Vipul Naik defines canonical naming in “The goal of subject wikis” as a naming convention where “the name of a page on a topic is precisely that topic”.
On this site, I’ve tried to apply this principle. For instance, there used to be a page called “Content creation: the organization and dissemination of knowledge”, but this page was on the subject of content creation, so now it assumes the name “Content creation”, adhering to its canonical name.
On a subject-specific website about subject X, canonical naming of topic Y leads to a page that describes Y as it relates to or fits into X. What about canonical naming on a personal site, such as this one? It might answer the question “What are this person’s thoughts on this topic?” But on biographical pages this adds an unnecessary layer, for the previous question expands to “What are this person’s thoughts on this person’s biography?” One might also want to know what the person’s thoughts are on the topic now vs 10 years ago, and how it evolved. To some extent this can be captured using versioning. This line of thought leads to some interesting possibilities:
- Perhaps canonical naming is too simplified and is unnatural for organizing content.
- Perhaps personal sites are unsuitable for storing content.