[wp-hackers] Idea: Rename the Excerpt to something accurate

Demetris kikizas at gmail.com
Fri Feb 27 18:52:34 GMT 2009

Thanks to all for replying!

On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 10:01 AM, Lynne Pope <lynne.pope at gmail.com> wrote:
> The excerpt has been with us for a very long time and I doubt a name change
> will do anything except cause confusion.
> While "excerpt" can certainly mean “a passage (as from a book or musical
> composition) selected,
> performed, or copied” it also means, "abridge by choosing representative
> sections" and is, IMO, appropriate for "optional hand-crafted summaries of
> your content".
> The automatic excerpt is very clearly an extract taken from the whole
> content, so the term is the most appropriate. A manual excerpt may be a
> synopsis, abstract, description, or introduction to the content but that is
> the beauty of WordPress - it allows for great flexibility.
In your logic, anything that summarizes can be said to be an excerpt,
since it picks out or plucks (what the verb means in Latin) essential
parts from a larger whole.  But if you treat language like that,
anything can mean anything in the end. :-D

Also, I don’t agree that we should not get “too hung up on dictionary

Clear and precise naming is important in software (in the interface as
well as in the code).  It makes functionality as transparent as
possible and reduces the need for documentation. – But misname
something as simple in its basic functionality as
the-excerpt-that-is-not-an-excerpt, and then you need 3,500 words to
explain what it is and what it is not. :-p


If full-range renaming were to be implemented (along with splittig
functions, deprecating functions and everything else this would
probably require), confusing users (and developers) would be my least

The manual excerpt is there since May 2003.  It was among the
highlighted features in the release notes of WP 0.70.  Six years later
people don’t understand what it is and what it does.  Can it get more
confusing that this?


I don’t see any benefit in this.  Quite the contrary:  in my opinion,
the less the autogenerated excerpt is associated with the manual
excerpt, the better.


In the spirit of scribu’s realistic approach (the best thing that can
be done now is good documentation), let me propose another idea, much
easier to implement, for discussion:

Now the explanation on the Excerpt box links to a Codex page that is
for developers.  We could make a new Codex page for end users, with a
quick explanation of what this thing is, and link to that from the
excerpt box.  That new page could then link to other useful locations,
like the the_excerpt() page or


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