At the moment, if you you post just a link to a web site, such as Wikipedia, it will be 'oneboxed'. It would be nice if it could be extended so you could write something like

wiki:<article name>

and have that article linked to.


I agree that to allow for more constant syntax, it should be wrapped in [].

With regards to language, seeming as SO is primarily an English speaking community, I see no reason to consider other languages. If we had say a Spanish SO, then this could just make use of the Spanish Wikipedia.

As to handling articles that do no exist, perhaps this could be done client side. so if you tried to link to a non existent article, it will inform you. Perhaps offering a link to the search results, perhaps simple linking the 'create a page' page for Wikipedia.

I am sure that if this basic frame work could be implemented, it could be extended to for use with other sites as well.

  • 7
    Hm. The English one? Or Brazilian? What happens with articles that don't exist? I don't think this is worth the implementation effort. With any browser that supports it, you can type in wiki into the URL bar, search, and copy the result URL – all within less than a second. – slhck Feb 6 '12 at 15:55

A nice idea, though I personally would prefer a more consistent syntax with tags and URLs in general, aka

[wiki:<article name>]

The question is, what to do with nonexistent or ambiguous requests. (Search for the <article name> instead and display the first result?)


While that may seem more convenient, I expect it would be used poorly and result in a lot of broken wikipedia boxes due to word choice, capitalization issues, etc.

It doesn't take long to find and post an exact wikipedia link for the user posting it, but it would be annoying and take a lot more people's time every time they saw a oneboxed disambiguation or "create this articel" page.

  • +1, I think the current "special case some URLs, but never degrade to worse than just a hyperlink" is a good solution – Flexo Feb 6 '12 at 16:17
  • But what currently happens if you link to a Wikipedia article, but incorrectly? And why would capitalization cause issues? – thecoshman Feb 6 '12 at 16:23
  • No oneboxing occurs for a Wikipedia link that doesn't point to a real article: chat.meta.stackoverflow.com/transcript/message/859445#859445 – Pops Feb 6 '12 at 16:36
  • In which case, why can't this same system be used? – thecoshman Feb 6 '12 at 16:42
  • 1
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stack is not useful. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stack_%28data_structure%29 is useful. How many wikipedia links are people giving out that are 1) simple enough to know the correct wording for the term (Stack (data structure) doesn't roll off the tongue, does it?), and 2) useful in chat discussions, but not useful enough to find the correct url and link it directly? – Pollyanna Feb 6 '12 at 17:03
  • 1
    But let's go to actual examples: chat.meta.stackoverflow.com/… If you go down that loooong list of when the wikipedia onebox was used, you'll find very few terms were short and easy enough that one would expect to be able to know what term to use that wikipedia has. Easy stuff like Worf? Lefse? Going down that list I see very few examples where a shortcut as you propose would actually have been useful. Instead I suspect it might increase oneboxing of useless fluff people are too lazy to look up, but might be funny - and in most cases would link wrong. – Pollyanna Feb 6 '12 at 17:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .