Trevor Parscal <> changed:

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--- Comment #20 from Trevor Parscal <> 2010-11-15 
18:42:52 UTC ---
What's the history of the practice of trying to encode the name of the section
in the anchor for that section?

It seems to get very messy and unpredictable unless the heading text is written
in latin characters without any punctuation. And even in those cases, it's
still possible that the heading text will be encoded as the same ID as other
IDs on the page, such as those used by the skin or other software that renders
user interfaces.

The IDs seem to be effectively unpredictable in a couple of ways:

1. The encoding does not follow a standard encoding algorithm, making any non
string that's not [a-zA-Z0-9 ] be converted to something that only someone who
knows the algorithm well would expect.
2. The anchor names could possibly intersect with IDs used on the page for
other things. An effort has been made to conform the IDs of skins use the mw-*
namespace, but it's still not a guarantee, just a bit less likely.

If anchor names were encoded in a predictable way, such as id="section-1.2" the
anchors would be able to correspond to the table of contents, which is pretty
simple and straightforward, plus we could know for sure that there would never
be collisions with IDs so long as we never use the section-* namespace in skins
or other software. Since we have more control over the software than the
content, this seems like a superior approach.

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