Is there a wiki markup for underline?

+3 votes
I'm redoing an old profile to get it in line with new guidelines. I can't find an underline.
in WikiTree Tech by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
My guess is that there is no "recommended" code for underline.  Of course, it is included in html, but I avoid using it on websites and always recommend that it be used sparingly, if at all.

Even though the current fashion in web design is to indicate "hot" text in other ways than by underlining it (Chris, forgive me for saying this but WikiTree is very dated in this).  In the begnning (of the popularization of the internet), when browsers were only text and the font was only Courier, it was the only way to call attention to hot text.  As a result, for many people, it is intuitive to expect that anything underlined is a link and they think something is wrong when they click on it and nothing happens - it takes a while for it to sink in that nothing was supposed to happen.

For user friendliness considerations, it is good to avoid use of underline only to empnasize text, so I would not be surprised (and would be in favor of) not making that styling option available to people who create web pages and are not likely to be aware of technical considerations..

1 Answer

0 votes


by George Blanchard G2G6 Mach 9 (91.2k points)
Is that HtML or wiki, or both? It's what I've been using on the rare occasions I use it

Gaile and the G2G community,


Please don't think my reply to Anne was intentionally contrary. The simple truth is I had Anne's post to G2G open in my browser and went for coffee, and when I returned I forgot to refresh my browser, thus responding to Anne's request without knowing the usage of <u>...</u> tags might cause issues.

The tag is documented here:

and here:

Update: Underlining is not included in Paul Bech's WikiTree Markup Manual located here:

Thank you, I didn't think you were being contrary at all.
George - I didn't see anything contrary at all, either.  The topic of what is and is not "recommended" keeps raising its ugly head here because, as far as I can tell, there is no clear definition of what is permitted.  I would like to see two groups of elements identified - what is permitted and encouraged and what is permitted but discouraged.  I would like to see them in a single place, instead of having to go on a scavenger hunt from the main help page of what is "recommended" to links on it to other pages that have more links to still more pages, not all of which are even on WikiTree, let alone in the WikiTree help pages and, if you want to spend an hour or two doing all that, you'll find that a lot of the information is conflicting.

Anne - The <u> ...</u> tag is html.  I am clueless as to whether or not it is also part of that kluge called "wiki code" (which does have some of the same elements that are in html), and I have no inclination to speculate whether it is "recommended", "not recommended", or something else.

If I sound frustrated, then I am successfully communicating my feelings about all this.  For my own work here, I have given up on trying to figure it out and just do my best to restrict my usage of elements to thost that I think are liekly to be supported and encouraged, based on my understanding of industry standards and/or best practices for web design.

Sorry, George, but I don't view that as at all enlightening.  It is the starting point of the labyrinth of incomplete and/or vague and/or contradictory information that I alluded to above.
Simple answers are not always possible.

The only simple answer, if that's what you require, is to not do any advanced formatting. Just use the formatting options that are available on the edit toolbar.

I have only the greatest admiration for the colossal system you have built and the incredibly vast community that embraces it.  As a professional web developer, I could not imagine aspiring to emulate your superhuman feat.

My understanding of the technical challenges and environmental considerations (including platform and human factors aspects) requisite to this accomplishment have made me your stunchest supporter in all implementation related questions that I have seen addressed here, with this one exception.

I believe your use of the word "simple" is the first instance of that word in this chain.  I'm not sure who you believe requested a "simple answer" here (or anywhere else), but I want to assure you that it is not me.  I expressed my frustration with not receiving a clear set of rules for what elements, whether html or the absurdity called "wiki code" is and is not supported.  As I have stated before, as well as in other related questions, I want to see a single page with specification of the elements that are supported, which you may divide into 2 groups if you wish - those that are encouraged and those that are discouraged, but nonetheless are available for use in rare situations and/or by people who are more expert users.

The word "clear" in no way is synonymous with "simple" in my mind.  I use it as the antithesis of "ambiguous", "confusing", and difficult to find, which is how the "official" set of "recommended" codes is currently presented.  I recognize that you have evaded using a word like "rule", substituting "recommended" instead.  Perhaps that is for psychological effect, but it seems to me that rules are precisely what are needed.  If you want to avoid using such a direct word because of the possibility that it carries a negative valance, I can easily accept "supported" - at least that states what can and cannot be done, instead of leaving it to people like me to use trail and error in order to figure that out.

I have said before, and will reiterate here - I am willing to accept the limitations of  whatever capabilites you choose to permit, but I would be very appreciative if you could just make a clear statement of what these are.  You may recall that I offered to create a page that is comprehensive, easily navigable, and addresses three different purposes for which users would refer to the page.  I am well qualified to do this - I have designed and developed IETMs (Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals) for the government in the past. My offer still stands and will remain open to you, should you choose to accept it.

If you want to see the lengths to which I have felt forced to go to, in order to create a pleasant appearance and maximize functionality, within my vague understanding of what is "recommended", please see the Category:Holocaust page, where you can see my contortions on the editing page.
Here is the simple answer: Don't do any creative formatting. Just do what is available through the toolbar and what is specifically recommended on WikiTree help pages to do things that are specifically recommended, such as footnoting sources.
By the way, please don't tell others that the simple answer I'm giving you here is the answer to all formatting questions.

This is the answer for you, because you want a simple and clear rule to follow.

We are clearly having a comminication problem.  I never asked for simple, nor do I specifically want simple.  I did ask, many times, for clear, namely a set of rules specifying precisely what elements are supported, that is in one place instead of a scavenger hunt of successive links leading to pages that sometimes contradict each other.  I did not ask for "a rule" that is a general directive.

Frankly, I am tired of repeating the same request over and over and I am tired of dealing with this issue.  I had long since decided on how I can best create pages that are within the rules, even though I can't figure out what the rules are and have been proceeding in accordance with that.  I'm not sure how I got drawn into this never ending mess again, but I am getting out of it now.  I will not only honor your request not to further disseminate your answer to anyone else - in fact, I'll do even better, in order to ensure that I don't get suckered back into this mess again - I will not answer any questions seeking technical information on how to accomplish anything on WikiTree.

I'm sorry for the brief statements. I really should be getting back to other things. I do want you to understand this.

We develop style rules in the community very slowly. We have no style rule about underlining, for example. If we recommend a way to underline, and then the community later develops a rule that says underlining should not be used, we will have to recommend against underlining.

So, right now, do you expect us to recommend or recommend against a certain method of underlining text? We can't do either.
If it becomes a style rule to use underlining in certain circumstances, we will have a help page that shows you how to do it.
If it becomes a rule that underlining should never be used, we will have a style page that says not to do it.
If we instruct people on underlining now, without knowing whether it should be done or not, or how and when it should be done, many people will be upset (somewhat rightfully so) if we later tell them it shouldn't be done, or it needs to be done in a different way.
What you're doing on that Holocaust page is putting yourself way out on a limb. There's a chance that the community will decide that none of that should be done. We may decide that all category pages should be uniform. I don't know. It's never been discussed, let alone fully discussed and decided. It might take years for such a rule to emerge. I know that's not what you'd like to hear.
If you won't take offense if all your special formatting is removed someday if the community ever decides to remove special formatting from category pages, go for it. If you will take offense, or if it troubles you that you don't have certainty, don't do any special formatting that goes beyond what is recommended.

There is nothing on the Holocaust page that is not in the specifically "recommended" set of codes.

I would like to know what codes are SUPPORTED, which (in my opinion) should be the ones you "recommend".  If you don't want a code used then you need to not support it when your software converts the wiki code gibberish to html to display the pages.

Your last reply is the last one I will look at here, in accordcance with the DWWTA principle.

I'll go back to this: Don't do any creative formatting. Just do what is available through the toolbar and what is specifically recommended on WikiTree help pages to do things that are specifically recommended, such as footnoting sources.

Don't do any colors, alignment, etc. If you stick to plain text you'll be safe. There is very little reason to do anything else. The trickiest things are footnotes.

I'll try to review the help pages to make sure they're consistent and up-to-date. If anyone notices problems in the help pages, please post here in G2G.

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