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Breaking up the Kossary (or, Wiki-izing)

Lestatdelc 12:39, 29 Jul 2005 (PDT) Are you thinking we should also expand the acronyms entries as well?

Also, the parts about rhetorical devices, logical fallacies should probably have their own article... because it would be awesome to have real-life speeches/articles from notable politicians/writers that show examples of said devices. See my re-writing of 'Straw Man' -- I'd love compare that to the actual quotation.
--Centerfielder 10:06, 27 Jul 2005 (PDT) re: all the above. Go for it.
--DRolfe 18:20, 27 Jul 2005 (PDT) - Sweet... ok, just watch me! :-D

LINKING to the Kossary

--Pyrrho 00:50, 25 Jun 2004 (PDT)We had some discussion... and using HTML to do it was considered unwiki-like, which I agree with. But we HAVE to be able to link to the Kossary... I mean, that's a big point of having one!!! What do we do. Stop me before I HTML. :)


A Kossary was started by Nick a while back on the main site: [1] Hopefully someone (maybe me) can get to work inputting the stuff here. --DavidNYC 12:05, 28 May 2004 (PDT)

Also, since some coinages are original, I think we should give credit where credit is due - as Nick did in his original Kossary. --DavidNYC 20:02, 28 May 2004 (PDT)

I imported the Kossary, and left all of the citations... although I'm not sure they are necessary. Most of these terms are definately in the realm of public usage and I doubt very many of them could be traced back to their true beginnings. --KansasNate 21:25, 28 May 2004 (PDT)

Nate: I agree that citations for many of these are irrelevant - such as "Beltway Heathers," etc. But some terms are original coinages and actually arose on DKos. --DavidNYC 10:20, 29 May 2004 (PDT)

Should "troll" be under political terms, or general Internet terms? Seems to me it should be the latter, as it applies to non-political sites/lists, as well.

Copied below by Iks(TkPg): : --Centerfielder 05:26, 29 May 2004 (PDT) The Kossary's getting a bit unwieldy. I've got a test page that breaks it apart and changes from definition lists, which I admit is the right format for the Kossary, to headings, to see how it looks with a TOC. Any comments?

Copied below by Iks(TkPg): : I like the test page. BTW, I think Atrios' wingnut debating dictionary, while hilarious, should absolutely not be on the same page as the Kossary. The Kossary is meant to be functional. The wingnut debating dictionary is a piece of humor. --DavidNYC 10:20, 29 May 2004 (PDT)

I second DavidNYC's suggestion about the Wingnut Debate Dictionary. I think an outside link might be appropriate. --Hamletta 12:34, 29 May 2004 (PDT)

Stirling Agreed on the WDD unless the term has entered wider usage. Troll is a general political term now, for a spoiler. Nader's been called "a troll".

Copied below by Iks(TkPg): : -wegerje Big advantage of the test is that one can link directly to the term itself!

Stirling, I went back through the history of the kossary and found that you deleted my name from one of the entries without saying anything. Why? I didn't mean to claim I'd coined the word (govenor goodhead) if thats what you thought, as I understand it from the old days when the kossary was a diary the names in parentheses are the people who added them. --Samiam 14:50, 29 May 2004 (PDT)

I went ahead and just linked to the wingnut debate dictionary. I think that if the terms are important, then they will be added to the kossary in the appropriate format. I thought the previous "paste on the bottom" look was pretty tacky. --KansasNate 15:30, 29 May 2004 (PDT)

With respect to ASDF as an entry so defined, please consider this denotation: angry, sullen, depressed and frustrated. I use it this way. I kept seeing it on Kos and rather than ask its meaning, I looked it up and voila. Can we not have more than one rendering of a term? --Libby 17:02, 29 May 2004 (PDT)

With respect to adding an acronym that has not been listed and might be thought of as original, am I to simply list it and rely on editors to accept or reject it? --Libby 17:02, 29 May 2004 (PDT)

Copied below by Iks(TkPg): : I liked the letters. Although the TOC was growing, so is the Kossary. Plus the letters have the added benefit of allowing an internal link to the first letter of a Kossary word used in another entry. My $.02. --lapis 22:46, 29 May 2004 (PDT)

Kossary Structure

Entries copied from above & reformatted by Iks(TkPg):

--Centerfielder 05:26, 29 May 2004 (PDT) The Kossary's getting a bit unwieldy. I've got a test page that breaks it apart and changes from definition lists, which I admit is the right format for the Kossary, to headings, to see how it looks with a TOC. Any comments?

I like the test page. ... --DavidNYC 10:20, 29 May 2004 (PDT)
-wegerje Big advantage of the test is that one can link directly to the term itself!
I liked the letters. Although the TOC was growing, so is the Kossary. Plus the letters have the added benefit of allowing an internal link to the first letter of a Kossary word used in another entry. My $.02. --lapis 22:46, 29 May 2004 (PDT)
--Pyrrho 04:32, 3 Jun 2004 (PDT) Each term needs an anchor for linking directly to (i.e. the examples on the main page!) This can be done fairly easily if someone gets the text and writes a script or uses an editor to replace automatically put in anchors with the same names. "Easy", a famous procrastinator's word. I'll try to get around to this is no one else does first. Emacs or perl will be my friend.

Iks(TkPg) responds at length: As it stands, the Centerfielder Test Page is good but not "scalable", i.e., it will become unusable as the contents expand.

I think, after several readings, that what Pyrrho means by an "anchor" is the HTML term. Two aspects of Wikis are

  1. Avoiding use of HTML markup in favor of Wiki markup, which is annoying to HTML mavens, but lowers the barriers to more typical non-programmer types. If dKos has chosen Wiki without caring about getting the seas of eyeballs and fingers that Wikis are designed to harness, it is probably a mistaken selection.
  2. Avoiding use of HTML terminology, which is confusing and off-putting for the same people.

My restatement of their proposal is this:

By making each term a heading ("Kossary Structure" above, coded with this markup
= Kossary Structure =
is an example of a heading), it becomes possible to link (never mind for now which markup is required, but it's Wiki-simple) directly to the definition of a Kossary term, from where the term is used within an article.

Someone tried, and wisely reversed, the idea of making each letter of the alphabet a heading. However, the idea is a good one. It should work well if Kossary becomes a rougly-six-section page, with each section describing the scope of one the existing subdivisions, and having a link to a separate page that actually has the terms and their definitions. Then the separate pages can each have, if its size justifies it, what is called on Wikipedia a "Compact ToC": one line with 26 or 27 (# being the 27th "letter", for a section having everything that starts with a digit) links to the corresponding headings. (The normal ToC, which is not workable with so many entries, can be suppressed using


so that the two ToCs don't make each other look stupid.) Note that when any vocabulary gets big enough, such alphabetical access can be expanded as far as needed: see the Wikipedia "List of people by name" tree, with its hundreds of linked pages, to convince yourself there is no limit as long as someone is willing to clean up the entries occasionally misplaced, especially by newcomers.

Unless there is objection, I will divide Kossary into at least 2 to 4 pages:

(which are all likely to grow fast enough to soon justify the access machinery). I'll flesh this out with a demonstration ASAP.

This approach can be used simply to provide alphabetical access without scrolling down to the term, or additionally to permit linking from articles. There is additional overhead involved when articles link into an expanding glossary: if it expands enough, occasionally pages will be subdivided, and links will become invalid. There are two approaches to relinking them:

  1. The person who splits the page examines its "What links here" page, and fixes every page that links to a term that is moving to a new page.
  2. The links are left broken. When someone follows a link for Foobar, and is taken to the head of a page that has nothing but links to pages for, say, "Fa - Fl" and "Fm - Fz", they follow the latter, use the alphabet to get to the definition, and (if they think of themself as an editor rather than a reader), copy the page name, backtrack to the article they were reading, and edit it, pasting that new page name over the old page name in the link.

Which approach is usually used (and whether the links just stay broken) depends entirely on the nature of the particular Wiki's user/editors. (And you have no idea yet which will apply here.)
--Iks(TkPg) 12:44, 3 Jun 2004 (PDT)

--Pyrrho 18:36, 3 Jun 2004 (PDT) Ikswazi, Yes, as in HTML anchor. I didn't find one but I thought there was probably a way to create anchors using Wikitext. I know the TOC/heading stuff will do it but that has an effect on the TOC... maybe that's ok, but... I'm aware of the idea that HTML and Wiki don't really mix. btw, I was the one that tried adding letter heading and cringed at the effect that had on the TOC. Note: if the only way to create an anchor is with the "a" tag from HTML, it's worth it imo. Possibly we should just add something for this to the wiki structured text system (if it's not already there... is it? that is, separate from TOC heading)

Lemme see what I can produce in the next hour; I'll do more in about 24 hrs before being off-line for 3 nites. "Working code..." (i.e., markup) should be a better basis for "... rough consensus" (or clarity that what I'm suggesting is unsuitable here) than more tech details, IMO. --Iks(TkPg) 19:11, 3 Jun 2004 (PDT)
Iks Test Page is a very rough demo. It utilizes MediaWiki:CompactTOC, in imitation of a Wikipedia page. Any page can invoke it as I have. More checking, cleanup, and comments in abt 24 hours. Note this sample link:
(not sure why it didn't home in as expected; more to follow)
--Iks(TkPg) 20:20, 3 Jun 2004 (PDT)
I'm not going to have a chance to do anthing further for a few days, other than to say that I was surprised that following the link to either abbreviation got it on screen but not at the top of page as I had expected. I wonder if that is a configuration option by which dKosP differs from WP, and I'd like to follow some more links to determine whether that behavior is consistent: does the heading one links to always end up positioned in the middle of the page? (On WP, it would be at the top.) If so, the markup is working right, and it may be a question of whether the middle or the top is the configuration choice that will work best here.
--Iks(TkPg) 20:18, 4 Jun 2004 (PDT)
--Pyrrho 20:23, 4 Jun 2004 (PDT) that's awesome... not only the potential for the Kossary but the whole "msg" thing in the MediaWiki space. I've been wondering how to do that. Project pages like the ThinkTanks need to use that sort of thing to bring in headers to identify articles and provide an easy backlink to the central page. Thanks in both regards. I wish now that the msg would take arguments (e.g. people are proposing headers that have sections for things like "related pages")...
Templates are a new feature of MediaWiki 1.3 (the Wiki engine, not its namespace of the same name). The msg syntax can now be mostly thought of as a prototype for them. Templates add the argument capability you are lusting after, and the ability for a template to invoke another template (and so on, to a depth of something like 5).
I don't know if 1.3 is still considered a Beta test at WP; there is at least one feature (radical reduction of edit conflicts, using (I think) "patch editing"; it may soon matter here also) that didn't work last time I looked. So it may be available support for 1.3 is less, or that lack of support is more crippling now with 1.3, and maybe it's premature for the site manager to consider upgrading now. But do keep it mind.
--Iks(TkPg) 11:58, 8 Jun 2004 (PDT)
In recent hours I completed reformatting of Iks Common Internet Acronyms and Abbreviations, as a testbed. I was upset 4 days ago (had connection problems the next day), when it appeared on my usual system that the links into Kossary I had created were not putting the referenced entry at the top of the page (even when they were more than a screen above the bottom of the target page), in contrast to Wikipedia (WP) behavior. On this borrowed machine, I get what I expected, and for now it would be pointless

to conjecturing, boringly, about what was wrong.

Hopefully these links will work at least as well as what Pyrrho had in mind with HTML anchors, and require less work. Feedback requested. I'd be glad to format other pages of my test Kossary similarly, if that will help anyone decide.
--Iks(TkPg) 12:16, 8 Jun 2004 (PDT)


Seems the Kossary hasn't gotten much maintenance lately, but I got frustrated with the enormous cliche section and reformatted it and then moved it into its own page which makes a lot more sense. We also have a Political Neologisms page that sprang from the MemeTank and I've started putting stuff there. I hope you aren't annoyed. Peeder 20:43, 19 Nov 2004 (PST)

Kossary warning message

--Lemuel 23:11, 26 Jul 2005 (PDT) dKosopedia is displaying a warning message about the Kossary being 59KB and that possibly causing problems with edit boxes in some web browsers. I think it would make sense to split it up by letter, but that looks like a lot of work.

--DRolfe 04:03, 27 Jul 2005 (PDT)- I think splitting out the rhetorical sections and what not -- as I mention at the top of the page will probably cure this. That is, keeping just the kossary itself in that article and moving about the rest of the sections. If you edit sections individually you won't get that warning, btw. (Plus submitting back your changes takes less time)

Terms that confuse the heck out of bloggers and forum posters

The blogosphere and forums like DU can confuse and alienate newbies with the proliferation of undefined jargon.

I've added a new section called "Liberal Blog and Forum Terms," in which to define terms like "Another pony for Holden," "K&R," etc., which don't have meaning outside the online world of liberals (i.e., they're not general-use internet terms and they're not general-use political terms). Other recent neologisms like "Box Turtle Ben," which originated in the blogosphere, I think belong in the "Political Terms" section because they could be used in conversation, etc. --Vast Left 13:21, 26 April 2006 (PDT)

Retrieved from "http://localhost../../../k/o/s/Talk%7EKossary_f0bd.html"

This page was last modified 21:54, 27 April 2006 by dKosopedia user Vastleft. Based on work by Jeff Wegerson and dKosopedia user(s) DRolfe, Lestatdelc, Centerfielder, Lemuel, Peeder, Pyrrho, Ikswazi af Fahr, Lapis, Libby, KansasNate, Samiam, Stirling Newberry, Hamletta and DavidNYC. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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