma, your namespace convention makes sense, perhaps we should codify it on the naming conventions page?
    • Kathleen 22:17, 15 June 2006 (EDT): I think what is an article and what is user space is a bit different here, and perhaps up to interpretation. For instance, I would consider a lab page (and sub-pages) part of user space while general protocols, materials, and information are more article-like. I think that most of the overlaps in page names will occur in user space (using my definition) and this may be where we want to focus our attention on setting up some guidelines. If others agree, I think we can continue to encourage the slash option, as long as this will continue to work in future versions of MediaWiki.
    • Austin 07:16, 16 June 2006 (EDT): I didn't know MediaWiki is phasing out the subpage in article space but if that's the case, MediaWiki's definition of article is anything that doesn't begin with User: probably. So just about everything we have is in article space.

yeem 09:21, 16 June 2006 (EDT) These are some namespaces:

  • -2:Media
  • -1:Special
  • 0: (main)
  • 1:Talk
  • 2:User
  • 3:User talk
  • 4:OpenWetWare
  • ...
  • 15:Category talk

So, essentially everything outside of the OWW and user namespaces is article space (ns:0). As far as subpages are concerned, I may have been confused; this is Wikipedia policy, but I thought I remembered reading something about MediaWiki phasing subpages out too.

  • Austin 10:21, 22 June 2006 (EDT): The more I think about it, the more I think that our use of the colon doesn't make much sense. Not only can it conflict with MediaWiki's use of it (for real namespaces, interwiki links, etc), it isn't clear what our colon means or how it is different from the slash. For example, why is it IGEM:MIT/2006/blah and not IGEM MIT:2006/blah or IGEM MIT 2006/blah. It seems to me that we should be using a simple hierarchy with only slashes to avoid trying to figure out where the colon goes, so for example IGEM/MIT/2006/blah. This is more consistent and so easier to use. In addition, it makes it clear that IGEM/MIT is a subpage of IGEM. It also makes it clear that it is in the main namespace (namespace in the MediaWiki sense). Another plus is that it standardizes even more page names. For example, some groups put a space after the colon. While IGEM: MIT/2006 may look fine, it's unlikely people would do IGEM/ MIT/2006. As for MediaWiki/Wikipedia, it doesn't seem like they are phasing out software support of subpages as they definitely support it for other namespaces. The arguments I read against subpages on Wikipedia are due to the nature of their encyclopedia. To some extent I agree for general things (like what goes in the Wikipedia main namespace). The argument against subpages for general topics is knowing under what it should go. We have the same problem with things like protocols, and we may not want to have subpages for protocols. For example, DNA ligation could be a subpage of DNA or subpage of ligation, but it isn't clear which makes more sense so Wikipedia's policy is to use neither. We may however want the page named Protocols/DNA ligation. For our other pages, it is quite clear for a lab, for example, that everything under the lab belongs to that lab and there's no ambiguity there (perhaps there is for people who may be in multiple groups, but that's a separate discussion). So what do people think of eliminating the colon, standardizing on just using the URL compatible slashes as a hierarchy? For existing pages, if we decide to change naming convention, it's actually not difficult to automatically rename all pages and links that use colons to slashes.