To Do


About Multilinks

A multilink, or mlink, is a link that goes to one or more target destinations. A multilink is rendered as a popup menu that presents the targets as a list of menu items. An item can be selected from the menu to follow the URL of the target, or a special item called “edit” can be selected to add, remove, or modify the targets of the multilink.

Many researchers have discussed and proposed similar multilink features, but browser implementations are rare and have not been widely available due to various technical reasons. As far as I know, thanks to this plugin code, PmWiki is the first wiki to have a full-featured multilink capability.

My multilink plugin code adds full support for this feature to Camino or Firefox browsers, but only partially to any recent versions of Internet Explorer due to its CSS implementation shortcomings (full support may be upcoming if there is any user demand). In the meantime, I would recommend that you switch to the better browser, Firefox, or Camino if you use Mac OS X, and while at it, also switch to one of the more superior operating systems, which are, in my opinion, Mac OS X and GNU Linux.

Why This Is Cool

By adding this to a wiki, it makes it tremendously easy for anybody to create and maintain multilinks. Creating a new multilink is a matter of marking up a term with a very simple markup. Targets are not embedded in the markup, but rather, stored in an external metafile linked to but exists independently from the page where the multilinks are defined. The wiki system maintains and manages the metafile independently from the context pages.

Each multilink is like a bookmark menu on a particular subject that can be placed anywhere on a web page. Future improvements could add attribution and election methods, click-through tracking, and other metadata on each multilink that can be used to influence the view of the multilink. Presently, you can enable shading, from bright to dark, to indicate the ranking of the targets of a multilink.

A web page with multilinks can express and record information in a very compact and dense fashion. It also allows information authors to add the right amount of context around bookmarks that is presently not possible to accomplish with the built-in browser functions.

The Multilink Markup

Once this feature is enabled, you can create a multilink using the following markup:

    [[ text = * ]]

The text will be decorated as a multilink and a popup menu will be available when the cursor hovers on the decorated text.

Enabling Multilink

  • Download the following plugin, and place it in your cookbook subdirectory:

  • Include the plugin by adding the following line in your local/config subdirectory:

Optional Multilink Features

  • The variable $MlinkShade, if set to TRUE, will cause the menu items to be displayed in shades of gray according to the ranking of the targets assigned by the end user.

  • The variables $MlinkGoogle and $MlinkWikipedia, if set to the appropriate strings, will cause additional menu items to automatically appear in the menu allowing a lookup for the link title using Google and Wikipedia, respectively.

  • Here is an example:
    $MlinkShade = TRUE;
    $MlinkGoogle = "";
    $MlinkWikipedia = "";


Related Work