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In IdeaXchg, an "article" means a page of explicitly authored content, as opposed to a structural page, help page, table of contents, or discussion message.  Articles can only be created and modified by people with web authoring permission, but anyone can post a message to a public IdeaXchg discussion area.  Every IdeaXchg article contains at least one link to a placeholder discussion message, so that people can immediately review the related discussion and post their own comments or replies.  Each article will generally be filed under one or more headings in a manually edited contents page for one or more IdeaXchg forums, so that it can be found quickly by topic without resorting to full-text searching (which is also supported).  IdeaXchg articles follow consistent conventions for page headers, footers, and navigation bars.

placeholder discussion message
In order to connect articles and other types of pages to related discussion, IdeaXchg uses a special form of message referred to as a "placeholder".  When you post a Reply to a placeholder message, your message is automatically filed under the thread linked to a particular article.  Placeholder messages are created by posting a normal message to the appropriate forum, and then editing the message to follow certain standard conventions that make it easy to navigate between the edited contents organization and the mechanically generated discussion thread structure.  A link to Discussion is then placed in the original article, pointing to start of the thread associated with the placeholder message.  Rather than simply directing you to a general discussion group, this device takes you directly to a reserved thread within the appropriate discussion group, to minimize the need for additional searching.

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