Template talk:Disambiguation

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WikiProject Disambiguation
WikiProject icon This template is within the scope of WikiProject Disambiguation, an attempt to structure and organize all disambiguation pages on Wikipedia. If you wish to help, you can edit the page attached to this talk page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion.

Proposed change to template - new parameter for ships[edit]

I propose that this template (and the documentation) be changed to add a "ship" parameter that would place a page in a new category named "Ship name disambiguation pages" (other names for the category could be considered; at present the dab page categories aren't consistently named). Note: I don't propose to have a separate template for those dab pages where every entry is a ship (for one thing, most such pages are tagged as SIAs rather than as dabs).

Some examples of pages that would use this parameter are Aguila, Ariel, Bluejacket, Dover Hill, Maloja, Rockaway and Tarmo (note: in most/all of these cases the Shipindex template would be removed; a page shouldn't be both a dab and a SIA). The new category and the category for ship SIAs should be cross-linked. Note: Generally, I'm not in favour of more reader-side categories for dab pages, but in this case (because many ship names have a SIA) the lack of such a category means that pages like Santísima Trinidad are being incorrectly tagged as a ship SIA rather than as a dab - one consequence of this is that inlinks to such pages don't get automatically flagged up. I.e. this parameter would enable more consistent categorization of dab pages. DexDor (talk) 05:08, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: There doesn't yet seem to be a consensus for this change. If this discussion results in a consensus, feel free to reactivate the edit request template. Best — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 09:18, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
I think no objection to the change would be adequate. But in any event, I support DexDor's request. The shipindex templates should be removed from dabs regardless, though. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:07, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit protected}} template. This is certainly that will need a consensus from a discussion had by more than just a couple editors. Please feel free to make a proposal on VPR and reactivate this request once a consensus has emerged. Thank you. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 22:17, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done per the consensus above, which happens not to need more editors. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:25, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Why not at the top?[edit]

Wouldn't it be better moving the template to the top of the pages, like in the Italian Wikipedia?--Mauro Tozzi (talk) 16:56, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Why would it be better moving the template to the top of the pages? -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:18, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Because it would be more visible.--Mauro Tozzi (talk) 07:25, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Making disambiguation templates more visible would make the disambiguation page entries less visible. -- JHunterJ (talk) 10:28, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
At this point they are all at the bottom; moving them to the top for tens of thousands of disambiguation pages would be a pretty massive undertaking. bd2412 T 17:31, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Edit request - Limit categorization to article space[edit]

I see in the template code that the intent of this template is that it does not categorize outside of article space. However, it is adding Category:All disambiguation pages outside of article space, such as Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/Harun Abdul Rahman. Could someone please make the appropriate tweak to the template to fix the categorization? Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 15:48, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

@Steel1943: Although the comment in the template code states "Don't categorise when not in main (article) space", you're correct that I'm specifically concerned about miscategorization of talk pages. Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 16:04, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
@GoingBatty: I think I see what you are trying to do now. It would probably be best if there was a way to both suppress the category as well as return an error message (possibly to refer the editor to use a different template, such as {{Wikipedia disambiguation}}) if the template is placed in any space other than the article name space. I'm not confident enough to do this myself at this time, but there was a similar edit recently done on {{RMassist}}, so I'll ping that editor to see if they can provide assistance with that, given that the edits are probably rather similar. Steel1943 (talk) 17:37, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: In addition to the fact that there are several dab templates (and if this one is altered then the rest should be altered, as well), it seems the most efficient way to make this change would be to alter {{Dmbox}}, which transcludes to more than 302,000 pages. A discussion has already begun there to see if there is a good reason to track disambiguation templates in all namespaces, or if talk pages should be automatically excluded. – Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 12:18, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't see any problem with the template:main other categorization used by this template. Nowhere is it categorizing into Category:All disambiguation pages. But this template uses Template:Dmbox, and there I see:

{{category handler
  | main = [[Category:All article disambiguation pages]][[Category:All disambiguation pages]]
  | template =    <!-- Don't categorize on template pages. -->
  | other = [[Category:All disambiguation pages]]
  | nocat = {{{nocat|}}}   <!--So "nocat=true" works-->
  | page = {{{page|}}}   <!--For testing-->

where the default is | other = Category:All disambiguation pages, and there is no | Wikipedia talk = override of that. Template:Wikipedia disambiguation also uses {{Dmbox}}. Perhaps another template editor can confirm my analysis. – Wbm1058 (talk) 18:50, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

@Wbm1058: From what I understood from that analysis, to accomplish the task requested here, Template:Dmbox may itself need to be edited to allow the template that transcludes it (such as this template) to use a parameter to allow/disallow the inclusion in Category:All disambiguation pages when itself is transcluded. Steel1943 (talk) 20:07, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Looking at the Module:Category handler documentation, it seems to me that a solution would be to add the line | talk = , so we have:
{{category handler
  | main = [[Category:All article disambiguation pages]][[Category:All disambiguation pages]]
  | talk =    <!-- Don't categorize on talk pages, e.g., Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/xxx. -->
  | template =    <!-- Don't categorize on template pages. -->
  | other = [[Category:All disambiguation pages]]
  | nocat = {{{nocat|}}}   <!--So "nocat=true" works-->
  | page = {{{page|}}}   <!--For testing-->
Unless anyone can think of any scenarios where we do want to categorize certain talk pages that transclude {{Dmbox}}. Wbm1058 (talk) 21:47, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
I support changing the template to not-categorize talk pages (e.g. Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/Michal Levin). There are some valid dab pages in non-article namespaces (e.g. Book:George Bush). If a dab template is placed on a talk page then it could display a message saying that categories have been suppressed (rather than a DPLbot-type notification). DexDor (talk) 18:13, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

I could be wrong, but I think this may be one reason why this template has nocat={{{nocat|}}} in its Dmbox. All one has to do is add the "nocat" parameter to the template as follows:


... and I have done that. The only change to this template's code that I see is needed is the comment about where interwikis go, which should read:

<!-- Add categories to the /doc subpage and interwikis to Wikidata, not here! -->

– Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 23:25, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
PS. Since this is a high-risk template, I won't make that edit until this discussion has ended. PS added by – Paine 

When editors (for any one of several reasons) put a dab tag on a talk page it would be much better for it to automatically not be categorized than for it to be categorized until an edit is made to add "|nocat=true" which will then need to be removed again if the page is a draft dab page that is then moved to a different namespace. DexDor (talk) 05:21, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
I guess I have to play devil's advocate here – Isn't that why there is template documentation? Reading the documentation lets an editor know how to use a template. When a new editor makes a dab page in talkspace, then an experienced editor will come along and suppress the category and will know to remove "nocat=true" when the article goes live. It's just a matter of reading, experience and a few keystrokes. Face-smile.svg – Paine  10:01, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually, there is, of course, a way (perhaps several ways) to automatically suppress Category:All disambiguation pages in {{TALKSPACE}}; however, allow me to make two points:
  1. As you have shown with your example (which uses {{Hndis}} rather than {{Disambiguation}}) several other dab templates exist that would also have to be changed.
  2. While the {{Dmbox}} template could make a sweeping modification, we should also consider what the category itself tells us: This category lists disambiguation pages in all namespaces. (For technical reasons it does not list pages in the template namespace, but there should be no disambiguation pages there anyway.)
"All namespaces" includes {{TALKSPACE}}. Face-smile.svg – Paine  11:53, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
@Paine Ellsworth: True, documentation, in theory should be enough, but we have that one issue that can happen at any time: human error. I know I've been guilty of that a few times myself. Steel1943 (talk) 12:21, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
You're absolutely right, Steel, which is why I added the "nocat" ability to this template's documentation. It was already mentioned in the template data table, but nowhere else, so I mentioned it up in the parameters section. The point I made is that it is possible that there is good reason to track dab templates in all namespaces, including the talk namespace. When I read the above quote from the category, to me it means that the designers wanted to track "all disambiguation pages" in all namespaces. They probably would have preferred to track (errors in) template space, but were unable to do that due to technical limitations. – Paine  12:35, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Include article name in explanation[edit]

Instead of:

  • This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title.

it would be easier to understand if we include the article name:

  • This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the title title or variant spellings.

Probably you gurus can get this from some variable or other magic? Thanks. (talk) 15:42, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

Yes, this seems like a good idea. We just need to strip "(disambiguation)" from the title, for titles where there is a primary topic for the term. Wbm1058 (talk) 16:22, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
OK, I've coded a new version of that does this in the template sandbox. For demonstration purposes, I implemented it at:
I'll leave this for at least a week and if nobody has any objections or reports any issues with this, I'll boldly implement the change. – Wbm1058 (talk) 17:23, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Looks good to me! — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 18:14, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Have you tested it with parentheticals other than "disambiguation"? For instance, Zero (band) or Simple (song)? --R'n'B (call me Russ) 00:12, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
    Tested on Zero (band) and seems to work fine. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 09:38, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
    Parentheticals other than disambiguation tend to be incomplete disambiguations. I've fixed those two examples. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:46, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
    It's all well and good to say that these parentheticals shouldn't exist, but the fact is they do, and we need to take them into account. There are another 450 or so at the moment. See User:RussBot/Possible incomplete disambiguations. And undoubtedly others will be created from time to time. --R'n'B (call me Russ) 14:28, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
    • I don't think that "This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the title Zero (band)" is such a great message. There are not actually any articles associated with that title. There are articles about bands associated with the title "Zero". --R'n'B (call me Russ) 14:30, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
      • If (band) were stripped off the message, it would be misleading, because that partial dab does not include all of the "articles associated with the same title". In fact, the current template message is misleading in those cases, if one doesn't understand that the text inside the parens is a disambiguator. Do we have legitimate titles where parens are not showing a disambiguator? I just moved an article where parens were used for a subtitle; our convention is to use a colon to separate the subtitle. Wbm1058 (talk) 15:41, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure this is such a great idea. Disambiguation pages often contain related ambiguous variant spellings and this edit implies that only one term is ambiguous. This may encourage editors with a tendency for narrow black-and-white interpretations of rules to want to create separate pages for each and every variant, which IMO would be profoundly unhelpful for readers. olderwiser 13:40, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
    How about adding the words "or variant spellings" to the end of the sentence? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 13:49, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
    Right, this issue is independent of the original proposal, so we have either:
    This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title.This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title, or variant spellings. --or--
    This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the title Farming.This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the title Farming, or variant spellings.
    For example C&S, C & S, C and S. But this might feel a bit odd with most titles which have no variant spellings. – Wbm1058 (talk) 14:51, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Where does this leave us? Shall we implement the initial proposal and then continue discussing whether to add something like "or variant spellings" to the end of the sentence. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 20:20, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
    That's what I'd like to do. Perhaps a new parameter can be added, which when set, adds the variant message. Add that only when there are legitimate alternates (not typos). Wbm1058 (talk) 21:37, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
  • OK, I just took another look at the {{String-handling templates}} and found a couple of trimming templates that I used to tweak the sandbox to address the concerns of R'n'B. Check out Symbol (mathematics) which is using the sandbox now. – Wbm1058 (talk) 02:59, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
    • This looks nice! Now, as long as you're doing this, is it possible to add an extra maintenance category (like Category:Possible incomplete disambiguations) to pages that have this kind of parenthetical in the title? --R'n'B (call me Russ) 16:15, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
      OK, I have Tornado (roller coaster) populating Category:Disambiguation pages with (qualified) titles. Symbol (mathematics) temporarily too, but that actually uses {{mathdab}} which would need a similar edit to place in the new category, as well as other specialized dab templates such as {{geodis}}, etc. I think I'm about ready to implement this; hopefully anyone interested is watching this page and would have spoken up by now if they had any concerns. I think Disambiguation pages with (qualified) titles, which is shorthand for Disambiguation pages with parenthetically qualified titles, is a better name, which just describes the criteria for categorization without making any judgement about whether that represents an "incomplete" dab. Thus no confusion that this cat is populated in a similar way as the {{incompdab}}-populated categories. – Wbm1058 (talk) 12:35, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
      That's great, thanks very much. --R'n'B (call me Russ) 13:32, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done – the new enhanced version is now live. I'll revert my sandbox demos. Wbm1058 (talk) 20:45, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

Dab parameters[edit]

The documentation has recently been changed (without discussion) to say that for certain things (airports, callsigns, surnames, given names) the parameter should be used even if there is only one entry of that type on the dab page. For other things (human name, church, fish etc) the rule remains that the parameter should only be used if there are "several items of that type". IMO, this is an example of rules-creep - having different rules applying to different sorts of things makes maintaining dab pages more complicated (especially as editors may "promote" their favourite type of thing from being in the "several" list to being in the "one or more" list). In the case of airports/callsigns there was a disagreement between this documentation and the category text, but it would be more consistent to change the category text. In the case of names no reason has been given for introducing an inconsistency except for "these types are not actually ambiguous" (what does that mean?). I propose we go back to the single rule that several entries are required for a dab page to get a parameter rather than having different rules for different types of things. An alternative would be to use "one or more" for all types of things, but that would mean categories should be added to thousands of dab pages. For background see Talk:Goer and edits to Goer. DexDor (talk) 07:27, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

I don't have an opinion on airports or callsigns, but names should not be lumped in with the other parameters. They technically do not belong on disambiguation pages at all, since a list of name-holders is closer to a set index. The only reason they should be in a disambiguation page is if there is no sourced information on the name in addition to too few entries to justify splitting out into its own article.
Using Goer as an example, if M520 Goer didn't exist, then it would redirect to Henci Goer and correctly be placed in Category:Surnames. If there were three people with the surname Goer, it would either be split out as a separate set index or placed in Category:Disambiguation pages with surname-holder lists. Yet if there are only one or two name-holders it suddenly does not deserve to be treated as a valid surname? —Xezbeth (talk) 11:58, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
The category pages for airports and callsigns explicitly say they are used for one or more. And clearly it doesn't apply to the parameters that do not represent types of ambiguous entries, namely: split, chinese, surname, and given name. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:34, 11 November 2014 (UTC)