Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Disambiguation pages

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WikiProject Manual of Style
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Where to list "items appearing within other items"[edit]

The recommended order for entries within a section (MOS:DABORDER) offers no guidance on where to put topics only mentioned within other articles (MOS:DABMENTION). The location seemed straightforward to me, they go last. They aren't important enough to have their own articles, so a reader is less likely to be looking for them. But someone objected to this. Where do people think they should go then? Dan Bloch (talk) 07:23, 17 August 2019 (UTC)

There's possibly a distinction to make between red links with a blue link, which should certainly be listed where the red link would be found in the sequence - suppose there was a Moss, Xyz county, California, to go along with the examples shown: it ought to be in the logical sequence alongside Moss, Monterey County, California - and entries which don't have a red link but list the term in plain text. But I lean towards including even this latter group in the main sequence within their section: the reader looking for the information doesn't know in advance whether or not we've got an article, all they know is their search term, and we should make it as easy as possible for them to find the information we have. The reader isn't looking for "What have we got on things called 'moss;?" (in which case it might make sense to put minor entries at the end), they are looking for their specific topic. PamD 07:38, 17 August 2019 (UTC)

Format for linking to a section of a disambiguation page[edit]

WP:INTDABLINK states that the correct form for an intentional link from a disambiguation page to another disambiguation page is to include '(disambiguation)', but if the title already includes parentheses (For You (song)), the result looks ridiculous (For You (song)(disambiguation)). I realize that For You (song) is a redirect itself, but it seemed a logical choice for the See also section of A Song for You (disambiguation) (added here). I changed it to [[For You (disambiguation)#Songs|"For You" (song)]], so that it's at least going through the '(disambiguation)' form, but it doesn't really solve the problem because it doesn't show the '(disambiguation)'. I have seen this with other incomplete disambiguation titles as well, so it would be nice to be consistent. Here are the possibilities that I come up with, and they all seem to have issues.

Leschnei (talk) 12:56, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

How about For You (disambiguation) § Songs? This is the format used if a raw section link is placed in a hatnote, e.g. {{See also|For You (disambiguation)#Songs}}. Nick Number (talk) 15:16, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
That's definitely better - I forgot about the '§'. Thanks. Leschnei (talk) 17:46, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

Move fast and break things motto[edit]

I've got a situation where Move fast and break things was created as a disambiguation to Mark Zuckerberg and a book of the same title by Jonathan Taplin. However, per MOS:DABMENTION, the motto is not mentioned either at Zuckerberg's article or Facebook's article. After confirming it was indeed an internal motto https://www.businessinsider.com/mark-zuckerberg-on-facebooks-new-motto-2014-5 , I have redirected this to Facebook and created Move Fast and Break Things (book). The book is not as notable as the quote. Question now is whether a hatnote on Facebook is necessary or is it good enough to leave it as such? AngusWOOF (barksniff) 17:31, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

I added a sentence about the motto being changed in 2014. I don't know if it will take on the main Facebook page, but I added a note from their talk page to come to here to discuss. AngusWOOF (barksniff) 18:31, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
  • You shouldn't redirect to an article where the quote isn't even mentioned. And the book merits a link, as having a title and being in the author's article. I'd favour a dab page at the phrase, with entries for the book (using the newly-created redirect), and for Facebook ... but only after the quote has been mentioned, sourced, in the Facebook article. Hmm, looking at it, the book could do with appearing in the author's article in a "Selected publications" section, and appearing with ISBN etc, not just a mention in last para of lead. PamD 18:00, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
PamD, I originally redirected it to the author's article since that was the only one that had a mention, but the creating editor Reseletti, complained that it wasn't right. Should I point it back to the author's article? Should I mention that the book was named after the Facebook motto? AngusWOOF (barksniff) 18:21, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I've re-created the dab page, having expanded the mention of the book in the author's article, and now that the motto gets a mention in the Facebook article. PamD 23:32, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
And have expanded the mention of the motto in the Facebook article - maybe it belongs in Zuckerberg's article? It's got a redirect which could be retargetted if the content gets moved. PamD 23:48, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
PamD, thanks! Looks better now. I haven't seen his motto used on his other businesses besides Facebook. AngusWOOF (barksniff) 23:56, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

Promoting highly salient entries to the top of the list within a section (or "likelihood sorting")[edit]

I was looking at One More Time, and was thinking that One More Time (Daft Punk song) should be at the top of the list in the "Songs" section, since it gets more page views than any other song with that name, by a wide margin (it actually gets the most views of any title match on the whole dab page). I thought this was a normal practice with dab pages, but was surprised to find it's not mentioned in MOS:DABORDER, though it's also not explicitly ruled out, and could maybe be justified by the wording entries should be ordered to best assist the reader in finding their intended article.

So I wanted to double-check here - is putting highly salient articles at the top within a group to aid navigation a widely accepted practice? I did a bit of digging through history and found that there was previously some text explicitly mentioning this as a possibility:

Within each group within a section, and within each non-subdivided section, entries should be ordered to best assist the reader in finding their intended article. This might mean in decreasing order of likelihood as user's target, alphabetically, chronologically, or geographically, not to the exclusion of other methods.

The bolded text was removed in August 2015 by Swpb. One of their edit summaries from the series of edits said "See talk", but I couldn't find a discussion of this specific issue in the archives. I think this is the discussion they were referring to, but it's about ordering of geographic entries, and doesn't talk about the "likelihood" criterion. Swpb, if you can remember any of this, do you recall whether your intention in removing that text was to reflect that there was consensus against ordering by likelihood, or was it just a matter of trimming extra verbiage that went without saying?

I went a bit further back in the history and found that that "likelihood as user's target" text had been there for at least a couple years, though I didn't attempt to pinpoint exactly when it was added. Colin M (talk) 23:51, 3 October 2019 (UTC)

The matter of "likelihood as user's target" is covered in the section MOS:DABORDER, bullet 2. Now, editors differ on how high the "significantly more likely" bar should be, and specific requirements have never been established. To my mind, it's very easy for readers to recognize that a list is alphabetical or chronological, and use that to get to their target. Interrupting that ordering may help readers who are looking for that "high likelihood" article, but it hurts readers who are looking for any of the other articles in the section, as they now can't trust that there is a straightforward ordering scheme. Thus, for me, the bar of significance is pretty high – but if one entry gets more views than the rest of the section combined, it probably meets the bar. I haven't looked into the specific dab page you're talking about, but that's my general thinking. —swpbT • go beyond • bad idea 13:38, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
I've always thought the "significantly more likely" bar was pretty high, and usually applied to cases where there are 2 or more highly salient topics vying for primary-ness.
I agree in theory that sorting alphabetically or chronologically should make it easier to find an arbitrary item in the list (because you can do a sort of binary search). But in practice, I wonder how many readers who look at a particular group will realize that it's sorted and take advantage of that fact. Going back to the One More Time § Songs example, I didn't realize it was alphabetically sorted until I was partway through editing it. (In this case, it's hard to visually grok because, e.g. "(HammerFall song)" is sorted before "(Benjamin Ingrosso song)", which is perfectly proper, but kind of disguises the sort order if you're quickly scanning the list). I also think any potential benefit of alpha/chronological sort vanishes for small lists (no more than 4 or 5 items, say), since the reader can just scan the full list from top to bottom in less time than it would take them to figure out the sort order and try to exploit it. Colin M (talk) 14:35, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
If you're going to promote an entry, I'd advise including an in-line comment to ward off other editors seeing things are out of proper order and fixing it. -- Fyrael (talk) 16:31, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
It's true that the number of entries is a factor, and that surname-based sorting makes an alpha scheme harder to spot. I think we're on the same page. —swpbT • go beyond • bad idea 17:20, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, by the time the dab is long enough for sections and the entry isn't common enough to be at the top before any sections, it's usually best IMO to sort it as appropriate for the section (and for songs, that seems to be alpha by artist for songs with links, then alpha by artist for songs with mentions). -- JHunterJ (talk) 00:58, 8 October 2019 (UTC)

Remove "link to Wiktionary" recommendation[edit]

The MoS page said:

Avoid adding foreign words or phrases that are merely translations of an English term. For example, do not include:

Instead, consider linking to Wiktionary.

I've removed the recommendation to link to Wiktionary, as a bold change to be reverted if there is disagreement. I don't see that something like

  • [[wikt:tambo|Tambo]], a Japanese word (田んぼ) for rice paddy rendering as:
  • Tambo, a Japanese word (田んぼ) for rice paddy

makes any more sense than the original. ("Tambo" is a bad example as it's not even in Wiktionary as Japanese, but you see what I mean.)

Best wishes, Pol098 (talk) 17:21, 27 October 2019 (UTC)

I don't think your scenario above (adding a bullet point explaining the meaning and linking to wiktionary) is what was intended by that wording. The text linked to the Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Disambiguation pages § Linking to Wiktionary section, which talks about using the {{Wiktionary}} template to create a little floating box linking to wiktionary. This is the approach that most dab pages take (and is even used currently on Tambo). Since it seems like the removal may have been based on a misunderstanding of the text, I'm going to revert it for now (but happy to continue the discussion). Colin M (talk) 14:51, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
If that line is meant to refer to the usual wiktionary link(s) at top of page, then it seems like it still doesn't belong in the section about foreign language terms. -- Fyrael (talk) 18:54, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
Could you elaborate? Are you saying we shouldn't link to wiktionary for foreign language terms, or just that the advice about doing so doesn't belong in the § Foreign languages section? I would agree that we shouldn't link to wiktionary for all names that also happen to be foreign terms, but I think it's appropriate in cases where the foreign term is strongly associated with the word, especially if many of the entries on the dab page relate to that foreign meaning (e.g. ichiban, gato, soleil) Colin M (talk) 21:45, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
I'm saying the suggestion to add the wiktionary links belongs where it already is, in its own section, and that this additional suggestion doesn't serve much purpose except to confuse people. An editor reading the foreign language section is most likely trying to add to an established disambiguation page (unless they're creating one, in which case they presumably read the section on wiktionary links), which is already going to have a link to wiktionary since it's standard, so they don't need to add anything to the page. -- Fyrael (talk) 13:55, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
It seems useful enough to me. I don't think it's true that an extant dab page will always have a wiktionary link. It's not that hard to find dab pages that could have wiktionary links but don't. And while I definitely think it's important to avoid WP:BLOAT, a 5 word sentence seems pretty cheap. Colin M (talk) 16:29, 30 October 2019 (UTC)

If some entries in a particular section are placed in a subsection, should they all be in subsections?[edit]

For example, which of the following is acceptable/preferable?

A B C
Music
  • Foo (band)
Albums
  • Foo (W album)
  • Foo (X album)
  • Foo (Y album)
  • Foo (Z album)
Songs
  • Foo (A song)
  • Foo (B song)
  • Foo (C song)
  • Foo (D song)
Music
Albums
  • Foo (W album)
  • Foo (X album)
  • Foo (Y album)
  • Foo (Z album)
Songs
  • Foo (A song)
  • Foo (B song)
  • Foo (C song)
  • Foo (D song)
Bands
  • Foo (band)
Music
Albums
  • Foo (W album)
  • Foo (X album)
  • Foo (Y album)
  • Foo (Z album)
Songs
  • Foo (A song)
  • Foo (B song)
  • Foo (C song)
  • Foo (D song)
Other uses in music
  • Foo (band)
Examples in the wild: CPD#Organizations, Europa, Eve_(disambiguation)#Film_and_television, BE#Acronyms_and_codes Examples in the wild: Down#Music, Enterprise#Newspapers, Hole_(disambiguation)#Music Examples in the wild: Extension#Mathematics, DA#Science_and_technology, Etna, Union

(And does your opinion change if these are instead level 3/4 headings, inside a level 2 "Arts and entertainment" heading? Or if we change the number/size of the "Music" subsections?)

MOS:DABGROUPING would seem to suggest that C is preferred: Entries which do not fit neatly into any section should be placed in an "Other uses" section or subsection, at the bottom of the page or section. Though in the same para it says: Uncategorized entries should never be left at the top of the page, with the exception of one or two primary topics as stated above. Notably, it doesn't say "at the top of the page or section" (though the explanatory supplement WP:LONGDAB does go that extra step).

Having spent some time thinking about this, looking at the policy, and browsing a bunch of dab pages, it seems like C is somewhat more widely used than A or B, and has the strongest policy support. But I still have a slight personal preference for A specifically in the case where the enclosing section just has one subsection (not counting "Other uses"), or just a couple of small subsections (especially if the "Other uses" bucket is just 1 or 2 items). (For the "examples in the wild" of column C, I cherry-picked some examples along these lines, where I might have been inclined not to do an "other" subsection.)

I'm curious what others think. Is A (mixing leaf nodes and subtrees) ever acceptable? If not, should the wording at MOS:DABGROUPING be tweaked to "Uncategorized entries should never be left at the top of the page or section"? Colin M (talk) 18:55, 2 November 2019 (UTC)