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I noticed some useful edits to one of my answers on linking to SDL Live Content:

Would this be a good convention for anytime we linked to a site that requires a login?

If so, anything else we should include (type of login, what to name links, how to spell SDL Live Content and TridionWorld, etc)?

Edit: Adding Bart's examples here:

([requires login](http://docportal.sdl.com/sdltridion))
([requires login](http://www.sdltridionworld.com/about/access/index.aspx))
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Since the documentation on SDL Tridion World (http://www.sdltridionworld.com) and the SDL WCMS Documentation portal (also known as SDL Live Content, http://sdllivecontent.sdl.com/LiveContent) are only available through a login, I usually refer to them with the comment (in parentheses) that a login is required.

The link I use for the login is http://docportal.sdl.com/sdltridion, this is the same link which is used in the SDL Tridion Dashboard page under Help & Community and it currently redirects to a page on SDL Tridion World indicating how you can obtain the login details for SDL Tridion World and where you can find the Documentation.

In the future the http://docportal.sdl.com/sdltridion link might be redirected to a different location (an SDL wide documentation portal), so it is a safe link to use.

My suggestion indeed is to always mention when a certain link requires a login which can be done using the following text: (requires login)

For both SDL Tridion World and the SDL WCMS Documentation portal you could use the following snippet in your answer (works in comments too):

([requires login](http://docportal.sdl.com/sdltridion))

Additionally I've seen we (well Alvin mostly ;o) also provide links to the forum (https://forum.sdltridion.com/) which currently also still requires a login. For that one I suggest we use the following link (the docportal is really only meant for Live Content):

([requires login](http://www.sdltridionworld.com/about/access/index.aspx))
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  • Bart, could the content at docportal.sdl.com/sdltridion be updated to include the information about how to obtain a login for the forums? That would make it easier on people as they would always be using the same link for the requires login snippet.... – Glenn Stevens Mar 21 '13 at 15:55
  • That depends on which English grammar you are using. British English is designed to make it easier to write a parser. – Dominic Cronin Mar 22 '13 at 7:28
  • I'd actually put the period last as in: (requires login). :-) – Alvin Reyes Mar 22 '13 at 7:31
  • personally I find (requires login.) ugly looking and I always try to save the amount of characters I type. I also see it more as a comment than as a sentence which you end with a period (but I'm no native English speakers so grammar wise I won't make any claims ;o). – Bart Koopman Mar 22 '13 at 8:09
  • @GlennStevens Old comment, I know, but that's not correct at all - punctuation belongs outside of brackets (in contrast to quotes) with the only exception being if the entire sentence is inside the brackets. – Ant P Apr 30 '14 at 11:42
  • I bow to your wisdom in this @AntP – Glenn Stevens May 1 '14 at 14:27
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No - we shouldn't add this noise to our questions and answers. It doesn't really help when we're linking to SDL properties (or even perhaps to other places like ORACLE). Basically, anyone who comes here should know how to log in to SDL, and should be reading the documentation there routinely. Otherwise the only reasonable answer to anything they post would be RTFM.

Yes - we should have an entry in our FAQ that explains this stance. Yes - it should probably be written in more moderate terms than this response of mine! :-)

So please ask yourself: what does it add? In what sense does "(requires login)" make this a better site, or one that is easier to manage or to read? Please think in terms of the vast majority of our users, and not in terms of the one or two who may have randomly stumbled across it.

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  • Even if I see the point on the other answers, +1 for the no-noise approach – Puntero Mar 21 '13 at 11:46
  • Hmm, I wouldn't assume everyone asking questions here even has access to the online documentation so they might not even have M to RTF. – Glenn Stevens Mar 21 '13 at 15:57
  • Just to expand on my earlier comment. Typically SDL customers are limited to having 'n' users with access to content behind SDL's reg wall where, for all except the smallest shops, 'n' is much lower than the number of people they have working on Tridion development. – Glenn Stevens Mar 21 '13 at 17:58
  • @GlennStevens - is this true? As far as I know, anyone working for a customer can get a login on the extranet. Of course, that means going to the trouble of asking support for a login, but.... – Dominic Cronin Mar 21 '13 at 20:22
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    Actually you are correct. Looked back in my old e-mails from 2007 and it was support that told us we were limited in the number of logins we could have but in our contract that is not the case, rather we are limited to people with certain titles at our company having such access (of course as these things go, we don't actually use any of the listed titles anymore.) Also according to Jeff Wisor, back in olden times the forum and support ticketing systems were linked but that is not the case now so some of the old limitations such as on # of forum accounts have been lifted. – Glenn Stevens Mar 22 '13 at 6:35
  • Good point, "requires login" as text attached to every question can get noisy. I also feel citing sources and hinting where links go are also good practices. Some links warn of downloads "(PDF)" -- would a site you may not have access to be similar? – Alvin Reyes Mar 22 '13 at 7:27
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    @AlvinReyes - it's about context. This is a special interest group that can be expected to know some things. That's why special interest groups have FAQs. If you'll forgive me quoting the bible: "The good of the many is greater than the good of the newbie." – Dominic Cronin Mar 22 '13 at 8:32
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As per my knowledge,

It's a good conversion to link to authenticated sites (like SDL Live Content)

Since SDL Tridion is not a open source product.

Regarding naming, it would be better to use the actual name as you mentioned

  • SDL Live Content
  • TridionWorld
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At some level I question whether we should be encouraging people to link to the SDL documentation at all given the dichotomy between the open public nature of a Stack Exchange Site and the closed nature of SDL Live Content and SDL Tridion World.

In your answer you did a good job of posting both a link to the documentation #and# providing an abbreviated summary of the relevant section of the documentation but if your primary answer had been just pointing people to the documentation the answer would have been unusable to any members of this Site’s community who do not have logins for the SDL portals.

Because of this, I think we should definitely try to set the convention that links to documentation which require users to login should say so next to the link. I also think we should encourage people to include a summary of the most relevant portion of the documentation they are linking to like you did in your answer.

Additionally, if an answer contains multiple links to the same site requiring login, we probably only need to have ([requires login](http://docportal.sdl.com/sdltridion)) next to the first occurrence of a link to that site.

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    I think this is a valid remark and all comes down to how you use it. I would personally not upvote (or accept) an answer which only contains a link to the documentation. It is much more helpful to describe your answer and as a reference provide the details of where this is mentioned in the documentation. On the other hand, it is just not something we can ignore, the documentation is not publicly accessible but also not something you should try to work without. Even after my 10 years of experience with SDL Tridion, I still (almost daily) require our documentation. – Bart Koopman Mar 21 '13 at 9:26
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    I do agree that in the case you use multiple documentation links in your answer, you don't have to add the login requirement to every one of the. Just use it where you see it fit and where it makes sense. – Bart Koopman Mar 21 '13 at 9:28
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    @BartKoopman I also would not tend to upvote an answer that just contains a link to the documentation, actually I would tend to downvote them if that alone is the content of the answer as such answer's really are not. But there are some cases where such links might be one piece of a large answer (for instance a list of troubleshooting steps) where the responder may just say something like check the config settings are set as specified in ______ – Glenn Stevens Mar 21 '13 at 16:00
  • +1, I agree good answers provide context and not just links. When citing and quoting online resources, professional (and student) papers require references, even if the resources were closed (e.g. a parenthetical citation for "Some-Online-Journal," regardless if the content was freely available). We don't have to be that formal, but I think it's a good (even ethical) practice to credit sources, which I think we've been good at. – Alvin Reyes Mar 22 '13 at 8:21
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Just one thing about using http://docportal.sdl.com/sdltridion, I always try to link people directly to the topic I am referring to by taking the link from the breadcrumb in the main window of LiveContent (i.e. Implementing SDL Tridion). I don't think this is possible using the docportal redirect, is it?

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  • the idea behind the docportal.sdl.com/sdltridion link is that it should redirect to you directly to the Documentation site, but since that currently doesn't have information on how to obtain the login details, it currently points to SDL Tridion World with information on how to login to World, so you can get to the Documentation section which hold the user and password for Live Content. But in the future that will change (for the better), and the docportal link should remain. – Bart Koopman Apr 9 '14 at 15:27
  • Sure, but the sole use of the docportal link would still prevent you from deep-linking directly to a topic in LiveContent, so I tend to write the topic name with a deep-link and then follow that with the (login required) part as a separate link – David Forster Apr 9 '14 at 16:52
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    True, for deep links it is a different story. And if in the future the documentation would be accessible publicly (without a login) we can forget this whole story, but we will have to be nice to Santa for that ;). – Bart Koopman Apr 9 '14 at 17:32

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