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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2011
    • (edited Jun 8th 2011)

    Dear colleagues, as the nnLab grows some more important entries have tens or even over a hundred of items listed as links at the bottom of the page as pointing to the entries where the current entry is “linked from”. It is great sign that this is happening. This kind of links where one has the pointers to things which point to you, old-era computer scientists called “backlinks”. (Digression: It would be nice if we could have once the list of backlinks to the given entry linking from nnForum via the link or via the aliases.)

    However, I think that the present FORMAT of displaying the backlinks is suboptimal. I mean, I use backlinks once per week or less. With having 100 downloads or more and several edits per day. I do not know if other people use the backlinks list at the bottom of the page far far more often and would like to hear that if so. Otherwise, it make sense more to have “linked from” just as a single link: when one clicks on that link one could get the list of backlinks. Generating and displaying long list every time slows thing (say slow internet connection when on outside wireless) a tiny bit each time, makes it longer to scroll bottom-top and for those accidental users who are not aware of print view punishes with longer printouts. I think it would be more optimal to really have the access to this long list optional via a link rather than displayed every time. What do you think?

    I should also point out that I think the backlinks to those pages which refer by alias most often do not appear on the backlinks list, in my experience. I do not know if the elves are aware of that or not, is this intended or not and so on.

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2011

    I agree.

    I look at these links only when new entries are created, or shortly afterwards, to see if they are indeed being linked to from all the relevant entries.

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2011

    Sure. I can’t think of the last time I used the “linked from” list. It’s also incomplete since it doesn’t count redirects.

    But this would be a request for Jacques, and I have to say it doesn’t seem to me like a very important one.

    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2011

    I use the list a lot, so much so that sometimes I’ll cycle a page through all of its redirects (if there aren’t too many) so that I’ll get all of the backlinks. Moving the links to a separate page would double the length of this process, which I don’t really want to happen.

    But the real bug here is that links from redirects aren’t counted. Jacques is aware of this but probably considers it low priority (and there may be difficulties with it that I don’t anticipate). Perhaps we should encourage him to fix it. Then adding an option to put the list of backlinks on a separate page (which would no longer bother me) might be an easy cosmetic change while he’s doing that.

    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2011

    Then adding an option to put the list of backlinks on a separate page

    If there is more people who do not use it than those who use it, then it is better that displaying it together be an option rather than default. Thanks for the warning of your usage however.

    • CommentRowNumber6.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2011

    No, I mean Jacques would add on option to Instiki such that each Instiki installation would choose whether to put the links on a separate page or to display them on the bottom as is now done. And our installation would choose to put them on a separate page.

    (No way is Jacques going to make that happen by default because of us!)

    • CommentRowNumber7.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2011

    Oh, that is one level up, from my model :) Great.

    • CommentRowNumber8.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2011

    I’ve been wondering for a while about whether or not it would be feasible to “theme” Instiki. I wouldn’t mind reorganising the default page a little, such as replacing the search and getting rid of the “dead” links (export and “all pages”), and putting in more useful links such as the FAQ that should be on every page. One option would be to have a new “view” which was aimed at browsing (though with links to “edit”, but not the other things that generally only editors would be interested in).

    • CommentRowNumber9.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2011

    I wouldn’t mind reorganising the default page a little, such as replacing the search and getting rid of the “dead” links

    That I would find very useful indeed. The current appearance is bound to tend to mislead users of the website.

    • CommentRowNumber10.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2011

    I do not understand. The instiki internally built search works quite well for me and I find it more useful than google search, not only when editing but also when just using for browsing. What replacing is there needed ? As far as dead links, some links are dead in some moments but not in other moments (if we are talking the external links). Internal links, I do not know, it is useful to know that some page is wanted. But not in possible future “browsing” mode, I agree. But maybe I got you all wrong.

    • CommentRowNumber11.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2011
    • (edited Jun 12th 2011)

    We heard from exmples on the nnCafe that random users of the nLab don’t know how to use the Search-box on the top of each entry. We have improved on that situation now on the HomePage. But every page should benefit from that improvement.

    Concerning dead links: I think this referes to all the functionality that we had to turns off because it did not scale: RecentlyRevised, and SeeAll and the like. It is bad style to present links to users that either have no or bad and unexpected effects (such as the Tex-button) so I think it would be better to remove all these links.

    • CommentRowNumber12.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2011

    OK, thanks, I do not (care to) know how to use it either but use it usefully with naive way, but if somebody wants better environment OK.

    Aha, right, I understood that way about dead links when I read Andrew’s post but somehow forgot and was puzzled at the time I read your quotation :) Recently revised partly works though.

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