April 13, 2006
Automatic Linking /
Pro And Con

These are arguments pro and contra AutomaticLinking.


Incorrect spelling. This is a Wikipedia argument. AutomaticLinking, like e. g. CamelCase is incorrect spelling. In an official text - a dictionary, an encyclopedia - you will want to avoid incorrect spelling and at least CamelCase.

ProWiki offers an compromise: UnderlineLinking.

Unwanted links. Sometimes with AutomaticLinking people write an article only to find that a number of links appear that they hadn't intended. This can be annoying for some authors. It can then be additional work to suppress these links by special Markups or Options.

ProWiki offers: Markup/Nowiki, Option/LinkSuppress, HowTo/TurnAutomaticLinkingOff.


Less work. AutomaticLinking typically needs exactly the same number of key-strokes as typing normal text, while ExplicitLinking forces the user to type additional commands. Therefore AutomaticLinking is less work and more fun.

Pattern language. Many communities are learning communities, so called CommunitiesOfPractice, working to understand and solve problems of a specific domain. This naturally results in a PatternLanguage that is best represented by using CamelCase.

Incidental linking. Often people find that AutomaticLinking forms unexpected but fruitful links that help to organize the WikiChaos and make the pieces of the puzzle fit together.