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str-art is short for structured article and it's an idea on how wikipedia articles could be better structured. The similar sonority with start is a lucky coincidence, since the structure of related articles is actually where it starts the problems trying to be solved through this idea: problems with both merging articles and disambig pages.


I thought about the idea when I was reading the merging suggestion on condensed matter physics, after a reading a sequence articles with merging suggested.

So there are many different situations to suggest a merging (such as classical elements), but they're all variations between two articles of three different sizes, and it starts when at least one of them is too small or too big.

When no merging is suggested between articles, there comes the disambiguation problems, usually resolved with a main page, either the actual article name, or something like article (disambig). Disambiguation is a whole different problem since it easily involves more than two articles, and not always it is clear if there is a main subject that should take the main article name place. Few good examples:

  • One Of Us is a small article with no preference, so the main article becomes a disambig page on itself.
  • 5th element is clearly an article with many meanings, but with a main subject without much contraversial, and it doesn't even have a disambig page, while it could or should.
  • 3 is another article with many meanings with a, possibily contested, main subject, but this one leads to another "(disambig)" article.
  • Michael Jordan is an article with many meanings but having a basically uncontested main subject, that also gives a link to a (disambig) page.
  • oscar is so hard to tell what it should be, the disambig page just becomes gigantic. So it is abc.



I think rather than merging, there should be a better organization of articles such as condensed matter physics, that are part of a bigger subject, physics in the example.

That means using that old nice template solution for footer / header, like {{Physics-footer}} (and one for the header as well) and giving it an Index Page (which could and should be physics in the case) that would give also an introduction along with all the topics.

I would consider doing these following steps for all merging requests that are trying to merge independent articles:

  • choose a main article, build a header-template containing main subjects (chapters) and index.
This is just like what's done with books in wikibooks or wikisource, but with no paging. No article comes before the other, they have no order, except it will probably be an alphabetical for listing.
  • moving every containing article within the main article.
Instead of condensed matter physics it would be physics/condensed matter or could add physics to that too. That's a better way to organize similar content.
  • redirecting / disambig the similar main name space
The old article, the first one, and anything related could either redirect or point to the new place. That would also make better use for disambig pages.
For example, instead of using "element (mathematics)", it could be mathematics/element. Of course that wouldn't apply to more generic context such as "One Of Us (Joan Osborne song)", but it could be organized as Joan Osborne/One of Us and then One of Us would be a disambig page linking to that, while the first one would be now a redirecting page.


While merging threats ambiguation problems both with names and meanings, but always between two articles, disambiguation is mostly about the article name itself, although it could be expanded to meanings as well, but dealing with just the names gets complicated enough.

By using the structural ideal above it also becomes easy to structure disambig pages, just by following the "folders", but it doesn't solve the disambiguation structure.

It's actually simple. Disambig pages should always be marked as being one. All disambig pages should have a standard, be it "article name (disambig)" or "disambig/article name" or an other syntax, there should be a convention. And then the main article, the article name should be one of three:

  • containing the main article non-contested information (such as Michael Jordan).
  • redirecting to (disambig) until there is a non-contested main article (could be considered a kind of disambig stub).
  • a brief article explaining why it is redirecting to a disambig page, by talking about all the main contested main information, which is usually not more than 5, although disambig pages can go over 10 different meanings.


Since I don't seem to be able to write my suggestions clear enough, most of the time, I'm trying to organize them in my user space and point instead of re-writing over and over again all over a lot of different places. Funny enough, I've never strarted my own userspace, but maybe I will start with that, which could give a good example on how it could work.

I also believe physics could be another good str-art example to begin with.

--caue 00:57, 16 March 2006 (UTC)