Notebook @ Functorial
Page creation in Instiki

Note by David A. Tanzer.

The page creation mechanism is less than obvious, but not without rationale. New pages are either created through the search function – when a searched for page fails to exist, a page creation option is presented – or by first creating a link to the non-existent page, and then following the link.

Editorial note: I would prefer a simple button that says create page, rather than this policy-oriented design, but I have failed in my efforts to lobby for this change. So let’s roll with it…

The idea is to discourage the creation of (1) redundant similar pages and (2) “orphan” pages which are unreachable from the home page. So the user is encouraged to first search for a term, and see if there are related pages, before creating a new page. Only if search doesn’t not find a sufficiently similar page does it give you the choice at the bottom to create a new page.

The other, sure-fire mechanism for creating a new page is to first create a reference to it on some other page, using the wiki link syntax [[MyPageToBeCreated]], save that page down, and then click on the link; clicking on a broken link causes the page creation form to be opened.

The idea here is that if you are going to create a new page, it should be needed by some index or referencing page. (Editorial note: sure this is nice when it’s natural, but it doesn’t feel like a requirement.)

In the worst case, if there is no natural place to link it from (and if the search function didn’t present the option to create the page), then you can edit the Sandbox page, put the wiki link in it, and follow the link.

Note: Sandbox is just an ordinary page, used by convention as a place for fiddling around.

That’s it.