User talk:Mclay1

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Welcome! I'm Mclay1. I also go by the name McLerristarr. My user name is copied from my high school computer user name a long time ago when I signed up to Wikipedia. It's not McLay; it's M Clay – my first initial and the first four letters of my surname. McLerristarr is a surname I invented for a fictionalised version of myself in a screenplay I started writing when I was a teenager. Obviously, it hasn't been made. But it's still awesome. McLerristarr | Mclay1

In case you're hungry[edit]

Brisbane Meetup in January 2016[edit]

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Redirection sort keys[edit]

I'm a little puzzled by your series of reversions to the sort keys of Category:Country data redirects (for instance, this one). Although there is some merit to sorting these redirects by their raw character sequences, the category is far from being consistently sorted this way as yet, with for instance Template:Country data Duchy of Brunswick sorted under B for Brunswick. Care to comment? Urhixidur (talk) 19:55, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

I noticed that the category wasn't consistent. Unless there is a consensus I didn't realise about, I didn't see the need for your changes, so I reverted them. In my opinion, it makes way more sense to sort by the actual name of the redirect (minus the "Country data" bit), rather than in a reversed order, as you did it, or by the name of the template that the redirect points to it, like others do. I suppose we should take the opportunity to discuss it somewhere and gain a consensus. McLerristarr | Mclay1 21:00, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
My intent was to regroup entries that are obviously about the same thing under the same key. Thus Yugoslavia and Republic of Yugoslavia should be together, and so on. I stress "obviously" because an entry like ZA (which points to South Africa) should remain under Z because its meaning is not immediately apparent. This type of sort key tuning is very useful (to the reader) in categories that are lists of countries and such like; the particular category of concern here (Country data redirects) is more of a maintenance category, and therefore could be sorted either way. The important thing is to sort the entire category consistently, which is currently not the case. My preference is for the analogical sort I've already outlined. What do you think? Urhixidur (talk) 21:07, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
I definitely agree on the "ZA" point. Your point about "Yugoslavia" makes sense, and I'm unsure which way is better. We have to think about what the reader would expect. In this case, because it's a maintenance category, and quite an obscure one, the reader will almost always be a (probably experienced) Wikipedia editor. Because there are cases like ZA or even a one-word name that points to something completely different, I'd be expecting to find them under their actual names. Another user changed some of the redirects I created so that the sort key was the same as the target (like ZA being sorted under "South Africa"). To me, that's confusing, and it's not clear from looking at the list of pages in the category where a particular page is pointed. It makes sense to just use the name of the page as the sort key, unless there's a reason to do otherwise. If we were to do it your way, I think we'd need a note at the top of the category telling readers that that's how they were sorted. It would also need to be properly standardised, like "Yugoslavia, Republic of", formatting it consistently for every country with a prefix, even for cases where the actual article about the country has the prefix in the title. McLerristarr | Mclay1 21:55, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
Note added to the category page. I do believe the analogical sort will be more useful to maintainers, because it allows one to find, at a glance, all the redirects that point to the same thing. There are a few redirects where it is less clear which sort key is preferable: for instance, I think "British India" is distinct enough to merit being filed under B rather than I (it is more "British" than "Indian"). What's funny is that this is yet another instance where a certain feature I've requested long ago from the Wiki developers would be helpful: the ability to file a page under multiple sort keys. Urhixidur (talk) 13:45, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
Wouldn't it make more sense to keep Template:Country data United Mexican States sorted alongside the other Mexico entries? Urhixidur (talk) 16:48, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
As a name by itself, I figure it's like the United Arab Emirates. But I guess sorting it as "Mexican States, United" works too. McLerristarr | Mclay1 17:25, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
If it were alone, I would indeed sort it under U, but since it is just an alternate form of the long form of MexicoUrhixidur (talk) 19:03, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I suppose you're right. McLerristarr | Mclay1 19:08, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

Special characters and sort keys[edit]

On the wiktionaries, sort keys always delete special characters or replace them with blanks. This basic principle of bibliotechnics (systematically used in all paper dictionaries) does not seem to be covered in the Wikipedia conventions (or at the very least I can't find it). Urhixidur (talk) 17:05, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

From WP:SORTKEY: "Because the software uses an imperfect computer sorting rather than true alphabetical ordering (see details), it is important that some sort keys be adjusted. Accented characters must be replaced by their English-language counterparts. For example, the Łódź article uses {{DEFAULTSORT:Lodz}}."
It also says: "Only hyphens, apostrophes and periods/full stops punctuation marks should be kept in sort values. All other punctuation marks should be removed. The only exception is the apostrophe should be removed for names beginning with O'. For example, Eugene O'Neill is sorted {{DEFAULTSORT:ONeill, Eugene}}." It's not clear whether en-dashes and em-dashes should be kept. If not, they should probably be replaced by hyphens. I've been using AWB to go through the redirects, and it's not easy to tell in the program whether the mark is a dash or hyphen.
Wikipedia used to sort upper- and lower-case letters differently, but that was changed a while ago. I think it's still good practice to use capitals where appropriate for readability. I've also been putting commas in when words have been re-arranged (as is the standard practice in English), because it can make a difference to the sort order. If everything is standardised, there won't be any inconsistency. McLerristarr | Mclay1 17:14, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing me to WP:SORTKEY.
"It's not clear whether en-dashes and em-dashes should be kept" : definitely replace them with hyphens in the sort keys. Variants that differ by the lengths of their dashes should sort together, and the numerical values of the characters are too different to guarantee this unless the sort key substitution is done. Urhixidur (talk) 17:07, 28 April 2016 (UTC)