On bootstrapping a community-run FOSS event
Posted Apr 27, 2010 14:00 UTC (Tue) by n8willis
In reply to: On bootstrapping a community-run FOSS event
Parent article: On bootstrapping a community-run FOSS event
Wiki markup offers only a bare subset of basic HTML, and it's inconsistent and arbitrary. To take one example, consider a hyperlink: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Links
The format is completely different depending on whether the link is to an external or an internal page. For an external page, you can just write the URI, and it will (supposedly) be parsed and linked to itself. Unless it's a mailto:, in which case you use  brackets. If you want to link text, however, you must enclose the link in brackets, include whitespace, and include the text you want linked inside the brackets. If you want to link to an internal wiki-page, of course, you use [] double brackets, no whitespace, and a | pipe. Plus on external links, you can't link to reserved words like "video" because those get trapped by the parser and turned into icons. Accidentally use the  brackets and no link text, and that creates a numbered list item. Want to prevent auto-linkifying URLs; that requires HTML-like < > angle brackets.
Stuff like that. Rather than a well-formed <a> tag. And it's all like that; the table format is a pain to read and to write, signatures have a screwy rule based on a string of ~ tildes of arbitrary length. But none of it deals with the main problem, which is that wikis are designed to blur the barrier between reading and editing a page -- which is appropriate for a crowd-sourced document system like Wikipedia itself, but is not structured for use by an organized team, such as a proper CMS is. The right tool for the right job; that's what we want for project management.
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