This is quite an interesting discussion and I'd like to add a few points if you 
don't mind.

When we first started using XWiki, our users did comment about the really long 
URLs that were being generated from the Title. But as our XWiki is internal 
only for documentation, I kind of brushed it off with "That's just the way it 

But I agree that in some cases it would be good to be able to edit the 
resulting URL. Both for us, and obviously for other users. :-)

In regards of how to achieve this, I'd like to propose a half-way 

Firstly, create an Admin option in the Admin control panel to the effect of:

"Allow users to edit the Page URL when creating new pages"
- Always
- Optional
- Never (Default)

Then on the create page, you would have the following "minor" changes (I say 
minor because changes are always minor to the person who is not doing the 
programming ;-)  )

If the Admin option is "Never" then the create page remains as it is.

If the Admin option is "Optional" then there should be a link/button under 
Title that is called "Edit Page URL". This would be an extra button on the 
current create page form. When the user clicks the button/link, they then get 
another text box in which to specify the URL parameter.

If the Admin option is "Always" then the create page will show "Page Title" (as 
it is currently) and will also show the "Page URL" text box. Ideally, this Page 
URL text box should be auto-populated with the proposed auto-generated name 
from the title (unless the Page URL is edited before the Page Title). Obviously 
you'll have to do a few other checks to make sure it's a valid entry for a URL 
in both cases (but you may have this already from the old version where both 
options always showed).

I also recommend that the current description text for Title is changed from 
the very short "Title of the new page"
"This is Title Heading shown at the top of the document when viewed. The Page 
URL is auto-generated from this title"

Kind regards,

Mahomed Hussein
Custodian Data Centre

-----Original Message-----
From: users [] On Behalf Of Vincent Massol
Sent: 21 April 2017 12:16
To: XWiki Users <>
Subject: Re: [xwiki-users] display page title and name(url) while creating a 

Hi Caty,

> On 21 Apr 2017, at 12:44, Ecaterina Moraru (Valica) <> wrote:
> Let's see what variants we have:
> 1. Instead of displaying "Title", display the "Name" instead.
> This won't solve anything. There is no difference between Page Name
> and Page Title for the normal users. Seeing "Name" instead of "Title",
> will not stop the users to enter spaces if they want, so the URL will
> still have those spaces. We don't force the Page Names to trim spaces.
> One quick solution here is indeed to use "URL" label instead of
> "Name". For the reasons Vincent mentioned this might not end up in the
> product for now,

What did I mention? :) What’s preventing us from having it in the product 
rather soon than later (except workload ofc)?

> so you will need to do some custom development (changing some
> translations) to have this change. If you want to be "hackish" you can
> even change the translation for "Title" to "URL" instead and hope that
> your users will enter shorter URLs (since we generate the name from the 
> title).
> Displaying just Name / URL, means users will still have to go and
> change the title manually.

This could be better (with URL name) since when you create a page you’re 
offered the ability to change the title after you click Create.

> The only way to cut a step in the flow is to autogenerate the page
> names (which we currently do). But for your use case you shoyld write
> a shorting/trimming algorithm, but this is custom, since you mentioned
> you want just the initials and no spaces, etc.
> 2. Displaying both "Title" and "Name". This will create confusion and
> need for explanations.

This is not exactly what is suggested either by Vishal nor by me :) What we 
suggested is to let the user enter the URL name and title.

Actually and to be more precise what I was suggesting was to continue to let 
the user enter the title but to show the generated URL as it’s done in AWM. 
And, importantly to allow the user to change the last part of the URL (it would 
change the page name).

> That's why we display these options just for advanced and long-time
> users of XWiki, since they are used to the concepts.

Yes but URLs don't need an advanced user to understand the concept and I agree 
with Vishal that we’re now causing a very large number of pages to have %25 in 
their URLs by default which is quite bad… Of course someone can spend their 
time monitoring what users are doing and renaming pages thereafter or educate 
their users to do that but we’re not helping and we’re making it difficult.

> -----
> IMO what you are describing is advanced user behavior. Normal users
> don't generally care about their URLs and SEO.

I don’t fully agree with you. I have the feeling (can’t prove it) that a good 
number of our users care about the generated URLs.

Also I think that simple users may care about URL without being advanced users. 
Making them advanced users will expose them to a lot more complexity than they 
need to know.

> But the beauty of XWiki is that
> you can customize it locally to perfectly match your needs.

That’s not exactly true (and it’s far from being easy, just check 
createinline.vm): It means overriding large portions of vm code and having to 
do manual merges whenever you upgrade. A major PITA.

> Vincent mentioned something about AWM. I don't see much difference
> from the Create Page. We generate the names from title here too. We
> display them in the breadcrumb, but in a more simple way. Displaying
> the "localhost"/server part is not simple user behavior. AWM is more complex.
> -----
> So I would not change anything on the product side, since I believe
> these should be solved as custom changes for your instance.
> We want to encourage users to use page titles (with spaces in them
> since they are more readable and supported), while we are preserving
> the page name behavior for advances users (but we don't enforce it).

I don’t agree with this sentence: We definitely don’t want to encourage users 
to use titles in URLs.

> If users made
> mistakes they can always change the title or rename the page.
> On the product side the only change I would like us to do is using the
> URL naming, but this was debated in the past and dropped for Vincent's 
> reasons.

What reasons, I don’t remember a discussion about using URL name instead of 
page name?

So our main disagreement is that I consider that favouring encoded characters 
in URLs is not a good thing while you think it’s not a large enough problem to 
do something about it.

Would it make our UI too complex to use for simple users if we were showing a 
URL and the ability to change the last part of it? IMO what’s complex is when 
we have Page name and Page Title. But I don’t feel there’d be confusion between 
URL and Page title.

What do others think?


> Thanks,
> Caty
> On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 11:57 PM, Vincent Massol <> wrote:
>>> On 20 Apr 2017, at 22:51, Vincent Massol <> wrote:
>>> Hi Vishal,
>>> Ok, I misunderstood you in your first email. I understood the opposite.
>> I thought you were complaining that have 2 notions (page name + page
>> title) was confusing but it’s actually the opposite! What you find
>> confusing is the fact that it’s not easy for your users to set both
>> the page name and page titles!
>>> It’s funny (or not :)) since this is exactly what we had in past
>> versions of XWiki and we had several complaints that it was confusing
>> to have the 2 notions and this is why he hid the page name only for
>> advanced users.
>> Actually, if I remember well, what we were doing was to ask for the
>> page name and we were setting the title to the same as the page name
>> by default and then the user could edit the title before saving the page.
>> We’ve now done the opposite (user deciding on the title and page name
>> being derived from it) but leading to the issue you’re raising about
>> Thanks
>> -Vincent
>>> See below.
>>>> On 20 Apr 2017, at 14:20, Vishal <> wrote:
>>>> Thanks Vincent for your thorough reply..
>>>> You guessed it right. We intend to have clean and short urls for
>>>> SEO reasons.
>>>> Current scheme creates two problems:
>>>> 1) The Page name is fetched automatically from the Title. Often the
>> titles
>>>> have spaces which translate as *percent characters *in url which
>>>> makes
>> it
>>>> somewhat unclean :)
>>> Indeed you’re right. By hiding the page name we’re now incitating to
>> have longer URLs and encoded characters showing up in URLs which is
>> not nice I agree.
>>> Maybe one solution is to do something similar to what we do in AWM, i.e.
>> generate automatically the URL from the title entered by the user and
>> show the resulting URL to the user and give the user the opportunity
>> to change the URL.
>>> See
>> App%20Within%20Minutes%20Application/AppWithinMinutes-Step1.png
>>>> 2) Secondly, to have the shorter url, we use only the short forms
>>>> of complete title.
>>>> Ex. For title 'Pune University' we use name PU.
>>> Hey, you’re from Pune? :) I’ve been there about 15 times! That was
>>> in a
>> previous job where my company and KPIT Cummins were partners.
>>>> Otherwise in this hierarchy of pages, the url would be much longer.
>>>> Ex. We have page 'Electronics and Telecommunications' branch under
>>>> page 'Pune University'. We should not have such a long url. Instead
>>>> here we
>> need
>>>> PU/ENTC or Pune-University/ENTC
>>>> To avoid all this, what we currently do:
>>>> 1) On create page dialog, use PU as title.. This will create url as PU.
>>>> If full name is used here as title, we need to use - instead of
>>>> spaces
>> to
>>>> avoid percent characters in url.
>>>> 2) While in edit mode, change the title back to Pune University.
>>>> Remove
>> any
>>>> - characters to make title clean.
>>>> This is where confusion creeps in.
>>>> If these two terms create confusion, why I need to show them both:
>>>> I guess the *confusion is due to term Name*. It doesn't reflect
>>>> actual
>> usage
>>>> of the term. URL or weblink or link or web address would be more
>>>> apt
>> terms
>>>> to use to instead of Name.
>>> Regarding Page name vs Page URL.
>>> A bit of history: The reason we used page name and not page URL
>> originally is because what the user is creating is a document in the
>> database and initially it was called Document Name. Since that was a
>> bit confusing for users, we had decided to call it Page Name. It just
>> happened that the URL used was directly derived from the document/page name.
>>> In practice the 3 concepts could have different values:
>>> * a value for the document’s name in the DB
>>> * another value for the document’s title
>>> * yet another value used in the URL.
>>> We’ve had discussions so that we could let the user provide shorter
>>> URLs
>> for pages in the future.
>>> Now for the time being and since we don’t have this ATM, I think I
>>> agree
>> with you that we could decide to display to the user the URL that
>> will be generated (the encoded URL) and allow the user to change it.
>> Internally the user would change the document name.
>>>> My users can differentiate between Title and URL. But the whole
>> procedure we
>>>> follow is certainly not understandable by all. And we definitely
>>>> need to follow this whole long procedure, just to have short and clean 
>>>> urls.
>>> Yes, if you’re asking your users to care about the URLs that get
>> generated, right now they need to be advanced users to be able to
>> edit the page name in the Create Page UI (since changing the title
>> afterwards is too cumbersome).
>>>> So, by showing both fields at the first place itself, I would like
>>>> to shorten the procedure and url length.
>>> I’m in agreement with you. Let’s see what others think.
>>> Thanks for this interesting discussion!
>>> -Vincent
>>>> --
>>>> View this message in context: http://xwiki.475771.n2.nabble.
>> com/Page-Title-and-Name-confusion-tp7603546p7603551.html
>>>> Sent from the XWiki- Users mailing list archive at

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