I vote for the second option: text is just a label.
The first option is in my opinion very limited restrictive.

The magic can still be there, all of it, if zim goes for the the
second option. IMHO it should be up to the user to choose whatever
behavior the GUI should have. AFAIK, there isn't a single benefit of
'text is the link' that would be impossible to implement with 'text is
just a label'.

This should be discussed with caution. User interaction should be
carefully distinguished from the markup used to store the data. I
believe that what we all want is the ability of having powerful
features without cluttering a simple user experience. We don't want a
too simplistic approach to limit the potential of zim, nor a too
bloated approach to make zim too complicated and therefore less
productive. That being said, i think we should focus the discussion on
this: Does 'link is just a label' introduces undesirable clutter or
does it still allows a simple user experience?
In my opinion the answer is: Not necessarly.

DokuWiki for example has both options:
[[Link Target]] <---- simple link
[[Link Target|Click here]]  <---- link with a label

This is jsut a possibility, since zim comes with a a GUI rather than
being markup-centered, all the links could have the latest format,
being up to the user to choose if any part of it should be
automagically filled.

Like Beni, I am also looking forward to see more opinions.


On Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 1:30 PM, Beni Cherniavsky <c...@users.sf.net> wrote:
> I started to comment to pyzim bug 304605 but I think it warrants a wider
> discussion.
> The bug refers to a specific situation: editing an existing link text
> modifies the target, thus breaking the link.
> But it reflects a wider usability/discoverability issue:
> sometimes we want to keep target synced to text, sometimes we don't, and we
> lack a good interface for both.
> At the ends of the spectrum, I see 2 self-consistent, UI models:
> The Text Is The Link:
> * All links explicitly say where they point to.  Nothing is hidden.
> * Link creation can be as simple as applying a "link" style to typed text.
> * Link text can be directly edited to switch the link target.
> * Downside: there is no way to beautify links to streamline reading.
> * P.S. This model is easily extended to Tomboy-style autolinking.
> The Text Is Just A Label:
> * All links have text separate from target.  The user controls link
> appearance.
> * Turning text into a link requires a dialog for the target.
> * Changing the text never updates the target.  Beautifying links is easy.
> * Switching to a different target requires a dialog.
> The first model is nice but insufficient for many users.
> The second model is near-optimal when you do need the flexibility, but is
> cumbersome if you don't.
> Both can apply to external links (URL vs. label) as well as internal (page
> name vs. label).
> Currently pyzim is close to the second and that's annoying - you have to
> type the same thing twice to create a link!
> It's interesting to note that Gmail uses the second model (makes sense, mail
> links are all external with ugly URL).
> But their interface is more user-friendly than Zim's!
> Also, they augment it by URL discovery (they automatically turn into 1:1
> links).
> Note that starting with 1:1 links and later beautifying them is a common
> workflow.
> I'm not sure how all this should be blended, but here are some tricks/ideas:
> * Show broken links in red: this makes it obvious when you are
> breaking/retargetting links.
> * Don't even show text field in Link dialog, only target.
>   This makes it clear that text is edited by directly editing the page.
> * Have checkbox or radiobox in Link dialog to toggle 1:1 mode (default on).
> * Show the 2 link modes in different colors.  E.g. blue/red for 1:1 links,
> green for other links.
> * While the editing cursor is on a link, it expands to also show the target,
> e.g. [link|target].
>   When the cursor leaves the link, it collapses and you see just the text in
> blue.
> * While the editing cursor is on a link, a tooltip-like mini-dialog hovers
> beneath it.
>   This is more discoverable and friendly, though less keyboard-friendly.
>   Gmail does this.
> * Consider Tomboy autolinking for creating links of the simple 1:1 kind?
> --
> Beni Cherniavsky-Paskin <c...@users.sf.net>
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