Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation dos and don'ts

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What does this mean?[edit]

I can't figure this out. Can it be phrased more simply? Don’t add red links to articles that aren't already linked from articles (click on the "what links here" link under the toolbox on the left hand side to see if any article links to the red link). GeorgeLouis (talk) 04:20, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

The original version was "Don't add red links that wouldn't make good articles." It was changed last month to "Don’t add red links to articles that aren't already linked from articles" and then the current version. Station1 (talk) 04:58, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Then it is OK to add a red link (say, for example, Wurtlespurtle) to article Flibbygib provided Flibbygib has some articles already linked to it? Why? Why should it ever be OK to add a red link to any article, linked or otherwise? What purpose does this admonition serve? When would you want to do this? In confusion, your friend, GeorgeLouis (talk) 16:15, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

It meant "don't add (to disambiguation pages) red links that link to non-existant articles unless the red link is already linked from an article". I've tried to clarify it. -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:44, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

If there is an existing page somewhere in Wikipedia — say, for example, Inglewood, California — and that page has a link to Flibbygibby (architecture), then it is OK to add Flibbygibby (architecture) to the DAB on which you are working? Why would one want to do that? Why add a nonexistent link to a DAB page even though another editor somewhere else has added a nonexisting link on an existing, real page? I am just trying to see the reasoning behind this. Sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 17:26, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Red links are allowed in articles. No one's come up with a reason to disallow them on disambiguation pages, although we do have more restrictions: the red link has to be used somewhere else first. Do you have a reason why they shouldn't be used here? -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:43, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
Specifically, see WP:REDLINKS (read the intro for an overview). :) -- Quiddity (talk) 19:21, 27 August 2010 (UTC)


There seems to be two paradoxical sentences in this page. In the part "don't", it is written "Don't add entries without a blue link." It means we cannot add red links at all. On the other hand, the fourth sentence is "Don't add red links that aren't used in any articles." So we can add particular red links. Isn't it a paradox?Ali Pirhayati (talk) 09:53, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

The first sentence doesn't mean you cannot use red links at all. The guideline is that you can't add a red-linked entry unless there is also a useful blue link within that entry.--NapoliRoma (talk) 13:36, 12 July 2012 (UTC) what may need editing is the sentence: "Put exactly one link in each entry, at or near the start." Strictly speaking, that should be "exactly one blue link." I also think "at or near the start" is incorrect -- especially in the circumstance we're discussing.--NapoliRoma (talk) 13:40, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
The statement "Don't add entries without a blue link" does not exclude entries that also contain a red link. It only means that each entry should have a blue link. As NapoliRoma suggests, the more problematic statement is the one limiting entries to exactly one link without distinguishing between red or blue links. olderwiser 15:25, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
It was this edit that introduced the statement that is inconsistent with guidelines and practice. I am going to re-instate the previous language. olderwiser 15:29, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
Also, no paradoxes should be inferred from the information here. This is a handy dos-and-don'ts list, much abbreviated from the full guidelines. If something appears to be a paradox, we check to see what the actual guidelines say. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:55, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Something to the effect of...[edit]

"Keep subjective adjectives to an absolute minimum" perhaps? I don't have a problem with Mozart being described as famous, but much beyond that just leads to tears. - Richfife (talk) 23:25, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

That would seem to fall under "Keep descriptions short". Maybe that should link to MOS:DABENTRY ? --NapoliRoma (talk) 18:40, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

List of useful templates[edit]

I think this page should have a "See also" section filled with the names of templates useful for signaling that a disambiguation page has issues. For example templates like {{Only-two-dabs}}, {{dab page containing entries without blue link}}, {{dab page containing red link not used elsewhere}} or {{dab page containing references or external links}} (I guess such templates exist but I don't know where to find them or I don't have the time to search for them) and so on.

So it will be easy for the editors to find those useful templates, since this page (Wikipedia:Disambiguation dos and don'ts) is linked every time one edits a disambiguation page. —  Ark25  (talk) 14:56, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

The issues you see may be easily fixed: delete redlinks, add blue links, etc. No reason to proliferate bureaucracy. Also, lots of ugly cleanup templates will disturb the main purpose of disambig pages: ease of navigation. If you don't know how or have no time to fix, please put {{disambig-cleanup}} at the bottom, and people from WikiProject Disambiguation will fix it. -M.Altenmann >t 15:40, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
@Ark25: You're talking about Template:Disambig editintro right? Although I praise your assumption of good faith, I have doubts about the number of editors that actually read that edit intro. Therefore, @Swpb: the shortcut WP:DDD is also widely used in edit summaries when cleaning up a disambiguation page (e.g. by Boleyn), so I don't think that the entries which you removed today should be removed. Also, this is a page for instructing editors to do the basic things of editing a disambiguation page right themselves. Not a page to teach them how to let others fix their mistakes. IMHO, this is not the right place for a link to {{disambiguation-cleanup}}. -- LittleWink (talk) 19:28, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
I respectfully disagree. I created DDD with the intention of presenting only the most essential points, to avoid TL;DR syndrome. The full dab guideline is there to cover the less important details. In my experience, non-bulleted lists and entries ending in punctuation are not significant problems on dab pages, certainly not relative to the other points listed here. On the other hand, I do think it's appropriate to point to the cleanup tag; this is the only place most editors are likely to come across it, and it would be better for an editor who's not interested in doing the cleanup to tag the page, rather than do nothing. DDD applies to all dab edits; it's just as much about cleanup as it is about new entries. Swpbtalk 20:10, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
I am in process of checking about two thousand disambiguation pages if they exist and if they are complete. If they don't exist, I have to create them - example. If they are not complete, I have to add more items - example. About one third of them are Romanian Rivers, so I have to to the same on RO.WP too. Not only that, I have to place a lot of "See also" items for dab pages about words with the same roots, e.g. Corni River, on both Wikipedias. If I start to also cleanup the dab pages created by others or inter-relate the rivers, brooks, creeks and lakes, then the task would eat me an unfair amount of time that I don't have. So, unfortunately, I don't have the time to clean all the disambiguation pages that I come across. Having quick access to such cleanup tags (templates) might be quite useful.
By the way, the recent change of the Template:Disambig editintro page (pointing to this guide too) is a breath of fresh air! —  Ark25  (talk) 10:19, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

Don't include references ? !!!![edit]

It is quite reasonable to expect that references are included inside the disambiguated articles....but:

  • What happens if the articles are not yet created? How can anyone be sure that the red links are real and not the product of our imagination?
  • What happens if among the entries are descriptions which are valid, but not enough to constitute an article? Should these descriptions stay unreferenced, without verification?

Because of these reasons, I believe that we should rephrase it to «Don't include references for blue links». --FocalPoint (talk) 22:40, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Disambiguation pages are primarily navigational aides for existing content on Wikipedia. Just as Wikipedia is not a directory or an indiscriminate collection of trivia, disambiguation pages don't direct readers to content that is not covered in an existing articles. WP:DABMENTION and WP:DABRL provide relevant guidelines. olderwiser 22:55, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

So, when other encyclopedias and books contain several entries on historic persons, a few of which are one or two lines, your suggestion is that these entries should be discarded? I cannot agree to that, no matter how many shortcuts to guidelines you provide. There has to be another solution. If you want to name these pages something else than disambiguation, then so be it. I am open to suggestions. --FocalPoint (talk) 17:14, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

You can create articles or stubs for the entries yourself with appropriate references. Or you can find an article on a topic associated with the person or term and include a mention there with citation. The exclusion of references on disambiguation pages has been the accepted standard since very early in the project. If you wanted to change that standard, you'd need to raise the topic at Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation rather than here on the talk page of an abbreviated precis of that page. olderwiser 19:06, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your answer Bkonrad. I would need to invest a lot of energy to do that effectively, so I am just stating here my support to whoever will want to persuade the community to make reasonable exceptions to this agreement. Dear whoever, feel free to inform me if and when you raise the issue. --FocalPoint (talk) 19:56, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
This is the wrong place to raise your concern; as the header states, this page is merely a summary of the formal guideline, MOS:DAB. If you want to challenge the current consensus regarding references on dab pages, that's the place to do it – but as Bkonrad has explained, that consensus is quite firmly established (for good reason, IMO). What I might be willing to support would be the inclusion of a ref or two within an invisible comment (<!-- like this -->), which you can probably get away with already. But as Bkonrad pointed out, if you have refs, you might as well start a stub. Swpbtalk 15:15, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Fair enough, I have raised my concern there, where I hope that you will both comment. --FocalPoint (talk) 16:47, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

"Dab pages should be ridden and not remembered"[edit]

   That section title is my first cut at encapsulating what i fantasize might inspire inexperienced Dab editors to finish every Dab edit by tersifying; it might even be an ideal wording. My first thot was accompanying it by a photo of a ski jumper, or a Norman Rockwell illustration of two kids sledding off a hillside ramp they have built out of snow. Or on the other hand, perhaps a better metaphor is a teleportation booth, where effort and delay are as close to zero as imaginable.
--Jerzyt 20:37, 22 January 2016 (UTC)

That bizarre sentence might mean something to you, but it means nothing to anyone else. If you want to write an essay on your musings, go right ahead; this information page, however, will continue to reflect the applicable guidelines in clear, common language. —swpbT 14:19, 26 January 2016 (UTC)