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BTW, I think the correct plural of virus should be viri. But, who would recognize that word??

Apparently not (to my great disappointment). In Latin, viri is the plural of vir, man, while virus meaning poison is a collective and so does not have a plural. Since it is English speakers who made it singular, we are stuck with the inelegant plural viruses.


The table looks nice, but I don't know if we want to "go there." The main argument against it is that the fancy-schmancier you make the appearance of the page, the harder it will be for ordinary non-coder types to edit. That is a bad thing. Part of the beauty of wiki is that it is simple to use and edit.

Also, there is the danger of the contents of the table outstripping those of the main page, resulting in a weird looking organization. Btw, since when is viruses the plural of the Latin word virus? It might be right, but it's lame nonetheless. :(

I made that change, because that's always been the only correct plural. See, for example, [1]. --Lee Daniel Crocker

Ok. As I said, it's still lame. I see the point about the latin, but viruses is just an ugly word. Curse this useless tongue of ours, that isn't content to steal words, but must make them ugly to boot. But I guess I'll have to live with it, or learn more of another language and move to its wikipedia. ---

About the table, I concur. It's very pretty, and very cute, but may make things difficult for non-coders, and we don't want that. A more wiki-style way of doing it would be better.

Also, at least in theory, other people can take the data generated by the wikipedia and use it elsewhere. Like, in a book! So keeping things fairly simple is probably a good idea.

I'm the one who made the table smaller, so it would look nicer on my screen, so I'm partly guilty of condoning it. It *is* cute, after all. :-) But, now I vote with those who say it should go away. --Jimbo Wales

Well, what is a better way of doing this? A topic like biology deserves a discussion, but it is also a supercategory that has many subcategories. We could list the 'related topics' at the bottom or the top, but that lacks the emphasis of the table. - TimShell

Subheadings would be good. That way we could maintain the simple serial format and still mark big sections clearly.

I have an idea. We could make all pages automatically in this format. Each article would have a "text" area and a "links" area. Each article would have, thus, two text boxes, which would be displayed in the same sort of format. Now this might work...but perhaps we should bear in mind the KISS principle. --LMS

I think that in this case, the sidebar is mostly superfluous. But it might also be a good place to put pictures, if we ever get any.


Maybe something should be said about different classification systems, besides Linnean taxonomy, like the three domain system and nine kingdom system?


We went the wiki+tables route at WorldForge, and I concur with the first sentence in this discussion: It does not have a happy ending and isn't someplace we want to go. In Bo Leuf & Ward Cunningham's book (plug, plug) "The Wiki Way", this experience of mine is given as an example case: '...along with this was a constant desire to put in more sophisticated table layout markup to make the Web site "look nicer", but that also made it even more inscrutable to non-HTML-aware folks. This coupled problem feeds on itself until only the Web site admin folks edit Web pages.' So what is being said above in this discussion is exactly right on.

The idea of having a dedicated link area to the right for all pages is interesting, although consider that there are some lengthy pages (e.g., Alchemy where having part of the page taken up with a link table would be a Bad Thing. I suspect this may play havok with some of the mathematical pages that have formulas, or pages with a lot of PRE formatted text.

I've seen other content editing systems that differentiate between two or more different "doc types", that are used to select and define a page layout. For instance, one could have one layout that is all prose, and another one that is prose plus a link list. You can imagine extending this with placeholders for pictures, etc. The downside is that this incurs an extra level of complexity that the user must face.


The link to Eubacteria has just been changed to Prokaryota, but I think that's not correct. Prokaryota are all organisms whose cells lack proper nuclei, so both Eubacteria and Archaea qualify. --AxelBoldt

You are entirely right. I've changed it back.


Is "The Tree of Life" project open content? If not, why are we linking to it? --LMS