Wiki markup is the dream

The Big Picture, the Crow's Nest, the 40,000 ft. view: Topics about the concepts, philosophy, and social psychology behind Wikipedia and Web 2.0
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Auggie
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Wiki markup is the dream

Post by Auggie » Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:16 pm

Ever since I was a kid playing Enchanter and other Infocom games, I liked the way typing a few simple text commands on a keyboard could give me a sense of power. I became interested in MS-DOS, BASIC, Turbo Pascal, and later HTML and CSS, and a bit of Java.

Anyway I think the reason so many Wikipedians love playing their game is because a tiny bit of coding knowledge, i.e. the ability to use and understand wiki markup, can make them feel so powerful.

They can slap templates on other users, causing those humans on the other end of the connection to feel bad. They can edit templates and policy pages, subtly tilting the terms of the engagement in their favor. They can know which forums to shop for, how to frame their arguments using the proper syntax to maximize their chances of being included, always with the goal of presenting their adversary as the outsider without knowledge of how the system works or how to behave.

It's like the Harry Potter fans who want to wave their wands and mutter some Latin-sounding nonsense and get what they want. The dream realized in the form of an encyclopedia-like website. Amazing. :mrgreen:

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The Joy
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Re: Wiki markup is the dream

Post by The Joy » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:11 am

I never really got the hang of wiki markup. I thought I stunk at it as a wiki-gnome. Then, the Visual Editor came out and I found I liked just manually coding. I had understood enough of it to get by and VE couldn't (and to my knowledge, still can't) do things that hand coding can do.
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Proabivouac
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Re: Wiki markup is the dream

Post by Proabivouac » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:24 am

The Joy wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:11 am
I never really got the hang of wiki markup. I thought I stunk at it as a wiki-gnome. Then, the Visual Editor came out and I found I liked just manually coding. I had understood enough of it to get by and VE couldn't (and to my knowledge, still can't) do things that hand coding can do.
I suggest that the main reason for wiki markup is to render the pages unprocessable by regular html, so despite the license it's not trivially easy to repost the content.

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Auggie
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Re: Wiki markup is the dream

Post by Auggie » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:39 pm

The Joy wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:11 am
I never really got the hang of wiki markup. I thought I stunk at it as a wiki-gnome. Then, the Visual Editor came out and I found I liked just manually coding. I had understood enough of it to get by and VE couldn't (and to my knowledge, still can't) do things that hand coding can do.
Right. The basic old-school markup is very helpful. You can drop in headings, images, and links without much fuss. That alone is worth the price of admission.
Proabivouac wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:24 am
I suggest that the main reason for wiki markup is to render the pages unprocessable by regular html, so despite the license it's not trivially easy to repost the content.
Good point. Not that HTML the way it is usually used is so easy to deal with either. But the templates are absolutely out of control. It is very rare to be able to export an article and have it work right on another MediaWiki, let along any other kind of platform.

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