Wiki Case Study - Part Two
In Part One of this architectural wiki tutorial, we created the core of a building case study in the Archiplanet all-buildings-worldwide wiki, with summary building information and uploaded photos we took ourselves.
Here in Part Two, we will enhance that case study page with an external link, add a live building location map, then select and collect appropriate images from a photo-sharing site, and see how to add those to the building case study, too.
Add an external link to the wiki page
The Web is all about linking together content. And the wiki is all about making it really easy to build web content collectively. So it's no surprise that linking in wiki text is dead easy.
To link internally in the wiki, just put double square brackets around the text that matches the name of another page in the wiki, like this:
[[Frederick Law Olmsted]]
You don't even need to worry about the spaces in the page name. Unlike regular web URLs (where spaces are not allowed), the wiki parses spaces in phrases transparently, so page names link fine with spaces, or with underscores, either way.
As it does in our example wiki page, that wiki text in any Archiplanet wiki page will link internally to the wiki page on Frederick Law Olmsted (which, by the way, could always use some work - if there are any Olmsted fans out there!).
An interesting fine point is what happens when you link, using the double square brackets, to a page that doesn't exist yet in the wiki. In that case, the internal link automatically works as an "edit link", so when you click and follow the link, you're not just told the page doesn't exist (yet), but you're also offered an immediate editing window to start making the page.
In fact, this becomes an easy way to suggest and create branching pages related to a given article. By default, the internal links that go to real wiki pages are shown in blue, while links that go to not-yet-created pages are shown in red.
So when you're writing text into a wiki page, you can just throw the double brackets around names and phrases. Then when you're done with a round of work on the primary wiki page, you can just click to follow each links from it to start filling in the various new branching pages.
Adding an external link is even easier. All you need to do is put single square brackets around a valid web URL.
Since we started this tutorial series, ArchitectureWeek has featured the Urban Ecology Center in a cover story. To add that link in the simplest way, we'd click the little "edit" link on the right-hand side of the page, at the end of the "External Links" section heading line, then paste in a URL for the ArchitectureWeek story, and enclose that in single square brackets.
The wiki text for the most basic external link would look like this:
Now, often on the web, we want to hide the raw URL, and instead apply the link to some more readable text. To do that in wiki text, for an external link, just include the link text after the URL, within the single square brackets. The only separator needed is a space after the URL:
[http://www.ArchitectureWeek.com/2007/1128/index.html Milwaukee's Urban Ecology Center]
An external link used in the reference section of an Archiplanet building page, seen in editing mode, will look something like this:
To see external links, made this way, as they appear in place in the wiki, take a look at the References section of our example page.
Double square brackets for page names within the wiki, and single square brackets for URLs out on the web. That's all you really need to know to start working with links in the wiki.
Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...