User:Dabomb87/Summary of the Date Linking RFCs

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Original material taken from here.


While the intentions of the December Date Linking RFCs were in good faith, and provided for a much-needed survey of community consensus, the RFCs' creators forgot an essential step: the collation and analysis of the raw data.

Margin of error in raw counts where total number of votes exceeds 100 is ±3.

RfC 1: The three proposals

RfC 2: The detailed questions

  • Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/Date Linking RFC#Deprecating the current date autoformatting – Dates should not be linked purely for the purpose of autoformatting. Those who espouse the majority view also believe that date links are generally irrelevant. Opposers believe that while (for the most part) the links themselves are not helpful, deprecating autoformatting (even the current link-dependent method) would be a step back. Those who are neutral are unsure of which issue takes precedence—that of linking or of autoformatting. (247 Support [81.8%] / 48 Oppose [15.9%] / 7 Neutral [2.3%])
  • Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/Date Linking RFC#Is some method of date autoformatting desirable? – There is definite support for some method of autoformatting. Supporters cite consistency, the importance of user customization and the ability to extract metadata as the most important reasons. Opposers believe that autoformatting is trivial and that WP:ENGVAR would work in maintaining format consistency within articles. There are several suggestions on how to implement a linkless mechanism, but none have emerged as the primary option. (80 Support [51.3%] / 69 Oppose [44.2%] / 7 Neutral [4.5%])
  • Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/Date Linking RFC#When to link to Month-Day articles? Month-day links should be linked on a limited basis and only when relevant. The instances when they should be linked are articles about chronological items and annual events. If there are other cases, they are very limited and should be decided on by a case-by-case basis. Articles about full dates (such as July 31, 2005) exist, but there is no consensus if they should be linked to or how they should be used. Some supporters of linking month-day articles suggest linking birth and death dates. (5 Always [4.2%] / 63 Sometimes [52.5%] / 52 Never [43.3%])
  • Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/Date Linking RFC#When to link Year articles – Year links can be made sometimes, especially in the case historical articles, although consensus leans toward less of these rather than more. When possible, use Year-in-field links. (7 Always [6.7%] / 57 Sometimes [54.3%] / 41 Never [39.0%])
  • Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/Date Linking RFC#When to use "Year in Field" links – Although year in field links can/should be made when relevant, there is no definite consensus of how to use them yet. The method of putting a limited number of these links in a "See also" section seems to have the most traction; there was also an alternative suggestion of using {{seealso}} at the top of the article or section where a year-in-field link might be appropriate. Per WP:EGG, "hidden" links can be used in tables and infoboxes, and it is helpful if they are explicitly explained (see List of Washington Wizards head coaches for an example) (Hidden: 17 Support / 45 Oppose) (Inline: 18 Support / 28 Oppose / 2 Neutral) (Context: 3 Support / 44 Oppose / 1 Neutral) (See also: 37 Support / 15 Oppose)

Linking chronological items

Feel free to offers suggestions on language or other points on the talk page. These guidelines will be posted as a proposal following the conclusion of Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Date delinking and the Date formatting and linking poll.

  • Full dates should not be linked purely for the purpose of autoformatting.

When to link

Month-day links
  • In articles about chronological items (Ex: 1789, January, 1940s, Sunday). (It's unclear whether year-in-topic articles are included in this category.)
  • In articles about holidays that fall on the same day every year (Ex: Christmas Day, April Fools' Day, Cinco de Mayo).
  • In very limited instances where linking to such an article would provide a global and historical context (Ex: Armistice Day).
  • Other instances that would be decided on an article-by-article basis and according to consensus gained on the article's talk page. Such instances should be rare and should to be limited to those in which a date link would significantly deepen reader's understanding of the article's topic.
Year links
  • In articles about chronological items (Ex: June 17, January, 1940s, Sunday) and years in a specific field (Ex: 1990 in art, 1967 in sports).
  • On a limited basis, in articles of a historical nature where it is not possible to link to a more relevant event. For example, in an article about German history, instead of linking to 1942, it might be more beneficial to link to World War II.
  • In the "See also" section one could add a year article link if that year article puts that specific event in the context of the year. (e. g. listing "see 1346" in the "See also" section of Battle of Crécy)
  • As a {{seealso}} tag in a paragraph where the date is relevant to that paragraph.
  • In some timelines.
  • Link to year-in-field links whenever said links' content would be more relevant to the subject than plain year links.
Centuries, decades, months and days of the week

See also