Wikipedia:Full meta links

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Abbreviations are convenient because they let editors link to a policy quickly, and repeatedly, without worrying about typos.

However, talk pages (and nominations for deletion) can become so full of abbreviations that they become intimidating to newcomers. Indeed, there are more abbreviations on the Wikipedia:Shortcuts page than it's possible for most people to remember. Wikipedia should be more reader-friendly.

The Fix[edit]

Editors should continue using abbreviations, but those abbreviations should not be shown to readers. (Many people are both editors and readers -- in this context readers refers to people looking at the regular article page or talk page, and editors refers to those scanning and typing inside a text-edit box.)

Instead of typing [[WP:NOR]], editors would type {{WP:NOR}}, which the software would convert into reader-friendly phrases like Wikipedia:No Original Research or even No Original Research (a Wikipedia policy).

Technical requirements[edit]

We will need to create a template for each abbreviation. This could be hard on the server. See talk.

It looks like we'll need to ask devs to create new pipe tricks instead.

Social requirements[edit]

Editors who frequently use abbreviated shortcuts (without filling in an alternate link text) should be told about the new templates.

Current shortcuts will still be usable[edit]

Many editors prefer to format the text of their links themselves. Therefore, the current abbreviated redirects should remain in place and usable.

An example[edit]

A template now exists for WP:NOR: typing {{WP:NOR}} produces this text: Wikipedia policy: No original research

A sentence like "delete per WP:NOR" becomes the more friendly "delete per Wikipedia policy: No original research"

The text is italicized because machine-generated text should be distinguishable from human-generated text.

See also[edit]