Talk:Big (film)

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Requested move 1[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved per WP:PRIMARYTOPIC and Kauffner's analysis. -- JHunterJ (talk) 22:06, 24 April 2012 (UTC)


BigBig (film) – This movie is not significant. And finally move "Big (disambiguation)" to "Big". Silvergoat (talkcontrib) 14:58, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose; no serious alternative claimants to primary topic. Powers T 17:29, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support! Comment hardly seems necessary; but do take a look at Big (disambiguation), if the desirability of the proposed move is doubted for a millisecond. NoeticaTea? 23:32, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Given the entries at Big (disambiguation), I hardly think that the film would be considered the primary encyclopedic meaning of "Big". Good Ol’factory (talk) 00:21, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The film got 39,000 page views in the last 30 days, the album got 1,022. There is no entry on the DAB that I would consider to be a plausible alternative to the film. The DAB itself got only 591 views, so it seems that the vast majority of readers go the film article and are satisfied with that. This move would inconvenience such readers for the sake of furthering the recent effort to add useless disambiguators to perfectly good titles. Kauffner (talk) 02:01, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Irrelevant - "Big" got that many hits as it is the default page for people looking for "big". Any mistaken visits would have come to this article and therefore been counted in the numbers you are using to support your argument. Halsteadk (talk) 09:27, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Was all set to oppose since this article is getting around 40k page hits per month, +/- 4k. [1] [2] [3]. All other uses on the dab page are getting 1k or so at most, most much less, which means this easily meets primary topic criteria, except then I noticed The Notorious B.I.G., which gets about 500k per month[4]. Now the only issue is whether "big" is a likely search term for the rapper. "Big" is not listed as a nickname on that article, but when I google for it, it comes up fourth, which indicates many people searching with "big" are looking for the rapper. Even if it's used for only 10% of the searches, that's 50k, more than the total hits that the film gets. That seems like enough to justify a dab page. --Born2cycle (talk) 02:11, 18 April 2012 (UTC) Changing !vote to Oppose - see below. --Born2cycle (talk) 20:12, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
So the rapper's fans type in "big", and then they click on the No. 4 google result. I do not see a problem here, certainly not a problem that can be addressed through greater use of a DAB. What is the allegedly misdirected 10 percent doing now? They are not using the hat note to go to the DAB, that's for sure. This argument assumes that although these readers are too whack to notice a hat note, they would really feel a DAB. (No homo.) Kauffner (talk) 03:25, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
You seem to be missing the point. If the fans are typing in "big" at google to find the rapper (which we know they are based on search results for "big" - google arranges results based on how people search), then we know that "big" is commonly used to search for the rapper. That suggests it's likely to be used in the WP search box too, and likeliness of being used to search is what we consider when determining primary topic. The fact that those searching for the rapper using "big" on google can just click on the 4th result or whatever is irrelevant to primary topic determination. --Born2cycle (talk) 06:48, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Which do you think is more likely: That readers will confuse "Big" with "The Notorious B.I.G.," or that they will confuse "Big (film)" with "big film"? The extremely low page view numbers for the DAB suggests that there is very little confusion with the current setup. Kauffner (talk) 07:47, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
"... that there is very little confusion with the current setup." ROFL!!! ... no, wait ... he's serious! ☺ NoeticaTea? 08:28, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Kauffner, low page view numbers for the DAB simply reflects the fact that google sends people directly to the article, not to the dab page. But I agree there is little confusion. But that too is irrelevant to primary topic determination, the elephant in the room you keep evading. Are you invoking IAR on PRIMARYTOPIC for the "good reason" that there is "little confusion with the current setup"? --Born2cycle (talk) 17:10, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
There is no rule that says that you have add a parenthetical disambiguator if the subject is not the most sought after topic. WP:PRECISION says the opposite: Use a parenthetical only when "natural disambiguation is not possible". No one is confusing the film with the rapper. This is a solution in search of a problem. Kauffner (talk) 18:50, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
You keep assuming that confusion is required to justify disambiguation. That's not the case. The problem is not confusion but that people searching for the rapper by entering "big" in the search box will be taken to this article, not to the article about the rapper, or even to a dab page. Given the high traffic on the rapper article, it only has to be a small percentage of its viewers to use "big" to search for it for this article to not be the primary topic for "big". --Born2cycle (talk) 17:14, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
  • SupportBig as an article title??? Tony (talk) 03:21, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support – I mean, it's a fun film, but it never ceases to amaze me how people will interpret WP:D as suggesting that an article that gets lots of hits needs to be at the most concise and ambiguous title possible. In fact, it will make no difference in terms of people finding it by typing "big" if Big is the redirect and Big (film) is the title (PRIMARY suggests the latter, as the more appropriate, to anyone that has a clue what the PRECISION criterion is supposed to be saying). As to whether it's appropriate to have a PRIMARY claim here at all, I rather think not. If Powers objects to that being considered here because it wasn't started as a multiple RM, then it can be taken up later. Either way, the article should go to Big (film) to reduce ambiguity in its title. Dicklyon (talk) 04:48, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Do you expect this move to increase page views for the film? If not, what's the point? "Most concise and ambiguous title possible" Strawman alert! It's "common and most recognizable". Since "big film" has an unrelated meaning, I would classify "(film)" as more of an ambiguator than a disambiguator. Kauffner (talk) 05:30, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't understand the question. Dicklyon (talk) 05:55, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
The question? You lucky dog. I'm still struggling over the answer. NoeticaTea? 08:30, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - sorry everyone but you cannot use statistics to support this as the primary topic, as it is by default the place people would end up if they had just been intending to read a "big" article. The stats being quoted do not necessarily all relate to clicks from outside Wikipedia (ie deliberate accesses via a Google search). Halsteadk (talk) 09:32, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
    • For the most part, the readers being counted come to the article through Google. So they are bypassing Wiki's "defaults." Many others come through links. If any significant of number of these readers were actually looking for the rapper or something else, more would be using the hat note and going to Big (disambiguation). But views for this page are very low. Kauffner (talk) 09:57, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
      • What is your basis for: "For the most part, the readers being counted come to the article through Google". Is there a chart somewhere that shows the referrer? If this is an assumption, it has a very significant impact on the reliability of these stats in this case. (I don't dispute that clearly as far as a Google search goes, this is the primary topic for "big".) Halsteadk (talk) 10:40, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
  • The "support" seems convinced that extended, explanatory titles assist the reader. So I must ask if this theory is somehow disprovable. If the film page is moved, and page views decline by 5 to 10 percent, has this theory been disproven? Or is the theory that many readers are now being misled, and we should therefore expect a large decline in readership? If this is an undisprovable theory, and no one is expecting any expecting anything in particular to happen, that would suggest that editors are supporting ugly titling for its own sake. Kauffner (talk) 13:24, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
    • "The 'support'" (or, more specifically, Noetica and Dicklyon (surprised Tony hasn't stopped by yet)) has yet to explain just how much unnecessary disambiguation they'd like to see in article titles. They clearly want article titles to be long enough to provide sufficient context to the reader (contrary to our WP:AT guidelines), but have never ventured an opinion as to how much context is sufficient. Big isn't good enough; is Big (film) enough? Big (1988 film)? Big (1988 romantic comedic fantasy film starring Tom Hanks)? Powers T 15:20, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
      • Actually, Tony has stopped by already :) Jenks24 (talk) 15:54, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
      • I have specified only the necessary disambiguation, to distinguish the film from other interpretations of the ambiguous word: Big (film). I think that's what Noetica and Tony1 also supported. Not sure why Powers now wants to add some unspecified amount of extra unnecessary information. The title should be as precise as necessary, but not more so. Dicklyon (talk) 17:49, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
        • Where did I say I wanted to add "some unspecified amount of extra unnecessary information"? That's Noetica's particular bugaboo, and you very often go along with it. (By the way, since you support only being "as precise as necessary", can I expect you to change your recommendation at Talk:The CW Television Network?) Powers T 20:18, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
          • O yeah. How idiosyncratic of me! To think that a common three-letter word (ranked at about 200th most frequently used) ought not to be deployed by itself as the title for a film, in a serious comprehensive encyclopedia. Such a strange, alienated view of the world I must have! Everyone else, including all readers, knows instantly what the article is about. ☺ NoeticaTea? 00:57, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
            • Considering that's not at all remotely what I'm saying... Powers T 22:38, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
              • Well, say what you want to say directly. Explain what we are supposed to make of this aspersion: "That's Noetica's particular bugaboo, and you very often go along with it." Justify making that obscure comment, or withdraw it. "Bugaboo, n." in SOED: "1 A bogey; a bugbear. M18. 2 Loud or empty talk; nonsense, rubbish. L19." Explain how your comment fits with my consistent efforts toward informative and precise titles for the benefit of readers. As opposed to "Big", for a film that only a tiny sector of the English-speaking world knows or cares about – so that sector's needs are met, if anyone's are. In fact, no one's needs are genuinely met by the present arrangement. You do not demonstrate that anyone is better served this way. NoeticaTea? 23:27, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
                • What I mean is that you consistently support disambiguating titles with the stated goal of making sure that anyone who reads the title knows what it's about just by reading the title. Our current titling guidelines, on the other hand, require only that the title a) identify the topic, and b) be unique among all English Wikipedia articles. Your support for adding additional data to the titles beyond the minimum necessary has, as far as I can recall, never been accompanied by any sort of metric by which we could reasonably figure out how much additional data is "needed". I mean, if "Big" isn't good enough, why is "Big (film)" good enough. If, as you claim, only a "tiny sector of the English-speaking world" has ever heard of the film, then how does knowing that it's a film before reading the lead help them any more than knowing it's a film only after reading the first sentence? Powers T 23:51, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
                  • Powers:

"... you consistently support disambiguating titles with the stated goal of making sure that anyone who reads the title knows what it's about just by reading the title."

Not so. That is an unrealistic goal, and it is certainly not mine. Nor do I state it.

"Our current titling guidelines, on the other hand, require only that the title a) identify the topic, and b) be unique among all English Wikipedia articles."

By one stark and mechanical interpretation of those contested guidelines, yes. By other interpretations (reading the detail, rather than skimming and applying thoughtlessly), no. In any case, for whom and how reliably does "Big" succeed as a title? For whom, and how reliably, does the title immediately and clearly identify a film of that name?

"Your support for adding additional data to the titles beyond the minimum necessary ..."

("Necessary" being deeply problematic, and the subject of much argument. You assume it has a clear and accepted meaning.)

"... has, as far as I can recall, never been accompanied by any sort of metric by which we could reasonably figure out how much additional data is 'needed'."

Would you prefer that I pretend to know how much is strictly needed, with the unwarranted certainty of those who cite patently flawed pageview statistics and the like as "evidence"? The algorithms – for all the comfort they afford those who devise them, and those who cling to them as a substitute for considering the real world of real readers – have failed. That the present RM is resisted at all is the best demonstration of that. A "metric"? It would be great if we could engineer solutions by using a "metric" in all cases, wouldn't it? But we cannot.

"I mean, if 'Big' isn't good enough, why is 'Big (film)' good enough."

I am astonished that I am called on to answer such a question, among intelligent people who purport to be able to judge how an encyclopedia might communicate with its readers. It's like this:
  • "Big" is an extremely common English word, ranked about 200th in frequency of use. It has a huge range of applications, and without context it is impossible to tell what might be intended when it is used.
  • "Big (film)" is a vastly rarer item. It does not occur with anything remotely like the frequency of "big" alone. It accurately and reliably picks out, from a universe of candidate entities, the one that readers interested in a particular 1988 film starring Tom Hanks have as their target.

"... how does knowing that it's a film before reading the lead help them any more than knowing it's a film only after reading the first sentence?"

An apparent supposition behind that question: in all contexts of use, in all contexts of searching, the first sentence of the lead is available for reading and zero trouble to read. Well, to answer the question: sometimes the first sentence does not supply the necessary information. (This is relevant particularly when the article is found in a Google search.) And then, what prompts does an internal Wikipedia search give the enquirer who types in "big"? Go on, try it! You will find ten prompts: "Big" (entirely useless to everyone), and then nine other prompts, none of which has anything to do with this article.
A good idea to confront the world as it actually is, yes? ♥ ☺
NoeticaTea? 00:31, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Big (film) makes perfect sense to a Wiki editor who understands our disambiguation system. But readers could reasonably interpret it mean a big film/popular film. Kauffner (talk) 01:13, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
O, that's it then. I might as well withdraw. I am soundly and virtuosically defeated, with one deft stroke. NoeticaTea? 01:28, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Neither the nominator nor the other supporters have posited the other entities named "Big" that alone or together compete with he film for the status of primary encyclopedic topic. —  AjaxSmack  00:41, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Comment I would say that plenty of other entries named "big" compete with it has been named, namely, the ones named in the disambiguation. I myself have never heard of any movie named "Big" and am therefore astonished to find out that "big," a very generic word, is about a movie that I never heard about.New questions? 01:11, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
      • What does this mean? The notability of a primary topic is measured vis-à-vis other entities of the same name not how generic a word is or whether a user has heard of it. Which of the other topics called "Big" do you propose are more notable than a movie that grossed US$150m? —  AjaxSmack  02:08, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
    • The primary topic is the English word "Big" and the concept of huge size as opposed to Small. That Wikipedia fails to include an encyclopedic article about the word doesn't justify elevating the next article in the list to the category of primary topic, when it's clear that the first association of the word "big" is with respect to the concept and not the movie. You're supposed to choose primary topics with respect to the topics' own prominence, and the film doesn't surpass the word. Diego (talk) 06:04, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
  • alt Support per other arguments made here. For something to be a primary topic of a very generic word, it needs to be very notable. I have never even heard of this movie.--New questions? 01:11, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Wikipedia is not a dictionary and the generic dictionary uses have less relevance here. Cf. "Nice", a city not the adjective. See also WP:IDONTKNOWIT. —  AjaxSmack  02:08, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
      • At least Nice is a big city, which makes it notable enough to be the primary topic. A movie that is not so well-known is not as notable enough to justify being the primary topic of a common word.--New questions? 03:28, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
        • This is not "a movie that is not so well-known", unless your only criterion for "well-known" is "User:New questions has heard of it". I, for one, heard of Big long before I heard of Nice. Powers T 22:38, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
        • The usage and long-term significance of Nice both coincide with respect to the city of Nice. (Note that, even then, it's disputed). The Big movie does not have long-term significance over the word "big", so the cases are not really comparable. Diego (talk) 06:13, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. Regardless of who's heard of the movie, 40,000 people a month want to read the article. If you are looking for this subject, you respond immediately to the result with the title Big. In contrast, Big (film) introduces momentary hesitation and suggests the extraneous question, is it a big film? I don't know of another reference work that uses anything equivalent to disambiguators. The only reason Wiki uses them at all is because our software won't support multiple instances of a title, a most unfortunate glitch. Kauffner (talk) 03:09, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Sorry, but you're still ignoring the fact that this article occupies the space that people coming here by accident would find. It is simply not possible for you to claim that 40,000 (or even 4000) people are coming here to look at the article about the movie. The only way we'll know is if the article is moved and stats comparing Big (film) further down the line are compared with other articles. On your other point, I cannot imagine how Wikipedia would work if articles had the same title - supposing Big (the film), Big (the album), Big (the band) all had the same title of "Big" - how would you use the search box (with pop-up suggestion list) to find the right article? Ultimately it would actually come back to searching for "big" and ending up at the disambig page so you could choose. We do NOT all use Google to find articles on Wikipedia. Halsteadk (talk) 14:12, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
      • The page view tool is a standard one used for this purpose. You can always wonder what anything really means, but perhaps the problem here is just that you don't like what it says. I guess I have to ask again: Are you expecting anything in particular to happen after the page move? If not, what's the point? Take a look at AllMusic and see how they handle this issue. Kauffner (talk) 01:03, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
        • "But perhaps the problem here is just that you don't like what it says". I couldn't be acting more neutrally on the subject (despite the film being a childhood favourite), and I don't appreciate your implication that I'm not being neutral - you will note that I haven't yet supported or opposed, and you should also note the contents of WP:AGF. I am just able to see beyond the statistics, and am not willing to stake my opinion based on statistics that cannot be reliably used to show what you say they do, for the reason I have made clear. The point is until it is moved to a place where the statistics could be used as a valid comparison with other articles, no-one is in any position to confirm that they won't be significantly changed. However, frankly this entire debate is taking up far more editor time than will be saved cumulatively by every accidental visit to the page, and like most such discussions on Wikipedia, I'm thinking everyone's time would be better spent doing things that will clearly improve the encyclopedia. Move it, leave it, whatever - time would be better spent sorting out the vast amounts of unsourced, unverifiable garbage elsewhere around this encyclopedia. Halsteadk (talk) 13:06, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Statistics show that the film is probably the primary topic. Reasons provided to support a move are not convincing. Peter E. James (talk) 21:46, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
    • Statistics do nothing of the sort. Pay attention to what is revealed in analysis above, if you genuinely want to contribute something to the process here. You appear to assume, against even the letter of the present flawed and contested provision for "primary topics", that there must be one in every case. You then accept that an extremely common English adjective has an ephemeral 1988 B-grade film associated with it as "primary topic". Finally, you move effortlessly to the conclusion that no more need be said: because of this "primary topic", we must not supply a title with even a bare minimum of precision to help the hapless reader. No thought is necessary: just click the boxes.

      Sorry. With respect, I disagree. I strongly suspect that the readers want us to do better than this. They are right to do so.

      ☺♥ NoeticaTea? 23:27, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

      • Totally agree, more blind acceptance of statistics. The question is not whether there is reason to move, but whether it is in the right place at the moment. Halsteadk (talk) 13:06, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
        • I expected the article to be about the film, and didn't know of anything else that was likely to have the title before I saw the disambiguation page. Maybe a significant number of readers are looking for other pages when they reach this one, but few are using the disambiguation page and no other article has a particularly high number of page views (with the exception of The Notorious B.I.G. with around 300,000, but that is only a partial title match and has different capitalisation). The dictionary definition isn't relevant and partial matches shouldn't even be included in the disambiguation page. Peter E. James (talk) 20:51, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong Support per everyone voted "Support". Steam5 (talk) 05:41, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, name is too much universal, and also this film is an ordinary film and nothing else. Subtropical-man (talk) 07:36, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I'm changing my !vote from Support to Oppose. My Support was based on the observation that the article on the rapper The Notorious B.I.G. gets around 40k hits per month, far more than any other uses of "big" listed on Big (disambiguation), and the assumption that users searching for the rapper are sufficiently likely to search with "big" that enough do so to warrant putting the dab page at Big.

    However, search terms aside, the actual name of this topic is, simply, Big, and that is not the name of the rapper. Therefore anyone searching for the rapper with "big", and not getting to that article, is unlikely to be surprised when they are taken elsewhere, like to an article about a topic that is named Big. I have made it a bit easier for them, by adding a link to the rapper's article in the hatnote[5], but I've changed my mind that that use of "big" is close enough to warrant consideration in primary topic determination.

    Ignoring the reference to the rapper usage of "big" in determining primary topic, I see no other uses garnering sufficient traffic to challenge this use per primary topic criteria... so it is the primary topic for Big, and should remain here. --Born2cycle (talk) 20:12, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Support Even if the film is determined to be a primary topic, it's not a broad-concept article and thus the title should include disambiguation parentheses to reduce Wikipedia:SURPRISE. If this is Primary then redirect Big to it, but keep the article title specific with a WP:PRECISION disambiguation. Diego (talk) 05:46, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
    • This comment makes absolutely no sense. Jenks24 (talk) 17:08, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
      • I believe I understood his meaning. It would be very surprising to click on Big, or type in "Big", and end up at an article titled "Big" that would then turn out to be about a film. It would be somewhat less surprising to end up at an article titled "Big (film)", since then it's immediately apparent what the topic is and that you that you got redirected to it. If it's as I understand, then I pretty much agree. But it would be even better for Big to go to disambig page, since it's such a broad and ambiguous term and having it take you to an article on a film by that title would be surprising. Dicklyon (talk) 17:22, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
        • That's exactly right, thanks for translating my post to English. Diego (talk) 21:03, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
    • We don't redirect base names to disambiguated titles. Barack Obama doesn't redirect to Barack Obama (president); Inflation doesn't redirect to Inflation (economics); and Trippy doesn't redirect to Trippy (software). Disambiguation is there only to ensure that the article title is unique; we have never used it to give additional context to the reader just for the sake of having that context. That's what the article lead is for. Powers T 20:29, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
      • That's because Obama as a president and inflation as an economic term are unambiguous primary topics, and because we don't have other articles called Trippy. But we have other articles called Big and the film is not an unambiguous primary topic, its only claim to primarity is a somewhat higher but still unimpressive number of page visits, that it's still much less than another article listed in the same disambiguation page. An article in this situation shouldn't get a non-PRECISION title unless there's no need at all for disambiguation, which is not the case here. And I'm not suggesting to add (film) to give additional context, but to ensure that it's unambiguous with the other articles with "Big" in the title that are already at the DAB page. Diego (talk) 21:03, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Requested move - conclusion[edit]

So well done JHunterJ - you ignored that there were 5 opposes to 8 supports, and the many objections raised here to Kauffner's analysis. Consensus was not reached and your decision was premature. Halsteadk (talk) 22:22, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

How was it premature? -- JHunterJ (talk) 22:30, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
On the basis that discussion was still ongoing and consensus was not reached. I would have expected a result of no consensus and/or a re-list - not a conclusion that the consensus was oppose. Halsteadk (talk) 22:53, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
A closing admin/uninvolved editor is supposed to assess rough consensus "attempting to be as impartial as is possible for a fallible human". Here you took sides by using Kauffner analysis while disregarding everything else that was said against that analysis; this is not how an admin close is supposed to work. An admin should not just emit a quality !vote but to simply summarize the overal discussion; if both sides are making good faith policy-based arguments then by definition there can't be a rough consensus. You seem to be too involved to "judge" discussions where disambiguation is involved, as the recent instant disagreement with several of your recent closes (at different contexts and by different people) shows; the immediate reasoned complaints, by more than just one vocal editor, means that your decisions didn't really reflect an existing rough consensus. I'd recommend you to stay away from closing discussions where PRIMARYTOPIC is involved since you're not proving yourself capable of being impartial. In this case a "not move" per no consensus would have achieved the same effect and maintained the status quo, but this is not what you did. I hope you don't take this as personal; but after our recent discussions about disambiguation I don't trust your judgement at closing those move requests (including this one), and I don't think you should do them. Diego (talk) 09:52, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
Deplorable. Closed by an admin who clearly favours conciseness over precision – even when that precision can easily be shown to help most readers, and hinder hardly any. He himself has drafted such a mechanistic provision for naming of films, and inserted it as a guideline with little evidence of consensus through discussion, and no wide consultation. That needs addressing.
This thoroughly flawed closure needs to be taken further, and examined in a proper forum. At least it provides some of the best evidence we have seen: of the wretched state of RM procedures, and plainly non-consensual provisions in policy and guidelines, badly interpreted.
Wide community consultation is desperately needed.
NoeticaTea? 23:20, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Discussion of this RM closure continues elsewhere[edit]

Editors may like to look also at Wikipedia_talk:Disambiguation/Archive_36#the_Big_mess, and surrounding sections. This case has brought issues into focus that require serious global treatment. NoeticaTea? 10:39, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Requested move 2[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Move The strongest argument in opposition to the move related to the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC guideline. This was was countered by editors who felt that the case of an article where a more frequent subject was not an encyclopedia article topic (e.g., the concept of big as a size), was already or should be an exception, and some of those arguments seemed strong. Given that and the strong majority of opinions expressed, I find that there is a consensus for the proposed moves.- j⚛e deckertalk 02:05, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

– I have never actual done this before, so I am not sure I am doing it right. However it seems to me that the main thing people who type in "big" would be looking is the Wiktionary article "big". They may also hope to find some other article with "big" at the start of its title. There are a bunch of things at Big (disambiguation) and none of them are clearly the primary usage. The article on the film gets the most hits, not because most people want to look at the film, but if someone is randomly typing in big they will get prompted there, maybe they meant to look up Big Ben but noticed that there was an article named Big and decided to have a look. There is no reason to suspect that people want to learn about the film, and it is clearly not the primary meaning when people say "big". Noetica has explained these issues on the discussion at Brand New (disambiguation) (showing how page views can be deceptive). [Amendments here by Noetica, as requested.] John Pack Lambert (talk) 04:29, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Support RM 2[edit]

  1. [Support as proposer: John Pack Lambert]
  2. Support disambiguation page should be primary. If we had an article on relative measurement/quantification, I'd say that was the primary topic, but we don't. -- 70.24.246.233 (talk) 05:33, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
  3. Support. The present title has far too many meanings to be helpful in a worldwide encyclopedia, except as a DAB page. [Reasons based on analysis of pageviews and external sources to follow soon.] NoeticaTea? 09:28, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
  4. Support—the nomination demonstrates exactly why we need to be more reader-oriented in naming articles. Tony (talk) 11:08, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
  5. Support - Another case of the real primary meaning being the wiktionary article, which is not covered in the policy pages that I can see. The sheer number of articles at the dab page, the other linked dab pages, and the prefix page, suggest that being clearer might help readers. 2 of the articles linked at the dabpage have significantly more pageviews than the movie (903897 and 374502), and the others combined add up to as many again. --Qetuth (talk) 11:49, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
  6. Support – a primarytopic claim on such an ambiguous term does nobody any good. An article's title is supposed to precisely identify it's topic, and the one word "Big" really gives no clue to the topic. Dicklyon (talk) 17:52, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
  7. Support: The usual WP:PRIMARYTOPIC analysis pretty much falls apart for titles that are everyday words. Having big go directly to the film is like having the go to The The. (Anon 70.24.246.233 is right that if we had an article on comparative sizes, like "big", "small", "larger", etc., it should redirect there.) — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 19:07, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
  8. Support: WP:PRIMARYTOPIC shouldn't be used for a secondary topic like the film. It's obvious that the primary topic is size (big size, at that). That we currently don't have an article about it (although we could have one) is no reason to put a sham on its place - there should be a disambiguation page here, as WP:PRIMARYTOPIC itself recommends. Diego (talk)
  9. Mildly support, "big" being an extremely common adjective and the movie not so well-known. mgeo talk 06:12, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
  10. Support. Far too common a word for the film to be primary, well-known as it is. -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:24, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
  11. Support. Good nomination; you did it right! Via all that's been said above me. Srsrox (talk) 17:38, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
  12. Support. The primary meaning of "big" is clearly not the film. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:12, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
  13. Support—I think most the support here is in fact support for the idea that in figuring out the primary topic, we should be looking at what is the primary topic globally, not just among Wikipedia articles. That isn't what WP:PRIMARYTOPIC says, but maybe it should be what it says. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 18:08, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
  14. Support - Because suggesting that some random not-very-notable movie from 1988 that majority of the world's population have never even heard of is what people first think of when they write the word "big" is ridiculous. --HoldenPhoebeDB&Allie (talk) 23:46, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
  15. Support: – The word "Big" is not a primary topic use as a film. It's a syllable word using in English dictionary. ApprenticeFan work 09:50, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
  16. Support. "Big" is far too common a word to refer specifically to this film. JIP | Talk 15:00, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Oppose RM 2[edit]

  1. Oppose. If the argument is that the current setup is sending readers to the wrong article, that hypothesis is testable. If readers arrived at the film article and decided they were at the wrong place, they would use the hat note to go the DAB. For the last 90 days, the DAB got 1.9 percent (2554 / 135543) of the traffic going to the film. That percentage is well within the normal range, so the proposal is a solution in search of a problem. As for Big Ben and the other "things with big in the name," those are partial title matches. They don't count in the determination of primary topic. Kauffner (talk) 08:07, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
  2. Oppose per WP:PRIMARYTOPIC and User:Kauffner's comments above. Neither the nominator nor the other supporters have posited the other entities named "Big" that alone or together compete with the film for the status of primary encyclopedic topic and nothing has changed since the last request. —  AjaxSmack  18:30, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
  3. Oppose per Kaufner and AjaxSmack, not to mention the reasons I cited in the previous RM discussion. The bottom line is that there is no evidence that significant numbers are being mislead by the current title arrangement, and there is evidence that readers are served quite well by it. This is the whole point of WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, to serve readers well, and why we have such arrangements. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:49, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
  4. Oppose per the previous RM discussion, WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, and WP:PRECISION. Nothing has changed since then that would affect this arrangement. -- JHunterJ (talk) 20:48, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Discuss RM 2, section 1[edit]

[Confine all responses and discussion to these discussion subsections, please.]


That is not how Google works at all, Kauffner. You have been told about this again and again! Nor is it how these pageviews are to be analysed. Compare the current RM at Talk:Brand New (disambiguation). More when I have time. (On a hand-held device right now.) NoeticaTea? 13:17, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

On Kauffner, oppose vote 1:

  • Comment: Your assumption that readers regularly do use hatnotes is just that, an assumption. It's one that no one's come up with a test for, and is not a strong argument, though one you frequently try to rely on. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 19:10, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
    • There is a way to test hatnote usage. In the hatnote, use a unique pagename that redirects to the target and then count the pageviews of that unique name. For example, have the hatnote on Big read "{{about|the 1988 film|other uses|Big (disambiguation page){{!}}Big (disambiguation)}}" which would appear as: Then redirect "Big (disambiguation page)" to "Big (disambiguation)" and count the pageviews for "Big (disambiguation page)"  AjaxSmack  04:45, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: If you want to test your hypothesis and make it have some strength of argument, then you should support the change and see how many visits the dab page gets when it's placed at the base name. Until we don't do that, the number of pageviews is irrelevant as misleading. Diego (talk) 19:21, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment I have to join in as the third to say that the claim that the film gets most of the searches is just plain rubbish. The film is where you go if you randomly type in "big" even if you want an article about size. More importantly it is the third things that shows up in a google search for big. I have gone through 10 pages and not seen a google result for the disambiguation page, so google's setup is feeding these results. The primary meaning of big is a measure of size, so trying to claim its primary meaning is as a film just does not owrk.John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:24, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
    • While the primary meaning of "big" at Wiktionary is the size, Wikipedia is not a dictionary and that meaning of "big" doesn't really have any encyclopedic significance.  AjaxSmack  04:45, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
      • So, your position is that it's impossible to write an article about the concept of "big size", and thus the movie is the most likely thing for which readers will ever want to search information? Diego (talk) 11:10, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
    • The fact that the film comes up first in Google results is telling. Google results are an effect, not a cause. That is, when people search for something Google shows them results, from which they select the page they want. The more people that search for "big" and click on a given page, the higher that page gets in the results for future searches with "big". The fact that the film shows up first demonstrates that this is what most people using Google are looking for when they click on "Big".

      Page view results are more reliable than you seem to think. If the high page view counts of this page was from people randomly typing in "big" and getting put on this page incorrectly, as you suggest, then we would see the page view counts for the dab page and other "big" pages being much higher than they are. The evidence does not support your theory. --Born2cycle (talk) 20:54, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

      • It is no secret that Google has Wikipedia articles in high esteem. If Wikipedia editors place an article in a prominent place, it will have a high pagerank. But that's a circular argument with respect to the popularity of the topic itself. Editors promote an article to primary topic, which shows in the first results of a Google search, which are the most likely to be clicked by users. The disambiguation pages aren't usually show on Google's first results, though, so they don't get as many results. Diego (talk) 22:51, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment Actually the second result is Bjarke Ingles Group, which is one of the things listed on the disambiguation page. I would also point out that the claim that adding (film) to a title name makes it long and complexed is just rubbish. I really think in most cases one-word film titles should have (film) included, especially when the one word is a common adjective.John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:31, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
    • I am skeptical that readers are typing in "big" to get to the Bjarke Ingels Group. It's probably some kind of SEO bait. In any case, I added it to my page view analysis above. It doesn't make any significant difference to the result. Kauffner (talk) 03:31, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment That the TV series gets over 40,000 hits without being an early apparance in any search, suggests that the film is not overwhelmingly the main topic of search. The people who got to the TV series clearly wanted to go there, the people who got to the film may have wanted the wikitionary article or who knows what.John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:35, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
    • Perhaps those readers are Koreans who got to the TV article through Naver or some other Korean search engine. Kauffner (talk) 03:19, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
And if you go with the meaning of "big" instead of the word, you have a whole field of scientific study for size perception (i.e. when people consider things to be big). [6], [7], [8] So, either the meaning or the word have topics that have more long-term significance and are more likely to be intended by readers than the movie. Diego (talk) 11:05, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment. I'm certainly getting a lot of attention here. I just write what I think, and if others don't agree, they don't have to. In response to Diego's point, we can certainly look at what happens when a DAB is moved to the base name. When the Doctor Zhivago DAB was at Doctor Zhivago (disambiguation) in April, it got 1089 views, or 4.4 percent of primary article traffic (1089 / 24408), which was at that time the novel. The DAB was moved to the base name in May, and now the film is dominant. In the last month, the DAB got 32 percent as much traffic as the film (14538 / 45006). The novel got 13604 views. Doctor Zhivago is still one of the top results when you google "Doctor Zhivago" -wikipedia, a fossil ranking left over from the days when the page contained useful information. I assume Big will retain a similar fossil ranking long after it moves. In short, the proposed move will send many additional readers to the DAB, creating an extra step for the vast majority. Kauffner (talk) 03:19, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
    Great! Can we see now what happens when we move the Big DAB to the base name? Doctor Zhivago is not a common English word, it's a proper name, and both articles (book and movie) have related meanings; what happened there is not likely to extrapolate to this case, as they're quite different. But we if you agree that testing the change in pageviews is a good idea, that's support for moving the page and validating (or rejecting) your hypothesis. Diego (talk) 10:43, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
    I have already presented evidence regarding what readers are likely to be searching for. If the supporters of this proposal can dismiss such evidence in a high-handed way now, why would that change after a move? The last time around, I asked Noetica what he expected to happen if the page was moved. I am still waiting for an answer. What result would disprove the idea that a significant number of readers typing in "big" are actually looking for Big Ben, The Notorious B.I.G., a dictionary definition, or any of the other inconsistent claims that have been thrown around? Those who think that "big" should lead to a word definition, or refer to size, should check out WP:Wikipedia is not a dictionary. WP:PRIMARYTOPIC states that if a topic is more likely to be searched for than all other relevant topics combined, it should be primary. The burden of proof should be on those who want to move the article despite what these guidelines say. Kauffner (talk) 11:44, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
    Yes, let's look at WP:Wikipedia is not a dictionary. While it doesn't say anything about titles and disambiguation of articles, it states that when an article for a topic is a dictionary definition, its content should be a soft redirect to the Wiktionary page. PRIMARYTOPIC doesn't talk about Wikipedia articles, but about usage of terms by readers and the topics that they are interested in; given that "big" as an adjective certainly has more long-term significance and it's also more likely to be searched than the movie, if we apply a combination of both policies then this article should contain the soft redirect to Wiktionary. Now is your turn to show how the pageview stats can be used to show that the topic of "Big, the movie" should be primary above the meaning of the word "Big", if you want to defend that it can be a primary topic (not primary Wikipedia article). Because "if there is no primary topic, the term should be the title of a disambiguation page". Diego (talk) 19:07, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
    When I google big -wikipedia, I found one dictionary definition among the top 30 results. Do have any basis to think that a significant percentage of readers are looking for such a definition? I see this proposal as quite patronizing toward the readers, who presumably already know what the word "big" means. Kauffner (talk) 05:25, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
    It's more patronizing to assume that readers of dictionaries and encyclopedias will not know absolutely anything about the things they read. The common case to read a reference work is to broaden your knowledge, not to learn the basic facts of life. And you're not addressing the fact that "big" the meaning has more long-term significance that "Big" the movie. Diego (talk) 06:12, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
    Maybe many readers want to learn the etymology of the word big, which is one of many uses of a dictionary. I did not know that until I read the wkitionary entry.John Pack Lambert (talk) 22:00, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Case Study #2: What happens when a DAB is moved into a position formerly held by a high-traffic article? Let's see if Rohan can give us some answers. Back in September, Rohan was an article about, well, something or other. It doesn't really matter for our purposes. At any rate, it got 15252 page views, while Rohan (disambiguation) got 667 views, or 4.4 percent of primary article traffic. This humming model of efficiency became unstuck in October when Rohan was moved to Rohan (Middle-earth) and the DAB was moved to the base name. We now have a most unfortunate state of affairs in which the DAB is getting 82 percent as much traffic as the article (16542 / 20,127). So what has gone wrong with Rohan? If you google Rohan, the answer is obvious. The DAB has retained the Google ranking that was earned by the article when it occupied the same lemma earlier. Kauffner (talk) 14:54, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Rohan (Middle-earth) has been viewed 48521 times in the last 90 days. But Rohan Marley alone has been viewed 81052 times in the same period; with Rohan Bopanna and Rohan Gavaskar near 15000 times each. Once again, case studies only serve to show that page-view count is a piss-poor way to determine which topic is primary. And don't say that those are partial title matches - that's true of the disambiguation page too; sending readers of those articles to Rohan (Middle-earth), when they looked for disambiguation, would achieve a higher number of misses than hits. Diego (talk) 18:46, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

On Noetica, support vote 3:

  • As a preliminary to further analysis (when I get time), here is a suggested way to tabulate evidence comprehensively for analysis, using an example from discussion above that is important but inadequately presented:
Table 1
Pageview statistics: Doctor Zhivago pages
after Doctor Zhivago became the DAB page, and Doctor Zhivago (novel) became the novel page

Page                                 Pageviews
       
                                     09/2011       09/2012     Change
                                    (before move) (after move)

Doctor Zhivago (film)                  17927         33736      15809
Doctor Zhivago (TV serial)              3084         [1650]
Doctor Zhivago (TV miniseries)            NA          2480       -604
Doctor Zhivago (musical)                 268           515        247
Total 1 (film and minor articles):     21279         36731      15452
 
Doctor Zhivago (novel)                 [1210]        12355
Doctor Zhivago                         18850            NA
Total 2 (novel article):               18850         12355      -6495

Total 3 (= 1+2, all articles):         40129         49086       8957

Doctor Zhivago (disambiguation)          917           [29] 
Doctor Zhivago                            NA         14224 
Total 4 (DAB pages):                     917         14224      13307

Total 5 (= 3+4, all pages):            41046         63310      22264

DAB pages / all pages (= 4/5, as %):    2.23%        22.45%

Notes:
       1. 09/2011 and 09/2012 are selected as clear of the relevant move, and free of spikes
       2. [ ]: redirect, not counted in totals
       3. NA: title was not used at the time, or was used for another article
       4. Doctor Zhivago (TV serial) was moved to Doctor Zhivago (TV miniseries)

NoeticaTea? 00:47, 28 January 2013 (UTC) ☺

  • The chart above certainly confirms that this type of move results in an enormous increase in page views for the DAB, in this case from 917 to 14,224. The Doctor Zhivago DAB does at least tell readers that we have separate articles for the film and for the novel, something which would not necessarily occur to them otherwise. But in general, I think DAB pages are pretty useless, and that includes both Big (disambiguation) and Rohan. Kauffner (talk) 05:25, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
"Doctor Zhivago" is not "this type of move", because "Doctor Zhivago" is not a dictionary word. The analysis you should be doing to present a convincing case based on page views should be on Wiktionary visits. Until anyone can present that statistics, any analysis of this kind is missing the most important factor to consider. In any case, you seem to be the only one that thinks an increase of visits for DAB pages is necessarily a bad thing; if you think they're useless, you have the whole WP:DAB policy against your arguments. The rest of us think that a reader arriving to a DAB page is better than arriving to the wrong article. Diego (talk) 06:16, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
I am struggling to see how this kind of an increase in page views can be considered a positive development. What's your explanation? Readers suddenly discovered how truly useful the DAB page was after the page move? Kauffner (talk) 09:20, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
It can mean that more readers are finding out that DAB pages exist at all and Wikipedia contains several articles about "Big", and thus discovering the content they want to read. That's the reason why DAB pages were created and why WP:PRIMARYTOPIC recommends to place them at the base name when editors don't agree that there is a clear primary topic. Diego (talk) 09:50, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Kauffner, you are missing something of central importance in my table of pageviews (Table 1, above). In the very first line. The number of readers successfully arriving at Doctor Zhivago (film) is dramatically increased, once Doctor Zhivago is used as a DAB page and not as a deceptive title for the novel. This is quite a robust finding; we can confirm it by comparing pageviews for the same six months before the move (2011) and after the move (2012):
     Table 2
     Pageviews for Doctor Zhivago (film)
     before and after Doctor Zhivago became the DAB page

     Month                 2011    2012  Change

     July                 27238   34151   +6913
     August               20926   32704  +11778
     September            17927   33736  +15809
     October              28307   31747   +3440
     November             30729   66035  +35306
     December             26168   46938  +20770

     Whole six months:   151295  245311  +94016

     Increase in pageviews: 62.1%
Table 1 also shows a reduction in pageviews for the novel, easily accounted for by the fact that many readers had no clue that Doctor Zhivago was about the novel (in 2011), but were perfectly informed by the title Doctor Zhivago (novel) after the move in 2012.
This is the sort of hard evidence we need to rely on, not mere impressions. The same should be done in discussing the present RM, and the lessons should be learned and applied for all RMs involving level of precision. Quite obviously, adequate precision helps great numbers of readers, and loss of adequate precision is not shown to be beneficial.
NoeticaTea? 00:14, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment In the Rohan case, since Rohan Marley gets the msot views, considering something else the primary meaning is just rubbish. I find disambiguation pages very informative and believe they are helpful. The Rohan page even gives possible ideas on Tolkienian entymology. I think that was a clear case where there is no primary topic. Wikipedia should avoid being faddish, and putting a fictional place in a movie made this century as the primary usage over an important real place in France or the fact that the thing is a fairly common given name, is just faddish. I say this as a very large fan of the Lord of the Rings, but cannot bring myself to support such faddish and presentist ideas.John Pack Lambert (talk) 22:12, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
  • With Doctor Zhivago, I said at the time that the move would make the film primary. No one believed it then. But, hey, I suppose I can feel vindicated now. If you think a significant number of readers are typing is "Rohan" because they are interested in Rohan Marley, that is further evidence just what a useless list the Rohan DAB actually is: Marley is entry No. 28.. Under our guidelines, he shouldn't be on it at all since he is a partial title match. A reader should be able to type in what they want to read about and go directly to the article on the relevant topic. They are confronted with a DAB only in dysfunctional cases like Doctor Zhivago and Rohan. I do not actually know what a Rohan is, and I do not care. I'm just using it as an example of how DABs work. Kauffner (talk) 04:43, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
"A move would make the film primary" is a bit of an oxymoron. A primary topic should be an intrinsic property or decision, not something that depends on how we title things. In this case, there's no need for a primary topic for a term with this much ambiguity. If the film got 90% of the traffic, then I'd consider it. But it doesn't. Dicklyon (talk) 06:19, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
The guideline says that if an article gets over 50 percent of traffic, it should be primary. An article should not have unnecessary disambiguation regardless of what percentage of traffic it gets. As for Doctor Zhivago (film), it gets 69 percent (33736 / 49086) of traffic. Kauffner (talk) 08:03, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
Since when does the guideline talk of 50% traffic? Every time someone tries to assign a hard number to the relative visits of different articles, it has been disputed. The guideline talks about likelihood of visitors wanting to read about the topic. The number of visits is but one of the possible ways to measure that likelihood. And in cases like the current one (for which I mean "Big", not D.Z.), where the number of visits is distorted by having the article located at the base name, that quantity tells us nothing about the likelihood of this one being the topic looked for. Diego (talk) 10:52, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
  • If you know nothing about Rohan than how can you complain that the changes are ineffective. Also, how do you know that lots of people do not refer to Rohan Marley just as "Rohan"? I think you also take a much too pedantic view about "partial matches". The fact is That many titles and names are regularly shortened, so it makes sense to list partial matches.John Pack Lambert (talk) 16:58, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
  • There's a surplus of such cliches around talk page discussions related to disambiguation and article titles. Partial title matches shouldn't be included in the same disambiguation page, a title with Caps is not ambiguous to one without caps, articles such as "A" or "The" are enough to distinguish otherwise identical names, the topic with most visits should be the primary topic... Those arguments are commonly held by well-meaning editors with years of discussions on their backs. I guess they're the by-product of countless previous discussions, but unfortunately those seem to have lost track of the main goal of disambiguation - to help readers find what they're looking for. Those arguments may have been relevant in the past, in some cases being decisive to the outcome, but now they're routinely invoked by those experienced editors at different places where it's more or less obvious that they fall wide of the mark. I believe time is due for an in-depth discussion, maybe with a RFC, following the momentum of these recent discussions. At least it would help to clarify how PRIMARYTOPIC stands with respect to common English words and idioms, and achieve some homogeneous results. Diego (talk) 17:33, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
  • The purpose of a title is to tell readers the name of the article's subject. All the standard reference works put give the actual name of the subject as the article title. Our software can't handle multiple instances of a title, so we must disambiguate when there is a title clash. I have never seen any reason to believe that disambiguation helps, "readers find what they're looking for." Wiki's disambiguators are not set up for this purpose. The examples given so far don't make much sense. If someone is looking for the The Notorious B.I.G. or Big Ben, why would they click on a result clearly titled Big? Kauffner (talk) 02:11, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Kauffner, your analyses for the "Rohan" articles are diffuse and unclear. We are in especially muddy waters with talk like this: "The DAB has retained the Google ranking that was earned by the article when it occupied the same lemma earlier." Terms need to be defined; and all the figures need to be laid out and annotated, and conclusions based on those. You seem to regard it as a catastrophe when a DAB page is in fact used; but the evidence from the "Doctor Zhivago" articles shows how successful a well-named DAB page can be. Table 3 supplements results found earlier, this time for the novel:
         Table 3
         Pageviews for the novel
         As Doctor Zhivago in 2011, and as Doctor Zhivago (novel) in 2012

         Month                 2011    2012  Change

         July                 28063   11078  -16985
         August               21519   10774  -10745
         September            17927   12355   -6495
         October              18850   12239  -15732
         November             33259   18499  -14760
         December             28276   15780  -12496

         Whole six months:    157938  80725  -77213

         Decrease in pageviews: 48.9%
Together, table 2 and table 3 dramatically confirm what we discovered from table 1: the so-called primary topic was not the novel article at all. But there is more information to extract. Table 4 draws on the earlier tables, and adds six-month data for the two different DAB pages:
         Table 4
         Pageviews for the novel, the film, and DAB pages
         July–December 2011, and July–December 2012

                               2011    2012  Change

         film                151295  245311  +94016
         novel               157938   80725  -77213
         film + novel        309233  326036  +16803

         DABs                  7186   90316  +83130

         film + novel + DABs 316419  416352  +99933
So what does this show?
  • First, that when in 2011 the DAB was called "Doctor Zhivago (disambiguation)", relatively few people found it. Just 7186 in six months. The hatnote at the novel did not get them to the DAB page successfully, nor directly to the film article: because 94016 fewer got to the film article in 2011 than in 2012.
  • Second, that although 83130 more readers used the DAB page in 2012 (now called "Doctor Zhivago"), this arrangement led to a huge increase in successful arrivals at the well-labelled articles for the novel and the film (to say nothing of other articles not surveyed here). Although DAB pageviews increased by 83130, successful article pageviews increased by 94016 (for the film) under the new arrangement, and it can be estimated that unwanted pageviews at the novel article decreased by 77213.
There is no reason to believe things work differently in the cases that are harder to research, like the "big" articles or the "brand new" articles (see current RM at Talk:Brand New (disambiguation)). In fact, given the profusion of articles involved in these cases, five conclusions are overwhelmingly supported:
  1. Hatnotes do not achieve what we expect of them (probably not seen or followed, by WP readers as opposed to editors).
  2. DAB pages called "XXXX (disambiguation)" are hardly used, being difficult to find either by Google or by internal Wikipedia searches.
  3. Articles with titles like "XXXX (film)" are readily and reliably found, by Google or by internal Wikipedia searches.
  4. DAB pages at the base title are immensely helpful to readers.
  5. Poorly managed pageview data typically confuse RM discussions, and very often lead to a defective close. This can be fixed by a rigorous analytical approach rather than easy superficialities – and respect for sound argument rather than genuflections toward comfortable half-truths, by closers.
Get it wrong, using the time-honoured ways at RMs; or actually serve the needs of readers, as we now do with the Doctor Zhivago articles.
NoeticaTea? 12:30, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Question, why are redirects not counted in the tables? The documentation (such as it is) for the stats page indicates that redirects are counted separately from the ultimate target. olderwiser 13:09, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
A fair question, even if it is not one that affects numerical results materially. In similar future research it could indeed make a difference; and I will be delighted with any suggestions to improve on the scheme I have proposed. I agree about the documentation: "such as it is", right. Now, in the present case we are concerned not with the utility of all pages, including redirects. The focus is on how many steps readers need to go through to get to the desired articles, and how successfully they get there. With redirects, there are no extra steps for readers to negotiate. If the redirect numbers need to be added, so be it; but they are not an encumbrance to readers. A convenience, rather. NoeticaTea? 22:14, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Discuss RM 2, section 2[edit]


On ErikHaugen, support vote 13:

  • @ErikHaugen: To be fair, PRIMARYTOPIC doesn't say that we should be looking it among Wikipedia articles either. The final criterion is "the topic sought when a reader searches for that term", and it should be obvious that what readers want to search is independent of what editors have written about. I've always interpreted that the primary topic should be defined independently of any particular status of Wikipedia articles and navigation structures.
    • Diego, I hear you, but I think most people read "topic" there as "topic as in a topic of an actual Wikipedia article". ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 20:46, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
    • WP:PRIMARYTOPIC is a sub-section of WP:D, which opens with:
    "Disambiguation in Wikipedia is the process of resolving the conflicts that arise when a single term is ambiguous—when it refers to more than one topic covered by Wikipedia articles. "
    It's only reasonable to assume that the specific definition of "ambiguous" established in the first line of the page is meant to apply to the entire policy, including PRIMARYTOPIC; it's not reasonable to assume that broader definitions of the term are intended elsewhere on the policy page, especially without that specified anywhere. --Born2cycle (talk) 22:12, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
    That is a defective reading. In the case of big, we ought to have an article that covers the section of size. In other cases, we have many links meant to go to an article on an actor we do not have an article on that are going to articles on other people who are not really that prominent to be the primary meaning of a fairly common name. We should at least increase the disambiguation community to include articles in wiktionary.John Pack Lambert (talk) 00:56, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
    Absolutely right, John. It is defective and contested reading of the provisions at WP:DAB. The remainder of the page makes it clear that all sorts of sources are to be allowed in determining whether there is and what might be a primary topic. In the present case, it is absurd to assume that there is a primary topic, through the straitjacketed reasoning that there is no more heavily viewed article on Wikipedia that competes for the title "Big". The first consideration is the one enshrined in policy at WP:TITLE, which very clearly states the obvious: "Titles usually use names and terms that are precise enough to unambiguously identify the topical scope of the article, but not overly precise." The title "Big" does not achieve that for the present article. And WP:TITLE also states this obvious policy imperative: "The choice of article titles should put the interests of readers before those of editors, and those of a general audience before those of specialists." No sound argument has been adduced to demonstrate that readers are served better by an article about a film being called "Big" rather than "Big (film)". The needs of a small and very assertive minority of editors for conciseness at all costs: that is all the present title serves. The readers come last! Time for action against blind adherence to dogma. It has got us nowhere. NoeticaTea? 07:45, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

On Born2cycle, oppose vote 3:

  • @Born2cycle: could you specify what do you understand by "serve readers well"? Otherwise your argument doesn't hold much weight, since there's a well-presented case that the current situation is sending the readers to an article they aren't looking for, and thus creating a high number of false hits. Diego (talk) 19:35, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
    I agree sending readers to an article they aren't looking for would not be serving them well. But I don't see any evidence of that. If you're saying a large proportion of views to this article are "false hits", what do you believe are the desired destinations, and what is the evidence for that? --Born2cycle (talk) 22:02, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
    The clear fact is most readers want to read about size when they search for "big". That is the assumed primary meaning, and you have no evidence to the contrary. Also, the percentage of readers looking for the TV show is high enough to make any claim that the film is the "primary topic" extremely hard to back.John Pack Lambert (talk) 00:58, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

On JHunterJ, oppose vote 4:

On the contrary. Unlike the last time, when you closed the RM against the majority of editors, who argued cogently for the move, this time there are powerful new numerical arguments by analogy to show that appeals to PRIMARYTOPIC and PRECISION have been less than useful. No one rejects those provisions; but they need to be applied thoughtfully, not mechanically. See how it goes, with a fresh approach that avoids mere repetition of old mantras. You did not show before that the present title serves the readers' needs; if you think you can show it now, you have the opportunity. You will get a fair hearing. Will you give one, too?
NoeticaTea? 21:58, 30 January 2013 (UTC)


On Peter coxhead, support vote 12:

Your support is based on the observation that "The primary meaning of "big" is clearly not the film". I don't dispute your observation. But how is that relevant to deciding the title for this article? Is there any precedent for this "not primary meaning" reasoning? We usually decide whether to disambiguate a title on WP based on whether it is the primary use of its name, in terms of how often people are looking for that topic when typing in the name vs. other topics on Wikipedia that have that name. --Born2cycle (talk) 22:20, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

B2C, no doubt Peter will answer you. Let me just say, though: What we "usually" do is being called into question, with this RM initiated by a complete newcomer to the process. He was surprised to see the article bearing the completely unhelpful title "Big", and without prejudice or reference to ingrained practice, he started an RM. I have shown, using a case that Kauffner introduced, how the usual provisions sometimes fail, and sometimes need to be supplemented by more sophisticated and hard-headed analysis. This is not to say that PRECISION and PRIMARYTOPIC are useless; just that the tired old blind adherence to them (misreading them also!) has gone on for too long. A breath of fresh air, perhaps? NoeticaTea? 22:47, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
I have not seen any analysis, much less any that is sophisticated or hard-headed, that suggests people entering "big" in the Wikipedia search box (never-mind the auto-completion feature that requires javascript to be enabled) are likely to be looking for anything other than this film. --Born2cycle (talk) 00:22, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
No one can force you to see anything, B2C. That would be up to you. All anyone else can do is present the data, marshal them lucidly for those do want to see, and clearly lay out facts and conclusions based on those data. As I have said to you more than once already, modern browsers all work with javascript by default. Strange, to dedicate so much energy to depriving the majority of any benefit from the search prompts. Those cannot escape the searcher's attention, bristling as they do with new hints and clues as each new letter is typed in. NoeticaTea? 07:45, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

On HoldenPhoebeDB&Allie, support vote 14

No one is "suggesting that [the film] is what people first think of when they write the word 'big'".

What is suggested is that people searching for something in Wikipedia who type in "big" are most likely looking for the film, rather than anything else.

Big difference. --Born2cycle (talk) 00:18, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

No, when I typed "big" into wikipedia, I expected to find an article on size, just as when I typed nothing in I got an article on the lack of existence. Is that too much to expect?John Pack Lambert (talk) 01:01, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
The current situation is just as bad as if Things went to the article on the 1989 film. Fortunately, it does not, at least not a present.John Pack Lambert (talk) 01:03, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Move log from 6 February 2013[edit]

I apologize for moving this page to 'Big (film)' without looking at this talk page, I moved it back right away. J04n(talk page) 20:07, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Reader feedback: needs more pictures from the...[edit]

173.248.194.164 posted this comment on 13 May 2013 (view all feedback).

needs more pictures from the movie and better grammer :).

Any thoughts?

RC1995 (talk) 14:39, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Says the person who can't even spell "grammar".

Unjustified partial removal of content[edit]

@InternetMeme:, I don't understand why you would want to remove the Italian film Da Grande (but not the others) from the list of twin films that share a similar theme. That list of films is taken from The New York Times, so it is not known only in Italy. Diego (talk) 17:21, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

The rest of those films were released in English-speaking countries, and this is en.wikipedia.org. which focuses on things that were released in English-speaking countries. However, that Italian film may be notable to mention in the body of the article as some more obscure trivia; just not the lead. InternetMeme (talk) 17:35, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
That is an irrelevant argument. en.wikipedia is a global project, despite being written in English. It can use worldwide sources, and must cover it from a worldwide perspective (we even have a maintenance template to apply when the content is biased toward English-speaking point of view). Moreover, The New York Times (a source in English) includes the whole list of films, so selectively removing one of them and letting the others is a failure of neutrality. I've removed the whole list from the lede until we reach consensus of what to include. Diego (talk) 17:40, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
And for what is worth, Da Grande has been repeatedly mentioned as the inspiration for Big,[1][2] so it has more reason to be in the lede than the other ones. Diego (talk) 17:43, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
I've never seen anyone involved in producing Big mentioning Da Grande as an inspiration. If you can find a source with one of the makers of Big stating that Da Grande was an inspiration, I'd be more than happy for it to be mentioned in the lead.
Also, the reason the other three movies qualify to be mentioned in the lead is because they are (a) Notable, (b) Cited as being part of a related group, and (c) Many people who have seen Big have also seen one or more of those other movies, being released around the same time, and there is therefore a potential for confusion which a mention in the lead would help clear up. Meeting all those criterea is why they stand out.
InternetMeme (talk) 19:30, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
I don't think I have seen any of the other films, and I doubt most of Wikipedia's audience would have either; they seem to be targeted primarily to a US audience. Da Grande is also notable and has been cited as part of the same group, so setting it apart based on personal hunches would be a weird ad-hoc thing to do. I see no difference in sources that justify treating one film any different than the others. Let's keep the list in the article body if you think there are objections to having any of it in the lede, as it seems that we don't disagree to that. Diego (talk) 08:41, 5 July 2016 (UTC)