Canonical naming is a naming convention where “the name of a page on a topic is precisely that topic”.
Canonical naming can be motivated in various ways:
- As a default position. (“Why name a page other than what that page is about?”)
- As a reaction against other methods of naming (e.g. against clickbait titles).
One difficulty with canonical naming is that the writer must figure out what the name of the topic actually is. Instead of naming a page based on what the writer comes up with on the spot, they might have to search around to see what the topic is usually called, or whether anyone has written anything similar. In this way, canonical naming enforces a discipline of not reinventing the wheel, which is an additional cost to the writer.
Another difficulty is that a page might have to be renamed. A page might be tentatively named, but later a jargon might be discovered, forcing a rename. This process of “distilling” titles until they reach their simplest and precisest form is part of canonicalizing names.