Version 11 of Wiki jumps the shark

Updated 2010-07-08 22:32:23 by dkf

Once upon a time there was a very simple wiki. It didn't have a lot of fancyness - just content. The content was impressive, interesting code, concise examples, imaginative input.

A new front page arrived, a fancy image that I both liked and disliked. It was a nice graphic with image mapped links to parts of the wiki. Wiki maintainers change and Wub began. Wub is nice, has architecture and some docs - something that wikit perhaps lacked, it's more complex. A side bar appeared, some complained, others claimed "It's optional". I was disturbed - it's a complication. Recently, Recent Changes gained an inexplicable header, Recent News? As I enter this screen, I see that I have fancy buttons across the top of the text box to help with markup, isn't wiki about simple ASCII content? Markup is sparse to complement content not upstage it. Now alas page names are obscured, bowing to appearances.

This is no longer simple:

 ----
 !!!!!!
 %| [Category Command%|%Command%|%] | [Category TclX%|%TclX%|%] |%
 !!!!!!

This wiki has jumped the shark.

jbr


LV 2010-July-08 I suppose if you want to consider any expansion of functionality jumping the shark, then this wiki has jumped. On the other hand, the wiki doesn't require a user to use the above notation. There are no pages that I'm aware of where a user is instructed that to do so is a good thing.

What the wiki has done, thanks to the effors of jdc and others, is evolve to provide additional functionality that is available should one so happen to wish to make use of it.

For instance, one _could_ change all of the above syntax to

<<categories>> Command | TclX

to add a page to 2 of the wiki's categories. The primary difference between my markup and DKF's, which you refer to above, is that the pesky labels "Category Command" and "Category TclX" show up in the formatted category line instead of the plain "Command" and "Tclx" that DKF achieved.

The fact that one can override a hyperlink label at all on the wiki is feature which some use.

The simplicity of the wiki is still present - one need not use table formatting, section headers, embedded images, etc. However, additional "power user formatting" has indeed been added so that someone who wishes to do some additional formatting has the ability to do so.

If providing optional additional power formatting is jumpting the shark, then all I would argue is the semantic term you've assigned to the matter. I certainly wouldn't argue that the additional power has indeed been added - just that jumping the shark, to me, isn't adding functionality.

If, on the other hand, the wiki was modified so that only users of one specific web browser had the ability to use it, and everyone else was blocked form access, then I would agree that the wiki had jumped the shark.


2010-06-15 - Now we have syntax highlighting too. Yeah! :(.


AMG: I haven't seen anyone rename the category links like that. You can do it if you like, or if you don't like, don't do it. All that's going on here is that we Wiki authors now have tools to gussy up the style a little bit, if we so fancy. And if you think it's complicated to center and "table" the categories, well... that's why it's built into the new-page template. Still think it's too complicated? Use the old style on your pages, or make up your own. That's how Wikis operate.

I don't like the link renaming either. Therefore, I use it only very sparingly, to work a non-Wiki hyperlink into the text of my page. And (although this constitutes even more stylistic clutter!) I would like to see a little planet icon or different link color or something to help distinguish between this style and a true Wiki link. But I guess I could have just used the [L1 ] style for that, if it really mattered to me. It doesn't, not really. So long as I have my content, I'm happy.


DKF: You do realize that that is (a) just a hack of other formatting, and (b) something I was just copying-and-pasting from one page to the next? You really don't need to follow that sort of thing.

There is exactly one person working on advancing the wiki application (jdc) and another working on the webserver containing it (CMcC). I focus on producing good content. I'm happy to hack around with the tools provided to do that, but I'm truly just making simple webpages. (If you want real complexity, try mediawiki when tricked out with all the features that wikipedia has...)


CMcC - 2009-06-17 08:51:14

I don't mind the minor increases in complexity. In fact most of the mods are just user interface changes, the underlying thing hasn't become significantly more complex. I'm really only commenting here to try the new 'Comment' facility :) I like it.


stevel - 2009-06-17 09:05:04

And it works nicely on an iPhone. I like it too.