Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers/Date Linking RFC

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This Request for Comment is now closed. Please do not modify the archive below and instead participate in discussions at WT:MOSNUM. Thank you!
Note to readers: There are two active requests for comment. Please also see:

The use of date autoformatting presently available in Wikipedia is overloaded on the function of interwiki linking. [[May 1]], [[2000]] autoformats the date for registered users who have set a date preference, but it also (for all users) provides links to the pages May 1 and 2000. In addition to other problems with this approach to date autoformatting, this has led to issues with articles becoming overlinked. Discussion on the WP:MOSNUM page in August 2008 led to a decision to deprecate such links, meaning that their use is now discouraged. However, that consensus has since been disputed. This RFC aims to settle that dispute as well as answer additional questions relating to dates and auto formatting.

This RFC seeks input about how editors and readers of Wikipedia expect dates within articles to be handled, including if they should be autoformatted and when dates should be linked. Understanding Wikipedians' views on these issues will help to resolve current disagreements about how to handle date links.

Deprecating the current date autoformatting[edit]

Do you support or oppose retaining the following statement?

Dates should not be linked purely for the purpose of autoformatting (even though in the past this was considered desirable).

Background: The date autoformatting function as currently implemented only works for registered users of Wikipedia who have set a date format preference. Users who are not logged in or who have not set a preference see whatever date formats have been used by the editors of the articles; if multiple editors have used multiple date formats on the same page, users who aren't logged in see many different date styles, which can impact readability. Furthermore, the current date autoformatting system can lead to overlinking, especially in date-heavy articles; this may reduce the value of other links. For these and other more technical reasons (several of which have been outlined by Tony1), date autoformatting links has been deprecated (i.e. their use has been discouraged) at WP:MOSNUM since August 2008. However, recent discussion has led to a dispute if there is truly widespread support for deprecating these links, and the RFC seeks to establish if this is the case or not.
Note: Mediawiki's software developers have created a patch to correct problems with the current method of date autoformatting. It has not been established when or if the patch will be implemented. (For more information on this, please see the discussion on Bugzilla.)

Support deprecation[edit]

  • Support, although for me the worst problem with the current system is not that it leads to overlinking. It is rather that editors is presented with a view that differs from the view presented to readers. Taemyr (talk) 08:37, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
    • You understand that the bugzilla patch would remove the links and provide formatting to all users (logged in or not), yes? Also you need not say "support" as your comment is in a section of the same title. =) —Locke Coletc 09:33, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
The proposal explicitly includes the links, so the fact that the bugzilla patch could remove the need does not affect my view. Provided the formatting is consistent between registred and logged in users, ie. it does not depend on user preference, I have no problem with it. Taemyr (talk) 14:28, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Per my comments in the RFC above. Ruslik (talk) 08:51, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Per my comments in the RFC above. I would note that if there was a way to autoformat dates without them resulting in links to useless date articles, I would strongly support that option.--User:2008Olympianchitchatseemywork 09:09, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support as in 'the RFC above, which has decisively said "no" to a return to DA. Pointless to ask yet again.Tony (talk) 10:05, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support --Apoc2400 (talk) 10:31, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - as in the other RfC: the current DA system is a confusing misuse of wikilinks; and the patch is problematic in a number of ways. Sssoul (talk) 11:00, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - dates should not be linked for the purposes of autoformatting.—MDCollins 11:38, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support for reasons explained elsewhere--Toddy1 (talk) 18:22, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - way overused and undermines the purpose of linking in Wikipedia. The Rambling Man on tour (talk) 12:12, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - deprecate the deprecated. --Dweller (talk) 12:28, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Links should only be used where they help a reader understand an article. Date links hardly ever do so. Phil Bridger (talk) 12:38, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Date autoformatting is a trivial function that is not worth linking dates. Dabomb87 (talk) 14:00, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Use links for linking only. -- Jao (talk) 14:42, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:CONTEXT. --John (talk) 14:52, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, useless and ugly, as I said in the other RfC. Tim Vickers (talk) 15:51, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support a non-trivial solution to a non-existent problem. Knepflerle (talk) 16:12, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per my reasons stated in previous RFC. Sillyfolkboy (talk) 16:10, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per my reasons stated in the RfC above. Tempshill (talk) 16:38, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support The current system displays falshoods to logged-in users who are reading non-Gregorian dates and who have chosen "2001-01-15T16:12:34" as their date preference. Furthermore, the current system is not worth fixing. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 17:27, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Autoformatting was a hasty and ill-conceived solution to a perceived problem, and the 'cure' has turned out to be far worse than the disease. It offers no benefit to >99% of our readers, it creates millions of valueless links, its counterintuitive syntax has misled editors into linking bare years and all sorts of other time periods, it hides data inconsistencies from editors whilst displaying them to everyone else. Let's rid WP of this pestilence. Colonies Chris (talk) 17:54, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per wp:context. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:04, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - I have serious concerns about the viability of the patch, especially with regard to anon users. However, I should point out that deprecated does not mean "removed as fast as possible" as some people seem to think it does. Mr.Z-man 19:21, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per the comments above. Excessive overlinking does make an article less readable, and it is only useful for that little group of users who have changed the default date formatting in their user preferences. I don't see how the patch will provide anything better than this currently system does... ~~ [ジャム][talk] 19:36, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - From the perspective of a reader who has read articles with and without date links, I don't miss the links when they aren't included. They don't really add anything, and the text does look cleaner with less blue. I agree with JGXenite that a patch won't be an improvement. Giants2008 (17-14) 19:46, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - for the 500th time already. How many times do we have to decide this? Kaldari (talk) 19:51, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support as in previous RFC. Date autoformatting is not a useful feature and adds a non-trivial editing job formatting dates to use it. DoubleBlue (talk) 21:12, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - because linking does not provide proper markup for datesLeadSongDog (talk) 21:22, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - linking to dates per se serves no relevant purpose for an article (automatic or not).--HJensen, talk 21:30, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support.  HWV 258  21:36, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - I see no useful purpose in autoformatting dates when the vast majority of our readers do not see the autoformatting, nor do I see the merit in linking to a random list of things that happened on a date. Ealdgyth - Talk 22:17, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - "purely for the purposes of date autoformatting". Obviously some dates will want linking and will thus get autoformatted. I strongly want autoformating of dates that works but this should be independent of links. I also believe UK centric articles should in the raw be "dd mmm yyyy" whilst US centric ones should probably be "mmm dd, yyyy" -- SGBailey (talk) 22:50, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - but only if there is an alternative method of date autoformatting available. -- Arwel Parry (talk) 00:42, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - using links for autoformatting is a bad format for autoformatting, it leads to needless links to random collections of dates. Autoformatting that only works for registered users isn't useful either. Ealdgyth - Talk 00:54, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - This leads to massive confusion for all editors who either can't be bothered with autoformatting well or IP editors who see 2006-07-03 and go "wut!?" - NuclearWarfare contact meMy work 01:54, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Because I can live without receiving Greg L's sewer cover barnstar award.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 02:02, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support ... sigh, for the umpteenth time. I don't see the point in continuing to poll on this issue in the hope that one may go differently from all the previous ones. Besides, if it did, folks would just argue that some earlier polls with larger numbers of participants "prove" theirs had the "greater consensus". Askari Mark (Talk) 03:28, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • support and get rid of all existing links of this type. They serve no useful purpose to the reader and just make the article look ugly. Hmains (talk) 04:35, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, DA is of dubious benefits for readers, contrary to claims - everyone capable of reading English knows that [[12 November]] [[2009]] is the same as [[November 12]] [[2009]], The real reason it exists as an apology for the formatting inconsistencies of editors, who have no automated means of ensuring that articles dates are correctly formatted in the first place. DA is about as desirable as a wart on one's foot, and I can really see no point in putting in this extra work for an unquantifiable and intangible benefit. It's not as if we are expressing ourselves in the highly ambiguous 11/12/09 - and even if we did, no machine or algorithm is going to sort that out. Ohconfucius (talk) 10:23, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support for all of the reasons laid out here over the past half-year or so. JIMp talk·cont 10:26, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support; the linking provides little of value beyond a further excess of blue, taking focus away from the "high value" links. In addition, the autoformatting can obscure problems that editors do not see, but the vast majority of our readers do see. Steve TC 10:39, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Autoformatting is mass-medication at its worst. Lightmouse (talk) 10:41, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support For the reasons below. -- Taku (talk) 13:52, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Neither linking nor autoformatting are particularly useful features. Fut.Perf. 14:03, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. I agree that neither linking nor autoformatting are needed nor desired. It looks ugly and overlinked. Get rid of them on sight. -- Alexf(talk) 14:11, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. As above, linking all dates is distracting and useless, and autoformatting of dates is something we can really live without. What's with all the drama?  Sandstein  14:38, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. It is high time we remove useless links that clutter up articles (thus devalueing links that make sense in the article), especially since 99% of our users will see no benefit from the formatting capability. Karanacs (talk) 16:28, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support as date links do not link to pages that are generally relevant to the context of the article they are in. It Is Me Here t / c 17:08, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. See my comments at the other RfC. Pcap ping 17:30, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support generally, gratuitous date links (like other gratuitous links) obscure the useful links in an article. Links should only be made on meaningful relationships. Studerby (talk) 19:58, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. This was long overdue. --Hans Adler (talk) 22:42, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, and I've typed my reasoning in so many polls and RfCs for the last two years that I'm not typing them again. D'oh. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:55, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Date links are distracting and lead to pages that no-one reads. --Jack-A-Roe (talk) 04:41, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, date links do more harm than good. Everyking (talk) 06:29, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, as date links have little value and autoformatting is potentially useful only to logged-in users. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 06:57, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support for all the reasons already given; linking all dates is a large idiosyncracy with very small benefit. --NE2 06:59, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, the links that result from autoformatting/linking are unnecessary and irrelevant to the article, and even though autoformatting is depecrated, editors will implement internal consistency in articles. Punkmorten (talk) 08:28, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Date autoformatting/linking provides very little benefit, is unsightly and distracting, and generally is unnecessary & irrelevant to the article (also where a WikiProject has mandated a date style for its articles). Whitehorse1 23:48, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Linking is for the purpose of directing the reader to other relevant content. Using it for DA was a mistake and should be corrected asap. --RexxS (talk) 03:44, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Just to be clear, since the title of this section has changed since I originally !voted: My comment was in support of the principle, "Dates should not be linked purely for the purpose of autoformatting". My understanding of "should not" is that such links should be removed, not merely deprecated. I hope whoever tallies this RfC will appreciate that was what all supporters up to 30 November were commenting on. --RexxS (talk) 01:27, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support linking should only be done for reasons of relevance. Linking all dates is essentially the same as linking all words. Blue-Haired Lawyer 13:29, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Meh, what more can I say that hasn't already been said? Linked dates are more often out-of-context and irrelevant to the matter at hand, than serving a contextual purpose. Yngvarr (t) (c) 14:57, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Per all above, it's useless overlinking.--HereToHelp (talk to me) 15:27, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I have always thought it was unnecessary, I completely agree with HereToHelp; Useless Overlinking Highfields (talk, contribs, review) 15:36, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Is unnecessary, produces a "blue sea" effect and allows editors to be lazy with consistent formatting at the expense of our readers (it's sadly a far less hypothetical or theoretical problem than one might imagine). The date links themselves are useless, and the autoformatting works for only a tiny fraction of total readers, that being the fraction of users who have consciously set their preferences. Orderinchaos 15:41, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Auto-formatting is kind of meh. SnowFire (talk) 16:02, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support --Flash176 (talk) 16:15, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support They don't add anything and the text is cleaner without the extra bluelinks --RedKiteUK (talk) 16:18, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • SupportI agree, auto-linking dates just causes a mass flood of useless events that happened on that day/month/year and offers no additional benefit to the article structure or Wikipedia in general. -- ErnestVoice (User) (Talk) 16:20, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Links in articles should always be able to take you to somewhere useful when you click on them. If I click on a day and month link I will rarely find information that sheds light on the article I was reading. If I click on a year link I will just about never get information that sheds light on the article. Only if full dates (day, month, year) used one link, only if every date so linked had its own article, would this linking be able to bring useful information to the reader by giving them a sense of what else might have been happening on that day in history. The problem of showing dates in a way that fits a user's expectations is trivial in comparison, and should be handled by a different mechanism than links. Binksternet (talk) 17:06, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong Support Unnecessary overlinking to articles that are not relevant/related (months, years, days), and a waste of resources. priyanath talk 17:54, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Date links have little value. The current method of implementation for registered users is cumbersome - I've probably spent hours linking dates. Most Wikipedia readers are not registered users, leading to inconsistent date usage within articles. dissolvetalk 17:56, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I don't use autoformatting, most people I have talked to about it don't, and people can figure out obscure dates—or, better yet, article creators can just not make the dates obscure to begin with. And, as most people above me have said, linking dates is messy. —Politizer talk/contribs 17:57, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Datelinking is a waste of time, looks ugly, and is really unnecessary. AGK 18:04, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Date links are one of the few things in Wikipedia which creates an unprofessional impression. Can you imagine a "real" encyclopedia typesetting dates in the font used for words you might want to look up? --Zvika (talk) 18:17, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Does not add value to articles. Gerardw (talk) 18:24, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Creates a vast quantity of unnecessary and irrelevant links. Pfainuk talk 18:28, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Clearly linking dates is very problematic and these outweigh the benefits. Camaron | Chris (talk) 18:33, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. It is not helpful. Angus McLellan (Talk) 18:49, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Overlinking is a problem that outweighs any autoformatting in my opinion. --Sultec (talk) 19:11, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - While I do find the autoformatting to be very useful, the overlinking more than counteracts that benefit (unfortunately). Anaxial (talk) 19:27, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - I've never used autoformatting and I find it useless. --TheLeftorium 19:47, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Locke provides a compelling reason to keep, but I think user preference is trumped by general usability. Too much blue removes the impact of relevant links and I believe is a net negative; dates may be linked when important, and with regular formatting deprecated readers will actually understand it is useful. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 19:57, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Linking every date makes linking less useful. Overlinking is similar to using too many italics, CAPS, or exclamation points. At some point, the punctuation becomes meaningless. Finetooth (talk) 20:22, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Messy, often makes the first article sentence a sea of blue. Rarely, if ever helpful. Unusual? Quite TalkQu 20:40, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Please, please end this rather ridiculous debate. No need to autoformat date links. Protonk (talk) 20:42, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support for all of the cogent, thoughtful reasons already stated. Overlinking, sea of blue, non-notability of random days, dates, and years per se, etc. —Scheinwerfermann T·C21:04, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Dates lead to random trivia lists that do not help improve the article, especially in articles on a less notable topic where the article linked to doesn't even mention it (I.E. A random person's birthday). Joe Nutter 21:08, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support - Often makes for sloppy looking articles when dealing with date spans (i.e. 14 - 18 September 2008) and causes the "sea of blue". Date formatting should be determined the same as variations of English in articles. لennavecia 21:19, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong Support which is consistant with my feelings the first time this came up. 21stCenturyGreenstuff (talk) 21:22, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Autoformatting has no value to the average reader that I can perceive. If it were up to me, all dates in all articles would be of the form 'day month year,' as in 15 September 2007, and I'd let our readers figure it out. I don't think it would present an insuperable problem to them. This is the current date format employed in the signature created by ~~~~ and I don't hear any complaints about that. EdJohnston (talk) 21:26, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Links to date articles rarely add important context to articles. Yilloslime (t) 21:51, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Auto formatting can spoil the author's intended flow of prose. Poltair (talk) 22:29, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. I don't see why dates should be clickable at all. Martin Rundkvist (talk) 22:31, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Linking dates adds no discernible value to articles. LTSally (talk) 23:29, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. i don't see why dates should be linked at all. Janviermichelle (talk) 23:47, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Overlinking is bad, and the existing system has allowed readers to find dates like 2005-1-27 in articles.--Srleffler (talk) 23:51, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Linking dates fails to add any helpful context to readers, and only leads to a list of events that offer no new information, and not to mention the overlinking problems that comes along with linking dates. DiverseMentality 23:55, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Dates should not be linked. Too much linking...Smarkflea (talk) 01:03, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per my comments above, overlinking an article is of no use to the editor or the reader. I find this similar to linking the word "the" in every article atleast once. It doesn't make sense to do. §hep¡Talk to me! 01:05, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Absolutely! This has bugged me for a long time. We already have an editing guideline that advises against unnecessary wikilinks, and for good reason — each useless link decreases the visibility of the links that are actually useful. For example, I've had to go through some articles and remove dozens to hundreds of wikilinks because just about every noun was wikilinked. Can we all agree that a wikilink to person is rarely useful? In the rare event that you do want to read that article, you can use the search box. The date links are exactly the same. The percentage of the time that people actually click on them is so rare (and most clicks are by accident anyway) that it makes more sense to take them out, and if people really want to get to the date articles, they can type it in. --Cyde Weys 01:42, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per above comments and wp:context--FeanorStar7 (talk) 02:06, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Date autoformatting was a half-baked workaround to address a non-existent problem. --Malleus Fatuorum 02:26, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Date autoformatting is not needed. - SWTPC6800 (talk) 02:43, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I do not think it is a benefit to readers, and creates countless links that few actually use. kilbad (talk) 03:47, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support There should be some alternative for formatting, such as a template for dates -BarkerJr (talk) 04:15, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support The linking doesn't really help the average reader, and it has marginal costs for editors. GRBerry 05:23, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support as per Wikipedia:Only_make_links_that_are_relevant_to_the_context#Dates. RainbowOfLight Talk 05:27, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Date linking provides little benefit to readers, clutters the articles, and makes extra work for editors. If a reader wants to know what happened in a given year, he or she can go look at the year page directly. - Auntof6 (talk) 06:06, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support generally leads to cluttering. Manxruler (talk) 09:31, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, it's silly clutter and often leads to almost unreadable initial sentences. 2005 (talk) 10:18, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I have long been a believer that these links caused more confusion for the average reader since they are more or less dead links. I do not see where these links are even a benefit to the article or readers at hand. Canyouhearmenow 12:22, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support The links are generally useless and distracting. -- Mwanner | Talk 14:03, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support The links are usually not useful, and only a select few important dates should be linked if it helps context. --Banime (talk) 14:55, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, per above discussions. This practice has led to nothing but excess links that seem to litter the pages of Wikipedia. NSR77 T 16:12, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - links should mean something to the reader, and May 1 doesn't. --PresN (talk) 16:41, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support bunch of meaningless links detract from readability of articles —G716 <T·C> 17:04, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - If a link doesn't provide pertinent content, it shouldn't be in the article. arimareiji (talk) 18:07, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support' Such links add nothing to the article, and are frequently distracting. RJC TalkContribs 19:24, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Date links are almost universally a waste of time and lead to a "sea of blue" in many articles. An alternative method of date auto-formatting - preferably one which incorporates a 'date format' code once in the article, and then uses that throughout (but could be over-ridden by a user's own preferences if that was their choice) - would be far more elegant than the present approach. MarkyMarkD (talk) 19:54, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - it's like "feature creep" and is disappointing to click on a date only to find it's not about the article. A non-paper encyclopedia links things but the feature needs to have a function in relation to the article as do indexes in paper publications. Julia Rossi (talk) 21:22, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. The use of the autoformat in user preferences is very rare. There are far worse things than seeing a date in an unfamiliar format, and one of the most off-putting things is to see the very confusing "2008-11-29" format which is sometimes used to force an autoformat. Sam Blacketer (talk) 21:45, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support let's not forget that Wiki isn't a closed club of editors; many (most?) of its readers aren't registered and should not have to register in order to see dates shown in a consistent and unambiguous manner. WP:MOS encourages consistent use of one national variant of english per article; why not extend this approach to date format, and deprecate the use of numeric representation of months in favour of spelling the month - this is the only source of confusion for readers. -- Timberframe (talk) 21:59, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Reduce low-value links & sea-of-blue phenomena. Any beginning reader of English has encountered both date formats, and has quickly intuited that 12 July and July 12 mean the same thing. Ewulp (talk) 22:18, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Wikipedia is and first and foremost a professional encyclopedia. User perks can come later, but not at the expense of readability. --Patar knight - chat/contributions 22:27, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - I find articles to be over linked with common terms as it is. With the linking of dates as well this becomes quite a distraction and articles become difficult to read. The extent of linking is such that it is off putting. I'm not convinced that linking dates improves the knowledge of the reader anyway. Then we have the problem where dates aren't even linked correctly, this has to be corrected by another user. The pro's of linking dates do not out way the con's. — Realist2 23:03, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Auto format is good, but there is no good reason to link every single date. It is a bit like linking every single word. Martin451 (talk) 01:13, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Lets us avoid overlinking. -- Avenue (talk) 04:02, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Overloading the link function with this sort of formatting functionality links two problems that really have nothing to do with eachother. If date formatting is to be applied, it should be applied everywhere, but not every date should be linked- produces too many redundant or useless links within the article. --Clay Collier (talk) 06:08, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Linking dates is a time-wasting exercise and clutters the article with too many links. Most of the links just lead to a date which is not relevent to the article itself.--jeanne (talk) 06:30, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Whatlinkshere can be very useful for dates, but when every single date is linked, even ones that have nothing at all to do with the topic (like access dates for references), its usefulness is greatly diminished. The cons of overlinking greatly outweigh the autoformat benefits (which can hopefully be dealt with another way anyhow).--ragesoss (talk) 06:32, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support because I like hopping on bandwagons. No, seriously, other than setting the date preference I never really saw any rationale for this, and in most cases it was never relevant to the context (Links to "YEAR in FOO", on the other hand, are relevant and should be encouraged. Of course, that does beg the question of what happens if, say, we get articles like "July 16 in baseball", which, I find, depends on the outcome here. Daniel Case (talk) 06:35, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - datelinking confused me quite a bit when I first came to Wikipedia, as I assumed the dates linked to a topic that was relevant to the article. Better if they are removed IMO. Gatoclass (talk) 07:36, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support — Datelinking was always the bane of my existence when FAC time came around for an article I wrote. When I think about all the time needed to correctly formate the dates of all my citations, articles, and infoboxes, I shiver. It's far more efficient to depreciate the links. Any gain from linking the dates is more than outweighed by the time needed to insert them. Leave them out, please. JKBrooks85 (talk) 10:17, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - I don't see a good reason to link to some date or its fragment in general. --Tomaxer (talk) 10:55, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - this is such a pain to try and monitor. Wildhartlivie (talk) 11:46, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - as I have said before, confuses new users and directs them to unrelated pages. It is ugly and encourages overlinking. Graham Colm Talk 11:58, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Overlinking is not useful to readers. If date links are useful than they can always be added but the current situation results in conflicts when common sense should provail. Lympathy Talk 13:05, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Dates are only usefully linked when the statement is about the date: "1492 marks a watershed." "The 18th century was the heyday of rococo." Just as one doesn't link every noun. --Wetman (talk) 14:58, 30 November 2008 (UTC)--Wetman (talk) 14:58, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Although I would like some sort of formatting to be applied in some way, making a pointless hyperlink out of a date to achieve this is overkill.--A bit iffy (talk) 16:40, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Adds nothing useful. --Thermoproteus (talk) 18:04, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support as I dislike overlinking and OT trivia. Fletcher (talk) 20:26, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Links should only point to articles relevant to the context WP:OVERLINK - Anon126  (talk - contribs - commons - commons talk - commons contribs) 22:02, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Date links to pages that don't mention anything about the subject of the article linked from are just confusing to readers. They confused me when I first started reading Wikipedia. - Ahunt (talk) 23:06, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Antiquated and useless. Auto-formatting affects a very small minority of our readers (the ones with accounts who have actually taken the time to set up their date preferences). BuddingJournalist 23:47, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - can't say anything that hasn't already been stated. Intothewoods29 (talk) 00:33, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Auto-formatting occurs for small minority of readership, and date articles seem relatively useless to me. --Natural RX 00:39, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Remove the over-proliferation of blue which benefits only a tiny minority of readers. Peanut4 (talk) 00:43, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Linking dates is excessive. Auto-formatting is excessively pandering to idiosynchronicities. Wikipedia should adopt a preferred date format. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:38, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong Support The links are not at all useful and have nothing to do with the date being presented. Linking every date by autoformating is just plain stupid in my opinion and is/was bad policy. Rtr10 (talk) 07:19, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Not using date autoformatting at all is preferable to using the current link-based system of autoformatting. —Remember the dot (talk) 08:09, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Overlinking is one of the things that attracts derision to Wikipedia. It makes it harder to find the relevant links, and is often mistaken for emphasis. I18n of dates is not so vital that we need to solve it technologically. Pseudomonas(talk) 10:09, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support for many reasons. I am not sure I would support automatic date formating in any form - what matters is that articles are well written. I do favour consistency across all of wikipedia, so dates should generally conform to a small set of possible formats and should be consistent within an article - but that is another matter. Gaius Cornelius (talk) 14:56, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support as irrelevant overlinking is plain wrong for whatever reason, thus the current autoformatting system is brain-damaged. I hope this godawful abomination will finally disappear in the pit of hell. — Emil J. 15:16, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Links should always go somewhere relevant, those entirely there for date format preference do not. They are pointless, spammy, overlinking, and only provide any preferential benefit to registered users, who are not the core audience anyway. Hohum (talk) 16:34, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Automatically linking dates oveshadows real linking and distracts for the content of the article. Libcub (talk) 16:50, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Many articles overlink; linking all dates makes this a lot worse, making it hard to see the wood for the trees. --Merlinme (talk) 17:39, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Linking all the dates is distracting and cumbersome. --Elonka 18:20, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support The difference between "1 December" and "December 1" is no different than the difference between "colour" and "color." Simple regional difference, no reason why dates have to be altered. --Sable232 (talk) 21:12, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per Sandy. Goodness! (talk) 23:07, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Agree with the statement, supra, that linking all the dates is distracting and cumbersome. Drhoehl (talk) 00:45, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Autoformatting is not needed in Wikipedia any more than it is in a book. Overlinking brings down the quality of web pages. And how can we encourage good writing by our editors, even in the details, if we use a machine to alter it? Michael Z. 2008-12-02 01:35 z
  • Support - Linked dates distract from genuinely useful links; nearly all readers do not use autoformatting. Peter Ballard (talk) 01:49, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Linking dates doesn't enhance readability Tobyc75 (talk) 01:55, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Combining linking and formatting has never made any sense to me. Kingdon (talk) 02:19, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - It doesn't enhance readability and looks cluttered. Dismas|(talk) 07:36, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - The first time I read a Wikipedia page I wondered why ever some dates were links. They are generally distracting, and should not be used by default, but only when there is a significant meaning behind them, that is, when one wants to explicitely refer to history. --Fpoto (talk) 07:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - a new way needs to be found, as date wikilinks solely for autoformat is not a universal and ongoing solution. -- billinghurst (talk) 10:04, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support date links distract and add virtually no value (has anyone tried to read one of the garbage year or date articles?) Calliopejen1 (talk) 16:28, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support for the reasons I have given at previous discussions and at the current other discussion. However many places this issue is raised there is still no sense is having an automated system which requires more manual inputting than using normal dating, and which for the majority of readers does not provide a consistent date order within an article. The best approach is copywriting. SilkTork *YES! 18:20, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • The date links are almost never relevant to the article. Many long articles have both linked and unlinked dates which could confuse the casual reader into thinking that the linked dates are somehow more important than the unlinked dates. JimCubb (talk) 19:38, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support ugly, useless overlinking BanRay 21:01, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support need to avoid overlinking. bluelinking to a year is genreally useless ofr information unless it is a 1940 in literature/politics or some subset to be of interest. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:45, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I just never understood the benefit (in 95% of the cases) of linking a date. The cost of overlinking is clear - good links don't stand out. Smallbones (talk) 00:19, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. It is misleading, as it appears to denote significance of the linked date. Ty 00:33, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support this change for the better. Tony1's commentary has it just about spot-on. I've always thought date-linking was overlinking and wondered why we couldn't change the software to employ autoformatting on unlinked dates unless somehow tagged otherwise to preserve quotations, etc. I've come to realise that there are reasons other than blue clutter why autoformatting is a bad idea, though, and since we get along fine with spelling variation, this shouldn't be any different. Rovaniemi-5 (talk) 01:54, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. I don't believe that date links are important if only used for the purpose of formatting.« Hiram111ΔTalK Δ 02:12, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Those links typically get in the way of the reader's understanding the article. Eubulides (talk) 03:52, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Clearly over linking in many articles. Its time to close this discussion and move on. Vegaswikian (talk) 03:53, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support but with strong preference for some form of non-linked, no-login required autoformatting. dramatic (talk) 09:26, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Autoformatting is a nice to have, but the majority of people who read the encyclopedia do not have it. Links that do not add benefit should not be included, and for most people these do not add benefit. -- WORMMЯOW  10:32, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support As per above (and above some more) linking the dates provides no real value and overlinking dates is a problem. Pinkadelica Say it... 12:00, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support wiki-linking dates is absolutely useless. Miguel.mateo (talk) 13:57, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support how do most people use Wikipedia? Do they look for a particular subject or a date and see what happened in that month, day or year? I suggest they look mostly at a subject. If there are dates in that article, they point out significant moment for the subject of the article. If I'm reading by subject, dates don't mean anything except in the context of the article. If an external event is mentioned that affected the subject, I expect the article about the event (if linked) to be my main source of correlated information, not simply the date. What happened on September 11, 1662 is not relevant to what happened on September 11, 2001. My suggestion is to have a date tag of some kind that does not create a link (like an HTML span), and let the date formatting be an option in a registered user's profile. Then it will appear formatted via their choice. If it's linked in the article, it's linked. Otherwise, just format the date to the user preference.
  • Support Anything that makes reading the articles easier is a worthy and just cause.
  • Support The date links add nothing to a readers understanding of the article and hide the more important links. AlexJ (talk) 16:25, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Pointless. Is that brief enough?--Charles (talk) 17:08, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Overlinking is actually quite a problem with differing views on what is a high-value link to whom. However date links are usually less helpful if not completely useless. So many articles read "On 14 May 2007 blah de blah joined company X", etc but really that date isn't even terribly important to that subject. We can find other solutions to sorting out date-formatting needs but the blanket use iencourages driven unbecoming an encyclopedia. -- Banjeboi 21:12, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Deletion of active work is not the answer but addition of correct thinking and evocation of the namme of a knoe Saint of God a Jesus Freak a poet that eye love his namme is Darkstone. Smithdarkj (talk) 01:53, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Support. It doesn't help the vast majority of our readers, who see dates in their raw form. Truthanado (talk) 01:56, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. There seems little reason to link OR autoformat dates; we already expressly forbid changing between American English and British English arbitrarily, the same basic idea should apply to date formats. September 1, 2008 and 1 September 2008 are both unambiguous, and there's no need to massively overlink an article just to allow a user to set a preference to autoformat between the two. 03:34, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Date linking was absurd from day one. David Brooks (talk) 03:47, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Date linking has a bad effect on readability of an article. Hohenloh + 10:25, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support A disservice to many to satisfy a few. Cenarium (Talk) 11:23, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Most dates are not notable in their own right. --Philcha (talk) 15:35, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Like that saying goes: "No matter how far down the wrong road you've gone, turn back". Spellcast (talk) 16:32, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support A major step away from the plague of overlinking and toward a more effectively informative encyclopedia.DocKino (talk) 18:30, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I agree with much of the reasoning above. Eusebeus (talk) 20:45, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. It's like a useless or trite footnote-- it invites someone to leave the text to find nothing helpful at the destination. Kablammo (talk) 20:59, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per Tony1 and reasons already stated by countless others. Kafziel Complaint Department 21:36, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Overlinking is highly undesirable and is detrimental to readability. Pwhitwor (talk) 21:38, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, per Tony1. --Rosiestep (talk) 01:43, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - it makes article editing more complicated and doesn't improve content + technical reasons given above. Telaviv1 (talk) 06:02, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support --Scray (talk) 17:14, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I find it irritating and pointless. And the years it links to just has a collection of unrelated information. If each year's page had a separate sections for politics, per country or world, and linked to that when relevant, or pop culture which was somehow relevant to the article, it'd might be useful to have an option to link to it when relevent. Even then you shouldn't do it automatically. An anime comes out in 2001, and the link on the page says that the American President gave a medal to a previous president for the Spanish American War over a hundred years ago. Not relevant in any way. I don't understand why any bothered to look up any year as it is now and see what is listed there, would find any year's page even remotely useful to any article. Dream Focus (talk) 01:35, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support -- as per many of the already-made points. Axlrosen (talk) 23:04, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, as I fail to see this is not covered by WP:CONTEXT. –thedemonhog talkedits 23:49, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support it's already been well stated. It violates the principal about irrelavant links and of redundant links, and creates a sea of blue. Saros136 (talk) 06:27, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. I've always found this irritating, and most readers don't have preferences set anyway. SlimVirgin talk|edits 14:55, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Excessive/redundant linking is not appreciated but birth, death, important events needs to be linked and is very important. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bharathprime (talkcontribs) 2008-12-07T22:44:14
  • Support I view it as clutter in some cases. It is helpful to link when it may provide more information for the specific article, but simply linking to a date seldom provides useful information. It sends you off task, unless all you are doing is surfing around click by click. It's more like "Oh, look. A chicken!"Kearsarge03216 (talk) 01:42, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. When dates were first de-linked on articles I had written, it looked strange, but now I see how much cleaner these articles look and read. I agree that links should be reserved for linking to other articles only. Yoninah (talk) 23:12, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - I used to support linking dates, just to see some blue on a page. But now I know it is not only not necessary, but overlinking and not needed in articles (though some dates, for example, linking December 25 in Christmas, etc., is acceptable). -- American Eagle (talk) 23:53, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support–Linking for the sake of formatting creates low-value links that take focus away from more useful links. In addition, it hides date inconsistencies from users with date preferences set, but readers who are not logged in are presented with a mish-mash of date styles. When I read the initial proposal to delink dates I was against it, but having seen it in practice I like it. Pagrashtak 13:44, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I never look at the dates. The only time linking to dates is useful is in sport years., i.e. 2008 Formula One Season, but apart from that I don't see any reason to link to dates at all. Darth Newdar (talk) 16:10, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support — Autoformatting is one function, and linking is another. I don't think it makes sense that they are combined. There are cases in which dates should be linked, and cases in which they should not; but autoformatting could be beneficial in either case. —Celtic Minstrel (talkcontribs) 17:13, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - As far as I am concerned the date autoformatting/linking is a blight upon the Wikipedia. Nick Thorne talk 20:24, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support never did like the idea of date linking. GtstrickyTalk or C 20:54, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support The benefits of linking every date are small (in my opinion) and of no benefit to most readers. It clearly goes against the policy for wikilinks generally that wikilinks should be used sparingly and only where it would provide additional helpful information for the average reader. Rreagan007 (talk) 23:07, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support: I hate seeing a sea of blue almost as much as I hate a sea of red. – Jerryteps 01:36, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support: Linking of dates that really have no historical value (like the date of CD release) is a waste of time and clutters the article about that date with useless trivia. And overlinking is an issue in many articles already. Niteshift36 (talk) 14:00, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. I've never seen any value in linking dates in articles, and I file doing so under "useless" along with linking of mundane terms (seriously, I once saw an article where virtually every single word was wikilinked, which looked ridiculous and made the article impossible to read, to boot). Sometimes "consensus can change" gets up my nose with regards to certain policies, but in this case I'd be happy to see date linking disappear, except in very rare cases. 23skidoo (talk) 16:10, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Unnecessary clutter. PluniAlmoni (talk) 20:46, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Links are supposed to lead you to more useful information about that article, not to a totally different article. --Krakatov (talk) 00:00, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - I'm not opposed to autoformatting in principle, but these links are a terrible way to do it. Polemarchus (talk) 03:40, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Doesn't look like much of a debate really. Ched Davis (talk) 07:59, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Linking dates is almost always completely pointless. If an article discusses Guy Fawkes, November 5 should probably be linked, if it discusses Osama bin Laden then September 11 should be linked; however, we don't need to link dates in cases such as Gaylord Perry pitching a no-no on September 17, 1968, or the contract to build the Hoover Dam being awarded on March 11, 1931 (and yes, both of those examples are actually linked in the respective articles). With some topics (Fawkes and September 11), the dates are relevant; in most (including Perry and the Hoover Dam), they are not. faithless (speak) 08:31, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support. Just look at the argument above, linking a date provides no context in most cases. If dates are wikilinked, then why shouldn't every word be? / 13:14, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support: While it was nice to see dates in a consistent format, it really did defeat the whole purpose of linking, in two ways: It created links to information about dates that had no real relationship to the article, and it led to serious overlinking, I agree with the decision to deprecate this feature. Sunray (talk) 16:54, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Date links are by and large unnecessary in most articles, and detract from the value of all other links in that article. The exceptions are those articles that have a strong temporal connection, such as World War II and September 11 attacks. The Fiddly Leprechaun · Catch Me! 16:57, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support. Articles on my watchlist that have been de-linked are improved in my opinion. It gets rid of a clutter of links and allows you to see the real links. There are several categories of X by year, for use where we really want to collect date related material. Viv Hamilton (talk) 15:04, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, especially if the autoformatting function comes into play since 99.99% of the times the link to the date provides no additional information. Tabercil (talk) 17:40, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. There is generally no utility gained by linking to dates, since clicking the link simply takes the reader to an irrelevant page. -- Ssilvers (talk) 19:05, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Always found it kind of pointless. Semitransgenic (talk) 02:28, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. As with some others above, it is the useless linking of dates that bothers me more than the format issue. If I want to know about everything else that went on on 11 June apart from whatever I happen to be writing an entry about, well, I know where to go... hamiltonstone (talk) 11:14, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Wikipedia will look a lot more professional once all dates are unlinked. JS (chat) 13:04, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support - Overlinkage just draws attention away to irrelevant topics. —La Pianista (TCS) 21:11, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. As per Colonies Chris. Chrisieboy (talk) 14:23, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I agreed to do this with the Alpha Kappa Alpha article. miranda 21:20, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Overlinking is a significant problem. Differently formatted dates are typically not a source of confusion - auto-formatting seems to be a solution in search of a problem. In addition, there are thousands of differences between different varieties of English - date formatting is just one, and generally we have a pretty good set of guidelines of which variety of English should be used in which article. Dave w74 (talk) 21:30, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Ditto Gr8white (talk) 02:47, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Linking dates is a waste of energy and time.
  • Support as linking dates also may confuse new users about the purpose of wikilinking, and may distract or confuse readers who click a date link out of curiosity. — ℜob C. alias ᴀʟᴀʀoʙ 22:13, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support because Wikipedia in its present state is not ready for technical features of this kind. They complicate the lives of editors and users, and the slim benefits are nowhere near sufficient compensation.–¡ɐɔıʇǝoNoetica!T– 05:00, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Not useful. --Kbdank71 20:08, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Can't see any benefit from these links, and they make the articles difficult to read. --Phil Holmes (talk) 10:09, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support the actual statement that dates should not be linked purely for auto-formatting. Auto-formatting by itself doesn't justify the distraction, nor the frustration of ordinary users unwise to Wikipedia ways who might expect significant relevant information to come from every date link, as opposed to the few possible exceptions I support below.
¶ I should also take my share of responsibility for making "Support/oppose deprecation" into subheads. The repeated "support", "oppose" and "neutral" subheads confused the wikilinks (e.g, "[[Talk...#support]]" might lead to the wrong subsection) and gave no indications as to what was being supported or opposed in an edit summary, watchlist or history. So I added distinguishing words to each "support", "oppose", "neutral" and "comments" subheading. However I wasn't the one who changed the main title's section.
And I'm a victim of my own imprecision, since I oppose linking just to autoformat, but I don't like robotic deletion (often misnamed "deprecation") of every date link, because it can also delete a date link that might have other value.—— Shakescene (talk) 20:20, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, it leads to pointless overlinking.  Esradekan Gibb  "Talk" 03:10, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Links generally serve no useful purpose. -- King of ♠ 07:04, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Oppose deprecation[edit]

  • As Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia we should strive to provide features unique to this medium. We already provide ways for editors to customize the appearance of the encyclopedia (via cascading style sheets and user javascript). Browsers also provide means to customize the appearance of the site thanks to this forward thinking. Likewise I think it would be appropriate to provide a means for people to see dates however they prefer. Note also that the current formatting system (using wikilinks around date fragments) is the method being addressed by the MediaWiki patch at Bugzilla noted in the background above. Removing these links would undermine and harm the work being done by developers to fix these issues. —Locke Coletc 07:46, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • "we should strive to provide features unique to this medium" - agreed, but only where they provide a net benefit; "because we can" isn't sufficient justification.
  • "Removing these links would undermine and harm the work being done by developers to fix these issues" disagree, it would merely make it redundant; "because we're fixing it" isn't a good justification either
  • -- Timberframe (talk) 21:59, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Then we disagree that date formatting is a "net benefit". I think it is (especially where we have more than two options for date formats). I don't understand your second response, I don't see how it would be "redundant" if the fix for date formatting relied upon the existing syntax. Removing date links invalidates the work done so far and is strictly punitive in nature. —Locke Coletc 19:25, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Per Locke Cole's reasoning, especially concerning the MediaWiki patch. Tennis expert (talk) 08:15, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Try to allow users as much flexibility as possible about how they view the encyclopedia. Stifle (talk) 10:54, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't see a problem with date autoformatting. I don't see "overlinking" of dates as a problem. I think what Lightmouse (and Lightbot) has been doing is a huge waste of time. I've read User:The Duke of Waltham/Auto-formatting is evil and User:Tony1/Information on the removal of DA and remain unconvinced. --Pixelface (talk) 12:37, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't see a serious problem with date autoformatting, or with the "overlinking" problem. The user preference for non-logged-in users seems minor, and could be dealt with easily by a cookie-set default preference. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:25, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • As per my comment on the following question about autoformatting, a developer has already created a patch that can address the concerns raised against autoformatting. The developer has indicated that retaining the existing links simplifies the process, as it is more complicated to identify unlinked dates. Furthermore, the new patch - if enabled - would not require a modification to the existing markup for most dates; instead, the autoformatting would remain and be improved, while the links (the most contentious issue) would simply vanish. --Ckatzchatspy 18:37, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose removal of date links. I prefer seeing dates appear in ISO date format consistently across the encyclopedia. Having date links allows me to set my preferences to have dates appear this way. If overlinking is an issue, let's have the developers implement some other kind of markup so that we can keep date autoformatting without needing to link. —Scott5114 [EXACT CHANGE ONLY] 23:10, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Users should be able to view dates in their preferred format and that there should be a software change to enable dates to be formatted consistently for all non logged in user or registered user who do not set a date format preference. This will prevent edit warring on articles and having to format dates in a consistent manner throughout the text as all linked dates will be formatted for all users. The software change should also enable autoformatted dates not to show as links by some change to mark-up. Keith D (talk) 23:52, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose until such time as a non-linking auto-format option is deployed. Then, and only then, reduce the linking. I'm also concerned at how a bot determines what is a significant date link from just an autoformatting one. --J Clear (talk) 01:31, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, the overloading of wikilinks to autoformat dates is a kludge, but autoformatting dates is a useful function. Until a better autoformatting solution is in place, we should continue using the one we have. Ntsimp (talk) 06:06, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • While I appreciate the concerns on autoformating (that is mainly that logged in users might not see inconsistencies in articles), I believe this is a useful feature that (if improved a bit) enhances the user experience (especially since many articles are in a gray area regarding their fate formatting). I am not concerned over overlinking. -- lucasbfr talk 10:49, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - per above comments. - BillCJ (talk) 16:01, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose: I think autoformatting leads to a more consistent appearance for those users who have logged in, and adds or subtracts nothing from non-logged in users. The overlinking argument, to my mind, is overplayed -- do people really mind that much that the date is in blue? I recognise I'm in the minority, but I've always liked autoformatting. Coemgenus 17:14, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose per the reasoning given by Locke Cole, Stifle, and Ckatz. I have also read the two user essays, and also remain unconvinced that this is as big a problem as it is made out to be. As the patch has been developed, it seems it would be more useful to fix the issue rather than remove extremely useful links from articles (I'm sure I'm not the only one interested in other historical events which happened on a particular day or in a particular year). Outside of the autoformatting (which I like), I find these links to be very useful. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:55, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - per Pixelface, I remain unconvinced. The benefits of auto-formatting, to me, far outweigh the reasons mentioned for *not* formatting. -- SatyrTN (talk / contribs) 19:35, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above. Before removing date links, please provide any alternative (and, of course, better) system for dates autoformatting allowing for users to see dates in format they prefer.Beagel (talk) 20:15, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose While I do recognise that overlinking is a problem it seems to me that the way to go is to remove the links, not throw the baby out with the bathwater. If this can't be done for some reason right now then keep the status quo. That way it will be far easier to make the change (even automatic) when linkless dates are added. CrispMuncher (talk) 22:42, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Not only do I appreciate the auto-formatting feature, I also use date links all the time. When I am reading an article and it says that something happened in some year, I like to be able to click on the link to the year and see what else was going on at that time. Over linking might be a bit of a problem, but we shouldn't overreact and remove links that are actually helpful. If a linkless auto-formatting feature is introduced in the future, perhaps it could be set up in such a way that individual users could decide if they want dates linked or not by changing their preferences. --Andrew Kelly (talk) 23:02, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Andrew Kelly's rationale says it all. Date links make it easier to find occurrences by year, and concerns about overlinking aren't valid; two or three links to a date will make very little difference in link quantity. —Mizu onna sango15Hello! 03:14, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
    • That's like saying a fire that is lit should be lit because its not doing any harm where it is now. With this rationale, linking just one date, we would give way to the entire article being linked whenever a measly date is mentioned. Thus, that small fire has now become an immense blaze that is out of control. NSR77 T 16:14, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
      • We don't have to let the fire burn out of control. There's nothing wrong with lighting a fire in a fireplace, the problems arise when you let it burn out of control and it burns the house down. The first instance of dates should be linked, but that doesn't mean we should go out of control and link recurring instances of the same date. --Andrew Kelly (talk) 17:53, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
        • Very true, and this is a nice thought, but I don't think it's possible for Wikipedians to keep track of every single article. A lot of them "fall through the cracks" and unregistered/new users would continue to link dates. Furthermore, it would be a disastrous onslaught to try and come to a Wikipedia-wide consensus regarding what should be linked, when (if not all the time or never at all). NSR77 T 16:23, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose: The comments by the supporters that date links don't help the reader, or confuses them have no basis in any asserted facts from what I've read. I'd like to see a copy of the survey of registered editors and frequent anons which came to that conclusion. I agree with some of the comments directly above that doing otherwise would mean a user's preferences are rendered useless, and unnecessary edits are made by editors changing date formats around. Nja247 (talkcontribs) 12:26, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
I would argue that the comments made here are similar to a survey. This is the feedback and those who state that it doesn't help the reader, find that they haven't helped them throughout their editing history by default. Of course I understand your POV though. Lympathy Talk 14:35, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose -- Avi (talk) 18:33, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
    Per Locke. Allowing browsers to adjust based on the fact that the links are tagged is a good thing. As this is a wiki, extra blue links do not seem to be harmful. -- Avi (talk) 20:03, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose saying dates should not be linked. Forcing people to read e.g. middle endian or small endian dates despite their preferences being set for another way: bad, it is. -- Jeandré, 2008-11-30t19:53z
  • Oppose Letting the reader see dates according to their preference is helpful, not harmful. At the very least, stop clogging up watchlists with the massive delinking.--Fabrictramp | talk to me 16:24, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
    • No worse than clogging articles and detracting from their visual appeal with worthless blue links. Dabomb87 (talk) 00:18, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
      • Seriously, if the color of the links is your biggest concern then change the color of the links. That would be insanely easy for a dev to do for all editors (registered or not). (Just have the software wrap the date fragments in a SPAN with a specific CSS class then have MediaWiki:Common.css updated with something that sets the color attribute to black: problem solved). That's certainly a better solution than making thousands of minor edits. —Locke Coletc 00:34, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
        • I am, thanks to useful info on Tony1's user page. Dabomb87 (talk) 00:58, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
          • I assume you mean by delinking them? That's not useful if your goal is only to change their color and not their other attributes (formatting). —Locke Coletc 23:41, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
            • No, I actually have changed the color of the links. Dabomb87 (talk) 23:45, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Overloading date autoformatting on date linking was a stupid, stupid decision in the first place, but it does not mean that there is no need to provide the autoformatting capability. As long as this capability is dependent on date links, I am going to oppose removing the date links. Once a better solution is available, then it would be a different matter entirely.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 18:28, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Autoformatting of dates is an important feature of wikipedia that greatly improves its usability. Unless and until some other mechanism for performing this is available, autoformatting via linking should be used. JulesH (talk) 20:42, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The removal of autoformatting is a bigger detriment to the encyclopedia than overlinking is. In the absence of a new autoformatting scheme, the old way should be restored. hateless 17:39, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I was neutral about this, until today I encountered someone using AWB to remove linked dates from a mature article that is international in scope. (Aside: Why is AWB still doing this when its not agreed?) The article in question has dates using many different formats. That's no problem with linked dates. But if I was to impose consistency (on an article with a very long edit history) I would end up imposing my own preferred date style when there is no need to make a potentially disruptive edit. Far better to let it auto-format a solution Ephebi (talk) 23:13, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Ephebi's comment does not consider that most readers have no account, so autoformatting does nothing for them. By deciding not to make the dates consistent, Ephebi decided to continue to present "dates using many different formats" to most readers. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 23:50, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Or maybe Ephebi read the RFC entirely and realizes there's a patch that addresses this concern. —Locke Coletc 23:41, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Actually Ephebi did consider that but sees it as worthwhile for them to get a registered account. The issue about which style to use appears to me to be most disruptive as its an easy topic to argue over. Ephebi (talk) 00:02, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Unregistered users will always see unformatted dates as entered. As a registered editor, I expect to see dates in my preferred local format, not one prescribed by an editor in another part of the world. WWGB (talk) 07:17, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Why do you as editor expect to see a different page than the readers you are writing for? Taemyr (talk) 07:37, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I'm sure someone could find something more useful for bots to do. Deb (talk) 23:22, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Wikipedia should not be limited to the features of a paper encyclopedia. Wikipedia editors should be able to see dates formatted to their own ways. Tohd8BohaithuGh1 (t·c·r) 00:06, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment I would prefer to have all the dates consistent that is provided by autoformatting. Instead of creating a hyperlinked text, I'm sure mediawiki can create a plain text without any link for dates. =Nichalp «Talk»= 16:13, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose deprecation. While I agree that the current system (using wikilinking to format dates) is not ideal, I think the harm caused by it is greatly exaggerated. Even when I read the encyclopedia without logging in, I'm not at all disturbed by the date links. Even a casual reader can be expected to understand that clicking on a date link will go to an article about the date (day/month or year); readers who don't immediately understand that will learn it quickly after clicking on a couple of those links. After that, it's easy to simply ignore those links. I strongly support the development of a better system to do date autoformatting without wikilinking (because I don't like the mixing of those functions), or alternatively to prevent wikilinking of dates in the wikitext from resulting in active links in the displayed text, but I do not believe that linking dates impairs the functionality and usability of the encyclopedia in any way.

--Tkynerd (talk) 19:11, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

    • Comment I'm glad you aren't disturbed by the extra links; however this is too low a bar for inclusion. We only use links that add positive value to the encyclopedia; doing no harm is not sufficient. The principles embodied in WP:CONTEXT are worth considering here; each superfluous link, while not individually doing any actual harm, tends to dilute and distract from the carefully-chosen terms which should be linked. --John (talk) 19:21, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
      • I'm not in agreement with the change that was made to WP:CONTEXT to deprecate date linking for the purpose of autoformatting, and I do not think the principles articulated in WP:CONTEXT (outside of that specific point) trump the usefulness of date formatting. So we'll just have to disagree on that point. Your description of what "we" do assumes a consensus that does not exist, and is in fact the subject of the discussion on this page. --Tkynerd (talk) 19:46, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
        • I am happy to agree to disagree; however your comment seems to imply that you are then in favor of adding links which do not add positive value to the encyclopedia. Why, then, would one make such links, I have to ask? --John (talk) 20:15, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
          • I already said it: I do not believe that linking dates impairs the functionality and usability of the encyclopedia in any way; I do not think the principles articulated in WP:CONTEXT (outside of that specific point) trump the usefulness of date formatting. Particularly that last point is the one we'll have to disagree on. Perhaps I can put it a little differently: While I agree that the date links created purely for autoformatting purposes are not useful, I think the minimal harm they do to articles pales in comparison to the usefulness of date formatting. --Tkynerd (talk) 20:39, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The autoformatting serves a useful purpose, and I've never heard a convincing argument against it. Rebecca (talk) 09:26, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose with Mustard. There's just no good reason not to link to dates, really. And why is overlinking a problem? Nobody seems to want to come with a good explanation here. --Kaizer13 (talk) 18:37, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Date links are very useful. --UC_Bill (talk) 22:03, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
    • Could you elaborate on how these links are useful? Dabomb87 (talk) 19:52, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
      • Date links are useful to readers because they allow quick access to date pages, which are themselves useful for historical research (particularly timelines, putting historical events in context, etc.) They're useful to editors because they provide metadata that can be used in various kinds of statistical analysis. They're useful to developers because they greatly simplify the process of automatically extracting dates from articles. --UC_Bill (talk) 19:00, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose futilely. I don't think anyone has made a convincing case against date links. Distracting? To whom? They occasionally serve a useful purpose, but clearly this is already decided. But I'm on the record.--CastAStone//₵₳$↑₳₴₮ʘ№€ 14:49, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose strongly. I consider delinking as vandalism (deliberate spoiling of other people work, since question of overlinking can be solved by Prussian blue. Guy Peters TalkContributionsEdit counter 22:27, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
    • I hardly consider putting square brackets around dates "work". Also, see WP:OWN as well the note at the bottom of the edit screen, this is a wiki and "If you don't want your writing to be edited others, do not submit it." Thirdly, I do use Prussian blue and the dates still affect my reading of overlinked articles, although thank you for putting this link up for others to see; hopefully other editors will use their monobook.css pages to dampen the effect of the overlinking. Dabomb87 (talk) 00:02, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • It works, really. Sometimes, I wish to know about other events in that date. Why is it such a problem to allow me that by a link? WP:OWN is no usage here, since I am not the author of these articles. "I do use Prussian blue and the dates still affect my reading of overlinked articles" How? Guy Peters TalkContributionsEdit counter 11:35, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
Anything that involves editing your monobook is not a solution. Those "solutions" simply hides the problem from editors. Remember that most readers will not be logged in. Taemyr (talk) 12:02, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
I think that preserving other people work is a solution, not to destroy it. The problem is not "hiding", but respecting opinions and needs of others. If you dislike links, you can simply hide them by monobook.css. If my friends and me wish to click on dates, we simply cannot.
Problems of not logged users is overstated. More important for them is that they are forced to the terrible style Monobook instead of Standard. That was the main reason why I have established the SUL. Solution for not logged users is to establish a cookie for them. Guy Peters TalkContributionsEdit counter 19:17, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Date linking, particularly in ledes and infoboxes, is hardly a problem of overlinking. We're a wiki, the point of which is to encourage linking to other subjects. I personally find date links to be both useful and interesting. I'm also not seeing a huge problem with autoformatting. GlassCobra 10:59, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Autoformatting of dates is an important feature of wikipedia. I prefer seeing blue linked dates over seeing them bare. Further, the linked dates can be very useful and even expand the depth of research when needed. Daytrivia (talk) 00:54, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose We should be looking for more semantic entities to tag, not fewer. For example, I'd be happier if every instance of a person's name was linked, not just the first mention per page or section. Then, you treat the wikitext as a sort of model and leave the presentation layer or view up to the reader. As editors we would markup various kinds of entities and then enforce style and presentation rules as a user preference (or with templates or css and javascript or however) with some default that everybody (or most everybody) can agree on. This would cover, for example: date format, spelling variations, unit conversions, dates linked or not, whether to link every mention of a person's name or just the first instance of each — or only if it's at "Good Article" status, if that's what the reader prefers. Enforcing these types of things at the article level is just plain stupid. Even if you hate date links and have very particular opinions on how dates should be formatted, those changes should be made at the software level, not circumvented by the manual editing of millions of cases. --Sapphic (talk) 01:28, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose As much I oppose overlinking, I hate to see bare links. Once someone comes up with a better solution, then we should keep the status quo. Cheers! Λuα (Operibus anteire) 14:28, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose There may yet be some important feature that would rely on dates that isn't yet devised. Whilst this change could be reverted it would surely take a lot of effort and might not then provide the universal requirement of the yet to be invented feature.--Rjstott (talk) 21:31, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose No need to deprecate: if an editor thinks an individual date is worth linking then that link should be considered on its merits. BTW, deprecation discourages future use; it does not prohibit past use. --Rumping (talk) 10:12, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Per comments above. Dates often provide usefull context/choice and a usefull browsing aid for readers. It would be nice if a way was devised to auto link to do it without repitition of the same links, which seemed to be a flaw of the older system. G-Man ? 22:30, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Users should be able to read and understand the date comfortable and known to them. The "overlinked" bogeyman needs to be put to rest. EdwinHJ | Talk 07:56, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose A step backwards. We should encode as much semantic information as possible when it is not onerous. When we have some better markup to replace it, or some alternative way of displaying it, that will be great (I personally find the pages for days of the year to be useless coincidences). If there are performance issues that aren't imminently going to take down the site, we should address those by fixing them, not by crapifying the data or user experience. — brighterorange (talk) 23:59, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. What's the point of creating days and years articles if we're not going to link to them. Elbutler (talk) 15:54, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose More links make it easier to get around a wiki. I often click on the links and I would rather not copy and paste every time I want to go the year's article. Captain panda 21:27, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose until some other method of autoformatting is developed. We should allow readers to choose the date format they prefer to read. Seeing different systems in different articles is inconsistent and confusing; the best way to resolve this is via autoformatting. If an alternative technical fix is developed, I will drop my objection. Modest Genius talk 16:46, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Neutral about deprecation[edit]

  • Neutral for now. I believe that when the recommendations from editors regarding the above RfC (the one made by Tony, which predates this RfC) are tallied, the final result will be so overwhelming in favor of deprecating all linking/autoformatting of dates and endorsing bot removal of linked dates, that this RfC here will be shown to be pointless.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 18:25, 25 November 2008 (UTC) See my Comment below.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 10:18, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
    • Tony's RfC really doesn't speak to deprecating autolinking, merely whether it should be essentially mandatory. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 22:42, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral We need a better method of auto-formatting than what we currently have, but the linking doesn't bother me. Anomie 17:22, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral - It would be an improvement if the auto-formatting functionality was independent of the date-linking functionality; if this were the case, then this whole discussion would never have arisen. Currently you are required to have both or neither; that only addresses two of the possible four combinations. (Personally, I would want all dates auto-formatted, but only some dates linked.) Pdfpdf (talk) 07:35, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral This is a false choice, caused by the tying of linking and DA. I support the concept of DA even though the current implementation is broken. I do not think we need to require linking to implement DA, nor do we need to link each and every date. This does not mean that some dates are not worth linking. Mass removal of all linked dates is a mistake dm (talk) 16:25, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral My view is that the option for users to have dates formatted according to their wishes (and local customs) is more important than the overlinking issue. I don't see any real reason why date formatting should be dependent on wikilinks being present, but if that's the only way to ensure personalised formatting works then I'm happy to live with it. waggers (talk) 20:52, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral - autoformatting of dates is pleasant, but if people really want it, we should find another solution. However, linking dates rarely does any harm. Warofdreams talk 21:24, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral I have long been okay with the removal of year dates when they were present by themselves; if people think that the same should apply to all dates in most contexts, I'm fine with that. My question is autoformatting: if I understand rightly, sr.wikipedia (Serbian) comes both in Latin and in Cyrillic script. If I'm correct about sr.wikipedia, why couldn't we tell the software to format dates automatically by their subjects? Surely so doing would be far less difficult. Even if I'm wrong, I expect that it would be easy to create a template to format all dates: {{DEFAULTSORT}} is a hidden template that formats all categories in a page, so couldn't we come up with a similar idea to change all DMY or MD,Y or YMD dates to a single format? Nyttend (talk) 04:59, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral because I am against auotformatting - they should be like choices of which English to use subject/country or editor specific. Neutral because I am for the removal of day, month, year dates which are only linked because they are dates. Edmund Patrickconfer 14:00, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Comments about deprecation[edit]

  • With so many options—rather than a simple up or down vote, this RfC wouldn’t immediately solve anything as there would have to be yet another round of voting to settle on MOSNUM wording. The above RfC is currently ongoing and seems imminently sensible. I believe I will hold off on participating in this multi-option can of worms; my votes in the above RfC make it clear enough as to precisely what I think should be on MOSNUM. Thanks, just the same. Greg L (talk) 08:17, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree with Greg: this is a total waste of users' time—the question has been overwhelmingly decided just above. This is absolutely redundant bureacracy. Tony (talk) 08:56, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
    • Why don't you guys just comment? If the question is so decided, then why not? This is called getting consensus, if you agree to everything you opponent wants and still win the debate, how can there be any argument left?--User:2008Olympianchitchatseemywork 09:12, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
      • Well, we could launch this question once a week, just to annoy everyone and clog up the RfC page. Or every day? Tony (talk) 09:45, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
        • You know very well why this RFC is here Tony, just because you attempted to sabotage it doesn't give you divine right to have only your RFC. Besides, unlike your RFC this one encourages discussion, not voting. —Locke Coletc 09:47, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
          • Please do not stalk me here; your bad-faith comments are degrading this process, which is meant to encourage free and fair comment. I find it intimidatory. Tony (talk) 10:00, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • If you don't care Tony, why the objection? —Locke Coletc 09:35, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
    • Are you going to stalk my opinions here and write rude comments? I care very much about the use of trivial tech devices where there's no problem in the first place. They cannot help but degrade the process, as happened with the previous DA mechanism. Tony (talk) 09:44, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
      • This is a discussion Tony, it's entirely appropriate to ask questions of others. I'm just curious about your motivations, if it's not a big deal why fight so hard against it? How does auto formatting "degrade the process"? It adds value to readers by providing a consistent date view. —Locke Coletc 09:46, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
        • I'm feeling intimidated by these interpolations: others may express their opinions freely, but I'm being stalked and confronted by doing so. Tony (talk) 10:01, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
          • I've questioned other comments here already, not just yours Tony. And again, this is a discussion. I'm sorry this is troubling you. —Locke Coletc 10:04, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
            • Quite a few things trouble me about this, but I don't go running around vandalising the text or stalking participants. Nor do I post comments such as "Your behavior, Tony, has been deplorable throughout this ordeal and I am strongly considering requesting arbitration over your conduct. [Locke Cole]". Tony (talk) 14:59, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
              • I don't understand all this bickering. If Tony's RfC is any indicator of things to come, then the results should be about the same, even with background information and "more-neutral wording". Let us move on. Dabomb87 (talk) 15:02, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
              • Are you implying that I've vandalized text or stalked participants? Because I haven't done either. As to my comment, it's true: your behavior has been deplorable during this dispute. But that's a matter for ArbCom, not this RFC. —Locke Coletc 23:17, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
                • I don't think that's much of an implied statement, but a statement of fact. A number of us certainly feel that you have been indulging in stalking and other intimidating behaviour. Ohconfucius (talk) 12:34, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
                  • It's not stalking to enforce warnings issued to you and other editors not to perform disputed edits while that dispute remains unresolved. If you didn't repeatedly violate the warnings you were given there wouldn't be anything to report on, would there? So in the end it all goes back to your behavior. Do you blame the police officer for your speeding when you get pulled over as well? —Locke Coletc 12:40, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • It's clear that the other RfC could only be followed if one of the proposals passed, as Tony (the creator of the RfC) is opposed to them. I suggest that, although I don't agree with Greg, that he should comment here as well as there if he wants his voice to be heard. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:51, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Tony, Locke: play nice kids, or your father does all the cooking for a week! LeadSongDog (talk) 21:26, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I believe that when the recommendations from editors regarding the above RfC (the one made by Tony, which predates this RfC) are tallied, the final result will be so overwhelming in favor of deprecating all linking/autoformatting of dates and endorsing bot removal of linked dates, that this RfC here will be shown to be pointless.
  • We have 203 support votes, 35 oppose votes, and 6 neutral (84% support) as of 19:59, 6 December 2008 (UTC). Dabomb87 (talk) 20:36, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
  • From what I see above, most of the supporters believe that autoformatting is not worth the disadvantages of linking dates, while most of the opposers believe that the autoformatting mechanism is too important to be deprecated without a replacement, and that the overlinking of dates is a secondary concern that either doesn't affect them or should only be resolved after a new autoformatting patch is proven to work. So far, the viewpoint of the supporters outweigh the opposers' viewpoints by a million miles, in terms of consensus. Dabomb87 (talk) 19:59, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
    • Keep in mind, though, that the second question reveals a very different aspect of the discussion. When asked about the idea of retaining autoformatting in some form, there are (as of 21:23, 6 December 2008 (UTC)) 62 supporters, 61 opposed, and 7 neutral. --Ckatzchatspy 05:24, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
      • I read the vote comments in the "Support some method of date autoformatting" section and most supporters agree that the existing date linking should go away. They would like an optional date formatting method that worked for all readers. A 53 to 57 split is not a mandate for a new feature. There is a very strong consensus to remove the existing date linking. - SWTPC6800 (talk) 16:02, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
        • Note that the reasons cited for most of those 57 opposes seem to represent faulty assumptions. For example, there seem to be at least 6 that assume anons would still see unformatted dates, at least 5 who oppose because it would be a waste of developer time (it's up to the developers, particularly the unpaid volunteers, what they want to spend their time on), at least 7 who assume it would apply to every date rather than just dates marked up with whatever new syntax, at least 2 who seem to think dates would still be linked, and too many to count who think the only reason for date formatting is MDY versus DMY (only 1 comment considered the template issue). For that matter, many of the support !votes are just as weak (mainly "I like it!"), but I've yet to see anyone provide a reason for not having a solution for the template and "list data" issues. Anomie 18:24, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
i think we should try not to overinterpret people's short-form comments - in an RfC this long and complicated i'm not surprised people tried to keep their remarks minimal; and some of the "support" comments sound like misunderstandings too. Sssoul (talk) 19:25, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Thank you Anomie for the analysis—most illuminating.  HWV 258  03:43, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Dabomb87, I think you need to read and consider Consensus to find out what the word means, and WP:VOTE to find out why we don't count votes on Wikipedia. You seem to be confusing "consensus" with "counting votes and achieving a majority." Consensus is about reaching agreement. --Tkynerd (talk) 20:16, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I am not confusing consensus with voting. I keep the stats there for perusal by me and other readers, not to gauge consensus (although I think the number of votes is telling). I have actually read through most of the comments by those from all sides of the debate and commented on the consensus based on the comments, not on the votes. I separated my comments about consensus and the stats for clarification. Dabomb87 (talk) 20:36, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I have to disagree. While I appreciate the fact that you separated out the stats, your comment paragraph still concludes with this sentence: So far, the viewpoint of the supporters outweigh the opposers' viewpoints by a million miles, in terms of consensus. The idea of one viewpoint "outweighing" another is precisely contrary to the meaning and spirit of consensus. --Tkynerd (talk) 20:48, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Why not have a date convert template - like the unit conversion template that converts kms to miles, kgs to lbs, etc - that could return a date formatted either to a user set preference (if any), or the date format dominating in the region/country of the user (which can be obtained, I believe, from the computer somehow)? The default in the template would be link=off, but in cases where linking to the date in question is relevant, the default could be overriden with link=yes. LarRan (talk) 15:34, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • "if multiple editors have used multiple date formats on the same page, users who aren't logged in see many different date styles"
    This is a problem best dealt with by editing the content to fix it, not by tweaking the presentation layer. It's not a reason to support automatic formatting for consistency Andy Dingley (talk) 17:41, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I like the user-choice of date formatting and I appreciate the concerns about overlinking. However if MediWiki can solve this and will be able to roll this out fairly soon, then our discussion here would seem premature. Andy Dingley (talk) 17:43, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
    • Part of the point of this discussion is to see whether people even want it. Otherwise trying to get this rolled out would be pointless if there would just be more backlash about it. —Locke Coletc 20:32, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm unable to unambiguously parse Dates should not be linked purely for the purpose of autoformatting. Is that about linking or formatting? That is, which is the correct interpretation:
    • Enclosing wikitext dates in double square brackets should not be done purely for the purpose of autoformatting—or
    • Dates should not be autoformatted
EncMstr (talk) 21:24, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • It's about linking only for purposes of getting the auto formatting. The second question below addresses auto formatting in a more general term. The questions below that more fully cover date linking and when it should or shouldn't be used. —Locke Coletc 21:28, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Is some method of date autoformatting desirable?[edit]

Do you agree with the following statement:

The ability for the Mediawiki to convert dates into a form either appropriate for the page, or to user-defined preferences, is desirable, and the MediaWiki developers should be encouraged to find a solution that works without the problems of the current date autoformatting system.

Background: The current date autoformatting system has several drawbacks including producing many date links and providing inconsistent date formats to users who are not logged in. Currently the MediaWiki developers are discussing methods of improving autoformatting to address these points, including possibly correcting the problems in the current system. To make sure their time is being used effectively, it is necessary to understand if a date autoformatting approach that works correctly is desired on Wikipedia. If not, the developers should be informed of this so they may focus on other aspects of the software that need improving.

Support some method of date autoformatting[edit]

  • Per my oppose vote above, Wikipedia is not paper and should strive for customizable display of content. Again note that a patch was recently submitted that would solve many of the problems with the current system and require no editing/mass bot work to implement. —Locke Coletc 07:48, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Per Locke Cole's reasoning. Tennis expert (talk) 08:15, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • For a per page autoformating. Such a scheme would be good in that it helps wikipedia maintain consistency. Taemyr (talk) 08:39, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
    • I think it refers to per-user formatting here. --Apoc2400 (talk) 10:54, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
      • The propsal is "into a form either appropriate for the page, or to user-defined preferences" so it includes both. Taemyr (talk) 14:30, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes. Stifle (talk) 10:55, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support. I think the existing method is acceptable, but the proposed method would be an improvement. Even a per-page autoformatting would be helpful. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:26, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Pre-existing method of date-formatting seemingly removed because of linking context issues. It shouldn't be too difficult to continue somehow to grant user date preference options without such linking issues. Those who aren't bothered, or think the feature rather useless, or who'd prefer to see dates in original formats could simply choose to specify "No preference" as date format option on their preferences page. Even if numbers in support are a minority, that isn't a reason why such an option can't be accommodated. It's a question of choice. --SallyScot (talk) 18:08, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support There were several arguments posed against the existing date formatting system, all of which are addressed by the developer's recent patch. The Bugzilla discussion clearly outlines a revised autoformat system that a) removes links while retaining formatting; b) works for all users, be they registered or unregistered, without the need to select a preference; c) works with the existing links, thus avoiding a need to recode dates; and d) allows for editors to view "raw" dates for cleanup purposes. Furthermore, while arguments against autoformatting in the past have hinged on doubts about the speed at which a developer might address the issue, at this time we have a developer who is eager to assist, who is proactively resolving the issues, and who is quite emphatic in his assurance that the technical "issues" raised against autoformatting are not "issues" at all. Given all this, there is no valid reason to deny users a choice. This is the 21st century; we can customize displays on computers, phones, media players and most other electronic devices; why not offer that option here? --Ckatzchatspy 18:29, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support for autoformatting that is link independent. It should be possible for editors to easily disable autoformatting for one view of a page without having to edit and save their preferences. -- SGBailey (talk) 22:53, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support for autoformatting without links. -- Arwel Parry (talk) 00:46, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - if a method can be found of date links being customised according to users' preferences without resorting to linking to such pages as 12 Novemeber, then I feel that that would be the ideal solution to this problem. It Is Me Here t / c 17:13, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support Without the ability to specify per-article which date format to use, templates that output dates are left with three options: (1) Force a format, regardless of what is used in the rest of the article, (2) Include "dateformat" options, which must be used all over the place, or (3) accept any arbitrary garbage as a "date". With that ability, the template just needs to use the "format this date" tag/parser function and we don't have to edit millions of articles.
    As for user preferences to choose MDY versus DMY, I don't care and would strongly support a proposal that didn't include that option. But I would greatly appreciate being able to choose "Show dates in lists (particularly in references) in YMD format" rather than being forced to see the overly verbose MDY/DMY format in all lists; it's a nice side effect for me that the current method shows me YMD format from most cite templates. Anomie 17:22, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - some sort of non-linking auto-formatting would be nice. I agree with many in the "oppose" crowd that it's hardly a pressing issue; however I think both content and presentation are important, and the ability to have flexible presentation is nice, especially in tables. Studerby (talk) 20:03, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support as per my comments above. A change to the software so that all full dates are presented to the user in a consistent way, either by use of user preference or by a default for those who are not logged in or have no user preference set. Also the change to software should provide mark-up so that the date can be provided as a link or not. Keith D (talk) 23:58, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support some form of autoformatting is necessary. —Scott5114 [EXACT CHANGE ONLY] 00:46, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
Necessary for what, and why? Ohconfucius (talk) 02:59, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, we should not presume on what is easy or hard to get for a reader. -- lucasbfr talk 10:51, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support If you want the links, that's fine.--HereToHelp (talk to me) 15:29, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support IF a way could be determined that ALL readers can automatically see articles in a format prescribed by either their computer settings or, failing that, their region, I would support it. But only if. Orderinchaos 15:49, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support -- it looks more professional to have consistent formatting (isn't that the purpose of the MOS?) Whether this is achieved through linking or some other means, I do not care. Actually, some non-linked form of autoformatting might be better,ince the link itself is usually useless. Coemgenus 17:16, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
"it looks more professional to have consistent formatting"—Exactly right, but unfortunately the current date autoformatting system does not display consistent formatting for all users. Also, as long as the date formats are consistent within the article, does it really matter whether the day comes before the year or vice versa? Dabomb87 (talk) 17:39, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I only see full date linking being useful, not day-month links or lonely year links. If I click on a link I want to see useful information related to the article I was just reading. Clicking a full date would get me to a page such as December 15, 1880 which would tell me other things that were happening on that date in history. If the notional method developed by Mediawiki shufflebit experts resulted in clickable links to inutile articles such as the 365 nearly useless month-day articles then I'm against it. If such a method simply shifts day-month to month-day and back without the user seeing a link then I'm for it. Binksternet (talk) 17:23, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support as per Binksternet just above. In addition, full date-linking adds to the power of Wikipedia, giving readers who are interested in context (what happened on X date) useful information.Bellagio99 (talk) 14:59, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support a method of displaying dates consistently, without the use of linking, through a preference for registered users and a default style for anonymous users would be beneficial for the goals of the project. dissolvetalk 18:00, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - I agree this is not an urgent issue compared to other things, and the current system of autoformatting has problems associated with it. However, I think a default preference for dates for unregistered users and a selectable preference for registered users is not a bad idea in itself and may have some advantages to the project. This is not a paper encyclopaedia, and I think it is not wrong to take advantage of that to give more choice to readers, this idea could one day even be extended to spellings. Camaron | Chris (talk) 18:44, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Lukewarm support. Very much a nice to have feature rather than an essential one. I can think of a large number of things I'd rather see first. Angus McLellan (Talk) 18:54, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong Support as I think the links (and autoformatting) are very useful tools. For people who are not logged in, I think it should default to the international date format used in sigs (DD Month YYYY). The links provide a simple way to access other events which happened on the same day or in the same year. This is something impossible in a paper encyclopedia, but something which provides useful and interesting information and is very simple to implement here in Wikipedia. Having the developers solve the issue seems much more useful than trying to remove useful and interesting links which generally don't clutter articles. I agree that there ought to be a limit on how much linking is done in a particular article, but completely doing away with them is overreacting. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:04, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I can't see any compelling reason not to do this, if it can be made to work effectively.Anaxial (talk) 19:33, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support per Locke Cole. Beagel (talk) 20:24, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support autoformatting links is an extension of WP:MOS#Internal consistency, which (esablished in a separate consensus) brings consistency beyond one article to a more global scale. In my opinion linking dates is not necessary unless it is essential to the context of the article. However switching between two formats (12 June 2008 and June 12, 2008) appears be counter to the MOS. ChyranandChloe (talk) 20:37, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
    • Consistency for whom? As it stands now, only the minority readership, registered users who have their preferences set, experiences these "benefits". Dabomb87 (talk) 20:45, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
      • The patch would address that, however. —Locke Coletc 20:56, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
        • True. If the devs were given the green light on the patch, how long would it take to implement it into WP? Dabomb87 (talk) 20:59, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
          • Assuming the devs found no problems with the patch, it could be as quick as a few hours or as long as a few days. As soon as it commits via SVN it would get applied whenever the Wikipedia servers were updated (which happens fairly frequently I believe). —Locke Coletc 21:01, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support; while the current system isn't the best, some way would help improve readability. Joe Nutter 21:10, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support Autoformatting will help automatic date extraction, especially if assisted with a microformat. It provides users and bots with the format expected or required. —EncMstr (talk) 21:33, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - There has been some talk of linkless auto-formatting. If this feature is introduced, I think that users should be allowed to not only choose how dates are displayed, but also whether or not they are linked. --Andrew Kelly (talk) 23:07, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Linkless autoformating As an option, I want to be able to turn this on. Editors could also put dates inside "<nowiki>" tags to prevent autoformatting.--Patrick «» 00:54, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support—Yes, in more cases than not, it is desirable. In the likely case that this will pass, I would appreciate that at least we have a choice in adding date links via preferences. —Mizu onna sango15Hello! 03:19, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Yes, we need it customisable to users' locales -BarkerJr (talk) 04:17, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. I enjoyed date autoformatting and would appreciate seeing a guideline supporting such a feature. Concerns in the oppose column are unpersuasive. Robert K S (talk) 06:45, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Pro autoformatting. We have long needed a system that uses javascript and cookies to allow non-registered users to specify preferences such as this. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:00, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Providing uniformity for users, eliminating ambiguity (4/3 is which date?) and allowing metadata to be scraped from the articles is all worthwhile, regardless of how many dates are linked (none, some, all) dm (talk) 16:29, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
    • Dmadeo, dates are not supposed to be written 3/4 or 4/3 anyway. Dabomb87 (talk) 16:33, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. This should have been done a long time ago. By now, my eye is too used to seeing dates in blue. Alas, they look wrong in black. --Nricardo (talk) 18:06, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I'd even go further, and say that the software should also allow a personal choice of how all americanisms (such as "color" instead of "colour"), not just date formats, are viewed. It's either that or separating into an English-language Wikipedia and an American-language one. waggers (talk) 20:57, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support if reasonably technically feasible. It's useful to readers, and that's all that needs to be said. Sam Blacketer (talk) 21:48, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support It's quite helpful to editors and readers alike. --Patar knight - chat/contributions 22:33, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support It is good for readers, as it can present all dates as the user is used to, making it easier to read. Editing is also good, as it allows the editor to use the method (s)he is used to, without worrying about what the article needs.
    On a second note, removal of auto date formatting may also encourage date format edit warring, in a similar way edit warring over left/right pondian spelling. Martin451 (talk) 01:21, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I don't know what it is like on the other side of the pond but seeing the date the "wrong" way is distracting and annoying. Also while there is currently no way for non-logged in users to take advantage of this, I see no reason in the future for this functionality to be extend (maybe and Or for forks to auto formate their versions. Jon513 (talk) 02:06, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Enough people seem to like it that it could at least be something to opt-in to, without messing with the experience of anyone who doesn't like it.--ragesoss (talk) 06:34, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Absolutely: You'd think this would be a good compromise. I cannot think of a truly valid reason as to why this would be bad, though many POV reasons are given below. Overall I believe this would clearly prevent unnecessary edits made by editors changing date formats around and that cannot be a bad thing at all. Nja247 (talkcontribs) 12:31, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. There are few if any valid reasons for preventing readers from auto-formating dates. Given the diverse ways people access wikipedia there is no guarruntee of specific formatting being available and editors shouldn't design articles to conform to a particular formatting astheitic. Eluchil404 (talk) 13:46, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support linkless formatting. Linking dates is wrong, formatting is right. As others above have suggested, linking dates for the sole purpose of rendering them is overkill. However, having some sort of formatting does help the user. How about one of these solutions:
(a) Some sort of template one could wrap dates in, accepting any unambiguous date, and that would render dates as the user prefers. For example, {{date|1 April 2008}}, rendering as April 1, 2008 or 1 April 2008 (or whatever, according to preferences), WITHOUT a link.
(b) Simply doing some sort of auto-detect of dates, so that when an unambiguous date is in the text, saving it in the database as a date and rendering according to preferences, WITHOUT a link. (To force a date to display as input, such as for "September 11, 2001 attacks", "nowiki" tags can be used.)

--A bit iffy (talk) 17:46, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Support - The problem of recognizing a date and formatting it in a way that is reasonable should not be a difficult one. The current solution of linked dates makes no sense to non-registered users and there's also no reason why we shouldn't have autoformatted dates. Therefore, some sort of automatic solution seems like the only workable answer. Oren0 (talk) 19:54, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - it's quite nice. Certainly no reason to oppose it. Not really a priority, though. Warofdreams talk 21:22, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Provides for consistency and better user customization. Libcub (talk) 16:53, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. I'll always have a place in my heart for user customization. Whatever solution we reach could be expanded to other problems as well. –Sarregouset (talk) 01:13, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. I think that there should be a reasonable uniform default, and a way to customise dates' appearance. A link in the dates should not be the default, should be allowed by customisation, and it should be possible to force it when writing the article. --Fpoto (talk) 08:01, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support -- billinghurst (talk) 09:58, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Dates shouldn't be something an editor should have to worry about. That includes both formatting and linking. We have enough trouble getting editors write in some standardized way already. If we want to achieve any reasonable level of consistency then we would have to spend a lot of time continuously educating editors. WP:OVERLINK is not as big as an issue, because dates are intrinsically unambiguous - unlike "Lucille", "Went" and "Ball". That said, dates could be formatted less obtrusively. — Sebastian 17:44, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support for reasons I have cited above, the use of autoformatting can and should be used - in particular to avoid potentially disruptive editing in articles with an international focus, where no one style commend itself. Ephebi (talk) 23:50, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
    • In which case the proper thing to do according to WP:MOSNUM is to implement the date style that the first editor used. Dabomb87 (talk) 00:28, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
      • which is a backwards step when we have a technical solution available, and produces a suboptimal solution for many readers, as well as being tricky to sort out in an old and heavily-edited article. (MOS also suggests seeking consensus to change it - which can be disruptive and a waste of editing effort) Ephebi (talk) 22:17, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support any autoformatting which can be applied for all users, without the appearance of links, and which can be overridden by a logged in user's preference if they so desire. "Per article subject" formatting leads to inconsistencies between articles as well as arguments over articles where the relevance to a specific country isn't clear. And yes, reading an illogical date like April 7 does interrupt the flow of my reading because it is unnatural to me. dramatic (talk) 09:30, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support but of course if that can be done for me, please get it done. Miguel.mateo (talk) 14:01, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support – While I oppose date linking, I support some form of date formatting. An example is the System time article, which currently uses date tags for formatting; the datelinks are useless (and I have removed them), but there is some utility in having the dates autoformatted. I would like to see more use of standard templates (e.g., {{date|}}) for specifying dates in universal format(s) within the raw wiki text. | Loadmaster (talk) 15:01, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Weak support. Date formats that spell out the entire name of the month are always unambiguous regardless of the order of the year, month, and day. If mediawiki can be tweaked to allow users to change how all dates are automatically formatted via their preferences, that would be fine, but this should not be done via any mechanism that would require massive overlinking, as the old system did. 03:44, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support autoformatting, if a technical solution can be found. --papageno (talk) 16:42, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per Sebastian above: Dates shouldn't be something an editor should have to worry about. That includes both formatting and linking. We have enough trouble getting editors write in some standardized way already. Amen. --Tkynerd (talk) 19:29, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Consistency is encyclopedic. Pwhitwor (talk) 21:36, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Not paper. --GRuban (talk) 18:32, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support reader preferences for formats should take priority over editorial decisions. --UC_Bill (talk) 22:04, 5 December 2008 (UTC)--
  • Support autoformatting, as well as date linking. GlassCobra 11:06, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Only if dates are treated like any other convention, for example English spelling variants.Edmund Patrickconfer 14:05, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Agree that things like date formats and English spelling variants (and unit conversions and perhaps even how proper names are displayed) should all be left up to the reader, whenever possible. --Sapphic (talk) 01:34, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I liked the ability to have a consistent date format with date linking, but agree that it could be seen as too many blue links. Some other form of autoformatting would be a good idea. -- MightyWarrior (talk) 09:55, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support — I quite like the #date parser function, and if it (or a similar parser function) can be made to take the date format from the user preferences for logged-in users (and use a default format for anonymous users), then that would be beneficial. —Celtic Minstrel (talkcontribs) 17:19, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Per Locke, Sapphic, Bellagio99, and UC Bill. Reader preferences should be a priority. "full date-linking adds to the power of Wikipedia" Daytrivia (talk) 20:28, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Makes things easier to read. I don't care about 9 December 2008 v. December 9, 2008, but 2008-12-09 is not nice to look at even if some editors want to use it. --Rumping (talk) 10:15, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Per above arguments. G-Man ? 22:40, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support for autoformatting without links. --Krakatov (talk) 00:06, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Extremely strong support. I'm sick of questioning the format that dates should be presented in. The accessdate section in a reference is different from page to page, and within pages most of the time too. Whether they choose December 12, 2008, 12 December 2008, or 2008-12-12, a consistent format would be great. / 13:21, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I personally don't care what format a date is in when I read it, but it would benefit Wikipedia if the format could be automatically tailored to reader location without linking. Note that there should also be an override setting for registered users who may prefer a different format than the one specified by their location. The Fiddly Leprechaun · Catch Me! 17:07, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong Support Assuming that everyone in the world reads a date like you do is very closed minded, there needs to be some form of autoformatting of dates for different cultures. Timmccloud (talk) 23:18, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, as there's no reason for dates to be formatted in wildly different ways across one encyclopedia. Linking is not the answer, but there must be some kind of tag or script or whatnot that can solve the problem. I know that I'd prefer to be able to browse and see dates formatted the way I prefer, and I'd imagine that others would, too. Croctotheface (talk) 06:14, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support, because compelling internal and external uses of the date information are much easier if we represent dates in a standard way. Dates are truly low hanging fruit in this regard. The localization benefits would be retained. For what it's worth, I think the current syntax is a perfectly legitimate solution. — brighterorange (talk) 00:02, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Some form of autoformatting is better than no form of autoformatting. Does 1-5 mean January 5 or May 1? Autoformatting would clear up the ambiguity. Captain panda 21:32, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Autoformatting dates has always seemed highly desirable to me due to WP's global reach and variability of date format norms among English-speaking nations (esp. where English is an important second or third language). Yet the existing method was awkward and I have expected an improvement would be along Real Soon Now. Let's move RSN to plain "soon." — ℜob C. alias ᴀʟᴀʀoʙ 22:20, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. This is highly desirable, per my response above. Modest Genius talk 16:48, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Autoformatting is necessary to respect the needs of the minority. I'm speaking of two minorities: population-wise (US) and Internet-usage-wise (non-US). I'm sure the devs can come up with something to solve this problem. Perhaps we can try this: for IP's, autodetect their location and format the dates according to their IP address. If they want to view it another way, they can make a change (which will be stored as a session cookie in their web browser). A response to arguments that this is too insignificant a matter to get the devs involved: How can this be insignificant when hundreds of users have participated in several 32+ kilobyte long discussions? -- King of ♠ 07:08, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Why not? But it's the details that will be difficult. Anything so I don't have to see ISO dating where it doesn't belong is helpful. On the other hand, there are times when it's best to see dates in the format originally written. —— Shakescene (talk) 07:39, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Oppose any method of date autoformatting[edit]

  • For any autoformating based on user preference. It can be assumed that most readers will not be registered. As such it is bad when editors, who tend to be registered is presented with a view that differs from the one presented to the readers. This is bad because editors then can fail to realize that problems exists with the articles as they are presented to the readers. Taemyr (talk) 08:41, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
    • The bugzilla patch works for all readers, logged in or not. Would this address your concern? —Locke Coletc 09:35, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
      • Not if it is based on user preference. If it is based on user location, eg. users sitting in US gets US formating, then that would address my concerns. Taemyr (talk) 14:31, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
        • I really dislike the "user location" idea, since my preference differs from the national "standard". --Ntsimp (talk) 05:56, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
          • @Ntsimp: Its not a "user location" idea. Its a browser settings idea.
            @Locke Cole: see my oppose below. That bugzilla patch will never happen. -- Fullstop (talk) 09:36, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
            • The only patch still being considered for that bug is one that would automatically turn off both linking for dates as well as autoformatting, i.e. exactly what people are currently doing manually. But if people are fine with a single default for anons then it'd be easy to get a new patch to just turn off linking but leave autoformatting turned on. --Sapphic (talk) 01:41, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
              • Heh, that's the sad thing here. I almost get the impression all these guys running bots/scripts to remove date links en masse are doing so just so they can think they've helped the encyclopedia (when it's far simpler to just change the code so the links don't even exist but the formatting remains). It's like watching someone pound in a nail with their bare fist knowing full well that there's a hammer sitting in the toolbox at their feet... —Locke Coletc 05:23, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
            • Fullstop: I've seen plenty of patches/features "happen" that supposedly were never going to happen. See for example: mw:ParserFunctions, specifically mw:Extension:ParserFunctions. And that's a whole hell of a lot more complicated than date autoformatting ever would be. —Locke Coletc 05:26, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose for most of the reasons in the capped grey page that has been available for some months; there's one above on this page. Why do we need a techie solution to a non-problem? 3 January or January 3? Who cares? Please let's have a tech solution for colour/color then ... Tony (talk) 08:59, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose I feel that there should be uniformity in presentation, because at times there could be a need to have display formats on the same page. Military pages for example might need to use dmy for an infobox but would read best with mdy in the prose. Autoformatting would remove that option from the editors.--User:2008Olympianchitchatseemywork 09:18, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
    • That's what <nowiki> tags are for, and how editors handle those situations currently. With dates you have even more options, because ones prefixed with ":" or which are piped don't get reformatted. Autoformatting doesn't take options away from anybody, and it gives options to readers that they otherwise wouldn't have. --Sapphic (talk) 01:46, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose A rather useless feature. Anyone can understand both 25 November 2008 and November 25, 2008 just fine. The few people who absolutely want it one way can get a browser plug-in to change the dates on all sites, not just Wikipedia. If we had such a software feature today, and it had non of drawbacks of date linking, I might reluctantly accept it. However, this has been requested for years and I doubt there will be a good software solution soon. In any case, any kind of date markup will make the wikitext even less readable. --Apoc2400 (talk) 10:38, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - i've tried and failed to conceive of any good reason to autoformat dates by user preference; and while formating them "according to page" sounds potentially intriguing at first, it makes even more sense for editors simply to use date formats that are appropriate to a given page. Sssoul (talk) 11:10, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - even if a feature is enabled for all readers, including IPs, how many of them will even be aware of it, and bother to set it if they are bothered? And yes, I am aware that the patch might be able to set things automatically.—MDCollins 11:45, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
    • As I understand it the patch would set things automatically. And in any event, it would likely default to something other than no formatting whatsoever. —Locke Coletc 12:05, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - there simply is no need for this feature. Consistency within a single article is fine. The Rambling Man on tour (talk) 12:15, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - there's no comprehension issue. Puzzling links to unhelpful articles is a greater problem. --Dweller (talk) 12:35, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Dates in either format are in no way ambiguous as long as the month is spelt out, so there is no need to add to the complexity of Wikipedia by having autoformatting. Phil Bridger (talk) 12:42, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose The order of the day and the month is hardly worth the trouble. Dabomb87 (talk) 14:02, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Even the solution in the proposed patch, which does look nice, has the drawback of hiding (some) inconsistencies from (some) editors. That's a dealbreaker for me. -- Jao (talk) 14:43, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If we can manage to understand variant spellings we can cope with unlinked dates. --John (talk) 14:53, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, we've got much better things to concern ourselves with. A diversion of effort into a question that almost all people regard with complete indifference. Tim Vickers (talk) 15:53, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Jao, Phil Bridger and TimVickers sum up the issues concisely. Knepflerle (talk) 16:12, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose: I'm of the opinion that the current system of applying either US or International dates on an article by article (or perhaps case by case) basis works rather well; a Mediawiki solution is unnecessary. Autoformatting is desired by a minority but the current method is creating too much effort and hassle for what is essentially a superficial preference option. Sillyfolkboy (talk) 16:31, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is not an important issue in the scope of Wikipedia. Tempshill (talk) 16:40, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Displaying a date style that differs from the style of the surrounding text produces an unplesant style that is neither fish nor fowl. Mediawiki developers should not expend their time perfecting such a system, and editors should not expend their time marking up dates for such a system. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 17:31, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Whether dates are formatted dmy or mdy, anyone can understand them, regardless of the usual style of dates in their home country. It's completely unnecessary. Colonies Chris (talk) 18:01, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose date autoformatting can easily end up as an excuse for editors to impose difficult to understand formats in the normal text, justifying this by saying "if you do not like it, just set your date autoformat preferences". Wikipedia pages should be written so that normal people can understand them - they should not need to be logged in members with various wikipedia-only preferences set up.--Toddy1 (talk) 18:20, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - date auto-formatting is useless. No one wants it, let's toss it in the dustbin of Wikipedia history. Kaldari (talk) 19:53, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose as in previous RFC. Date autoformatting is not a useful feature and adds a non-trivial editing job formatting dates to use it. DoubleBlue (talk) 21:14, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose.  HWV 258  21:40, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's always better to keep things simple. This kind of the feature is almost guaranteed to create an unintended consequence. For instance, the software has to be smart enough to not auto-format dates in quoted texts. This seems too much hassles for essentially an non-issue. I mean, why is it so important that we provide an option for the date formatting to registered users? Have you seen many websites where you can change the date formates in articles? This is such a waste of precious contributors' times. -- Taku (talk) 23:34, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - given other issues, autoformatting is very far down on the list of things that need to be worried about. Ealdgyth - Talk 00:56, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - If there is ever a time when every person on the planet becomes a registered wikimember, then sure. Until then, it leads to mix of May 12, 1993, 12 May 1993, and 1993-05-12 being used in articles. - NuclearWarfare contact meMy work 01:57, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • oppose No reason this needs to be done. Most readers know how to read dates or can quickly learn. Hmains (talk) 04:38, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, DA is of dubious benefits for readers, contrary to claims. It actually exists as an apology for the formatting inconsistencies of editors, who have no automated means of ensuring that articles dates are correctly formatted in the first place, and I can really see no point in putting in this extra work for an unquantifiable and intangible benefit. It's not as if we are expressing ourselves in the highly ambiguous 11/12/09 - and even if we did, no machine or algorithm is going to sort that out. Ohconfucius (talk) 13:56, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose let them tackle something broader: colour/color, ~ise/~ize, etc. whilst they're at it and make it not simply limited to the Wikipedian. JIMp talk·cont 10:31, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose There isn't a problem to solve. Lightmouse (talk) 10:46, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As a non-native speaker with no strong cultural preferences acquired for any one format, I'm just at a loss to understand why editors go to such insane lengths of debate about such a superficial issue. Let's just deal with it the normal way, like -ize/-ise spelling variants: accept variability and be done with it. Fut.Perf. 14:06, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As most above. Solution in search of a problem. Get back to writing the encyclopedia, in whatever date format.  Sandstein  14:40, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I dislike any system that would automatically decide for me as an editor what style of dates should be used. There are times when it might be difficult or impossible for an automated script to determine which format is best (or it will get it wrong, or we need multiple formats for different reasons). As an editor, I feel that a non-automated solution (such as using the brackets to autoformat but not rendering it as a link), is likely just a waste of my time. It confuses new editors who aren't sure what to write to make it render properly, it clutters up edit screens, and it takes up time that I'd rather spend writing a few more sentences. Karanacs (talk) 16:35, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. An utter waste of time. Will promote more crazy robot wars. Pcap ping 17:34, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Because of WP:ENGVAR this doesn't seem particularly useful to me, except perhaps in templates. --Hans Adler (talk) 22:44, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
    • Wouldn't this make WP:ENGVAR moot since dates wouldn't be in any particular format but what the reader chose? —Locke Coletc 02:22, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, the whole concept is/always was extra editing work with little value added. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:57, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, more harm than good. Everyking (talk) 06:31, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as there are circumstances such as dates in quotations which should not be changed to fit a reader's preferences, and there's far too much room for error with systemwide autoformatting. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 07:02, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
    Note that the current system will only format dates marked with wikilink syntax, and any proposed replacement that would reformat "dates" that are not specifically marked in some manner would never be accepted into the codebase (I believe this has been explicitly stated somewhere in a Bugzilla bug). Anomie 01:25, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above. DrKiernan (talk) 08:19, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Unnecessary. We manage perfectly well to settle on uniform usage of units within an article and there is even a convert template to assist with multiple units. There is no reason why date formats cannot be managed as easily. --RexxS (talk) 03:50, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Different date formats should not be that confusing. One caveat: I do strongly support the use of simple region-neutral and language-neutral dates in citation templates and on Commons (read: ISO dates), which some seem to want to deprecate as they'd previously been used to facilitate date formatting. There are other reasons to keep them, and being against autoformatting should not be seen as a vote against ISO dates.
  • Oppose--Flash176 (talk) 16:19, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose No need. Protonk (talk) 20:43, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose With the exception of templates, this is not necessary. Default to ENGVAR. لennavecia 21:21, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • The addition of another form of editing syntax for editors to slog through would be more of a hindrance than the meager benefit that date auto-formatting provides. I'd be content if this feature simply vanished into the ether. --Cyde Weys 01:45, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Unless they (doesn't matter who) find a way to automatically format the dates, I prefer keeping it how it is. ♬♩ Hurricanehink (talk) 01:50, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose--FeanorStar7 (talk) 02:07, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Date autoformatting is not needed. - SWTPC6800 (talk) 02:45, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - its not going to happen. However bad an idea dateformatting was to begin with, the fact is its there, and MediaWiki has to presume that some wiki installation somewhere is using the "feature". So the existing "feature" is not going to vanish, nor will any noticeable change of behavior be accepted. And they'd be crazy to add another dateformatting feature after the years of pain with the last one. -- Fullstop (talk)
  • Oppose The opposes have swayed me on this one, dates can usually always be done better by editors rather than bots, and autoformatting could mess something up unintended. --Banime (talk) 15:00, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Opposes. In general, we need to reduce complexity and the benefits from this feature are almost invisibly small. Haukur (talk) 17:14, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Bots aren't needed to clean them up; they are, after all, incapable of discerning pertinent from non-pertinent. NSR77 T 17:34, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - First clean up the Pandora's-box explosion caused by the last attempt to autoformat, after making the decision to close the box. Then, maybe, we can consider opening another one. arimareiji (talk) 18:14, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The question of what date format to use is a nationalistic question in disguise. Wikipedia is where you go to learn about things you don't know about, things from other cultures, even those that speak the same language you do. That's why we allow and, in fact, pretty much require that articles about subjects specific to a particular nation use dating and measurement conventions to the culture in qestion. I really don't think the sort of fussy editors who get all hot and bothered about seeing "March 17" instead of "17 March" in an article are the sort of people we should be catering to. Let them get a browser plugin. Daniel Case (talk) 06:42, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose as there may be bugs/unintended consequences to deal with for a very minor benefit. Agree with Daniel above that seeing dates (and spellings) in a format you aren't used to reflects that this is an international project; and it's not that mentally taxing to switch from one format to another. Fletcher (talk) 20:35, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose per "What You See Is What You Wrote" or something. /skagedaltalk 12:50, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Like what has been said, it's a solution looking for a problem. I can easily switch reading one date style to another and I'm not that special. Dismas|(talk) 07:41, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. More trouble than it's worth for reasons that go beyond blue clutter: see Tony1's commentary. Spelling variations are no problem and neither should date format variations be. Rovaniemi-5 (talk) 01:57, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose the chance for negative consequences of an automated formatting in this case is not worth the hassle, especially since this seems to be something of a non-issue for the regular user. Grika 16:03, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I still see little value in this concept as worded. If there is some compelling technical reason then address that head-on. We need to present information for a worldwide audience - really it would seem an international standard would be appropriate. 21:22, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Trivial/negligible benefit. It's not like anyone understands "May 7" more efficiently than "7 May". Pretty pointless. Spellcast (talk) 16:44, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
    • And if indeed those were the only two options you would be correct. But those wouldn't be. You'd also be able to choose MM-DD-YYYY, YYYY-MM-DD, and other variations (basically the same options you have in Special:Preferences right now). For what it's worth, I have mine set to MM-DD-YYYY so neither "May 7" nor "7 May" would be acceptable to me as a reader. —Locke Coletc 01:42, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Not necessary. Giants2008 (17-14) 22:02, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Linking dates is overlinking and trivial; these links bring nothing useful to the article at hand. DiverseMentality 06:19, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There's no need for it. SlimVirgin talk|edits 14:56, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. While a nice thing to have, it is not so nice that we should have the developers spend time implementing it. Only when there is nothing for them to do should something like this be pursued. RJC TalkContribs 15:53, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose—I don't want to autoformat color/colour or organization/organisation, and this doesn't seem that much different. We handle spelling variants the old-fashioned way—typing the desired form. I don't see why we can't do the same thing here. Pagrashtak 14:04, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Date autoformatting doesn't help readers and just causes needless arguments and make-work. It's like spelling. If an article is about Kansas, use U.S. date style. If it's about London, use UK date style. Simple enough. -- Ssilvers (talk) 19:11, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
    • If we had auto formatting however, people wouldn't need to be concerned about which date format to use in which articles. And readers would get dates presented in the format they desired. It's win-win. —Locke Coletc 21:33, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. DA hides what formatting from registered editors, who will then not pick up on the mistakes made and which are display to 95%+ of readers.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 08:40, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
    • A replacement date formatter could easily use a default other than "no change"; in fact, it would be easy enough for one of the devs to change the current date formatter to use a different default. Some even propose it base the default on the IP of the visitor (e.g. MDY if the IP seems to be located in the US and DMY otherwise). Anomie 14:54, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose This proposal seems to add negligable value, at the cost of additional complexity and risk {dates in quotations, edit wars}. There are many different varieties of English which differ in many ways: weights and measures, number formats, spelling, vocabulary and terminology, punctuation, pronunciation etc. Somehow we get along without requiring an auto-formatter to convert. I don't see why dates are any different. Dave w74 (talk) 21:48, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose because we have to remember the vast majority of Wikipedia users are casual readers only, for whom any kind of date formatting or preference setting is simply not viable and never will be. Better to follow an MOS standard consistently such as with ENGVAR: in U.S.-oriented articles, for example, "December 1, 2008" whilst for UK, etc., "1 December 2008", and if a non-region specific article then the existing style consistently applied throughout. With the month spelled out fully and the year expressed YYYY, there is no possibility of date ambiguity and the dates are universally understood. I think a more pressing MOS issue is numerical-only date creep, which should never be allowable (including the date parameter in citation templates!), viz., expressing December 1, 2008 as the ambiguous 12-1-2008, 1-12-2008, 12/1/2008, 2008-12-1, 2008-1-12, 12-1-08, 08-12-01, etc. Rather than further confuse non-expert editors and anon readers with all this technocrat stuff, we should concentrate on a more practical emphasis of using comprehensible, plain English dates.  JGHowes  talk 13:51, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Neutral about autoformatting dates[edit]

*Neutral As in my recommendation to the question immediately above.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 18:27, 25 November 2008 (UTC) See my Comment below.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 10:18, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Neutral In my opinion, it's sufficient to treat dates like any other convention, like English spelling variants. Provided it remains consistent within an article, I don't see different date formats as being particularly distracting or problematic for readers. If a method of autoformatting is to be used, my main concern is that it be very simple for editors to include. I would say if this is something that can be done simply from an implementation standpoint and from the standpoint of editing, great, otherwise de-link formatting and linking and let individual articles or projects settle on a date format. --Clay Collier (talk) 06:13, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral exactly as per Clay Collier immediately above. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:41, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral: I would be fine either way, although I'm leaning more towards removing date autoformatting and keeping date consistency to the scope of each separate article. However, if some form of automated date autoformatting was to be done on the software level (by extending MediaWiki), I'd be all for it. I think that would be the best solution, but I don't know how realistic that would be, as I've never played with MediaWiki code before. — FatalError 04:43, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral. I have no strong preference, but in terms of where developer time should be spent, I see this as an incredibly minor issue that should be easily backburnered in favor of other projects. --Elonka 18:22, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral Developers can spend their time solving real problems instead. Michael Z. 2008-12-02 01:36 z
  • Neutral It complicates wikicode, making editing less accessible, for extremely little gain to readers. Also, a waste of time for developers. If it's not worth autoformatting to change color to colour, why is it worth autoformatting to change Feb 4, 2008 to 4 Feb 2008? Calliopejen1 (talk) 16:30, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral. It would be nice if we had a standard way of auto-formatting to a standard date format (for non-registered users) or to a preferred format (for registered users). However, the technical obstacles to overcome outweigh any value that might be gained. Truthanado (talk) 01:58, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Comments about autoformatting dates[edit]

  • With so many options—rather than a simple up or down vote, this RfC wouldn’t immediately solve anything as there would have to be yet another round of voting to settle on MOSNUM wording. The above RfC is currently ongoing and seems imminently sensible. I believe I will hold off on participating in this multi-option can of worms; my votes in the above RfC make it clear enough as to precisely what I think should be on MOSNUM. Thanks, just the same. Greg L (talk) 08:21, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
    • With the false premises and "proposals" clearly not wanted by the proposer, the other RfC seems questionable, at best. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:53, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
      • Disagree. We are not all sheep. Tempshill (talk) 16:39, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
        • Proves nothing. Even if you investigate the false disputed premise (and the new false disputed statement in Tony's summary that year links are forbidden unless the MoS is modified), the specific proposals are opposed by the "proposer", so an "oppose" vote only opposes that particular wording, not a general modification in that direction. This RfC seems balanced, although the creator seems to be in favor of linking. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:45, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Here is an article that I think is relevant: It's quite clear that the only reason we have date autoformatting and an option for it is because some years ago Wikipedians couldn't agree on how to do it. They made the common programmer mistake of avoiding the decision by letting everyone choose, and now we are paying the price. I want to know how many people actually care if it says 25 December 2008 or December 25, 2008. --Apoc2400 (talk) 20:27, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Given that the current policy for manual date formatting is to follow the nationality of the page, there is still a difference. The fact that this seems to be a middle point suggests that there is some aspect of presenting dates in a format most pleasing to the end user, with the weak assumption that US-ian related articles will be read mostly by US-ians, and so forth. The key I believe is that any DA feature has to be completely invisible to the unaware user or editor, whether we're talking about how the displayed text is shown or how the date is entered. --MASEM 20:43, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
"any DA feature has to be completely invisible to the unaware user or editor" is absolutely right.
I suggest formatting should be based on location unless the user specifies otherwise in his / her prefs. I think that implies that prefs needs 3 options: "unspecified" (default), "US", "other". --Philcha (talk) 15:41, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

I note that many of the oppose !votes seem to be making faulty assumptions:

  • "IP users would see no formatting." The new formatting code could be created to specify a site-wide default for IP users, and a magic word to override that defaut per article.
  • "User preferences are a required part of the proposal." It is possible we could have consensus for some method of auto-formatting dates which would be extremely useful in templates without having any sort of user preference.
  • "It's all about MDY versus DMY." I would love to see a markup for "this date is in a list" and a user preference to display the date in the same way as prose dates, an abbreviated format corresponding to the normal format (e.g. 11/25/2008 or Nov 25, 2008 for MDY and similarly for DMY), or YMD format.
  • "No one actually wants it." Then why is this issue such a huge mess?
  • "Why not color/colour too?" That is not the issue here.
  • "Developers' time could be better spent elsewhere." It's up to the developers where they want to spend their time. While the paid devs are assigned tasks, we also have a number of volunteer devs who can work on whatever the hell they want, whether anyone else considers it a waste of time or not.
  • "Someone would have to code it, and we have no volunteers." If we can get consensus for a proposal that gives me my "this date is in a list" preference, I volunteer.
  • "Reformatting every date in an article would cause problems with direct quotes." / "There would be no way to not autoformat a date." Any proposal that has a chance of being accepted by the devs would require some sort of markup; anything that tried to reformat any plain text resembling a date would be rejected. I believe this has been explicitly stated somewhere in Bugzilla. (Added 18:22, 1 December 2008 (UTC))

Because of this, I don't think a raw !vote count here will actually tell us anything useful. Anomie 17:24, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

  • I believe that when the recommendations from editors regarding the above RfC (the one made by Tony, which predates this RfC) are tallied, the final result will be so overwhelming in favor of deprecating all linking/autoformatting of dates and endorsing bot removal of linked dates, that this RfC here will be shown to be pointless.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 10:18, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
    • That's the problem with the Tony RFC: it doesn't provide any way for editors to express an opinion that partially agrees without giving full agreement. This RFC provides far more latitude to editors in supporting or opposing because it's not specifying exact wording to be used in the MOS. Agree with Anomie that counting of pure !votes will not be helpful. —Locke Coletc 21:25, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Feature requests are a separate issue from MOS changes however I fail to see the disadvantage of seeing 28 November 2008 or November 28, 2008. Who is truly shocked and dumbfounded upon seeing the date in their non-preferred format? At the same time, requiring editors to mark up dates to use such a feature is an unneeded add on of already too many instructions for what is intended to be a wiki easy way to add content. DoubleBlue (talk) 18:52, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

  • This is no different than how it currently is. If you don't understand something (wikilinking, formatting, whatever) then just write prose. If it's good prose, someone will mark it up for you eventually. In the case of marking up dates it should be possible to do it in a semi-automatic fashion since dates take fairly consistent forms). —Locke Coletc 21:23, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't understand - why is it a tragedy if someone sees a date format they're not accustomed to but can easily understand? I'm very glad that I'm aware of both European and US date formatting, but I wouldn't be if I had been "protected" from seeing European dates. I'm reminded of a discussion elsewhere on the 'Net, where someone swore that a post had to be a troll because it included the date "1/15/2008, which doesn't exist." Is ignorance preferable to unfamiliarity? arimareiji (talk) 01:03, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
    • As long as i never see x/y/YY, where both x and y are < 13. It's annoying to see 1/12/98 and not know wether it's just before or after christmas. hence, autoformatting either to the unambiguous YY/MM/DD or DD/month-name/YY or month-name/DD/YY, or as per user-preference with the default being what makes sence for a user's geography (e.g., from my IP i'd expect british/european DD/MM/YY formating) would avoid confusion --Dak (talk) 21:42, 9 December 2008 (UTC).
      • xx/xx/yyyy is never permissible and no autoformatting could correct that. DoubleBlue (talk) 15:48, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Why not templates?[edit]

Like Anomie stated above, it seems so many of the oppose !votes are based on illfounded assumptions. If we created a template that took arguments for m/d/y, abbr, br/us, links, etc., it would ensure consistent format (specific to article) within articles for anon-users (probably the best argument for auto-formatting), allow logged-in users their preferences, help identify dates not including the year, and provide the best flexibility. and any ugly syntax needed by the devs to work all this out could be hidden away in the template, allowing the most users accessibility. -ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 21:27, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

The problem with that is that the "br/us" and other parameters would have to be passed to every template that handles dates, and if they were given to some and not to others it would lead to inconsistency; besides which, once you're passing a format parameter to every template you may as well just write the date in the desired format to start with. That is why I call for a solution that would allow the format for the page to be specified once, like the DEFAULTSORT magic word does for category sorting, and then some parser function or other markup that formats a date according to that setting. Whether this also supports the current user preference, I for one don't care (I would leave my preference off). Anomie 21:50, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Some of the templates, such as {{birth date}} are a case in point. While everyone is capable of writing 1 May 2007 or May 1, 2007, I cannot for one moment imagine all editors will happily insert dates in this most unnatural way. Sure, it gives the desired outcome, but hey, what a fiddle-fuddle! and for what gain? Ne cherchez pas midi à quatorze heures! Ohconfucius (talk) 04:57, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't know what br/us is, but anyway... is there a way to use the user's date preference in a template? If so, that may be the ideal solution. Simply make a template which is a simple wrapper around the #date parser function. The default format, for unregistered users, would be hard-coded in the template. —Celtic Minstrel (talkcontribs) 17:24, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
No, there isn't. Anomie 17:37, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Why use a template? There is no need to further complicate the editing of articles. The choice of a wiki format is to make it the encyclopedia that anyone can edit. We have to guard against further complication and to do so over having readers avoid seeing a date in their non-preferred date format is truly lame. DoubleBlue (talk) 15:54, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Sure, a template that exists just to format dates according to user preferences isn't a particularly useful idea. But go propose deleting {{Citation}}, {{cite web}}, {{cite book}}, {{cite journal}}, {{Birth date}}, {{Birth date and age}}, {{Death date}}, and {{Death date and age}} (all of which output dates) and see how far you get. Without some method to specify per-page "format dates this way", all those templates will have to take "dateformat" parameters so their output can match the rest of the article, which would "complicate the editing of articles" because people would have to be aware of this extra parameter and use it consistently. And if someone screws up and either leaves it off or uses a non-matching value on some instance, you're back to the same "readers see mismatched dates!" issue people complain about above.
Whether that same date-formatting method also supports user preferences is IMO a secondary issue. Anomie 19:47, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I think that we agree. The templates you note here all have added functionality including microformats that make the balance of simplicity vs usefulness different but that balance should always be measured. The date and age templates do include date format parameters to achieve consistency with the article. I, personally, don't believe that the dates in the references need match the article and actually think the ISO 8601 standard is appropriate but that can be decided elsewhere. The point is marking up simple instances of dates is off-balance for the near uselessness of the date order preference. DoubleBlue (talk) 20:02, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
ISO 8601 is unacceptable for reference sections, as it is unacceptable for articles, because it requires use of the Gregorian calendar. There is a need to refer to books that either are about times and places where other calendars were used, or which were published at times and places where a non-Gregorian calendar was in use. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 21:11, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Uh oh, you said "ISO 8601", which brings out those who complain about Gregorian versus Julian calendar systems. Call it "YMD format" or some such instead. It might not stop them, but then you can point out that "1709-09-28" is no more ambiguous than "28 September 1709". I prefer YMD format in references and other lists too, but some people absolutely despise it for some reason; look at the talk pages for some of the cite templates. Anomie 03:01, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Anomie, although cite templates are a poor example. Several of these templates bought into the nearly useless current system of date autoformatting, and so have accumulated a mountain of garbage input. Therefore, they produce a mountain of garbage output. The mess could have been avoided by just respecting whatever the editors input.
Better examples are infoboxes that contain constant dates (as opposed to dates entered in particular instances of an infobox in an article). These infoboxes could really benefit from a per-page indicator about which format to use. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 20:00, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Simple enough with an additional parameter. DoubleBlue (talk) 20:11, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

When to link to Month-Day articles?[edit]

Background: Month-day articles, such as May 1, contain assorted information about events on that day throughout recorded history. Some editors feel that links to these articles are justified because the information in them can be interesting; others feel such links are not usually relevant or useful to readers (a further analysis of this position has been provided by Greg L). Month-Day links can be generated without invoking date autoformatting, so this is a separate issue from date autoformatting. It should also be noted that per the current style guidelines for linking, normally an article should link to a date – if at all – only the first time the date appears in the article.

The question posed here is:

When should Month-day links be made in articles?

Please indicate which approach you prefer below. If you support "In certain cases", please explain what cases would be appropriate for these links.

Month-Day links should always be made[edit]

  • Always, I regularly click them and find them useful and interesting. I don't think they're distracting at all and help provide context in articles. Tombomp (talk/contribs) 08:07, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I use them all the time. I think that users should be able to choose whether or not dates are linked by setting their preferences. --Andrew Kelly (talk) 23:10, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • A great way to find other events on the same date. —Mizu onna sango15Hello! 03:21, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • This is a good way to find information on many events that occurred on the same date, and they can always be useful. --Banime (talk) 15:02, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't really see what problem they cause. By always including them we give our readers a choice, by excluding them we take that choice away. So give them the choice, it makes Wikipedia more functional, makes information easier to find (and isn't that what we're meant to be about?) waggers (talk) 21:10, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Month-Day links should be made in certain cases[edit]

  • Very rarely. Perhaps for annual events it could be interesting to find other annual events on the same day. --Apoc2400 (talk) 10:41, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

*Placeholder "where specifically appropriate" opinion, per my post in "Comments" below. --Dweller (talk) 12:38, 25 November 2008 (UTC) Move to oppose, based on discussion in Comment section.

  • With the exception of articles about chronological items (May 12 or 2003), never. Dabomb87 (talk) 14:05, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Rarely. I think rarely enough that it may be acceptable for some sort of fake linkage to prevent bots from removing them may be appropriate. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:28, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
    • (I should read the proposal, unless it was edited after I !voted). Strongly toward including the date of an event which happened only on that day and annual events which (almost; for example, Saint Patrick's Day) always happen on that day; weakly toward including birth days and death, date of completion, occupancy, and demolition for a structure; start and end dates for an event which has clear start and end dates. Perhaps the ones I specify "weakly" should be restricted to links in infoboxes. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 19:48, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Quite all right for annual events and celebrations. Don't care much about birth dates, but certainly not linking should be the general rule. -- Jao (talk) 14:46, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Only very rarely, perhaps only in chronologically based articles. I think, as they stand, the "month-day" articles are unencyclopaedic and widely linking them is unhelpful. Maybe the problem is that these "articles" have never grown beyond lists of events. Not one is worthy of being called a true article as opposed to a list of events varying in importance from the crucial to the trivial (e.g. September 1: Germany invades Poland, Billy Blanks born, 121 days remaining until the end of the year.) If the only context the two ideas share is that of having happened on the same day then the link should never be made (e.g. Henry M. Jackson died on September 1, 1983: coincidentally, the same day as fellow American politician Larry McDonald died.) Sillyfolkboy (talk) 16:59, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

seemywork 18:23, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

  • I find it very difficult to believe that there is never any situation where a date would be relevant enough to link. Absolutes like "never" and "always" make for very poor rules. Mr.Z-man 19:08, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I think Month Day linking of only certain significant dates is useful for they way it gives unity to the Wikipedia body of knowledge. I suggest the definition would apply only to dates which directly describe the subject of the article and would read something like:-
  • The commencement of things - births , foundations , openings , declarations, creations , discoveries, patents and first publications.
  • The ending of things - deaths , dissolutions, closings, destructions, ceases, fires, armistices.
  • Another definition would be by impact on human history and would include battles, eruptions , disasters etc. Lumos3 (talk) 21:17, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
* Extremely rarely. I'd say never but let's just make the rule that the link must be demonstrably useful per WP:CONTEXT. DoubleBlue (talk) 21:22, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I've moved to never; see rationale there. DoubleBlue (talk) 17:55, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • There are several cases, none of which is overwhelmingly common, where the link adds significant value to the article, or readers may wish to go to the date.
    • The article on Saint George should link to April 23.
    • The article on Guy Fawkes should link to 5 November (which happens to be a redirect).
    • The First Hague Conference opened on May 18, which was Nicholas II's birthday (this is not a coincidence; Russia called the conference, and Germany only attended because failing to do so would be to insult the Czar, which the Kaiser did not choose to do in 1899); while the article does not include this, we should link; it is better to direct readers to a correct speculation.
    • Several of the events of the French revolution are known by the day and month. For 18 Brumaire and other days under the Revolutionary calendar, we already do this per WP:COMMONNAME; but we should also link August 10, when it is used for August 10, 1792, so that the reader can find more if he wishes. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:07, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree with the above concerning limited use of linking to day and month for important historical events, e.g., December 7 or September 11--FeanorStar7 (talk) 02:11, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
If the speculation about the First Hague Conference opening on Nicholas II's birthday is useful to the article, surely it should be mentioned there? I looked at the article on May 18 but the nearest event I spotted was that Dracula was published exactly two years earlier. I did see Nicholas' birthday, but it never explained the speculation. Also, the article on August 10 provided no more information about 10 August 1792 than "Storming of the Tuileries Palace. Louis XVI of France is arrested and taken into custody", which I assume was already in the article that might link to it. Personally, I wouldn't link to either August 10 or to 9 November (18 Brumaire 1799) as there's nothing else in them about the French Revolution - or did I misunderstand? --RexxS (talk) 02:03, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
If I had a written verifiable source, rather than a conversation with a Professor of Russian History, I would have added it; I might still link, since the date would then be significant to the article. But I don't, and have other things to do than look for one. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:32, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
That's quite understandable, but I'd postulate that you've summed up the problem quite neatly: The date 18 May would indeed be significant to the article; The article 18 May unfortunately is not. --RexxS (talk) 00:12, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • As I understand, this option means that we treat dates just like other words. "Dates should be linked when they are relevant to the content of the article." But this doesn't add anything to the general principle of the linking. -- Taku (talk) 23:39, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Example - April Fools Day should link to April 1. Also Russian Revolution-related stuff would be a good idea, etc. - NuclearWarfare contact meMy work 01:58, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Rarely. For instance in articles about annual events (a saint's feast day, a national holiday, etc.) The next option, never linking at all, would be tantamount to rendering all those date articles candidates for deletion, as they would presumably all be orphaned. While I wouldn't terribly miss them (I think I have never read one), that's probably not what we want. Fut.Perf. 14:09, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Such links should be made if the linked date as such is relevant to the topic at issue, i.e., almost never.  Sandstein  14:41, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I feel that links such as 14 March should only be included on Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries pages. It Is Me Here t / c 17:17, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Very very rarely. I can't think of a "general" article that should link a date fragment like this. However, it might make sense for special calendar or timeline articles to link to these "on this day in history" type pages. So I weakly support the possibility. Studerby (talk) 20:14, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Very, very, very rarely, per User:Future Perfect at Sunrise (Fut.Perf) Cheers, —Ed 17 (Talk / Contribs) 22:14, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Very rarely, per Pmanderson. --Hans Adler (talk) 22:47, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Don't use them as a matter of general practice, but use them in cases where the date itself is a matter of particular relevance. Holidays are a good example—in articles about holidays, you'd want to have a link to the day (or days) that the holiday is celebrated. They can also be justifiably included in other date articles: for example, the year articles can link to day articles and vice versa. Everyking (talk) 06:37, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Sometimes; I can't presume to say how rarely for other articles I haven't seen and never will because it depends on context. The one specific example I remember using is that when I was de-linking dates in passing while revising the introductory paragraph (lede) to New Yankee Stadium, I kept the link for August 16 (but not the link for the year) in the date for the groundbreaking because the text specifically mentioned that it was on the anniversary of the death of Babe Ruth (a famous player for the New York Yankees baseball team). I think someone else has de-linked it. There are many political events, and even military actions, that have happened on specific anniversaries. I wish that day articles were less random, but their improvement is really a different issue. —— Shakescene (talk) 08:54, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Since the fact that the two things happened on the same day is mentioned in the article, there's no benefit to linking to the date article. The only relevant item in that article is the date of Babe Ruth's death, which the reader already knows. In general, if the fact that two events happened on the same day is significant (i.e. intended), it belongs in an encyclopaedia in the articles for those events. If it was just a coincidence, rather than planned that way, it doesn't belong at all. Colonies Chris (talk) 10:07, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Septentrionalis covered some good examples, and furthermore I think that there's a cause for linking month-day in infoboxes and possibly birth days / death days in biographies. Otherwise, it's pretty rare. SnowFire (talk) 15:59, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • As User:DoubleBlue says, the rule should be that the link must be useful per WP:CONTEXT. Reading through the examples above, I don't see any that would reach that threshold for me, so I agree that it ends up being extremely rare.
I didn't comment in any of the other sections on this page, as it seems to me that those decisions should follow this one.Ccrrccrr (talk) 16:23, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • As worthless as I think date linking is, it still had its place on some pages. For example, the Attack on Pearl Harbor should link to December 7 and Independence Day (United States) should link to July 4. However, a car article should not link to May 5 because that was its first day of production. Date linking needs to be used sparingly, but it should still be used, IMO.--Flash176 (talk) 16:31, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • On Biographies, dates should always be linked for birth and death date. Dates within infoboxes should also be linked. I don't care about anything else. Reywas92Talk 17:11, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Relevant dates should always be linked: birth and death for biographies, historical events relevant to the article (like the date of a battle in an article about that battle, the date a ship was destroyed, the date a building was completed, etc.). In general, every date shouldn't be linked, but there are many dates which should always be linked. Completely doing away with them is pointless and an overreaction. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:12, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • An absolute rule seems too strict; there will always be some exceptions. Pages about annual celebrations being, as pointed out above, an example of such. If you're never going to link to the pages at all, you might as well delete them. Having said that, there would not, in my view be very many instances when such linking would be appropriate.Anaxial (talk) 19:39, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Only when it is essential to th context of the article, or in infoboxes where there's not a lot left to do. ChyranandChloe (talk) 20:41, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Whenever they help provide context. Birth dates and infoboxes should be linked. Repetitive linking of the same year or date links should be avoided. G-Man ? 23:17, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Only when the linked article is actually relevant, as is the rule with other links. This happens very rarely with month-day links.--Srleffler (talk) 00:07, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • After talking with some people who have never edited Wikipedia but have used it as a source for information, I think it's safe to say date links are useful, but not all dates should be linked (perhaps just one instance). I don't agree that the link need be relevant since date links are, once readers become familiar with them, just links to more information about that day/date. —Locke Coletc 00:30, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • There are plenty of cases where they should be made. If there weren't, what would be the point of the pages in the first place? I think they should be linked so long as they might provide value to the reader. -BarkerJr (talk) 04:21, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Agreed for certain cases such as annual events. Otherwise very rarely. Dates are currently overlinked and the date pages are often crowded. RainbowOfLight Talk 05:30, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Very rarely. I've never intentionally followed such a link, nor will I ever. But there might be rare circumstances where they are actually useful to readers, so I'm not willing to say absolutely never. GRBerry 05:32, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • It depends. Sheesh. (I could use stronger language, but that would only distract people over my words & muddy this already tangled issue.) As Shakescene points out below, "can't the editors who worked on a specific article be trusted to offer a month-day link where they think it might be helpful, and not to do so where it isn't?" Creating bots to enforce policies only annoy & anger the people who are spending their time actually writing articles instead of arguing policy. And if you require contributors to read & understand policy before they edit -- which making rules like this about linking does -- not only are you violating the cornerstone policy ignore all rules, you've killed Wikipedia. -- llywrch (talk) 07:50, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Where editors feel it adds value. dm (talk) 16:31, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • A good rule of thumb might be to link if the event is mentioned in the list of notable events happening on that day. Sam Blacketer (talk) 21:49, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Very rarely I agree with Flash176 above with his examples of December 7 when relating to Pearl Harbor and July 4 when relating to American Independance. Bubba73 (talk), 18:12, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Of course this should happen in some cases. How could Independence Day (United States) not link to July 4? Oren0 (talk) 19:59, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - they rarely do any harm, and can be useful if it is a recurring event on a particular day of the year (e.g. Christmas Day). Warofdreams talk 21:20, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • They are useful in certain circumstances. --Elonka 18:24, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree it cannot be ruled out. But I've found that over the years I've been here that I've become less inclined to do it as often now and would only consider doing so for important or even historic occasions. If, for example, an article were to be a biography, I would find any date linking beyond their birthday (and even that I'd be inclined to leave out) a bit too much. --➨Candlewicke  :) Sign/Talk 21:21, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Rarely, and only for good cause. For example, I could see linking to the article May 1 if you're in an article that is listed at May 1#Holidays_and_observances. Linking to that article in most instances, and particularly linking to the article on a date that is merely mentioned in passing (e.g., "A lawsuit was filed on May 1...") or for publication dates in references (e.g., Smith, Mary. "Unrest in the Middle East." The New York Times May 1, 2008) is entirely inappropriate. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:58, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Like any other link, editors should judge when it is desirable. Michael Z. 2008-12-02 01:37 z
  • Links should be made when it's useful and is context-driven to the article. I also think it is useful for biographies for birth, date of death and perhaps for use in infoboxes too. But other than that, it's slightly pointless. For example, I sometimes read articles on fictional characters and soaps that link a date. It makes the whole thing seem redundant. (just to add, I agree especially with --Flash176 16:31, 28 November 2008 and Reywas92 17:11, 28 November 2008 londonsista Prod 05:28, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • If the article deals with the history of something and the date has great relevance, then that's fine, e.g. June 6, 1944 in a WWII timeline. But if it's in someone's biography because they got married that day or something of that ilk, it's pointless. We don't need a world view of what was going on that day in order to better understand the subject of the article. Dismas|(talk) 07:48, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support once in a while may be important to do it, but not all the time, definitely not by default. Miguel.mateo (talk) 14:02, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Very rarely. There are some situations when a wikilinked date makes sense to use, however they are very few and far between. Truthanado (talk) 01:59, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Rarely. In certain isolated cases, it may be useful to do so, but as a general practice, linking Month-Day combinations is no more useful than linking other common terms like colors, numbers, or days of the week. 03:36, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Very Rarely - There are almost always undesirable, perhaps always. But dictating "never" goes against the spirit of WP:IAR. Peter Ballard (talk) 05:12, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Some are notable, most are not. Even those that are notable may not be relevant to a particular article. --Philcha (talk) 15:46, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Always link in infoboxes and lede paragraphs (ie. date of birth, date of death); link in main article body at editor discretion. I see no issue with a good liberal sprinkling in most articles, though. GlassCobra 11:10, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Very Rarely and then only if the link adds sense and important information to the original article. Edmund Patrickconfer 14:08, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support this - I don't prefer overlinking, but sometimes links to dates are useful. Like holidays should link to the day on which it is celebrated, some important events need linking, etc. Generally, don't link, but sometimes it's acceptable. -- American Eagle (talk) 23:56, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Weak support only because I cannot support the phrase "Month-Day links should never be made". I would agree that, in general, Month-Day should not be linked. I cannot quickly think of a high-value Month-Day link (25 December on the Christmas article is not high-value in my opinion); however, I cannot support a ban on such linking—the editor must be given the editorial leeway to decide when linking is appropriate, just like every other word we type. If you think my comment is in the wrong section, blame it on the section headers. Pagrashtak 14:19, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support context based use: 23 April should certainly be linked from Saint George, William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes, World Book Day etc. Wikipedia can be useful as an almanac.--Rumping (talk) 10:34, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • support when the day is of relevance, such as events named in relation to days, and annual events and similar celebrations. DGG (talk) 18:01, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support for birth and death dates and important events, such as battles. Also for dates that are significant in context, such as publication dates in articles about books or authors. Deb (talk) 12:42, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support for chronological subjects such as holidays or calendars (e.g. April Fools' Day), sometimes for historical events where the temporal aspect is of special relevance (e.g. September 11 attacks) and occasionally with great caution in biographies (births, deaths). The Fiddly Leprechaun · Catch Me! 17:32, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Weak support. These articles are almost trivia collections. (But, who doesn't want to see the events on his or her birthday?) There are several days of interest, however, that deserve to exist, and when an article deserves to exist then it deserves to be linked when the linking context is not completely incidental. — brighterorange (talk) 00:06, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I think that generally the date should be linked for important events. However, linking every time seems to overdo it. Captain panda 21:34, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Month-day links should be made in cases in which readers are likely to search for the date itself. Month-day articles must not be collections of chronological trivia. They should collect notable events that are specifically associated with that specific date, and are commemorated together with that date. National independence days are the obvious example. The Battle of Puebla and May 5 also qualify. Editors should use their best judgment, but effort will be needed to counter the tendency to collect trivia and overlink. Birth and death dates: Do not link; if this is seen as important, use some kind of categorization (e.g. Category:May 5 deaths, identical to Category:5 May deaths). — ℜob C. alias ᴀʟᴀʀoʙ 22:24, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I support. As somebody who accasionally comes here to read and edit wikipedia. I was shocked to come here recently after a long break, to find that many articles had been stripped bare of links to dates. I have found my way here to register my protest. How bizarre that people think removing them is a good idea, it looks terrible, and detracts from the readers choice. I would certainly support linking relevant dates such as birth dates, and infoboxes should have them as well. Apart from that, I would say this, dates do not need to be directly relevant to the article, but they do provide choice for the reader to learn about another topic, or about that date directly. Therefore, dates should generally be linked, but only once per article. This gives the reader the choice to make up their own minds on what to look at without cluttering the article. Gem (talk) 01:10, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Rarely, such as recurring events. Eg. if discussing a riot on 1st May, a link might be useful if a mention of Labour Day is not. Modest Genius talk 16:54, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Rarely. There are always some times that you find the need to WP:IAR. -- King of ♠ 07:09, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Month-Day links should never be made[edit]

  • In general these links are pointless. The page they link to can be assumed to contain no information that is directly relevant, and wikilinks should help to direct readers to relevant information. Taemyr (talk) 08:42, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree they pointless. I have never seen any need to add them. Ruslik (talk) 08:53, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Absolutely pointless—worse, they slightly damage the appearance and readability of the text, bunch up against other links in lists, and dilute high-value links. Terrible idea. Tony (talk) 09:00, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • the month-day articles should be renamed/moved to "notable events on DATE throughout history"; then on the rare occassions when they might be of interest, they should be linked to 'explicitly by those names, preferably in the "see also" sections of articles. Sssoul (talk) 11:22, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • These should never be used in prose. I cannot find any exceptions to this, apart from possibly for Saint's days and the like, but even then this can be done with more explicit links.—MDCollins 11:46, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Pointless - what happened to adding context with our linkages? The Rambling Man on tour (talk) 12:16, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I can't think of any cases where this would be useful. If anyone can come up with any the I may change my opinion to "in cartain cases", but they would be very rare cases. Phil Bridger (talk) 12:48, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Never, or almost never, per MDCollins. --John (talk) 14:53, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Pretty pointless, and an "Easter egg" link to boot. If you're going to tell the reader that X happens on the same day as Y, link to the specific article about Y, so they can see what the link is about. Tim Vickers (talk) 15:57, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Dilution of the effectiveness of wikilinks should not be made for the minor benefit of linking to matters with no less trivial connection than an astronomical coincidence. Knepflerle (talk) 16:12, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree with Tony. (No, Locke, I'm not a follower of Tony. I hadn't ever met him before, AFAIK. ) Tempshill (talk) 16:41, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I hesitate to say 'never', but I can't think of any reason to make these links except the idle interest of seeing what happened on your birthday. And that's not what an encyclopaedia is for. Colonies Chris (talk) 18:05, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • A device possibly appopriate for the readers of USA TODAY a.k.a. McPaper. Clickable links! Gizmos! Color! Blinking lights!--Goodmorningworld (talk) 18:30, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support These links are a total waste of time. If a reader wants to know what happened on a certain day or year, they can use the search box. I think that they should only be linked from other chronological date pages, and therefore, there should be no problem with bots or scripts removing them from all other pages.--User:2008Olympianchitchat
  • Never. I do not like them in a house. I do not like them with a mouse. I do not like them here or there. I do not like them anywhere. Kaldari (talk) 19:55, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't see any point either. Giants2008 (17-14) 19:58, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Never. Worthless dilutions.  HWV 258  21:42, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • See no need for a pure list of things that happened on a date. Ealdgyth - Talk 00:56, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • A pointless, useless waste of time for editors and readers. The examples advanced by the proponents of such links show exactly why they should NOT be used: no value added to the article. None. Any such links should be removed on sight, alone or in bulk.Hmains (talk) 04:41, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • agree Why link to pages of unrelated trivia? these date articles usually contain "calendar coincidences", and contribute nothing to the understanding of any given article linked to it. Ohconfucius (talk) 10:23, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Discussion in comment section persuades me it's pointless. --Dweller (talk) 10:26, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Pointless. If you want to link to an annual celebration, name the annual celebration. Lightmouse (talk) 10:50, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree with User:Sssoul above: the month-day articles should be renamed/moved to "notable events on DATE throughout history"; then on the rare occassions when they might be of interest, they should be linked to 'explicitly by those names, preferably in the "see also" sections of articles. Sssoul (talk) 11:22, 25 November 2008 (UTC) Karanacs (talk) 16:37, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Such linking does not have value for the reader; it provides only trivial information. EdJohnston (talk) 17:25, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I have a hard time imagining any useful month day links. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:59, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Best to stick with a non-ambiguous alternative. Mostly useless, and as said above, one could use the search button, or relevant dates may be piped like this: [[International Workers' Day|1 May]], [[Norwegian Constitution Day|17 May]] etc. Punkmorten (talk) 08:36, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Pointless. I've never seen any useful benefit from them, nor can I think of any cases I would do. Whitehorse1 01:09, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • The purpose of a link is to direct the reader to relevant other content. I still can't conjure up any likely scenarios where this would be appropriate for day-month - and I certainly can't see how the article on February 12 would help me to understand anything about Charles Darwin, even if it was his birthday. --RexxS (talk) 04:03, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I have never found a month-day article to be relevant to the article I was just reading. Binksternet (talk) 17:31, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • My initial instinct was that there may be cases where the date article could be a justifiable link but thinking it over for a few days and seeing the suggested articles where such a link would be made in Comments below has only convinced me that a link to such an article of trivia should be only made outside the the rules; none of the suggested articles are reasonable places for such a link. Only when one can justify an extra-ordinary reason per WP:IAR should a link from a normal article to these pages be made. DoubleBlue (talk) 18:01, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I can't see any benefit - it's just trivia. If a date is significant for some reason, link to the significant event, rather than the date. Pfainuk talk 18:41, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Useful cases will be sufficiently rare that it is better off starting from this default position, then making sensible exceptions, rather than from either of the others. Angus McLellan (Talk) 19:32, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • There are no standout purposes for me, so I agree with Angus that it's best to default at "never". We do have IAR for the possible exceptions. لennavecia 21:23, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • The links add no useful content as far as I can tell. §hep¡Talk to me! 01:08, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Pretty much the only viable use case scenario I can come up for with these pages is the curious person who wonders what happened in history on their birthday. Such a trivial use case does not justify strewing the encyclopedia with millions of links. --Cyde Weys 01:48, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Pointless tat. --Malleus Fatuorum 02:29, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I clicked on one or two of these links once, probably in late 2003. I couldn't see the point of them and have been puzzled and mildly irritated by them ever since. Nurg (talk) 10:11, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • What Nurg said. I can't think of a single productive use for them except wrt annual events, which would almost invariably need more disambiguation than would be provided by an autoformat. And it's extremely unlikely that even 1:1000 of these links could be thus categorized. (I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.) arimareiji (talk) 18:36, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • As per DoubleBlue. I was leaning towards regularly, but like Dweller the discussion in the comments section and comments such as DoubleBlue's have convinced me. dougweller (talk) 08:25, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - The links are genuinely pointless. I remember, when I was just a browser of Wikipedia, seeing articles telling me x event happened on December 12th, clicking the link - thinking they'd be some relevant contextual information, or maybe a specific reason why the date would be significant, but being disappointed, and slightly confused. I don't see any reasons to link dates within articles, it's confusing, and pointless, and not in the best interests of Wikipedia to have. - RD (Talk) 22:13, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • These articles are not encyclopedic in nature. Libcub (talk) 16:55, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • These links are a pointless distraction, just like any other overlinking. A real need to link to such articles is so rare that it does not need a provision in the MOS, one can rely on editors' discretion and WP:IAR. — Emil J. 17:12, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • These never seem to have anything to do with the articles.DragonZero (talk) 02:17, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Utterly pointless and usually distracting. Eve Hall (talk) 19:23, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • They are generally low-no value and distract from links that are meaningful. -- Banjeboi 21:31, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Apart from the exceedingly rare occasion, never. Spellcast (talk) 16:52, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Month-day links alone should never be made. They should only be linked in conjunction with a year, and then only when important (always for birth and death dates'.) Reywas92Talk 18:35, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Never - what, never? - well, hardly ever. Linking to month-day is almost always pointless, except in very, very, very rare instances. I am supporting never rather than certain cases for essentially mathematical reasons: the one or two significant dates, divided by the millenia of insignificant ones is close enough to zero for me.Cnilep (talk) 15:11, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Such links are distracting and their presence reduces the value of other important links in the article.--Shahab (talk) 17:15, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Overlinking is never good. SlimVirgin talk|edits 14:57, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • They add useless information, and so are a clear case of over-linking. Links visually pop out at you, and so should contain only important information. RJC TalkContribs 15:55, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I can see some case for linking years (in chronologies and the like; see my comment below in the relevant section); but Month-Day links are scarcely ever naturally called for, and pragmatically we should guard against the bad habits of zealots. Where a link to, say, 23 September is a good idea, it can be provided like this: "See 23 September". Such a form is far less likely to breed unchecked.–¡ɐɔıʇǝoNoetica!T– 05:22, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Per Angus. Linking provides little more than trivia. --Kbdank71 20:11, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Comments about Month-Day links[edit]

I'm inclined to go with "occasionally" (where appropriate), but can't currently think of a suggestion I'd agree with. Can someone nudge me on this? Any ideas? --Dweller (talk) 12:36, 25 November 2008 (UTC)


  • Articles about chronological items (May 12, Thursday, 2003, 19th century).
  • Articles in which an auspicious, well-known event coincides with a date (New Year's Day, Armistice Day, Christmas Day).
  • The linking of dates follow the rules as the other links in these cases; only link to a specifc day on its first appearance. Dabomb87 (talk) 14:22, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Are you arguing that, say, if hypothetical notable musician Jonny X was born on 25th December, a link to Christmas Day would be useful? To be rendered thus: "Jonny X (born 25th December 1987...)"? --Dweller (talk) 16:47, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
The use of Christmas Day is ambiguous as a day as there are other celebrations on January 6 and 7, as specified in the article. Clarity is paramount here and in my opinion this should never be done. Besides, won't most readers see December 25 and think "oh, that's Christmas Day." Really, that is the highest amount of thought happening here and a link is not necessary. Sillyfolkboy (talk) 17:07, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Sillyfolkboy, I understand the arguments against. I'm rather hoping adherents can present their arguments to me here. I'm unconvinced I've presented a case study they'd agree with - hence my question marks - and I'm reserving judgement until I thoroughly understand. --Dweller (talk) 19:38, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Dweller, I was talking about linking to dates, not holidays. On articles about holidays that coincide on a certain day, we could link the first time. "Christmas Day falls on 25 December." Dabomb87 (talk) 21:30, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Ah, gotcha. In that case, unless anyone's got any other suggestions, I'm going to move to oppose. That's a totally pointless link IMHO. --Dweller (talk) 10:23, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

All who voted to "Never link Month-Day" - could this be construed as proposal to delete all these articles? Surely the idea to purposefully orphan an article is without precedent? Sillyfolkboy (talk) 17:07, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I wouldn't be horrified to lose those pages, however to find out what happened throughout history on (say) today's date any user can go to the standard WP search box and enter "25 September" or "Sep 25" or "September 25", etc. in order to be taken straight there. If fact they'd have to try pretty hard not to find the page they're after. I (and I guess many others) believe it is not worth diluting other links on a page for the rare case when a reader has the need to click on a Month-Day link.  HWV 258  23:04, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
These suggestions for being a little bit pregnant surprise me. Why on first occurrence only, if not throughout? Why do we need 25 December linked for "Christmas Day"? If that article is significantly relevant, put it down in the "See also" section. Can you find an example where it helps the reader's understanding of a topic? Tony (talk) 02:18, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
There is little to no use in being linked there from an article. They can serve on their own as almanac type articles for readers who want to see what happened on this day. DoubleBlue (talk) 02:26, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I was surprised at the tide of support for these articles when they went to AfD. Apparently, the almanac role is appreciated, and indeed date articles are routinely linked to the Main Page. So, I say never fear these articles will be orphaned. Even if they are not linked to within any other WP articles, they form their very own walled garden of 366 (day of the year) plus some thousands of other (year and month-year articles) "popular" chrono-trivia articles. Ohconfucius (talk) 14:14, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • question: i think this is part of what Dweller was seeking above, but i'll try again: could someone who favours month-day links in feast-day/holiday/historic-event-type articles explain why they favour that, please and thank you? using examples given in the "votes" above:
  • why does a reader need to look at April 23 to understand the article on Saint George? since the article on Saint George already tells readers what date his feast day is on and why, what does the list of other events on the same date throughout history add?
  • similarly: what exactly does a link to April 1 contribute to understanding April Fools Day?
  • and can we see an example of an article on a historical event in which a link to a list of assorted other events on the same date throughout history is an aid to understanding? thanks Sssoul (talk) 09:35, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
Living in a multi-cultural societyy, i don't find it completely useless to have day-month links for the holidays. If i get invited to have some cake for Eid, it is always fun to be able to say, "yes, and we can celebrate St. xxx's day!". But then again, i know how to use the search, so wouldn't miss them terribly. All other examples i've heard of are pointless.Yobmod (talk) 16:42, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Of all the questions, this one seems to have formed the most definite consensus on one thing: Month-Day articles should not be linked to on every appearance in an article. What we still have to determine is whether we should link to these articles at all, and if so, under what circumstances. From what I see, the consensus seems to rule that except for articles about calendar items, month-day links should almost never be linked. Dabomb87 (talk) 15:18, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
    • (1) First, the arguments are getting split up confusingly between Always/Never/Sometimes and the Comments subsections: should we rearrange this to make it more coherent?
    • (2) Why have any absolute rule against it? It's not something to be encouraged where irrelevant or distracting, but with ten million articles in English Wikipedia, can't the editors who worked on a specific article be trusted to offer a month-day link where they think it might be helpful, and not to do so where it isn't? (Rather than someone or some 'bot that's never seen the article before, let alone its history or talk page?) There's already a lively discussion about whether Wikipedia has too many policies; and this kind of intrusive prescriptive detail about anniversaries would be a prime example of a rule (rather than stylistic advice) looking for a justification to exist.
    • (3) This is different from the question of whether it's a good idea to retain most day-month linking (without years) to allow readers to set an autoformatted preference for themselves on seeing "18 May" vs "May 18". I'm undecided about this.
    • And I don't like these arguments that breezily suggest that something that is in fact more hassle and work for the reader (like a Google or even Wikipedia search for every item that happens to mention December 25 or November 22) is somehow so natural and easy that by itself it makes a date page unnecessary. The deficiencies of those date pages are, as I've said, a different question.—— Shakescene (talk) 18:56, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

What about articles for one specific date in one specific year?[edit]

I'm only raising this for discussion, but there are individual articles for some specific dates, such as May 15, 2005 (from the code [[May 15, 2005]]) that are not autoformatting (unless artificially with the use of re-directs), which aren't for dates that recur every year, but just for one specific date. Most of these articles are for dates from January 1, 2003 to July 31, 2005 †. Does anyone have thoughts about links to those days? Are they more or less useful than anniversary dates like December 25? Should editors be encouraged to write more such articles and to link to those that exist? † [Note that September 11, 2001 is not one of those dates, but simply a redirect to the terrorist attacks that dominated that day (and not for example to the primary elections that began that day in Massachusetts and New York City).] —— Shakescene (talk) 09:22, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Every single one of those should be deleted. I had thought we were disallowing those, for very good reason, and moving them to the Portal:Current Events, such as Portal:Current events/2008 November 15, from which they are transcluded to November 2008. The articles you linked to transclude to May 2005 and January 2005; they should be substituted and then deleted, or moved to Portal space and then deleted. Category:Days in 2004 already redirects to the relevant month, and Category:2006 by day is Portal space. The 2005 days and a few 2003 days need to be deleted ASAP. Reywas92Talk 17:36, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
This is exactly the kind of weird, obscure technicality that I didn't know about and don't understand after contributing more than 2,000 of my own edits and hundreds of exchanges on Talk Pages, so it would go right over the heads of 99% of Wikipedia editors, let alone readers. If the average editor, not for auto-formatting, but because he or she thinks it especially useful to link to what else happened on a certain day (Aldous Huxley, for example, as well as JFK, dying on November 22, 1963), he or she might have no idea that a specific page for that day might already exist under an obscure name, or how to link to it. One has to have either been here a long time (as Wikipedia was growing horizontally as well as vertically) or have an unusually persistent curiosity to disentangle all these specialized namespaces (if that's le mot juste) that supposedly simplify Wikipedia. —— Shakescene (talk) 06:06, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Month-day only linking is of less importance in an encyclopaedia and becomes about trivia. Year-Month-Day linking does have relevance as it places an event in its time and place in history, especially if a geographical aspects can be included. Children born within short periods following a royal birth and having the same name indicates the perspective of a family. A death that takes place on a date during a period of war can add perspectives. Allowing folk to examine in context makes WP a more useful tool. -- billinghurst (talk) 10:17, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Year--month--day linking would be of relevance for all birth and death dates, and it should not be revisited when it can be done in a less obtrusive way. Personally, though, I don't think those two links in he article of a person are actually obtrusive. DGG (talk) 18:20, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, since I should offer an opinion if I have one (as opposed to the talking points above). Specific days in specific years are often more useful, important and relevant than simple anniversaries or birthdays. (For example the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia happening in August 1968 as the U.S. Democratic Party Convention was beginning.) —— Shakescene (talk) 06:04, 25 December 2008 (UTC)


Looking through the discussion above, a theme that emerges is that of relevancy. When considering links from article to another, I believe the consensus is to only link other articles that are relevant. I made this comment:

  • The purpose of a link is to direct the reader to relevant other content. I still can't conjure up any likely scenarios where this would be appropriate for day-month - and I certainly can't see how the article on February 12 would help me to understand anything about Charles Darwin, even if it was his birthday. --RexxS (talk) 04:03, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

However, I can now accept that this "strictly-relevant" position is not the only tenable one:

  • I don't agree that the link need be relevant since date links are, once readers become familiar with them, just links to more information about that day/date. —Locke Cole • t • c 00:30, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I regularly click them and find them useful and interesting. I don't think they're distracting at all and help provide context in articles. Tombomp (talk/contribs) 08:07, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

The opposite view is also expressed:

  • I've never intentionally followed such a link, nor will I ever. But there might be rare circumstances where they are actually useful to readers, so I'm not willing to say absolutely never. GRBerry 05:32, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

One of the joys of a paper encyclopedia is that while looking for a particular topic, you often find something else unrelated, but interesting, because it is adjacent alphabetically. The day-month articles here also provide another kind of adjacency - other topics that share the same "birthday".

So perhaps the fundamental question we need to determine consensus on is "Is there sufficient value in allowing day-month links to be an exception to the rule of relevancy?"

There is also the argument that some day-month links do meet the standards of relevancy:

  • it still had its place on some pages. For example, the Attack on Pearl Harbor should link to December 7 ... Date linking needs to be used sparingly, but it should still be used, IMO.--Flash176 (talk) 16:31, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

In this case, the 7 December article does actually contain further information about the Attack on Pearl Harbour concerning the chronology (although you still have to look through a lot of unrelated stuff to find it). In other words, it links to further information beyond what is in the main article. If this were not a date link, it would have to link to a stub article. How would we best deal with that? Suggest it be merged into the main? - WP:UNDUE; Expand the stub? - may not be possible. It could be argued that day-month articles are a convenience to avoid multiple stubs. Personally, I can just about accept that, if the information in the date-month article provided extra information in each entry.

If I believed that over time, each entry in each day-month article would eventually provide an extra resource to the linking article, then I could strike the comment I made in response to Septentrionalis:

  • I'd postulate that you've summed up the problem quite neatly: The date 18 May would indeed be significant to the article; The article 18 May unfortunately is not. --RexxS (talk) 00:12, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

I suggest that the collators of this section of the RfC try to determine the answer to the "Exception to Relevancy Question" first. If it turns out that consensus is that day-month links need to be relevant, then find some guidelines to help editors determine whether they are linking to relevant extra information in the day-month article. --RexxS (talk) 15:28, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

When to link Year articles[edit]

Background: Year articles such as 2000 are similar to Month-Day articles, and in the same vein, can be seen either as very useful or very unhelpful. As with Month-Day articles, it is understood that normally they should only be linked – if at all – the first time each year appears in the article.

The question posed here is:

When should Year links be made from articles?

Please indicate which approach you prefer below. If you support "In certain cases", please explain what cases would be appropriate for these links.

Year links should always be made[edit]

  • Always, I regularly click them and find them useful and interesting. I don't think they're distracting at all and help provide useful context. Tombomp (talk/contribs) 08:08, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I use them all the time. I think that users should be able to choose whether or not years are linked by setting their preferences. --Andrew Kelly (talk) 23:11, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Readers will usually not be registered users. Hence they will usually not have any settable preferences. Taemyr (talk) 04:09, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Although there should never be double-links, yes upon first occurrence years should be linked, always. Since I can see this is never going to happen, I'd like to suggest that this, too, is included in preferences. —Mizu onna sango15Hello! 03:27, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • As I stated above, links to dates can always be useful for people searching for events that happened on certain dates. If there is interest there should be an article. --Banime (talk) 15:03, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't really see what problem they cause. By always including them we give our readers a choice, by excluding them we take that choice away. So give them the choice, it makes Wikipedia more functional, makes information easier to find (and isn't that what we're meant to be about?) waggers (talk) 21:11, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
    • Readers have a choice even without the in-text links: the search box. Dabomb87 (talk) 15:08, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
      • Yes, but why make people go over there when we can just link the dates? I thought Wikipedia was supposed to be functional and easy to use, not a pain in the butt. --Andrew Kelly (talk) 17:27, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
        • Because the year articles (as well as links to month-day articles) are almost always irrelevant to the article they are linked from. I believe that linking to year-in-field articles is a better alternative. Dabomb87 (talk) 00:15, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
          • I think that linking to year-in-field articles would be helpful, but if there is not an appropriate year-in-field article for a specific link then I think it should just be linked to the year article. --Andrew Kelly (talk) 04:00, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
            • But then, a link is made to an article irrelevant to the context. Dabomb87 (talk) 13:26, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
        • Another argument being that the "inconvenience" encountered by the very tiny percentage of readers who need to enter four digits and press "search" is irrelevant to the inconvenience caused by peppering nebulous links over an article that merely serve to dilute the more valuable links.  HWV 258  04:23, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
          • It doesn't "dilute the more valuable links." Someone isn't going to refrain from clicking on a link that they want to visit just because there are some other links in close proximity to it. Adding a few more links should not discourage anyone from clicking on the "more valuable" links, it just gives them the opportunity to see what else was going on at the time. --Andrew Kelly (talk) 02:35, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
            • It seems that from the above responses to the previous questions and the other RfC that the view that links to years (and date related items in general) are useful is not widely shared. An article that does a good job of containing only high-value links is Harvey Milk, a Featured Article, which I might add, does not link dates (and neither do other FAs). Dabomb87 (talk) 04:14, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
              • We should let readers decide which links they consider to be "high-value." The only way to do that is to link to them. A few extra links should not lower the quality of a well written article. To the contrary, it should increase its value because readers are able to more freely navigate the website. --Andrew Kelly (talk) 05:08, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
                • Please see WP:CONTEXT. An analogy can be made with United States; this is a far better article than any year (or "Year in x") article, yet we would not wish to link every instance of "United States", as that would serve no good purpose and would indeed, by distraction, dilute more useful links. --John (talk) 05:22, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. I'm surprised to see so little support for this. In the same way we conventionally link to cities and countries when they are mentioned, years provide important historical context for events. I think this is a totally normal and natural way to use the encyclopedia. I agree it's better to link to a topical article for a year (e.g. 2008 in music) when it exists. — brighterorange (talk) 00:11, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Always. They are not so many per article that they distract, and they provide a link to the historical context of whatever the present article is about. (I agree, though, that a link to [[NNNN in xyzzy|NNNN]] is better, when appropriate, than a link to [[NNNN]].)—msh210 22:31, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Year links should be made in certain cases[edit]

  • Year links should be made when the year page helps put the current article into historic context. It can be assumed that some link from a year will make sense but alternatives to the year page should be considered, for instance it would usually be better to link birth year to the relevant decade. Taemyr (talk) 08:46, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • The MoS currently says that Dates (years, months, day and month, full dates) should not be linked, unless there is a reason to do so. Since I agree with the MoS as it stands, I also think in some cases years can be linked. This is should decided on pages by page basis. Ruslik (talk) 08:58, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Only if the year article provides useful context. The world is big so the year articles will usually contain mostly unrelated things, especially for recent years. Don't link dates of birth and death other than in special cases.

* As my opinion and comment in above section. --Dweller (talk) 12:38, 25 November 2008 (UTC)Move to oppose --Dweller (talk) 10:27, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Frequently (in many articles), but only a few times per article. I still think it's better for the year of birth and death of a person to be linked, and possibly the year of completion or of readiness for use for a structure, and other dates significant to the article. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:30, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
    • Concur weakly with Lumos, below, although I'm not sure all of those should be included. Almost certainly nothing other than what Lumos suggests below. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 19:52, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Only if the year article provides helpful context. Personally, I would say no year article currently does this. However, that is not to say that they could not provide helpful information at some point in the future. Sillyfolkboy (talk) 17:18, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Per my comment in the "month-day" section above. Mr.Z-man 19:10, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Also per my comment in "Month-day" - Only certain significant year linking is useful for they way it gives unity to the Wikipedia body of knowledge. I suggest the definition would apply only to dates which directly describe the subject of the article and would read something like:-
  • The commencement of things - births , foundations , openings , declarations, creations , discoveries, patents and first publications.
  • The ending of things - deaths , dissolutions, closings, destructions, ceases, fires, armistices.
  • Another definition would be by impact on human history and would include battles, eruptions , disasters etc. Lumos3 (talk) 21:21, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • When we would link a word or phrase if it were not a date, then we should also link years. This, again, does not mean routine linking; it means significant linking, as:
    • Henry Laurens was president of the Committee of Safety, and presiding officer of that congress from June until March of 1776. This is from a biographical article, which cannot give the political and military events of South Carolina in 1776 without undue weight; but a reader may well wish to know them.
    • Of all the members of the British parliaments from 1689 to 1832, [complex statistical claim]. Most readers will understand why that century and a half was chosen; we should not complicate the sentence further by explaining. But some readers won't know, and should have a link to explain it if they want to know.
    • Dates of creation of peerages are always linked, per WP:PEER. This lets the reader find out which monarch, and often what circumstances, were responsible for the peerage, and what else was going on at the time. Some readers like this, and we are here to serve them.
    • Linking significant dates, once in articles for which they are significant, is a useful tool. For instance, 1686 does not yet include the creation of the Dominion of New England; at the least, its Whatlinkshere should.

Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:25, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

  • I would like to point out that to whatever extent this particular debate is concerned with “Years in X” linking, the issue substantially falls outside the purely stylistic purview of MOSNUM. I suspect that WP:WikiProject Time would be the most appropriate place to work out what the future of “Years in X” should be. Askari Mark (Talk) 03:39, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I feel that links such as 1964 should only be included on Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries pages. Furthermore, I am opposed not only to specific year links, but also to links such as 1960s, 19th century, 364 BC, 4th century BC and so on. It Is Me Here t / c 17:21, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Not as a matter of general practice. Use them when the year itself is under discussion (not when simply discussing something that happened to occur in a given year) and use them in other date articles. Everyking (talk) 06:44, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Very rarely, almost never. Again, the purpose of a link is to direct the reader to other relevant content. If the year article were to contain information relevant to the article containing the link, then I concede it could be linked, using the same rules as any other link. I suppose it could be argued that the article on 1809 might give some perspective on the world into which Charles Darwin was born, but it's much less use than the section on "Early life" that's already there. --RexxS (talk) 04:14, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Not peppered throughout the article, but I do feel that there should be some sort of link in the opening of the article / infobox to provide context of the time. This is notable for things like the start/end dates of wars/cultural events/governments or birth/death dates for biographies, so that people can see the general political situation the world was in at the time. SnowFire (talk) 15:59, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree with others that every year in an article should not be linked, but those important to the context of the article should be linked. I agree with Ruslik that the MoS already addresses this: Dates (years, months, day and month, full dates) should not be linked, unless there is a reason to do so. If there's a good reason, then having the links is perfectly fine, and should be encouraged. Removing all of the links is overreacting. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:15, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • As with dates, I can see that there would be some instances where this is useful to provide context. Such instances will be rare, but not non-existent.Anaxial (talk) 19:45, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Only when context supports it, which I figured is already addressed in "overlinking". Protonk (talk) 20:43, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Only for ongoing events that take all year. For example, if I decided that 2009 would be National Wikipedia Awareness Year, and someone made an article on it, then they should link 2009 from that article. I've done that in the article that I started on Stalin's ten blows by linking to 1944, the year the article refers to, but if I were editing an article on, say, a battle in 1944, the 1944 in the dates of the battle shouldn't be linked. Joe Nutter 21:13, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Whenever they can help improve context, and for birth dates and infoboxes. Year links should have one link per page though, repetitive linking of the same dates should be discouraged. G-Man ? 23:25, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Only when it provides context relevant to the article in which the link appears. This is not commonly the case, and will pretty much never be the case for years within the last century.--Srleffler (talk) 00:16, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Per my comment in month-day above, regardless of context. As long as dates are consistently treated a reader will quickly realize that they're usually not immediately relevant, just helpful in browsing for casual readers. —Locke Coletc 00:32, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I can come up with more good uses for year links than for day-month links; for instance, you can make a good case for wikilinking the birth and death year of a person in their article. It's reasonable that someone would want to click through to these to contextualize the article subject's life with what was happening around that period in history. Most other year links should be removed, but I can think of at least one good time to use them, so I'll put my name here in the sometimes section instead of in the never section below. --Cyde Weys 01:50, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • There are plenty of cases where they should be made. If there weren't, what would be the point of the pages in the first place? I think they should be linked so long as they might provide value to the reader. -BarkerJr (talk) 04:22, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Year links should only be made when such a link would add substantial context to an article. RainbowOfLight Talk 05:32, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Very rarely, and only when the contents of the destination page currently do and in the future likely will be valuable context for the location that the year is used in the current article. 42 A.D. in the Roman Empire is more likely to be valuable context for an article related to the Roman Empire than 42 A.D. is likely to be - but would be totally irrelevant to an article about Polynesia. So we should almost never have direct links to a year article from a content article. Year articles are probably best suited to be master directories of year in X pages than to have any content themselves, and the year in X pages can link to the year. GRBerry 05:39, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
    • Interestingly, I happen to think that cross referencing events outside of the immediate context represents the very usefulness of bare year links, especially in ancient times. For example, when I read that a kindom was created in 201 BC in what is China today, not only do I want to know that it was the year when West Han Dynasty was founded (which is appropriate for the article), but a quick reference to what happened in Greece and Roman can enhance my understanding about this kingdom in the history of human civilization. The latter events would be inappropriate for the article to include. In my mind, there is no doubt that selective year linking can enhance understanding, facilitate research, and expand knowledge horizon. It is the quality of these "year articles" that may be questionable; but that should be addressed under quality. Sillyvalley (talk) 06:47, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Where an editor thinks it adds value dm (talk) 16:33, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Link the year if the event mentioned was significant enough to be mentioned in the list of events in the article about the year. Sam Blacketer (talk) 21:51, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, year links should be made in some cases, where it will help or inform the reader (e.g. leads of articles on historical events which are part of notable periods of history). And not in others. So obviously it's not black and white and some kind of guideline is needed, rather than the present round of robot wars. Guy (Help!) 22:50, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Perhaps in some carefully considered cases. I think the framing here is unfortunate - "in certain cases" sounds too open for me but "never" is too absolute. It looks like I'm not the only one who's not sure whether to put their comment here or in the section below. Haukur (talk) 23:39, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
    • The people at the center of this dispute apparently think in black/white terms, Haukur. They don't consider using language like "should", "should not", "ought not", or "may". Perhaps because policies stated with these verbs force people to think about their edits, which quoting policy at people doesn't require. However, quoting policy at people is a simple & quick solution which, although it often doesn't result in the right solution, it appeals to some kinds of people here. -- llywrch (talk) 07:20, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • very rarely, as with month/date. The vast majority of links to dates add nothing to the article. Links to years should be in significant events, so a person could see what the significant events happened that year, but the year an obscure congressman got married is not significant. Bubba73 (talk), 18:14, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - often useful for the most significant dates in an article (where there is no year in topic article); gives more context to the subject under discussion. Warofdreams talk 21:19, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Not indisciminately, but in certain cases when an editor believes such a wikilink adds value and historical context. Badagnani (talk) 22:07, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Year links should only be used in relevant circumstances and when useful and of interest to the reader. For example, 1944 and 1916 are quite useful, if you want a timeline of events in the corresponding world wars. --Patar knight - chat/contributions 23:41, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Another Comment: Not everything important in 1916 or 1944 was obviously or directly related to the World Wars (in which not every country participated). A timeline of each war would be helpful, but it's also sometimes helpful to see those wars' events in the context of scientific, cultural, literary, biographical and colonial events whose closeness to military developments should be a matter for the reader's judgement. —— Shakescene (talk) 07:25, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Year links should be made when it truly helps the understanding of the article. This is almost never, but if there ever is a time when it does, I don't want to rule it out.--Fabrictramp | talk to me 16:26, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Year links are useful in certain circumstances, for important dates within an article, but should not be used routinely. --Elonka 18:25, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Like any other links, they should be made when they contribute, according to editors' judgment. Michael Z. 2008-12-02 01:38 z
  • My comment on this is basically the same as the day-month issue. If the article deals with the history of something and the date has great relevance, then that's fine, e.g. June 6, 1944 in a WWII timeline. But if it's in someone's biography because they got married that year or something of that ilk, it's pointless. We don't need a world view of what was going on that year in order to better understand the subject of the article. Dismas|(talk) 07:49, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Sometimes: examples are history articles, biographies and similar articles where references to general events are needed to put the article in context. In these cases, date links should be the norm at the beginning of the article, or when a particularly significant date or period is mentioned, but will probably be a small quote of the dates mentioned in the article. In most other articles, dates should not be linked. --Fpoto (talk) 08:08, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree with Taemyr and others who have said that linked years can be very useful and important for providing historical context. Years should only be linked when significant to the topic at hand, and when providing valuable historical context. This is of particular value when used for birth and death dates (what kind of world, what kind of situation was the person born into? If he died in battle, linking to the year could help contextualize that, even if the battle is explicitly discussed later in the article), for the construction and destruction dates of buildings, and other similar situations. Which other dates are significant to a subject is of course a subjective matter, and I certainly support restraint in this matter, rather than overlinking, I see no problem with responsible, limited, linking of dates (years) of significance in the course of an article's narrative. I know I'm going on a bit long, but I would also like to say something about standard formats - I am a big fan of having things conform to a semblance of a standard, and for that reason believe that all birth and death dates, other dates which would come at an equivalent place in the article or play an equivalent role in describing the topic (when was it created, when was it destroyed, when did it occur), and most infobox dates, should be linked. It would bug me to see some articles with the birth and death dates linked and some not, or other inconsistencies like that. LordAmeth (talk) 21:47, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support only when really needed, but definitely not always and not by default. Miguel.mateo (talk) 14:03, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Rarely I am uncomfortable in saying never, but if it is contextually important to link specific year articles, then it should not be forbidden (for example, in follow-through links for prior year articles). However, under normal circumstances, a year should not be linked any more than a color, number, or other common term should be. 03:48, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Very Rarely - I haven't seen a useful example yet, but to say "never" goes against the spirit of WP:IAR. Peter Ballard (talk) 05:08, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Some are notable, most are not. The notable ones are not always relevant.
  • Per comment in "month-day" section above. GlassCobra 11:14, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support for the same reason that I cannot support a Month-Day link ban, although Year links seem much more useful than Month-Day links. Editors must have the freedom to decide the rare case when a year link has benefit. Pagrashtak 14:22, 9 December 2008 (UTC)#
  • Support for a frequent linking of year-dates rather than in all cases; year-date links are extremely useful when trying to negotiate complex patterns of interaction and contrast in, for example, a cultural field. The "year in literature" articles, for example, are invaluable to a browser interested in what else is happening in theatre in the same year that a play they are studying was first published/performed. Though the year-in articles are often at a rudimentary stage, they nonetheless potentially offer an important resource for the reader. Specific linking to specific year-in articles (film, literature, etc.) ought to be standard, in my opinion, with a link in each section of an article (where the article is substanital enough to warrant it). DionysosProteus (talk) 12:40, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Leave it to editors to judge individual cases. --Rumping (talk) 16:26, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • support for years of major events--such as the events that is the topic of an article, and the birthdate and death date of a subject of an article. (unless more specific links are made for these). Eliminating them all is over-reacting to the overuse. Eg.: Company X was founded in 1938; built a new factory in 1948; had it's first international office in 1968. Only the first of these gets linked. A drug was invented in 1964, the patent granted in 1974; approved for use in 1984. the first and third get linked, the 3rd in this case because it's going to be relevant to the information about it's use. DGG (talk) 18:08, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support While I don't see much point in linking to dates (outside of annual events and such), years can be much more useful in determining context. Year links should be used where a wider context might be expected to be desired. Don't entirely agree with DGG's examples, but the principle is the same. Major dates for a subject only, expect more date-links in history-laden sections. Of course, much of the real problem is that year 'articles' are really just collections of line items, whereas 'period' articles generally present the more applicable background material (compare 1980 with 1980s). --Rindis (talk) 18:53, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - As much more a wiki 'reader' than a wiki 'editor' I prefer the date and / or year links should be left to the individual author. While I do support the template date links such as the year in sports or the year in movies etc. at the end of that particular section, too much of the in-line automatic date linking can be distracting to a reader. Also; Use of the brackets example is not a difficult concept to learn for new authors, and too much of the automatic stuff can be discouraging to new editors who are just learning. Just my 2-cents here, I'm only doing typo stuff at the moment (and very little of that so far). (oops ... forgot to sign) Ched Davis (talk) 08:34, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Same as I stated above for month-day links; it should be done occasionally with caution (and only when absolutely relevant) in chronological, historical, and biographic articles. Generally I feel that year links add slightly more value than month-day ones. The Fiddly Leprechaun · Catch Me! 17:53, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I think that years should usually be linked, but I can understand that there are times when they shouldn't be. Captain panda 21:44, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I Support As with my comments about day and date links above. Also, why remove this potentially uselfull browsing tool from readers. I dont think it is an improvement at all to remove them, as they give readers more choice, and can in sometimes help provide some background context to an article, i have found these helpfull. Obviously we don't want to link the same years over and over again, but let's give readers the choice of what they want to read, and not impose our choices upon them. Gem (talk) 01:29, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Tentative approval, not a countable expression of support Only in severely circumscribed cases is linking of dates justifiable. For example, in a chronology showing cultural or scientific develpoments, it may be convenient if readers can immediately click to an article that shows detail and wide context. I would prefer a guideline explicitly limiting linking to such special cases.–¡ɐɔıʇǝoNoetica!T– 05:12, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Sometimes, when the link aids comprehension. Eg. an article on a battle linking the year, which can help understand the historical situation. This works better with year articles along the style of the excellent 1345. Modest Genius talk 16:59, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Year links should never be made[edit]

  • This is what the community is decisively saying in the already-running RfC. Year-links, and other date-fragments links, are a silly practice that has leaked out of the failed adoption in 2003 of blue-link date autoformatting. There is absolutely no justification for linking to a huge sea of irrelevant details. This dilutes the whole wikilinking system, which requires selectivity to work well. Even pipe-linking to a particular month in a year is likely to yield the most bizarre information in relation to the topic at hand. The notion that dates of birth and death should be linked is equally pointless (show me examples of utility), and will encourage editors to start date autoformatting and year-linking again. In the very rare case where an editor has a bee in her/his bonnet about linking to a year of death, it could be pipe-linked, but this is a regrettable practice all the same. Tony (talk) 09:56, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
    • The proposal in the other RFC says: Years, months, days/months, and full dates should normally be linked. In the terms of this trichotomy, thats always link them; no one supports that here either. That proposal does nothing to decide between the two live options: to link sometimes, and to never link . Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:41, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
    • An example of the utility of year-only linking in some circumstances might be in an article about a period film, especially one that in some way deals with the events of the year in addition to its A-plot. For example, in Changeling I wouldn't bother myself, but I wouldn't be particularly annoyed if someone added a link to 1928 somewhere, as linking to a comprehensive year article might provide context for readers who really don't know anything about it (e.g. "The film is set in 1928 and tells of..."). That the 1928 article is light on relevant content is no reason to bar its linking if in the future it becomes properly fleshed out. I'm behind you 100% with the removal of redundant links and ones that add nothing of value, but other than the wedge argument, why treat these as a special case, separate from WP:CONTEXT? Steve TC 11:41, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
    • This is exactly what I was afraid of when I saw your RFC, Tony. That RFC does not deal with the question of whether year links should never be made, and cannot be reliably interpreted as saying anything about that question. It asks only whether date links should always be made. Rejection of "always" is not acceptance of "never".--Srleffler (talk) 00:23, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • i see more (theoretical) value in year links than in month-day links, but even so: year articles should be renamed/moved to "notable events in YEAR"; then on the rare occassions when they might be of interest, they should be linked to 'explicitly by those names, preferably in the "see also" sections of articles. Sssoul (talk) 11:26, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree with Sssoul. Also, I think the 'middle ground option' should probably say "Year links may be used in certain cases". But as I can't think of any, right now I'm going with "never".—MDCollins 11:49, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I can't think of any cases where this would be useful. If anyone can come up with any the I may change my opinion to "in cartain cases", but they would be very rare cases. Phil Bridger (talk) 12:49, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Use "Year-in-X" articles instead, which provide more focused and relevant information. Dabomb87 (talk) 14:07, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Agree with Dabomb87, use "Year-in-X" articles instead. Otherwise all you get is a sea of irrelevant details. Tim Vickers (talk) 15:59, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • If you want to put articles in context, do it in the text or with links to a more appropriate article. Events on January 1 19X9 and October 20 19X9 are usually more weakly linked than those on December 31 19X8 an January 1 19X9. Instead of relying on these uselessly general articles which divide events up at an essentially arbitrary interval, editors should be encouraged do the readers the service of writing appropriate content. Knepflerle (talk) 16:12, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • No links on years, per my statement above on the negative impact of date links in general. Tempshill (talk) 16:42, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • If year articles actually did provide some relevant historical context, it might be valuable to link to them occasionally, but they don't, and there's no prospect that they will. Colonies Chris (talk) 18:16, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm in agreement with Chris on this one. --John (talk) 18:55, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support These links are a total waste of time. If a reader wants to know what happened on a certain day or year, they can use the search box. I think that they should only be linked from other chronological date pages, and therefore, there should be no problem with bots or scripts removing them from all other pages.--User:2008Olympianchitchatseemywork 18:23, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Just like the month-day links, I don't see the point. Giants2008 (17-14) 19:59, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I cannot think of any instance where it is useful to link to such a page of trivia. There are times when links to more specific "Year in" articles are useful (e.g., 2008–09 NHL season) but never simply a year article. DoubleBlue (talk) 21:31, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Agree that year links should never be made. They merely dilute valued links. To find out what happened in a particular year, simply search for the year in the WP-supplied search mechanism.  HWV 258  21:45, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Not sure what encyclopedic value a random list of things that occured in a year help. A more narrowly focused article (such as 1990 in England) MIGHT be useful, but even then, how are you going to write it well without getting into OR? Ealdgyth - Talk 00:58, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • A pointless, useless waste of time for editors and readers. Links to whatever happened in the same year provide nothing of use to the reader of the article. Any such links should be removed on sight, alone or in bulk. Hmains (talk) 04:45, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Discussion in section above persuades me it's pointless. --Dweller (talk) 10:27, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • relevant context can and should be linked to specific articles either in the body or in 'see also' sections. If all year articles were like 1345 and 1346, then I would probably vote yes. However, we need to accept the fact that year articles which supply a valid and valuable context are few and far between in reality. Therefore, I am opposed to linking to articles filled with trivia and unrelated events. Ohconfucius (talk) 10:29, 26 November 2008 (UTC) (edited 05:11, 16 December 2008 (UTC))
  • Support Pointless link noise that devalues good links. I can't think of a good analogy. Try this one: it is like linking the word 'River' in 'River Nile' so that you can see all other rivers. All right, not such a good analogy, I'll get my coat. Lightmouse (talk) 10:55, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I can't really conceive of a good reason for such links.  Sandstein  14:42, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • My understanding is that some people prefer year links to provide context for what is being discussed in the article. In my opinion, if an event needs to be put in context, then that needs to be done in the article using prose. Karanacs (talk) 16:40, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Such links are unnecessary and in hardly any case do they give information relevant to the topic of the article. EdJohnston (talk) 17:28, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Year-in-everything type of article is useless, so linking the year with no pipe is pointless. Use focused articles where appropriate, e.g. Year-in-X. Pcap ping 17:44, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Nobody has given an example where year-linking makes sense. The fact that bad examples were given suggests that we need to prohibit year-linking to prevent this type of over-linking. --Hans Adler (talk) 22:55, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • The search button is there when you need it. Punkmorten (talk) 08:38, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Only full day-month-year links for specific days in history should be linked from articles, though this notional practice hasn't yet begun. Other, lesser, links have not yielded useful information, in my experience. Binksternet (talk) 17:36, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Per - Colonies Chris. If the articles contained relevant historical background, then fair enough. But they don't. Pfainuk talk 18:43, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • No doubt there will be an exception somewhere, but this seems like the logical starting point. Most year articles are full of left-overs from the 2005 or earlier version of Wikipedia. When writing an article I have never, ever thought "Now I'll go and edit the years". Angus McLellan (Talk) 19:37, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • IAR for exceptions, but we should default to never. لennavecia 21:24, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I can't dream up a possibility where the article 2008 is relevant to a non-record-setting movie that was released in that year. §hep¡Talk to me! 01:10, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • There may be exceptional cases where other events in a particular year add context, and for some reason aren't mentioned in an article, but I'd be hard pressed to think of any. So no, linking years by default is just plain silly. --Malleus Fatuorum 02:33, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • The year linking could be replaced by the "Random Article" function. - SWTPC6800 (talk) 02:50, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • These links are a pointless distraction, just like any other overlinking. A real need to link to such articles is so rare that it does not need a provision in the MOS, one can rely on editors' discretion and WP:IAR. — Emil J. 17:14, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Just not useful, too distracting. Eve Hall (talk) 19:28, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • The only reason I would support these is for much older dates but even then it's trivial interest which is a terrible idea for a wikilink. -- Banjeboi 21:35, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Never. Linking year-only dates is pointless. All it does is create a lot of overhead so that a year page has hundreds (if not thousands) of links on it. That's too much info to be useful to our readers. Truthanado (talk) 02:01, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • No need to link to just as many irrelevant and unrelated events as the month-day format. Spellcast (talk) 16:59, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support the value of this habit has never been proved, if readers wish to get "background information" to a time that is easily done other ways.Edmund Patrickconfer 14:11, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Another example of overlinking. SlimVirgin talk|edits 14:59, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • As above, a case of overlinking that visually highlights unimportant information. RJC TalkContribs 15:57, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Do not link years, and discourage year articles. Categories provide useful, and more useable, chronological context in certain cases, e.g. Category:1895 books. Wikipedia is not a collection of chronological trivia. — ℜob C. alias ᴀʟᴀʀoʙ 22:31, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Comments about Year links[edit]

  • Again, this is a duplication, albeit with a spin on it in the detail. There was a decisive NO above when people were asked whether they wanted to move from the current wording. Tony (talk) 09:49, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
    • An artful spin, but not straight bowling. The question Tony asked elicited a consensus against linking most years, repeated here. The issue now at hand is whether any year links are acceptable - and there is no consensus on it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 04:13, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • As my comment in section above - please suggest a specific usage that would be useful and appropriate. --Dweller (talk) 12:39, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
In general any event in WWII would benefit from a year link. Since the year link provides an at the glance overlook at what was happening historically. Taemyr (talk) 14:36, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I disagree with this and would ask you to provide an example of this wishful thinking. You won't get an "at the glance overlook"; you'll get a giant list of trivial occurrences. In fact such a year-link page would qualify for the {{toomuchtrivia}} tag.
Well I explicitly stated wwii so it limits the number of posibilities. An example would be a link from Operation Barbarossa to 1941. However, the usefulness of such links is higher within wwii than pretty much everywhere else because of the global nature of the war, and the depth of our coverage. A link to a chronology of WWII would serve the same purpose and better. Taemyr (talk) 23:45, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
If there's a case for linking to particular months of that year article, put them in the "See also" section, where they'll be seen to relate to the whole article, not just the sentence in which the year happens to occur. Year articles are "big-picture" information, and are highly unlikely to satisfy the specific needs of readers of an article on a specific topic (unless they have loads of time to sift).
There's only one reference to the topic among many hundreds in that year article. It's discretionary browsing, and unlikely to help the readers to make sense of the specific topic. That reference is rather pointless: "June 22 - World War II: Germany attacks the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa.". That information is in the original article, isn't it, where it's treated in context. What relevant facts are in the year article that are not in the specialised article? Perhaps the editors should consider including them, rather than sending our poor readers on a fishing expedition. Tony (talk) 10:37, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Sample of other relevant entries;
  • May 20 - World War II: The Battle of Crete begins as Germany launches an airborne invasion of Crete.
  • June 13 - TASS, the official Soviet news agency, denies reports of tension between Germany and the Soviet Union.
  • July 4 - The Mass murder of Polish scientists and writers is committed by German troops in the captured Polish city of Lwów.
  • July 7 - World War II: American forces take over the defense of Iceland from the British.
  • July 7 - World War II: Serbia starts the first popular uprising in Europe against the Axis Powers.
In general, any entries documenting what was happening in WWII around the time that Germany invaded Russia is relevant to that invasion. Taemyr (talk) 02:57, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Tony is thrice wrong, this time; both as the "current" wording having consensus, that it's covered by a specific proposal in the other RfC, and (this time) that the "current" wording actually opposes having bare year links. It says there must be a reason for the link. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:55, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Some cases in which linking to years could be done:

  • Other date-related articles
  • Year-in-field articles in the opening sentence i.e This is a list of events that happened in (insert subject here) in the year [[(insert year here)]].
  • Other individual cases when a year-in-field article is not available or helpful. Dabomb87 (talk) 22:47, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • At 3.4 (above) I made statement that I believe that Year-Month-Day links can have benefits. Year alone has limited benefit, though it can add ready context if information can be presented geographically for the time period. -- billinghurst (talk) 10:22, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Removing the year links would allow [[1]] to link to its primary topic: 1 (number), or at least to a disambiguation page. 1 currently takes the user directly to a less useful list of events in AD 1. Certes (talk) 23:30, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

How and when to use "Year in Field" links[edit]

"Year in Field" links (such as 2000 in sports or 2004 in politics) can provide better contextual information than linking directly to a year page. However, how these should be linked is under discussion; certain methods may hide the context of the links, or may cause too many such year links to be present.

How to use "Year in Field" links[edit]

There are four known options for "Year in Field" links, though other approaches may exist. The question here is

Which style of "Year in Field" links should be used in the prose of articles to provide context?

Please indicate which approach you support below; you may indicate support for multiple options, adding what you believe are specific cases where one format should be used over another.

Please note that this is only about years used as part of the normal prose for an article; the style guide for linking permits the most compact form necessary in tabular information in tables, lists, and infoboxes.

Hidden links[edit]

Hidden links are written as [[2000 in sports|2000]] and would appear in context as "A. Rookie started his professional career in 2000."

  • Oppose A common criticism of articles that attempt to achieve GA or FA status is that hidden links do not let the reader know that there is information beyond a tragic bare date article available if the reader clicks on the link.--User:2008Olympianchitchatseemywork 08:35, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose—Olympian hits the nail on the head. And readers are unlikely to hit the link if it looks like a bare year-link, since they know those pages contain vast oceans of irrelevant details. It's self-defeating to use them. WP:MOSLINK already says not to use them. Tony (talk) 09:27, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Such links are misleading. Ruslik (talk) 10:08, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support The links are neither misleading nor hidden. All a reader has to do is hover over the link to see where it links. And it is a huge assumption and unwarrated hyperbole, unsupported by any evidence, that readers "know those pages contain vast oceans of irrelevant details". Tennis expert (talk) 10:36, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Misleading. Ordinary readers will not know to hover to find out where a link actually goes. --Apoc2400 (talk) 10:47, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - misleading & confusing. Sssoul (talk) 11:28, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - this isn't clear, and it looks like a bare link. People probably won't click it, but may still assume that plain bare links are desirable.—MDCollins 11:51, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Any links should be explicit so that a reader knows what they are linking to. Phil Bridger (talk) 12:51, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Why unnecessarily make things harder and more misleading for the reader when there is a better way to do it? Dabomb87 (talk) 14:08, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Confusing (although perhaps not if year links are rare), and there's a better way. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:34, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. No reason to believe it will take you to 2000 in sports. -- Jao (talk) 14:51, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Jao. Tempshill (talk) 16:45, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Generally oppose: I oppose in all circumstances except in uses in tables. The article to which the link leads to should be made clear. Sillyfolkboy (talk) 17:23, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose A very bad idea. A link should clearly indicate to the user where they're going to go if they click it, and this style of link fails that criterion. And its doubtful whether the information in the linked article is relevant anyway. Colonies Chris (talk) 18:23, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is an Easter egg. We don't want Easter eggs on Wikipedia. --John (talk) 18:56, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, easter egg link. Tim Vickers (talk) 19:26, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is confusing to readers. Links targets should never be a surprise. Kaldari (talk) 19:58, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - No indication that the link is anything but an ordinary date link. Giants2008 (17-14) 20:07, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - it is cheating the reader.--HJensen, talk 21:32, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose in prose. If used in a table or list, then a heading can make clear where the abbreviated link goes. DoubleBlue (talk) 21:34, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Allow editorial judgement should prevail. In a sequence of similar links, for instance, one more holds no surprise for the reader.LeadSongDog (talk) 21:41, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose: As I support "Inline". Ryan4314 (talk) 00:50, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • oppose links should be the name of the article being linked to, not some fancy cover up name. Clarity and simplicity help the reader. Hmains (talk) 04:48, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • oppose links should be as transparent as possible per WP:EGG. Replace these misleading article titles such as [12 February] to [list of events occurring on 12 February]. Ohconfucius (talk) 10:35, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose More useless link noise. Anything that looks like a plain year link will be treated like one i.e. ignored. Lightmouse (talk) 10:59, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. How can the reader differentiate between a link to a regular year versus a link to more descriptive information about a year? I also think these articles do not need to be linked in most articles. If context is needed, put it in prose in the article, not in a separate article that we link to. Karanacs (talk) 16:48, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The reader will not be aware that the plain year link is going to take him to a specialized article. EdJohnston (talk) 17:21, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as such links are misleading. It Is Me Here t / c 17:24, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Misleading, so unlikely to get clicked. Pcap ping 17:46, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Misleading. --Hans Adler (talk) 22:57, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, kill on sight. They're awful. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:00, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Generally oppose except for usage in tables and lists where the year is clearly marked as an abbreviation of something else in a manner understandable to the average reader. Otherwise no. Orderinchaos 15:51, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Uh, what's the problem here? Ideally there'll be a way to expand on the link in text (like Inline links below), but when that isn't possible, there's no harm in having the hidden link. Worst comes to worst the user doesn't know the year article leads there and doesn't click, hardly a tragedy. SnowFire (talk) 15:59, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose as misleading Pfainuk talk 18:47, 28 November 2008 (UTC) - edit: I would accept them as parts of tables of sports results and so on, if put in proper context but not in prose. Pfainuk talk 18:53, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support as I don't see how this is any different than piping another link to fit into the prose in an article. I'm surprised to see so many people opposing the linking to a completely relevant article (even more relevant than the regular year article, without any "xxxx in yyyy" qualifier). ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:29, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose this totally useless way of wikilinking. No help to readers at all. Angus McLellan (Talk) 19:39, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Misleading. لennavecia 21:26, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Not only is that simply more elegant as opposed to writing "A. Rookie started his professional career in 2000. See 2000 in sports." But if we get rid of links to years, there would also be no doubt to the reader that there is meaningful information behind the link. Lars T. (talk) 23:43, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Once the useless year links are expunged, these links will become more useful. The concept is the same as any other piped link.--Srleffler (talk) 00:29, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose — I particularly don't like the hidden links, because you never realize the link could even potentially be valuable until you mouse over it and read your status bar. Obviously this is not reader-friendly. I wouldn't mind the links if they were a lot more obvious. --Cyde Weys 01:52, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose The user shouldn't have to read the title text to find out where he's going -BarkerJr (talk) 04:25, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Hidden links are deceptive as per 2008Olympian. RainbowOfLight Talk 05:34, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose That is very non-descript. --Banime (talk) 15:05, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I use this allegedly evil hidden link trick all of the time; but just because I do, doesn't mean everyone else is forced to. Thank God for Wikipedia: Ignore all rules. -- llywrch (talk) 07:27, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support: If one is to believe where this pair of RfC links is going, soon enough there won't be many (if any) bare year links on pages. Therefore, nobody is going to think that these links are only to years. Besides, don't users know how to mouse over a link and see where it goes? You'd think by many of these oppose responses that we should remove the capability to pipe links altogether! Oren0 (talk) 20:04, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - people click on the link because they would like some context for the article. If the context is more specific than they were expecting - why on earth is that a problem? Warofdreams talk 21:11, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose A link's destination should be clear from the link text—don't fool the reader. Michael Z. 2008-12-02 01:40 z
  • Oppose It gives a slightly misleading impression. If an average reader/user comes along and reads that, it would be natural to assume it links to the year 2000, rather than sport in 2000. So those who usually avoid year links would ignore it when it may be useful. That argument may not have made sense, but the hidden link thing just sits uneasy on me. londonsista Prod 05:44, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - It's an easter egg link. I know quite a few people who would not know to look at the status bar of their browser to find out where they are being sent before clicking on a link. Links such as these are far too vague as to where a user is going to go. Dismas|(talk) 07:52, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose it hides the origin of the link, no difference in linking the year itself. Miguel.mateo (talk) 14:05, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Misleading. We should do better than this. -- Banjeboi 21:37, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong Support. A piped link is far better than a clumsy rephrasing. If you follow all these oppose arguments, you conclude that we would need to ban piped links completely, which would be disastrous. I suspect most claims of "confusion" arise because of all the linked years we currently have, creating an expectation that the link will go to year rather than year in foo. Judging from the response to part 1 of this RFC, that won't be a problem soon. dramatic (talk) 03:08, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Readers should know immediately where a link unambiguously leads to by simply looking at it - not by hovering their mouse over it. Spellcast (talk) 17:06, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support The link takes the reader to another page that increases the information available and, more importantly, the information is of the same topic area. This is not the same as a bare-year (year-only) link. And, when we eventually purge bare-year links, this hidden link will be of consistent value. Let's consider the future and not disregard this because of the way things are now, knowing they are changing. Truthanado (talk) 22:30, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose—Surprise links should be avoided. Pagrashtak 14:24, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong Support: Astonishing to find so many editors complaining that a linked year in an article on a sport topic (for example) is misleading when it takes the reader to a section on that year in sport! What is confusing, misleading or "easter-egg-like" about that? The context of such a link--in a subject-specific article--removes any possibility of confusion. The other options listed below for the format are either clumsy and unnecessarily wordy, or else hide the useful link away from where a reader would find it useful or naturally expect it. This kind of year-in-linking provides a vital and significant resource for readers and ought to be standard in fields where specific year-in articles exist. Subject articles are usually so general (and rightly so) that they do not examine specific developments in the field on a year-on-year basis; the year-in articles provide the foundation for that kind of analysis. Hidden links are the clearest and most elegant solution to their incorporation in most articles in the relevant field. DionysosProteus (talk) 12:57, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support As with general links, this should be allowed, though not required by the MoS. --Rumping (talk) 16:31, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support What, exactly, is the surprise here? You provide a link from a year, to a year article. Yes, it's a focused, targeted sub-article, but assuming that the link is in proper context that should not be in any way disconcerting. Show of hands of everyone who's never seen a pipe used to keep a link from going to a disambiguation page? --Rindis (talk) 18:41, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support This reads best and analogous to the way I would link field (mathematics) as field when in a mathematics article. All Year in Field articles should link to the bare year article for that year, which makes it easy to find more general events if the context is too narrow for the user's purpose. — brighterorange (talk) 00:16, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support These links are no more insidious or "hidden" than any other piped link. Ed Fitzgerald t / c 10:17, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose No reason these links can't be filed under a See Also, as opposed to piping. No need to fool the reader. Tool2Die4 (talk) 17:52, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per DionysosProteus (talk) 12:57, 10 December 2008 (UTC). Not misleading: every experienced Web user, even those unused to WP, know how to hover over a link to see what it links to. Do we not pipe all sorts of links?—msh210 22:36, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. It's simply a piped link. Critics who warn that users will be deterred by experience with trivia-laden "Year N" articles are assuming that 1) most users have clicked these links and share their antipathy for those articles, and 2) this antipathy will never go away, even after date linking and lousy "Year N" articles are brought under control. Both assumptions are invalid and pessimistic. — ℜob C. alias ᴀʟᴀʀoʙ 22:39, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Inline links[edit]

Inline links use additional text in the link statement to provide sufficient context for what the user can expect to arrive when clicking the link. Example: "A. Rookie started his professional career in 2000." (the link generated by [[2000 in sports|career in 2000]])

  • Support This approach best suits readability and the desire to eliminate confusion that hidden links cause (excepting infoboxes and tables of course).--User:2008Olympianchitchatseemywork 08:30, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose—the bright blue often ends up jarring the grammatical flow. In this example, the nominal group "his professional career in 2000" is split with a dramatic colour-change, and such items often occur multiple times every time a year is mentioned, often in the lead where there are many high-value links in the vicinity; this is particularly true of some FLCs. There may be a case for a single instance where it can be done smoothly, but this is a complexity we can do without. The "See also" option is far superior. Tony (talk) 09:37, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose career in 2000 would be assumed to link to that persons career in 2000. --Apoc2400 (talk) 10:48, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • No, too confusing. Stifle (talk) 10:55, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose They are often misleading and irrelevant. Ruslik (talk) 11:13, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Sometimes - can be misleading (per Apoc2400), but if done correctly can help.—MDCollins 11:52, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
(revising position)I like DoubleBlue's example below, because it links to a specific topic, rather than a rather woolly 2000 in sports article. In which case, my answer should really be hardly ever for "year in topic" articles, as it is quite likely that higher-value links can be found, especially in sports/music articles.—MDCollins 01:36, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Would lead to clumsy prosed caused by the necessity to accomodate the link. Phil Bridger (talk) 12:53, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Sometimes - per Ruslik. Tony's arguments have weight here. An unusual occurence, but, I call them as I see them.Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:37, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. No reason to believe it will take you to 2000 in sports. (Also very ugly, per Tony.) -- Jao (talk) 14:51, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Apoc2400. Tempshill (talk) 16:45, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Unclear what article is linked to most users. Also, these articles are currently nothing more than random collections of events brought together by field and date. Sillyfolkboy (talk) 17:26, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree with Apoc2400 - it's misleading - the user would expect to be taken to an article on his career in 2000. And it's ugly too. Colonies Chris (talk) 18:29, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Misleading and ugly. --John (talk) 18:57, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, you still can't work out what that link might point to. Tim Vickers (talk) 19:26, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Too awkward and cumbersome. Kaldari (talk) 19:58, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - It's really misleading, because it looks like the link is pointing to a more specific page than a year in sports, such as a season link. For these kinds of general links, I don't find it worth the large amount of blue. Giants2008 (17-14) 20:12, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Weak Oppose Better than hidden year links, but it is still confusing. Dabomb87 (talk) 14:11, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I oppose in the way the example is set up. As others have said the link would appear to give information on the subject's career in 2000, in addition, it links to an article which is unuseful in the context of a sportsperson bio. It should say something like: A. Rookie started his professional career in the [[2008–09 NHL season]]. It is possible to reword the link as long is it still clear to what it links.DoubleBlue (talk) 21:53, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Allow even though the example prose sucks. Try "A. Rookie was selected as the Podunk Maulers' first round draft pick for the International Tiddlywinks Conference in what pundit Common Tater later called the strangest managementdecision of the entire 2008 sports year." LeadSongDog (talk) 21:57, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. This is how we link to other lists; no case has been made why we should treat these differently. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:44, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Seems: Easiest for the reader. Ryan4314 (talk) 00:50, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • oppose links should be the name of the article being linked to, not some fancy cover up name. Clarity and simplicity help the reader. Hmains (talk) 04:51, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • oppose links should be meaningful. Each category of activity (sport, music, literature) usually has an article on the important tournaments, competitions, etc of each year, and should be linked specifically to these instead of sport, music, literature trivia. Ohconfucius (talk) 10:39, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Not clear enough. Lightmouse (talk) 11:02, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I like this option better than the hidden link above, but still do not feel that these links needs to be made in the article. If context is needed, put it in prose in the article, not in a separate article that we link to. Karanacs (talk) 16:45, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Weak support due to LeadSongDog's example, which seems a feasible way to incorporate links to such pages into articles. It Is Me Here t / c 17:29, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Wouldn't be done well in practice. --Hans Adler (talk) 22:59, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Why should, for instance, "career in 2000" link to "2000 in sports" again? Punkmorten (talk) 08:42, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. When appropriate, this seems like it shouldn't cause a problem at all, just like normal links. SnowFire (talk) 15:59, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Clarity is achieved with this method. No surprises. Binksternet (talk) 17:37, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose in general. I find them a bit misleading as well. Pfainuk talk 18:48, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support for the same reasons as I support the "hidden" link, above. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:29, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Agree that it's misleading. لennavecia 21:26, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Again misleading for readers. There may be exceptions, but we're looking for the general rule here. Angus McLellan (Talk) 22:18, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Link text should always be relevant to the linked subject. You can't just grab surrounding text randomly, as in the example above. "career in 2000" would be appropriate text for a link to 2000 in careers or employment trends in 2000, not 2000 in sports. Obviously, some inline links will be appropriate, but editors should not be encouraged to "force" links into this form when the text does not lend itself to it.--Srleffler (talk) 00:33, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Allow this could be done with some success in some articles when done properly. --Banime (talk) 15:11, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - although the example is horrible, there are times when this will work. Warofdreams talk 21:12, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral Sure, but only if the nature of the link is a bit clearer than in the example here. Michael Z. 2008-12-02 01:41 z
  • Support I guess, though the above example still seems misleading. It infers that one would be finding out more about A. Rookie's career in 2000 rather than a general page of sport in 2000. But it's better than hidden linking. londonsista Prod 05:52, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The prose for this example sucks but besides that, it just decreases the readability and is often pointless. Dismas|(talk) 07:55, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - As a general rule? No. And actually the example illustrates this well - I'm reading about one person but do i really want to look at an article overviewing an entire year in sports? I should at least know that's the article I'm hitting. -- Banjeboi 21:40, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral - I would use this option in situations where well crafted prose gave a natural link text with good context. But the example above is certainly not a case of that, and they are too rare to be a useful default. dramatic (talk) 03:12, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Confusing; I initially thought it linked to the sportsman's career rather than 2000 in sports. Again, like the "Hidden links" above, readers should unambiguously know where a link leads to by reading it - not by clicking it. Spellcast (talk) 17:19, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Requires each editor to add/modify existing text in most situations where only the year is important. Sometimes results in unusual and hard-to-understand phrasing and probable inconsistencies in its usage. Truthanado (talk) 22:33, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support—The example is bad, but I have seen articles that use this technique well. I would support this for articles that are able to accommodate it without forced prose rearrangement. Pagrashtak 14:32, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support As with general links, this should be allowed, though not required by the MoS. --Rumping (talk) 16:31, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support The example given above is apoor one, but this may often be the best way. G-Man ? 22:57, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support in principle but oppose this example; "career in 2000" doesn't provide any context hinting at the link's destination. Merely including adjacent text in the link so that it's not a bare "2000" isn't going to work. In some cases I could imagine it working out well. Editors should exercise their judgment as usual when pipelinking. — brighterorange (talk) 00:21, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose this example, as Brighterorange explains. A link reading "career in 2000" should link to an article (or further information) about Rookie A.'s career in 2000. Piped date linking is preferable to this. Requiring inline links would be poor policy. — ℜob C. alias ᴀʟᴀʀoʙ 22:41, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support This kind of linking doesn't look misleading, in the sense that the reader may think the link goes to somewhere else. That the reader may not guess where the link would go is not that big a deal, and definitely not as important as the usefulness of providing the link. Individual cases should be looked at to see if the minor confusion is worthwhile, given the benefit, but let's not have a blanket policy preventing this. Reconsideration (talk) 02:30, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support when done correctly (although not to preclude other possible methods). The first example is misleading. A parallel I often encounter and use is elections as in "ran for President in 19XX" pipe-linking to "Presidential Election of 19XX". This is yet another proposal in this monstrous menu where guidance is very useful, but blanket rules are just unsuited to making Wikipedia more useful and informative. —— Shakescene (talk) 07:31, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Context links[edit]

Context links appear after the date enclosed in parentheses. Example: "A. Rookie started his professional career in 2000. (other sporting events in 2000)" (the link generated by [[2000 in sports|other sporting events in 2000]])

  • Oppose This approach results in clumsy and awkward prose. The readability is diminished compared to inline links.--User:2008Olympianchitchatseemywork 08:33, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose—I agree with Opympian. Tony (talk) 09:57, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose 2000 in sports will be full of unrelated sports facts not relevant to the article subject. --Apoc2400 (talk) 10:50, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Looks really messy.—MDCollins 11:53, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Interrupts the flow of the text. Phil Bridger (talk) 12:54, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Disrupts the flow of an article. Dabomb87 (talk) 14:10, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Disruptive and self-referential. How does this look in print? -- Jao (talk) 14:51, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Interrupts the flow of the text, and would we expect to see this interruption every time a date is mentioned in a sports article? Awful. Tempshill (talk) 16:46, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose: per reasoning to previous question. This is a desperate measure to include a link, breaking flow of the prose in an article. Sillyfolkboy (talk) 17:30, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose It's clumsy, it breaks the flow, and it gives prominence to a link to an article of doubtful relevance. Colonies Chris (talk) 18:31, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Terrible idea, sorry. --John (talk) 18:58, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • This is the worst option of the 4. Mr.Z-man 19:12, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Too confusing, interrupts the flow of the text. Kaldari (talk) 19:58, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Agree with users above that it breaks up the prose too much. I wouldn't want to see this misuse of parenthesis in any of the pages that I edit. Giants2008 (17-14) 20:17, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Poor style. DoubleBlue (talk) 21:55, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Allow, but discourage. If an editor can find a better way to form an inline link, that choice should prevail.LeadSongDog (talk) 22:05, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose: As I support "Inline". Ryan4314 (talk) 00:50, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • oppose links should be the name of the article being linked to, not some fancy cover up name. Clarity and simplicity help the reader. It the link-to article name makes no sense in context of the link-from article, then don't make the link. Hmains (talk) 04:53, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • oppose links should be meaningful. Each category of activity (sport, music, literature) usually has an article on the important tournaments, competitions, etc of each year, and should be linked specifically to these instead of sport, music, literature trivia. Ohconfucius (talk) 10:40, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Clumsy. Lightmouse (talk) 11:04, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose very strongly. This is poor prose. Karanacs (talk) 16:42, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - this idea seems too clumsy and cumbersome. It Is Me Here t / c 17:29, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Looks awful. Pcap ping 17:48, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Poor style. --Hans Adler (talk) 23:00, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Oh boy. Looks bad, and the other sporting events probably have no relevance to, for instance, that "Rookie started his professional career". Punkmorten (talk) 08:40, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I don't like "Bob was a member of FOO (see FOO)" links either, best just to link directly as in one of the first two proposals ("Bob was a member of FOO"). SnowFire (talk) 16:02, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - worst of the lot, by some distance. Breaks up the prose for the sake of a link. If the link can't go into the sentence, don't put it in the sentence. Pfainuk talk 18:50, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose per all the reasons already given. The first two link styles are much more useful (as well as easier to read). ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:29, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Too trivial. لennavecia 21:27, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Distracting and probably not so relevant. Angus McLellan (Talk) 22:20, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Looks unencyclopedic. —Mizu onna sango15Hello! 03:36, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose There's no need for such a link. If the reader wants to read more about the sports for the year, he can find it himself. -BarkerJr (talk) 04:27, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose as too awkward and cluttering. RainbowOfLight Talk 05:35, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose That seems very clunky and distracting. --Banime (talk) 15:06, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose: awful. Oren0 (talk) 20:04, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - ugly, breaks up the prose. I can't think of an example where this would be useful. Warofdreams talk 21:13, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral This shouldn't be prohibited, but it's the kind of self-referential writing which should be improved. Permissible, but should be discouraged in A-class or FA articles. Michael Z. 2008-12-02 01:43 z
  • Oppose It ruins the flow and seems like a hastily added afterthought. londonsista Prod 05:56, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Makes for clumsy prose. Dismas|(talk) 08:22, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Per Olympian, Tony, Apoc2400 et al. -- Banjeboi 21:42, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose makes for terrible prose. 03:49, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose No, just no. It's the most aesthetically displeasing of the lot. Spellcast (talk) 17:21, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The added text does nothing to help the reader. Truthanado (talk) 22:33, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose—This interrupts the flow. Pagrashtak 14:26, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support As with general links, this should be allowed, though not required by the MoS. --Rumping (talk) 16:31, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support The example given above is a poor one, but this may often be the best way. G-Man ? 22:59, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Antithetical to the wiki style. — brighterorange (talk) 00:22, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, but not in the form used in the example. This is greatly preferable: "A. Rookie started his professional career in 2000 (see also 2000 in sports)." The example is very poor style. However, links relevant to a particular part of an article should be located there, not dumped down into the "See also" section. --Tkynerd (talk) 19:41, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose as poor style, more intrusive than date linking. The cure is worse than the disease, in this case. — ℜob C. alias ᴀʟᴀʀoʙ 22:44, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

"See also" links[edit]

Instead of placing the links to such articles in the body of the text, they can be moved to the "See Also" section of an article, where articles of related context can be found.

  • Oppose the worst approach of the four. It puts what could be a neat doorway to relevant info for the reader in a tiny basement closet to be dug up one day when they are bored instead of read right then when it's useful.--User:2008Olympianchitchatseemywork 08:37, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support—It's the best solution, providing prominence, explicit pipes, and the selection of the most useful years as gateways to sibling year-in-X articles. Tony (talk) 09:39, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose per 2008Olympian. Tennis expert (talk) 10:37, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral only if it is relevant --Apoc2400 (talk) 10:51, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support: putting these links in the "see also" section of an article - or in a See also line at the end of a section they're particularly relevant to - allows these links to be kept explicit without encumbering sentence flow, and also keeps them in a prominent position. the end of an article (or section) is an appropriate moment to invite readers to head off to "year-in-X" articles, which are not usually necessary to understanding. Sssoul (talk) 11:42, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • support - if used properly, this is the best option for these links.—MDCollins 11:53, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. This is exactly the sort of thing that "see also" sections are for - further information related to the article subject but not needed to help understanding of the subject. Phil Bridger (talk) 12:55, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support—provided that we don't flood see also sections with year-in-x links. Remember that once you get one of those year-in-x links, it is very easy to navigate to a different year on the same topic. There should be a limit on how many links to year-type articles there can be. Dabomb87 (talk) 14:13, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the need to be selective for this very reason (flooding)—as Dabomb points out—is something I should have emphasised in my entry above; any chronological page is an ideal gateway to all, via the nav box at their openings. I support because I don't want to see chronological pages orphaned, even though many are as yet hopelessly underdeveloped, and bringing them up to standard is a gargantuan task that doesn't appear to be on the radar. If anything, it's a service to our readers to make a selection on a basis the editors decide (importance, relevance to the article?). Carpeting the reader with all the year-pages inline is redundant and likely to dilute the whole box of dice. Explicit pipings are also much easier in the See also section. The fact that it's at the bottom should not matter—they are more prominent and more inviting there than inline. Tony (talk) 10:13, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
likewise: i also mean i support using one or two such links in the "see also" sections - a whole slew of them there would be 100% pointless. Sssoul (talk) 09:56, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support in {{seealso}} tags in the relevant sections or in the lede, or, at a last resort, in the #See also section. (I prefer per-section tags to the #See also section, as the context to the article may be unclear.) As an aside, if {{seealso}} is to be used at the end of a section, as this is the first time I've seen that suggestion, the template needs to be rewritten for appropriate spacing. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:39, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support if there is a specific reason to link. Categories already do a lot of this work though. -- Jao (talk) 14:51, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, best of a bad lot. Tim Vickers (talk) 16:01, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support sometimes. I think it may be appropriate for "event" articles, but inappropriate for articles about something that goes on over a stretch of time. Tempshill (talk) 16:47, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Weak support The viability of linking these articles is still questionable. However, this appears to be the best way to include these links where necessary. Sillyfolkboy (talk) 17:32, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral It's unlikely that such links would be useful, but if they are, this is where to put them. Colonies Chris (talk)
  • Weak support. Per Sillyfolkboy. --John (talk) 19:00, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support as only useful place to put these links. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:08, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - this is what see also sections are for. Mr.Z-man 19:13, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Now this one makes sense. Kaldari (talk) 19:58, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral - Not thrilled by this idea either. I don't see the utility in these year-in-sports articles to begin with, unless it's for a page on a specific season. They aren't much more useful in other fields either; if I'm reading about a movie, is it vital to know what else happened in the industry that year? I'd be more interested in reading the page at hand. It probably is better than the other three options, though. Giants2008 (17-14) 20:52, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support if it's a useful link in context of the subject matter. DoubleBlue (talk) 21:58, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support but not require. In most cases {{seealso}} within the appropriate section's context will be the judicious editor's best choice.LeadSongDog (talk) 22:14, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose: As I support "Inline". Ryan4314 (talk) 00:50, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support for use to the reader for items not directly in the main thrust of the article. Hmains (talk) 04:56, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Conditional support - may be so linked only if genuinely needed. Trivia sections are already discouraged, the same should apply to linking to trivia articles. Ohconfucius (talk) 10:45, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support As others have pointed out, categories should handle most cases. Lightmouse (talk) 11:08, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support as least of the evils. IF a link really needs to be included, I would put it in See also. I doubt that these links really need to be included, however. If context is needed, put it in prose in the article, not in a separate article that we link to. Karanacs (talk) 16:43, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - this seems like a practical solution to incorporate such links in articles. It Is Me Here t / c 17:31, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Only reasonable option --Hans Adler (talk) 23:01, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. See also sections are not good per the notion that in Wikipedia, prose is preferred over bullet lists. If the link is relevant, incorporate it into the article body. It's just that in this case, "2000 in sports" is an irrelevant link in most cases. Punkmorten (talk) 08:45, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Exactly the right solution when necessary to avoid awkward prose and easter egg pipelinks. Binksternet (talk) 18:28, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support though they should only where the link is clearly useful and relevant in the context of the entire article. Pfainuk talk 18:54, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support "see also" sections in general, but only for instances where the appropriate link can not be included in the prose. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:29, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

c This is reasonable. لennavecia 21:28, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Mostly harmless and least bad so I'll support this without much enthusiasm. Punkmorten has a good point though. Angus McLellan (Talk) 22:22, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Very bad for the quality of an article. —Mizu onna sango15Hello! 03:40, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose The See Also area is meant for other very specific related articles, not general ones. Links like these should either be categories, or they should be included in template blocks that list and link the sports events for the year. -BarkerJr (talk) 04:30, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Overall I'd have to oppose this, its difficult to describe why you should see those links. --Banime (talk) 15:09, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose "See also" is on average the weakest, least necessary section of any article, and this would just make that worse. Daniel Case (talk) 06:45, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose: How would this work for an individual who did many notable things in many years? For a politician, would the see also include links to every "year in politics" that the person ran for any office or otherwise did something major? Also, appearing out of context, it'll be unclear why these particular years are linked. Does anyone believe it to be desirable that "see also" contains twelve "XXXX in Y" links without any context as to why these years are relevant to the article (without having to scroll up and figure it out)? Oren0 (talk) 20:08, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - if it's not relevant enough to include in the text of an article, there's no reason to tack it on the end, in the manner of a "Trivia" section. Perhaps it might be a clunky way to add a useful link to a bare stub, but better to improve the stub. Warofdreams talk 21:16, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. If it doesn't fit the flow of the article SA sections is the second best alternative. feydey (talk) 17:51, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral Permissible if relevant, but like most “see also” links should be improved by incorporating into the text when possible. Michael Z. 2008-12-02 01:44 z
  • Support It would be more ideal if it could be written into the text in a coherent way without any hidden links etc, but can be useful as a last resort (though a limit should be kept on the amount of links added and specific relevance should be key). londonsista Prod 06:00, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose The See Also sections will flood with these. Every actor's or athlete's bio will flood with every year-in-X that they were active. Then it will be a fight on each article's talk page as to which are more notable than others, etc. Dismas|(talk) 08:25, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support it does not harm the article and does add the extra information needed. If can be easily add to the prose of the article, that is even better. Miguel.mateo (talk) 14:06, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support This adheres to MOS and what See also is for - a wikilink that is reasonably connected and should be integrated into an article. -- Banjeboi 21:44, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose "See also" sections should usually be avoided as it's the lowest-value part of an article. I generally don't like the idea of dedicating a whole heading to mere links instead of relevant prose. Spellcast (talk) 17:40, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
  • STRONG OPPOSE Forcing someone to go somewhere else is the absolute worst thing to do in any human-machine interface. To use an analogy, how would you feel if you went to an automobile dealer to buy a car and then get told, "Oh, you need to go to the supermarket on the other side of town"? This would only confuse our readers and make them upset, which is exactly the opposite of what we want. We want people to use Wikipedia. Truthanado (talk) 22:36, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support as a "last resort" option, but I worry about mass blind addition. The option should be there, though. Pagrashtak 14:35, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support As with general links, this should be allowed, though not required by the MoS. --Rumping (talk) 16:31, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support when nothing better is available. DGG (talk) 17:01, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - That's ecactly the purpose of the See also sections, isn't it? To provide links to information that is related in a specific way, in this case even in two specific ways (topical and temporal). Actually, a "field in year" link there can summarize several other valid links in many cases. --Latebird (talk) 12:11, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support This is the most logical, straightforward approach. No fooling the reader. Tool2Die4 (talk) 17:54, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. As I posted in my Support vote in the previous section: "[L]inks relevant to a particular part of an article should be located there, not dumped down into the 'See also' section." 2008Olympian put it even better in the first vote in this section. --Tkynerd (talk) 19:43, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "See also" sections have their place, but tend to be overused and crammed with POV in some cases. Wikipedia is not paper, and banning other forms of linking in favor of a "See also" subsection is a hangover from printed text. (A study of how often readers use "See also" would be helpful, if someone is thinking of a WP usability study.) — ℜob C. alias ᴀʟᴀʀoʙ 22:47, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support sometimes. Good examples would be putting 2008 in sports and 2008 in baseball in the "See also" section of 2008 World Series and putting 1961 in film in the "See also" section of Breakfast at Tiffany's. On the other hand, this is a terrible solution for a biography or any topic covering a range of years. Categories usually don't serve the purpose well because they're an extra, often confusing, step. (However, well-constructed portals might sometimes work.) —— Shakescene (talk) 07:12, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Comments about managing "Year in Field"[edit]

  • I'm unpersuaded by any of these being a catch-all solution. I'm also unsure why we need a catch-all on this. --Dweller (talk) 12:41, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
    • It's not meant to be a catchall, you may support multiple versions, though stating when you'd use one over the other would be helpful .--MASEM 14:15, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • See List of Portland Trail Blazers head coaches for an example of using hidden year links in a table without deceiving the reader. Dabomb87 (talk) 21:46, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
    • This is a good example of where "hidden links" are viable in tables/lists DaBomb87. I agree such links should keep their current usage. Sillyfolkboy (talk) 01:05, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
      • Please note that this question is about links in text, not in tables. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 04:08, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
        • As Sillyfolkboy noted above, I merely provided the example so as to note an exception to the general consensus that year-in-x links hidden behind plain year links are bad. Should the outcome of this RfC result in the deprecation of those hidden year-in-x links, I ask that those links not be changed because they are explicitly explained in the key. Dabomb87 (talk) 04:17, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
          • Noted. Given the wording of the question, efforts to ban such links would be disingenuous, and should lead to dispute resolution. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 04:55, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
            • Despite the example above unfortunately using a "Year in Sports" link, this RfC explicitly applies only to "Year in 'Field'" links. By its terms it does not address specific links such as the 1960 NFL season, the 1961 NFL Draft, the 1972–73 NBA season, the 1972 NBA Finals, etc. The RfC also references the exceptions in WP:EGG. That guideline notes that sports articles might have dozens of such links. These links are not the hated general-trivia links this RfC contemplates but are links to specific articles about a discrete topic that relates directly to what the reader is reading at that time.--User:2008Olympianchitchatseemywork 07:29, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
              • Ah, I understand you Olympian. It is still worth noting though. Dabomb87 (talk) 15:26, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
I always make the years in tables into "year in comics / literature / film", so there are many examples. In such cases, the link colour makes no difference to flow, so it just adds more utility with none of down-sides of in text links. The process of removal should take this into account.Yobmod (talk) 16:51, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Per WP:LOW the Year-in-X links should not be used in lists of works such as comics/literature/film/etc. Dismas|(talk) 08:27, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
No, WP:EGG makes an explicit exception that states that "However, piped links may be useful in places where compact presentation is important (some tables, infoboxes, and lists)." Keep up the good work, Yobmod.--2008Olympianchitchat 10:21, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
"Year in Field" is a perfectly good usage when in a table because it allows it to be sorted if the user desires. In main body text, infoboxes, and other places, though, it's not needed and introduces unnecessary complexity. Truthanado (talk) 22:39, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • An example given in my support to selectively linking bare years (see above) can be found in Shifang#History and culture. I concurred with Lightbot's removal of most year links because I was unsure what better to do; but the remaining link to 201 BC can exemplify my point about year link being useful by cross referencing events outside of the immediate context of an article. (I have edited several articles that benefit the same way from year links.) Most of the "never" reasons given are really quality concerns about bare year articles themselves and should be addressed as such. Clearly, I find quite some bare year articles of stub quality. But this is not a good reason to throw out year link. Sillyvalley (talk) 05:34, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Comparing these options, I find that a piped date link is unobjectionable when it leads to an encyclopedic article rather than a page of trivia. Inline links should not misrepresent their target, as the example [[sports in 2000|career in 2000]] does. Parenthetical devices are crude and worse than the current indiscriminate date links (as bad as they are). "See also" is less useful than a well-made link within the text. To me they usually represent areas of weakness in an article. Often "See also" links are inserted to push a POV. — ℜob C. alias ᴀʟᴀʀoʙ 22:51, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

When to use "Year in Field" links[edit]

As with Month-Day and Year links, there is a question of when such "Year in Field" links should be used, and can be seen as both helpful and unnecessary.

The question posed here is:

When should Year-in-Field links be made from articles?

Please indicate which approach you prefer below. If you support "In certain cases", please explain what cases would be appropriate for these links.

Year-in-Field links should always be made[edit]

  • Strong oppose - many dates are inconsequential trivia. Who but his mother cares when A. Rookie repeated second grade? LeadSongDog (talk) 22:36, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Although these link types are less unfocused than plain year links, they are still not high-value enough to be worth more than one link. Also, once you get to one of these year-in-field links, it is easy to navigate to another year in the same subject. Dabomb87 (talk) 22:41, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose per reasons already given by LeadSongDog and Dabomb87. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:29, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support These can always provide some useful information for readers. If there is interest I think they should be made. --Banime (talk) 15:13, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose An always rule is usually never a good idea. There are exceptions that need to be accounted for. For dates, there are probably more exceptions than there are normal usages, so this is a particularly bad idea. Truthanado (talk) 22:42, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong Support: (Using my own field as an example in the following...) The year-in articles are a vital and significant resource for anyone examining a specific cultural artifact (a play, for example), or seeking an overview of the development of a specific artistic field in general (modernist drama, for example), or trying to negotiate the complex patterns of interaction and contrast in a cultural field as a whole (literature in general or the arts in general). The overview articles do not (and should not) usually provide a year-on-year analysis; the year-in articles offer the foundations of such an analysis (offering a hub from which a reader may link back to other articles on specific artifacts). The value of a year-in-date-link is extremely high in a specific artifact's article: being able to see what the other major new productions that year were when studying a particular play provides the kind of joined-up knowledge that Wikipedia as a form is most-suited for. For example, as a student I might be tempted to make a generalisation about the experimental nature of the kind of plays being produced when Waiting for Godot first appeared in 1953, until helpful Wikipedia informs me that this is the same year that The Crucible appeared. These two plays are both masterpieces of modern theatre; they are not usually discussed together, since they come from different trajectories in the history of drama (experimental modernism and Ibsenite realism). At the level of an overview of the field of drama in the early 50s, however, recognising that they are contemporary to one another is vital. As a resource for a student studying either play, such a link would be of immense value, since it is just this kind of cultural and historical awareness that makes up the vast majority modern academic training in criticsm. If a year-in article exists for the specific field to which a specific article belongs exists, then it ought to be linked. That kind of organisation of information is invaluable. Offering a reader the opportunity to link from a specific artifact to articles on what else was happening in the cultural field at that time (other plays, or novels, films, paintings, operas, etc.) is exactly the kind of relevant information and its organisation at which Wikipedia is able to excel (in contrast to book-based forms of knowledge). This isn't new information, it's existing information organised in a way that Wikipedia can do best. A year-in link will always be relevant for articles on specific cultural artifacts, since they always exist in a cultural field and are influenced and influence the other works of art in circulation at that time. Wikipedia has an almost unique opportunity to trace those patterns. As the basis for the vast majority of critical writing on cultural artifacts, the value of this kind of link cannot be over-estimated. DionysosProteus (talk) 13:30, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose Sometimes these links are useful, sometimes not, so blanket proposals don't work well. "Weak because of DionysosProteus' comment: There are certainly cases where the links are very useful. If the links are in the prose of the article, they should be worked in gracefully and it should be clear, somehow, that the link is not to the generic year article but to the year-in-field page. It's hard to think of examples where a lot of links to various years-in-field would be found, but if that article exists and if the links would be helpful, I suppose a note somewhere near the top of the article should explain what type of articles the piped year links will go to. This is easily done with a list or table, harder to do in the prose of an article without being distracting, so it should be left on a case-by-case basis. We do need to avoid confusing the reader. Reconsideration (talk) 17:52, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Very few articles are related to just one specific year in a strong enough way to justify this. --Latebird (talk) 12:16, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Year-in-Field links should be made in certain cases[edit]

  • Support The links should be made whenever there is consensus among the editors of an article to include the links in that article, and a MOS guideline (not even a policy) cannot be used as a sledgehammer to ignore that consensus. Tennis expert (talk) 08:18, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • In the main body of an article, they should be used with the guide that they only be used in the first instance in the article.--User:2008Olympianchitchatseemywork 08:32, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

* only when editors feel such a link is relevant enough to make the link explicit and to put it in the "see also" section (or a see also line - see my comment above). Sssoul (talk) 11:47, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

  • support - they should (actually may) be used in certain cases, when they are deemed useful to the WP:CONTEXT, and are most appropriately placed under See Also, without piping.—MDCollins 11:55, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • support they clearly have some use, although they can be overdone. --Dweller (talk) 12:42, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Yes, in "see also" sections where the article is specifically about an event in a particular year. Should definitely not be made for every year mentioned in an article. Phil Bridger (talk) 12:58, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, as 2008Olympian said, only link the first time (when using hidden links, which should be used only when absolutely necessary). Use the see also section whenever possible, but only provide one year link. Readers can navigate to any other year in the topic article from that link. Dabomb87 (talk) 14:15, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, where appropriate. I can't think of a general situation where it's necessarily appropriate, but WikiProjects might think of some. I think I agree with Sssoul on this issue. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:43, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment, I'd never say "should be made" but they could sometimes be useful as a link in a "see also" section or infoboxes and templates, but certainly not dumped in the main prose of the article. Tim Vickers (talk) 16:02, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Unless the event has a very strong dependence on year, then the link should not be made. Dividing wars into campaigns or football competitions into seasons makes sense - arbitrary divisions for general articles based on the contents relation to a given December 31st do not. Knepflerle (talk) 16:12, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Should generally not be used as these articles are generally not helpful or not specific enough to form a what could be a helpful article. Linking should not be ruled out all together but, as with years and dates, linking should be avoided until these articles have realised a helpful form. Sillyfolkboy (talk) 17:38, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Weak support Mostly these articles are not particularly relevant to the subject of the article, but potentially they could be and they're a bit more focused than simple 'year' articles. But only to be used sparingly, and only if the link is explicit, not piped. Colonies Chris (talk) 18:39, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Again, "never" and "always" generally make for bad rules. Mr.Z-man 19:14, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - As long as discretion is used, and the link destination is made explicit, I have no problem with using these links. For example, they make sense in lists, as long as a note is provided explaining where the links go. Giants2008 (17-14) 22:02, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm not certain I understand the question but an article that is a useful link in context of the subject and is clear to what it links is fine. DoubleBlue (talk) 22:04, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Editors should be able to judge if the link contributes to the including or the linked article. Polio should have a link to and from 1952 in science#medicine (although it doesn't right now).LeadSongDog (talk) 22:27, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per Tennis Expert and Sssoul. However, I firmly believe “may” should replace “should”, and I’m neutral on Sssoul’s suggestion of also including the tag in the “See also” bit as I’m not sure one approach suits all occasions. Askari Mark (Talk) 03:48, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • comment: my suggestion above wasn't meant to be a "vote" for this exact wording! "should" is the wrong word/concept, and i see i need to edit my earlier response. Sssoul (talk) 07:36, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • If 2003 in film (or similar) is relevant to an article, then a link to it can be added to the "See also" section. It Is Me Here t / c 17:34, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. When relevant. Binksternet (talk) 18:29, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support where relevant. Pfainuk talk 18:55, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support when relevant (as already explained above in other sections). ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:29, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, with caveats. If the link can be worked into the text without obscuring the target, fair enough. Otherwise I'm with Tim Vickers: these should be banished to see also sections and templates. Angus McLellan (Talk) 19:42, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support There will always be exceptions. These links shouldn't be used often, but you might want to link them from high-level pages, such as general ones about sports, or the year pages themselves. -BarkerJr (talk) 04:32, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support in limited cases. Every movie made in 2003, for example, doesn't need a link to 2003 in film. RainbowOfLight Talk 05:37, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. As with any other link, the links should be made when the linked content is relevant, and not otherwise.--Srleffler (talk) 05:51, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - and only in 'see also' when appropriate, which won't be often. dougweller (talk) 08:27, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - in general if an event is mentioned that would be mentioned in the "year in field" article, the "year in field" article should be linked from the relevant page IMO. Oren0 (talk) 20:10, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, although it looks as though we'll need another RfC to determine what circumstances we'll accept. If I'm reading about a building completed in 1858, I might well be interested to see what other architectural developments there were in and around that year. One or two links would often be appropriate in the text and/or infoboxes. I'm dubious about "see also" links - if something's not worth mentioning in the body, why is it interesting enough to merit a link at the end of the article? Warofdreams talk 21:08, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support This is a matter of style. We shouldn't dictate this style's use by fiat. It can be done in individual cases, but maybe it can be improved. Michael Z. 2008-12-02 01:45 z
  • Support Only rarely are they useful, e.g. the "history-of-X" articles or in the article about some year's Superbowl/World Series/World Cup. Dismas|(talk) 08:29, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support only when the article really requires it, not all references to years will need this type of links. Miguel.mateo (talk) 14:08, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support only when the article really requires it
  • Support. The guideline should provide good examples of where it makes sense to use ... and where it doesn't make sense. Truthanado (talk) 22:43, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. they can give the opportunity for specific "background information" and context to be made available to the reader. Edmund Patrickconfer 14:14, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support As with general links, this should be allowed, though not required by the MoS. --Rumping (talk) 16:31, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support There are cases where these links are appropriate and cases where they aren't, so it's wrong to try to come up with a general "always" or "never" rule. "See also" is a good spot for some of these links, and I do think every movie made in 2003 should have an explicit (unpiped, unhidden) link to 2003 in film because that year-in-field page is as likely to be of interest or of use to a reader as anything else in a "See also" section. Userboxes shoud also use these year-in-field links where appropriate and where its clear that the link is not to the generic year article. I've proposed further down on this page that year-in-field links in lists (especially lists of works) and tables should not be discouraged because the situation with them is different than in prose sections of articles. When an article is discussing developments in a particular field in a particular year, an explicit link in the prose may be appropriate. I think it's possible that there could be a case where piped links to year-in-field articles throughout the prose of an article would be appropriate, but I can't think of any off-hand (possibly to year-in-poetry articles from Modern poetry, but I'm not sure). If links to year-in-field articles were used throughout the prose of anothr article, that should be made explicit somewhere at or near the top of the article, before the first hidden/piped link. Reconsideration (talk) 17:44, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Absolute rules of any kind make poor policy, It depends on the context. G-Man ? 23:01, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support As the sole remaining allowed blue-linked 'year in' date link in any article it should be regarded as in context and important. Not in favour of demoting it in the 'see also' section. Editor's discretion? Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 04:13, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per Tennis expert and 2008Olympian. We shouldn't second-guess the consensus of editors; guidelines are sufficient. Links in text are preferable in most cases to dumping links in "See also." — 23:00, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Support strongly Of course, and why do we need to argue what should be obvious? "The Year in Wikipedianism" may not be useful article to begin with, but (for example) the "Year in Film", "Sports", "Politics", "Drama" and even "Art" offer useful contexts in many cases best determined by the editors of the articles involved. "X was first elected in [[1948 in politics|1948]]" should certainly not be required for every date in a political biography, but there are many times when the political events of that year are a useful guide for the reader. —— Shakescene (talk) 06:59, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Year-in-Field links should never be made[edit]

  • Oppose - they have value in some cases, though they should not be used willy-nilly.LeadSongDog (talk) 22:30, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. I do not believe that these links have value. If context is needed, put it in prose in the article, not in a separate article that we link to. Karanacs (talk) 16:49, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Extreme rules always and never are usually not a good idea. There are usually exceptions that must be accounted for. If this is to be used at all, a middle road with clear guidelines is preferred. Truthanado (talk) 22:44, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 04:15, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I was about to support adding dates to the "See also" section until I realized that there existed categories like Category:2008 in sports. Since both would occur at the end, adding such a link is redundant. -- King of ♠ 07:14, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Comments about whether to link to "Year in Field"[edit]

  • Does this mean piped ones, explicitly to which "field", or ones that look like a plain year-link? Tony (talk) 09:41, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
    • This is any of the above "Year in Field" styles, including the hidden version. --MASEM 14:16, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
So how can one answer be given WRT all of them? This is very confusing. Tony (talk) 14:57, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't understand the question either. Tempshill (talk) 16:49, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
nor do i - if it's meant to apply to all "styles" i can't support any of the options given, particularly when they say "should". Sssoul (talk) 07:40, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Similar to a comment made by a user previously in this RFC, if we are to discourage (or even completely eliminate) the addition of such "year in field" links, should we just delete articles like 2008 in film, 1974 in sports, and other such useful pages? —Mizu onna sango15Hello! 03:45, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

I hope not. They are useful articles. If folks refuse to allow us to link to them, interested readers will just have to type them in. But I would imagine they would get read either way. --Andrew Kelly (talk) 02:39, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
I think plain year links are less useful than these articles, get rid of those; anyway, it looks like we will keep them. Dabomb87 (talk) 04:15, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Question does this also include the piped use of "in Field" links in infoboxes? This is slightly specific since WP:CMC has "Year in comics" article/lists and the convention has been to use the piped [[Year in comics|Year]] formatting within the infoboxes. At one point this was acceptable under the MoS and at least one matinance bot was modified to avoid the 'boxes. That 'bot is now back to modifing the 'boxes. - J Greb (talk) 15:53, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
    • See WP:EGG, where it points to infoboxes, tables and lists with an explicit exception stating "in places where compact presentation is important (some tables, infoboxes and lists); and in the main prose of articles in which such links are used heavily, as is often the case with sports biographies that link to numerous season articles." So this is supported already in the guidelines. There hasn't been a consensus here to change that, so it's safe from any kind of blanket ban. -- Reconsideration (talk) 02:43, 16 December 2008 (UTC)