[pmwiki-users] Title and PTV undesired behaviour

Kathryn Andersen kat_lists at katspace.homelinux.org
Tue Feb 3 20:03:19 CST 2009

On Tue, Feb 03, 2009 at 09:32:27AM -0600, Patrick R. Michaud wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 03, 2009 at 03:14:12PM +0000, Hans wrote:
> > Tuesday, February 3, 2009, 3:01:10 PM, Patrick R. Michaud wrote:

> > In this case I do not see great harm but only more clarity in
> > changing the default. 
> ...in which case we simply declare that the default is 
> "last wins", which is clear and also doesn't require
> any changes to the code.  
> If we're to change the default to "first wins", I need
> a really strong case for doing so.  I don't necessarily
> agree that "first wins" is automatically more intuitive -- 
> it's not more intuitive to me.

I think there's a difference between the naieve expectations (what is
"intuitive") for PTVs and for the (:title :) directive.
The case can be made either way for PTVs; "last wins" matches the
expectations in procedural programming, "first wins" seems more natural
to others, as has already been said here.

However, I do think that (:title :) is a different case entirely.
Rather than being a general variable, it has a specific meaning: it is
the title of the page.  To a naive user, the title of a page goes at the
top of a page. That's why people have had to resort to putting notes in
their wiki pages to tell their users to put the (:title :) at the bottom
of the page - because their normal behaviour would be to put it at the
top.  That is why there has been so much confusion over the years about
the (:title :) directive - because its behaviour *is* counter-intuitive.

So whether or not PTVs should be "first wins" or "last wins" I STRONGLY
support the idea of making the (:title :) directive "first wins".

I also am really reluctant for (:title :) to be replaced by a Title: PTV
for several reasons:
1) the argument above, that people expect a page-title to be different
from a common variable - it has semantic baggage.

2) Whatever is used to define the title of a page has to be treated
differently from a normal PTV anyway, because it has to be used to set
the <title> HTML in the page, which needs to be processed earlier (I
think) than the markup for the body of the page.  If it already has
different behaviour, then it adds confusion if it is made to look like
an ordinary PTV when it isn't an ordinary PTV.

3) it would break many of my pages where I already use a Title: PTV
which needs to be different from the contents of the (:title :)

Kathryn Andersen
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