The use of WikiWords is interesting because it constrains the namespace available: There are less ways of writing a pagename if you need to use WikiWords (no whitespace, no punctuation, use two or three words) – it’s a combination of technical limitations and aesthetics at work.

But why?

It helps in AccidentalLinking, if you believe in it.

But it goes deeper. On Meatball:WhyNoSubpages there is a quote by WardCunningham:

I see wiki as a place where people work out the names of things that they will say. Since our spoken vocabulary is small, we must struggle to find words that carry value commensurate with the space they consume in our brains. Where works collide in wiki they will also collide in our thoughts. Usually that is a happy circumstance. – Ward [1]


[fr] voir PageForcéeEspaceNom

CategoryNameSpace CategoryLinking


Alex: Do you mean:

By using one ConstrainedPageNameSpace, we force ourself to partition the NameSpace, and to put conscious effort into the words we use?

I don’t understand what this page is meaning to say.

When you say: “less ways of writing a pagename”- do you mean:

  • WikiWords discourage really long title names, for example: “HermeneuticalAnalysisOfTheCompositionOfTheNovelToKillAMockingBirdWithSpecialAttentionToRa? ceImagery” (or something like that), or,…
  • The existing WikiWords lend their meanings to further WikiWords, or, …?

There are two aspects. One of them is AccidentalLinking. Do we write “Constrained Name Space”, “Constrained Namespace”, “constrained namespace”, “smaller namespace” or what? The way we form WikiWords pushes all of us towards constrained NameSpace, so our chances of accidentally linking to a page somebody else has written about the subject we were thinking of are higher.

The other, more important idea is that these weirdo names we are forced to pick in order to create a WikiWord make us think. Ward wanted to say that we think about the right name even harder when we have sister sites – because beyond linking to local pages, we might also be interested in linking to remote pages on sister sites.

The thinking we do when picking a name is important. It is initiated by the weird WikiWord technology of wikis, but in the end it means: Pick short combinations of short words, that can in fact stand in for your ideas on other pages. This is the way we build our LinkLanguage.

Define external redirect: HermeneuticalAnalysisOfTheCompositionOfTheNovelToKillAMockingBirdWithSpecialAttentionToRa

EditNearLinks: WikiWords WardCunningham WhyNoSubpages WikiWord AccidentalLinking