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This is a discussion about ISBNs RFCs and InterMaps?

I actually don't understand why ISBN and RFCs have anything to do with the InterMap discussion. KuroShin is in the intermap because it is an OnlineCommunity. Seems straightforward to me. Something like Dictionary and Cache are another story, but I think that stems from an artificial limitation of what people think the intermap is all about. -- SunirShah

How to deal with InterMap links to books (and other media), RFCs (and other documentation), and KuroShin and other sites?

(Moved here from InterMapDiscussion.)

Since the law of the internet is primarily code and RFCs, linking to them would be nice.
Just tested. Already handled. Nice.
Later removed.

ISBN links:

I'm still thinking about it, but I don't think ISBN links fit very well into the "InterWiki" scheme. For one thing, it's nice to allow flexible ISBN entry--both this wiki and C2 allow spaces and - characters in ISBNs. For another, I really don't like pointing to Amazon by default. The right thing to do (in my not-even-vaguely-humble opinion) is to allow the user to link to their preferred merchant. See BruceSterling for a sample of the local ISBN behavior. (In the near future users will be able to select their primary merchant, and any secondary links to others.) --CliffordAdams

You could change that to be

and then similarly support

like ZWiki:FatBrain does. By the way, if you ever want to support ASINs (movies, music), both Amazon and FatBrain? accept those as ISBNs. -- SunirShah

I haven't yet seen any uses of these site-specific URLs. Are they really useful enough to include in the InterWiki list? --CliffordAdams

Another site to add would be BestBookBuys?.com, which is a pointer to a series of booksellers, listing the prices.

Kuro5hin and the InterMap (and ISBNs, and RFCs)

I'd like to add kuro5hin to the namespace, but its URL format is screwy. I'm thinking something along the lines of:

Or maybe just link to the k5 stories (k5:2000/10/4/13157/3080)

This is probably better. I don't see the need to link to everything on k5. In the rare case that would be true, type in the whole URL. You may want to replace k5 with one of { K5, kuro5hin, Kuro5hin }. -- SunirShah

I considered adding K5, but there are a couple problems:

I think the new bracketed-URL feature will work better for K5 stories. See [1] for a sample story. One nice thing about the bracketed-URL is that you can just paste the whole URL inside the brackets without editing. --CliffordAdams

Points of comparison. ISBN 4242424242 (alternate, search) and RFC 42 are similar to the numeric article SIDs. There is no reason not to support numbers in the InterWiki names. If you're being a stickler, use Kuroshin. The reason why I want to support K5 is that I want to set MeatballWiki up as the intercommunity community, so it would be a nice gesture to support k5 in the namespace. And additionally, maybe I can think convince Rusty to patch Scoop. ;)

On the other hand, it is natural to write RFCs and ISBNs inline (as the numbers are significant), but not natural to write the SIDs inline. Like, you specifically want to talk about RFC 42, but you really won't know what SID to link to without going to k5 and copying and pasting the link anyway. That being said, it would be nice to indicate it is a k5 link. Maybe put the domain in the link?[kuro5hin.org:1], [example.com:3] Would that really help? (Consider a site that isn't rooted at the slash.)

Is just simply copying and pasting the link (no brackets) the optimal solution? -- SunirShah

A few replies:

The ISBN and RFC links are not part of the InterMap, and they have several variant forms (especially ISBN links which are very free-form and are processed with specialized code).

The optimal solution depends on what you want to optimize. The bracketed links are probably best for non-obtrusive links surrounded by text. Plain links (like http://kuro5hin.org/?op=displaystory;sid=2000/10/4/13157/3080) may be useful if one doesn't want to add context, but I think I'd generally much rather see text like "See [1] for a K5 article about Nader being denied access to the presidential debates." Even if K5 was added to the InterMap list, I think the bracketed form is usually superior. (One can also bracket-link known InterMap links, such as [2].)

Given that Kuro5hin allows arbitrary HTML link text, they have less need for InterMap-style links. Their "weblog"-style culture is quite different, and I'm not sure the InterMap idea would help K5.

Another thing to consider--If K5 is added then I think SlashDot should also be added. Do we want that? I do not want the InterMap to be some kind of pseudo-DNS replacement that tries to fit everyone within the system.

On the other hand, there is nothing that says Meatball's InterMap file has to be the same as the "official" one. Ideas? --CliffordAdams

Ok. InterWiki links help readability without drastically improving writability. Which is why I am starting to agree that adding kuro5hin is pointless--its URLs aren't readable. -- SunirShah

I pretty much agree with this. There have been some proposals for "pretty links" in Scoop-- using mod_rewrite is one of the easiest ways to make this work, but it's still a hack since the code itself doesn't output pretty links, you could just make it resolve something like http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/[sid crap]. Still, your interwiki link would have to use the sid text, and as mentioned previously, that hardly help readability.

Any good ideas on prettying story links are welcome. The way sid's are contructed now is actually not without reason, as they will make it much easier to archive stuff, when I do get around to archiving. Nonetheless, I wouldn't mind having nice pretty links. --RustyFoster

See also http://www.kuro5hin.org/?op=displaystory;sid=2001/3/12/20643/1807.

   Amazon http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/

Would query a book on Amazon by ISBN number. For example, Amazon:0964387301 goes to http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0964387301

The Amazon entry is probably better handled by the generic ISBN support. For instance, one can write ISBN 0964387301 (alternate, search), or even ISBN 0 964-387-301 (alternate, search) (with arbitrary dashes and spaces), and link to the appropriate entry on three sites. In the future I hope to allow people to choose which site to go to, or even add their own custom URL for ISBN links. Finally, I am still (March 2001) boycotting Amazon.com over their 1-click patent issue--see the [FSF page on the Amazon boycott]. --CliffordAdams

Another opinion needed? What, exactly, is the value of even including ISBN references in UseMod Wiki? I understand how ISBN referencing is quite useful and can see a number of Wiki's making use of it. But in a general sense, I don't see a lot of Wikis ever having a need for it. I spotted the change when I noticed the new version stamp and downloaded the new file. But I don't really see a whole lot of places where this is documented.

I know that UseMod belongs to CliffordAdams, and I can most certainly strip out the ISBN code. Heck, I've added a few of my own, very specific, code to my own Wiki [HLPD]. But in the general interest of UseMod, is it really that useful to the people looking to pick up a new Wiki? Wouldn't it be better applied as a seperate patch?

Just some thoughts. ;) ~SL

The main value, as explained above, is that including special ISBN code allows common variant forms of ISBN (with spaces and dashes) to be typed directly. This means that people can simply type the ISBN exactly as it appears on a book.

Is it really that useful? Well, it doesn't bring about world peace, but it does help a number of people. If I was going to reimplement the feature now I would take the Wikipedia approach of linking to a special wiki page with multiple links and explanatory text. (Maybe it could even be a wiki page that would be specially processed to replace "#ISBN" with the number. Unfortunately I have no time to write code in the near future.)

Wouldn't it be better applied as a seperate patch? No. (You obviously overestimate the abilities of many wiki admins. :-) Applying a patch is not trivial, especially for people using MS-Windows. It could have been (yet another) option, but I can't see why people would turn it off.

I hope this explanation helps. If you really don't like ISBN support, please feel free to start (yet another :-) UseModWiki variant. (See UseMod:OddMuse for an example of a variant which decided I had added too many features.) --CliffordAdams

You bring up some very good points. What I was trying to get at is that ISBN has a pretty specific purpose with a specific intent. One of the reasons I picked up UseMod was that it simplified (as in only one file to deal with) and generalized quite a few things. For example, the site I mentioned previously has almost no use for ISBN at present. The target group generally has no interest in knowing or referencing any sort of ISBN unless it's to something like ISBN 0761543627 (alternate, search). On the other hand, I do hope to take it in a direction where it can parse and correctly color and format code such as the C family, Visual Basic, or whatever. Would I consider such functionality generalized? No, it's very specific to a specific targeted group.

Of course, it is your code and you're free to do with it as you please just as I've done as what I please with mine. I just figured an alternate view would be helpful. It might also be of interest to other people too. ;P ~SL



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