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Interwiki Plugin

A plugin that allows you to make references outside your Wiki.

For a first implementation see it attached to TWikiPluginAPI.

E.g. you write Wiki:WardCunningham and you get a link to http://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki?WardCunningham

It's based on a list of pairs managed through the InterWikis topic (e.g. http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/InterWikis ).

TODO: [ done, see below ]

  • extend it to use pairs name:pattern
    • e.g. suppose you have the rule
      • Bug: http://mybugtracker.myhost.com/bugtrack/bug$1.html
    • Bug:123 gives you http://mybugtracker.myhost.com/bugtrack/bug123.html

-- AndreaSterbini - 05 Feb 2001

Can we turn on InterWiki on twiki.org? It would help make people aware of this feature, which I find quite useful and some other Wikis implement as a core feature (well, they don't have plugins, but it's still a fairly key feature IMO).

-- RichardDonkin - 06 Jun 2001

I updated the interwiki plugin and installed it here at the TWiki.org site. I changed the syntax in the InterWikis topic from bullet format to table format. I sent the updated plugin to AndreaSterbini, she [ he smile ] will publish the plugin in the Plugins web since she [ he smile ] is the author of the plugin.

-- PeterThoeny - 10 Jun 2001

Thanks for setting this up, and to AndreaSterbini for writing the plugin in the first place - I like the new table-based format since it allows the description column.

Some good Interwiki links for people to start with are MeatBall:InterWiki (all about Interwiki from a large and active Wiki) and Wiki:WelcomeVisitors (Ward Cunningham's original Wiki). If you add a comment to a Wiki supporting Interwiki, you can usually link to TWiki pages by using TWiki:Main/WebHome style links, but check that site's syntax. Not all Wikis support Interwiki yet (e.g. Wiki:WardsWiki), but quite a few do.

Currently you can't use any punctuation before or after a Wiki:InterWiki type link. It would be nice if the recent relaxation of WikiName rules was applied to Interwiki as well. [ Now fixed - 13 Jun 2001 ]

-- RichardDonkin - 10 Jun 2001

Discussions on other topics like AbsoluteWikization prompted me to reconsider the name of the plugin. The plugin is not just about inter wiki links, it can be used to link to any other type of web based application like ISBN, acronyms search, bug tracking systems etc.

So how about renaming TWiki.Plugins.InterwikiPluginEarlyDev to InterApplicationPlugin, and InterWikis to InterApplicationLinks?

-- PeterThoeny - 10 Jun 2001

I can see the rationale for changing the name, but most other Wikis call this feature InterWiki, which is one reason to keep the same name (though originally Interwiki meant something more all-encompassing). I think that InterWebPlugin would be a good name if it is more general than just prefixing URLs, after all it does only point to web-based applications. A topic called TWiki.InterWiki might be a good place for Interwiki discussions th at might link to and from other Interwiki discussions, pointing to TWiki.InterWeb as the main TWiki feature doc.

If InterWeb is too confusing given that TWiki has Webs already, how about InterSite? The data topic should probably be called InterSiteRules or similar, since each entry is really a rule (particularly for generalised rules not just prefixes).

-- RichardDonkin - 10 Jun 2001

This is the first time I see here a discussion on the name of roses ... wink

I would like to keep the name of the plugin as is because it's ported from other wiki code and the wiki community knows the feature this way.

Let, instead, read the name of the topic containing the aliases from a preference, e.g.:

this way we could even have different sets of aliases on a web-by-web or user-by-user bases.

PS. is there anybody that knows how to make a tooltip wihout using the ALT option of an IMG?

-- AndreaSterbini - 12 Jun 2001

I think you can also do a tool tip by putting the imagine in an href and using the TEXT option. Or you could use events and Javascript.

-- JohnTalintyre - 12 Jun 2001

How about this for the plugin name?

  • InterSiteLinkPlugin for the plugin
  • InterSiteLinkRules for the rules

Regarding tool tip, I'd rather not use images for that because it may distract the reader and also does not travel well in HTML e-mail notification. HTML 4.0 defines a title attribute for anchors; IE uses that as the tool tip, but not Netscape. Test: WebNotify. May be we can combine that with the onfocus and onblur attributes and some JavaScript.

Browser & version: Title attribute tool tip?
Internet Explorer 4.0, Windows Yes
Internet Explorer 5.0, Windows Yes
Internet Explorer 5.5, Windows Yes
Mozilla 0.9.1, Windows Yes
Netscape 4.5, Windows No
Netscape 4.76, Windows No
Netscape 6.x, Windows Probably - TBC
Opera 5.11, Windows Yes*

*Opera 5.11 must have Show tooltip for element titles enabled in File | Preferences | Toolbars - [ RichardDonkin ]

-- PeterThoeny - 12 Jun 2001

I have implemented the variable above and made the syntax happier on punctuation. To ease the installation the zip has its topics in the TWiki web.

The plugin is uploaded in the usual place (Plugins.Plugins.InterwikiPluginEarlyDev)

I vote against changing the plugin name.

-- AndreaSterbini - 12 Jun 2001

By coincidence, Andrea and I have been working on the interwiki plugin at the same time! Both changes are merged:

  • Renamed plugin to InterSiteLinkPlugin to bring it in line with the TWiki mission
  • Relaxed rule, no more match for trailing punctuation
  • Tooltip (based on text attribute, currently IE only)
  • New preference variable to specify alternative link rule topic
  • Possible to specify optional $page in URL

I already upgraded TWiki.org with the latest plugin. We will upload the plugin to the Plugins web shortly.

If anybody has, please let us know some simple JavaScript code to display tooltips for links.

-- PeterThoeny - 13 Jun 2001

I suggest we write just a InterSiteLinkPlugin.pm Perl wrapper that calls the original plugin code.

-- AndreaSterbini - 13 Jun 2001

We should have some sort of InterWiki page (or prominent reference in the relevant documentation) that refers to the new plugin name, at the least, for compatibility with other Wikis.

Re the tooltips, Mozilla 0.9.1 shows the tooltips on the test above using the text attribute, while Opera 5.11 does this only if configured with Show tooltip for element titles in File | Preferences | Toolbars, so I've updated the table above. I haven't tested Netscape 6 but it is very likely to do the same as Mozilla, maybe someone can check?

However, I'm not clear what the tooltip is intended to show - is it the remote URL or the Wiki description? Neither IE5 or Mozilla show any tooltips on the Interwiki links above.

-- RichardDonkin - 13 Jun 2001

I think I made a mistake when refering to the text attribute. I think the correct attribute (just checked on http://www.w3c.org) is the title attribute.


  • Using text - W3C
  • Using title - W3C

Javscript based tooltips - I haven't looked at the implementation, but range of choices looks good - http://www.bosrup.com/web/overlib/

-- JohnTalintyre - 13 Jun 2001

Indeed, it is the title attribute, not the text attribute ;-). I modified the code on TWiki.org.

Also, we will probably rename the plugin back to InterwikiPluginEarlyDev since there have been some strong opinions on it. My idea was simply to choose a more appropriate name for intranet deployments (see TWiki mission). There, links to other Wikis don't mean so much, but ISBN, RCF, Bug etc do.

-- PeterThoeny - 13 Jun 2001

The tooltips are nice, and working now - however, can we make them configurable via TWikiPreferences? I find them a bit distracting, and of course they only describe the site not the link, unlike most such tooltips.

Just noticed the '==' syntax for bold + fixed width - when did this come in?

-- RichardDonkin - 13 Jun 2001

(The '==' syntax is in for a while, check the TWiki.TWikiHistory)

I updated version on this TWiki.org site:

  • Renamed plugin back to Plugins.InterwikiPluginEarlyDev from InterSiteLinkPlugin
  • Fixed InterWikiAndDoubleColon bug
  • Added flag in TWikiPreferences to turn off tooltips.
  • Changed all tool tip messages to include the page name.

New version will be uploaded soon toPlugins.Plugins.InterwikiPluginEarlyDev

-- PeterThoeny - 13 Jun 2001

A few thoughts:

  • I needed to put $/ = "\n"; before the open call for this to work
    • [ PeterThoeny ] - To Do: Replace file open with TWiki::Store::readFile.

  • The mapping file is loaded regardless of a topic needing it, would it better to encourage lazy loading in Plugins?
    • [ PeterThoeny ] - Could be done, but questionable how much we gain because a abc:xyz pattern is not uncommon; even if itisnot an intersite link we need to read the rules topic to find out.

  • It's a shame I can't copy the rules file from TWiki.org. Again the need to be able to display the text of a topic which has come up before on Codev.
    • [ PeterThoeny ] - Aargghh, how come you have not been in the TWikiAdminGroup? Fixed now. Yes, a display source function would be nice (also older versions)

-- JohnTalintyre - 22 Jun 2001

Possible enhancements:

  • links going "outside" open a new window (e.g. by setting INTERWIKIPLUGIN_LINKOPTIONS)
    • [ PeterThoeny ] - May be a descriptive variable name like INTERWIKIPLUGIN_POPUPLINK
  • import and convert the MeatBall:InterWiki intermap.txt file to TWiki.InterWikis format
    • [ PeterThoeny ] - Question of update timing. Too slow if done with each page view. Needs to be done in regular interval. May be a new plugin hook from the cronjob that runs the email notifications? Other question of merging; update the TWiki link rules page with the content from MeatBall's text file?

-- AndreaSterbini - 28 Jun 2001

I really like the MoinMoin convention of showing a small icon in front of external links of any kind, including Interwiki links - see MoinMoin:HelpOnLinking for some examples. Perhaps this could be an option? Given the TWikiMission, perhaps there should be two icons - one for 'non-TWiki site on intranet' and one for external links. The intranet links could be determined based on a TWiki.cfg setting for $intranetDomain = 'foobar.com', and also matching URLs with no dots in hostname.

Also, see InterWikiAsSemanticMarkup.

-- RichardDonkin - 02 Aug 2001

I think you can already do this less directly using the smiley plugin. It would be nice though if it was an option to choose to have an appropriate icon displayed.

-- DavidLeBlanc - 03 Aug 2001

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Topic revision: r25 - 2001-09-18 - MikeMannix
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