Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation/Archive 13

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Discussion of Disambiguation at Talk:Ravi Shankar

I have just initiated a discussion of disambiguation at Talk:Ravi Shankar. Although the immediate subject of the discussion is a particular article, I believe it touches upon the more general question of when an ambiguous title ought to point to a disambiguation page, and when it ought to point to the most article most likely to be intended. --BostonMA 21:58, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Props dilema

In this morning's Doonesbury, the character Elias says, So, props, Bro. Like I do with all bits of jargon/slang that I've never heard of, I typed props into the wikipedia search box, got to the prop page, and quickly found the to give proper respect meaning. The dilemma is that this is a dict-def, and as such, doesn't belong on a dab page. On the other hand, as I demonstrated to myself, it's a valuable entry, and it would be a shame to remove it. The only conclusion I can come up with is that our no dict-defs rule should be changed. Comments? -- RoySmith (talk) 13:01, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Maybe a link to Wiktionary? Though, when looking up "prop" in Wiktionary, it doesn't have the definition that you are referring to, and I'm not familiar with Wikitonary's guidelines of slang definitions. -- Natalya 14:19, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
There is no dilemma, and no need for this definition of props in Wikipedia. Anyone who needs a definition of a word should look in Wiktionary, or any of a whole pile of online dictionaries. Anyone who looks for a word definition in an encyclopedia is likely to be disappointed, but that is not cause for changing the rules of Wikipedia. See WP:WINAD. Are you suggesting that Wiktionary should be discarded after dumping the entire contents of Wiktionary into Wikipedia, or that dic-defs should be maintained in both places, making twice the work? At any rate, the place to discuss this is on the talk page at WP:WINAD. Chris the speller 14:47, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
No, I was making the suggestion that since Wikipedia is not a dictionary, a link could be put to the Wiktionary (which is a dictionary) entry. See Linking to Wiktionary. However, it may be a moot point because the Wiktionary entry does not currently the definition in question. Also, while Wikipedia is not a dictionary, it is a source of information that many people come to, and even if the information is not on Wikipedia, there is no reason not to direct them to where the information is. -- Natalya 14:58, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't see a reason not to include a Wiktionary link, so I have put one on prop. Note that props does not have "to give proper respect", so you might want to add it there. Kusma (討論) 15:09, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
"Wikipedia is not a dictionary" does NOT mean that a dab page (or any article for that matter) is forbidden to include a short definition of a term. Not a disctionary means that we do not get into all the details about usage, variants, etymology, etc. olderwiser 18:16, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
But definitions ARE forbidden; the first sentence of WP:WINAD (which is official policy) states "an entry that consists of just a definition does not belong". I encourage the use of the wiktionarypar template, and so does MoS:DP. RoySmith has used the template correctly in this case, and has properly added the definition to Wiktionary. No rules had to be changed. Good work! Chris the speller 18:53, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
And the sentence you quote continues But, an article can and should always begin with a good definition or a clear description of the topic. There is no problem with having a short definition on a dab page with a link to Wikitionary as well. To invoke WP:WINAD as justification to remove ANY definition from a dab page is a gross misinterpretation of that policy. -- Though actually, in this particular case, since that particular slang is not exactly a common definition for the term, I agree that moving it to Wiktionary was probably for the best. olderwiser 21:14, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Dab pages are not, however, articles. —Wahoofive (talk) 22:19, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
So? My only point is that we should avoid knee-jerk sorts of overly narrow and prescriptive guidance regarding whether a brief definition can appear on a dab page. There is no basis for declaring that a dab page cannot contain a brief definition. olderwiser 02:27, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Speaking of overly narrow, may I suggest you stop indenting another tab on every reply? -- RoySmith (talk) 02:41, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, that is common practice and what is recommended at Wikipedia:Talk pages. When things get too far indented, there's no problem in going back to the left margin. But in my browser at least, there appeared to be plenty of room. olderwiser 02:58, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't equate official policy that seems to work with overly narrow guidance. An issue came up and was apparently well resolved without having to change the rules or break them. If anyone is still unhappy, I again invite a continuation of this discussion on the talk page at WP:WINAD, but I won't be accompanying you. Chris the speller 02:52, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Er, I certainly was not suggesting any change to WP:WINAD -- I think it is quite good the way it is -- and quite clear, especially when not quoted piecemeal. It does not provide any basis for saying that a dab page cannot contain a brief definition. olderwiser 02:58, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
We read the same sentence and come away with different understandings of it. Your posts have always seemed sensible until this case, so I assume you're not nuts, and I'm not nuts, so it must be the sentence. It makes no sense for us to wear each other down, considering how many disambig pages there are to fix. Happy editing! Chris the speller 03:44, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

People, Places and Things

I have discussed this before, but have wondered if it should be part of the styleguide for disambiguation. There are several styles for disambigauation and I find this the easiest to find what I am looking for: Divided into people, places and things. What do you think?

unsigned comment by User:Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )Wahoofive (talk) 17:07, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Note: I have reduced the headings below to H3 for ease of viewing and commenting on this page. Originally they were H2 headings —Wahoofive (talk) 17:04, 25 January 2006 (UTC)




The Manual of Style for Disambiguation briefly refers to separating entries (see "Longer Lists"), but it does not go into such specifics. In general, I think separating people and places in longer lists is a good idea. However "Things" is a very broad topic, and for many disambiguation pages, all of the entires may be "things", and would therefore require more separation. It is definitly a good idea to separate disambiguation links with longer lists, but it may often require more detailed separation. Just as an example, take a look at the disambiguation page for Matrix (you could choose any dab page, really). The entires are separated by science, technology, the arts, and other. Most of the entires is all the categories are "things", so without more specification it probably would not be too helpful. -- Natalya 17:02, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree 100%. I am mostly involved with biography and geography so I only encounter the ones that fall easily into people places and things, and they tend to be very long lists. The older format was a single list with all the items bulleted alphabetically and sub bulleted for further diambiguation, and in this case their was no TOC.

--Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 17:19, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

I second Natalya's comment, and add that the things listed above simply don't belong on the same dab page. Would someone type in "Walker" expecting to find Junior Walker and the All Stars? Dab pages are not for free association. —Wahoofive (talk) 17:11, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
However I disagree that Junior Walker and the All Stars is free association. If it contains "walker" it belongs in the Walker category. If I were searching for that "Walker musician guy". I would go to the Walker disambiguation page. This type of disambiguation has almost always found what I was looking for when I had incomplete information for a search.

--Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 17:19, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

  • They wouldn't be looking for Junior Walker and the All Stars but they might be looking for Junior Walker, and that article is where they'd find him. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:04, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
I think this discussion should be moved to the MoS. Anyway, while we are on the subject of free association why are any people on this list? Is it reaosnable to expect that any of them should have their aritcle title as Walker? I don't think so. A link to LoPbN is what should be implemented.--Commander Keane 18:30, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Both the massive list of people and shorter lists of people can coexist in perfect harmony. I have a problem loading the long lists even with my cable modem, maybe because I need more RAM. And, when I am disambiguating it is helpful to see all the categories together to figure out if the person meant to link to a person or a place or a thing. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 18:55, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

TfD nomination of Template:Interstatedis

Template:Interstatedis and a few redirects have been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at Wikipedia:Templates for deletion#Template:Interstatedis. Thank you. Tedernst | talk 20:20, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Clarifying disambiguation links

Just to be sure, disambiguation links (the ones at the top of a page saying "This page is about xx. For yy, go here") are only for

  • If there is a main article and the link is to the disambiguation page (stealing the example off this page, Johann Sebastian Bach) or,
  • If there are two article of similar name and no disambiguation page (see Quaoar)

I know these are the examples given on this page, but I have run into a number of pages where the topic is the disambiguation page (no "topic (disambiguation)" page), but then some of the other pages have the links at the top. I planned to remove them, but wanted to be sure there was not a use for them.
Thanks -- Natalya 19:50, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Could you give an example of one you think should be removed? There are a number of similar-looking usages. —Wahoofive (talk) 19:55, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Sure - while fixing all the links to the disambiguation page Matrix, I have run across these two so far, both of which have the links at the top of the page:
-- Natalya 20:00, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
When an article with a qualifier in parentheses links back to the unqualified page, as with Matrix (biology), I think it is a detriment to Wikipedai. Chris the speller 20:15, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
I would agree. Removed! -- Natalya 20:18, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Tamil people vs Tamil Language

I'm hoping someone could give me advice or point me to a guideline for the following issue. There are 2 main articles to which the Tamil page point, Tamil people and Tamil language. In most cases, it is quite easy to disambiguate. But what about a Tamil poet? Does a Tamil poet fall under Tamil people but Tamil poetry fall under Tamil language? The same issue arises with a Tamil actress vs. Tamil cinema. My guess is that if the noun in question is a person, point the link to Tamil people, and if the noun is an "art", such as cinema or poetry, point the link to Tamil language. However, I would appreciate other opinions, before I do something foolish.

(On a completely separate issue, the list of links on the disamguation dump page listed 125 links for Tamil. I've already done around 100, and there are easily 300 more. I'm not sure why this would be the case. Any ideas?) --BostonMA 20:45, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

It seems like it would depend on what you were linking to. I would agree with your guess for the most part, however, Tamil people also contains a lot of information on culture. I might link to Tamil people whenever it referred to the people OR any of the culture or other topics covered in the article. Linking to Tamil language would probably be appropriate when when referring directly to the language itself, grammar, or pronunciation (or anything else covered in the article).
As for the listing of the number of links on WP:DPL, I've always wondered about that too, but just assumed that since the dump more pages have linked to the page. -- Natalya 21:00, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Nataly, thanks for your thoughts. I'm still a bit reluctant to point Tamil cinema to Tamil people. The cinema itself is (usually) not about specifically Tamil themes, but about themes that are widely shared. However, the dialog is in the Tamil Language. I would likely call it Tamil-language cinema, that is cinema which happens to be in the Tamil language. But I see your point that such cinema is part of the heritage of Tamil people, and the Tamil language article is more "linguistic". I'll ponder it a while longer, but if you or anyone else has strong feelings, or further arguments to make, please express them. --BostonMA 21:25, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Could you give us an example of when/where you wanted to point Tamil cinema to something Tamil-related? That might help us to better understand the example you are talking about. -- Natalya 21:35, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
For example, the mention of Tamil in Bollywood, reads "Bollywood and the other major cinematic hubs (Tamil - Kollywood, Telugu - Tollywood," Then there are quite a few Tamil actors and actresses. As people, I would link them to Tamil people, but when a reference appears such as so-and-so appeared in 7 Tamil films, I'm inclined to have that Tamil point to Tamil language. --BostonMA 21:48, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Hmm... it certainly wouldn't be wrong to link to either, but I might be inclined to link to Tamil people in those cases. True, the article is about the people, but it's about the ethnicity as a whole, and at least to me things that are accredited to them relate to the people. -- Natalya 02:45, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

The link counts generated by the dump script count main namespace links. Currently there are 168 main namespace links to Tamil, and 264 in total. Since the dump was 6 weeks ago, that count can be expected.--Commander Keane 22:13, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Cleanup existing lists

Based on long-standing Wikipedia:Disambiguation#Links to disambiguation pages, folks were supposed to be adding these names to lists.

Apparently, there is rough consensus that these lists should be converted to categories. The final location of the categories in the heirarchy has not been decided, but that is not needed for cleanup.

Some existing categories were created for these templates, but they do not follow standard naming convention. Also, the old categories are helpful in finding the templates, due to a problem with What links here. Therefore, new categories have been created.

In some cases, the listing work will already be done. In other cases, more than one type may be on the page, so it should be in more than one list. But every case has to be checked.

Is this proposal satisfactory?

--William Allen Simpson 19:09, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
Excellent, an outline like this is just want we need to get organised! What about a more maintenence orientated naming convention, for example Category:Human names disambiguation pages? We can also add {{Interstatedis}} to the list.--Commander Keane 19:24, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Of course, I have posted this outline before. This is just a variant of that posted earlier and on the straw poll discussion page. The current naming convention is "Lists of " as the category prefix for pages that are lists. It's rather standard. I've added the 5 variants from Wikipedia:Templates for deletion/Log/2006 January 25#Template:Interstatedis, although the TfD isn't done until next Wednesday, and the 6:3 vote is currently not enough to delete. Presumbly folks will take a look there?

--William Allen Simpson 20:59, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
I think there are some editors wanting a category just for Interstate highway dab pages. I think Category:Interstate highway disambiguation pages is in order.--Commander Keane 21:21, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
No need, SPUI created Category:Interstate Highway disambiguations some time ago. Tedernst erroneously made it a subcategory of both Category:Disambiguation and Category:Lists of roads sharing the same title (which is also a subcategory of Category:Disambiguation).
Note that the parallel title should be Category:Lists of Interstate Highways sharing the same title.
It's difficult to find, because somebody stuck "|Road" as the category sort, instead of the standard "|*" for "Lists of" and that's a lot of paging before it suddenly shows up as a subcategory. I wonder how many others are similarly hiding?
Oh, and these should also be in their appropriate categories, Category:Streets and roads and Category:Interstate Highway System respectively. Those took a bit of finding, too, as they are very specifically categorized with accompanying main articles. I had no idea that streets, roads, and highways were such hot topics!
Fixed all of above. -- William Allen Simpson 14:25, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
The only new one that I saw was Category:Galaxy name disambiguations, which seems a little dubious in that it has only two items in it (only one of which is actually marked as a dab page). Unless there are a whole lot more ambiguous galaxy names, this is likely an unneeded subcategory. No template that I can see. This plan sounds reasonable. It might be worth list Category:Interstate Highway disambiguations on WP:CFD (a misnamed page as it also handles renaming--if accepted there, a bot will go around updating the articles in which the category needs to be changed. Though since we're removing the template also, we'll be touching each page anyhow. olderwiser 03:02, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, no need to list in CfD yet, as removing the template should do the trick.
But your finding another category without a template caused me to search harder for more hidden subcategories.
--William Allen Simpson 06:35, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Templates for deletion/Log/2006 January 25

Done --William Allen Simpson 03:26, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Done --William Allen Simpson 03:26, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Done --William Allen Simpson 04:36, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

More categories and templates for later

Bkonrad's finding caused me to look for more subcategories hidden away via incorrect sort tags and/or use of {{disambig}} in category space:

--William Allen Simpson 06:04, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Primary topic abuse

As I've been researching the usage patterns of the "(disambiguation)" pages, I've noticed that in many (or most) instances, the Primary topic should not have been created at all! Rather than being a "well-known" topic, I've found that often these topics have only a "plurality" of links, not even a "majority" of links (as required in this guideline).

Most of these pages have been created only in the past few months, and seem to be a work-around to avoid having to disambiguate links, or in an small edit war (often between road and military editors).

In fact, Primary topic pages need more work, not less, as the majority of links have to be sifted to find the more rare incorrect links. This will need to be done over and over.

I'm beginning to think the entire "Primary topic" concept may be a bad idea. Simply having all disambiguation pages at the Generic title would assist in finding all incorrect links (using WP:DPL). Those Primary topic pages would need a lot of work once, but after that would just be part of the regular maintenance.

I've only found previous discussion of doing away with Primary topic pages at Wikipedia talk:Requested moves/Archive 1#A new theory of dismabig pages? [sic] in 2004. What did the search miss in the archives here?

--William Allen Simpson 14:51, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
Also see Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation/Archive 7#Primary topic disambiguationWahoofive (talk) 17:28, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
Hmm... it would certainly standardize things, and then no one would have to (often incorrectly) decide if there should be a primary topic page or not. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it though.
One argument against it might be "what about the pages that are blatently primary topics". However, it seems that for the most part, when there is a primary topic page (for example, Venice), most of the links on the disambiguation page, including the primary Venice, are all "Venice, [country/state]". So technically, were someone to search for "Venice, Italy", it would take them right to the Venice article that is currently the primary article. This also often applies to historical and famous figures.
For the rest of the articles, the primary topic may just be someone's personal choice as the primary topic, and there may not be a primary topic at all. This might be an interesting idea to think about. -- Natalya 17:50, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
So when I type "Tree" into the search box, instead of getting to the Tree page, I'm going to get a page with the content of Tree (disambiguation)? Or Paint or House or Dog? It's easy to think of examples where there isn't any question about the primary meaning. —Wahoofive (talk) 19:00, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
True. I wonder if there is a way to say that unless there is a blatently obvious primary page (as in the cases above), the link should be directed to the disambiguation page? -- Natalya 19:48, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
So you're saying it would be good if editors' judgement determined what is a primary topic page? Good idea. Michael Z. 2006-02-1 01:20 Z

The "majority of links" standard was sneaked into this guideline without any discussion by William Allen Simpson on January 3, 2006 [1]. Previously the primary meaning was determined by consensus of editors. Now this same user is coming here complaining that many such pages don't have a majority of links. You set this standard unilaterally, buddy! I think we should restore the previous language before we start going around changing any pages to conform to the new standard. —Wahoofive (talk) 01:01, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

No matter where or when or by whom the "majority of links" standard (or proposed standard) originated, I see a pitfall; a hypothetical balalaika player, George Washington, cranks out 137 albums, each one gets an article in Wikipedia with a link to George Washington, perhaps ending up with more links than the American general and president. This is a stretch, but just thinking about it tells me that counting links may not be the best test, and that good judgment will be needed. I agree with William that there are too many "primary topic" pages, many simply not justified. If I thought 98% of readers would be looking for one particular meaning, I would consider making that the "primary topic", but not for 51%. We may not need to scrap the primary topics altogether, but I would support raising the bar much higher. Chris the speller 05:33, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
I'd be with leaving it to the editors. I don't think there's another way, you really have to look at this properly and decide. Neonumbers 08:56, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

After discussing it here, and calling for comments, I did change the language from "most editors" (hard to quantify) to "majority of links" (countable). As I recall, I found the language in the archives. But it's become pretty clear that we're not at a standard of "most" (equivalent to majority) or the higher standard of "consensus" (the current language in the Generic topic section). It just seems to be "last editor who touched the article" personal choice.

--William Allen Simpson 09:45, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

As Primary topics involve extra and continual work for disambiguators, is the "consensus" standard to be applied by an actual vote of editors? Should the standard be very high, 98% of readers, as suggested by CtS?

--William Allen Simpson 09:45, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
This might seem like a minor quibble, but consensus doesn't mean vote. —Wahoofive (talk) 17:06, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Understood, but how does one reach "consensus" in this case, since the additions are taking place over a long period of time? First disagreement by any editor means no consensus?
--William Allen Simpson 23:51, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Reaching consensus is not much different in such a case as in most others on Wikipedia. Someone notices something they don't agree with and if they're cautious, they first raise an objection or make a proposal on the talk page and wait for discussion before taking action, or if they're bold, they do something first, like moving articles about and then discussing if anyone objects to what they did. If no one objects in either case, then there is consensus. If there are objections, discussion ensues and hopefully a reasonably amicable solution is agreed upon. In worst case scenarios, things may degenerate to the point where an RfC or a poll is needed (see Talk:Río de la Plata/name for a recent naming dispute generating at least 195K worth of discussion including two polls). olderwiser 01:25, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
That's not the usual meaning of the word "consensus" in the mundane world. That's just "silence is consent."
--William Allen Simpson 14:01, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not the mundane world. See WP:Consensus and the talk page for the many ways in which "consensus" in Wikipedia has been redefined, sometimes in stark contrast to the common understanding of the term. At times it strikes me as Orwellian doublespeak to describe certain Wikipedia practices as "consensus". But in this case, the "lack of objection" is actually among the least disturbing distortions. It's a sort of consensus by apathy. The practices of Wikipedia, modelled somewhat on open-source software development, is largely defined by by those who are willing to do the work. Those who sit around and theorize or who plan the perfect system before implementing are mostly ignored. This means that at any given time, there are always little imperfections in the system, but that for the most part, it is fully functional. olderwiser 15:57, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

I rather like the 4th suggestion last summer, for example "Tree" is a redirect to "Tree (arborial)" — with disambiguation of "Tree" links. That should fix both problems with one solution!

--William Allen Simpson 09:45, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Yea, it probably is last-editor-to-touch-it in practice, but in something like this, most decisions go uncontested. There'd be few cases where there's actually controversy over which is better, I think. I reckon it's fair to say here that, if no-one raises objections to a particular instance's decision, then consensus can be assumed (who's actually going to express an approval for this kind of selection, really).
That said, if in doubt, go generic. (overly compact expression) Neonumbers 09:57, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Well put. That way, the obviously primary topics will not have much trouble being primary topics, and everything else in question can be decided on by more than one person. -- Natalya 12:20, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
I am not sure what you mean by "go generic". Chris the speller 15:28, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
= "use a generic dab page". Neonumbers 23:10, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
That didn't explain anything, Neo. Do you mean "give the dab page the primary article name"? —Wahoofive (talk) 23:20, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure that what he means is when there's any doubt at all, the page should be a Generic page. The edit progression should be:

  1. article
  2. article with hatnote to 1st alternate
  3. move article, create Generic topic disambiguation
  4. after clear consensus is reached, move Generic topic to "(disambiguation)", select Primary topic


--William Allen Simpson 23:51, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

I think after multiple readings it makes sense, but let me just make sure I know what the deal is in less ambiguous terms. I'm going to use "Panda" for an example (It doesn't even matter what the actual status of the page is).

  1. The article called "Panda" is created.
  2. If a second article is created called "Panda (blue)", "Panda" would stay as it was, and a disambiguation link to "Panda (blue)" would be put at the top of "Panda".
  3. If more panda pages were created, "Panda" would be moved to "Panda (whatever)", and "Panda" would become the disambiguation page.
  4. If "Panda (whatever)" was voted on as the primary article, it would be moved back to "Panda" and the disambiguation page would go to "Panda (disambiguation)"

Yes? No? Did I just make everything more confusing, including confusing myself? -- Natalya 03:24, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

But step 3 might not go that way. If "Panda" was far and away the most popular article, it would not be moved just because of the third article, but would have its hatnote changed to {{otheruses}} to point to the new "Panda (disambiguation)" page, which would list the second and third article. Chris the speller 03:38, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. There would have to be a good faith argument that the original Panda article is not the best known use of the term or that some of the other uses are at least nearly as well known to cause confusion. It is a matter of balancing the ease of linking to the "primary" use (the element of least surprise) with ease of maintenance (i.e., fixing any mistaken links to the primary topic become more difficult). olderwiser 03:50, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Steps 3 and 4 should be switched. Almost always, what happens is an article becomes primary-topic, then others complain that their topic is just as significant, and the primary topic becomes the dab. I've seen this happen on dozens of pages. —Wahoofive (talk) 05:56, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps step three should read more like "If more panda pages were created, and there was discrepancy as to which was the primary page, "Panda" would be moved to "Panda (whatever)", and "Panda" would become the disambiguation page. Discussion would ensue." -- Natalya 12:29, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

While I bow to your long-standing experience, I think Natalya's description is correct. The problem with switching 3 and 4 is:

  • (A) the actual count of Generic topic pages at 97 percent versus 3 percent Primary topic pages show that most should not be Primary topic.
  • (B) move-revert-discuss (or "be bold" edit-revert-discuss) is a common cause of complaints and complications, and there are rather a large number of guidelines trying to prevent that very behaviour. Clearly, keeping the 3 and 4 order would assist in reaching consensus, as the default would be (as it is currently) disambiguation, and the Primary topic would be adopted only after discussion and consensus.
  • (C) moving the Primary out of the way and the "(disambiguation)" back into place as Generic (that is, 4 followed by 3) requires administrator status with history edits, while 3 followed by 4 does not.
  • (D) the historic language here — recently changed — that the disambiguation page would always be at "(disambiguation)" would not have this problem. It would be easy to edit "Panda" to redirect to either "Panda (marsupial)" as Primary topic or "Panda (disambiguation)" as Generic topic. Maybe that's why the earlier designers chose that method?
--William Allen Simpson 11:14, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Since there is clear consensus on 1 and 2, I revised "Disambiguation links" to be more explicit about those steps, and added subsection headers for clarity.

--William Allen Simpson 12:38, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

As I was perusing the text, I brought the consensus language from generic to primary, and expanded the language to:

When the primary meaning for a term or phrase is well-known (indicated by a majority of links in existing articles, and by consensus of the editors of those articles), then use that topic for the title of the main article, with a disambiguation link at the top. Where there is no such consensus, there is no primary topic page.

Strong enough emphasis on consensus?

--William Allen Simpson 14:01, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good - very clear. -- Natalya 17:18, 4 February 2006 (UTC)