[pmwiki-users] Re-thinking Intro to markup pages

John Rankin john.rankin at affinity.co.nz
Fri Feb 20 14:20:26 CST 2009

On Saturday, 21 February 2009 2:38 AM, DaveG <pmwiki at solidgone.com> wrote:
>john.rankin at affinity.co.nz wrote:
>> If, for example, we were to add a link to say "View the wiki source for
>> this page" (as I think we should), the newcomer would get no surprises.
>Good idea.

>> Continuing the "no surprises" theme, if EditingForNewcomers uses
>> markup that  is not defined on the page, the page text needs to
>> acknowledge the fact and link to a page (DirectivesForNewcomers)
>> that explains the undefined markup. This is why the current
>> EditingForNewcomers page explicitly states that it is built using
>> only the markup described on the page.
>Personally, I think the visual clarity or the markup format to the 
>newcomer reader out-weighs the possibility that the same newcomer reader 
>looks at the source and gets confused by the (:markup:).
>  ~ ~ Dave
I *do* agree about the visual clarity point that several people
have raised, although I'd still like to explore some improvements
to the default pmwiki css. But I also consider that the page
should err on the conservative side in its use of markup.

Most of the newcomers I deal with come from a word processing
background and their number 1 objection is "It's not WYSIWYG".
With the page as it's currently constructed, viewing the
source gives a recognisable representation of the final page. 
Once (:markup:) is introduced, this relationship is lost until 
one understands what (:markup:) is doing. This is not really 
representative of pmwiki behaviour -- many wiki source pages 
have a close correspondence with the displayed page.

To me, viewing the source of the newcomers page is a natural
and safe last step for the newcomer to take.

However, this is just my anecdotal evidence. I cannot offer
any usability studies to support my position, so could well
be wrong.

John Rankin
Affinity Limited
T 64 4 495 3737
F 64 4 473 7991
john.rankin at affinity.co.nz

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