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New types of links

by brianarn (Chaplain)
on Jun 13, 2002 at 19:11 UTC ( #174301=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

One of the things that I enjoy about the Perlmonks website is how easy it can be to create links to both internal and external content. Using features such as
[id://XXXXX] [cpan://XXXXX] [google://XXXX]
and the list goes on (at What shortcuts can I use for linking to other information?). After watching some monks have a heated discussion in the CB involving some acronyms, one of the monks asked what some of the acronyms were. It was easy enough for someone to explain them, but it gave me an idea for one new link, which then spawned into three ideas.
  • [whatis://XXXXX]
    • Idea: As I'm sure some of us are aware, there's a technical dictionary located at http://www.whatis.com (that actually forwards to http://whatis.techtarget.com). This dictionary can be used to look up various technical terms for definition, and as such I thought it might be handy to have a [whatis://XXXXX] item, so that if we're trying to explain a certain feature, we could easily use this link to look up the definition.
    • URL for lookup of XXXXX:
      http://whatis.techtarget.com/wsearchResults/1,290214,,00.html?query=XXXXX
    • Example:
      [whatis://SMTP] -> SMTP
    • Cons: I know that Google could probably generate a result that'd be satisfactory enough, but whatis.com really does have some good content in spots.
  • [dictionary://XXXXX]
    • Idea: Along similar lines to the whatis.com idea, this would allow for a dictionary lookup at http://www.dictionary.com with another type of link for convenience.
    • URL for lookup of XXXXX:
      http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=XXXXX
    • Example:
      [dictionary://serendipity] -> serendipity
    • Cons: Even [dictionary://XXXXX] is a little long to type, but I think it could come in handy.
I'd figure that naturally, all links of this nature would be able to use the pipe syntax to change the name of the resulting link, but leaving the content of the link the same. Seeing as this sort of linking is already implemented with things like Google, it seems to me that these new links would be fairly easy to implement. I could be dead wrong though, I don't know what Everything looks like under the hood (yet).

I'd really like some feedback, if anyone wants to take the time. I figure that these ideas are fun and some may not consider them worth implementing, but I wanted to share.

~Brian

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Re: New types of links
by r0b (Pilgrim) on Jun 13, 2002 at 19:23 UTC
    I think this would be a good idea in general and i only have two criticisms:

    1) I think the links should be more perl centric. E.g. a [syntax://grep] that links to the onsite perl documentation.
    2) Your suggested links (whatis.com, dictionary.com) are offsite and would provide a rather disjointed experience for the user so I think it would be better to keep the links onsite.

    Other than these i'm all for your idea.

    ~~rob
    ____________________________________________________________
    eval pack "h*", "072796e647022245d445f475454494c5e622b3";

      1. That is not a really bad idea, since it might sometimes be clashes betweem where something links, and for instance the username "grep". Otherwise, a simple [grep] is enough to link to the site docs. (Using [syntax://] or perhaps [doc://] could provide a way to show exactly what you want to link to. The site docs are of course outdated, but links onward to other resources in a very elegant way (++ whoever fixed that).

      2. As you can see at What shortcuts can I use for linking to other information?, most link types link offsite, to useful places like Google and CPAN. This is a good thing, as it provides easy ways to link to extra information, without needing to have it all on this very site (imagine mirroring all of google just because you don't want to link offsite).

      I have never heard of anyone having any trouble with any disjointed experience due to offsite linking, that is a big part of how the internet works after all, with cross-referencing and links to places of information.


      You have moved into a dark place.
      It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

      1) Using perldoc://grep will generaly do close to the right thing (points to a perldoc.com search for foo). Also, using perlfunc:grep will link to the "the onsite docs are out of date, but..." page.

      2) I'd personaly like the whatis:// scheme, and dict:// pointing to http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=$whatever. I generaly find m-w.com to give nicer results then dictionary.com, but either way. The important part is that dict:// is better then dictionary://.


      We are using here a powerful strategy of synthesis: wishful thinking. -- The Wizard Book

        In response to point 2...

        I like shortening it to dict:// like you did here and demerphq suggested below, and I also like the idea of using merriam-webster's dictionary better. I just didn't realize it was there cause I went to dictionary.com. hehe. :)

        ~Brian
      [syntax://grep]

      This sounds like a great idea. I would also like to see a [monk://grep] tag added to specify a user's home node. :-)



      grep
      Just me, the boy and these two monks, no questions asked.
        How about [syn://grep], as in "Where to send sinning Monks :)

        "Nothing is sure but death and taxes" I say combine the two and its death to all taxes!
Re: New types of links
by mojotoad (Monsignor) on Jun 14, 2002 at 05:52 UTC
    Good ideas.

    I've seen a bit of carping and resistance to providing non-perl-centric shortcuts. I'd like to propose that we can have our cake an eat it too, since what we're really talking about is where we fall on the bell curve of generality.

    Obviously this site is well served by Perl-specific shortcuts.

    Nearly as obviously, there's no point in providing shortcuts to alternate programming languages (yah?), political sites, religious sites (like real monasteries, for instance), etc.

    However, there exists utility on the web that is ubiquitous to any web experience, including topical sites. I think the suggestions above fall into acceptable ubiquity. We see this with ISBN, etc.

    Consider it not on the grounds of how Perl specific it is, but rather on how it stands in a Huffman-encoding sense. If lots of monks make such references, then a shortcut makes sense.

    Personally, I vote for an imdb shortcut, for the CB if nothing else.

    Matt

Re: New types of links
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 14, 2002 at 11:27 UTC
    Please note this is not a criticism of brianarn or his post.

    I though I'd give http://www.whatis.com a try and of course searched for "Perl".

    I eventually ended up here, where they say:

    Perl is an interpreted language that can optionally be compiled just before execution into either C code or cross-platform bytecode.

    I have sent them a note to inform them of the error of their ways.

Re: New types of links
by demerphq (Chancellor) on Jun 14, 2002 at 12:55 UTC
    I have in the past suggested a dictionary link so obviously im inclined to be supportive of this idea. However I think that there are two (minor indeed) problems with your proposal.

    First is that dictionary.com unfortunately shows a pop up when you visit. This can be annoying and sometimes causes problems actually getting to their site. A dictionary site that doesnt do this might be better, but whatever. *shrug*

    The other point is that I would prefer that instead of dictionary the prefix be dict if only cause it saves 6 chars of typing... :-)

    Yves / DeMerphq
    ---
    Writing a good benchmark isnt as easy as it might look.

(kudra: not dictionary.com) Re: New types of links
by kudra (Vicar) on Jun 15, 2002 at 19:24 UTC
    I don't care much about adding shortcuts in general, but I think there needs to be some consideration over where these links go, since they imply a sort of endorsement from perlmonks. While I think there are very few people who will object to the [cpan://] link, I do object to dictionary.com (I use m-w instead) for the following reasons:
    1. Allows l33t style spelling
    2. Really just takes a lot of other people's definitions, including those in the jargon file, which isn't how a dictionary is usually compiled
    3. Includes value judgements on subject matter
    For an example, see this entry. If you don't consider that statement that software piracy is illegal and should be reported to <non-governmental agency> a value judgement, search for the term 'murder' or 'rape' and note the lack of a similar statement.

    Non-perl related links should be carefully considered.

      1. Allows l33t style spelling
      not seeing how the decreases the value of the dictionary. if it only accepted l33t style spelling you'd have a point.
      2. Really just takes a lot of other people's definitions, including those in the jargon file, which isn't how a dictionary is usually compiled
      True but not seeing how this is a bad thing. you get multiple definitions instead of just one.
      3. Includes value judgements on subject matter
      this seems to be quite rare though. and the definition was valid... I would agree it was out of place but not THAT big a deal. It wasn't even a value judgement but a statement of fact, piracy IS illegal.
      oh well i don't really see this issue as all that important. move to a diffrent dictionary if that what people prefere, who really cares?

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