Talk:William of Orange

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Requested move[edit]

William of Orange (disambiguation)William of Orange. Not only one, but at least two Williams of Orange are widely known under that name, and more or less equally known, wherefore it is POV to redirect that name only to one of them.

The above proposition was written by " 13:58, 22 August 2005 (UTC)" on the WP:RM page, I copied it here. Philip Baird Shearer 11:02, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

This article has been renamed after the result of a move request. As most voters supporting option 1 also supported option 3 (several as a second choice), it is evident that the effective comparison is between options 1 and 2. As such I find that there is a consensus for moving the disambiguation page to William of Orange and have now done so. Dragons flight 18:44, August 28, 2005 (UTC)


Approval voting is encouraged for page moves requested on WP:RM page
Add *# followed by an optional one sentence explanation, then sign your vote with ~~~~
Vote for as many options as you like, except when voting for option (4) 5, which can't be combined with any of the other choices
  • Proposal move the page William of Orange (disambiguation) to William of Orange
    1. Move the disambig page to William of Orange Chardon 06:27, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
    2. Support. Also William the Silent is widely known in English world just as "William of Orange". Arrigo 06:57, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
    3. Support. James F. (talk) 20:14, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
    4. Support. john k 21:24, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
    5. Support. Jonathunder 22:32, 2005 August 24 (UTC)
    6. Support. The Father of the Fatherland is more important than a generic king. Lomedae 22:14, August 25, 2005 (UTC)
    7. Support. Looks like another one of Philip's absolutely pointless POV-fights over article naming. My suggestion to Philip is to take a long, thoughtful wikivacation or to simply stop wasting so much time for fellow editors. Something tells me that if I open an RfC next time this filibuster-esque abuse of our bureaucracy occurs, it's going to garner considerable support. / Peter Isotalo 10:46, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
    8. Support as prefered choice. Anything but William of Orange redirecting to King Billy. BlankVerse 17:44, 28 August 2005 (UTC)
    9. Support as my first choice. Uppland 18:20, 28 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Proposal redirect William of Orange to William III of England
    1. See Discussion below; By far the most common English language usage is for King Billy; and 61 wikipedian articles (not including talk pages) link to "William of Orange" when meaning King Billy, only 27 direct links to "William III of England" Philip Baird Shearer
    2. Support (and I am not British; this is common English usage) Septentrionalis 18:58, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
    3. Support. – AxSkov () 08:22, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
    4. Support. James F. (talk) 20:14, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
    5. Support Most common usage for English speakers. --LiamE 16:18, 26 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Option 3 4: (or) do something else (this option includes all other possibilities, for example: "don't do anything at all", "do something else", "do anything except the above", "there are other possibilities I'd agree to", etc., and can be, but must not be, specified in the vote):
    1. Keep this page as a redirect, no matter which of the two it redirects to; see #This page ought to stay a redirect below for why. Still pondering which target I think is best. Under no circumstances move William of Orange (disambiguation) here; I'd vote for keeping the link to William III of England before that. Noel (talk) 16:43, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
    • #Thanks Noel, for the clarifications, I'm changing my vote again to "make William of Orange a redirect to William of Orange (disambiguation)" --Francis Schonken 17:26, 25 August 2005 (UTC) (Former version of this vote: --Francis Schonken 17:01, 24 August 2005 (UTC) (in fact I already gave some sort of solution to the issue: William of Orange is now a redirect to William of Orange (disambiguation); I highlighted the two most frequent choices a bit more on that page; Added William III of England as additional option to the William Henry page; Added a link to the William Henry disambig page from the top of King Billy page; added a link to the WoO disambig page from William I of Orange page. I think the lot of it can stay as it is. Note that "disambiguation pages" are a navigational aid for any wikipedian, "even" for those who didn't read any of these discussions and just type [[William of Orange(|whatever they want to name their favourite William of Orange)]] at whatever point in the future. That's how wikipedia works. I think this somehow got confused with trying to determine which of the two can be considered the most popular king among English speaking wikipedians.))
  • Option 4 5: Blank vote (this option may include: "I've done my best to try and understand what all this is about, but I haven't got a clue", "I won't even try to understand it", "it's absurd to try to solve this issue by a vote, while it apparently doesn't work towards consensus", "This vote is absurd for reasons I won't even try to formulate", etc...)

Vote count[edit]

Vote concluded 18:56, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

Options 1 to 4 in the same order as above.

              1  2  3  4
1.  Chardon   1  0  0  0
2.  Arrigo    1  0  1  0
3.  J.F.      1  1  0  0
4.  J.K.      1  0  0  0
5.  Jonath.   1  0  0  0
6.  Lomed.    1  0  1  0
7.  P.B.S.    0  1  0  0
8.  Septent.  0  1  0  0
9.  AxSkov    0  1  0  0
10. LiamE     0  1  0  0
11. F.S.      0  0  1  0
12. Noel      0  0  0  1
13. Peter     1  0  0  0
14. BV        1  0  1  0
15. Uppland 1  0  1  0

sum           9  5  5  1
  1. Option 1 ("move") 9 voters out of 15 = 60%
  2. Option 2 ("redirect to King Billy") 5 voters out of 15 = 33.3%
  3. Option 3 ("redirect to disambig") 5 voters out of 15 = 33.3%
  4. Option 4 ("other") 1 voter out of 15 = 6.7%

60% treshold OK for "move" operation, already operated.

(provisional vote count report produced by Francis Schonken 07:21, 27 August 2005 (UTC))
(keeping the vote results updated Francis Schonken 17:54, 27 August 2005 (UTC))
(adding percentages to final vote count report Francis Schonken 18:56, 28 August 2005 (UTC))

Commentaries on provisional vote count (no longer up to date)[edit]

Personally I do not think that the vote ended at the time stated by Francis. I thought that, under WP:RM guidelines, the vote should stay open for five days and assuming 24 hours day, (and being more precise than the criteria usually used for WP:RM votes because a disinterested/neutral administrator usually says when the poll is closed), as user: placed the request on WP:RM at 13:58, 22 August 2005 (UTC), The vote should not close until that time today in which case Peter's vote should count. However even with his vote and only counting the votes of the first and second leading alternatives, the vote is 7/13 which falls just short of the criteria of 60%. Philip Baird Shearer
I never said the vote was ended. You decided it ended today (see the link I inserted above). Today is vague, so yes votes can be added to the calculation just like I did just now. I like to keep people informed. --Francis Schonken 17:54, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
One alternative is to argue that the people who voted for the move would prefer a link to the disambiguation page which is 7 votes + Francis vote making 8. In which case Noel is happy and there are 5 against, it then becomes 8 to 5 which is just over the 60%.
Although I can't see what you actually mean, it only proves the point I made long ago: this vote didn't end the discussion, as you're proposing more alternative "next steps". I prefer the next step No. 3, which would end the thing ASAP. --Francis Schonken 17:54, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
I am open to suggestions as to what to do, but perhaps we should pass it over to Wikipedia:Requests for mediation and accept whatever the mediator decides. The reason I am suggesting this is because without a clear consensus either way, the redirect is open to further edit wars. Philip Baird Shearer 16:14, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm really not interested enough in this topic as such, to list it on mediation. I operate to cut short the endless nobility renaming issues as good as I can (see also below on this page). --Francis Schonken 17:54, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
Ah. Mediation. One more "trick from the box". Is there possibly yet more tricks after that?? :)) 17:58, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
I too see no reason for Mediation. This vote shows that there is only minority support for a redirect to William III. We don't need a mediator to see that. What's left to discuss, a page move ('WoO (disambig)' becomes WoO) or a link (from WoO to 'WoO (disambig)') is relatively simple. I think that a page move would be the more efficient choice and is therefore preferable to a link. Chardon 09:04, 28 August 2005 (UTC)


Add any additional comments

Questions regarding the "approval voting" system[edit]

Isn't it in practical terms quite identical (1) to have the disambiguation page at William of Orange and the page William of Orange (disambiguation) redirected to precisely THAT; and (2) to have the page William of Orange redirected to William of Orange (disambiguation), as the page William of Orange (disambiguation) at that situation contains the disambiguation list. 07:04, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

That depends on what you think: if you "think" they are the same, you can express that by voting for both option 1 and option 3 (or alternatively: only for option 2 or 4 if you think they are practically the same, and you want neither of them). If you think they are not the same, and prefer one over the other, you can vote for either option 1 or option 3, etc... The approval voting system allows maximum liberty in expressing what you "think" the same and what you don't. --Francis Schonken 09:10, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
Don't you think that they are practically the same, Francis? Could you kindly give reasons why they are not the same in practical terms? And could you kindly give reasons why just "William of Orange" should be just a redirect to a disambig page, and not contrariwise? 09:37, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
Before changing my vote, I preferred option 3 while that was the least hassle solution, not even needing a "change page" vote. I also considered many people losing their time here for something that in my own (subjective!) appreciation prevented them from perfoming the obvious improvements I in the end performed myself (to all four pages I mentioned). And also subjectively it is my intuition "option 3" is nearest to what it ultimately is going to be: Option 1 might have trouble to reach the 60% treshold, and then some of those having voted for option 1 probably won't agree with option 2, causing more trouble while this was presented as a "page move" vote, and not as a "what is the content of the WoO page" vote, and so continuing the endless dispute. And then after more and still more loss of energy it is my best guess that ultimately there will be some sort of cease fire over option 3. So the difference I see between option 1 and option 3 are most of all practical ones, not on the level of principles that have nothing to do with using disambiguation pages as a "navigational aid".
But again, I'd rather you make up your own mind. If my explanations helped you, fine. If they influenced you in your voting behaviour, I'd rather regret that. --Francis Schonken 09:55, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Doesn't it mean very fatal consequences to the contents of the disambiguation page as it is now, if firstly William of Orange (disambiguation) is moved to William of Orange, and then that William of Orange is edited bo be just a redirect to William III of England. I think that that solution means that the disambiguation will exist nowhere (= its contents are deleted away by that edit). 07:08, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Again, you can express what you think to be the case by an appropriate vote. Anyway "fatal consequences to the contents of a disambiguation page" don't really exist: it's not as if that page is going to be listed for deletion following the results of this vote. Yes, some of the choices might result in causing extra work rewriting pages that are perfectly OK right now. This might be the difference between two solutions that on first sight are not all that different from one another, and so might affect choices made.
But you're correct in remarking that if both option 1 and option 2 are operated consecutively this results in the destruction of the present content of "WoO disambig" page. That's a good reason not to vote for these two options at the same time! Note however also that the approval vote system as used here ultimately only selects a single winning proposition (or none, if the 60% treshold for the "move" operation is not attained, see procedure described at Wikipedia:Requested moves and the Approval voting encyclopedia article).
I don't know whether you already subscribed to Wikipedia, neither what the exact conditions are w.r.t. the vote above in terms of needing to be logged in, and how long you're already subscribed to wikipedia, but anyhow, here's maybe a good occasion to proceed with that: just click "log in" in the upper right corner of your browser window! --Francis Schonken 09:10, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
See below. I asked the question Is your IP address a sock puppet account for User:Arrigo as user:Jefu alledged on Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (Japan-related articles). To which has choosen not to answer. Philip Baird Shearer 11:02, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Francis Schonken perhapse you are not aware that there is policy page Wikipedia:Naming conventions (names and titles). This is why the vote is not quite as simple as it might be because the no one is suggesting that William III of England should be moved to William of Orange, but the vote is a simple choice: Either this page becomes a disambiguation or it remains a redirect to William III of England. Philip Baird Shearer 11:16, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Hi Philip, I don't think you even took care to read what I wrote. I'm prefectly conscious of the complexity of the issue. In all what I wrote above I never considered someone might have the idea of moving William III of England to William of Orange. Please read what I wrote.
At the time of writing my contributions above, William of Orange was a redirect to William I of Orange, which you just reverted: "revered to original. Please leave alone until poll is concluded." Couldn't you have done the same after all your edit-warring over that page (6 times in the last week)?
In an approval vote over a name change either it is not mentioned what happens additionally if the move is not approved by the vote, either it is possible to vote for all alternatives. No steering the vote here please! You set up the vote steering for option 2, which is only one of several possible options if there is no page move. --Francis Schonken 12:08, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

And that is precisely the reason why THIS should not be an approval vote. THIS should of course be a vote where one choice excludes the other. I blame Philip of making this as an approval vote. Now he himself has realized that the alternatives are mutually exclusive. 11:26, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

If you don't think approval vote is the right thing, that can only be changed at Wikipedia:Requested moves and it's talk page Wikipedia talk:Requested moves. As you will see on that page Philip has been largely contributing to fixing the voting procedure as it is now, together with many others. But maybe, indeed, they too quickly decided for "approval vote" (not really overviewing this particular type of voting procedure). Anyhow for the WoO vote the vote (should have) started out with approval vote procedure, so either it is applied correctly, either the vote is stopped for procedural issues (in fact it already should be stopped, while changing options during the vote; removing the possibility to vote for options 3 and 4 also means an immediate stop of the present vote, while not conforming to "approval vote".) --Francis Schonken 12:08, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Approval vote is imo generally good for renaming decisions. BUT, in this particular case, the situation had already crystallized as another sort: here, the additional step of what then is a further redirect or nothing, was one contended option, and the fate of the disambig page another. The vote was originally (before Philip decided to MOVE it - oh the irony) between these two alternatives. Personally, I cannot see any other alternative even remotely possible. Then, regarding proper use of approval vote (if it is used at all), it REQUIRES honesty of voters, no tactics nor manipulation. Voter shall approve those alternatives that are acceptable, and opprove them all. No such nonsense as "I would favor that and that but I know that it is not going to get accepted, therefore I write a compromise and vote only it". Approval voting is same as giving opinions which are acceptable. Not necessarily any of them wins outright, but it clears some air. Helping usually at least to scrap those alternatives that are non-supported. Leding to situation where possibly only two are left. Then, if decision is needed, those two are put against each other and see which of them wins. HERE in this case, we already had two clear-cut alternatives (and no one has suggested anything else that is either viable or not a non-alternative). 12:49, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

"Approval voting is same as giving opinions which are acceptable." - no, see approval voting (the only "truth" about approval voting according to Philip), section about "tactical voting" giving the most basic instructions. And yes, that's a possible reason (because of some people maybe employing tactics while others not - note that this probably also happened with JF's "ambiguous" vote above), why "maybe" approval voting and complex name change voting aren't always the best friends. That's why I defend to have a simple move/nomove vote (and yes, hopefully as usual in wikipedia tradition, people can express what they'd additionally favour in the "nomove" case, as well as in the "move" case).
And no, I don't agree that other reasons outside "expert view" shouldn't play a role. That is, unless you include as part of the "expert view" on the issue as a whole, also the "expert view" on wikipedia dynamics, which, as I did NOT invent, includes "avoiding votes before the 4th step in a conflict resolution procedure". There's a lot of mess caused by people trying to run wikipedia by votes and only votes, because that makes easier not having to listen to one another, but in the end creates more mess, and more people disagreeing than ever before. The "expert view" on the two WoO's is only a part of that larger picture of the over-all expert view. Maybe see also wikipedia:google test on treating results of search engine queries with "a great lot of reserve". See also wikipedia:avoid self references, for not taking the present content of wikipedia article pages as the measure according to which the issue should be solved. All that is part of the over-all expert view too! If someone types [[William of Orange]] in the future, and there's more than a merely "marginal" chance it is not unambiguous which of the two WoO's we're talking about here then the WoO page should direct to a disambig page. That's my expert view, (still taking account of other things I'm not detailing yet) as good as I can, and which will be more limited than that of many others, but as I said, that's the best I can. So, no, what you call the "basic expert view" questions is too limited, while not taking account of the wiki medium. --Francis Schonken 13:51, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Basically, the expert question is whether (1) William III is so overwhelmingly and justifiedly known as the only "William of Orange" in English-speaking culture that the said title should lead to his article, or (2) William III and William the Silent are both sufficiently much known as "William of Orange" in English-speaking culture and thus that title should be a disambiguation. IMO, Philip has too low requirements for application of the alternative (1). All other alternatives are either non-alternatives (instead they are practical identicals) or they will not win any support to speak of (and we know that in advance). Blank votes are not counted anyway, so that is just the same as to confess "not sufficient knowledge" and remain outside. 12:49, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

In response to Francis Schonken posting to my talk page: If the WP:RM vote goes in favour of William of Orange (disambiguation) then the page William of Orange (disambiguation) will be moved to William of Orange.
Of course, who said otherwise (of course also, "in favour" means: according to WP:RM rules, for which there's a 60% treshold - or was this just an exercise for trying to escape that treshold?). --Francis Schonken 18:12, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
A redirct will exist from "William of Orange (disambiguation)" to William of Orange
Of course, who said otherwise? ...if the vote is for RM, 60% or more --Francis Schonken 18:12, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
...and someone will have to go throught all the links which currently link to "William of Orange", but mean William III, and fix them by putting in a link directly to the "William III of England" page.
...of course, who said otherwise? If the vote is etc...; and then there'll be another vote because of the reasons explained by Noel. --Francis Schonken 18:12, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
If the vote is to say with a link from "William of Orange" to "William III of England" then the "William of Orange (disambiguation)" will stay where it is and all the indirect links to Williman III via the redirect "William of Orange" can stay as they are and anyone who ends up at "Williman III" when they wanted a diffrent William of Orange will be able to get the to the "William of Orange (disambiguation)" via the first line on the "William III of England" page.
And when is a vote going to say this? There's far from a consensus appearing... up till now 5 out of 9 voters oppose it...
So I'd ask you to stop the silliness, and read Noel's comment below. It's actually very well written, and might help convert option 1 voters to option 3 voters. --Francis Schonken 18:12, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
BTW. If anyone wishes to add another proposal, for example that this page redirect to William I of Orange (William the Silent) they are free to do so. Philip Baird Shearer 16:35, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
I added another proposal: William of Orange redirect to William of Orange (disambiguation). What part of that proposal was not clear to you? Who would be so stupid to propose WoO redirect to WIoO/WtS? Anyone with the least bit of intuition can see that that's a proposal that has no future whatsoever. Of course they can add that proposal, but please stop trying to create fuss over things that are not likely to emerge as "stable" solutions.
And... all this does not justify your 6 day edit war over the WoO page --Francis Schonken 18:12, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
And now Philip has decided that the fact that William III of England was called William Henry is "clutter" [1] - Tiresome, very tiresome indeed --Francis Schonken 18:50, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

For the record[edit]

I asked user talk: why he/she choose to remove his/her signature from a couple of the paragraphs here including the WP:RM proposal which kicked off this vote. See: history of this talk page. The answer was: "I do not want my signature to be transferred. As someone had done." You will notice that the first signature was a copy of the one on the WP:RM page which is needed because at the end of this vote as the proposal will be removed from the WP:RM page and this becomes the only place where the history of the proposition will remain. The second was an template:unsigned2 which was added by me because user talk: had chosen not to sign a contribution. I think this is a little hypocritical of when in the conversation below states: "The above is very difficult to read: one gets an impression of rant and ramble, as writers have not signed." Because I think it important that who said what is recorded , particularly the initial proposal, I have re-added the information as a sentence with my signature attached. Philip Baird Shearer 11:02, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Further discussions[edit]

The dispute present at Talk:William of Orange has gone too long now. Time to see how much support each of these contentions receive.

The above sentence was written by "user: 14:02, 22 August 2005" Philip Baird Shearer 11:02, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

There is not one William of Orange, there are many. Redirection to the disambiguation page makes that clear. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Chardon (talkcontribs) 16:12, 19 June 2005 (UTC)

Common English language usage is for the man William III of England. That article contains a first line to the William of Orange (disambiguation) page, so that any links which are not correct can be fixed.
All the links to this page, which are not talk pages about the name, are links to the man under the article William III of England, so not only is it common usage outside wikipedia it is also common linkage within. Philip Baird Shearer 15:09, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

No English nationalism on Wikipedia please. William of Orange is not the same man as William III. Common usage does not justify the link. It only justifies laziness and unwillingness to adjust ones views. Chardon

It is not English nationalism, it is the common usage with the English language. This is after all an English Language encyclopaedia not a Dutch one. For example any mention in the news during he month of August inevitablely referrers to the man also less commonly known as William II of Scotland. Common usage does justify the link see WP:NC
Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature.
.....while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature.. A disambig page is just that. There have been more then one Williams of Orange and a direct link to William III makes linking to these others not easy and so in breach of wiki guidelines. Further, I've checked the common usage of william of orange on google (not very scientific) and william the silent is the 3 highest ranked william of orange. One of the highest 2 ranked was the william III article on wikipedia. It seems that common usage is a self fulfilling prophesy. Chardon

What is the search line that you put into Google? (If you use -wikipedia you will remove most wikipedia entriees from the search)

  • ["William of Orange"] returns 770 English pages from for "William of Orange"
  • ["William of Orange"] returns 122 English pages from for "William of Orange"
In both cases all the first 20 and the last 10 (all I looked at as a sample) are king Billy
  • ["William of Orange" site:ie] about 439 English pages for "William of Orange" --First 20 and last 15 all King Billy.
  • ["William of Orange"] 681 English pages from for "William of Orange". --In the first 20, four pages (three sites) are for a diffrent William as William of Orange. (the last page (47) is mainly mirror sites which are not accessable but all but one seem to be to King Billy.
  • ["William of Orange" site:edu] about 856 English pages for "William of Orange" -- In the first 20 two pages (one Dutch university page "History of Leiden University") are not about King Billy. Last 16 one definatly not king Billy another 3 don't knows

Overall the vast majority of pages from the media, Ireland and academia (way in excess of 90%) in English when referring to "William of Orange" are referring to "William III of England".

So the vast majority of people who write in English and use the phrase "William of Orange" are referring to William III of England. It is reasonable to assume that most English Language speakers who put in "William of Orange" expect to go to an article about that man. For the small minority who do not, the first line of the article:

For other men named William of Orange, see William of Orange (disambiguation)

covers it. Given this information I hope you will see that redirecting William of Orange to William III of England is the best solution for wikipedia. I will not change the redirect again until you have had a chance to respond to this information. --Philip Baird Shearer 10:15, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

My search line was: william of orange. I would think most people searching for 'william of orange' would put 'william of orange' in the search field. Searching on selected sites will only bias the sample. I'm sure I can find a few sites that have a majority of hits that say William of Orange is a Muslim prince from the south of France. It's clear that there are many people who do not think of William III when they search for William of Orange and that on basis of a Google search there is no common usage for that name. Chardon

[William of orange] without any quotes will return any page with William or orange or both which returns '5,440,000 English pages for William of orange' putting it in double quotes returns '84,000 English pages for "William of orange"'. About 10,000 of those are Wikipedia related: 74,300 English pages for "William of orange" -Wikipedia. So I do not think that your sample is a valid one leaving aside I am not sure how to sample such a mass of pages. We could look at every 100 and see to whom they refer.

Using a reputable UK and US new site (BBC and CNN), all UK and US academic sites, and "ie" for Ireland would seem like a reasonable sample. If you would like to suggest another organisations (eg New York Times) to add to the list then we can check those out as well.

It seems to me that you are trying to impose your views on this page without any evidence to back up the idea that the majority of English speaking people who are looking for "William of Orange" are not looking for information on King Billy. I on the other hand have shown you a reasonable sample of pages from reputable sources which show that the overwhelming use of the name "William of Orange" refer to King Billy. So "Common Usage" dictates that this page name should be directed to it's common usage. Philip Baird Shearer 18:40, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

It seems to me you find only sites that support your views reputable and sites that don't are a 'mass of pages'. Wikipedia is a English language project and not a 'native English speaker' site. English is the lingua franca of academia and even though there are a lot of native English speakers they are easily outnumbered by those who have English as a second language. The 'mass of pages' proofs there are a lot of people who do not think of William III when they search for William of Orange. Perhaps people in the UK do as the BBC site shows but England is only a small country. For everyone else Wikipedia is easier accessible when William of Orange doesn't link to William III. I'm afraid the British will have to adapt. I'm reverting it back. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Chardon (talkcontribs) 08:14, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

As I said above I am willing to include other reputable sites -- but you have not suggested any. Nor have you suggested how we can sample the pages of 'Willim of Orange' to see if more than a small minority are for King Billy. Your "lingua franca of academia" is covered by the domains "" and ".edu" but to add to the list (which apart from Australia are too small a sample to be useful):

  • New Zealand: ["William of Orange"] returns 3 English pages from for "William of Orange" -- 3 out of the 3 refer to King Billy.
  • Sourth Africa (which one would expect to have a higher Dutch influence) ["William of Orange"] 6 English pages from for "William of Orange" Three for King Billy, two for "The William of Orange Epics, aka The Heroic Deeds of Count William of Orange" one for another William. 50% of a very small sample from the most Dutch influenced English speaking country are for King Billy.
  • India ["William of Orange"] 30 English pages from for "William of Orange" 10 out of the total of 30 were not for King Billy, but most of those 10 were for chapters in an historic book THE REVOLT OF THE NETHERLANDS, COMPLETE By Frederich Schiller. BTW all of the pages returned were on one site
  • Australia: ["William of Orange"] 205 English pages from for "William of Orange" Of the first 20 returned one is not about King Billy and is about "William the Silent" [2] but it refers to and has a link to a Dutch site [3] one I could not acces [4] one about Simon Stevin [5] which must mean a diffrent William from Billy. So 17 out of 19 sites (89%) are for King Billy.

If one puts in a google search ["Peter the Great" -russian] some pages are thrown up about other Peter the greats. Do you think that wikipedia page Peter the Great should point to a disambiguation page because in the first 20 links there are 6 other people/bands who use the title [6] [7] [8] [9][10] [11]?

I put it to you if a disambiguation is needed for Peter the Great the link to it should be added to the Peter I of Russia in the form used on the William III of England For other meaning of Peter the Great, see [Peter the Great (disambiguation)]. If you agree with this then why not "William of Orange" be treated the same way?

If I had only listed domains which were British (BBC and AC.UK) then your argument " Perhaps people in the UK do as the BBC site shows but England is only a small country." would hold some validity, but I deliberately also choose ".IE" which is Irish, "CNN" and ".EDU" which are American. It may be as you have stated "laziness and unwillingness to adjust ones views" that more than 90% English speakers who write to the domains I choose mean King Billy and probably do not know that there are a small minority of English speaking people who mean someone else, BUT this is an English Language encyclopaedia and the policy page which cover this (Wikipedia:Naming conventions) state "''Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize," and also Wikipedia:Disambiguation#Page_naming which gives the explicit example of Rome. Why are you so willing to go against Wikipedia policy? Philip Baird Shearer

The above is very difficult to read: one gets an impression of rant and ramble, as writers have not signed.
It is all signed above. Which entry do you think is not signed?. Philip Baird Shearer 16:16, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
Well, the impression is one of rant and ramble. And perhaps it is due to other factors than missing signatures.
However, regarding to the issue in question, it is very certain that WP naming conventions are NOT directing to put the page William of Orange as redirect to William III. Allegation of such is a misrepresentation.
See Wikipedia:Disambiguation#Page_naming Philip Baird Shearer
I have been aware of that, and NC are not directing to put it in a way you require. The falt is, imo, in your demands.
My own opinion, based on what I know of who all are commonly called as William of Orange, is that this page should be the disambiguation page of several individuals. Not a redirect to William III. I know that William the Silent is rather often referred to by "William of Orange" 15:23, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
It is all signed above. Which entry do you think is not signed?. What is your evidence that in English that anyone other than King Billy is commonly referred to as "William of Orange" in English text? BTW why use an IP address from "FINNET-BROADBAND! rather than creating an account? Is IP address a sock puppet account for User:Arrigo as user:Jefu alledged on Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (Japan-related articles) Philip Baird Shearer 16:16, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
Well, your rant and ramble actually does not concern with issues at discussion here. You may, if you need to, discuss with your perceived problems about broadbands etc, though not here, as that discussion has nothing to do with our topic. Be also warned that those accusations are often regarded here as unacceptable personal attacks.
I have said it, and I repeat: for example William the Silent is very known by that name, too. In very many places. (He actually was the first William of Orange I ever met in literature.) Philip, we do not need to elaborate our opinions to you further, as it obviously is in vain anyway. 17:28, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

Funny how others "rant and ramble" but you do not answer a simpe question. Do you use the name User:Arrigo as well as user: You state "William the Silent is very known by that name, too. In very many places." Where are these very many places? Further the first line of article William III states: For other men named William of Orange, see William of Orange (disambiguation) Which covers those few instances were someone has the wrong William. I have spent some time laying out the resons with policy justifications as to why why page should redirect to William III. Yet you think it is OK to dismiss a constructive conversation with "we do not need to elaborate our opinions to you further, as it obviously is in vain anyway". This is not the way which adults go about discussing their diffrences (See Mony Pythons Argument Sketch for details) Philip Baird Shearer 18:47, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

By definition, only user accounts may be sockpuppets of another user account. IP addresses cannot be sockpuppets. IMO only simple-minded persons would allege an IP as a sockpuppet of anything. Then, btw, accusing of sockpuppetry is a usual means to create diversion, a red herring to confuse actual issues, and thus accusations of sockpuppetry is used mostly by mala fide parties who resort to any means to further their possibly untenable position in actual issues. 11:32, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
I wouldn't lower myself to rant and ramble. If such is indeed your desire, I will leave that for you. Of course I would like to see adult behavior, but always such wishes are not fulfilled. For me, that however is no reason for embarking to childish ramble and rant. It is my belief that the above conversation has already some time ago ceased to be constructive. Apparently this matter should be solved by a vote. 13:50, 22 August 2005 (UTC)
You seem to miss my point that English speakers do not only live in countries where English is the official language. Searching on .ie and .nz sites is pointless. The population of these countries is so tiny that a google search in these domains doesn't say a thing about the 'common usage' of a site as big as Wikipedia. It remains that for many users of the English language Wikipedia is more easily accessible if William of Orange is not linked to William III. As for your example 'Peter the Great': 'the great' a nickname and 'of orange' is not. If you want to link 'King Billy' to William III I have no problem with that. Nicknames are given to individuals, specific persons. Titles like 'prince of orange' to a succession of people. rv it back. Chardon

You have not yet produced one piece of evidence to suggest that any significant population of English speakers use the term William of Orange meaning anyone other than King Billy. So apart from your opinion that they might, can you provide any evidence that this is true?

As to access. The difference between a this redirect pointing to King Billy and it pointing to the disambiguation is one click of a mouse if someone is searching for "William of Orange" and not looking for King Billy. But at the moment redirecting the link to the disambiguation page breaks the link on 61 articles (not including talk pages) which makes the change little short of vandalism. This is particularly pertinent as there are only 27 direct links to "William III of England" excluding date pages which suggests that the majority of authors of en.wikipedia pages expect William of Orange to link to a page about King Billy. You can not dismiss those authors as lazy as they are writing articles and expecting the link to point to the common English language use of the phrase "William of Orange". Even if we were to edit all 61 pages, and comply with your view of the phrase, the ratio suggests that more than half of new links would point to William of Orange expecting the article to be about King Billy. Philip Baird Shearer 15:16, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

I've not given another piece of evidence because I thought I had made my point. But for you: "William of orange" site:de gives top rank to William I. I've little doubt fr, it, ru etc etc will produce similar results. As for the broken links: this is Wikipedia. They will get fixed. Chardon

How do you get the German site to give a "top rank to William I" because when I put in the queery they return:

  • 528 English pages for "William of Orange" site:de. -- half of the first 20 are for King Billy
  • 81 English pages for "William of Orange" site:ru -- the majority of the fist 20 are for King Billy. with 3 for "The Caribbean - William Of Orange mp3 The Caribbean" what ever that is
  • 50 English pages for "William of Orange" site:fr -- 16 of the first 20 are for King Billy.

The domains you have picked are not English speaking! Even so the majority of pages are for King Billy! If King Billy had not come to the throne of England then it is likely that in the English language usage would be similar to the Dutch where even the English pages tend to have meanings other than the Engish one.

I notice that that the Dutich wikipedia page nl:Willem van Oranje is set up exactly the way I am suggesting here. Clearly the most common meaning in Dutch of "Willem van Oranje" is "Willem de Zwijger" (William the Silent) and if someone wishes to find another "Willem van Oranje" then there on the first line is it artikel gaat over prins Willem I van Oranje-Nassau. Zie voor informatie over andere Willems van Oranje: nl:Willem van Oranje - Overzicht. As a native English speaker, I would not dream of insisting that the Dutch change their common usage to fit in with my views just because in Engish the common usage is diffrent from Dutch. If the Current Dutch solution is good enough for the Dutch page "Willem van Oranje" is a similar solution for the English page not acceptable to you? If you think the English page should point to a disambiguation why do you not change the Dutch page as well? Philip Baird Shearer 15:57, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

The Dutch Wikipedia page will be read by the Dutch and Belgians and for them William the Silent is William of Orange. The Wikipedia page will be read by the whole world. There is no common usage of William of Orange at that scale.
PLEASE SIGN YOUR COMMENTS! And no, it won't be read by the whole world, it will only be read by English speakers. Over time, as the Wikipedias in other languages get up to speed, it will mostly be read by people for whom English is their primary language - since for people for whom some other language is their primary language, they will go to the Wikipedia in that language. Noel (talk) 16:55, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
I have news for you. The English language (for the moment) has won the language wars. It is the lingua franca of the world. It is the major language of international business, science, aviation, etc. English is the most common second language for people around the world. What that means is that the Wikipedia is NOT an English-language encyclopedia for primary English. Instead it is an international encyclopedia that just happens to be written in English. BlankVerse 18:13, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

The page "William of Orange" is best to used as disambiguation page between all these Williams of Orange, as at least two of them, William the Silent and William III of England, are widely known as "William of Orange". Accordingly, the present disambiguation page should be moved there, and the redirect now there will be deleted before the move. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 14:02, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

Although I would agree that the most common usage of "William of Orange" is for William III, it is also quite clear that in contexts where it is obvious that William III is not being discussed, this name is used in English for other people. In particular, William the Silent is a notable historical figure who is very frequently called just "William of Orange." I see no compelling reason why this page should not be a disambiguation page. The issue of what Dutch people do is completely separate, since the Dutch may use the term more exclusively for William the Silent than we do for William III. john k 00:43, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Look at the evidence, The vast majority of English usage is for King Billy not for William the Silent when using the phrase William of Orange. Philip Baird Shearer 00:54, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
John, while I am not sure what this page ought to link to, I disagree with your contention above that the term is often used in English for other people. I have a pretty good knowledge of history, and I had never even heard of any other person being referred to as "William of Orange" before I saw this discussion. Noel (talk) 16:55, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

I am unwilling to particularly accept google evidence here. William the Silent is an important enough figure that he is fairly frequently mentioned in English-language historical sources. When he is mentioned, he is frequently called "William of Orange." Obviously, as a King of England, William III is mentioned more in English than a Dutch statesman of a century earlier would be, and his also frequently called "William of Orange." But that doesn't mean that usage of "William of Orange" is unambiguous. There are at least 7 people who've been prominently called "William of Orange" and I see no reason why we should simply give the English king pride of place just because he has more absolute mentions under that name. john k 00:57, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

The sentence at the top of the William III of England takes care of the minority who might be looking for another William. In this sense it is no diffrent for pages like Napoleon, Bismark, London, or Cricket -- Philip Baird Shearer 01:05, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Well, obviously I'm not going to convince you. But if I were, say, at some place in the Netherlands, and somebody said "this is where William of Orange was born," I would be completely uncertain as to which William of Orange was under discussion. "William of Orange," without modifier, is a common way of referring to William the Silent. "Napoleon," "Bismarck," and "London," at least, are pretty universally understood to have one principal meaning, except in very specific circumstances. Cricket ought to be a disambiguation page. john k 01:21, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

And if you were in Bogside and someone said "William of Orange was a bastard", you would probably do best to agree with them even if you did not know which William they were referring to :-O I am not saying that in some contexts, William of Orange would not refer to another man (particularly if one was in Holland or looking at a document from a Dutch source), but I am arguing that in the majority of cases English speakers will assume that an unqualified reference to "William of Orange" would be to King Billy and the English wikipedia should reflect common English language usage, just as the Dutch version of wikipedia reflects common Dutch usage. Philip Baird Shearer 02:17, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

The majority (of references) does not suffice for the page being linked exclusively to the holder of "that majority of references". As is the case with Napoleon and Bismarck, it requires something like "the guy is the origin of all the other referenced things, and an overwhelming majority (=everyone, or almost everyone) understands the name to mean just or primarily that guy". Philip here is making too much of just a majority (if even it is). Please also remember that William III was not the origin of the "concept". Arrigo 07:08, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Originality is not the measure, Common English usage is: eg Wellington, Boston, and more controversially Washington to give but three examples. Philip Baird Shearer 09:48, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Originality is a measure, and it determines much of my vote here. Later, it may be included into the policy, as it well deserves it. Wellington should probably be changed into disambig page, when anyone thinks (excluding many NZers), it may as well be the duke as the city. Same possibly with Washington. Your examples are not convincing, as we see that they have not been thoroughly considered anyway. Arrigo 09:59, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Originality is very easy to get distracted by but it really isn't very helpful. If we follow the originality line to its logical conclusion virtually every American place name would point to somewhere in Europe. Should Boston really point to a small town in Lincolnshire or the internationally important city in the USA? How about Paris not pointing to the French city but to the far older figure from Greek mythology? --LiamE 10:54, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
I wrote that originality is a measure, and it is. I have not discarded other measures, such as "overwhelmingly known". In this decision, remembering the origin helps (to avoid less than tenable solution). Arrigo 11:40, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

What the real question is[edit]

Having pondered this for a while, the question, to me, is whether enough people come looking for one of the other "William of Orange"s to make it worth making all those people looking for this WoO go through a disambig page as their first stop (a point made to me recently by User:Niteowlneils here.) To put it more concretely, given that we have a link to William of Orange (disambiguation) at the top of this page, would we rather have:

  • N users take an extra hop through "William of Orange (disambiguation)" when they type in "William of Orange", looking for William III (if the disambig page 'owns' this name),


  • M users having to take an extra hop through "William III" when they type in "William of Orange", looking for one of the others (if the William III article 'owns' this name)?

More bluntly, which group of people are we going to make work a bit harder? Alas, while I don't have hard data on the ratio N:M, I think you can pretty much bet than N >> M. Noel (talk) 21:29, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

I don't think that the question of whether M or N is bigger can be dispositive. Because the presumption is that, unless there is compelling reason, we inconvenience N. So N, I think, has to be several orders of magnitude greater than M for William of Orange to redirect to William III of England. Otherwise, this logic dictates that any time we can prove a somewhat greater number of people looking for one meaning than another, the main page has to redirect. I give you, for instance, Georgia. I would imagine that a greater number of English speakers who say "Georgia" mean the US state than the country. It takes a long while (more than I have patience to go through) for a google search on "Georgia" to come up with anything but references to the U.S. state. But that doesn't mean we should make Georgia redirect to Georgia (U.S. state). Obviously, William of Orange is a more difficult case than this. But I don't think this principle is a valid one. The presumption should be that if a person enters a name which can refer to more than one person, they get a disambiguation page. If the name is so famously associated with one person that it is mere pedantry to create a disambiguation page, then it should be redirected. I think in this particular instance it is arguable that William III is much the most famous William of Orange in the English-speaking world. That being said, William the Silent is also quite famous and is also frequently called "William of Orange." I don't think that it is mere pedantry to distinguish William III from all the other Williams of Orange, as it would be to distinguish, say, Abraham Lincoln from others who have borne that name. john k 21:49, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

I have put a lot of information higher up the page on this issue. When the unqualified phrase "William of Orange" is used in English the overwealming meaning is King Billy (see the google results for two different news organisations (BBC and CNN) and two different academic domains (.edu and It is also true of the pages which link to William of Orange inside Wikipedia. A near analagy is Napoleon which does not link to Napoleon (disambiguation) but to Napoleon I of France. This is not because he was the original but because he is who is usually meant when the term is used in English Philip Baird Shearer 22:16, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Agreeing with John. Additionally, I see this as a POV item. We should not let POV in favor of England's king prevail, as William the silent is a sufficiently well-known contender of being well-known under same name to those who read English literature. Arrigo 22:41, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

To repeat what I have said before it is not a POV it is "official policy on Wikipedia" see Wikipedia:Naming conventions:
Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature. Philip Baird Shearer 07:25, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

Napoleon was practically the original. Show me an earlier notable Napoleon with an own article here - I do not believe that possible person's notability (whoever it was) is even one-thousandth of Nappy the Emperor's. Arrigo 22:41, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Further the Napoleon link is there for the same reason, NOT because "Napoleon was practically the original" but because it is following policy, and as yet no one has come up with any evidence that "William the silent is a sufficiently well-known" as William of Orange in English for an unqualified mention of that name in English to warrent a disambiguation Philip Baird Shearer 07:25, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

How would one come up with evidence of this, Philip? A google search of "William of Orange" reveals that of the top twenty results, 15 are for William III. But there's also one britannica search results page, one Dutch royal genealogy page that lists all the Williams of Orange, two for William the Silent, one for William III's father, and one for the future William II of the Netherlands. Of the next ten after that, four are for William the Silent, and one is an wikipedia mirror of the disambiguation page. The next ten google hits (31-40) also show several that refer to William the Silent. While William III definitely gets the majority of google hits, there are also a significant number for others who have that name, particularly William the Silent. I would say that it's at about 70%/30%. Given that, properly speaking, "William of Orange" with no disambiguator could be taken to apply only to William the Silent, that seems like enough to me to keep it at a disambiguation page. Doing a google search for Napoleon is more complicated, because there is the movie Napoleon Dynamite and various Napoleon brand products that mess with the results. But once you weed these out, Napoleon I seems to be much more the most prominent actual person associated with the name. And, at any rate, Google is not a terribly good measure for this, as it's going to tend to downplay historical figures, and upplay current products, and so forth. john k 00:22, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

Of the twenty books that come up on Amazon with William of Orange in the title, 5 are clearly about William the Silent, one is about the troubador, and another few it is impossible to tell based on the information amazon provides. john k 00:28, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

John I assumed you used for your general search ["William of Orange" -Wikipedia] with the English flag set. You loose me when you say Given that, properly speaking, "William of Orange" with no disambiguator could be taken to apply only to William the Silent, because I would argue that in English (Not Dutch) as is shown in the internal Wikipedia links a unqualified reference to William of Orange tends to be to King Billy. As you can see from above I also did a lot of searches on different domains, mainly because I do not think that a general search is of much of an indicator as it often brings up wacky sites. In this case however the first 20 seem reasonable (I have not checked further). You will have read the other searches I did above on some major English (language) domains where the hit rate for King Billy is much higher 70%. However the policy in Wikipedia:Naming conventions states: Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature. It does not qualify majority with a phrase like "over whelming", so if as you state the percentage is around 70% for King Billy and if you follow Wikipedia guidelines, you ought to change your vote to a redirect to William III of England. Philip Baird Shearer 08:06, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

Philip: You kill your own argument that the name should be at King Billy by quoting Wikipedia policy. What would "the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize"? Most Americans probably wouldn't even know there was a William of Orange, let alone two major ones (for England and the Netherlands) plus a whole host of lesser Williams. The people living in the various Commonwealth countries such as India, New Zealand, and Australia, no doubt, are less clueless than the average American, but I would guess that there is still a large minority that wouldn't know who William of Orange was. The point is that some form of disambiguation is needed when you use the Wikipedia guidelines that you quoted and William of Orange absolutely should not go directly to William III of England. BlankVerse 18:27, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

Ignoring the other issues, the key phrase is "a reasonable minimum of ambiguity." I think there is considerable ambiguity in William of Orange. It should also be noted that this is not a matter of naming conventions, which is about where articles should be. This is about redirecting and disambiguation. Is your argument here that any time we can say that one usage is more common than another, we should redirect (or have the main article there) rather than having a disambiguation page? Because that seems to be the import of what you are suggesting. 50%+1, and it can't be a disambiguation page. Personally, I just don't see what's wrong with having William of Orange be a disambiguation page. It is indisputable that William the Silent is frequently called William of Orange, and that he is a major historical figure. That he is less written about in English than his great-grandson is also true, but it remains the case that we have two historical figures who are both quite commonly referred to as "William of Orange". If this is not an instance that requires a disambiguation page, I find it hard to conceive ever having the main article be a disambiguation page. john k 16:26, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

Links to the Page William of Orange[edit]

"All the links to this page [...] are links to the man under the article William III of England": That's easily checked. On the first page of "what links here" of William of Orange, currently Philip II of Spain, Hugo Grotius, List of people on stamps of the Netherlands, List of people by name: Wil, Geuzen, Philips van der Aa, and Anthony More refer to William the Silent; Civilization III Conquests as well, probably; William actually seems to refer to William II of Orange; Willem Bilderdijk refers to William I of the Netherlands. Eugene van der Pijll 18:57, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

And as there are so few they are easily fixed... Done Philip Baird Shearer 23:20, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Suggested temporary solution[edit]

Proposing to put the following *temporarily* on the "William of Orange" page during the proceedings of the vote (see also: User_talk:Philip_Baird_Shearer#WoO):


This is the simplified version of the William of Orange disambiguation page, mentioning only the two most frequent choices when referring to William of Orange:

See William of Orange (disambiguation) for all other persons named William of Orange.


if nobody objects, I'll proceed with that ASAP --Francis Schonken 13:13, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

I object to this measure. I have moved it down here to a stand alone section, so that it is clear of the WP:RM voting section. I did this because the WP:RM guide lines state "This can take any form that is reasonable for administrators to follow" and having this section in the middle of the WP:RM section did not aid clarity. Philip Baird Shearer 16:11, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

No no no. We do not need more than one disambiguation page about the topic. Please do not waste time in making different versions of that. Arrigo 20:53, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

This page ought to stay a redirect[edit]

Whatever we have at William of Orange, it should not be an article, but rather, a redirect. Why? To make it easier to find incorrect links (since that name is ambiguous). The argument is laid out in full at User:Jnc/Disambiguation, but in brief: if William of Orange is a redirect, and all the articles (including the dismabiguation) have other names, then a simple look at Special:Whatlinkshere/William of Orange allows one to quickly find all articles that have linked (ambiguously, and incorrectly) to "William of Orange", and one can quickly fix them all to point to the correct place. That way, when one comes back 6 months later to do it again, one can be certain that all the links to "William of Orange" are new links, which have been incorrectly set to point here.

I'm not sure whether it would be better to point this redirect at William of Orange (disambiguation), or leave it at William III of England; still pondering. But we should absolutely not have an article here. Noel (talk) 16:37, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Jnc, is that some sort of new policy? where? Regarding the merits, I am almost agreeing with you. But, as I have seen much more examples of disambig pages in the type of William of Orange than in W of O (disambig) and also the guidelines seem to know mostly only those, I am not sure should we go against WP established principles (if they are established principles). So, it would be good if you can get your idea of new policy included in policy that is in force. Arrigo 20:39, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
No, it's not a formal policy (it wouldn't be at User:Jnc/Disambiguation if it were), just my suggestion. I haven't pushed hard to get it adopted as policy because i) I'm not sure I could succeed, and ii) I'd rather expend the energy working on articles! Rather, I have written it up, and slowly people are reading it and agreeing with it. There's nothing in Wikipedia policy to stop people doing it the way I suggest, and in fact I (and other people) have done a number of disambiguation pages this way. Noel (talk) 21:03, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

What is the functional difference between having this page redirect to the disambiguation page, and having this page be the disambiguation page? Why is one acceptable, and the other not? john k 21:35, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Dear John, please give yourself the trouble to read the stuff. You've got:
  1. Noel's one-paragraph summary above;
  2. User:Jnc/Disambiguation linked from there;
  3. And of course Wikipedia:Redirect explaining the basic functionalities of Redirect pages.
At this point in time it's not about "acceptable" vs. "not acceptable", as explained by Noel. It's about "preferable" vs. "less desirable", in the sense of helping your fellow-wikipedians to improve the effectiveness of their actions. It's your choice to respond to that or not - I, for my part, chose rather not to put any unnecessary barriers to such proposed improvement. --Francis Schonken 07:49, 26 August 2005 (UTC)
John, you seem to be assuming that, were this page a disambig page, nobody would ever want to link to either "William of Orange" or "William of Orange (disambiguation)", so whichever name one puts the actual disambig text at (with a redir from the other), any link to either is inherently suspect. To put it another way, you are implying that the two names are effectively identical, so it doesn't matter which one holds the text, and which one is the redirect. However, that assumption is incorrect. Someone might want to link to the dab page, and then one does get valid links to dab pages. Which is why I say to put the dab text at "William of Orange (disambiguation)": you can pretty much bet that anyone who links to "William of Orange (disambiguation)" really did want the dab page, whereas with links to "William of Orange", it's most likely just someone being lazy and not checking their link targets. Noel (talk) 00:08, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I ought have read more closely. Personally, I don't like Noel's proposal, because it is a proposal designed to make things easier for wikipedia editors, rather than for wikipedia readers. Policies which benefit editors at the expense of readers should only be adopted in cases of utmost need. john k 14:59, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

Fine, you made your own choice. But with all due respect, I can't see the difference it makes for the reader. And if it doesn't make a negative difference to the reader, while helping the editor (who is a reader too, or he/she wouldn't have become editor - it's not as if Noel asks to favour robots or sysops), my choice is otherwise. --Francis Schonken 06:19, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
John, it makes no difference to the reader! Whether the dab text is actually at "William of Orange" or "William of Orange (disambiguation)" (with a redir from the first), readers who go to "William of Orange" are going to see the dab text. End of story. It's only the editors who can see the difference. Noel (talk) 00:08, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Hi Francis, as this is an Approval Vote, I sincerely hope that you could ALSO approve the alternative 1 and put one additional vote accordingly. I have observed that it is certainly not your preferred alternative, however from your comments I have drawn implications that you could approve that also (as a sort of secondary choice). Arrigo 11:48, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

Hi, Arrigo, I appreciate you made up your mind, as I hope you appreciate I made up my mind.--Francis Schonken 17:34, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

OK. I try to understand. I thought, based on your "I can't see the difference it makes for the reader" that it is generally not such a big difference. Apparently it is, despite of what you told John. Arrigo 12:08, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

William I of Orange/William I, Prince of Orange[edit]

Further, for what it's worth, I just listed J.K. on Wikipedia:AMA Requests for Assistance, for starting a "page move war" on William I of Orange/William I, Prince of Orange. Such edit wars are a "not done" (to say the least), see: Wikipedia:Move#Undoing_a_move_2. --Francis Schonken 17:34, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

How did I start a page move war? I moved the page to conform to naming conventions, and you moved it back. It seems to me that the war is begun by the first person to revert. Beyond that fact, I changed all the redirects (as did you) meaning that the main thing that is discouraged, leaving behind orphaned redirects, was not a problem in this case. But at any rate, I completely fail to see how I can be considered the one to start a move war. You moved a page back in complete violation of the naming convention, and then attack me for moving it back? john k 06:08, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

Francis, that has been rather improper. No one should use words like "vandal", "vandalism" as loosely. Vandalism has a rather narrow definition here, Wikipedia:vandalism. The naming question of the article about William the Silent should be processed in a more orderly manner. I admit that the NC is not perfect, and there could be reasons to name otherwise. Actually, the NC for these classes was made mostly because some provinces have got elevated (using same name) to higher titles, such as Duke of Bavaria, Elector of Bavaria and King of Bavaria, and sometimes an elevated ruler started the ordinals anew, thus causing e.g two persons being named Maximilian I of Bavaria etc. Orange apparently was never anything else than principality (though actually we could find two persons named William I of Orange, one is William the Silent who could have been William IX, and the other a much earlier, medieval Frenchman - but the current NC actually is putting both of them to William I, Prince of Orange). Arrigo 12:00, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

Well, to be fair, Francis didn't accuse me of vandalism. Beyond this, let me note that beyond the fact of provinces getting elevated and numbers repeating, there's also the issue that a title like "Prince of Orange" may be considered more like a noble title than it is like a monarchical one. Thus, just as we have John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough we have William I, Prince of Orange. I will add that before we created the naming policy on sub-king monarchs, there was simply no policy at all, and articles were just put willy nilly wherever the article creator felt like, with no consistency at all. The change proposed did not meet with any notable opposition when I suggested it on the naming policy talk page, and without it, we are back to not having any policy on these people at all. john k 15:39, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

Sometimes it is good to have no policy. I am not sure whether for that class of sub-monarchs, though. For me, THE question between two persons named William I of Orange would be interesting to solve. Do we need to put a brief disclaimer to the start of William the Silent's article that warns against confusing him with a medieval Frenchman who has (at least afaik) not an own article. ??? Or do we move him to William I of Orange-Nassau or as the current NC apparently requires, William I, Prince of Orange, Count of Nassau ??? Arrigo 15:50, 28 August 2005 (UTC)
I think that is an important point you are raising there. After the war of independence with Spain the Netherlands became a republic and not a monarchy. However for most of the republics life the Oranges behaved as if they were monarchs. The office of Stadholder even becoming hereditary for some time. So even if the title Prince of Orange was not monarchical, in practice it meant the same thing (a bit like the Roman Emperors not being called kings though for all practical purposes they were). For the rest your example doesn't hold very well since it would have to be John 1, Duke of Marlborough. William 1 of Orange is the first king of the Netherlands were of Orange isn't so much a title as a family name (like Charles II Stuart, king of England) Chardon 15:59, 28 August 2005 (UTC)
Orange was a small territory near Avignon in southern France, and was, most certainly, a monarchical title - certainly it was so in William the Silent's day, although I think it was eventually annexed by Louis XIV. The Oranges also were semi-sovereign noblemen of certain parts of the Netherlands, like Breda, and, I think, over some of the Nassau territories (certainly the post-1702 branch ruled over significant Nassau territories). None of this was directly related to their role as Stadtholders of the Netherlands. john k 22:24, 28 August 2005 (UTC)
I see your point (and just reread the Wikipedia: naming convention). However I was talking about the role the Oranges played in the Netherlands and where their position was very much like that of a king (though of course not an absolute monarch) and that it would not be correct to compare them to the Dukes of Bavaria (who only were mediatised princes (but much older nobility compared to the upstart Nassau's)). I think we should look at their position in the Republic (an independent state) and not if they held the title king or not. That's why William the Silent should be William I of Orange because he was the first to rule an independent country (even though he wears the name of an other country). Chardon 08:22, 29 August 2005 (UTC)

Yes, there is also the sort of problem that readers may confuse William the silent with the 1st king. Hmmm. Arrigo 16:02, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

The problem is very similar to the "first Roman Emperor" problem (if not acquainted, see Roman Emperor#The first Roman Emperor): William the Silent is pretty much considered the "founder" of the Royal dynasty, only very much later leading to the first official "Monarch" in The Netherlands (and then only by accident, because the French invaded and put a king on the throne - after the "Orange-Nassau" heirs had contributed to eliminating Napoleon, they kept the royal title). This all very much coincides with Julius Caesar being the founder of the Roman Imperial monarchy, and historians are still discussing on whether he, or his successor, or the successor of his successor, or only the nth generation after that was really what we call today an "emperor". There appears to be the most scholar consensus about Augustus being the first emperor, but then still at which date he turned into emperor is object of further futile (or not futile!) discussions among historians. Thanks to Napoleon for The Netherlands the picture is clearer, who was the first king (with, not surprisingly, discussions whether the date Napoleon put a king on the throne qualifies as start of the monarchy or not)

The point is: Wikipedia should not take sides in these issues, and certainly not by means of the title of article pages: in the content of such articles there is room enough to give a NPOV approach of these issues, that is: explain the several approaches by scholars. For articles relating to Imperial Rome some sort of an equilibrium developed, those collaborating on that equilibrium know it needs additional support every once and a while, so that it wouldn't tilt to one of the extremes.

Part of the equilibrium is not naming anything that looks like a monarchical title or office in the pages for these Roman civilians that might or might not be monarchs. Besides: one wouldn't know which one to choose from: Augustus, princeps, or Augustus, pontifex maximus, or... just wouldn't work (and then I didn't speak yet of all the possible combinations). For Pharaohs it would be even greater mess to apply J.K.'s new guideline, while for some it would be Tutankhamun without anything behind it, and then suddenly from the moment they were conquered by Rome that would turn into Ptolemy XXXXX, pharaoh of Egypt or would that need to be Ptolemy XXXXX, king of Egypt, or Ptolemy XXXXX, vassal, or weren't they already vassals under the Greeks and the Persians before that, and we're gone again for an endless dispute (not to mention what Cleopatra yes or no would need to get behind her name).

So despite the effort that already went into it, I consider J.K.'s new experimental guideline unworkable:

  1. It tried to solve a problem that couldn't be solved in this way;
  2. It contradicts general wikipedia guidelines about the naming of articles.

A minor similar thing was when I thought Plato's writings needed "special rules" to keep the articles on these writings organised: till I found out existing guidelines, though put in very general terms, suffise. The "top down scheme" didn't work (not that I complained occupying myself with it: correct names were better applied, and the whole thing did get organised better).

The fact that initially there was "not much opposition" doesn't mean a thing: there is now, from all sides at the time when it is implemented and proves unworkable for near to 50% of the submonarchs that "could" be hit by it.

The simple rule is that one gives the simplest article name that is unambiguous and easily recognised:

  1. "William" is not unambiguous;
  2. "William of Orange" is not unambiguous;
  3. "William the Silent" is absolutely unambiguous (indeed, there's absolutely no chance that with this article title he might be "confused with the first king") note that this triggers 19000 google hits (that is, excluding "wikipedia" in the search query and putting this entire name in quotes), I don't even need to check whether this is in general about our William the Silent.
  4. "William I" is not unambiguous
  5. "William I of Orange-Nassau" is not entirely unambiguous, because William I, the first king of the Netherlands by that name, was also of the house of "Orange-Nassau", so indeed an inadverted reader might confuse. But it is less unambiguous than "William I of Orange", while there was another prince-monarch under that name: in fact William the Silent was Prince William IX of Orange (see: Prince_of_Orange#as_sovereign_prince_of_Orange), restarting at number I for the combination of the houses of Orange and Nassau, that's when he became William I (...but still a monarch). Google-search triggers only 99 hits on this full name, on first sight about the half of them referring to the first "continental" king, so all-in-all problematic: the ambiguity problem with the first king seems to play harder than the ambiguity problem with the very first William that was "prince of Orange".
  6. "William I of Orange" has the in practice less severe ambiguity problem as mentioned in the previous, but this name has the advantage of being "short". Also it has the advantage of being completely correct according to "naming policy", since he was prince in the meaning of monarch, not in the meaning of "other royal", like Rainier III of Monaco was also a prince-monarch. See prince article. See naming policy guideline. the fact that this was wrongly applied for the articles on the sovereign monarchs of Monaco, does not justify to apply it wrongly elsewhere. Google search on this version of the name: over 6000 hits if not excluding wikipedia; 600 hits if excluding wikipedia, in this last case on first sight more than three quarters of them for William the Silent. All in all rather problematic while wikipedia seems to be making reality here, which is some sort of "publishing of original research results".
  7. "William I, prince of Orange" still ambiguity problems as with the previous two; plus, a bit against general wikipedia rules (overriden by "other royals" naming rule, not applicable to William the Silent), there's an unneccessary and thus redundant komma in the article title. If "prince of Orange" is to be considered as a kind of "disambiguator", then it should be between brackets, and not after a komma. And then there are too many disambiguator terms: "prince" is likewise redundant. this expression, when between quotes, triggers about 600 Google-hits, so comparatively it is also not a very high scoring search term. Further if "wikipedia" hits are disabled, the result lowers to about 500... this means a large part of the non-standard naming happens only in wikipedia! further it is a wrong application of the naming convention, while William was a prince-monarch, not a prince-other-royal
  8. "William I, stadtholder": sort of unambiguous, even less generally recognised than the previous (totally uncommon: 20 Google hits, rather accidental mid-sentence quotes), and, my subjective appreciation, looks absurd.
  9. "William I, stadtholder of Holland", keeps adding complexity, absurdity, uncommonness, and reason for discussion (was "prince" of a city in the south of France, or "stadtholder" of something that started to look like a real country, his most import title? I think this could lead to several more months of useless discussion).
  10. And then we could still further add redundancy and complexity, by summing up all the minor places this, and other Williams, were stadtholder, duke, count, baron, etc... of.

If the title reflects what a person is known by the most: fine, but cut it away if it adds redundant complexity for recognising whom you're talking about.

Indeed wikipedia is not a list of royalty (gee, I should add that to the "what wikipedia is not" page), too many of you, from whatever faction, have been blinded by that. After several months of discussion we know the two are not compatible. Either you go to specialised "who's who in nobility" lists outside wikipedia, or you try to adapt.

Nonetheless, wikipedia has many, many rooms and possibilities: categories, to name one. and lists is yet another, and very appropriate for listing dynastic successions. Or family trees, with a lay-out that makes easy to follow the dynastic line, if you don't know where they are I can point you to some that are really nicely wrought. Another, that is probably still one of the most appropriate for making clear lines in succession of nobility are "navigational templates". Yes, they're a bit more work than snatching article titles, but really much more rewarding.

And, I would revert the name of William the Silent's article page back to what I think it was a very, very, long time ago: "William the Silent", or as only second solution I think only more or less reasonable, "William I of Orange" (but if voting, on second thought I would be voting against this: all in all too problematic).

--Francis Schonken 18:11, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

The problem with the Oranges is that they were the rulers of one country (the republic) but not it's kings and hold the name of another country. They are best known for the role they played in the history of the Republic and what they did in Southern France only a few experts would know (probably just collecting rents). To fit this situation to the wikipedia rules seems to me impossible. Best is to follow tradition and let their position in the Netherlands take preeminence. William the Silent becomes William I of Orange (the first ruler of the independent Netherlands) and the first king of the Netherlands becomes William I (family name), king of the Netherlands. Chardon 09:39, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
Oops, I still forgot to mention here that in the mean while a vote was started on this issue on the "William, Prince of Orange" talk page. Further comments are to be found there too, and you can vote for (or aganst!) the requested move. --Francis Schonken 01:03, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Comment from[edit]

See also: Talk:William III of England/Archive 1#redirect from William of Orange

Lame fame: William of Orange (disambiguation), William of Orange (see edit history at [12]) was the name of two important and well-known protestant Heads of State and also of some obscurer individuals in mists of history - or was He just only one King of England and all the others are minor characters. That became the object of a dispute over a redirect. This vital question divided a bunch of eminent readers of history and led to revert war that alternated the redirect almost each hour. Casual viewers were holding their breaths when coming smiling to check what is the current position of that weathervane. As the name's usage in English-speaking cultures was perceived the determining factor, see attempts to almost hand-count English-speakers in New Zealand, South Africa etc - all apparently using the hallowed name in certain way. Extensive and in-depth argumentation in several talk pages and usertalk pages included claims of original primary authorship of a redirect as well as accusations of nationalistic POV, filibusters and "using all the tricks in the box". This teaches us some things about disambiguation pages and potential problems surrounding even such tools. Nothing has been settled yet, and all the time more fallout is generating (comment from 13:03, 28 August 2005 (UTC)):

William of Oranje[edit]

I've sometimes seen William III of England referred to as "William of OranJe", and I created a redirect page for William of Oranje->William III of England. I don't know how to fit it into the bigger picture, but thought I'd just post it here as an FYI JW (talk) 20:43, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, it's a half-baked tranlation.

William of Orange <-> Willem van Oranje

All the same, simply point it to this disamb. page. Daimanta (talk) 01:01, 13 August 2008 (UTC)


This page seems to be a hybrid of an article and a disambiguation page. It seems to me that William III should be put after a generic one sentence intro and that the TOC should either be after that or suppressed. Does anyone object to making this a more standard dab page? -Rrius (talk) 04:38, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

1 fact about him[edit]

he ruled ireland 4 some time —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:20, 16 September 2008 (UTC)