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The BackLink (title search) concept invented by WardCunningham is that you follow a page's title link and it becomes the words used in your search. If you click on the title of this page, for example, you will be presented with a list of all the pages where this page is linked to.

Early in Wiki:WikiHistory (1996), StanSilver had the idea of using BackLinks to create Wiki:WikiCategories. By creating a category page and linking to it in pages that fall under that category, its BackLinks would create a ReverseIndex of pages in that category. Entering a category name into FindPage, would also produce a category ReverseIndex.

DaveParker later followed up on StanSilver's idea by creating a ReverseIndexTree. In this concept, the user is given in one page the complete tree of all categorized pages (on this wiki, it would be a huge page, of course). Example output from MeatballWiki:


How is the list created?
This particular server scans all pages when it starts and creates a "data store" of BackLinks.

Are there other uses for this function?
I can think of only two practical uses...the one that Robert was originally looking for - a list of categories and a list of pages belonging to those categories. The other use might be to see a list of all pages with Wiki Badges on them. The first level would be the badge names (e.g. Answer Me, Refactor Me, etc), and the second level, a list of all pages with those badges.

Isn't the problem of LinkingWithoutIndexing worse here than with the ReverseIndex feature?
The solution I'm trying is via a "glossary". Originally, the glossary was meant to provide definitions for TLAs (ThreeLetterAcronyms?), and if the glossary entry included a link, then the acronym was rendered as a link (TLA links to ThreeLetterAcronyms?). Expanding the glossary to include categorycategory means that the lowercase version now functions as a link to CategoryCategory but doesn't show in the list of BackLinks -- linking without indexing.


Some of the issues with categorizing and indexing can be solved with a database that supports metadata for wiki pages. See LinkingWithoutIndexing.

The amazing advantage of this function is to create an outline of all the pages in a wiki very much like Zwiki does it. But with AnnoWiki all that is necessary to create this outline is to insert a category tag at the end of each page so I find this truly revolutionary in its simplicity.

Contrast the above example with http://zwiki.org/FrontPage/contents - optional page hierarchy: organize pages as an outline.

Since the anno wiki engine keeps a table of back links for each page, it is able to produce an outline similar to Zwiki's in no time.

CategoryWikiTechnology CategoryIndexingScheme


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