Talk:John Smith

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Division of the old JS page[edit]

John Smith was a hybrid of a (human-name-) Dab page with a page abt the name itself -- i.e., the name as distinct from the real people and typical fictional characters who have borne it. That was an unacceptable combination, and the Dab page is now a new John Smith pg, most of whose content has been moved directly from the old "John Smith", whose history has been moved to John Smith (name). The old "Talk:John Smith" had sections dealing with Dab issues and sections dealing with the name itself, and i have moved those dealing (AFAI can tell) with the Dab list to this talk page, enclosing the moved contribs in boxes as an aid to avoiding confusion about who really made the contributions and where the diff page for the corresponding original edits will be found: which is the edit-history page for "Talk:John Smith (name)"

(In the case of #Dab or article, the text applies to both pages, and a second copy has been placed on this talk page rather than moving the only copy here.)

John Not-A-Vampire-At-All Smith[edit]

If confirming the source of the contents of this box see #Division of the old JS page above.
--Jerzyt 06:52, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

His pseudonym should be listed as John Smith, as the middle section is merely Vimes' nickname for him in his mind - he doesn't call him it, and it is mentioned only once. Anthrcer 12:53, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Most famous John Smith needs to go up top[edit]

If confirming the source of the contents of this box see #Division of the old JS page above.
--Jerzyt 06:52, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm putting a reference to Captain John Smith of Jamestown, Virginia fame up top because he is far and away the most prominent of all John Smiths, ever. Readers should not have to search down to near the bottom of the list to find him, especially when the Wikipedia article name is not intuitive. If somebody else wanted to, I'd probably support making the article for this John Smith the place readers would go when they type in the simple name, but I'm not so absolutely certain about this that I'd do it myself. Every American past the age of 12 should know who this John Smith is. I guess he wouldn't be prominent outside the United States. Noroton (talk) 21:52, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

An objection has been made that the reasoning for this is "U.S.-centric" and "POV". POV applies to controversies outside Wikipedia, not to justifications of edits for Wikipedia reasons -- that's called not POV but "reasoning". "U.S.-centric" would apply if other cultures were ignored, but they aren't -- there just happens to be an extremely important "John Smith" in the U.S. Actually there are extremely important uses of "John Smith" in England and elsewhere to denote a placeholder name, and that is also mentioned up top. It isn't bias if there are objective reasons for an edit that hold up. But let consensus rule.Noroton (talk) 00:04, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I've changed the order of this section to alphabetic. I think that it is the only realistic way of doing it. Arguments can be made for ordering by prominence, which is highly subjective and, as someone from outside of the US, not particularly helpful; or by geographical origin (the previous order) which is confusing to an outside observer; or by date, which seems fairly random. None of these seem to me to be the strongest approach to take so I think simple alphabetical ordering is the most straightforward. The argument that readers shouldn't have to spend time reading down a list to find a particular John Smith isn't a good one, the lists aren't so long that this would be an obstacle. Alchemagenta (talk) 10:40, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
The lists are long (or at least they've grown so since 2008) and very hard to scan, especially as they've drifted out of alphabetical order. Furthermore, alphabetical order is the wrong strategy to use, since these people all have the same name, and alphabetizing by middle name is very obscure (and alphabetizing by career is insane). I am reordering the lists by date instead. This seems intuitively more appropriate as people will certainly know whether the John Smith they are interested in is a contemporary or not, and will almost certainly be able to narrow it down to within a century. It also has the beneficial consequence of putting John Smith of Jamestown first in the list. WaddSpoiley (talk) 09:13, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Dab or article[edit]

If confirming the source of the contents of this box see #Division of the old JS page above.
--Jerzyt 06:52, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

This page seems to be both an article about the name "John Smith" and a disambiguation page for various people named "John Smith". The two concepts should be split, since dabs aren't articles and have their own guidelines (like no categories or references needed). Which should go at the base name? Base name dab and John Smith (name), or base name article and John Smith (disambiguation)? -- JHunterJ (talk) 03:15, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the above, the narrative about the name at the top of the page should be floated off to form it's own article. I think the DAB page should keep the base name and the article be titled 'John Smith (name)'. Alchemagenta (talk) 11:41, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
  • The page was put up for Dab-cleanup, and the difference between what Am suggests and what i did is that the old history went with the John Smith (name) page, for the sake of preserving the proper attribution of the prose from the top of the page, rather than the pretty pointless and fragmented attribution of the list.
    --Jerzyt 06:52, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Shouldn't this be classed as a Set index article?? - OlEnglish (talk) 22:41, 31 December 2008 (UTC)