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This page clearly has the same purpose as Polling. No need for two of them. John FitzGerald 01:32, 4 September 2006 (UTC)


_ _ In response to my cleanup, a colleague summarized (tho i've reformatted their summary)

Incorporate good-faith edits (including omission of non-encyclopedic content),
restoring links, & definitions, without which DAB is meaningless.
Restore DAB style.
Please discuss before reverting.

_ _ I trust i'm merely confused, in thinking the summary implies i exercised bad faith in those of my edits that have been reverted.
_ _ As always, familiarity with MoSDab is required (and familiarity with Dab often helps); please indicate explicitly where you think i've strayed from them.
_ _ I think the contexts of some lks that i changed have been restored, but that the only link restored by the edit summarized above is the Help:Pronunciation one.
_ _ The core substance seems to be the notion about the pronunciation info and the "definitions, without which DAB is meaningless." This is a fundamental mistake, and it should not need to be said here that WP is not a dictionary. More to the point, Dabs have no role of providing "meaning" per se: only as needed to Dab'ate. (And our users don't need to know why Pole and Paul are present (in "See also"), only to be presented with them as possible misspellings.) This is also explicated by Dab, which i think makes clear that the purpose of Dab pgs is to Dab'ate. Which is to say, the purpose, or justification, for the page's existence (and IMO the function that must not be compromised in the pursuit other otherwise worthy purposes) is to aid users in two situations:

  1. They're looking for an article that they have a reasonable expectation of finding at Poll, which expectation goes unfulfilled bcz there are several topics for which that expectation would be reasonable if the other "candidates" did not make that infeasible.
  2. They're following a lk that an editor of an article had a reasonable expectation of being satisfied by an article at Poll (and that editor either avoided distraction by the task of putting it there, or by the question of whether it was there -- or an article that had been there has given up that title to a Dab).

Neither of these situations is well served by definitions or pronunciation information. The user either has an interest in poll or polling, or knows that an editor of an article containing a lk to Poll obviously thought they should be so interested, if they chose to follow the lk. And as stated shortly before the first subsection in WP:MoSDab#Individual entries,

The description associated with a link should be kept to a minimum, just sufficient to allow the reader to find the correct link.

That is anything but a warrant for the promiscuous use of dictdefs that i reversed. A pair of dictdefs could be required if we had a Dab for tabling: the UK and American parliamentary-procedure senses are so opposite that the best way to tell them apart might be short definitions, rather than just counting on the mention of the country providing the context to do it. In the case of Poll, no two senses are close enough for dab'n to reqire defs of the length of those that were restored ("Poll (livestock)" suffices, bcz "Polled livestock" simply is not a sense of "poll").
_ _ The markup for non-section headings on Dab pages is specified at WP:MoSDab#Longer lists (edit without saving to see it); the semicolon syntax is raw HTML, not discussed at either Help:Wikitext examples or Help:Editing, and i believe deprecated in WP.
_ _ The inclusion of vital statistics with entries for people is mandated, obviously bcz they are effective for Dab'n. Lazy users (and i am one of them) are likely to type "Poll" for someone with that as the first word of their surname, but this is a supplementary usage of the Dab page, not its purpose: none of the Poll people here is so well-known as to make Poll a reasonable title for their bio, so the first priority is to serve well the users who read or heard the surname in a context that did not include the given name. Ordering the lks by given name is an impediment for them, since they may find it quicker to rely on what they know abt the person's time period, and this is facilitated by chronological listing.
_ _ I have to relinquish this machine, and in any case i grow weary of citing chapter and verse. I admit that i've addressed the points i am most confident or vehement about first, and i'll address any better arguments than those above that are put forward, and/or back down, but i've seen no plausible arguments against complete reversion, and feel right in proceeding with it for now.
--Jerzyt 07:00, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Your edit was clearly good faith throughout. "Good faith" doesn't mean you're right though, and I incorporated those good-faith edits which made sense and seemed to agree with DAB style. No bad faith implied anywhere.
I'm not too fussed by the pronunciation bit, which people can look up if they need to. Don't see why it hurts to have it though, especially tucked into a footnote.
Of course WP is not a dictionary. That's not what the definitions are for though – they are to allow people to tell which if any of the links is one they are looking for. For example, say I've heard of the phrase "polled livestock" and want to find out about it. I look at your version, and I see "Poll (livestock)". Without a proper def it will look like what I'm looking for, and there is nothing to tell me whether it is or not. I'll go to it, and have to read a good bit of the article before I realise I'm wrong. Likewise, say I've heard of polling as a watermeadow activity, and I want to find out about it. Which of the links should I follow? In your version I'd need to know what it is first.
You say that that the info on each link should be "just sufficient" to allow navigation. Where I think we differ is the "just". What you have done is reduce the information to a level where a user (particularly one less familiar with WP) has to struggle to work it out. They have to know what they are looking for first – but DAB pages are not just for people who know what they are looking for...
If you look at the examples given on MoSDab you'll see that almost every one has a definition – in fact people aside, the shortest examples are longer than your longest ones. Where does it say defs should be as short as possible?
"Polled livestock simply is not a sense of Poll"...? "Poll" is a verb, "polled" is its past tense, so "polled livestock" is "poll-something". In fact the articles Poll (livestock) and Polled livestock are probably more likely to get confused than any other pair of links on this page – they are exactly what a DAB page is for (recently someone was so confused they wanted to merge them).
I take your point about the bold style and the ";".
Ordering people by date. I don't really follow your reasoning, and MoSDab doesn't do it that way. However in a list of three (and not likely to get too much longer) I don't see it matters either way.
I too have seen no plausible arguments against (almost) complete reversion, but I'm going to see what you say before I do it.--Richard New Forest (talk) 07:59, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
  • _ _The expression LOL is grossly overused, but i laughed with great pleasure on reading your last 'graph. Terse, a touch ironic, but somehow, and engagingly, very good-hearted. Thanks.
_ _ The guideline doesn't specify an order, and i infer the early discussion on the orders of cities and of people with the same name ended in no decision to specify. I don't think examples are a reliable basis for inferring a guideline, since they are likely to get written to clarify one thing and not to necessarily to be measured even by the writer, let alone a consensus process, against all the peripheral issues. I base my approach on common sense: users are likely to know what period the person comes from, but if they knew the given name, they'd probably have (and should have) typed the name in. (Yeah, for some names, they may not be able to spell the given name, and the requisite Rdrs may not be there; that's an argument that defenders of List of people by name lost. The categories for people do do some good there.) Also, inconsistencies as to use of nicknames, and/or of middle name in place of first name, work against their effectiveness.
_ _ I assume that "polled livestock" simply is not a sense of "poll" bcz it seems like no reasonable person would say "poll" when they mean "polled livestock", that "poll" never means "polled livestock". If i am mistaken on the facts, and "Do you own a poll?" could be reasonably said, and reasonably elicit "I own a polled Hereford", then IMO an entry
Polled livestock
would (with or without elaboration) still be unsuitable (on my understanding that "livestock" is a collective noun, like "cattle"), but one reading
Poll, animal exemplifying polled livestock
or (less awkwardly)
Polls, polled livestock
would be appropriate. Otherwise, you are trying to burden the Dab with the tasks that properly belong to either dictionaries, word-usage articles (the Great Example, fuck, always comes first to my mind, and BTW its hatnote leads to sexual intercourse only via two clicks) or "list of XYZ topics"-type lists in the main (article) name-space.
_ _ The use of a footnote was indeed a great improvement over putting the material in the lead of the Dab, bcz many readers will avoid the temptation to be distracted. (Ideally, popup footnotes would let them glance at its content w/o being distracted to the bottom of the page. But probably not this month.) For me, this is a case of a very general answer that "covers" many sins re Dabs when the question begins
Wouldn't it be better to...
the proper answer is
No, it would be better if the Dab were shorter than that, in order to fulfill it reason for existence more efficiently.
Dabs exist as a special creation, so to speak, distinct from articles, lists, and Rdrs. AFAI can see, nothing in the guidelines (very well established guidelines, nearly as solid as many formally designated policies; look at what the other 17 titles in Category:Wikipedia content guidelines are) sanctions any purpose for them beyond dealing with the inherent dilemma of not being able to reasonably keep both the public-opinion-poll topic and the animal-poll topic articles at Poll, and it makes no sense to clutter them with the ugliness, complexity, bulk, and navigational impediment that is implicit in adapting them to do "other worthwhile things" that are unnecessary to their purpose. (In fact, i'd go so far as to say better to exclude them even when they are individually harmless, lest they be used as examples to justify less benign instances. I'm not hard-core in saying that: i'm soft-core enuf to keep poll tax in the Dab, as long as it's quarantined in what can be thought of as the "Oh, by the way, just in case you've been stubborn or confused enuf to look here for something that is not reasonably called 'poll' or 'polling', look here:" section. But the interests of those who are looking for "polled livestock" are quite adequately vindicated by the Poll (livestock) entry, which gets them to an article that (as i seem to recall you are aware) includes a lk to polled livestock.
_ _ Speaking of the relationship of those two, i have not reviewed the less-recent proposal to merge them. My own very recent proposal involved no confusion, as should be clear from my saying that the two should be merged for the time being, but separated if they ever expand beyond stub-size so that it becomes inconvenient to treat the two distinct aspects of animal polls in one place. I'm skeptical abt the judgment that animal polls deserve the user impediment of lk'g between two stubby articles -- it's hard to imagine that even putting in them one article could ever lead anyone into metonymic confusion -- but i guess "you can't make things foolproof, since fools are so damnably ingenious".
_ _ And on that theme, in turn, simplicity of Dabs is crucial bcz it would be shameful to punish careful users, for taking the mental effort to type in something that is to the point in describing what they want, with further effort of extra reading made necessary only by the insistence on making the Dabs feel easy for those who are careless, or try to make WP do jobs better suited to dictionaries. Thus i fully intended to imply that Dab pages are for people who know what they are looking for, but not just for them: the others are welcome to use them, but not to have their needs catered to at the expense of the rest.
_ _ Excuse my mouth, but if someone's "heard of the phrase 'polled livestock'", they should, unless they're stupid, type that in and hit Go, or look for both words (and the phrase if it's there) in a dictionary. If you went the WP route, and it weren't there, you'd automatically get a search on the two terms, a pretty good way of finding Poll (livestock), presumably the most relevant article in the absence of Polled livestock or Polling (livestock). Where's the problem, and why should we be more concerned about that one, than the poor service we give to users who sit at their Ouija board while concentrating on the on the phrase, and then type in whatever the board spells out?
_ _ Uh, i find on WP only an ag list page that uses both terms, and from Google
244 for watermeadow poll OR polling
of which two in the first 10 use polling in an ag sense -- it appears once in a livestock and once in a plant sense. Those results don't invalidate other arguments in the same style, but they make that particular one laughable, and leave a (rebuttable) presumption that there are no examples available that more compelling than that one.
_ _ I'm strongly recommending to you that you pursue what i consider the natural equivalent, in the context of Dabs, of WP:PR -- the equivalent which i almost chose as an alternative to responding and reverting. You think i've made a mess of the Dab, as i thought you had. So if i still haven't convinced you, change the {{Disambig}} tag to {{Disambig-cleanup}}, and see what happens. Your arguments are here, and so are mine, and they both presumably have a decent chance of being heard by others than myself who also have experience with these matters.
--Jerzyt 21:40, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I see why you like short DAB entries. It's so you have words left over for arguing about them... --Richard New Forest (talk) 22:36, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
FWIW everyone, Polled livestock and the poll OF livestock are not at all the same thing, other than both having something to do with the top of an animal's head. That's why there are two different articles (for example, horses have a poll, but because they never have horns, they can never be described as "polled livestock," a term of art which implies livestock who (to oversimplify) usually have horns but for some reason (mechanical or genetic) don't in certain situations. My two bits, going away now. Montanabw(talk) 18:34, 19 March 2008 (UTC)