Wikipedia talk:Redirect/Archive 2008

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Cleanup needed?

I read these guidelines and find them a bit chaotic. Due to the inclusion of the list of redirection categories, it's a long page and some things are very confusing (for example here: Use of one of these redirects does not mean two or more can be added, if appropriate.). There's also duplicate information. -- StevenDH (talk) 02:15, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I still don't get how I'm supposed do this. If there are two pages I can redirect one to the other. That isn't the case I usually encounter, though. There's another term that one could enter in the search window that should get one to this one page via a redirect. So where do I put that?? Do I really have to create an empty page just so that I can redirect it?? I could experiment, but I don't want to mess stuff up. Cleanup needed indeed!! (talk) 05:13, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

WP:Directory and WP:DIRECTORY

At the moment, WP:Directory and WP:DIRECTORY redirect to different articles: Wikipedia:Quick directory and Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_a_directory, respectively. This situation may cause more confusion than it dispels.

The all-caps WP:DIRECTORY is used a bit more; it is linked to by around 85 pages. WP:Directory is linked to by about 30 pages.

So, I'm thinking it might be good to change WP:Directory to redirect to the same thing that WP:DIRECTORY does. Does that make sense? If so, is there a bot that can go in and fix the pages that currently link to WP:Directory (e.g. just chage those instances to WP:QUICK), and leave a note on the user talk pages of those editors who have cited it, so they'll know in the future?

Or, we could just do nothing, since this isn't exactly a pressing problem... cheers, Jim Butler(talk) 20:54, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Navigating redirects

I added a "Navigating redirects" section because I thought the information was somewhat nonobvious. Let me know if you think it shouldn't be there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Heqwm (talkcontribs) 09:11, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Redirects from foreign languages

Clarification on part of the policy on redirects has been requested at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Redirects from foreign languages. Please join the discussion at your convenience. Rossami (talk) 23:56, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Are redirects counted as articles?

Are redirects counted in the 2,191,713 articles in English? I ask this because whenever I make a new redirect, it says created page #REIDIRECT... in the exact same way it does articles. Tavix (talk) 23:51, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

No. Read Special:Statistics It says: The English-language Wikipedia currently contains 2,191,758 articles. This number excludes redirects, discussion pages, image description pages, user profile pages, templates, help pages, portals, articles without links to other articles, and pages for Wikipedia administration. Including these, we have 11,645,800 pages. - Mtmelendez (Talk) 00:10, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

other sites

Can you redirect to other urls?--Demyx--ogo13 21:44, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Not as a hard-redirect. You can soft-redirect to a URL (basically, by adding a template like {{wi}} which says "we don't have an encyclopedia article but here's someplace else that might answer your question") but that's limited by precedent and tradition (and often by policy) to only the other WikiMedia sister projects. You should not, for example, redirect a page about a garage band to the band's own website even as a soft-redirect. Rossami (talk) 22:07, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Soft redirect discussion

I have started a discussion on soft redirects, and their future on the project, here. Any input from people knowledable about redirects in general is welcome and encouraged. - TexasAndroid (talk) 19:00, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Neutrality of redirects

Article naming is a special interest of mine (I authored the Wikipedia:Naming conflict guideline and have expanded Wikipedia:Words to avoid to refine the article naming guidelines there). I noticed that there was a significant omission in this section about the NPOV requirements for redirects. As already mentioned above, redirects are not articles, and furthermore they are not subject to NPOV; WP:NPOV addresses itself specifically only to article naming. Like many other admins doing cleanup duties, I've frequently moved POV titled articles to NPOV titles, but this of course leaves behind the original POV article title as a redirect. There are circumstances in which POV-titled redirects are entirely legitimate aids to searching, where a POV term is widely used outside Wikipedia to describe the subject of a neutrally-titled Wikipedia article (e.g. Attorneygate redirects to Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy). I've therefore added a section to the transcluded section on Wikipedia:Redirect/Deletion Reasons to explain the relationship of NPOV to redirects, and to explain our current standard practice in creating or leaving in place POV-titled redirects. Comments would be welcomed. -- ChrisO (talk) 03:39, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Proposed pseudo-namespace "EIW"

If interested, please see Wikipedia:Bot requests#Creating a bunch of redirects that are shortcuts regarding setting up a bunch of redirects using a new pseudo-namespace, "EIW". These will be shortcuts that will link to topics in the Editor's index to Wikipedia. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:51, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Scientific Names

Section is contradictory.
ThisMunkey (talk) 10:36, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

In what way? Are you referring to having two redirects, instead of just one standard redirect? - Mtmelendez (Talk) 12:57, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree with ThisMunkey - the naming conventions are inconsistent here. Either the specialized (jargon-type) or common (vernacular-type) name should be used for a given science article. I would tend toward having the redirects be the common name, and the article itself be the specialized name (with, of course, the common name being clearly visible at the beginning of the article). The redirect guidelines for scientific article names are indeed contradictory - they're ambiguous, and basically say, "use whatever name you want". This has been a problem for the WikiProject:Pharmacology, as non-specialists tend to create articles with titles being brandnames, instead of specific chemical names. Anyone else care to comment on this? Fuzzform (talk) 21:51, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
That's really an issue for Wikipedia:Naming conventions. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) would seem to indicate that the common name should be favored, but it also says there will be exceptions. Given that, it's clear there are cases that go both ways and so we should have both versions of template. -- JLaTondre (talk) 00:40, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Ah. Criteria is not established on this page. Only a list of {{ boxes and their names. Wikipedia:Naming conventions is about that, which clears something up for me a bit.
ThisMunkey (talk) 21:37, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Template Redirect

I need some expert help here. I'm attempting to merge 2 similar templates, lets call them template A and template B. I've modified template A such that it performs the function of template B with an optional parameter: bstyle=yes. I would like to redirect template B to the new template A with the parameter bstyle=yes. Is it possible? or is the the right place to ask? Let me know if I'm at the wrong place. - oahiyeel talk 15:18, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm certainly not an expert but like you thought this doesn't seem the right place to get a solution for your particular problem. That being said, maybe what you need to do is replace template A with {{template B|bstyle=yes|...}} or something like that, and indicate that template A is deprecated if wanted. (Maybe I'm switching A and B, if that's the case you have to do too.) If that doesn't work out, try asking at WP:VPT for instance. -- StevenDH (talk) 13:27, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
Template:B would contain {{A|bstyle=yes|other={{{other|}}}}} If there were any other parameters possible, you could pass them as suggested. Gimmetrow 23:54, 15 March 2008 (UTC)


This is supposed to be empty but clearly isn't. Wouldn't it be best just to get a bot to get rid of everything placed here (and perhaps systematically notify everyone who adds something here, so they don't keep doing it?).

Also, a new category for redirects may be in order, something like Category:Redirects to broader topics or Category:Redirects from more specific topics. Something for those subjects that don't require their own article. Richard001 (talk) 08:03, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

old/new place names vs. well known/not well known

According to WikiProject Redirect, one of the Project's tasks is to "[a]dd redirects about countries - eg. old names…" I don't see anything about this in Wikipedia:Redirect, and I think it should be added.

Currently, "the preferred title of an article is the most common name" would support keeping an old place name if it's better known than a new one. This gets touchy in cases where "old" is "colonial" and "new" is "back-to-native." The Project seems to support redirecting from old to new (it doesn't say 'redirects about countries - e.g. new names'), and indeed we have Godthåb redirecting to Nuuk, Søndre Strømfjord redirecting to Kangerlussuaq, Salisbury, Zimbabwe redirecting to Harare, etc. (They're just the ones that came to mind (I couldn't say why — they just did), and I'm sure there are many others.)

Can we make a decision about this and add it to the guidelines? There's some debate about Nuuk vs. Godthåb (it's currently Nuuk), it just came up in Kiriwina vs. Trobriand (it's currently Trobriand), and I suspect similar esoteric arguments will be had over and over until we do. — eitch 16:25, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Creating redirects for alternate names is already covered by this guideline (there is a section on it). It sounds like you are more concerned about which name should be the actual article title & which should be the redirect. That's not really the purview of this guideline. The naming conventions would cover that. I'd suggest Wikipedia:Naming conventions (places) or Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names). -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:37, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I'll try the people over there, but I fear they'll say "that's a redirection issue — ask them." — eitch 17:57, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
The discussion under naming conventions is now here. — eitch 18:32, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

R2D on the Main Page

(This thread has been moved from WP:ERRORS.)

Victory links to Bernard Hopkins-Joe Calzaghe boxing match which is a redirect to Bernard Hopkins vs. Joe Calzaghe. CenariumTalk 00:48, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Please see WP:R2D. Thanks. -- (talk) 00:55, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I know it, but it's on the main page here, I saw a lot of edits on the main page bypassing redirects, e.g.: [1], [2], [3] ... CenariumTalk 01:16, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
It's high visibility, I do think that it's justified here. If you want precedents in ITN: [4], [5]. Have a great day, CenariumTalk 01:22, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

I've seen such edits too, but reverting them sounds unproductive. If you think WP:R2D is wrong, then shouldn't you be questioning the policy itself? Art LaPella (talk) 01:26, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure why we should repeat past mistakes. -- (talk) 01:36, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
R2D applies most of the time, I don't question this policy. It's just that here is a case where it doesn't apply, because this is a featured link, a lot of people use it, and are redirected. None of the other reasons to avoid bypassing the redirect applies here (and 10,000 clicks are quickly exhausted on the main page). Also, the remark " it is preferable to change redirected links in navigational templates" suggests the same reasoning. CenariumTalk 01:40, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I have never seen an argument before how high visibility relates to Wikipedia:Don't worry about performance like you are doing here. Has there been a discussion on it previously? Zzyzx11 (Talk) 06:08, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Not really, as far as I'm aware ITN is never included in articles therefore the rest of the sentence you are quoting "In this case, when the template is placed on an article, and contains a direct link to that article (not a redirect), the direct link will display in bold (and not as a link), making it easier to navigate through a series of articles using the\ template." does not apply therefore your reason given does not apply. Moot point now that the item is almost definetely not coming back (and personally I don't see anything wrong with someone changing it when adding it back anyway) Nil Einne (talk) 07:37, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
My reasoning applies also to navigational templates, it's also for a question of comfort in reading, I didn't mean the other way, nor referred to the following sentence, it's just that there are common points. The main page is really special, and being redirected when clicking on a link is kind of annoying. About performance, Wikipedia:Tools/Navigation popups/About fixing redirects says "10,000 times before it would be worthwhile to replace that link with a direct link.". I tought it was common to bypass redirects on the main page so I posted here, if it's getting to long, it's possible to move the thread to the talk. Maybe we should engage a discussion on R2D on the main page at Wikipedia talk:Redirect. CenariumTalk 12:48, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
My understanding is the reason to fix redirects in navigational templates is predominantly because of the issue that is mentioned. No other reason is given for fixing redirects in navigational templates in the guideline and I'm not sure if any other reason was intended. I'm not necessary opposed to changing the guideline simply pointing out the guideline as it stands doesn't seem to support your suggestion that we should fix redirects on the main page beyond those that cause other issues (like misleading 'hints'). Personally I prefer things to be neater, and like to avoid redirects except when the redirect is a valid and logical alternative (e.g. petrol) or the redirect might be a future page. But since this isn't the consesus I leave things as is. Also, it's my understanding that Wikipedia:Don't worry about performance as mentioned above, generally trumps all. The only time we should consider performance is when we are doing something which is likely going to temporarily drastically affect performance we should perhaps contact the devs and tell them about our plans. For example if we decide to do a mass rename of all articles, or if we change losts of very common templates (as happened late last year). I don't think the intention of Wikipedia:Tools/Navigation popups/About fixing redirects is to encourage people to fix redirects if it's going to be visited more then 10,000 times. It was initially made before 'Don't worry about performance' and now serves to help convince doubters that they're not actually doing anything useful performance wise by fixing redirects, in most cases. N.B. Of course, we've probably use several million already perhaps redirects discussing this especially since I unfortunately am not very good at previewing (even when I do, I usually think of something else). Edit: See! Nil Einne (talk) 23:47, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure if this is actually germane or not, but to the idea that things are "cleaner" without redirects, I don't think that's so at all. I think the most convincing reason to not replace [[redirect]] with [[target|redirect]] is that the page source is much less clean. I don't think it affects readers at all to "be redirected" as some have talked about here. Croctotheface (talk) 02:29, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I have a weak experience with Main Page issues, but it's the first time I found a redirect linked from the main page and I saw a lot of edits bypassing redirects there, it seems to be already a common practice. The main page has navigational purposes (like navigational templates and portals) and is a presentation of Wikipedia's best content. It's also viewed by a lot of people and being redirected is not universally appreciated. In most cases, when the link is a redirect, it's already of the form [[target|redirect]], an edit is no big deal, and we don't have to worry about performance after all (and it's even a benefit from this standpoint considering the high visibility) ; these pages are very specific and it's not in contradiction with the spirit of the guideline WP:R2D (also, it's explicitly stated that it may be beneficial in some cases) (this guideline was created essentially to avoid mass fixing of redirects in articles). Hence, I propose to modify the guideline so that the main page be explicitly excluded from WP:R2D for bold links, i.e.: these redirects should be "fixed". I propose the same for portals, and for non-bold links also, but with more tolerance, i.e.: the redirect should be fixed "passing by" or is left to the appreciation of the user. CenariumTalk 13:55, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I disagree here. I think there are two tenets underlying your position. First, and correct me if I'm wrong, in saying that the main page is "Wikipedia's best content," you seem to assert that redirects are somehow bad or not our best practice. Second, you assert that readers don't appreciate "being redirected." Both of these arguments apply not just to redirects on the front page, but on every page. If we accept them, we would necessarily have to rewrite the guideline to say that, yes, we should have bots go through and "fix" every redirect so that they are never used. More specifically, to your first point, I don't see why, if redirects are something we "should" avoid, what's good for the main page wouldn't be good for every other page. Theoretically, each page should aspire to be our best possible work. To your second point, I haven't seen any evidence that merely "being redirected" does a disservice to the readers. (Except, of course, when a redirect is misleading or sends someone to a disambig page, but that's not what R2D says people shouldn't do.) If readers are indeed done a disservice, then we should serve them the best way we can and avoid all redirects. Croctotheface (talk) 18:50, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Redirects are almost always correct when they are on the Main Page. When there's a page move, the redirect is almost systematically bypassed. So this is a regular violation of R2D in its present form. The reasons are not so important, the fact is that it's already a common practice and it's unlikely to change. A mention in a note that it's acceptable to fix redirects there would accord the guideline and practice. CenariumTalk 09:36, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Maybe an amendment is not necessary at this point, it's a very specific case where R2D is not followed and, again, is not in total contradiction with the main purpose of the guideline. Cenarium (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 16:29, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Disambiguation pages?

Am I right that disambig pages linking to a specific article should use the proper title and ignore WP:R2D, like this [6]? Nil Einne (talk) 23:29, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

The Manual of Style on disambiguation pages has precedent. Please follow those rules for disambig pages. In particular, I think you want the section on Piping. Rossami (talk) 02:46, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Although in the example edit cited, I think you were correct to edit the link to use the target article's name -- the redirect wasn't broken (it went to the right place), but it wasn't needed here since both use the same base name, and since the dab phrase is visible, we may as well get it right. -- JHunterJ (talk) 21:59, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Redirect to wictionary

Right now, lmao redirects to Internet slang, which doesn't say what the acronym stands for. It would be more useful to redirect to wikt:Appendix:Internet_slang#L, but this takes you away from Wikipedia and into Wiktionary. Do we have any policies against this? --JaGa (talk) 02:42, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Nope. We do it often. Use the {{wi}} template. Rossami (talk) 03:07, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

How do they redirect?

I'm wondering how Wikipedia's Redirect Pages work, as the URI in my address bar doesn't change to the indended article. Is a Wikipedia redirect simply showing the contents of a page in that redirect page. For example, (assuming that "USA" is a redirect page if it isn't), when we go to, does it actually use a meta redirect, or does it put all the contents of "United States" in the USA page? Thanks, (talk) 21:38, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

It does that latter. You'll notice that even the title of the page changes to the redirected article. Doing an internal redirect like this has advantages. For example, it is faster than an actual browser redirect, and it prevents double redirects (which a browser might not necessarily stop). It also allows for the editing of redirect pages. Asmeurer (talkcontribs) 23:44, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Help needed

Could someone have a look at this discussion? Talk:Thylacoleonidae#Vote_below_.28See_above_two_topics.29 There is are two redirects Marsupial lion and Marsupial lions pointing to Thylacoleonidae instead of Marsupial Lion. The reasoning behind this is rather technical. However, this seems like it would violate some rule about having two articles with the same title or something like that. Thanks, Bob the Wikipedian (talkcontribs) 16:04, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't know of any "two article" rule. But certainly, Marsupial lion is a topic that requires some disambiguation. Based on what I read of the discussion, no primary meaning of Marsupial lion exists. However, because only two meanings seem to exist, it's not clear a full disambiguation page is warranted (although, that may be the only way consensus can be reached in this case). That said, relying on subtle differences in capitalization to facilitate disambiguation just sounds silly to me. Certainly using hatnotes is a better solution. BTW, per WP:CAPS#Case_sensitivity_and_searching, if Marsupial lion is deleted, searches for "Marsupial lion" will automatically redirect to Marsupial Lion. Another issue worth examining is whether the double capitalization in Marsupial Lion is truly warranted (see WP:CAPS). -Noca2plus (talk) 18:21, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

"Do not "fix" links to redirects that are not broken" ?

this entire section seems a bit stupid - most links to disamb pages are ones that have been lazily done or by people who dont know how to do them properly. only a few will intenionally point to a disamb , and those arre all on talk pages eg "look how many [[John Smith (disambiguation)|John Smith]]s there are - why do you think your one deserves the primary redirect ?".

the point on not "fixing" intentional redlinks is the only valid one in the section but it is badly sidelined. Machete97 (talk) 22:18, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand what your first point is -- this section has nothing to do with links to disambiguation pages. Most links to dab pages are broken and should be fixed. I also don't see anything about redlinks in this particular section.
What this section discusses is editors who think that a link to a redirect page is a bad thing and go out of their way to change them to direct article links, and why they should not do this.
Perhaps an example would be useful here: an article might talk about "the DeskSet productivity tools". The natural approach, as I just did, is to wikilink the word "DeskSet". There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, even though "DeskSet" happens to be a redirect.
A later editor may see this and decide it should be changed to a pipe: [[SunView#DeskSet|DeskSet]]. This is wrong -- it's "fixing" a redirect that does not need to be fixed, based on the idea that redirects are in some way bad. This section outlines why this is a waste of time, and how it can actually impede future changes to Wikipedia: if at a later time DeskSet is converted from a redirect to a full article, the original link will go to the right place; the "fixed" link will not. Regards, NapoliRoma (talk) 23:02, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
I came here to file a complaint and found that Machete97 has already done so, and as he put it, "this entire section seems a bit stupid." Admittedly, he didn't do a very good job of supporting the contention. Please read my virtual line-by-line case for this at User talk:Emperor#Eliminating redirects in Dynamite Entertainment. Emperor responded on my talk page, recommending I take my position here, so here I am. I beg you to not make me recreate it here one character at a time, as it is somewhat lengthly and I have no idea how a cut-and-paste job between two completely separate pages can be possible, although it appears that it is. Summed up, every example put forth here in fact describes not a typical redirect situation but one that is definitely in the minority. --Ted Watson (talk) 19:25, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Hi Ted -- I looked at what you posted on the above page, and I guess I still don't understand why you feel changing links to piped links (in my example above, it would be changing [[Deskset]] to [[SunView#DeskSet|DeskSet]] is a worthwhile exercise.
The reasons for why leaving it as [[Deskset]] are laid out, and you concede that the primary reason is at least "possible", although you qualify it with "few are probable."
Your dismissal of the second reason as "gibberish" appears to be a misreading of the reason -- the text in question is invisible to the reader, but as the reason says, it is visible in source form to editors. This is not exactly a crisis-level reason, but the overarching point is that wikilinking the bare word [[Deskset]] is much more intuitive and functional than taking the trouble to A) determine that it's a redirect, B) find out what it redirects to, and C) changing the source so that it now links to the (current) target of the redirect.
I emphasize "current" in the previous sentence, because the targets of redirects do quite often get changed -- so again, there is no point in changing every article to reflect the current state of a redirect. In fact, I might argue that that's what redirects are for. They increase the maintainability of Wikipedia, by being a single point where, in this example, the current best belief of where Deskset should redirect to in one handy place. If that belief changes, then all articles that use the redirect are automatically updated in turn.
Your response to reason 3 is "I don't understand it." In the case of not understanding a reason, I would suggest asking for clarification, rather than just ignoring the guideline. In your example, the proper response is not necessarily to stop using the redirect [[Lone Ranger (comics)]]; you could instead change the redirect to refine where it points to.
But, as it happens, in your example, I would say that changing the wikilink in the article was not actually a bad thing either -- since in that case the link was arguably broken. The words in the article were "The Lone Ranger", so linking to The Lone Ranger makes perfect sense. Regards, NapoliRoma (talk) 20:33, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
...I still don't understand why you feel changing links to piped a worthwhile exercise. Did you actually read my posting on Emperor's talk page? As one of my express points there was that the implication here that a direct link is more likely to be piped than a redirect is b******t, I have to doubt it. ...the text in question is invisible to the reader, visible "in source form" to editors. This is not exactly a crisis-level reason.... If by that, you mean in the edit field, then I deny it to be a reason to allow redirects at all. I myself have no difficulty at all with reading such complicated links there, and again being a redirect or not as nothing to do with the likelihood of being so structured. Your attempt to dismiss one of my points with my admission that future articles are "possible" (I stand by my statement—and strengthen it—that most of these are highly improbable) would justify my dismissing the above on the grounds of your admission that your claim is less than "a crisis-level reason," but I dealt with that on its own terms. Sorry, but you haven't even taken a step in the right direction of convincing me that this rule is a good idea. --Ted Watson (talk) 21:13, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
I think the basic issue here, as Napoli indicated, is that you're not articulating an affirmative reason to make the change. Why do you have a problem with linking to redirects? Even if all the reasons not to make the change are, in most cases, minor league issues, what is the benefit in making the change in the first place? You seem to begin with the assumption that there is something bad or wrong about linking to redirects, but there just isn't. If you want to make a change for a reason other than "avoiding a redirect," that's not what this guideline is about. Croctotheface (talk) 21:32, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Your last sentence is completely out of touch with the reality here. The express concept in this guideline is that there is something ill-advised (or worse) about eliminating redirects in general, and no valid case whatsoever is made for that position. The need to defend is on administration's shoulders, not mine. Let me add that the vast majority of redirects that I've eliminated in my time as a Wiki-editor were cases of the article title as given in the posted link being a bit off the title as it actually appears on the article. Example: Dick Tracy vs Crime Inc should have been Dick Tracy vs. Crime, Inc.; note the second version's added punctuations. Redirects of this sort—and there are many—unnecessarily take up server space that could and should be put to better use and should not exist at all. Furthermore, I find that a refusal to so much as acknowledge my statement of the indefensibility of the underlying assumption here—that direct links are more likely to be piped than redirects—to be highly suspicious; in my experience, the link usually is piped either way or neither way, and there is just no probability-oriented relationship between the two things. It looks to me as if the real reason administration is opposed to eliminating redirects is something that they just don't want to publicly admit to, so instead they posted what we have here which completely fails to support the contention. Sorry, but that is exactly how the situation appears to me. --Ted Watson (talk) 19:59, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

You really seem to be misunderstanding R2D. This guideline does NOT say that links to redirects should never be changed to direct links under any circumstances. It says that there is no reason to go around changing links solely to avoid linking to redirects. The Dick Tracy example you give is not something that R2D recommends against; that kind of change is a good change, and the guideline is more than fine with it. A good rule of thumb is that if you'd make the change regardless of whether there's a link, then go ahead and make it. However, if you're only making the change because you want to modify the link so that it no longer links to a redirect, that's not a useful change, and it can actually be detrimental. Does that help at all? Croctotheface (talk) 20:20, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Just FYI, deleting redirects doesn't free up any server space, in fact, it takes up more space as an entry in the deletion log is created. R2D is meant to prevent exactly the sort of thing described above, i.e. fixing a link to DeskSet when one day DeskSet might house an article. –xeno talk 20:25, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Also, I'm kind of confused about what you mean by "more likely to be piped" and why you think that's the basis of the guideline. The basis of the guideline is that avoiding redirects (again, when that is the sole motivation--R2D does not apply to changing, say, [[Barak Obama]] to [[Barack Obama]]) is not a useful exercise, so there's no reason to do it. Beyond that, unnecessarily avoiding links to redirects can actually be harmful when it comes to redirects that could become their own articles, as Xeno said, or when it comes to reading the page source, or when it comes to administrative stuff like article moves and section renaming and so forth. Croctotheface (talk) 20:37, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Here's a direct quote from the guideline: With a few limited exceptions, there are no good reasons to pipe links solely to avoid redirects. This explicitly states that eliminating a redirect requires the adding of a pipe, which is just not true, and I haven't misrepresented it by taking it out of context; check it yourself—the title of this thread is a link to the section. And the "few limited exceptions" claim is erroneous in and of itself, as there are only a few instances where leaving the redirect is a good idea. And let me make this clear: while it is true that in theory some of these redirects may one day become articles—I myself created one (The Green Hornet (TV series)) on that basis—the vast majority have little or no probability of that happening. If the redirect is fine-tuned to go to the relevant section or sub-section of the actual article, that's fine, but that was not what I found when I eliminated all the redirects I found at Dynamite Entertainment (the incident which was the catalyst for this discussion), although many are that way now. My statement about server space concerned removing certain worthless redirects from the database as a whole, not eliminating them from links. Finally, you repeat the guideline's unsupported statement that eliminating redirects "can be detrimental." As I stated in my original post to Emperor's talk page, I do not see how that can possibly be true. Not actively helpful, maybe, but detrimental, no way. Back it up, or withdraw it. I am getting sick and tired of all these evasions from and misrepresentations of the reality here. --Ted Watson (talk) 21:16, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
administrative deletion of redirects does not remove it from the database (this requires a dev who would never do it for something so trivial), thus deleting redirects does not free up space - it takes more. –xeno talk 21:33, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
"With a few limited exceptions, there are no good reasons to pipe links solely to avoid redirects" just basically says "don't pipe links solely to avoid linking to redirects." Obviously there are other ways to avoid linking to redirects, but that language specifically says that doing it on particular way, by introducing a pipe, is basically never helpful. The point here is that there is no reason to believe that a link to redirect that's perfectly printworthy and functional (i.e. [[Franklin Roosevelt]]) should be changed to [[Franklin D. Roosevelt]] simply to avoid the redirect. As Xeno said, the notion that deleting the redirects would reduce server load is false because the act of deleting them (or "removing them from the database" as you say) (didn't know how the standard delete function works, learn something new every day...) would require adding an entry in the deletion log. Also, we'd lose the functionality of someone getting to the correct page if they type "barak obama" into the search field. Croctotheface (talk) 21:35, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Let me also say that it's possible that you are misunderstanding the guideline because the initial dispute was based on someone who misunderstood the guideline. As Napoli said, the Lone Ranger change you made was a good one--you could say that the link in that case was "broken" in the sense that it didn't point to the best possible place it could have. The Dick Tracy example you gave would also be a good change--the article should display the more accurate text with punctuation and so forth. This guideline does not say that you should never change something if there is a link to a redirect, just that "avoiding a redirect" is not a good reason to make a change in and of itself. Croctotheface (talk) 21:51, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

"...can be detrimental" still remains completely unsupported, and I've got a good mind to take it out of the guideline, if that doesn't require higher status than I possess.

Let me make clear something in your favor that I failed to earlier, but should have. I referred to it, but on re-reading now, I think I didn't get there. Several redirects we had in the Dynamite article were each set up to be a specific topic within an overall one {e.g., "Lone Ranger (comics)"} that didn't actually have a separate article, and consequently redirected to the overall article in general, i.e., to the top of the page; I then changed these to go to the specific section or sub-section (as the case may be) on that topic ("Lone Ranger#Comics"), either way being piped so that just the general name ("Lone Ranger") showed in the displayed text. However, when I went to restore my versions after Emperor's reverts, I found that most of these now redirected to the sub-section! I will not say that this is better than my way {other than admitting that some day somebody just might create an article "Lone Ranger (comics)"}, but it certainly is no worse. And I stand by my statement that more often than not (at least those that I've encountered, especially others I probably should have cited as my example here instead of the one I used) there is little likelihood of such an article being written.

As for your example of "barak obama," this suggests that you don't even know how the search engine works. Try it. One letter entered, and a drop box of things beginning with it appears; with each additional letter, the list becomes more fine-tuned. Anybody for whom that doesn't offset your suggested misspelling of Barack Obama is too moronic to be using Wikipedia (or even the internet) anyway.

The "Dick Tracy" redirect. That's the title of a motion picture serial, and in trying to eliminate that redirect, I showed red in Preview twice, because while there is a redirect for no punctuation at all, when partially punctuated there is not, and that's riciculous.

Do you mean to tell me that removing something from the database—making it truly cease to exist—leaves a record of the act that takes up at least as much space as the removed item did? That's a ridiculous way to have set up the system, for just this reason.

I deny your claim about the piping statement. There is no lead-in to suggest that this is just one possibility being dealt with at the moment, but a very strong implication that the eliminating of a redirect will almost always introduce a pipe to the link. Also, as I've said, there is no truth to this in any event, which invalidates the passage even if the intent was as limited as you claim. Eliminating a redirect from a link has zero probability of creating a pipe where one did not already exist. Period (although this is not to say that it can never happen that way, merely that there is no inherent probability, as assumed in the quote). My Lone Ranger example is, as I pointed out then, piped either way.

You: This guideline does not say that you should never change something if there is a link to a redirect, just that "avoiding a redirect" is not a good reason to make a change in and of itself.

The intro of the passage: There is nothing inherently wrong with linking to redirects. Some editors are tempted, upon finding a link to a redirect page, to remove the redirect page and point the link directly at the target page. While there are a limited number of cases where this is beneficial, it is generally an unhelpful exercise, and can actually be detrimental. Aside from the fact there is no support for "detrimental" and I cannot see any potential in that direction, this very first paragraph of the section is saying in no uncertain terms that eliminating redirects should be actively avoided, and admits to only "a limited number of cases" where it is a good idea. The reality is exactly the opposite: There are only a few instances where it is actively a bad idea to eliminate a redirect and link directly to the relevant material. Quit saying it doesn't say what it says. There may be a good point to be made in the guidelines here (although I doubt it), but this completely and utterly fails to do so, primarily by fundamentally misrepresenting the situations it discusses. This needs to be heavily rewritten—from scratch, really—or, more likely, completely removed. --Ted Watson (talk) 21:22, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

stretching into tl;dr territory here, but redirects are very cheap, deleting them is more expensive, but if you think fixing a redirect makes things better for our readers, then go for it. that is why the guideline says "generally". i checked out the example that led you here and I agree with Emperor: it isn't entirely unlikely that "The Lone Ranger" might be split into subarticles, and many people love fiction so much they'll create articles on every single episode/issue/etc. (see The Simpsons, for example). The first example was because the redirect page itself was broken due to a title change in the target article (fixed). also, that "spell suggester" you mention isn't available to all readers. –xeno talk 21:37, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
stretching into tl;dr terriroty here.... No idea what that abbrev. means, but I am curious.

"Spell suggester"? You mean the drop box from the search engine? Why isn't it? I cetainly didn't do anything to enable it and general users need it much more than we do, obviously. The next time my cookie expires, I'll try a search before I log back in. I admitted that my "Lone Ranger" example was a bad choice in terms of probability of a future article (although it seems that I didn't make that clear), but far too many are not at all likely. I still stand by my stated experience that the reasons given in this guideline for not eliminating redirects are in the minority (few and far between, the exceptions), while it claims the opposite, and that the specific claim that doing so "can actually be detrimental" remains completely unsupported and appears to me to be unsupportable (especially given the fact that after I've said that so many times it remains a fact that no one has made the slightest attempt to do so). I maintain that as it currently is, this guideline is very misleading at best and needs a major rewrite. --Ted Watson (talk) 22:15, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

tl;dr <-- hurts my brain =) ... it's based on javascripti believe so not all users can use it. the reasons that fixing a redirect can be detrimental is because then once the article is created, those redirects have to now be actually fixed, when they weren't broken before. nevertheless, this is a guideline. if you find cases where you think they should be fixed, go ahead. and if you have a re-write suggestion, i'm open to reading it. –xeno talk 22:18, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Ted, I'm left to conclude that you just have trouble reading and understanding what the guideline says. "There is nothing inherently wrong with linking to redirects" means just that: that linking to redirects, by itself, is not inherently bad. Compare it to the sentence "there is nothing inherently bad about driving a car." That does not mean that it is impossible for anything a person does while driving to be bad, just that the act of driving is not by itself bad. Some editors believe that linking to a redirect is somehow "sloppy" by itself, and that sentence in the guideline is meant to disavow editors who hold such a belief of their mistake. I still have no idea how you are left with such a strange interpretation of the "no good reason to pipe" language, so I'm going to give up trying to explain it to you.
More generally, you seem to believe that the correct move here would be to remove redirects from the encyclopedia altogether; if that's the case, then I don't think it's productive to engage you in discussion, considering how useful redirects are. I have the impression that you made an edit, it was reverted, and you got so hot and bothered that you came here picking a fight. Your goal does not seem to be to understand the guideline or to improve it. This seems to be evident in the way that, when someone explains how the guideline works or how the language is meant to be understood, you insist that it must work in some kind of different way. Is this because you feel you have a stronger argument against the guideline if it says something nonsensical? And what is your overall goal here; is it to "win" an argument so you can feel justified that you shouldn't have had one of your edits reverted?
The basic idea of this guideline is that in nearly all cases, a redirect that gets you where you want go is not "broken" and in need of "fixing." Do you agree that [[Franklin Roosevelt]] is fine the way it is and should not be replaced with [[Franklin D. Roosevelt]] or [[Franklin D. Roosevelt|Franklin Roosevelt]] for no purpose other than to avoid linking to the redirect? That's all the guideline is saying. Croctotheface (talk) 23:02, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
What a crock! However, you'll have to wait until tomorrow for me to refute all of that bilge, as I should have been off of this computer at least an hour ago. See you then. --Ted Watson (talk) 23:26, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
That's "Croc" to the face, not crock. When you return tomorrow, please try to keep your discussion civil. "All of that bilge" is the current consensus, not just Croctotheface's opinion. -- JHunterJ (talk) 23:30, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Again, I am less interested in arguing, which your "refute" comment suggests is your sole interest here, and more interested in what it is you want to accomplish. If all you want to accomplish is a feeling of superiority from having "refuted" the evil editors from the R2D talk page, then I don't think that this is a useful way to spend our time. Croctotheface (talk) 23:30, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

If you guys refuse to discuss the guideline on its own, actually existing terms and come up with some way to make it more relevant to reality (which is what I wish to accomplish here), don't expect what you call civility out of me; you don't deserve it, not with the lack of it in the last three postings here other than my brief one in response to the first of them. Additionally, all those accusations against me by Croctotheface were in violation of the "no personal attack" regs, and the incorrect correction of my use of "crock" was certainly lacking in either civility or mental competence one (seriously: it was uncalled-for sarcasm if it wasn't meant literally, and mentally defective if it was; no third way). JHunterJ's claim that what I referred to as bilge is consensus is indefensible, as there is no room for doubt that I was referring to Croc's lengthy posting, the bulk of which was those previously mentioned accusations against me. How he can see that posting as otherwise is beyond me and calls his credibility into question. Besides, something being current consensus does not put it above challenge or dispute. Not one little bit. And that is all I'm going to say about those accusations. No, I will deal with this from Croc: I still have no idea how you are left with such a strange interpretation of the "no good reason to pipe" language.... Here's the beginning of NapoliRoma's response to my initial post here: Hi Ted -- I looked at what you posted on the above page [Emperor's talk page] and I guess I still don't understand why you feel changing links to piped a worthwhile exercise. Obviously, he read the same thing in the guideline that I did, and was so committed to upholding it that he assumed that I was merely arguing to do the opposite. So go to hell, Croc.

One more time into the breech. Quoting the wrap-up of Croc's last lengthy posting (I repeat, the long one): Do you agree fine the way it is and should not be replaced...for no purpose other than to avoid linking to the redirect? That's all this guideline is saying. No that is not what it is saying, and I have explained that in no uncertain terms more than once. That you (plural) are so opposed to admitting that a guideline that is up and you are committed to is anything less than perfect no matter how clear the evidence is that it is far short of what it should be is gross dereliction of duty as administrators (I haven't checked, but I assume that you all are; that and nobody else is who should be responding to a complaint that a guideline is rubbish).

xeno's (no capitalization is his way) "explanation" of how this activity can be detrimental utterly fails to convince me (remember, what brought me here were redirects that went to the top of a general article, when the link getting redirected bore the title of a more specific—but of course non-existant—article, and said link should go to the specific section or sub-section indicated by the link's title and context to be helpful to the general reader). My point is that this sort of simple thing is not what eliminating redirects usually amounts to. It is more often about either correcting errors in the article title (my Dick Tracy serial example) or about the fact that the context in which the link appears means it needs to go to a specific section or subsection of the article while the redirect goes simply to the top of the article (again, I concede that in the case of those on the Dynamite Entertainment page which inspired this discussion in the first place, that has been rectified and the redirects have been fine-tuned to go to the relevant (sub)section). This guideline and what you incorrectly claim to be its assumption, that redirects are generally about such situations as the Franklin Roosevelt/Franklin D. Roosevelt example in Croc's posting, is faulty because those are a small minority. However, xeno to the contrary notwithstanding, it is administration's job to turn it into something relevant to reality and generally helpful with a rewrite, not that of a rank-and-file editor such as myself. To summarize, this guideline as currently constructed is based on a false assumption of what the central aspect of a redirect elimination most often is, and implies further that it even generally adds piping to a link. I do not care that this was not the intent, it is damned well what is there. It should not remain in that form.

BTW: If we don't have a guideline vigorously recommending that editors be very careful in making links and, more to the point, check them to be sure they are correct (quite a few go to an article on a related but different topic, some one with the same or similar name, or a DAB page) we should. If there is such a guideline, please point me to it, as I would like to link it in to edit summaries, just as Emperor did this one. These things happen a lot, and maybe if that guideline could be spread around, they wouldn't happen so much. You think? --Ted Watson (talk) 22:19, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Do you agree that [[Franklin Roosevelt]] shouldn't be replaced by [[Franklin D. Roosevelt|Franklin Roosevelt]]? I've watched several of these debates, and that's what everyone else thinks this guideline is about. Art LaPella (talk) 23:52, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Ted, I *wrote* the language that's currently in the guideline, more or less. (I didn't write or invent the guideline, but I wrote the current language.) I know what I meant to say. It seems that everyone else has read the guideline the way the way I read it, and I've explained (at length, as you've pointed out) the way the language is meant to be understood. You seem to think that the guideline essentially says "don't change text if it's linked to a redirect," but that's not what it says at all. If you don't object to what the guideline actually means, then there's really no use arguing. I invite you to submit an alternative wording that you think communicates the spirit of the guideline better, and we can then discuss adopting that into the article. Croctotheface (talk) 01:32, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Hardly anybody has said anything one way or the other about what they believe the guideline actually conveys, and I quoted NapoliRoma's posting proving he saw it the same way I did. So your claim about "everyone else" is a lie. Also as already said, it is not a rank-and-file editor's job to fix an administrator's mess-up, but administration's. I've pointed out the problem in detail, and if you are too arrogant to admit it exists, then go to hell. My internet time is too limited, so I'm done with you. --Ted Watson (talk) 21:38, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Hardly anyone has responded here because most of the rest of us already recognize that "fixing" redirects is a waste, both of server resources as well as editors' time ... especially when there are much more important things to do like, you know, creating encyclopedic content. — Kralizec! (talk) 02:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Proposed change to category redirect process

I have posted a proposal to change the way category redirects are handled at Template_talk:Category_redirect#Proposed_change. Please review and comment on that page if you are interested. --Russ (talk) 18:52, 26 June 2008 (UTC)


{{Rhere}} has me confused. It seems to tag self-redirects within articles, and always seems to appear in the "See also" section (from the few I've checked). See Fleet vehicle#See also or Light fixture#See also for examples. Less than 50 transclusions in current use.

What should be done with it? (I would assume: the self-redirecting links should be removed from the articles themselves, and the redirect pages tagged with {{R with possibilities}} instead. Then the {{Rhere}} template should be deleted. Is that right?) -- Quiddity (talk) 17:48, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Linking to self-redirects is not always a bad thing because of redirects to sections and the possibility that the section can be split out. It doesn't seem useful in "see also" though, since if the section is split out a link should be added then. --NE2 12:12, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
You can create the article (or you can create a section and later split it in a new article). When you have created the article, you have to delete the template in the redirected article (in your example, delete the template in fleet vehicle, see also section). --Mac (talk) 10:36, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Redirects from Articles to Categories: warn that it leads to bugs?

Should we give advice about redirecting a normal article to a category? Such as:

#REDIRECT [[Category:Streets in The Bronx]]

I recently fixed a situation where an editor using an automated tool had changed a wikilink,

[[White Plains Road]]

to its redirect:

[[Category:Streets in The Bronx|White Plains Road]]

This caused the text "White Plains Road" to disappear from the article.

The Wikipedia:Redirect project page gives no advice on making such redirects. It also does not document the option of using the prepededed colon:

#REDIRECT [[:Category:Streets in The Bronx]]

but I guess it is not a manual of the Wiki software.

What is the advice? And should it be in the project page? -Colfer2 (talk) 04:55, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Note, in the above example I later changed White Plains Road so it no longer a redirect, but is now a stub article. -Colfer2 (talk) 05:36, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
We probably shouldn't make such redirects in mainspace except maybe in cases such as "list of streets in the Bronx" to the category. By the way, point that editor to WP:R2D. --NE2 06:19, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Did so. The software WikiCleaner apparently has a "Disambiguation" tool that may encourage WP:R2D. I wrote to the author of the software, though not on his French Wikipedia Talk page, which might get a quicker response, he says at the top. -Colfer2 (talk) 07:08, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

'Proposal. OK, i did not realize the colon fixes this problem entirely. How about adding this text to the project page:

Well, maybe it needs work.

Comments? Is any bot looking for these problems? -Colfer2 (talk) 14:41, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

I'd support adding this proposed text to the article (preferably the second version, as it's shorter and simpler). Redirects to categories aren't that common, but quite a few of them nonetheless exist, and so we should mention how to create them here. I have no idea if a bot exists to search for problems like the one described above, but if not, perhaps it should... Terraxos (talk) 01:37, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

R2D question

Sorry if this is a FAQ, but I thought it might be good to have on the R2D section of the page: If "redir" is a redirect to "target", and there is a piped link [[redir|other text]], does it seem good, bad, or neutral to change this to [[target|other text]]?

What if "redir" and "target" are basically synonyms, like Hahn-Banach redirecting to Hahn–Banach (hyphen versus ndash), or Baby redirecting to Infant?

(to be clear I intended [[Hahn-Banach|HB]] versus [[Hahn–Banach|HB]], so that not only are the terms synonymous, they don't even appear JackSchmidt (talk) 13:42, 10 July 2008 (UTC))

It seems clear not to change the link if the redir is {{R with possibilities}}, that is, if the redir might become an article itself one day, but for things like "Clive Staples Lewis" to "C. S. Lewis", it seems better to skip the redirect. JackSchmidt (talk) 03:47, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't think there's much to gain from changing any of those. For the first case, there's no reason to "avoid" the redirect in the piped link; it doesn't change anyone's experience of viewing the page. If, for some reason, it would improve the viewing experience, that would be a different story, but I can't see why that would happen. For the other cases, I think the "mucking up the page source" argument is pretty solid; even for a redirect that will never become its own article, there's no reason to spend your time editing to add unnecessary invisible text. There's nothing inherently "bad" about redirects that needs to be "fixed" by using direct links instead. Croctotheface (talk) 03:52, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Actually, there is a reason to avoid updating those redirects. See Wikipedia:Tools/Navigation popups/About fixing redirects. You should certainly fix any double-redirects and there's nothing wrong with updating a redirect as long as you're making some other edit to the page but you shouldn't waste either your time or the database entries making edits which only update a piped redirect target. Rossami (talk) 05:37, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't think I agree that "updating a redirect when you make another change" is within the spirit of the guideline. You seem to be asserting that the only reason we don't do it anyway is a performance issue, and we shouldn't worry about performance. Croctotheface (talk) 06:02, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
The developers have told us not to worry about performance trade-offs when we are making edits that improve the encyclopedia or the reader's experience. But this page was specifically written (with a lot of developer input) to address the issue of edits which only change the redirect target, something that as you said above does nothing to change the reader's experience either good or bad. The page was written in response to the common fallacy that "cleaning up" a redirect is somehow good for the project or helpful for the database. Not only does it not improve the project, it actually costs us something (a very small something, but still something). That is, of course, in addition to the cost of your wasted time making an edit that won't change the reader's experience. Rossami (talk) 06:41, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
The section seems awfully clear to me: its title is "Do not 'fix' redirects that are not broken", and the first paragraph says "it is generally an unhelpful exercise."
I suppose the problem is that it also says "There are a limited number of cases where this is beneficial" but really, why work hard to find such cases?
So I don't see why you should "update a redirect as long as you're there". It's either worth changing, or not worth doing at all. If it's a working link with no typos (and I wouldn't consider hyphen vs. em-dash to be a typo), it's not worth doing.
"It's better to skip the redirect" is never a good reason in and of itself.--NapoliRoma (talk) 06:48, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks everyone. The "popups" page was a very clear answer because of its choice of example. The only change for the user experience is not seeing the "redirected from" at the top of the page, but this is quite minor. It might be worth making this clear. All I got from R2D was don't change [[redir]] to [[target|redir]], but:
Summary: Furthermore, [[redir|text]] and [[target|text]] are just as good as each other, unnecessary changes are bad, so one should usually avoid fixing even *piped* redirects. JackSchmidt (talk) 13:42, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, except that [[real target|redir]] should ordinarily be changed to just [[redir]]. That is, the other principle to be kept in mind is "unnecessary pipes are bad". --Trovatore (talk) 00:33, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
I am not completely sure that avoiding redirects is "unnecessary". For me, it feels like the previous editors of the page containing a link to a redirect were not careful enough to double-check whether they where redirecting to the "correct" or the "incorrect" page for the term linked (I know, just as a careless link to a disambig is "wrong", one to a redir is not, but...). They convey a carelessness impression, and they are detrimental for the perceived (albeit not actual) accuracy and solidness of WP for the casual reader. But my real argument is not only the feeling. What I fear, and maybe it's because of my ignorance, is that indulging with redirects leads to a higher danger of double redirects. If page A links to page R, which redirects to T, it's (supposedly) fine. Then, if T becomes a redirect to U, page A links to a double redirect. If A linked directly to T, R would still be a double redirect, but readers of page A would never see it. They would just see a link to T, redirecting to U (which could be then "fixed" again to point to U directly). You can argue that this problem should be fixed only when encountered, but there is a difference in fixing a redirect while it still works, and waiting until it's a double redirect and the readers can actually see the problem. It's called "prevention". — isilanes (talk|contribs) 09:27, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Or, R might be expanded from a redirect to an article. Now A doesn't need to change. If A had incorrectly linked directly to T, then the editors would have to be aware of the expansion of R into its own article and correct it. That problem is prevented by linking to the redirect appropriately. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:15, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Good point. However, there is a (usually) clear distinction between links to redirects R -> T such that R and T are related or such that R and T are synonyms. When R redirects to T because it is a subset of it, or they are related but could be made distinct by creating a page at R, then your point is valid. When R and T are two spellings of the same thing, synonyms, or otherwise refer virtually to the same thing, the article at R should never ever be expanded or converted into something other than a redir to T. In this case, there is nothing to lose from "fixing the redirection", except the time and effort of the editor who performs the (seemingly) unnecessary task. However, this is not for anybody else to judge: if I want to waste my time doing it, so be it. OTOH, there could be some benefit, namely the double redirection avoidance. "Good" and "bad" redir fixing should be distinguished, instead of mass-banned, IMHO. — isilanes (talk|contribs) 16:37, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, not really, as [[spelling A used half-of-the-time|spelling B used the other half-of-the-time]] mucks up the page source, as it puts unnecessary code in there. Also, if we just link the terms as is, and it turns out that one spelling/variation is being used more frequently, it could eventually inspire a discussion about whether to use that spelling throughout the article itself. When pages are moved and a danger of double redirects arises, the solution is to fix that them then, not try to institute some kind of preemptive fix that, as JHunterJ points out, could just lead to the same problem in a different scenario. The bottom line here is that "fix" is not actually the term; those redirects, as the guideline says, are not "broken" and therefore not in need of "fixing." You've said that you feel the mere existence of non-piped redirects is "careless," perhaps because it just "feels cleaner" to have a direct piped link. That is not a basis for overriding the consensus here. Croctotheface (talk) 16:46, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Do not "fix" links to redirects that are not broken?

I agree that a redirect may become a future article (it has happened many times) and that may be a reason not to "fix" a redirect. However, I just tried clicking on "related changes" on a page that links to Brahmagupta-Fibonacci identity, which redirects to Brahmagupta–Fibonacci identity. It failed to show the most recent edit to the target page. This is not a case in which it is reasonable to think the redirect may become a future article; it's simply an alternative to the punctuation that is considered correct.

Should we give no weight at all to the functioning of the "related changes" button? Michael Hardy (talk) 23:09, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Interesting. I confirm it is a problem for Degen's eight-square identity, last edit, after the redirect, not listed. -Colfer2 (talk) 23:26, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

I think what it means is, never "fix" such a redirect by using a pipe. Changing the actual link in the source article, to use the spelling of the article, is fine, and encouraged, when it doesn't change the meaning or violate (the spirit of) WP:ENGVAR. (By "the spirit of", I mean, better not change any links to wellordering to well-ordering; I would be quite perturbed.) --Trovatore (talk) 23:27, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

But the question is "should non-broken links be changed so that the 'related changes' function works properly?" I would think the answer is that the "related changes" function should be changed so that it works properly. I've used it myself like maybe twice ever, so I don't think I'm otherwise qualified to comment.--NapoliRoma (talk) 23:33, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
To be sure, that would be the best solution. The question is, how hard is it to implement, and are the developers willing to do it? --Trovatore (talk) 23:39, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
OK, shall I report that as a bug? Last time I reported a similar bug was more than three years ago, and it hasn't been fixed. Michael Hardy (talk) 02:29, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm fairly familiar with the relatedchanges code, and I've (sort of) had a few bugs for it fixed. If we all think this is a good idea (I do!), then I can take a look at making a patch for it tomorrow. Bugzilla requests with patches often get committed the same day! Of course, they often get reverted before going live on wikipedia. At any rate, I *think* it could be a fairly small change to the sql query. If so, then the devs will answer quickly whether it is a scary change or a "fixed in rWhatever" change. JackSchmidt (talk) 03:55, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

R2D on the Main Page again

The Main Page can only be changed by administrators, so every couple months someone wants us to bypass a redirect. When told about WP:R2D, they often argue for one reason or another (perhaps to avoid admitting they were unaware of WP:R2D) that the guideline doesn't apply to the Main Page. For instance, they argue that the Main Page should be our "best work" (but in my opinion that's why the page should set an example of following WP:R2D) or that you have already made an exception for templates and the Main Page is like a template. This is complicated by the fact that even administrators bypass redirects on the Main Page and elsewhere, just because they have seen others doing the same thing, and this is cited as a precedent. So to avoid this recurring unpleasant debate, I propose:

1. That this be explicitly clarified in the guideline. For instance, at the end among "Exceptions", add "The Main Page is not an exception." Or:

2. If I'm wrong, then state the opposite: "The Main Page is an exception." What counts is settling this recurring debate which can get a bit hostile sometimes. Or:

3. If 1 and 2 are both deemed too much instruction creep for too small of a problem, perhaps we can at least arrive at a consensus here that I can link, the next time this issue recurs. Art LaPella (talk) 02:43, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Comment 1: It is reasonable to protest presumptions such as "perhaps to avoid admitting" and "just because they have seen others doing the same thing."Athaenara 04:38, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Comment 2: When I encounter a redirect while navigating other websites, I think, "Hmm, someone isn't keeping up with things on this site, not very professional." This is precisely what I think when I encounter redirects on important pages (it hardly needs to be said that the Main Page is one) on Wikipedia. — Athaenara 04:46, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
When I create a new article, I try to create as many redirects as I can, from commonplace alternative names, commonplace misnomers, commonplace misspellings, etc. And I encourage others to do the same. Does that mean I'm "not keeping up with things"? Michael Hardy (talk) 23:29, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
This comment implies that a redirect is something broken. Am I interpreting this correctly?--NapoliRoma (talk) 14:51, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
"Perhaps" is indeed a presumption; that's why I said "perhaps", although I have much more experience at WP:ERRORS. "seen others doing the same thing" is a reasonable conclusion about those who were previously unaware of WP:R2D. And if the logic of WP:R2D is "unprofessional", well, this is your chance to change it. Art LaPella (talk) 07:04, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, disagreeing with the guideline is fine, trying to change the guideline is fine, but ignoring the guideline because you disagree with it is not. Croctotheface (talk) 07:37, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
If that is the case, why is Wikipedia:Ignore all rules policy? Further to the policy and guideline distinction:

"Policies and guidelines express standards that have community consensus. Policies are considered a standard that all users should follow, whereas guidelines are more advisory in nature. Both need to be approached with common sense: adhere to the spirit rather than the letter of the rules, and be prepared to ignore the rules on the rare occasions when they conflict with the goal of improving the encyclopedia. Those who edit in good faith, are civil, seek consensus, and work towards the goal of creating a great encyclopedia should find a welcoming environment."   (Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines, introduction)

(Historians take note: this is the first instance ever in which I have cited WP:IAR.) — Athaenara 21:44, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
So I agree with you this far: There's no point in getting into legalisms here. That's "rarely a helpful exercise". But I don't agree that there's anything unprofessional about a redirect. Certainly it's better than a pipe. Redirects are to symlinks as pipes are to hard links. Pipes are bad, m'kay? --Trovatore (talk) 21:52, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Suppose that someone thinks that each word in section names should be capitalized instead of just the first word. Should he ignore all rules and go through and change them all because he thinks that his viewpoint is better than the consensus? IAR is not a license to ignore guidelines that you don't like. Croctotheface (talk) 22:48, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm obviously missing a lot of context here. (And I suspect others trying to follow this conversation are as well.) Why are pipes bad? Who thinks these are somehow inappropriate and where can the rest of us get a short summary of the issues in question here? Concrete examples would help. Rossami (talk) 22:55, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't know; I'm just trying to settle this one way or the other. Therefore, I hope to link any future debate at the Main Page to the following:

Link here

To summarize, the consensus is that the Main Page is not "too important" for WP:R2D.

Objections? Art LaPella (talk) 21:24, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Redirecttohere template deleted

This page needs updating. It recommends using a redirect to here template which no longer exists. See —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lbecque (talkcontribs) 18:31, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Deleted references to deleted template. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:36, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Redirects that shouldn't be used in articles

What I'm about to ask has probably been discussed before...I just haven't seen it.

It's quite common to find that the "usual misspellings" of a name are redirects to an article with the correctly spelled name. For instance, Brittany Spears redirects to Britney Spears. This is considered a good thing, because it doesn't penalize the reader for being a poor speller. Instead of getting an ugly "No match" page, the reader is taken to the page he or she almost certainly was looking for.

But one of the drawbacks of this strategy is that it encourages misspelling in articles. If an editor with poor spelling links to Brittany Spears in an article that mentions her, there's no visual signal of the error. You see a blue link, and you think it's OK. In contrast, if it comes up red, it's a clear indication that "I might not have spelled it right."

So it strikes me that what we really want is for the encyclopedia to tolerant of misspellings when users are searching, but to be less tolerant when they are editing.

Thinking out-of-the-box for a moment... There could be a feature that would allow us to designate redirects as "For Search Only." Those redirects would function in the usual way for search purposes, but if you linked to them in an article, there would be some kind of visual signal that "You're not supposed to use this." I do realize that this would require a software change.

Since we seldom delete a redirect, the number of redirects is much higher than the number of articles. I haven't done a serious study, but I suspect a very high percentage of redirects are misspelled names that facilitate search, but should not be used in articles. With that background: I am wondering if anyone has ever suggested a software solution that would facilitate this distinction — that is, the distinction between legitimate names that belong in articles, and those that exist only to faciliate searching, and do not belong in articles.

I ask this without having any idea what form a "solution" would take. Marc Shepherd (talk) 17:35, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

We do have the template {{R from misspelling}}, which places redirects tagged with it in Category:Redirects from misspellings, which serve as documentation at least. Of course, that depends on people using the template, which is not always done. As far as avoiding links to misspellings, I fix these when I see them, but that doesn't mean it couldn't use more hands. Unfortunately, it looks like the sort of thing a bot could do, but there are subtle little problems with this - for instance, sometimes it's disputed just what exactly the correct spelling is. If there's a general solution, I'd love to see it myself. Gavia immer (talk) 18:35, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Request for comments

A discussion pertaining to redirects was begun here and restarted here before moving over to Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Bolding. olderwiser 19:29, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Redirects after AfDs

I've been attacked for my practice of creating redirects after AfDs. The text goes My concern here is that it will create a precedent for "if I can't prove it's notable per policy, but that it exists, I can make a redirect for it," though that does not appear to be a purpose of redirects as noted at redirect puposes or the reasoning employed on redirecting for non-existent pages (they both imply the point is to allow for later creation, not to prevent it),

Are redirects legitimate after AfDs?

JASpencer (talk) 21:04, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

The only good answer is "maybe". I think I want to answer this by considering sample cases. I hope this makes sense.
  • If the subject was deleted solely for a current notability failure, redirects can be a useful way to inhibit the recreation of the same deleted content. (Remember that many new users don't yet know or understand our inclusion criteria and often mistakenly assume that any redlink means that we want an article on the subject. Angelina Jolie is notable. Her children are not. Establishing redirects for her children (like this one prevents new users from getting bitten so much for reposting deleted content.)
    On the other hand, if the subject is so utterly non-notable that no one will ever make the same mistake again or if, for example, we're unable to verify that the subject even exists, the redirect is inappropriate. We deliberately set a pretty low bar for redirects, though.
  • If deleted for copyright infringement, a redirect would be an ordinary-editor decision. The redirect can not infringe on the copyright.
  • If deleted as a WP:BLP violation, the redirect is almost certainly inappropriate since it would expose the private information that the deletion was intended to protect.
  • If deleted because the subject was prohibited original research, a redirect would be inappropriate. On the other hand, if deleted because all the current content was original research but the subject is independently discussed, a redirect could be reasonable (as long as you could find a good target).
  • If deleted as a future event, I would generally argue against the creation of the redirect because even the title is generally still unknown. (I suspect that I'm in the minority on this point, though. Redirects to solve WP:CRYSTAL problems are not uncommon.)
  • If the AfD resulted in a transwiki decision to move the content to one of our sister projects, a soft redirect is often considered routine as a way to inhibit the recreation. This is especially true of dictionary definitions which are often replaced with {{wi}}.
I'm sure there are many more scenarios we could discuss. I hope this illustrates the general principle, though. If you have a specific case you'd like to see considered, please give us the details. Rossami (talk) 22:47, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
So can we take the subject of notability as this seems to be the main point of contention at the moment. If the subject can be verified as existing then a redirect is perfectly in order, if the subject can not be verified as existing or having a connection (which would be the test for utterly non-notable) then setting a redirect would be in order. Is that a fair summary? JASpencer (talk) 08:17, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

A redirect or DAB disagreement

There is an issue which could use help resolving found at Talk:Sine Qua Non, and it would be appreciated if Redir experience could weigh in. MURGH disc. 20:28, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

"Shortcuts within article space" ?

Was the introduction of this section discussed elsewhere that I've missed? I'm not entirely sure I buy into what it says; it appears to be using the term "shortcut" in a way I haven't seen before, presumably as a parallel to shortcuts in WP: space. I hadn't been aware this was a problem.--NapoliRoma (talk) 22:16, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

The point of this is, it is not the custom to create shortcuts to articles in the same way you would to project pages. For example, you would not have "BAOB" redirecting to "Barack Obama" or "JOMC" redirecting to "John McCain" just for the sake of making a shortcut. Meanwhile, commonly used abbreviations, such as "USA," can still be used in redirects. Also, shortcuts can be created out of need when an article with a long title is named in many other articles.

how to get the list of 'hard' category redirects?

is there any way of getting the list of hard category redirects using mediawiki API?
Padalkar.kshitij (talk) 18:03, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

This query lists redirects within the category namespace. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:19, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
thanks a lot

Padalkar.kshitij (talk) 20:58, 21 October 2008 (UTC)


This edit appears to "fix" redirects in this very article that aren't broken, assisted by WP:CLEANER software. Art LaPella (talk) 00:11, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Help with redirect deletion

There is an article which redirects to another article and I'm wanting to remove the redirect so that I can create the article that has been redirected. I tried searching for help regarding this but I was directed back and forth between WP and Wikimedia and am unsure about the effects of redirect removal which is apparently harmful. The article is Ruffey Creek. If anyone could help me out that'd be much appreciated, let me know on my talk page. Nick carson (talk) 04:19, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Notice to editors

I have added an "Abusive redirects" section to this editing guideline page. -- IRP 21:41, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Shouldn't the preferred method be to have no redirect?

On my talk page, an editor made a comment that left me confused. I had, on several articles changed Concordia, KS (redirect) to Concordia, Kansas (actual article). The editor cited WP:R2D as the reason, but I don't think it applies. In the interest of learning, can someone explain this one to me?--Paul McDonald (talk) 03:56, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm a little confused about what actually happened. if the page would have looked better with "Concordia, Kansas" displayed, and your change was to turn [[Concordia, KS]] into [[Concordia, Kansas]], then that's not what this guideline is about, and the other editor cited it mistakenly. If you did change a redirect to a piped link, here's my answer to your question: The number one reason is that there's just no reason to make the change in the first place; it doesn't improve anything. Readers aren't at all disserviced by clicking a link to a redirect. Secondarily, there's the page source issue: [[Concordia, KS]] is much cleaner and more readable in the page source than [[Concordia, Kansas|Concordia, KS]]. Finally, and this probably doesn't apply here, there are cases where use of a redirect could indicate a possible future article, or it could indicate that a certain term might be more common than the one currently used as the title of the page. Croctotheface (talk) 04:41, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Looking at the talk page discussion, it appears that the edits were on links that were already piped — e.g. changing [[Concordia, KS|Concordia]] to [[Concordia, Kansas|Concordia]]. That's pretty much a no-op as far as I'm concerned (i.e. I don't care one way or the other). The only thing that bothers me slightly about it is that other editors, seeing the edit, might decide that it's a good idea to change non-piped redirects to pipes. --Trovatore (talk) 04:49, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Archive 2008