Related to UnifiedClusters is the notion of uniting two categories on two different sites. When asked for a backlist for a category, the Wiki engine should combine the lists of the local page and any UnifiedCategories. This applies whether the backlist is done like here, with a simple back-link search, or on PeriPeri, with RDF implications.

This is not the same as simply redirecting the local category page to the remote one. UnifiedCategories technology can aggregate several categories from several wikis, and distribute a category across Wikis. It can also be used to create "inline" hierarchy within local categories (though the utility of this is debatable).

This idea allows for canonical categories without needing canonical wikis, just as UnifiedClusters allows for canonical clusters.

Since categories are often implemented as simple text searches, this is very easy to do. The only feature remote wikis need is the ability to return RSS feeds for searches, as long as the local wiki can include (and ideally merge) RSS feeds with its standard category listing.


Implementation Discussion

[new] I'm going to add getting search results from UseMod to WikiGateway's to-do list. -- BayleShanks


I wrote a tiny script to munge Meatball's search output [1], perhaps you can use part of it. I'm using RSS 3.0 [2] internally... ;) Yes, RSS 3.0 was considered a joke by most people, but I feel strangely attracted to it. -- AlexSchroeder

Using NearSearch: Try this link:


This seems more like "UnifiedBackSearch" than "UnifiedCategories" to me. To do "UnifiedCategories," you'd need (yes- hold your breath-) WikiFeatures:BuiltinCategories.

Here's what I would expect "UnifiedCategories" to mean: The SiteMap includes all the categories over the UnifiedCommons. The category pages themselves include the one-liner notes on all of the individual pages. (For example, see the CategoryDiscussion page, and note all the little one-line description of pages.)

What we're really talking about at the top of this page is a "UnifiedBackSearch." Which is okay. It's just not unification of the category system between lots of wiki. Only the back-linking system.


Hehe, I'm happy that you're with me on the issue of "category pages as forward indices" -- but notice how some people still feel attracted to the "category page as canned searches" concept. The distinction between "categories" and "back-link searching" used to be strictly conceptual; it was practically the same thing. I agree with you, however, that the option of allowing BuiltinCategories? should push us to distinguish between the two concepts again; and thus you are right, Oddmuse only supports UnifiedSearching? because it doesn't have built-in categories.


You could easily unify the lists of all categories, the SiteMaps, since they're categories too. I don't think unifying the actual categories is necessarily a great idea. I also think PeriPeri's RdfForWikis is what you both want: both forward and backward indices mixed together with reckless abandon...

Define external redirect: BuiltinCategories UnifiedSearching

EditNearLinks: RdfForWikis UseMod PeriPeri