ritcheymt wrote:I like the idea of being able to fix all the links if the Family History Library Catalog URL changes. I may not understand the template idea, though -- is there another problem it solves? Isn't there a way to solve a URL change problem without requiring users to add template code each time they link to a Family History Library Catalog entry? I'd think that if the FHLC URL changes, engineers would be able to do something like a global find and replace on the database to change all the FHLC links. I'd rather have a single engineer solve the problem than implement a template workaround that would make it harder for hundreds of contributors to create links. What am I failing to see?
A template for FHLC references would have multiple benefits:
- In many ways it is simpler -- you just have to know the template and the film number, not the entire URL. Admittedly, the template syntax may be new to many contributors, but once you see how it's done, it's quite easy.
- It provides consistency and accuracy -- some people may start with an http://, while others may leave that off, or in a long URL they may make errors.
- You can control the visual appearance globally -- you may choose to have FHLC references in a certain font or color, or accompanied by an image.
- If desired, the template can automatically create categories for articles that contain such references.
- And of course, there is the originally stated benefit of allowing the URL to change with one simple global change.
Of course a global search and replace to change the URLs would be possible, but you don't always know the context of a reference, and inconsistencies in references may make it a bit problematic. I would prefer that we embrace the power of the wiki engine. In this case, it will make the resulting content much better for all consumers of the content, at the cost of only a slight learning curve for the creators and editors of the content.