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• CommentRowNumber1.
• CommentAuthorTobyBartels
• CommentTimeJun 17th 2009

The purpose of this discussion is to talk about how we might like to make easier the following situation:

You see a page with a link foo, and you know that foo really should redirect to bar, but it doesn't yet. Or maybe you even put the link foo in the page because you'd like it to appear that way, and you want to create a redirect rather than write ‘foo’.

Now, if you click on foo, you'll be asked to create a new page, which is exactly what you don't want to have happen! What you really want to do is to add ‘!redirects foo’ to bar, but you don't have a link to get to bar.

The best thing to do now is to hack the URI to read http://ncatlab.org/nlab/edit/bar. Even that is frought with peril, because if you remember this only after you click the link to start foo, then you might accidentally end up at http://ncatlab.org/nlab/new/bar, and that would be wrong! (But saving this is not as wrong as creating an unnecessary foo would be, since you can rollback bar afterwards.)

I had one suggestion, at another discussion, but I'm opening this one up because it's not perfect and I would like to see more suggestions that don't get buried at the bottom of a two-page discussion.

• CommentRowNumber2.
• CommentAuthorEric
• CommentTimeJun 17th 2009
I think we might consider asking Jacques to temporarily make redirects take priority so we can try it out.

In the scenario you outlined, we would simply place !redirects foo on bar. Done. If redirects have priority, it doesn't matter if foo exists. Any link to foo would be pulled to bar.

I suggest we ask Jacques to make the change now that we've had time to experiment with the current method. When we've had a chance to experience redirects taking priority, then we can decide once and for all which way we prefer.

What do you think?
• CommentRowNumber3.
• CommentAuthorTobyBartels
• CommentTimeJun 17th 2009

That's completely not what I'm talking about.

In the scenario that I'm talking about, foo already doesn't exist, and all that I have to do is to put ‘!redirects foo’ on bar. It's just that this is inconvenient, since all I've got on the page in front of me is a (dead) link to foo, not a link to bar at all. I either have to find bar or hack the URI, so I'd like something more convenient, that's all. It has nothing to do with what takes priority; the same inconvenience appears either way.

• CommentRowNumber4.
• CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
• CommentTimeJun 17th 2009

Let me see if I understand. In your fancy solution (on the other thread), when you click on a non-existent page then there is the option of making that page a redirect to another page. If that other page exists, then you go to its edit page but if not then to its new page. Either way, !redirects foo is automatically added. I can see a potential problem with this if you decide that the next page should also be redirected since you should carry along the old redirects with you.

Slightly more simply, if there was an easy way to go directly to an edit/new page without creating a link on an existing page then that would do. You just put the page name in the box, click "edit page" and it takes you to either the new or edit page, then you add the redirection. Of course, this won't be nicely next to the grey box like the question mark currently is, but then the system needs more information than just that you want to create the page - it needs the page that you want to redirect to.

Given that all the pieces that you need are already there and that what you really want is a shortcut, this could probably be easily implemented in javascript. If you click on the question mark, a text box appears asking for a page name. If none is given, it uses the original one, if a page name is given then it goes to that page's page and adds the redirect directive at the top.

By the way, what does happen if you enter new/already+existing+page?

• CommentRowNumber5.
• CommentAuthorEric
• CommentTimeJun 17th 2009
• (edited Jun 17th 2009)
Ok. Sorry, I'm slow (which has already been established :))

So let me rephrase the problem to see if I understand it. You basically do not want to go to bar and insert !redirects foo when you are sitting on current page that contains a link to a non-existent foo that you know should be redirected to bar?

Have you seen the "Search" feature? It is not that much effort to go find bar and insert the redirect :)

I don't think a software solution is warranted for this since I'm not even sure it is a problem. But, I wouldn't be surprised if I'm still confused.
• CommentRowNumber6.
• CommentAuthorTobyBartels
• CommentTimeJun 17th 2009

I wouldn't call this a ‘problem’, Eric, but an ‘inconvenience’. Or in other words, my suggestion is a feature request, not a bug fix. It's just that I've been wanting this lately, and it's so easy at Wikipedia ….

By the way, what does happen if you enter new/already+existing+page?

You get no indication that anything's wrong; if you save it, then you write over the existing page. Try it! It's not a big deal, since the history is still there.

On the other hand, if you enter edit/not+yet+existing+page, then you find yourself at the main page. But if you enter show/not+yet+existing+page, then you get redirected to new; very convenient! I suppose that it would be best if edit acted that way as well and your new example similarly redirected to show.

• CommentRowNumber7.
• CommentAuthorTobyBartels
• CommentTimeJun 17th 2009

Andrew, do you know Javascript well enough to easily write code for the suggestion in your penultimate paragraph? Or should I use it as a Javascript-learning exercise?

I rather like the idea of just adding a box, maybe along the bottom to avoid confusion with the search box up top, where you type in a page name and get to edit it. That's not quite as convenient as I was envisioning, but much easier to code, and about as convenient as MediaWiki anyway.

Using the search box itself is not very convenient, since it's so slow (and slows down the rest of the site too). Maybe if we could search for titles only?

• CommentRowNumber8.
• CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
• CommentTimeJun 17th 2009

I don't know any javascript so it would be a javascript-learning exercise for me too. In general I'd be happy to do that but I'm a bit busy learning PHP at the moment! I try only to learn one programming language at a time - got to do some maths at some point.

• CommentRowNumber9.
• CommentAuthorMike Shulman
• CommentTimeAug 29th 2009

Toby wrote:

I rather like the idea of just adding a box, maybe along the bottom to avoid confusion with the search box up top, where you type in a page name and get to edit it.

I've been using my "goto page" firefox search plugin for this -- I go directly to the page and then click "edit." But now it occured to me that it would be even faster if we had a different search plugin that goes directly to the edit page. So I made one and added it to the HowTo.