Wikipedia talk:Links to disambiguating pages

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I am not certain that this is the right place for this discussion, but to me, anyway, it seems the best place.

There is a problem that it would seem that only I have worried about, and whenever I've tried to do something about it, my efforts have come undone by others. So I am asking what should be dome.

To nobody but myself, it seems, has it occurred that someone might want to use Wikipedia to find the answer to the question, "What places named {placename} are there in the world?" My first idea would be to make every page with the title of some place without a state, province, or country name be a disambiguation page. This seems not to be acceptable to the consensus, however: They have decided that if one place with the given name is more widely known than all the others, instead of a disambiguation there should be a redirect. (I hate that idea, but as I don't control Wikipedia, I have to live with it.) This causes a number of problems, two of which concern me most:

  1. Who decides whether there is a single most widely known place of a name? I got into some pretty heated discussions with some of the Wikipedians about Saint Petersburg, and I am still not convinced that the place is Florida is so much less significant than the one in Russia, especially since for all but the last 10 years of most of our lives the Russian city wasn't even named St. Petersburg! There are also some Britannophiles (or perhaps merely Britons) who insist that the most obscure places in Britain take precedence over bigger, better-known places in the former colonies.
  2. It means that when you go to Springfield you get a nice clear disambiguation list, but if there happens to be one particularly famous city of the name, as in the case of Paris, you are out of luck and have to go to a different page, Paris (disambiguation). I tried to remedy the consequences of this by putting entries like Dallas in the "Wikipedia:Links to disambiguating pages" article, but some others decided that that page is only for pointing to orphans and deleted those entries. So nobody can even be aware that these disambiguation pages exist except by accident, by going to Paris or Dallas and hitting the link pointer.

I propose making another page, possibly called "Multiple-place names" (or some other such), which would link to all the disambiguation pages, whether those like Springfield or those like Dallas, so one can find them all. But before I actually do it, I'd like some agreement that it would be allowed to remain so my efforts would not all be canceled out by the first Wikipedian who doesn't think it's necessary.

Of course, this would de-orphanize all the pages like Springfield, so they would probably be removed from Wikipedia:Links to disambiguating pages, but that might be a good thing, making that page smaller and less difficult to navigate.

Would the others let me do this?

A separate article for "Multiple-place names" is not likely to solve anything. It would lead to a whole new problem when the ambiguity also involves a usage for something that is not a place name.
Although I find the [name (disambiguation)] format with a disambiguation block useful in some cases, I also believe that it should be used sparingly and exceptionally. IMOH it is an appropriate solution for Paris, but not for Dallas. The latter should appear on the links page. Eclecticology 16:33 Sep 20, 2002 (UTC)


The decision whether there is a single "most important" use of a given placename (or rather, of a given word - there is more to disambiguate than placenames) is made on a one-by-one basis by whoever gets to it. If I am the one who does so (which happens quite often since I do a lot of work in the 'making the links avoid disambiguation' category), I go mostly by the criterium of simply counting the numbers of links (I don't really count, but it is the criterium I go by). If there is roughly an equal number of links, (like two third of one, one third of the other) I will create a disambiguation page. If one meaning is much more linked to (like ten times as much), I will create a page with disambiguation block. This is the case with St. Petersburg - the Russian city has about seventy links (not counting links to 'Leningrad' or 'Petrograd', but counting links to 'St. Petersburg' 'Petersburg' etc.), the Floridan one about 7.

The problem with this is that I suspect there may be one person with a strong interest in Russian history who put in the articles with links to St. Petersburg. If a Floridian had done it (as I built a lot of articles about the two states where I've lived most of my life, New York and Maryland), all of a sudden you might finf 20 links to the one in Florida! Check out the number of links to various cities in New York State -- most put in from articles I'de written about counties in New York -- BRG
This is exactly why a format like [X (disambiguation)] should be used sparingly. Using the ratios as described above is based on a snapshot at one point in time, that may depend only on there having been a knowledgeable person availability. There will always be some randomness to just what subjects are treated.

As for the plan to make such a list of cities - I won't stop you, but I absolutely do not see what is the use of it. You'll create a lot of work for yourself, and for very little use - if you want to know about cities called 'Dallas', going to the 'Dallas' page and clicking on the disambiguation link is not really much more complicated than going to the 'list of city names' page and clicking on 'Dallas'. Andre Engels

Well, seeing how many others besides myself have added to this since I made it, it seems others have disagreed that it's not useful! -- BRG 10/8

Also, if you only add in multiple-place names, people need to know first whether there is one city of a name or more, before they know where to check what cities there are. Seems like a backward way to do things. So I guess the only way to do it right is to do all cities on alphabetical order. Which is a laudable thing to do, but an extremely large amount of work. Andre Engels

Removing Ada from the list gives rise to just what I expected. That disambiguation page also shows other uses for the name that aren't place names. I don't object to these being put on the other list, but if there is any other non-place-name use it should remain on this list. Eclecticology 17:56 Sep 22, 2002 (UTC)
I don't see why. As far as I can see, this list has two functions:
  1. Make sure disambiguation pages are not orphans.
  2. Help in creating the Wikipedia:Disambiguation pages with links page.
Both of these functions are resolved by having them on the cities page as well. So what use would there then be to have them here as well? Andre Engels
Perhaps this is where I agree with your original view that no purpose is served by splitting off the cities. Continuing with Ada as an example, if I want to add Ada County, Idaho there is clearly no problem with the place-name list, but if I am about to write up the four movies titled "Ada" I would look for it on the main list. There is some degree of need to make things easier for the contributors, or they just won't do it. Eclecticology 19:34 Sep 22, 2002 (UTC)
Well, I just want to go back to my original argument against splitting off a city list here - there are easier ways to do this kind of thing than checking the city list, or this list. If you want to add Ada County, you go to the Ada page, and then you will notice what is there. That has the huge advantage that it also works if Ada is not a disambiguation page. What's won by looking at this page first? Either you check here, find a link to Ada and use it, or you check here, find no link to Ada, and go to the Ada page. Why not go to 'Ada' immediately? Andre Engels 06:53 Sep 23, 2002 (UTC)

In an unrelated issue, I've been finding the respons of the Links page getting more sluggish (probably because of the large number of links that it contains). I propose to begin splitting this one up by single letters or groups of letters unless somebody has strong objections. Eclecticology 16:33 Sep 20, 2002 (UTC)

No strong objections, but it would make the database query for Wikipedia:Disambiguation pages with links much more complicated. Andre Engels

Because the splitting off of place names has relieved the sluggishness that concerned me, I can put my proposal on hold for the near future. Eclecticology 17:56 Sep 22, 2002 (UTC)

I was looking at the maintenance page of links to disambiguating pages, and made particular note of the South Holland page. It is listed on the Links to disambiguating pages, but the South Holland is not a Disambiguating page in the strict sense. Instead, it is a substantive page with a disambiguating link to a small US town as a secondary use. I considered simply removing South Holland from the list, but began to wonder whether we should have a separate page to list pages with this type of disambiguator. These dominant usages tend to have a lot of links to them, and moving them away would make the maintenance page more useful. Eclecticology 20:46 Nov 2, 2002 (UTC)

could somebody explain to us exactly what to do, one step at a time what we are supposed to do to have a page registrered as a desambuigation page. We can't succeed to have one automatically listed on the Tips ? user:anthere

AFAIK, this page is updated manually. Jeronimo
I think it is, but surely the list of pages appears automatically in the special page, no ? It doesnot in our case...
Which special page? Jeronimo

this one [1] (dont know whether that work)

Aha. I guess that one just picks the links from this page and checks them. The name of the page should maybe be changed for the; you should probably ask a developer for more details. Jeronimo

ok, maybe that's a link to fix. This is surprising though because that part hasnot been translated, and all the other maintenance page work fine. I ll ask Brion, thanks for your help --ant

I changed the internal link from "Wikipedia:Links_to_disambiguating_pages" to "Wikipédia:Links_to_disambiguating_pages"; while "Wikipedia" and "Wikipédia" are equivalent in the interface, that special function bypasses regular channels and check the value directly against the database, so it has to appear exactly in the canonical form. Seems to be working now. --Brion 20:37 Nov 10, 2002 (UTC)

May we add pages such as Georgia? Even though it's in the multiple place names list, it would probably be most useful here as well. In this case, we would need to re-write the introduction. -- User:Docu

I will re-word the introduction accordingly. -- User:Docu

What do you mean by it being "useful" here? Since we have a page specifically for place names, putting pages here that are only place names would only lead to duplication and confusion about what the roles of the separate pages are. What does anyone gain from this? Your rewording doesn't make anything clearer to me. -- Oliver P. 04:25 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

As not all multiple-place names are disambiguation pages (e.g. Independence) and even for those that are, none is generating a Wikipedia:Multi-place_names_with_links, it might be preferable to include disambiguation pages (like Georgia) needing regular checks.
If the there is a need to speed up the query, we could move disambiguation pages including "(disambiguation)" in the title, as people are not likely to link there without wanting to be ambigous.

Oh, I see what you mean - you want Georgia and other commonly linked-to disambiguation pages to show up in the automatically generated page Wikipedia:Disambiguation pages with links. That makes sense. Thanks for the explanation. I'll reword the page to explain that... -- Oliver P. 06:55 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Thank you for the rewording.
If the new people with the same name gets somewhere, we might want to include it as well.
BTW we could replace the suggested disambiguation notice with the shorter one from Wikipedia:Disambiguation.
-- User:Docu

Ah! That looks like a useful page. But are you suggesting that we then wouldn't need to put all the people in Wikipedia:Links to disambiguating pages? If so, that would further weaken the value of the automatically generated link-detection page. And if not, it would double the workload of people who make disambiguation pages for people: they would have to add the links to two pages instead of just one. So I have mixed feelings about the value of that page, to be honest.

Oh, and as for the disambiguation notices, I quite like the longer version. I'm quite a fan of excessive verbiage. :) Hmm, but now that I come to think of it, the current version might be excessively excessive. I'll think about that... -- Oliver P. 08:06 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

The introduction would simply suggest to add the pages to Multiple-person name as well. Wikipedia:Multiple-person name is independent of the current structure of the articles, thus it can be used in addition to this page and to fine tune other references, like on List of people by name.
If the disambiguation pages are more or less consistent, a query like [2] could easily replace Wikipedia:Links to disambiguating pages. Possibly, linking the notice to Wikipedia:This is a disambiguation page instead of disambiguation would facilitate things. User:Docu

I see, I see... It could be a useful page, in that case, although it will mean more work, keeping it up to date... And I have another question: are "multiple-place names" and "multiple-person name" good English? They sound quite strange to me. But I can't think of a better way of expressing the ideas that don't take at least six words each to express... No, hang on, why not Wikipedia:Non-unique place names and Wikipedia:Non-unique personal names? -- Oliver P. 09:15 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

A good question. I tried to name the people list similar to the place names-list. As it sounds a bit like "multiple personalities", I was already thinking about renaming it to Wikipedia:List of people with the same name. As the list is for the names, not for the articles about the different persons, I actually prefer your suggestion. --User:Docu.
I renamed the personal name list as per your suggestion. BTW: is the notice on TVA too short? --User:Docu

Why do articles like Hermes (disambiguation) need to be listed here? It's not an orphan since it's linked from Hermes and it isn't likely to accumulate accidental links ( 16:05 19 Jul 2003 (UTC)

They are disambiguation pages, that's why they are listed, but I agree, they could easily be removed or listed on a separate page, as there is no use to look for accidental links to those. -- User:Docu

Pulling Bill of Rights from this list. While it could be considered a disambiguation page for US Bill of Rights, British Bill of Rights, etc, it is also an article in its own right. I will go back and clean up the links using what links here so that the ones exclusively referring to the US Bill of Rights go straight there but I think this article is no longer a disambiguation page. Rossami 16:58, 24 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Just a cosmetic question, but should this page used piped links so that the "(disambiguation)" suffix is suppressed? It looks kind of odd. If no-one objects I can sweep through and remove them. Phil 08:39, Oct 31, 2003 (UTC)

I had removed them as it's not w/o importance if Rome is listed or Rome (disambiguation). Besides, I don't think we need the page for pages that already have "(disambiguation)" in the title. -- User:Docu
BTW, by removing Chicago (disambiguation), I meant deleting it from this list rather than replacing it with Chicago. The later would mess up (or help fine tune) the next refresh of Wikipedia:Disambiguation pages with links. -- User:Docu
I recently removed pages with "(disambiguation)" again, as we already have "Wikipedia:Links to (disambiguation) pages" preventing them from becoming orphans, plus any links to those explicit titles are supposed to be deliberate. --Zigger 18:39, 2004 May 6 (UTC)

See Wikipedia talk:Links to disambiguating pages/unsorted about Wikipedia:Links to disambiguating pages/unsorted . -- User:Docu

I removed Joseph Shearin from the list because it had been deleted. It wasn't a disambiguation page and as far as I can tell never had been. --rbrwrˆ 22:14, 15 May 2004 (UTC)

Slow page loading - page split?[edit]

The article page is very slow to load for me (usually a minute or more), when it's not cached by my browser. What about the possibility of splitting up this page? Will splitting up this page cause problems for system scripts? RedWolf 17:28, May 22, 2004 (UTC)

I'd like to go ahead and split this page. Any objections? Kevyn 02:18, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)
OK, since there have been no objections, I am going to start the process of splitting this page. Kevyn 11:52, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)


I've raised the idea of using categories to fill most of the role of this page over at Wikipedia_talk:Disambiguation#Disambiguation_category. I don't know whether being in a category will be enough to keep an article from being listed as an orphan, but if not then I imagine it'll be fairly straightforward to maintain this page using the disambiguation category listing. Bryan 15:38, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

Why the "Recent Additions" section?[edit]

What is the reason a "Recent Additions" section was added to the end, instead of simply adding the new entries in with the existing ones?

Is there any reason they should not be folded in to the alphabetical listings? Kevyn 03:21, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Since there were no responses to my question of "why the Recent Additions Section," I have started the process of folding the resent additions into the main body. Kevyn 18:02, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Bryan Derksen Finished merging all of the ones I hadn't got to yet. Bryan, you rock! Kevyn 12:06, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)

'Hispanic' in census data[edit]

Could the person who loads U.S. Census data please see my comment in Talk:Hispanic at "Disambiguation in census data". m.e. 08:04, 20 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Disambiguation template[edit]

Are there any disambiguation templates that would inform a/any knowledgeable editor that a link on a certain article needs to be specified more directly? What I mean specifically is a template that would be inserted onto a certain talk pages or at the top of an actual article. Jaberwocky6669 05:33, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)


On 5 April 2005, this article was nominated for deletion. The result was keep. See Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Links to disambiguating pages for a record of the discussion. – ABCD 00:23, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)