Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Disambiguation pages/Archive 39

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Archive 35 Archive 37 Archive 38 Archive 39 Archive 40 Archive 41 Archive 42


Piping for clarity

I was recently editing Black swan (disambiguation), and in addition to adding an entry I rewrote some links to include more significant piping in the attempt to avoid lines like:

which seems redundant to the point of being less clear than the more aggressively piped version:

I thought that I was interpreting #MOSDAB correctly (even until a few minutes ago), but having re-read it, I'm not so sure. I'm absolutely convinced that the latter version is more clear, and makes the entire page more legible, but I'm not out to run against the grain on this. The given example of Moment seems fine, as does Black Swan (album), but the links with parenthetical content repeated more clearly in the description seem like they're working against the intended purpose of easy disambiguation. Clarification on this matter would be welcome. JamesLucas (" " / +) 02:34, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

In that case, it would seem like all you need is The Black Swan (Bert Jansch album). That itself will explain enough for the typical searcher. bd2412 T 03:18, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
That seems reasonable, if not elegant (in terms of punctuation). It's definitely preferable to the redundancy. JamesLucas (" " / +) 03:44, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

BD, did you mean to put the whole string in Italics, including the part in parentheses? I believe that line should read as follows:
The Black Swan (Bert Jansch album)
In other words, the Italics should be around only the actual title, and only in the piped section, yes? --Auntof6 (talk) 06:41, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Oops, yes - meant that no additional explanation is required beyond the link title itself. bd2412 T 01:27, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Introductory-lines template

I ran across {{Refer}} (and Cat-tagged it). Its creation and use seem to me to warrant the opportunity for discussion here.
--Jerzyt 17:39, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Seems similar to the ones in Category:Disambiguation lead templates. Pretty useless and an unnecessary complication as far as I'm concerned. I change them all to plain wikimarkup when I come across them. olderwiser 19:36, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

red-link policy change or not

In this edit, an editor changed statement of policy about disambiguation pages having red-links. I reverted the edit with summary directing to discuss here.

The policy change suggested would have effect of outlawing disambiguation pages having only one bluelink article and otherwise having redlink items. I oppose that proposed policy change because it would outlaw many disambiguation pages covering U.S. NRHP-listed places which were created fairly under existing policy. These disambiguation pages all cover multiple wikipedia-notable places having the same name. Redlinks are explicitly allowed in MOS:DABRL and other guidelines and past discussions. Please update me if this has been discussed somewhere, but I certainly oppose an undiscussed policy change that would affect many articles. doncram (talk) 01:22, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

We should, as a matter of common sense, permit redlinks for inherently notable topics (such as NRHP listed places, national legislators, etc.) on the grounds that the entries are needed and will eventually be made. bd2412 T 01:30, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
And again, not that this applies to NHRP entries, since they should have blue links, but: as a matter of common sense, the disambiguation guidelines disallow red links without blue links for notable topics on the grounds that the needed entries can easily be made when the needed-but-ambiguous articles are created. Future Wikipedia articles are disambiguated by future dab edits; current disambiguation pages disambiguate only current Wikipedia articles, common sensically. (Unrelated to whether the guidelines make more logical sense in the order that I tried to put them in.) -- JHunterJ (talk) 02:28, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm the "an editor" above. The edit linked did not actually change any policy; it merely put the guidelines in a more logical (IMO) place. The guidelines before and after say the same thing. The guidelines did and do guide against having disambiguation pages without ambiguous Wikipedia articles to disambiguate. However, that has little effect on the NHRP-related dabs; the entries thereon all have blue links, either as the entry or in the description. The edit was not aimed at those pages, nor at any other pages, because (again) the edit did not actually change the meaning of the guidelines. -- JHunterJ (talk) 01:47, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

I agree with JHunterJ.... there was no policy change here. Dlabtot (talk) 02:15, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Indeed. All he did was reorganize the material. There was no substantial change to the existing guidelines.--ShelfSkewed Talk 03:24, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I was a bit confused. I see now that JHunterJ's edit merely moved the passage that i focused on; it did not add the passage I questioned ("A disambiguation page should not be made up completely of red links or have only one blue link on the entire page, because the basic purpose of disambiguation is to refer users to other Wikipedia pages.") In between the addition and the deletion of that in different spots, it also changed a different passage (the one saying "If the only pages that use the red link are disambiguation pages, unlink the entry word but still keep a blue link in the description", which I don't happen to understand, but don't need to).
I appreciate that JHunterJ is not aiming at the NRHP disambiguation pages, thanks for clarifying. However, I disagree with JHunterJ's summary statement above, that "Future Wikipedia articles are disambiguated by future dab edits; current disambiguation pages disambiguate only current Wikipedia articles, common sensically." The wording seems imprecise to me, because in fact it would not be common-sensical to delete disambiguation pages that have been set up to disambiguate between same-name known-to-be-wikipedia-notable topics, where currently there exists only one article, but where the others will be created eventually.
In the end, I remain concerned about the existing language, wherever it is placed. Technically I see you can read it to say that the NRHP pages I am concerned about are already excluded (because the NRHP redlink entries indeed do or should already include an explanatory, secondary bluelink). It seems though it could easily be interpreted to apply against these NRHP dab pages where there is just one primary bluelink. However, I am not familiar with the other issues that may pertain here, and don't have a better wording suggestion myself, and I don't have specific knowledge of any misunderstandings being created, so I guess the existing language can stand. Thanks! doncram (talk) 05:50, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
About the middle paragraph: It would still be common-sensical to delete disambiguation pages that have been set up to disambiguate between same-name known-to-be-Wikipedia-notable topics, where currently there exists only one article, but where the others will be created eventually -- because the idea of "known-to-be-Wikipedia-notable" is indeterminate. One editor's idea of WP-notable may not be consensus. If the editor pursues the common-sensical course and creates the possibly notable article (even as a stub), then the other guidelines of notability, etc., can be applied and consensus reached, and then as long as there exists the ambiguous Wikipedia page add it to the disambiguation page. If instead this policy were changed to allow that common-sensical approach to be reversed, then other editors would point to it when they added non-notable entries to disambiguation pages when no articles are or could be eminent. Disambiguation pages disambiguate Wikipedia articles, and we should trust the future Wikipedia to take care of itself. -- JHunterJ (talk) 10:58, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

The Daily Disambig

Some readers of this page may be interested in Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation pages with links/Archive 12#Introducing "The Daily Disambig". --R'n'B (call me Russ) 19:34, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Jefferson County example

The Jefferson County example in the article does not make sense to me. If there were only one Jefferson County, it should not appear on the Jefferson disambiguation page (according to the example) but since there is more than one Jefferson County, the Jefferson County disambiguation page gets listed on the Jefferson disambiguation page. Either we want Jefferson County listed or we don't, how many of them there are should make no difference. SpinningSpark 00:47, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

I agree, if I understand your point correctly, that it doesn't make sense to say that Jefferson should not link to an article called Jefferson County, but it should link to a disambiguation page, if one exists, that lists multiple articles called "Jefferson County." And that does seem to be what MOS:DP#Examples of individual entries that should not be created currently says to do. Propaniac (talk) 02:53, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I would list either on the "See also" section of the dab (as related dab or partial-title match). -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:20, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
If that's what the practice is, then the guideline should say "partial matches should be placed in a 'see also' section". Saying not to include partial matches is very confusing if we are actually including them, but not in the main body. I'm not arguing for this one way or the other, but it should be made clear what is required. SpinningSpark 14:02, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
As with other partial title matches, this is dealt with by the exception provided for in MOS:DP#Examples of individual entries that should not be created: The above does not apply if the subject is commonly referred to simply by Title. For instance, Oxford (disambiguation) should link University of Oxford and Catalina might include Santa Catalina Island, California. If there is disagreement about whether this exception applies, it is often best to assume that it does. If there is only one Foo County and it is reasonable that some might at times refer to it as simply "Foo" then it belongs on the dab page. If there are a dozen articles named Foo County, they need a separate disambiguation page which can be linked to from the Foo page to avoid duplication. olderwiser 14:58, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
But hold up, the page is specifically citing Foo County as an example of partial matches that should not be linked. You might be right that Foo County is often referred to as just Foo (I don't know if that's true, it doesn't arise in the UK because county names generally do not have "county" in them) but that just makes it a bad example. The point is it should not be saying that partial matches should not be listed for one occurence, but list the dab page for multiple occurences. That is just not consistent. SpinningSpark 18:38, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, there is inconsistency. Personally, I've never thought that particular list of individual entries that should not be created was very useful precisely because exceptions are so commonly made for exactly the types of entries in the list. Surely there are better examples of partial matches that would better illustrate the principle. olderwiser 18:48, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
There are two things here;
  1. it's a bad example
  2. it's telling the reader to do the wrong thing even if it had a good example
It must be wrong since it instructs two contradictory things. Whichever you believe is right, the other must be wrong. That's ground for deleting it right now, someone can put a good example in later. SpinningSpark 20:48, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree; I don't like that list of examples, either. (Actually, I thought the standard was to include Foo County, however many there are, at Foo (disambiguation); apparently I'm just so used to seeing those "exceptions" I thought it was the rule. I also recall getting confused in the past by how I'm supposed to treat Foo Township.) Foo University also seems to me to be an especially bad example, because I'd be surprised if there's any Foo University or Foo College that isn't routinely referred to as just "Foo".
Whenever I refer to that section, it's always because a user wants to add something like Pulp Fiction (film) to Pulp (disambiguation), or The Magician's Nephew to Magician (disambiguation). Can't we just use examples like that? Propaniac (talk) 21:44, 30 August 2009 (UTC)


There's a discussion at Talk:Lincoln#Attempts at a consensus over the lead to a disambiguation page. The edit war at the article has been between editors who want "Lincoln may refer to:" and editors who want a longer lead that singles out two of the entries for special attention. Please participate in the discussion. Uncle G (talk) 10:31, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Virgin (disambiguation)

My attempt to clean this article has been reverted. Abtract (talk) 08:56, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Tagged for cleanup. -- JHunterJ (talk) 10:50, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Broad Street Historic District

There is a friendly disagreement about which version of this dab page is more useful, Version A or Version B. Or something else? Feedback is appreciated. Station1 (talk) 23:04, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Something else. The entries from version A, rearranged with the entries that have their own articles at the top and the entries that have just the NRHP list links below them. -- JHunterJ (talk) 01:24, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Consensus, despite JHunterJ's persistent disagreement on this point, has been that ordering items by geographical location in pages of primarily NRHP listings makes more sense for readers, who are likely to be looking for a historic site that they know is in a particular city, state. See: this extended past discussion at WikiProject Disambiguation. In that discussion even JHunterJ accepted or suggested ordering by geographical location, if subsection headers breaking it up by states are introduced (and which I agree is good in really long disambiguation pages like First Presbyterian Church, so that readers can navigate by a TOC). Here, i think sections and a TOC would be heavyhanded. The ordering is by state then city, and that is briefly explained at top, which seems to be just right for this one, to me. doncram (talk) 21:27, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
As you note, since there weren't any sections or groups here (and there shouldn't be, given the brevity of the list), the same consensus applies here (despite your persistent disagreement on this point): blue links first, then red- or no-links. -- JHunterJ (talk) 22:49, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, the consensus in the long discussion was that ordering by geographic area was fine, and only you argued for bluelinks before redlinks. The final versions of the three main articles worked on during the discussion show organization by geography, and show no use of "bluelinks first". Also, I asked again later, in April 2009, for more general feedback in this discussion: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Disambiguation/Archive 16#followup feedback sought on NRHP disambiguation, and there was a 3:1 consensus in favor of listing by state then city about one dab article that had been questioned (Phillips House). The one other view was that it should order strictly by alphabetical names, not by bluelinks first. (About alphabetical as an option, I think that for Broad Street Historic District it is best to show the East and Commercial variations together with the others for same city and state.)
By the way, in the first long discussion, which was in September 2008, i had claimed that the NRHP list-articles would be completed out in a good table format, with properly disambiguated names for all NRHP listings, in about six months time. It took slightly longer, but in a drive completed on July 4, 2009, we completed the job. There are about 84,000 NRHPs listed, and there are about 1,600 dab pages covering NRHPs with ambiguous names, and all of those dab pages have been cleaned up to conform to MOSDAB. :) (Thank you for your applause) :) doncram (talk) 23:56, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
The guidelines also specify blue links before red links. Only I may have read the guidelines into that discussion, but the consensus is there. If the NRHP dabs aren't following the broader consensus, that isn't the same as me going off by myself. -- JHunterJ (talk) 00:00, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but the long discussion's subsection Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Disambiguation/Archive 13#current version of Lewis House and ordering addressed the ordering clearly, and others consulted all available guidelines. As part of that, a separate query was put at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)/Archive 37#Should bluelinks always go first?, where the consensus of all but JHunterJ was also that there is no "bluelinks first" rule. JHunterJ, let's just agree to disagree about what is best. Enough about the ordering, which was not User:Station1's concern here, anyhow. Thanks! doncram (talk) 18:09, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
The guidelines address the ordering clearly. The talk pages discuss the guidelines, although perhaps not as clearly (see the section immediate above this one where it comes up again). If you'll stop worrying about my answer to Station1, I'll stop worrying about your worrying about it. Station1 requested feedback, and I provided feedback. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:31, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

[outdent] And I thank you for it. And I agree that if all these useless redlinks remain, bluelinks should come first; that's fairly clear in MOS:DAB, both old and new versions. But my main concern is that this page is simply a list of redlinks for articles mostly unlikely to be written in the near future if ever, that direct people to bluelinks that do not even mention "Broad Street" anywhere in them (with the exception of Mississippi; I admit I missed that one). Even if all the bluelinked lists did mention "Broad Street" I don't think it's very useful to list redlinks on a dab page unless there's something substantial at the bluelinked list such as a section or at least the equivalent of a stub. Otherwise the search engine is much more useful, accurate and up to date for finding articles that merely mention "Broad Street Historic District" somewhere in them. (Besides that big issue there are numerous other issues that would exist even if these were all bluelinks, such as combining 5 dab pages into one, using "in the United States (by state then city)", and including items such as "South Broad Street Row" mixed with the main listings.) Station1 (talk) 19:09, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

You're right, if the blue link included with an entry doesn't lead to an article that mentions the ambiguous title, then that blue link should be removed (and the entry too, if there is no appropriate blue link available to replace it). As for "substantial", I have a different take: the existence of the dab page (or any page at the name) means that the page will show up instead of search results by default. I think there's a benefit in including the pages that mention the dabbed phrase (even insubstantially) -- below the entries that have articles of their own, and then below the entries that are substantially covered by other articles. -- JHunterJ (talk) 21:13, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
The page shows by default if you just enter or hit Go, but not if you hit Search. Would it be useful to have something like a modified Template:Search link that showed something like "Search Wikipedia for this phrase" on the bottom of the dab page and automatically performed the search rather than have to constantly update redlink entries manually which, as this case shows, can be problematic? Example: Search Wikipedia for articles containing "Broad Street Historic District" - Station1 (talk) 07:03, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
By "by default" I mean when you hit "Enter" -- the default button ("Go") is triggered. I am neutralish on the inclusion of links to search results on dab pages. -- JHunterJ (talk) 10:30, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
They're not "useless redlinks": they assist readers and editors who are looking for NRHP-listed places, and they help editors like me in fixing up NRHP list-articles that include these entries. For example, in recent days several editors have been checking MA state NRHP list-articles and found several instances where a link in the list-article pointed to a dab page like this one, and then they replaced that with the correct, fully disambiguated redlink name.
I do acknowledge that when I created/developed this Broad Street Historic District dab I used the shortcut of linking to state-level NRHP list-articles, while in many cases before or since then those state-level lists have been split into county- or city-level NRHP list-articles, and the dab page has not yet been updated to link to each of the specifically relevant county- or city-level ones. Each item here, however, is covered in a table of such a list-article and has stub-type information available about it there (NRHP listing date, description of location, coordinates, perhaps a description, perhaps a photograph). What you need to do, to improve any entry that bothers you, is to find the more specific NRHP list-article that includes the item, following the procedure explained at MOS:DABRL: "To find out if any article uses the red link, click on it, and then click 'What links here' on the toolbox on the left side of the page." I just used that method to identify the specific county list-articles of the first few items, and revised their links in the dab page. Also I just updated the dab to explain why the South Broad Street Row entry is listed there: it is a NRHP-listed historic district. And i created a stub article for it, so it is now a bluelink entry. I do request you all to please not delete any of those entries.
An alternative solution is to create stub articles or to wait for them to be created. Those articles will all be created eventually. As I said, above, during the last year the list-articles have all been improved into table form containing stub type information for each NRHP place. During the last year individual articles were created for many NRHP listings around the U.S., including finishing out all of MD and RI and almost all of MA. Articles in WikiProject NRHP have grown from 9000 in February 2008 to aboout 24000 now, covering a large fraction of the 84,000 NRHP-listed places. There is a steady pace of article creation. A bot may well be run to generate stubs for all the remaining ones, too. doncram (talk) 22:06, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

search link

I'm sorry about going off down the path with one other editor, about just one issue that will no longer apply when all the articles have been created. Besides that, Station1 wanted to discuss some other questions.

About the search link suggestion, I find that interesting. Perhaps search links could be given instead of dabs. The search link example is: Search Wikipedia for articles containing "Broad Street Historic District"). Offhand, though, I don't think it works as well as the prepared dab page. It does find and list first the dab page and the 3 existing articles named exactly "Broad Street Historic District (City, State)". But i note it does not find the redlink "Broad Street Historic District (Bethel, Maine)". And I don't suppose you can control the order of presentation. For this dab article, what seems to work well in organizing the info for readers is to put it into geographical name order, which can be done manually in the dab page. I don't see how use of the search link would help in this one dab page, myself, but I wonder if it could be a useful feature to use in dab pages somehow. It seems like a neat tool. Does anyone see potential here? doncram (talk) 00:17, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Most commonly-used meanings should appear at the top

"Within each of the above groups, the most commonly-used meanings should appear at the top, with less common meanings below." I agree with this edit: [1] and disagree with this partial deletion: [2] -- JHunterJ (talk) 01:57, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Can you explain what this statement means Within each of the above groups, the most commonly-used meanings should appear at the top, with less common meanings below. in the context where the above groups are 1) Articles with a clarifier in parentheses: (e.g., South Pacific (film)); 2) Articles with a clarifier following a comma: (e.g., Kneeland, California); 3) Articles with the item as part of the name: (e.g., Electronic keyboard as part of a Keyboard dab page); including usage as a give name or surname 4) Synonyms (e.g., Bite as part of a Nibble dab page); 5) Broader-subject articles which treat the topic in a section: (e.g., Medieval art as part of a Fresco dab page).?
This rationale makes no sense. These groupings are based purely on arbitrary characteristics of the title. I agree with placing the most common meanings overall at the top of a page, and I might also possibly agree to placing more common meanings within subject area groups at the top of that group on very long pages, but what sense does it make to place the most common parenthetically disambiguated term at the top of that grouping and then the most common comma disambiguated term at the top of that grouping and then the most common partial match at the top of that grouping, and so on? olderwiser 02:20, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
The characteristics of the title, rather than being purely arbitrary, are used as a preliminary indication of the likelihood that that is the article sought by someone who ends up on the dab page. When those characteristics have multiple matches, the matche should continue to be sorted in order of likelihood. Like everywhere else in the dab guidelines. -- JHunterJ (talk) 02:27, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
And the issue here is with the removal of the guidance for likeliest-first, not on the other groupings that weren't deleted. -- JHunterJ (talk) 02:28, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm afraid I still do not understand. The titles used for articles are very often entirely arbitrary and are unreliable as indicators of the likelihood that that is the article sought by someone who ends up on the dab page. While the guidance may have some utility in some contexts, it is far too simplistic to encode as a universal preference. There are many contexts in which such arbitrary sequencing is more confusing and likely to be unhelpful to readers. olderwiser 23:17, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
I find them (article titles and redirects, when the redirect is a better match than the title) to be useful tools, but I have no problem with recasting them (since they are currently so encoded) so that their "toolness" is emphasized, and that the problem their trying to solve is that of likelihood-ordering. -- JHunterJ (talk) 00:20, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Pardon? I see words that I recognize and some that I do not, but I am having a hard time understanding your meaning. olderwiser 03:28, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
The ordering by naming style could be reworded to make it clear that the reason that ordering was chosen was because of the assumptions about their relative likelihood. But the end result should still emphasize ordering by likelihood. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:10, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm confused, the part that I object to is the categorical directive that entries within each of the above groups (which is unclear what above groups it is referring to) the most commonly-used meanings should appear at the top. As I've alread said, I agree with placing the most common meanings overall at the top of a page -- although even then, this placement is not universal and typically only when there are a handful of topics that could qualify as primary topics when considered against all the other topics on a page. I think applying that same logic to subgroupings on a page is fraught with original research and potential biases. There are situations where such ordering might be warranted, but I think these are an exception rather than the rule. Further I think it is a mistake to assume that the form of a title provides reliable information about the likelihood that readers might be looking for that term on a particular disambiguation page. olderwiser 12:00, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
The proposed scheme seems elaborate and unhelpful. Too much is being inferred from characteristics of the title, when other common sense orderings may make better sense. I suggest reverting the order of entries section back to the version of August 30 or earlier. doncram (talk) 22:04, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
And as ever, note that the version of August 30 (or earlier) still specifies articles before non-articles (i.e., blue links before red links). -- JHunterJ (talk) 22:09, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
No i do not see that specified in the August 30 version. What language exactly are you referring to? doncram (talk) 23:42, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
The ordering of "articles" before the entries that have the requisite blue link in the description. Again. -- JHunterJ (talk) 00:01, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't see it, but i suppose this is a matter of interpretation, perhaps a gestalt thing that i don't follow, and the difference in interpretation between u and me is the same as a year ago between you vs. me and others in the "long discussion" linked from the #Broad Street Historic District section below. Never mind, it is not germane to this discussion section. I'll probably not respond further. doncram (talk) 00:24, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm using WP:ARTICLE to "interpret" what the guidelines mean by "article" -- articles are a subset of pages and therefore can be blue linked; red links and no-links are not (yet) articles. Disagreeing with the guidelines isn't the same as claiming they're a matter of interpretation. -- JHunterJ (talk) 01:22, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

The previous frequency-of-usage recommendation was: "In most cases, place the items in order of usage, with the most-used meanings appearing at the top and less common meanings below." The recommendation was added in May 2005 (diff, original discussion). I took this to apply to entries both on the top of the page and within topic subsections, but at any rate a recommendation to order by frequency of usage should be returned to the page in some form, in my opinion. A disambiguation page's function is to aid navigation, and ordering by frequency of usage (where it can be reasonably determined) is in most cases the most effective sorting method to achieve that end. What I liked about the old wording is that it was flexible enough to allow for the exercise of good judgment, exceptions for special cases, etc. So, to reiterate, I'd like to see that recommendation returned in some form (ideally just add back the previous wording). --Muchness (talk) 08:10, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

restore NRHP dab page please

User:JHunterJ just made two moves involving a valid dab page consisting of 8 NRHP entries, one a bluelink and the other properly formed redlinks. He inappropriately moved the one bluelink item, Roosevelt School (Lake Wales, Florida) to the former dab page name Roosevelt School and moved the dab to Roosevelt School (disambiguation). He also rearranged the dab page to put it out of geographical order. All of this is just unhelpful.

This is a case where all eight of the entries are of exactly equal importance. The one Florida article had been created not because it is more important, but because Florida wikipedian User:Ebyabe has gone through all the Florida NRHP lists and created stub articles.

I created 2 more articles on the list, just for sake of proving they all could be created, although this goes against wishes of some WikiProject NRHP participants who don't want stubs created before photos or other material is available to create a better starter article.

I was able to restore the one back to the Lake Wales name, but it requires an administrator to restore the dab to the proper location. Could an administrator please move Roosevelt School (disambiguation) to Roosevelt School? I know i could submit this at wp:RM but since this type of article is under discussion on this wt:MOSDAB page I thought I should bring it up here where administrators involved here would understand the context. Thanks. doncram (talk) 03:24, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

The move and changes JHunterJ made were completely appropriate at the time he made them. There was only one article about "Roosevelt School" so that article gets the name. If everything else on the dab page was redlinks, it needn't even exist; to move it to "Roosevelt School (disambiguation)" was 'generous' in my opinion. He then put the primary topic linkback on the top line in accordance with MOS:DAB; the rest, all redlinks, remained in geographical order. What was done was extremely helpful. If you've since created some stubs to make a point ("just for sake of proving they all could be created"), that's no reason to complain about about another editor's completely justifiable edits. Station1 (talk) 05:12, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
That's just not correct. There are good purposes served by having redlink items on a dab page, and MOS:DABRL specifically allows them. JHunterJ's uninformed assertion that one on the list was of primary significance, based on the fact that it was the one which, randomly, first had an article, is inappropriate. It was not helpful, it was just disruptive.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Doncram (talkcontribs) 13:16, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
However, this "uninformed" here is a dig. Your view of the disruptiveness of applying the dab guidelines to NRHP-related disambiguations is not consensus. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:08, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
The purpose of a dab page is to direct a reader to the article they're looking for when there are several articles that could reasonably possibly have the same title. If there is only one article with a particular title, there is no call for a dab page, especially without "(disambiguation)" as part of its title. If there is only one article about "Roosevelt School" and that article is not at the title "Roosevelt School", we do readers a disservice by making them look at a dab page they don't expect, when that dab page serves no useful purpose because there is only one choice of an actual article on that dab page. They must then click through that dab page to get to the actual article. Dab pages are not meant to be search engines, nor to give info about the subject, but only to disambiguate among existing articles. What do you believe are the "good purposes" served by having a dab page with only one article and a bunch of redlinks? Station1 (talk) 03:40, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

So moved. If this comes up again on another name, feel free to use {{db-move}} for these requests, once you've taken the steps to make base-name-disambiguation appropriate again. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:14, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

The move back was one part of cleaning up the small mess you created. Thanks for doing that much. I disagree with your insistence that you were correct and the page was not appropriate. It was appropriate by MOSDAB and by common sense and by the consensus of groups of editors who have reviewed this kind of page in "long discussion" and related links from another discussion section on this Talk page. doncram (talk) 13:16, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
I didn't insist. Station1, however, recognized that it was correct. It believe it will be correct in the future as well. When the first article at a name is created, it should go to the base name (since one article can't be ambiguous by itself). When the second article that could have the name is created, then the situation might change and one or the other of the articles might be(come) the primary topic, or neither might be and the base name would be a disambiguation page. Dealing with the situation in a timely fashion (i.e., when it comes up, instead of trying to solve a problem before it exists) is not "cleaning up a mess" -- it's the normal and expected effort required to improve Wikipedia. Future Wikipedia is expected to have future editors addressing future issues -- current editors do not need to (and should not) set up everything so that any particular future article can be created without a move. Unless you are proposing every article be moved to a title that includes a unique disambiguator (and one that will definitely remain unique in perpetuity) so that every possible future article can also be accomodated. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:24, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
It is probably inane to reply to you but what i mean by your insisting is your getting the dig into your 11:14 comment to assert that the article was not "base-name-disambiguation appropriate". And you are further insisting again now. The original disambiguation article was perfectly correct according to consensus of editors and according to MOSDAB. Your bland assurances that one article is of primary importance when it is absolutely clearly known that it is not, is exasperating. You have pulled this stunt on other disambiguation pages i've developed before, and it is annoying. doncram (talk) 16:44, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Pointing out that the original disambiguation was inappropriately placed at the base name was not a dig, but a statement of its conflict with the project guidelines. The original disambiguation was not perfectly correct as Station1 also explained. It is exasperating for you to think that the NRHP view of disambiguations is more correct than the disambiguation project's view of them. This is one of the reasons I suggested early on that you look into the creation of NRHP set index articles, since you seem to want to provide informational content to the reader (articles) rather than navigational aid (disambiguations). -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:05, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Again it is probably silly to reply to you but you are just wrong on many points here. No one wants to create a descriptive list-article on the scattered set of schools coincidentally given the same name, but there is a need to disambiguate among them. Articles will eventually be created for all of the NRHP ones. And there is no conflict between wikiprojects. It has mainly been just me working on NRHP disambiguation, and I sought and obtained WikiProject Disambiguation consensus on how to fix them compatible with MOSDAB. The compromise involved adding explanatory bluelinks in support of each redlink entry, which I have complied with, despite it not being part of MOSDAB (which instead provides a procedure for dab critics to follow, involving clicking on the redlink and then what links there, effectively to find what i am providing as an explanatory bluelink more easily for you. Station1 is incorrect for insisting that the redlinks are not compliant, and for asserting that my creating stub articles is wp:POINTY in the sense of disrupting wikipedia to make a point. The possibly wp:POINTY behavior, to move and to rearrange a geographically organized NRHP-related dab page, is yours. Based on your previous behavior I assume you will want to get a last word in. Please proceed and I probably will not further reply though I will probably disagree with what you say. doncram (talk) 18:18, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
You are wrong on many points:
  1. Exactly one blue link in each dab entry is a fundamental part of MOSDAB.
  2. When ambiguous articles are eventually created, disambiguation pages can eventually reflect the new navigational information. There is no need for disambiguation pages to anticipate these eventualities, any more than a map should anticipate future border changes.
  3. None of my edits were pointy.
  4. Based on my past behavior of correcting your errors and responding to your accusations, yes, I've replied here. If you will stop accusing me or claiming my edits were wrong/pointy/digs/whatever, I will stop explaining how those accusations are mistaken. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:30, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) I agree with HJH. The goal is to get the user to a page containing the information as quickly as possible. If there is only one page that has useful information, then it makes sense to send the user to that page. If you argue that it is important to make it clear that we don't have a page for what they are looking for quickly, you might have a point. But it would be better to spend the time creating the pages. (John User:Jwy talk) 04:06, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Okay, i'll respond to you too. The goal is to provide a reader with the useful information that is at the dab page itself, about whether or not there is a wikipedia article about the Roosevelt School that the reader is interested in. I have done the research to find that there are in fact 8 equally important NRHP-listed ones. Directing all readers to an article about the one of them in Florida is probably sending 7/8 of all readers to the wrong place. They want the dab page itself, to learn yes, they are not crazy to think the one in their City/State is significant, no there is not yet a wikipedia article on it, and yes the redlink is there for them to click on to start the article if they are willing to upload a pic or do whatever to create an article. Also, in this case it is absolutely clear that there will be a permanent need for a Roosevelt School dab page covering 8 wikipedia-significant places. Changing the form of the dab page from what is known to be the permanently helpful form is tearing down nearly finished work and is not helping. I am having to take time to try to maintain and restore a system of many dab pages that works and is good, instead of creating articles. Also, within the NRHP wikiproject I am having to balance against other editors' wishes that simple stub articles not be created yet, until one can create like a Start level quality article or one with a photo. Currently I personally create stub articles only as needed as part of battling to head off dab editor attacks. Right now I can't and won't do the high quality stubs for all the scattered Roosevelt Schools around the nation. If there is one in my area I may well go there and take a pic and get the NRHP nom docs and do a good article. But otherwise you have to wait until someone else does it, and not tear down the work I and other NRHPers have put into a system that is 100% MOSDAB compliant according to MOSDAB as interpreted by a consensus of all but one WikiProject Disambiguation editors in a long discussion and revisited in later discussions. We are all volunteers here, and you can have your view about what is the best way for me to spend my time, but actually you can't really judge for me the best way for me to defend the system of them. Currently i am judging the best use of my time is to participate here in arguing to you individually and to JHJ to leave well enough alone, and to spend your time differently, too. No offense intended and no offense taken. Thanks for your comment, hope this gives you a clearer idea where i am coming from on this. By the way, would you be willing to help create articles about any of these NRHP-listed historic sites? I would be happy to assist you by pointing you to tools that help and to relevant information sources that vary by state. doncram (talk) 07:36, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Can't answer for Jwy, but, no, I wouldn't be interested in creating NRHP articles. I am, however, happy to leave well enough alone, but that wasn't the case ("good enough") on the version of the dab page arrangement I came across. Since you consider the version I created a mess and I consider the version I started with wrong, I am also happy to put in that effort and undo my own moves and perform others once the NRHP members (or other editors) create additional stubs (or full articles). Since this ends in a version everyone can live with, I am arguing that that is the good-enough process that we should leave alone. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:21, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I appreciate that you are agreeing here and in this version of Roosevelt School dab which JHunterJ was the last to edit to a version showing geographical order, in fact in red-blue-red-red-red-blue-red-blue order in terms of red and blue links. And as you will have noticed i use this new example in commenting against a proposed "bluelinks-first" MOSDAB policy in Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)#Rewording the "Order of entries" section discussion section above on this Talk page. I do hope we're done here now. Thanks. doncram (talk) 14:15, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Not fixing it is not the same as endorsing it. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:39, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Both Roosevelt School and Broad Street Historic District need fixing. The only reason I'm not touching them is because they're still under discussion here and because I'm not interested in getting into an edit war over pages almost no one looks at. Blue links first has always been the guideline at MOS:DAB. Station1 (talk) 19:04, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
"The goal is to provide a reader with the useful information that is at the dab page itself..." - here is the heart of the problem. That is most certainly not the goal of a dab page. This is basic. The goal of a dab page is: "When an article title could refer to several things, it is necessary to provide links or a disambiguation page so that readers typing in that title can quickly navigate to the article that interests them." We are not disambiguating the world, only articles on WP. "I am having to take time to try to maintain and restore a system of many dab pages that works and is good, instead of creating articles" - please don't do that, there is not consensus for the type of dab pages you want (it's at the point where I recognize dab pages you've edited on sight, without looking at the edit history - that's not good). Please do create articles in your area of expertise - that is what is truly helpful. Station1 (talk) 19:04, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Rewording the "Order of entries" section

Per a discussion at User talk:JHunterJ#MOS:DAB on the wording of this guideline:

I feel that the "most commonly-used meanings should appear at the top" rule is too vague, and on its own often leads to fairly arbitrary orderings, hampering navigation. I propose adding the following text, or similar:

To the extent that it is unclear which meanings are the most common, entries within the above groups should be ordered either alphabetically or chronologically. People should typically be alphabetized by last name. Places should be alphabetized by their geographical location, typically a country or state – for example, "Montana" for the article "Butte, Montana".

Between the two current sentences of bullet point #4:

Within each of the above groups, the most commonly-used meanings should appear at the top, with less common meanings below. Entries with a link in the description (Red-link entries and unlinked entries) should appear after blue-link entries.

Or as a separate bullet point #5. I feel that having a more explicit ordering guideline will reduce edit conflicts and improve navigability. WP:IAR implicitly applies, as with the rest of the guideline. Thoughts appreciated, » Swpbτ ¢ 20:15, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Arranging them alphabetically (or otherwise) is going to be contradictory to arranging the entry-links before the red- or no-links. Most commonly used is not vague, although it may be harder to agree upon. My argument from my talk page was that not every last aspect of every dab page needs to be covered by the manual of style; the important thing is that the reader's navigation is assisted, and some of the decisions (such as the ordering of entries that have indistinguishable relative likelihood) can and should be left to the editorial consensus at the individual pages. -- JHunterJ (talk) 01:28, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Well if relative commonality is hard and subjective for an editor to determine, it's even harder for a reader to figure out what the editor was thinking. Alpha and chrono, on the other hand, are something everyone gets. They don't contradict the blue-red separation rule any more than the commonal use rule does - both are lower priorities, as the numbered list and wording make apparent. Assisting navigation is my first goal as well, and the entire reason for my suggestion – you might see it as minutiae, but I don't. » Swpbτ ¢ 05:02, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Relative commonality CAN be hard, but is often reasonably obvious. Where it is not, an appropriate choice that addresses the "easy navigation" goal can be selected - and in most cases agreed on by consensus. Thats not calling it minutiae, its admitting to the variety of circumstances and trusting the editors to understand the navigational goal. The "best" can vary according to the circumstances. Reducing edit conflict is not a primary goal.
And there is some (not complete) correlation between relatively common and blue/red links: The more likely targets are more likely to have been created already. That can't be said of chronological or alphabetical. (John User:Jwy talk) 05:31, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
With respect, that sounds nice, but it doesn't seem to work that way on the real dab pages I edit dozens of a day – more often than not, the order seems utterly arbitrary, and would certainly slow me down if I were looking for a particular entry, expecting some kind of order that I can quickly recognize and use. Of course the best organizing scheme varies from page to page, and I think the guideline has more than enough caveats to make that clear, although it could be emphasized even further. But what's the harm in suggesting a useful scheme for editors who come here looking for one? And one that, at least some of the time (if not most of the time), is clearer and more effective than the common use scheme? Also, you haven't actually addressed how this conflicts with red-blue separation, which has a stated higher priority. » Swpbτ ¢ 13:33, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Also with respect, the proposed wording wasn't suggesting a useful scheme, it was specifying the use of a particular useful scheme. On those pages where the order is utterly arbitrary (so therefore ignoring the guidelines anyway), there's no benefit in adding more to the ignored guidelines. On the dozens you edit each day, you should feel free to alphabetize them if the previous order was arbitrary or not helpful to the reader -- that would be the proper bold approach, and probably would not be met with resistance. As for "stated higher priority", you proposed to insert "alphabetically" before the red-blue separation line. Most editors also aren't programmers; setting up rules by priority is simply an unneeded complication here. Is the lack of a specification here causing problems in reach consensus on any pages out in the wild? -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:40, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Would someone other than JHunter comment here? 1 vs. 1.5 editors does not to me a satisfying consensus make. To JHunter, I'm suggesting that the order ends up arbitrary despite the guideline, because the guideline is vague and insufficient even for those who read it. I did not propose to put alpha before red-blue, I proposed to put it after (5>4). Rules by priority isn't unneeded, its exactly how organization is and should continue to be done, and its the setup already in place in the guideline! I will gladly change the text to be more "suggestive" than "specifying":

When it is unclear which meanings are the most common, another logical scheme may be used. Alphabetical order and chronological order are two of the most common schemes. If using alphabetical order, people should typically be alphabetized by last name, and places should be alphabetized by their geographical location, typically a country or state – for example, "Montana" for the article "Butte, Montana".

This text would then go below the 1-4 priority list, to clearly not be part of it. Now that it is clearly a suggestion, what possible harm could be caused by adding it? (Especially in the face of the benefit it will provide.) » Swpbτ ¢ 15:26, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

I guess I'm the 1/2, right? Maybe this makes me whole: I think "When it is unclear which meanings are the most common, another logical scheme may be used. Alphabetical order and chronological order are two of the most common schemes." is sufficient. (John User:Jwy talk) 17:09, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
I think I agree with Jwy. Propaniac (talk) 17:26, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
Butte, Montana is an especially bad example. It's the primary or near-primary use of "Butte" and should appear near the top of the dab page, not alphabetically. Station1 (talk) 04:17, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

A lot depends upon context. In general, in a list that is otherwise organized alphabetically or chronologically, I think it is unhelpful to move redlinks or links in the description out of that sequencing. However, in lists of dissimilar entries, there may be some sense to moving these to the end of the list. olderwiser 04:19, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree. There could potentially be some sense, when applied by an informed editor, to moving redlinks lower, say if in fact the editor knew enough to know that those were likely to be less important in permanent sense than other bluelinked items. However, it is not a general rule that in dab pages the topics of articles which happen to be bluelinks now are more important permanently in any sense justifying higher placement in a dab page than the topics of redlinks which have yet to be written. I think we should be trying to support establishment of dab pages that are stable and permanently sensible in their ordering, and introducing bluelinks vs. redlinks as a formal factor in ordering would just obscure the consensus development at each dab page of which ordering makes most sense.
Also, suppose there were a decision to do bluelinks first, then, say, alphabetical. In a given dab page, that ordering might be more or less apparent to readers when the dab has just been cleaned up by dab-editor imposing that. But the apparent pattern gets lost gradually as redlinks turn blue from the creation of articles elsewhere. And there would be further difficulty in explaining that ordering explicitly in the dab itself, so that editors who might add another entry know what to do, or so that editors passing by know to update the ordering when they see that bluelinks are now appearing among the redlinks. A mainspace statement that the list is ordered by bluelinks then redlinks, and then alphabetically, is not acceptable as it violates wp:SELF. If the ordering cannot be explained in mainspace, I oppose using it. I simply oppose any specific mention in the MOSDAB guideline of preference for bluelinks first. I agree with Jwy and Propaniac's simple wording above, instead. doncram (talk) 21:41, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

I hope there are no issues with me responding here. As I've mentioned before, the guidelines already specify blue links first. Doncram has so far treated my repetition of that guideline as somehow my own personal (and isolated) view, despite my continued statements that it is already in the guidelines. The proposed wording above has not (as far as I can tell) included a proposal to remove the current guidance on blue links first. I would omit the "order"s and "of the most" in the latest proposed wording, to make that sentence "Alphabetical and chronological are two common schemes." -- JHunterJ (talk) 23:05, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

JHunterJ, I wasn't aware that you and perhaps one other editor had slipped that in, in this diff from Sept 25-26. I don't see a consensus for having it in. That seems like quite a coup for you, at least temporarily! And i think it should now be removed. I don't see a consensus for ordering by that, and I oppose for reasons stated above and elsewhere in many previous discussions with you. doncram (talk) 00:59, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
That's not the guideline I was referring to. That's a re-affirming of this ordering:
  1. Articles with a clarifier in parentheses: (South Pacific (film))
  2. Articles with the item as part of the name: (Electronic keyboard as part of a Keyboard dab page)
  3. Synonyms
  4. Larger subject articles which treat this item in a section: (Medieval art from a Fresco dab page)
The first three deal with the ordering of blue links (articles). The last one handles the entries where the blue link occurs in the description. I've pointed this out before too. -- JHunterJ (talk) 01:05, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Specifically, the current wording, that

Within each of the above groups, the most commonly-used meanings should appear at the top, with less common meanings below. Entries with a link in the description (Red-link entries and unlinked entries) should appear after blue-link entries.

is unacceptable to me because it overrules use of sensible other orderings, in favor of arbitrary blue-red ordering. This would prohibit, for example, the geographical order by state then city used in dabs like Broad Street Historic District, discussed in #Broad Street Historic District. Many many editors have cumulatively disagreed with JHunterJ's repetitive arguments over the last year, about this. It would affect thousands of dab pages, and there is NOT a consensus for that change being slipped in! doncram (talk) 01:09, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I do wish you'd stop making this about me. I'm trying to work with the consensus of the Wikipedia editorship, and have continued to do so even when I disagree with them. Blue-links-first is not arbitrary; if you disagree with it, it would still be beneficial for you to understand the reasoning behind it. Most-likely-first is the underpinning reason. Topics that have articles (blue links) are more likely to be sought (and more likely to be useful to the seeker) than topics that don't, simply because seekers are also editors. -- JHunterJ (talk) 01:21, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

If there are a few common usages and many uncommon usages, it makes sense for navigational purposes to put the common usages at the top of the disambiguation page. Separately, I don't see any necessity to attach a particular opinion to any particular editor. I'm not aware of "many editors cumulatively disagreeing" with JHunterJ, but if you want to make that claim, linking to specific instances in which this was discussed in the past would be much more profitable. While there's a rare exception now and then, this isn't a corner of Wikipedia that attracts many edit warriors, and we don't need any vilification of productive editors. Dekimasuよ! 01:54, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Just to note, I did provide links to a previous "long discussion" and an RFD and other links to related WikiProject Disambiguation talk archives, in which consensus of all but one participant was secured, in discussion section Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)#Broad Street Historic District currently showing on this Talk page.
Also, in new discussion section Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)#restore NRHP dab page please, JHunterJ eventually agrees to "leave well enough alone" and accepts the current article of this version of Roosevelt School dab which JHunterJ was the last to edit. JHunterJ is there accepting that ordering by geographic order is okay. That is NOT by bluelinks first then redlinks, in fact it currently goes red blue red red red blue red blue. Thank goodness he is conceding on this one. However, I do not want to see MOSDAB changed to a version that would outlaw that and embolden other editors to cause continued turmoil on legitimate dab pages where consensus in the past and now is that a different sensible ordering makes more sense. doncram (talk) 14:08, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Just to be clear: I'm leaving that ordering alone (because re-ordering it causes drama, and I like to pick and choose my dramas), but not accepting it as okay. The "leaving well enough alone" discussion you're referring to is the movement of the articles and dab pages to and from the base name, not the ordering . -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:18, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

I'll avoid commenting on the current multiple issues with NHRP listing pages (not limited to disambiguation), but with regards to redlinks and the order of entries -- if a redlink is worth including on a disambiguation page, I don't think there is any basis for relegating these to a secondary status. If they belong on the page then they should be ordered the same as any other entry. If they are not worth including, then remove them. Disrupting logical sequencing such as by alpha order or chronologically is unhelpful. olderwiser 14:37, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Ordering by likelihood also disrupts those sequencings. I disagree that using sequences other than alpha or chrono is unhelpful. -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:42, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I didn't say that using sequences other than alpha or chronological is unhelpful. It is unhelpful to have what appears to be an alpha or chronological list contain portions that are not in alpha or chronological order. olderwiser 14:49, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
If the list is ordered by blue then red then black (unlinked), it wouldn't appear to be an alpha or chrono list. It would be unhelpful to disrupt a logical sequencing such as disambiguating ambiguous articles before listing ambiguous topics that are not (yet) ambiguous articles. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:06, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia mainspace is supposed to describe the real world, not describe itself (WP:SELF). Among other problems of maintenance and reader service already described, that ordering would unduly self-refer, calling attention to the current temporary state of wikipedia coverage of the notable known real world places. I agree to disagree with JHunterJ about merits of any proposed "bluelinks-first" policy and about whether the most reasonable interpretation of currently stated MOSDAB policy dictates that or not. doncram (talk) 15:27, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
(after ec) No, Wikipedia articles (not mainspace) are related to the real world. Disambiguation pages are Wikipedia-aware navigational aids. That's why they don't pipe links to hide disambiguating phrases in titles, for instance. If you have another interpretation of the guidelines ordering articles first that somehow enables un-articled topics to appear before articles, please state it. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:39, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
@JHJ, If the list is ordered by blue then red then black (unlinked), it wouldn't appear to be an alpha or chrono list. Perhaps this might be obvious to someone schooled in the arcana of disambiguation. But such a disctintion (as well as the significance) would not be so obvious for most readers. And as pages are created, the redlinks turn blue and then there is even more uninutitive inconsistency. olderwiser 15:34, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Disambiguation pages always need maintenance when ambiguous articles are created. People unschooled in the arcana can still distinguish red and blue (excepting the color blind), and users of Wikipedia know what the colors mean. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:39, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Why place a totally unnecessary additional burden on maintenance? And I do not think your assumptions about what readers understand about links are well-founded. And it is still illogical to have what is otherwise an alpha or chrono-sorted list superimposed with other criteria. olderwiser 15:51, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
"totally unnecessary" is incorrect, unless you are also going to call the requirement for a single blue link on each entry "totally unnecessary" -- it has the issue with maintenance when a red link turns blue. It is also illogical to have what is otherwise an article-or-not sorted list superimposed with other criteria (such as alpha or chrono). But no one is superimposing it either way, but rather making one secondary. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:30, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
You're right about removing the extra blue link, but for someone looking for an entry on a list that is otherwise sorted either alphabetically or chronologically, such a fine point of disambiguation page maintenance is irrelevant. What is significant for a reader is not having to spend unnecessary time trying to parse an ordered list that is broken apart into unhelpful divisions. olderwiser 17:50, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Right. Now there's just the disagreement over which divisions are unhelpful. :-) -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:03, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

And the same problem rears on Boxwood, where the entries are not otherwise in alphabetical or geographical order. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:31, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Arbitrary division 1

SO: Is there consensus to at least add the following below the bulleted list (per myself, JHunter, Jwy, and Propaniac, at least): "When it is unclear which meanings are the most common, another logical scheme may be used. Alphabetical and chronological are two common schemes." The discussion seems to have shifted to whether red-blue separation should be de-prioritized or eliminated (I favor the latter), but can we at least implement the original change for now? » Swpbτ ¢ 15:35, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree with this. I don't find the rationale to mandate a preference for ordering by blue link/red link to be very convincing. olderwiser 16:26, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, and thanks for bringing it back to that. doncram (talk) 16:53, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Well now the current text has changed, so the addition must change as well. "Finally, within the above groupings [1-5], entries should be ordered with a logical scheme, such as alphabetical or chronological." Whoever actually removed the red/blue bit, thank you. Red/blue and common/uncommon separation were never especially logical, and the former required extra maintenance. Alpha/chrono is worlds better, in that it's what a sane person unfamiliar with this project would reasonably expect to find. Is there anyone other than JHunter who disagrees? » Swpbτ ¢ 13:37, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
I disagree that alpha/chrono makes more sense as a rule. In the vast majority of disambig pages, most of the entries will have no chronology, and while I do tend to alphabetize entries in groups to lend some kind of order, I don't think it's particularly helpful to users because they a) don't know what the alphabetical title of their topic is, and b) they're unlikely to recognize the alphabetization. Most of the time new entries will get added out of alphabetical order or out of any other kind of order. I agree with separating red and blue entries in most cases because I think it looks better (although honestly I rarely leave redlinks on cleaned-up pages anyway, because most of the time it's not linked from any article and there's no article that mentions the topic, or if there is an article that mentions the topic, there's no indication anyone will ever create an article about the topic, so I just delink it). I haven't felt particularly compelled to participate in this argument because it mostly seems to revolve around listing NRHP entries, which I just leave alone anyway because I don't want to argue with doncram and any other NRHP people about it (and it's understandable why they want to use different principles for those pages than I use in cleaning up other pages, although really it would make sense to call the NRHP disambig pages "set indices" instead). But I do not want rules designed for NRHP pages to be added to the MOS that covers all disambig pages.Propaniac (talk) 15:06, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Just to emphasize one particular point, I'm really unconvinced by any argument about disambiguation pages needing more maintenance if we do it one way or the other. An unwatched disambiguation page will turn into a mess no matter how you've organized it, because (at least in my experience) 99% of users who edit it after you will use a totally different format, piped all to hell, wikilinking to seventeen different articles to describe a topic that isn't mentioned in any of them and which the user probably made up, and it'll be in the worst possible place on the page and probably misspelled to boot. Propaniac (talk) 15:17, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Alpha/chrono is not a universal solution. However, most well-formed dab pages typically use some form of alpha/chrono ordering. I don't agree that readers are unlikely to recognize the alphabetization. Certainly in lists of terms with parenthetical disambiguation it may not be obvious which parenthetical term an entry would have and thus alpha sorting by the parenthetical term is not especially helpful. But for geographical entries, alpha sorting by state is relatively obvious. There are similar such situation where alpha ordering is a simple and obvious means of ordering. While I agree with adding text suggesting that alpha and chrono are common methods for ordering, I would not want them to be seen as mandates. Regarding red links, once again, if a redlink satisfies the basic criteria for inclusion, then it should not be treated differently based on aesthetic preferences. In particular, I think overlaying a list that has an obvious alpha or chrono sort with a editor-centric red/blue differentiation is confusing. Regarding NRHP lists, I agree these would be better served by being set indexes, but for reasons that are not clear to me, Doncram seems to feel they are not appropriate. olderwiser 15:25, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Watch out for straw men — no one has ever suggested that alpha/chrono be mandated. Agree strongly that the aesthetic value of red/blue sep should take a distant backseat to real navigability guidelines. » Swpbτ ¢ 15:31, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
I was only referring to an unfortunate tendency of editors to interpret guidelines to suit their own perspective and allow a simplistic adherence to the perceived letter of the guideline to overrule common sense and consensus. Even apparently innocuous guidance that includes terms like "should" can easily be taken to mean "must". olderwiser 15:41, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Personally, I appreciate the clarification, as one reason I haven't participated in this debate is that it's become increasingly unclear (to me, at least) what exactly is being suggested. Propaniac (talk) 16:58, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Well Propaniac, I disagree strongly that users are "unlikely to recognize the alphabetization". Anyone who has ever used a print encyclopedia or dictionary will immediately expect alpha. I certainly do. As far as users not knowing the name of their intended topic, that's often not the case. I use dab pages all the time when I know the full title of the article I want and I'm just too lazy to type the whole thing into the search box. And yes, the alpha has helped me find what I was looking for numerous times. Red/blue separation never has. » Swpbτ ¢ 15:28, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
As the blue/red suggested rule is intended (I think) to be used in the belief that a red link is likely less popular than a blue link - putting the less popular lower. I think you would not necessarily recognize if it helped you. You didn't have to scan over an unwanted article when you thought you entered the complete name. So I challenge that it has been no help to you. But I admit a strict red/blue ordering is imperfect at providing that most efficient ordering.
This is not a print encyclopedia. They don't have dab pages. Our dab pages have not been consistently alphabetical and I suspect most do not depend on it being so.
People may recognize that a given page is alphabetical, but it is rare that it will be of use to them. Yes, for town names if the state/county is alphabetized. But in most mixed pages, there may be more efficient ways to order the list. (John User:Jwy talk) 15:57, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
This is one of those times where the non-print medium should conform to something that is done in print media, because it makes more sense than any alternative.
I would strongly disagree with any principle under which disambiguation pages are organized with the assumption that users will already know the title of their targeted article. If that's how you look at disambiguation, it's no wonder you would find alphabetical listings wholly ideal, but the intended purpose of disambiguation is to aid users who do not know the title of the article they're seeking, in which case alphabetical ordering can be unhelpful for obvious reasons. (It probably won't hurt, but it's not much better than anything else.) Propaniac (talk) 16:58, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
First, I don't think anyone is suggesting that alphabetical order should be the only or dominant means of organizing a page. But I stand by my assertion that most well-formed disambiguation pages do use alpha sorting in some form. It is quite simply one of the most familiar ways to organize lists. I strongly object to the notion that disambiguation page editors have some crystal ball that enables them to rank entire lists of entries by familiarity or most common uses. In some cases there are very obvious common uses which could helpfully be placed at the top or otherwise highlighted, but applying the same method to entire lists is highly subjective and problematic. And what is especially problematic and potentially confusing to users is to inexplicably mix different methods of organization within a single group. olderwiser 17:17, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Of course. Alpha doesn't have to be the "perfect" scheme, when it's the only scheme that makes any sense at all. Ordering by "common use" or "familiarity" is one miniscule step above just randomizing the entries – and that, not the particular circumstances when alpha is "most" useful – is the core argument against the old guideline. » Swpbτ ¢ 23:41, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

The point of ordering

I realize that I am the lightning rod for the ordering-by-lieklihood right now, but other editors (Station1, Jwy) have also concurred with the likelihood emphasis here. I was a little surprised to see the discussed new wording proposal changed to a new wording at the same time it was implemented. -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:32, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Simplify and separate.

A recent !vote included the reason "I have problems with mandates." This hits upon one of my own observed problems with the dab style guidelines: we have jumbled together matters of style (bullet, no trailing period, how to format titles) with matters of disambiguation (don't include exposition or exploration, only include ambiguous articles) and some that are in a gray area (don't pipe the entry links, list the primary topic separately at the header).

I'm going to project one of the reasons that I joined the disambiguation project on to other editors; maybe I'm wrong and I'm the only one. Disambiguation editors tend to disambiguation pages because they have a set of obvious, concrete fixes that can be applied when "cleaning up" a disambiguation page. In theory, there should be low drama and little research (nothing beyond clicking through a link to see if the ambiguous term is there, checking incoming links to red links, and searching for blue links for red and unlinked entries without them). But the proliferation of concrete "fixes" beyond what truly needs to be mandated has led to more and more drama (in waves), or at least is seems so to me.

Maybe we can (a) rearrange the guidelines, (b) split the guidelines, and/or (c) eliminate some guidelines. (This idea was also re-suggested to me by reading about Verkeersbordvrij in The Future of the Internet by Jonathan Zittrain, although certainly it is less weighty here than he presents it.)

I believe the key guideline would be:

  • Keep out of the reader's way (navigation, the assumption is that the reader meant to be at one of the articles disambiguated)
    • Do not list entries that aren't actually ambiguous (navigation, not exploration)
    • One blue link per entry (it's a navigation page, not a normal part of the wikiweb)
    • Do not pipe entry names (navigation: make it most obvious to the reader where they're going)

Some guidelines that (IMO) wouldn't fall under the key guideline:

  • Ending a fragment with a period (style, doesn't hinder the reader)
  • Listing or not listing the variant spellings
  • Include (or not) birth & death years for people

Some guidelines that are currently under discussion:

  • Order by articles (blue link topics) before broader topics (blue link in description). I would have placed this under the key guideline, but it is apparently not "low drama", so should be left out of that set

If there is other consensus for pursuing this, there are several possible avenues: move the key stuff back up to the main WP:D page and leave the style stuff here; rearrange this page to put the key stuff at the top and make the style stuff a "gallery of examples" beneath it; split this page into key and other; and probably other approaches as well. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:48, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

I would strongly agree with sorting out WP:D and MOS:DP so they cover different topics, as they're supposed to, and perhaps paring down the guidelines as suggested, if it's possible. Propaniac (talk) 13:00, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
The implication of the Verkeersbordvrij model is to downgrade the manual of style altogether, and to recommend the imitation of existing best practice. I have much sympathy for that view, and that is what many editors actually do. Unfortunately JHunterJ then immediately gives us a "key guideline" which to some extent contradicts that. In real life there are often good reasons to blur the distinction between navigation and information, that is, to include in dab pages relevant facts which may be repeated in article pages, or even which appear nowhere else. I have in mind in particular dab pages based on frequently used English phrases, where there may be no article about the phrase itself, but the dab page is the best place to give the phrase's origin (and should start with it). A different example is given by words which are both surnames and placenames (perhaps also given names and names of institutions or objects), where the dab page may be a good place to present, briefly, how these interrelate. To fix ideas for the former case I suggest we examine Let There Be Light, Let there be light, Fiat Lux (disambiguation), where I could argue that the first two, or perhaps all three, might be merged. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 17:08, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
It is unfortunate SamuelTheGhost immediately works on making this about the editors rather than about the guidelines. The particular so-called dab pages about phrases and their origins are not dab pages but Wikipedia articles. There's even a Category:English phrases for them. Anthroponymy articles can cover surnames and their origins and their interrelations to other articles. Etc. If there's encyclopedic content to be presented, it's not a dab page. Disambiguation pages disambiguate Wikipedia articles. Disambiguation pages: Let There Be Light, Fiat Lux (disambiguation). Articles: Let there be light, Fiat lux (article redirect), Fiat Lux (article redirect). The dab pages should not be merged with the articles. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:52, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
I'll have to read up on Verkeersbordvrij. I think it a good idea to review and simplify, but my pre-Verkeersbordvrij-reading opinion is that some (not strict, but strong) consistency between dab page style assists navigation, so some guidance is useful. But let me do my homework. (John User:Jwy talk) 18:03, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Generic organizations

I think the new organization section needs some work. It doesn't match the formatting of the section and group headings (bolding and bullets), which may be just an artifact of the list, but could be causing confusion for readers who then use bullets and subbullets for groups on pages. Perhaps a simpler list of common group headings would be better? -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:57, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

With due respect to the editor(s) who worked on it, I think the entire new section is excessive and would be better filled by, as JHunterJ suggested, a simple list of some common headings. While I appreciate that everything in the section is only "suggested," it seems to include quite a lot of "suggestions" that go far beyond the guidelines' previous direction on the subject and appear to be based on the personal taste of the editor. (For one thing, I hate separating acronyms from the other entries on a dab page, because the user may not know whether their topic's title is an acronym and I see no reason not to sort them by subject as with the other dab entries.) Propaniac (talk) 13:10, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
I reverted it. A list of common heading could still be added. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:31, 22 October 2009 (UTC)


Could someone please look at this [3] ... maybe I am wrong? Abtract (talk) 21:02, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

I think you might be. If the other project wants to tag it, I don't see what problem it is to us. I'm not sure WHY they want to tag it or what good it does, but... (John User:Jwy talk) 21:06, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Yup, it does seem a bit of a daft thing for those projects to track, but it's not up to us to tell other projects what they can or cannot track. olderwiser 22:43, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the above users; it doesn't appear to make any sense to include it, but they can if they want to. Propaniac (talk) 13:57, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks ... I may have been thinking of templates. Abtract (talk) 18:29, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

propose new formats

I want to propose this type of sorting format be accepted in Disambiguation, but only in the media / medium section (e.g. media as in titles of artwork, film, movie, song and medium as in book, short story, novella, franchise...etc)

meaning disambiguate the titles of medias through means of hierarchy (e.g.

Disambiguation title: Halloween In film list of episodes in

  • Frasier A
  • Gunman
  • That's 70 Show

if they are repeats of the same name, all of them are required to add the years in parenthesis.

The statistics clearly shows that users find it easier to navigate in the spike from around 3.0k to an instant view hits of 9.6k as show in here. Or perhaps a template documentation might be more suitable?

-- (talk) 07:40, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

A couple things: 1) you don't explain why your proposal improves things (and continues to take care of some of the issues that WP:MOSDAB attempts to address) and 2) I'm pretty sure I can think of a good reason for a spike on this page on October 31 that has nothing to do with layout. (John User:Jwy talk) 08:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Virtually the same pattern can be observed in the statistics for October 2008, when the page looked more or less as it does now.--ShelfSkewed Talk 12:33, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
WP:MOSDAB is a complex, exhaustive definition as is. I don't see any benefit in adding more special cases for questionable utility. Plus, the above comment. Josh Parris 08:18, 6 November 2009 (UTC)


Does anyone have a strong reason why in Wikipedia, we often treat England the same as we treat Russia, the US, or Tanzania, even though it is not a sovereign nation in political contexts like the UN or International Olympic Committee but the other three are? Reserving such special usage to the modern UK would unfortunately force us in light of WP:The role of policies in collaborative anarchy#Neutral_point_of_view to either recognize other former sovereign nations like the USSR, the Republic of Vermont, and the Sultanate of Zanzibar well outside of their historical contexts or count any number of subnational administrative divisions with at least their own own legislative assemblies like the State Assembly of Adygea, the Vermont General Assembly, or the House of Representatives of Zanzibar, which are well apart from their overarching national ones, at the same level as sovereign nations because England does not even have one of its own. In order to avoid violating one of the five WP:PILLARS by giving WP:UNDUEWEIGHT only to subdivisions of the UK, we could very easily limit our choice of modern countries to those described by the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 as this not only includes every nation on the List of United Nations member states, the List of United Nations observers and non-members, and the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories but also quasi-nations like Greenland that have their own legislative assemblies and the power to make international agreements outside of the scope of their national legislatures, such as Greenland's not being party to the EC and most of the modern EU, unlike the rest of Denmark. :)--Thecurran (talk) 16:46, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Quick answer "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" (Ralph Waldo Emerson). We are not "forced". as you put it, to do anything. The purpose of wikipedia is to inform and help the reader. Every English speaker knows what "England" means, so there is no good reason to avoid the term where it fits. By the same token, there is no overriding reason why a place may not be located just to "Texas" or "California". What is suggested here is a form of literal "political correctness" which we don't need. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 17:31, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

I am sorry but outside of the UK, many people do not understand what England actually means. I will do a quick WP:GOOGLETEST for you. :)--Thecurran (talk) 17:58, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

We aim to help readers, not to conform to arbitrary standards of political correctness. olderwiser 18:28, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

If what you, User:SamuelTheGhost, were saying is true, then when one does something like merely checking the top ten hits of the ten result lists I come up with by googletesting for "Nation of England" in pages exclusively hosted by DNSes in each of the top ten nations of the List of countries by English-speaking population#List_in_order_of_total_speakers; US, IN, NG, GB, PH, DE, CA, FR, AU, and PK; I should not see a single instance of a writer clearly conflating England, the island of Great Britain, the UK, the British Isles, Europe, North-South divide#The_North, or the Western world. If more than ten per cent of articles make one the first three mistakes above, please accept that as refuting your stated hypothesis, "Every English speaker knows what "England" means[.]", and therefore your proposal, "[T]here is no good reason to avoid the term where it fits.", as you wrote it was conditional on the hypothesis with the word, "so". Let us commence said test, knowing full well that if less than ten per cent make said mistake, it merely means this test supports your hypothesis within a ten per cent margin of error but other tests may not do so. Since this follows the Scientific method, and one may WP:VERIFY this with WP:RELIABLE#Quotations of English speakers, which is one third of the WP:Core content policies, User:Bkonrad should realize that this is not just "conform[ing] to arbitrary standards of political correctness." but following our "aim to help readers". :)--Thecurran (talk) 19:17, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

NB: Subhits are included to depict exactly what readers would see. In searching for "nation of England", many of these pages hold opinion pieces that do not represent the views of editors on this page or Wikipedia in general. Please focus solely on the structural use of the words, "England" or "English", and do not propagate the intent of any content that is disgraceful or inflammatory.
  1. US
    1. A
      1. B
      The once great nation of England
      From the London Daily Mail: Britain's blade culture claims another victim …Scouts' penknives
      Along with a box of matches and a piece of string, they've always been an essential part of a Scout's kit.
      But now penknives are going to be restricted on scouting trips as a seemingly innocent tradition succumbs to concerns over the nation's blade culture.
      The Scout Association is advising boys and their parents that they should not bring such knives to camp - despite it being legal for anyone to carry a foldable, nonlocking blade in a public place as long as it is shorter than 3ins...
      The Scout Association is British, not English.
    6. A
      1. B
        There are 2 ways to obtain Uk citizenship:
        - live in the UK for 6 straight years, be 18 years of age when you start the 6 year living streak. You must promise to uphold the laws of the nation of england. You also have to provide a mental health record. You must provide proof of resident ship in the UK for 6 years. You also have to pay a fee.
        You promise to uphold the British law, not just the English.
      2. C
        Neither phrase is much used in ordinary conversation. The English, by far the majority within the United Kingdom, have a tendency to call their nation England - with notorious disregard for the sensibilities of the Welsh and the Scots, with whom they have been linked since 1536 and 1707 respectively.
        This is not a conflation but it does serve to mark that improper speech exists that may lead to WP:FRINGE theories.
      3. D
        Henry VIII rose to power since he was the king of England. He inherited the throne. That's the easy part.
        He became so important since he broke the nation of England away from the Roman Catholic Church. He did it for his own desires, but at the same time made a major first step.
        He broke the British Isles away from the Roman Catholic Church, not just England.
      4. E
      God brought a prophetic comparison for our nation of England . As a nation, we provoked God. The British Empire has a history of robbing other lands through conquests, economically and through the slave trade. Our legislature has condoned witchcraft (for example, the Fraudulent Medium Act of 1951), abortion and same sex marriages. London boasts and lays claim to the responsibility, "No matter where Freemasonry started it was exported to the world from here." Additionally, through our monarchy, our government and grant support, we have become a nation of multiple gods and are currently cowering in political correctness concerning the spirit of Islam.
      The legislature is British, not English.
      Prior to the great electoral reforms of the later 19th century, the legislative in England was restricted to a very limited class. But it was a powerful class indeed that came to dominate the House of Commons, and it was the House of Commons that made the Empire, for it was an empire based on trade. While England's great rival, the kingdom of Spain may have had mixed motives in its overseas conquests, the lure of gold perhaps as equally important as the saving of souls, those who governed Britain did not disguise their motives.
      Spain was the UK's great rival, not England's.
      England has a Queen, Queen Elizabeth II. It has a Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who leads the Houses of Parliament.
      The UK has a Prime Minister, not England.
    I only counted nine hits, maybe Google counted subhit 1.1.1 as hit 1.2.
  2. IN
    1. A
      1. B
        Throughout history, the island nation of England has been one of the most difficult places to invade. However, a Norman duke named William successfully invaded England in 1066. His victory at the Battle of Hastings confirmed the name by which he would be known for the rest of time--William the Conqueror. Join author Tom McGowen as he puts you in the heat of a medieval warfare and shows you how William the Conqueror grew to be such an effective military leader.
        The island nation is Great Britain, not England.
      Although it should be noted that English art lies equally in the tendency toward melancholia, often expressed as a love of the continuity of the past with the present, and a love of ghosts, and marvelous or gothic ruins. As the population of England grew during the industrial revolution, a concern for privacy and smaller gardens becomes more notable in English art. There was also a new found appreciation of the open landscapes of romantic wilderness, and a concern for the ancient folk arts. William Morris is particularly associated with this latter trend, as were the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Another important influence, from about 1890 until 1926, was the growing knowledge about the visual art of Japan. Being a coastal and sea-faring island nation, English art has often portrayed the coast and the sea. Being a nation of four distinct seasons, and changeable weather, weather effects have often been portrayed in English art
      The coastal and sea-faring island nation is Great Britain, not England.
      Brothers of the west have been at best in their ingenious faculty. Their claim that Civil Laws of England are the brightest jewels worth having is literally correct. Application of those laws in India as elsewhere, however, shows up futility of their claim. Their efficacy and efficiency may be assayed in the crucible of history. The milieu miasmic or congenial that attended the advent of the British Laws to India has a sordid story to tell. Making a retrospection we find that when State of Satara was annexed by the English, Rango Bapoji went to England to lay the grievances of Satara before the Home Authorities, who found the claim unsustainable and turned down the entreaty. Queen Banka of Nagpur tried to get justice from England, fee’d expensive barristers with lacs of rupees but in vain. Nana Sahab Peshwa of Bithor sent Azim Ullah his advisor to England to plead his case; Azim Ullah returned disappointed but fully convinced that justice could rather be wrested than be entreated and, therefore, advised Nana Sahab and the Badshah Bahadur Shah Zafar to wield their swords for what they were entitled to.
      England is conflated with the United Kingdom.
      Brought up Christian in Madras and now living in the US I know a lot about this subject. First of all, similar to other religions hardly any Christians follow the teachings/instructions of the religion. And of course the author is correct, there are many divisions within Christianity in India, depending on really one's economic status, not stricly what caste one was before becoming Christian. There are churches where the congegation is mostly well off and others where everyone is quite poor and services are conducted in Tamil. The mention of the different Christian groups as "Roman Catholics, Protestants, Methodists,etc." is incorrect. The 2 basic groups are Catholics and Protestants. Within Catholics are Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox and similar sounding names, the Roman Catholics are 99% of the Catholics. People don't seem to realize that RUSSIA IS NOT COMMUNIST ANY MORE IT IS RUSSIAN ORTHODOX. There Russian Communist party is now just a small opposition party. Within the Protestants are Methodists, Pentecostals, Evangelicals (many kinds) In the US/England the Evangelicals are usually the lower classes. The 'Church of England' is for the upper classes - the equivalent in USA is the Episcopalian Church. Russia has quickly realized that many if not all western church groups and western NGOs are really centers of sedition, India also should immediately ban the inflow of foreign money to western religious groups, western NGOs (however noble their aims seem to be) and even re-evaluate the work of WHO UNAIDS and such. Without foreign money coming in, let us see how many conversions there are. Another horrifying thing is that many international Christian groups are fronts for western intelligence (CIA etc.). A classic example is the Protestant missionary organization Wycliffe Bible Translators, which worked in concert with Rockefeller to destroy indigenous peoples' cultural values in South America to abet penetration by U.S. businesses. Do a web search on 'rockefeller wycliffe'. Similarly the Christian international 'World Vision' is connected with the CIA for sure, some think it is completely a CIA front - if you have the stomach for it, read this URL [H]ttp:// [This link is from, which is blacklisted as spam; please do encourage spam by reading it.]
      The Church of England is conflated with the Anglican Communion in an international context, mentioning the Episcopal Church (United States) but ignoring the Scottish Episcopal Church.
      Jews fleeing the Spanish Inquisition took their connections and skills to the island nation of England which had just thwarted the Spanish Armada. These Jews congegated in East London, created the East India Company and then successfully used the growing muscle of England to engage in slavery, trade, colonialism and ultimately fatal wars. Disraeli, once a liberal Jew, rose to power by advocating blowing up the Moslem mutineers in India by tying them to cannons. After he became the still only Jewish PM of GB, capital was shifted out of once thriving British manufacturing and Britain started to depend more and more on Imperialism to live high of the hog. Soon it fell behind Germany and had to start one war after another which eventually destroyed the Empire. Politicians like Churchill were merely paid mouthpieces of the true power in UK, the Jews.
      England is conflated with the island of Great Britain.
      I am sure my readers are getting my point and understanding that the attempt to show the British people as “racists” is totally wrong. If “Big Brother” earlier this year inspired this, then I am feel sad for the makers because they took one person’s attitude and applied it to the entire nation of England. To reiterate, this is very sad but it is true! In fact to think of it in another way, won’t the people from subcontinent have negative feelings towards a foreign person who decides to play a major part in their nation? Take the example of Greg Chapell in India: he is criticized all the time for being foreign and having a non-Indian approach. At least Indians and Pakistanis abroad do not face such public humiliation for being from the subcontinent. Shouldn’t Vipul Shah and his team understand these issues and then decide what works in the 21st century? I mean LAGAAN worked because it was a period film and showed rightly the situation at that time. NAMASTEY LONDON does NOT work because it is a modern day film that hardly reflects modern day situations.
      The British are conflated with the English.
    Again I only counted nine hits; Google probably counted subhit 2.1.1 as hit 2.2.
  3. NG
    No results found for "Nation of England".
    Results for Nation of England (without quotes):
      Mr Adisa Adeleye, you are distorting history when you said the British granted us independence on a platter of gold I quote. What happened was the South was more Nationalistic & agitative for self-rule while the North was not.British intelligence & their experience in the Arab world thought them that these people are ungovernable due to religion,fuedal system,culture & other factors decided to join them together as a punishment for these agitating Southerners. This they delibrately did to punish the South. Was it not Wiston Churchill who said “the further backward you look they further forward you can see” If you check Nigerian history you would agree that the North is the burden of Nigeria today. They refuse to go to school & obtain education. Their Elite do not want their down trodden masses to be educated so that they will remain slaves & servants. They only indoctrinate them in religious militancy then brainwashing them. Right now they are spending billions of oil money to mass feed them in the name of Ramada.Why giving them fish, teach them how to fish so that they can feed themselves during Ramadan. The Governors siphon half of this feeding budget & pocket same in their bank accounts. They allow foreigners crossing Nigerian borders at will from Niger,Chad & most sub-saharan region. How can Nigeria plan any economic development without correct statistic of the Nation’s real population. These people migrate, become religious advocates & militants in the North or move south to be security men or okada drivers. Once they commit crime specially murder cases they are no more hausa Nigerians then flee to their real country. Any Black African that trust the British must be a fool. They know that the North of Nigeria will continue to be a parasite to South Nigeria hence lets join them together. Now they want to build British prison in Nigeria so that they can dump black world convicts in Nigeria. What will happen when they start dumping mad American hardened lunatic killer convicts in Nigerian prisons. Immediately the British throw the dice of building British prison in Nigeria like a fish bate our Ministers jump at it because of the sterling pound they would collect from the back. US black make up 12% of the population but make up 85% of hardened convicts in jail. What happpens when they start bringing these human jail lions into British built jails in Nigeria. Aer there no more space to build jail in England?. Now this is the catch. The British took Africans as slave in the past century to develop Europe & America-Now the want to bring back these same slaves as mordern day 21st century convicts in British jails built in Nigeria after using & convicting them. God forbid bad things & MUMU AFRICAN LEADERS.
      England is conflated with the United Kingdom.
      The Bank of England Base Rate is the United Kingdom's official rate of interest and is decided on a monthly basis by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee.
      England is conflated with the UK monetarily.
    9. [H]ttp:// [This link is from, which is blacklisted for spam; please do not encourage spam by visiting this site.]
      Nigeria Call Up Aluko For Ireland Friendly Match
      Nigeria have called up Aberdeen of Scotland English Youth International, Sone Aluko to be part of this...
      Scotland is conflated with English International.
  4. GB
      For me, the crux of the issue is the splitting up of the old Anglo-British national identity that was at the heart of imperial Great Britain: the way in which the English have tended informally and instinctively to regard England and Great Britain as indivisible, and as interchangeable names for a single, unitary ‘nation'. Of course, the reality of imperial and pre-devolution Great Britain was never that simple, as Scotland, for instance, always retained many of the institutional trappings and the cultural identity of a distinct nation. But for the English, the English-national and British-state identities merged, making Great Britain (and later, the United Kingdom) to all intents and purposes the proxy-English nation-state.
      The writer does not conflate England with the UK but does note how common doing so is.
      Devolution changed all of that, once and for all. It was a definitive refutation of the ‘absolute' character of the Union, in both senses: not only the unitary character of the British polity but the ‘union' (merger, (con)fusion) within the English national identity between England and Great Britain. It was this cultural and psychological union that had sustained the political Union throughout its history, as it secured the loyalty and ‘ownership' of the greater part of the UK, which viewed Great Britain as ‘our nation' and the UK as "one of the great creations of this country", to quote Vince Cable's words at this week's Liberal Democrats' conference (The unconscious irony in Vince Cable's statement is that the UK is supposed to be ‘this country' not something that ‘this country' (England) has created!).
      The writer quotes a British politician conflating England with the UK.
    3. A
      1. B
      2. C
      3. D
        England HAS its own national sovereignty. It has NOT gone in a suitcase to Brussels or Strasbourg. Don't be fooled. It is right here, with its people. But in place of our national sovereignty is a rogue entity, the UK, which is a corporate nonsense posturing as our government. Time to assert our national sovereignty, to abandon political parties, and to move towards an end, a real end, of this Babylonian capitivity of rich elites, feudal privileges and to assert and obtain an England worthy of our own history and our own democratic choice. Nothing less. We need no infiltration of government. No hidden charities. No unaccountable police or intelligence agencies. No surveillance state. No obligations undertaken by the UK. We need an independent nation of England.
        The status of England is obfuscated.
      4. E
  5. PH
    Results 1 - 2 of 2 for "Nation of England".
      The Lord was not unmindful of the mixture in the Spanish Empire. God had made them a great world power as they sought to spread their knowledge of God. But when Spain increasingly used that power for their own greed and did not spiritually grow into a purer Christianity, the Lord changed His blessing into judgment. God cast Spain down from holding the world's greatest empire, and raised up the nation of England to become the next world superpower. The main reason was because England had embraced the Protestant Reformation to become a more Bible-based nation than Spain. While England has had little direct influence upon the Philippines, a nation that was a spiritual 'son' did contribute much to the destiny of the Philippines. That nation was the United States of America.
      England is conflated with the UK, which became the world superpower.
      The advantages of the dynamism of nationalism, at least to Western nations, have been numerous. For example, the tiny island nation of England grew in five-hundred years from a weak nonentity to the master of the greatest empire the world has ever known. Nationalism fueled this rise, which began with Henry VIII and accelerated after the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588.
      England is conflated with the island of Great Britain.
  6. DE
      Two years ago we promised the Commander of the British man-of-war "Spitfire" not to attack or make war with Little Popo; he promised us that the people of Little Popo should not be allowed to attack us while the "Spitfire" was here at anchor off our town, and after we had given our faithful promise to her Commander, the Little Popo people came here, assisted by the Awoona people, to burn our town; we did nothing until they were close to and firing at our town, thinking that the "Spitfire" would prevent them, as her Commander had promised; instead of doing so, she steamed about, and the officers looked through their glasses, enjoying the sight. When we promise a great nation anything, and an officer of that nation also promises us, we keep our promise and expect the great nation to keep her promise. We kept our promise; the great nation of England did not keep theirs. This makes us cautious.
      England is conflated with the UK.
      Re: All your data are belong to us
      ... One way ticket from Mornington Crescent to Tannhauser Gate please. ... island nation of england where ignorance flows like a summer brook. ...
      England is conflated with the island of Great Britain.
  7. CA
    1. A NB: This same site came up in the IN search.
      1. B NB: This same site came up in the IN search.
        Throughout history, the island nation of England has been...
        The island nation is Great Britain, not England.
      I saw a human boomerang flying out of Canada and it hit the nation of England, it hit the nation of Australia, it hit the nation of New Zealand, and it came spinning around,
      England is conflated with the UK.
      The island nation of England developed while occupying a unique place in European history, and the sphere of painting is no exception. This is nowhere more true that in the field of modern landscape painting, to which area England's contribution has been considerable. In modern Japan, too, there was a group of painters with a strong yearning and inclination towards modern English landscapes, whose work forms an important component of this museum's collection, which focuses mostly on landscapes from the 17th century onwards. This exhibition from the permanent collection presents Japanese yoga paintings related to England by artists such as Katsumi Miyake and Chuji Kuribara as an appropriate companion exhibition to the "Twelve Travels" exhibition of English art.
      England is conflated with Great Britain.
      The historical mix of social fictions in England and France at the end of the 1780s greatly impacted the literature of the period. Tom Paine's The Rights of Man (1791) and Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1791) were the two most widely read works that spurred a decade long debate on how the nation of England was to be governed and by whom. As a young man during this period, William Wordsworth formed part of the circle of writers who fought for the Republican cause of democracy and its ideals. Similar to the poet William Cowper, Wordsworth's early poetry contributed to a larger framework of social reform literature that the publisher Joseph Johnson promoted throughout his career from the late 1770s until his death in 1809.
      England is conflated with the UK.
      Similar examples abound: Gulliver’s representation of English naivety when he expounds on the superficial joys of the Struldbrugg’s immortality(Swift 1065), Swift’s allusion to the whore-like behavior of English scientists during his etymology of Laputa (Swift 1058), his mockery of the Royal Society of London during Gulliver’s description of the bizarre inventions of the Royal Academy of Lagado, and Swift’s satire of England’s racist colonialism through his depiction of the Houyhnhnm’s enslavement of the Yahoos enumerate a broad collection of England’s flaws. Any argument that attempts to specify a central theme of Gulliver’s Travels is bound to consider the denigration of England as its subject. With such an overwhelming body of evidence on its side, the argument that Gulliver’s Travels diminishes the reputation of England is a powerful one. It is an argument with which, by the end of his adventure, Gulliver seems to agree.
      England is conflated with the UK.
      In other words, even while including chapter-length caveats of the English treatment of the Irish and of slavery and its tragic aftermath, Phillips argues that the world bequeathed to us by the Puritans was ever more open to political involvement by, what he calls, "ordinary folk". And he's got the numbers to prove it. Prior to the challenge to Charles I, England's "political nation" consisted of some tens of thousands of nobles; the one that took his head consisted of approximately 200,000 shopkeepers, petitioners, and traders. In 1775, the English political nation totaled 400,000, the majority of whom opposed war with their co-religionists across the Atlantic. By 1865, its official total was more than one million. But, as Phillips argues, despite the economic dislocation caused in England by the loss of Southern cotton, millions of England's own (disenfranchised) workers were supportive of the North; England, therefore, was kept from siding with the Confederacy, which means that the political nation of England was even larger, as was recognized in the Electoral Reform Act of 1867.
      England is conflated with the UK.
      The nation of England can trace its beginnings to the second half of the First Millennium AD. This was the Dark Age, a period of tribal invasions and conflicts when civilization itself seemed to retreat. For many, the terrifying pagan Vikings symbolizes a bleak period of history. But there are shafts of light that illuminate the English Dark Age, as this fascinating program reveals. It was a time of legendary Kings like Arthur, Alfred, and Offa, the builder of the famous dyke. The amazing discovery of the Burial Ship at Sutton Hoo proved that skilled craftmanship did not die out. The survival of Christianity led to the production of the dazzling Lindisfarne Gospels, and the events of the age are also recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the first great work of English prose.
      A preponderance of historical bases for King Arthur are Celtic and place him as the victor at the Battle of Mons Badonicus over the Anglo-Saxons. This would make him Romano-British and an enemy of the English. As such England is conflated here with Britain or even Wales.
    Again I only counted nine hits; Google probably counted subhit 7.1.1 as hit 7.2.
  8. FR
    Results 1 - 3 of 3 for "Nation of England".
    3. NB: This broken link is of a farce and written for Mexicans.
  9. AU
    1. A
      1. B
    2. A
      English art is the body of visual arts originating from the nation of England, in the form of a continuous tradition. Following historical surveys such as Creative Art In England by William Johnstone (1936 and 1950), Nikolaus Pevsner attempted a definition in his 1956 book The Englishness of English Art, as did Sir Roy Strong in his 2000 book The Spirit of Britain: A narrative history of the arts, and Peter Ackroyd in his 2002 book The Origins of the English Imagination. Although medieval English painting, mostly religious, had a strong national tradition and was at times influential on the rest of Europe, this was in decline from the 15th century and the Protestant Reformation not only brought the tradition to an abrupt stop but resulted in the destruction of almost all wall-paintings. Only illuminated manuscripts now survive in good numbers.
      England is conflated with Britain.
      1. B
        English art is the body of visual arts...
        England is conflated with Britain.
    3. A NB: This broken link is not cached.
      1. B NB: This broken link is not cached.
      LaRouche Fields Question on the Nation of England vs. Empire
      England is conflated with Britain.
      Whilst the overseas facilities were very impressive, particularly the research vessels I found the management of fisheries disappointing. In Japan the abalone fishery was managed by the most draconian limits on fishing gear, in some prefectures the abalone had to be caught without swimming. In others diving was allowed but no compressed air. Whereas we had moved on to limiting entry the great fishing nation of England did not even know how many vessels they had. Estimating catch and effort rested on interviews with a sample of vessels when they returned to port and extrapolating the results. Yet the acknowledged concern about overfishing had resulted in no action. One leading figure rather embarrassingly admitted that although the North Atlantic boasted most of world’s fisheries scientists their work seemed to have little impact on the well being of the fisheries.
      England is conflated with the UK.
      One-day matches, also known as limited overs or instant cricket, were introduced in English domestic cricket in the 1960s due to the growing demands for a shorter and more dramatic form of cricket to stem the decline in attendances. The idea was taken up in the international arena in 1971, during an England team tour of Australia, when a Test match was rained off, and the one-day game has since swollen to become a crowd-pleaser and TV-audience-generator across the globe. The inaugural World Cup in 1975 did much to hasten this. The abbreviations ODI or sometimes LOI (for Limited Overs International) are used for international matches of this type. In one-day cricket, each team bats for only one innings, and it is limited to a number of overs, usually 50 in international matches. Despite its name, a one-day match may go into a second day if play is interrupted by rain. Day and night matches are also played which extend into the night. Innovations such as coloured clothing, frequent tournaments and result oriented-games often resulting in nail-biting finishes have seen ODI cricket gain many supporters. Strategies such as quick scoring, gravity-defying fielding and accurate bowling make this form more invigorating as compared to the Test matches.
      England is conflated with England and Wales but this reflects the global parlance of the International Cricket Council, so should not be counted.
    I only counted seven; Google probably counted 9.1.1 as 9.2, 9.2.1 as 9.4, and 9.3.1 as 9.6.
  10. PK
    Results 1 - 1 of 1 for "Nation of England".
      Today we too long for a university. Muslims are the real founders of University. Today if Englishman is giving Muslims a university, it is only a repayment of debt. European countries are indebted to Muslims for their universities.
      England is conflated with Britain or the West.

Altogether there are 69 DNSes; 30 of which improper call other entities England. That's over 40% of random English writers across the Anglosphere picked up on the first phrase tested. That is statistically significant so we can safely refute the original hypothesis, 'Every English speaker knows what "England" means.'. As such, it is not improper to request a clear distinction between England and the UK in the field of Geography. :)--Thecurran (talk) 13:20, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't have the slightest idea what you're test is supposed to demonstrate. It might be more meaningful if you asked at the UK Wikiproject whether they have a preference for how their regions are presented on disambiguation pages. Or at WP:VPP whether there is in fact any relevant policy dictating whether to use one form over the other. olderwiser 19:47, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for your input. I was discussing User:SamuelTheGhost's hypothesis and, in doing so, linked several relevant policies, including one of the five pillars and one of the three core content policies. I am showing my respect to User:SamuelTheGhost by taking the hypothesis seriously and subjecting it to rigorous scrutiny as a peer. :)--Thecurran (talk) 21:00, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

That's well and good. But I don't see that the linked policies explicitly support the specifics of your contention. Secondarily, I think you may be mis-using Google. What your results show is that people very commonly conflate UK and England, especially in matters of foreign policy. That means little with regards to locating a place. olderwiser 22:30, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Cant see anything particularly wrong with the England (disambiguation) page although I cant find anything in the discussion above why the user doesnt like the disambiguation page. Perhaps User:Thecurran can be clearer what style issues are involved in that page. England seem to be the correct primary topic so I cant see anything wrong with that either. Also note that England is not mentioned in the related guideline to this page. MilborneOne (talk) 14:20, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
You are right, [[User:MilborneOne], I was not clear enough. I linked the word, "Wikipedia", in the first sentence to WP:MOSDAB#Places, on the attached page because it has:
Kimberley may refer to:
...whereas when I read "New Scientist" from London, it always has British addresses written like Kimberley, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom. I mistakenly thought it was a simple typo and did not realize trying to fix it would be controversial. I am concerned that out of every place on the planet, only the Home Nations of the UK are treated this way. We do not even do this for Flanders and Wallonia of Belgium (cf. Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix, despite them constantly using different languages in every context (cf. BBC Wales and BBC Scotland). Especially because this is the English Wikipedia, it seems imbalanced on the one hand, and wikt:misinforming our readers on the other (not disinformation). Since this imbalance only applies to the UK, it tends to give the UK WP:Undue weight. :)--Thecurran (talk) 02:01, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Arbitrary break

I don't see a problem with using England(ish) when it is used correctly (ie meaning England not the UK or Britain or the BI). This is the English wp, the word England is commonly used by the natives to describe placenames, most sons and daughters of the UK now populating much of the English speaking world will understand England, Scotland etc because they delight in claiming heritage from those places. As to comparisons with other parts of the world, if there is a problem with those placenames then adress that problem don't upset the English applecart which is working pretty well atm ... imho. Abtract (talk) 06:41, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

The problem is many "sons and daughters of the UK" do not understand what England means. I have had university-educated people that "delight in claiming" English heritage and have travelled to several countries tell me that one should never call a Scot British, that the British people are the ones that live next to the Scottish and the Welsh, and that the proper term for all of them is English. I have heard this same confusion from men that display their Scottish Pride by kilting up in Highland garb for bridal parties. The simple fact of the matter is that there is a large minority, if not a majority, in our target audience that confuse English and British. We are here to enlighten the World; not to confuse it. The prime nationality of someone born in the Kingdom of England before the Acts of Union 1707 took effect on 1707-05-01 is English. That would also be true of someone born there after hypothetical future events like the independence of England or the dissolution of modern state boundaries within the EU. Anyone else born in England is primarily British. I have no problem with a person being called "an English runner", etc. in the first sentence of the introductory paragraph but place names, especially birthplaces in info-boxes, should correctly refer to either "Kimberley, Nottinghamshire, England, UK", "Kimberley, Nottinghamshire, UK", or some less abbreviated version. :)--Thecurran (talk) 09:09, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
You may be arguing in the wrong forum. You may have more interest in this issue at Wikipedia:WikiProject England and Wikipedia:WikiProject Scotland. If there is consensus in those projects for a particular usage, then I think this project would be likely to go along with whatever those projects decide. olderwiser 12:19, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Maybe you are right. I have appended some links here in WT:England#UK. :)--Thecurran (talk) 23:43, 8 November 2009 (UTC)


_ _ At Heidegger (disambiguation), i've reverted the Rdr to the article Martin Heidegger, thereby reviving the previous attempt at a Dab, and written the full content it needed. But i refrained from placing the needed HatNote on that bio.
_ _ IMO the ill-informed 3-2 poll against the hatnote, at Talk:Martin Heidegger#Final_Fantasy Heidegger_vs_Martin_Heidegger (whose title, at least, makes me feel like i'm in a Monty Python sketch, BTW!), deserves respect primarily as evidence of the inadequacy of WP:RFC (i think it was listed there), but repairing its outcome is not a battle i want to get any closer to being involved in. YMMV.
--Jerzyt 16:30, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

That poll discussion is amazing (starting with: "as FFVII's heidegger and martin heidegger are equally notable..."), but to me it doesn't seem there's a major dispute here. It appears that at the time, it was thought Wikipedia only had information on two uses of the term, and that in spite of input from people who had heard of the video game character and not the philosopher, the discussion incorrectly concluded that the video game character wasn't important enough to be linked in a hatnote. Since it's clear from the current version of Heidegger (disambiguation) that there are at least a few different topics that could be referred to as "Heidegger", I re-added a hatnote linking to the dab page. Propaniac (talk) 18:01, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Discussion of new template for disambiguation pages

A deletion discussion that may be of interest: Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2009 November 12#Template:All pages. olderwiser 12:22, 13 November 2009 (UTC)


I really dislike the growing use of {{intitle}} on disambiguation pages. It is so horrible self-referential. Is there really consensus for this—I can find no discussion on it in the archives—or is it one of those cases where a few people who like it have put it in the MOS and rolled it out, and no-one has thought to challenge it? Hesperian 23:36, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

  • Disambiguation is an aid to navigation of the encyclopedia, and unlike articles, navigation pages are supposed to be self-referential. --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 01:00, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I wasn't aware of this template or its use, but I think it's far preferable to long lists of partial title matches that are all too frequent on dab pages. There was the start of a slightly related discussion here regarding a messy page at Broad Street Historic District, where I suggested a search template might be much the lesser evil. Station1 (talk) 01:07, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Hesperian - why do you dislike this template? I don't see anything self-referential about it - it doesn't refer to itself (or do you mean that the dab page itself shows up in the results? that's true of course, but as far as I can tell it doesn't significantly harm the utility of the template.)--Kotniski (talk) 14:01, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
  • It shouldn't be used indiscriminately, but it is far, far preferable to including long lits of psrtisl mstches. olderwiser 03:48, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Surname pages

It seems there is currently a policy (Wikipedia:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)#Given names or surnames) to put long lists of people with the same surname on surname pages, e.g., Brown (surname). There are at least two problems I see with this: (1) many users from the United States are unfamiliar with the term surname, since last name is the common usage there; (2) surname pages discuss the history/etymology of the surname itself, which is really a separate topic or purpose for the page.

I have noticed, for example, that on the Thomson page, the edit history reveals many editors adding surname disambiguation entries on that page rather than the surname page, possibly because they do not realize that the list of surnames is on the Thomson (surname) page. (At least this was the case for me, so temporarily I have added a note to this effect on the Thomson page and some discussion on Talk:Thomson to try to deal with this problem.)

It seems there are other pages that serve for disambiguating (or locating) people with the same surname, e.g., List of people with surname Smith. A link to this page is included on the Smith page. This seems to me to be a better approach, and I suggest this should become the policy in preference to using surname pages for these lists. --Robert.Allen (talk) 20:33, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

The word "surname" accommodates cultures that put the surname first, such as those of China, Japan, Hungary, and wherever the Turanga family of Futurama came from. (Trilingual, bilingual, American.) --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 21:37, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
So we should keep "surname" in the page title. There are already a ton of pages in the "(surname)" class which have disambiguation lists, and it is not practical to change them. But the policy section could mention the possible alternative of creating a page like List of people with surname Smith, when the list of names is long and/or the information on name history/etymology becomes substantial. --Robert.Allen (talk) 21:58, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Your proposals and questions should be brought up over at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Anthroponymy. As noted in the section you linked, those list articles aren't disambiguation pages. -- JHunterJ (talk) 02:49, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

The composer I was looking for was referred to simply as Thomson, and the name was not linked to an article. I did not find it on the Wikipedia Thomson disambiguation page. So this is what Wikipedia:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)#Given names or surnames currently says:

Persons who have the disambiguated term as surname or given name should not be mixed in with the other links unless they are very frequently referred to simply by the single name (e.g. Elvis, Shakespeare). For short lists of such persons, new sections of Persons with the surname Xxxx and/or Persons with the given name Xxxx can be added below the main disambiguation list. For longer lists, create an article called Xxxx (name), Xxxx (surname) and/or Xxxx (given name), and link to it from the disambiguation page.

I think it might be changed to something like the following (bold is only used to highlight my suggested additions):

Persons who have the disambiguated term as surname or given name should not be mixed in with the other links unless they are very frequently referred to simply by the single name (e.g. Elvis, Shakespeare). For short lists of such persons, new sections of Persons with the surname Xxxx and/or Persons with the given name Xxxx can be added below the main disambiguation list. For longer lists, create an article called List of people with surname Xxxx, Xxxx (name), Xxxx (surname) and/or Xxxx (given name), and link to it from the disambiguation page. In the case of the Xxxx (surname) link it is advisable to append an explanation, such as, Xxxx (surname), list of people with the last name Xxxx, since not all users will be familiar with the term "surname."

Would this be inappropriate? --Robert.Allen (talk) 08:30, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

As noted, not all surnames are last names; the description might use the phrase "family name", however (even though there are currently separate WP articles on surname and family name). Perhaps we can emphasize the article-ness of these pages (and push the instructions on naming the articles to the appropriate project) with something like:

Persons who have the disambiguated term as surname or given name should not be mixed in with the other links unless they are very frequently referred to simply by the single name (e.g. Elvis, Shakespeare). For short lists of such persons, new sections of Persons with the surname Xxxx and/or Persons with the given name Xxxx can be added below the main disambiguation list. For longer lists, create an article for them; see Wikipedia:WikiProject Anthroponymy.

I'd rather not specify the dab guidelines that definitions or synonyms of "surname" be added to dab pages. OTOH, if the composer is frequently referred to by just the surname (that is, a reliable source might mention him without ever mentioning his given name(s)), then his article should have a separate entry on the dab page. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:31, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
  1. What does OTOH stand for?
  2. The American Oxford English Dictionary defines "last name" as "one's surname." This is the English-speaking Wikipedia, so "last name" and "surname" could be considered to be synonymous.
  3. When I added "Virgil Thomson, composer" to the Thomson page (see this version), it was removed by another editor because it was already on the page Thomson (surname). (If you go through the page history you will see there are several instances in which editors have added names for disambiguation, and they have been removed.) Another editor, apparently feeling similarly to you about explanations of links to "(surname)" pages had already removed a rather cumbersome one from this version. That's why I failed to find the name. (I checked several disambiguation pages for common last names. Some have an explanation for the "Xxxx (surname)" links and others do not. It seems many editors find it useful, and others dislike it.) So, anyway, it becomes like a catch-22, and the problem still exists for those of us who don't ordinarily use the term "surname." I might also add that it is not obvious that a page titled "Xxxx (surname)" includes a list for for finding people with that last name. Certainly not all of them do. So I think omitting the information that such a list exists at these linked pages creates a problem. Adding it may not be perfect, but if it helps people to find the information, it is better to include it. Since the pages often include other information perhaps it is better to say: Xxxx (surname), includes a list of people with last name Xxxx.
  4. If you are going to put a link to Wikipedia:WikiProject Anthroponymy in the disambiguation policy, I think you should link to a section which includes the information which you want to leave out, i.e., "called List of people with surname Xxxx, Xxxx (name), Xxxx (surname) and/or Xxxx (given name), and link to it from the disambiguation page." (If such a section exists, I have not found it.) Also, I think the phrase "and link to it from the disambiguation page" probably belongs in the disambiguation policy section (Wikipedia:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)#Given names or surnames). --Robert.Allen (talk) 17:08, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
  1. OTOH = on the other hand
  2. Surname vs. Family name. If you think OED indicates that those articles should be corrected, please do. But you're cite of the OED indicates that "surname" is a fine way to title or describe this kind of thing.
  3. Discussion at the talk page of the individual dab in question should lead to consensus about the inclusion of a particular entry. I'd hold with the side that says if reliable sources refer to the person by a single name throughout, then they should be listed on the dab. Yes, I agree, I add the description "an English surname (and a list of people with that surname)", for example, when I split surname-holder lists from dabs.
  4. OK. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:40, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Actually it wasn't the OED, but the Oxford American English Dictionary, which is quite another thing. Sorry for writing it wrong. Perhaps we can avoid the "surname" vs. "last name" issue. What would you think of saying something like this in the disambig policy section: For longer lists, create an article for them (see Wikipedia:WikiProject Anthroponymy#xxxx for appropriate page titles) and link to the new page from the disambiguation page. If the page title does not explicitly state that the page contains a list, then it is advisable to add explanatory text after the link, for example:

The curious case of "Readmission of states"

At Readmission of states i found a Rdr to Reconstruction era of the United States. (I assume my retargeting to the anchor Reconstruction era of the United States#Readmission_into_Union will meet with no objections.) What really caught my attention about it is that that Rdr is grossly Ameri-centric: the most reasonable meaning for "readmission of states" is return to the UN of states that lost or relinquished their formerly membership in the body. Besides the topic

What's involved in being admitted (& thus presumably in being readmitted) to the UN?

our List of United Nations member states article also covers, each in a different section, the topics of

  1. two states that merged into one, with a single membership, but later split up so one needed its own membership back,
  2. one state at least edged away from its membership but later reversed that and returned, and
  3. a UN-founding state that
lost control of most of its territory in an invasion that the UN-founders all opposed,
lost control of most of the rest when that disruption let a 2-decade-old insurgency succeed,
was nevertheless recognized for 25 years as the same state and a member,
was then deprived of its membership without reference to the suspension or expulsion procedures, and
sought (re-)admission (unsuccessfully)
(regarding which description, my point is not argue with the "list-" article's account, but to clarify the logic of the section title, "Bids for readmission as the representative of Taiwan", and the prospect of some users seeking it via "readmission of states").

I've made it a Dab, but it's made me do two things in converting from that Rdr that i can't remember even tolerating: I've always

  1. stuck to the principle "one blue-linked page, one entry", to the point of rewording two entries as one if they linked to the same page.
  2. avoided explanatory language that doesn't serve to dab'ate.

I see this page as different, in that the 3 sections and one 2-element list each are far better focused on a distinct topic that than virtually any red-/blue-link-pair's most relevant 'graph. Thus i want a separate entry and section-link for each of the 4 "List of United Nations member states" topics, and i feel obligated to lead into those four entries by following the "Resumption of former status as United Nations member state" section-less Dab heading with an actual sentence, which i italicized to mark it as not non-Dab-ing info, intended to warn against the usual presumption that separate entries go to separate pages:

The general subject of UN members and membership is covered by the article "List of United Nations member states"; sections within that article cover the following resumption-of-UN-membership topics:

I'd appreciate review and discussion of my IMO unorthodox Dab'n of this term, where the coverage of the topics is so unusual.
(Please note that UN membership seems to be an ultimate form of inside baseball: the articles on the individual states involved, and the "main topics" they link, don't seem to even mention the respective UN-membership issues.)
--Jerzyt 22:23, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

I see your problem but do not like the solution. Without getting too deep into it, I would consider deleting "readmission of states?" or perhaps creating a more general article on the term (or one of its synonyms and redirect). I definitely do not like the piping on the page. Also, It might be best to have this discussion on the talk page and just have a pointer here. Just a quick few comments. Let's see who else chimes in. (John User:Jwy talk)
The only occurrence of "readmission of states" on Wikipedia is on William P. Fessenden. I doubt this molehill needs to be made much bigger. But I see no reason to avoid one blue link per line here (although I confess I still have trouble parsing your prose, Jerzy). If the original redirect is not to be used because of some U.S.-centric concerns (even though it seems to be the only topic "near" that name), I agree the pipe-filled solution and the multiple-links-to-the-same-article is not a good one. -- JHunterJ (talk) 23:44, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
The page gets fewer than 25 hits per month and has zero incoming links, so it has almost no use. I would either put it back as it was (most of the few hits probably mean American states, so rename it to Readmission of American states if you want), delete it as useless, or turn it into a short article based on what you have. But as it is it shouldn't be labeled a dab page; it doesn't disambiguate article titles and it's a bad example if nothing else. Station1 (talk) 04:31, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Albums with title songs

A discussion is currently underway at Talk:My Life (Mary J. Blige album)#Rename about the naming of album articles that also have title songs with articles, and about the best way to handle these entries on disambiguation pages for popular titles with many albums & songs listed. The dab page involved is My Life (and an alternative version).--ShelfSkewed Talk 15:20, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Periodicity dab cleanup

I have noted some issues requiring attention at Talk:Periodicity. --R'n'B (call me Russ) 16:50, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Straw poll on recently-discussed revisions

Some users have insisted that a consensus has been reached on particular changes; I do not believe that such a consensus is clear. I hope no one minds if I attempt to tally clear numbers on the level of support for the proposed changes. (I apologize if I make any errors in how I put this poll together, I've never done it before.)

I'm putting in "Discussion" sections but I hope we can all agree there's no reason to repeat the same discussion that's already taken place above. I suppose my hope is that any discussion here should be in regard to the poll itself. Propaniac (talk) 00:50, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Note: I think it would be a good idea to wait at least until Tuesday (another 24 hours or so from now) for further responses before we try to draw any conclusions from this. Propaniac (talk) 12:56, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

I think waiting at least a week (until 25 October 2009) would be a good idea. Not all editors are on WP daily. :-) I don't think there's a pressing problem that's going to be fixed by drawing conclusions sooner (e.g., no edit wars are currently being waged, AFAIK). -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:01, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Question 1. Listing blue links first

Do you support or oppose including this text in the MOS:

Within each of the above groups, the most commonly-used meanings should appear at the top, with less common meanings below. Entries with a link in the description (red-link entries and unlinked entries) should appear after blue-link entries.

Responses 1

Add your "vote" to this section; include a brief summary of your rationale if you wish.

  • Support I believe it makes the page clearer, neater and easier to use. Propaniac (talk) 00:50, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Though rare, a red like might clearly be more likely a target than a blue. The likelihood test should take precedence. (John User:Jwy talk) 01:06, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If a redlink satisfies the criteria for inclusion, there is no reason to sort it differently. olderwiser 02:49, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support the first sentence; neutral on the second sentence; I'd prefer to see this left as a judgment call for editors per Jwy. --Muchness (talk) 03:42, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. Disambiguation pages exist to address name collisions among articles (often stated as "Disambiguation pages disambiguate Wikipedia articles"). Red links are not (yet) articles. Topic that are likely for a reader to be seeking are also likely for an editor to have created. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:08, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I'm sorry to be a late entrant to this discussion, but I disagree with the whole idea of ordering on the basis of the supposed "most commonly-used meanings". A user is looking for a particular meaning. He wants to find it as straightforwardly as possible, and finding the options in some logical order will allow that. Putting the options in an order based on common use, which is very likely to be judged subjectively by the editor, is liable to confuse the issue and irrritate the user. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 13:25, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
    • To see the consequences of ordering by "likelihood", ponder this. Is this really the criterion for ordering that we want? SamuelTheGhost (talk) 13:48, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As clarified in several threads still showing on this page, the best ordering for some dab pages which include Redlinks is not to order by Bluelinks then Redlinks. To make a rule insisting upon that would be unhelpful. doncram (talk) 15:40, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose both the general spirit (per Ghostly Sam) and the red vs blue which forces extra maintenance as good doobies create the missing articles. Matchups 17:24, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
    The creation of missing articles always forces maintenance, since each dab entry is to have exactly one blue link. No "extra" maintenance is involved. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:25, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
    I'd rather not debate within this polling section. But that's not true: there is more maintenance involved in updating dab pages if the order is changed upon the creation of each new redlink article. Also if a simple order (not involving red-links vs. blue-links) is apparent in a page, editors slot new entries of any type in properly, while they do not if the ordering is not obvious. doncram (talk) 17:41, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
    Ah, you're talking about keystrokes -- having to do a cut-and-paste in addition to removing the newly-extraneous wikilink brackets. Yep, you're right. Same number of maintenance edits, marginally more actual editing within those edits. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:50, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the extra work does at least involving more keystrokes, but not always merely that. In some cases it requires multiple page moves/renames and perhaps Administrator assistance, as in the case of the Roosevelt School disambiguation covered in #restore NRHP dab page please discussion section on this page. And it often would involve more than one edit to get the ordering right. It is surprisingly difficult for many editors to get a medium-sized list of U.S. entries each including parenthetical (City, State) mention back into state then city order, if it has been randomized. And to order according to a more complex ordering schemes involving red- vs. blue-links (which you can't distinguish when in edit mode) there would be more mistakes causing more edits. Plus perhaps more edits involving editors disagreeing what is the sensible ordering scheme, the one that might be dictated by a revised, arcane MOSDAB vs. what appears for many editors to be common sense order. doncram (talk) 18:15, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
An objection based on maintenance is irrelevant. DAB pages are perpetually in need of maintenance. What is problematic is that sorting redlinks to the bottom can make a list that is otherwise sorted by other criteria more difficult to use. That is what is unacceptable. A properly sorted list with redlink that has turned blue and thus might have two blue links is more useful than an illogically sorted list. olderwiser 22:48, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I don't believe this will make every page simpler to read. --Tesscass (talk) 00:43, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support in principle, although determination of "most common" seems problematic. Suggest that second sentence be revised to say "This will usually result in [blue links coming before redlinks]" since the project is now sufficiently comprehensive that that should usually be the case. --AndrewHowse (talk) 03:33, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. DAB pages are to help readers find the article they want so articles should come before possiblemaybesometimearticles ... and, under the likelihood "rule", entries with articles are going to be almost always more likely as a target than those without articles. Abtract (talk) 14:33, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose in this form. I'll address JHunterJ's comments specifically: WP:RA aren't articles either. Under this proposal, an entry would have to be moved halfway up the page just because it goes from Nonexistent class to Stub class. Such a change results in a bigger, more disruptive diff than de-bluing the link in the description. Should we also make a distinction between Stub class and Start class, or between Start class and GA class, or between GA class and Featured class? But AndrewHowse still has a point about the spirit of the rule. Make the "red links in last place" less normative and replace "should appear after" with "are generally less commonly used and will often appear after" and I'll reconsider. --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 17:02, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
    "Have to be" is wrong here. This is a manual of style. Editors who enjoy or for whatever other reason wish to clean up the disambiguation pages will always have maintenance possibilities awaiting them on the disambiguation project. How are any diffs "disruptive", since they are hidden from the reader? I'll address your other questions specifically: no, there's no distinction between stubs, starts, middling, GA, or Featured articles -- where they are ambiguous, those attributes do not make them more or less ambiguous. Note that this is different than non-articles, which are not ambiguous articles (nor unambiguous articles). -- JHunterJ (talk) 02:20, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per Bkonrad's wise point. Also, links should be ordered in the way that a person searching can quickly and intuitively find the link for which they are searching, whether it is a "likely target" or not. bd2412 T 00:12, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose, style isn't about colour of the link. Today's redlink is tomorrow's blue link, and that should necessitate more work?-- billinghurst (talk) 01:17, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
    As noted above, the creation of ambiguous articles always results in a change to the dab page; no additional work is demanded here of editors who do not wish to perform it. -- JHunterJ (talk) 02:20, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
    The issue is not that redlinks turning blue will result in more work, but that it results in an incoherently organized list that is entirely preventable by not treating redlinks that meet inclusion criteria differently from other links. olderwiser 03:19, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
    The intermediate stage is not incoherent nor is it the final result. The result would be the corrected page -- the one with the extra blue link removed and the entry placed in its new position. So there's no real issue here. -- JHunterJ (talk) 03:59, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
    Most disambiguation pages are in constant need of attention of some sort. Some are tended to regularly, while other sit unnoticed for months and years. Deliberately setting the stage to have an incoherently sorted list for any period of time seems irrational. olderwiser 04:15, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
    Except that it's not incoherent. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:31, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
    What would you call a list that has no apparent organizing principle (or perhaps an inconsistently applied organizing principle)? olderwiser 12:35, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose per all my arguments above. » Swpbτ ¢ 16:43, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Half-and-half. The first sentence (with the caveat others have pointed out, that determining what is "most common" can be problematic) is a no brainer, but putting redlinks at the bottom is something that most us probably do but only when all things are being equal, the DAB page isn't so long that each of its sections hasn't been alphabetized, or arranged by continent or whatever, making red vs. blue position non-operable, and so on. That is, we don't need to codify the fact that it's natural to shunt redlinks toward the bottom but only when this won't cause problems. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 12:12, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Discussion 1

As I've noted before, the current ordering within a section is:

  1. Articles with a clarifier in parentheses: e.g., South Pacific (film)
  2. Articles with a clarifier following a comma: e.g., Kneeland, California
  3. Articles with the item as part of the name: e.g., Electronic keyboard as part of a Keyboard dab page (Only include articles whose subject might reasonably be called by the ambiguous title.)
  4. Synonyms: e.g., Bite as part of a Nibble dab page
  5. Broader-subject articles that treat the topic in a section: e.g., Medieval art as part of a Fresco dab page

And so it already specifies articles (blue links) before broader-subject articles containing the topic (red links and unlinked entries). -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:08, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

I disagree with JHunterJ's interpretation, as have others over the last year who have interpreted what's written in MOSDAB. JHunterJ's interpretation hinges on noting the last item is one not involving a separate article. It is his judgement then, not shared by many others which many others have disagreed with, that a redlink entry for an article name of any type of article name is more like that. I and others think that a redlink entry for an article name of some type (such as with clarifier in parentheses, for example), is more like a bluelink entry for an article name of the same type. I would suggest changing the MOSDAB to more explicitly rule out JHunterJ's interpretation, except that as a matter of good writing that would over-emphasize the blue- vs. red-link distinction which most MOSDAB readers do not need to hear more about than is available already. This disagreement in interpretation has already been discussed on this page and need not be continued out as a debate here, so I will probably not reply further here to others chiming in about what is their interpretation. Suffice it to say that there is disagreement on that interpretation. doncram (talk) 17:56, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
It's not an interpretation or my judgment, it's what "article" means, shared by me and Wikipedia. A red link is not the name of an article; if it were, the Wikipedia software would render it blue. Your continued disagreement with that is neither supported by any other Wikipedia interpretation of "article" nor shared by many others. Now, it could be that the guidelines about the ordering of articles first no long meet with consensus here and should be changed to explicitly allow articles to appear after red links or unlinked entries, and that certainly has been part of this discussion. But it would be to newly rule out the current ordering, not to more explicitly rule it out, since it is currently "ruled in". -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:05, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, then perhaps the language should be changed to read entries or items rather than articles. Deciding whether to include a redlink at all is a judgment that there is likely to be an article on the topic. If there is little confidence that an article can or should be created, then the redlink should either be removed altogether or replaced with a link in the description to article containing relevant information. olderwiser 22:48, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
If "article" necessarily implies "already exists in Wikipedia", then WP:Requested articles is a contradiction in terms because if they're "requested", then they aren't "articles". Go ahead and propose a move to "Requests for articles" on WP:RM if you mean it ;-) --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 22:06, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Just wanted to comment about the recent link to the article statistics page. Those statistics might be a little useful in determining a "most likely target" order, but requires a lot of interpretation and I have stopped attempting to use it in most situations. Just because an article is generally very popular doesn't mean it is popular when "addressed" through a particular term. My favorite example is David Bowie as an entry on the David Jones page. The statistics page has nothing to do with this discussion. (John User:Jwy talk) 18:14, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Question 2. Mentioning but not mandating another ordering scheme

Do you support or oppose including this text in the MOS:

When it is unclear which meanings are the most common, another logical scheme may be used. Alphabetical and chronological are two common schemes.

Responses 2

Add your "vote" to this section; include a brief summary of your rationale if you wish.

  • Support I have no issue with suggesting these two schemes as possibilities, up to the editor's discretion. Propaniac (talk) 00:50, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support as per Propaniac. (John User:Jwy talk) 01:08, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Weak support, while I agree with suggesting consideration of alphabetical and chronological schemes, the implicit characterization of ordering by most common meanings as logical is a little misleading. Such ordering based on commonness may be expedient, and it may make sense in a particular context (which context would include temporality -- e.g., there may have been a short window where it made sense to list Sarah Palin first on the Palin disambiguation (now a surname) page, but it has now settled upon alphabetical). Such contextual considerations are not logical, but are a matter of judgment, discussion, and consensus. olderwiser 03:00, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support this text inasmuch as it implies that "another logical scheme" is an alternate option to the default of sorting by most common meanings. --Muchness (talk) 03:42, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. Although "logical" there is a bit odd to me, and would use "ordering scheme". -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:08, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Half support. Support second sentence only. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 13:26, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support, with worry/qualification as noted by olderwiser. doncram (talk) 15:42, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Half support. Support second sentence, don't like reference to "most common." Matchups 17:26, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. --Tesscass (talk) 00:45, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. I think the word 'logical' is helpful, in order to exclude illogical ordering schemes. --AndrewHowse (talk) 03:36, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. Abtract (talk) 14:37, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Half support per STG and Matchups. The only problem I see is that the qualification about whether or not it's "unclear" looks too normative for something so subjective. Reword it to acknowledge that an "unclear" situation is quite common especially in subject sections, as I have observed in practice, and you'll have my full support. --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 17:13, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support second sentence. bd2412 T 00:13, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose it still isn't helpful. Keeping it simple doesn't involve adding non-helpful text.
  • Oppose in favor of suggesting only alpha/chrono ordering, per my arguments above. » Swpbτ ¢ 16:49, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support with caveat: The first sentence may have issues, and they may be tied to whether anything from proposal #1 above is usable. At any rate, anything that decreases rigidity without leading to a "no real guidance" free-for-all is liable to be an improvement. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 12:16, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Discussion 2

I am concerned over the interpretation that this phrasing 'implies that "another logical scheme" is an alternate option to the default of sorting by most common meanings.' Our intent is, I believe, that if possible, it should be sorted by most common meaning. If not, the alternative schemes may be used. My assent here is on that understanding. If that is not clear in the statement, we should make it so. (John User:Jwy talk) 04:12, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

How does the second scenario (if possible, it should be sorted by most common meaning. If not, the alternative schemes may be used) differ from the first ("another logical scheme" is an alternate option to the default of sorting by most common meanings). The seem to me like two ways of phrasing the same approach? --Muchness (talk) 05:15, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
I guess I misunderstood your comment with your vote (especially reviewing your comment on option 3). An "alternate option" could mean and equally valid option. My intent is that most common meaning should be used if possible. (John User:Jwy talk) 18:15, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for clearing that up and apologies if my wording was vague. FWIW, my intention was to support using most common meaning if possible. --Muchness (talk) 03:51, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Question 3. Mandating another ordering scheme

Do you support or oppose including this text in the MOS:

Entries should be ordered with a logical scheme, such as alphabetical or chronological.

Responses 3

Add your "vote" to this section; include a brief summary of your rationale if you wish.

  • Oppose There are cases where I do not believe this is the most helpful method and I do not believe it should be mandated. Propaniac (talk) 00:50, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
    • Where you say "There are cases" could you give us an example? SamuelTheGhost (talk) 14:08, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per Propaniac. See discussion below. (John User:Jwy talk) 01:08, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Change the imperative should to a suggestion such as may and this has my full support. olderwiser 03:03, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose this wording as overly prescriptive, though I support in principle ordering by alphabetical or chronological as the preferred scheme where the common meaning method is unclear or inappropriate. --Muchness (talk) 03:42, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. Much the best way (and the one often now used in practice). The "such as" list could be expanded a bit. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 13:30, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Change the imperative should to a suggestion such as may and this has my full support, too, per olderwiser's comment. doncram (talk) 15:45, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Semi-support. Unfortunately, I can't find the policy page on interpretation of "should." In many contexts, it is a weaker imperative than "must." I'd like to see something stronger than "may" but agree that an absolute rule is too much. Matchups 18:00, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I have problems with mandates. --Tesscass (talk) 00:45, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. 'Follow option 1, or failing that option 2' would be quite sufficient. This 3rd option is really rather vague. --AndrewHowse (talk) 03:38, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
  • No opinion, but I would like to comment that we are making blanket proposals for all types of disambig pages, when perhaps we should be targeting specific types of ordering schemes at specific types of pages. It doesn't make much sense to order common place names chronologically, for example, since the reader looking up a place will often not know how old it is relative to similarly named places. bd2412 T 00:16, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support if preceded by "Within a subject section,". --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 00:49, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose adding text for no benefit. If it makes sense, there won't be a complaint.-- billinghurst (talk) 01:36, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support per my arguments above, and strongly protest and suggest a redo given the irresponsibly leading structure of this straw poll, which mixes the suggest/mandate question with the commonality/alpha/chrono question. Alpha/chrono ordering should be suggested, to the exclusion of commonality, and this has nothing to do with the strength of the suggestion! » Swpbτ ¢ 16:53, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
    • If you want to write a new poll, nobody's stopping you. This one is in no way official. I chose this format because at the time (you know, two weeks ago) it seemed like presenting the three different suggested versions (all of which were written by other people with whom I have no affiliation) and asking for feelings about each of them separately seemed like the cleanest method. In retrospect, there may have been a better way, but it was never my intention to be "irresponsibly leading" and I resent the implication. I doubt there was a perfect way to execute this poll, but it does seem to me like this one has provided a fairly clear picture of how consensus is leaning, and that the consensus generally supports wording in line with what's in the MOS right now. Propaniac (talk) 19:00, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Semi-support: It needs to be clear that the "most common" method is our first choice, and that alpha is next, and various other things (I'm tired...) Like, it makes sense to organize a section on films and TV shows by chrono order, and human names by alpha order, and to organize the sections themselves in alpha order, but on a short DAB page with only 5 entries, maybe none of this matters. I.e., I think we should offer that chrono and alpha order are two of more than two alternatives to or adjuncts to trying to figure out exactly what in a long list is more common than what else, but we should not be overly prescriptive. Sorry if that's not helpful, but it's not always my job to be helpful especially if there's a helpfulness–honesty tradeoff. >;-) — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 12:24, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Discussion 3

A key concept in the discussion about this option is whether a scheme "makes sense." I'm a strong believer in focussing on optimizing the the navigation for the user looking for something. Looking at a well-optimized dab page may not "make sense" without examining it with this in mind, but if you are looking for a particular topic, you should be able to find your topic easily. In most cases, it should be easier to use than to organize. (John User:Jwy talk) 01:13, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Results of straw poll?

I don't see a posting of the final conclusion of the straw poll, but it looks to me like the consensus is to stay with the status quo on the Wikipedia:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages).
My opinion is that the ordering within a section is largely irrelevant, except in special cases. These sections are for human use, and a human can quickly scan a random list with a length up to a certain limit. Beyond that limit, a new subject heading should be created, which reduces the length below the limit. The list of subject headings appears in the TOC, and this can get too long, but this can also be grouped. Exceptions to the random ordering should be made for specific cases like consensus most common usage (listed first in the first section, or ungrouped at the top), or long lists that do not group well, like the names of people or places (alphabetical like a phonebook or gazeteer).
Proposed list length limits and their rationale:

Obankston (talk) 20:23, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Single-element "People" sections and dab hatnotes on dabs

There's a new discussion at Talk:Rice (disambiguation) about some issues I haven't seen come up before on dabs, but apparently have been represented on pages I don't monitor:

  • Should dablink hatnotes be used on dab pages?
  • Should dabs avoid having both ungrouped entries at the top and an "Other uses" group at the bottom of the list?
  • Should groups or sections for one element (in particular, "Title (surname)" elements in a "People" group section) be created?

-- JHunterJ (talk) 13:47, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

I think it's worth splitting up discussion of these points. --MegaSloth (talk) 00:24, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Should dablink hatnotes be used on dab pages?

I thought the guidelines were clear on this issue however I can't currently find anything to support this view. It seems to me counter-intuitive to place disambiguation hatnotes at the top of a disambiguation page; you're doing the same job twice. From the DAB pages i have visited, this seems to agree with a general consensus. I would only put {{confused}} or similar templates at the top of a DAB page, per "When appropriate, place easily confused terms in a hatnote." (MOS:DAB#"See also" section). --MegaSloth (talk) 00:24, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree. (John User:Jwy talk) 00:33, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I also can't see why you'd use a hatnote; the page is already filled with alternatives, it's only when there's a clear primary topic that it gets listed at the top. Josh Parris 02:13, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I concur, I don't see the reason for it. Propaniac (talk) 20:16, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Concur per above, and per the fact that See also sections exist. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 12:25, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Should dabs avoid having both ungrouped entries at the top and an "Other uses" group at the bottom of the list?

This will open up the "order by most likely" debate again, but I have occasionally found such a construct useful when there are several quite likely target articles that do not fit into one category and many other much less likely targets. Its rare - I can't remember the page(s) now. Since it is rare, I wouldn't encourage it. But I don't see a need to discourage it. (John User:Jwy talk) 00:33, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

In my opinion, no. I think the DAB guidelines are quite clear that ungrouped entries at the top are for "several of the most common meanings", while the "Other uses" section is "for entries that don't fit neatly into another section". These are quite clearly separate uses. I think these guidelines make a fair job of presenting the current consensus.

On the other hand, from my point of view, where is a significant issue here, in that no single editor is really qualified to judge what the "most common meanings" are; the common terms in North America are likely to differ substantially from those in Commonwealth countries for example. An obvious example of this is American football and baseball terms vs. association football and cricket terms, although I'm certain this issue is not confined to sports. Having had ordering changes I have made reverted or significantly altered in ways I don't understand in the past, I'm now very reluctant to change order except in the most clear cases of poor ordering. This may or may not be related to the fact I am not from North America. --MegaSloth (talk) 00:42, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

That's the debate I suspected this would open up. If you don't believe "we" can do this kind of sorting, then "we" cannot identify what goes in the uncategorized top section. I think a good faith effort at sorting this way is reasonable. If there are contrary opinions on a given page that cannot be resolved on the talk page, perhaps the solution is to remove the uncategorized top section, but no reason to ban having them when they are unchallenged. (John User:Jwy talk) 01:10, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I concur that there's no reason to prescribe against using both an unsorted top section, and an "Other uses" section. For example, at Orange, it seems clear to me that both the color and the fruit should be at the top, while Orange (TV channel) should be in "Other uses" if there's no appropriate category. I also agree that there's no reason to discourage any user working on a dab page from making a good-faith attempt to reorder the entries appropriately. Propaniac (talk) 20:21, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Concur: No prescription against, per Propaniac and nominator, who make the case clearly that these sections are functionally different. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 12:27, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Should groups or sections for one element (in particular, "Title (surname)" elements in a "People" group section) be created?

I wouldn't do that. I would simply place the surname page in the "other uses" section if it didn't go in a larger section. If the surname is common, it can be placed as an ungrouped entry at the top. I wouldn't usually create sections of 2 entries either, unless this made the "other uses" section rather too large; in this case I would first try to find an alternative grouping to make larger sections. --MegaSloth (talk) 00:42, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

This isn't something I'd want to be proscriptive about; however generally I avoid short sections, as creating small groups increases the cognitive burden in searching rather than limiting it. Josh Parris 02:17, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
In general, I think short sections should be discouraged (I always try to include a minimum of three entries in a section; it rankles me when people create new sections when adding a single new entry, instead of entering it under "Other uses"), but they may occasionally be useful. In the past I've used one- or two-entry sections a few times (sometimes after long Talk page discussions) when a topic is clearly a significant usage for the term and I didn't want to lump it in under "Other uses." But, as MegaSloth said, putting it in an ungrouped entry at the top is probably an equally good, or better, solution. Propaniac (talk) 20:26, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Avoid prescription here. Further, I would avoid being specific about many "default" section types. Yes, people is probably one of them. But the rest are often highly variable. I've seen pages that needed a "Films" section by itself and a different one for "Television", but other DABs where all media from books to films to comics to plays to paintings neatly fit in a single 7-entry "Media and arts" section, while the bulk of the page was geographical and hndis entries. Flexibility is a virtue, and this really, really isn't WP:WSS. I.e., there is no defensible rationale for inventing any kind of hierarchy or bureaucracy about any of this. "Help the reader. Next." — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 12:30, 6 January 2010 (UTC)


Resolved: Just a courtesy notice.

Just FYI, a dispute has arisen about the treatment of red linking in this document and Wikipedia:Disambiguation, at Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation#Red link - policy unilateraly modified by JHunterJ. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 01:08, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Houston, we have a problem

WP:MOSDAB needs some serious work, including work to bring it into actual line with consensus (i.e. general real-world editing practice on Wikipedia), if this kind of massive change is warranted by MOSDAB. The "cleanup" performed at that DAB page:

  1. Removed any indication to the reader that this is also the DAB page for the plural and non-capitalized forms
  2. Made a PoV-problematic decision that the nudie mag is "the" primary topic for the word "hustler", despite the fact that it is obviously derivative of one of the other meanings, and the publication is not even published in all English-speaking countries, much less all countries
  3. Removed entry for the trademark itself, which is obviously at least closer to a "primary topic" than the magazine, since it includes the magazine and all spin-off media (think Star Wars (franchise) vs. Star Wars (film)).
  4. Moved the two most common usages aside from the magazine (the street term and the pool term) down into a morass of random entries
  5. Deleted 2/3 of the definitions of the street term (another PoV problem)
  6. Used a whole boatload of misleading "surprise links", with redirects that do not go where the user would expect (e.g. Hustler (prostitute) instead of Male prostitution); by this logic, we ought to be creating tens of thousands more redirects so that every single entry on every single DAB page begins with a link instead of ever being in plain English and linking to an actual article (ex. '* "Hustler", the nickname of United States Marine Corps helicopter squadron HMH-772')
  7. Separated all of the Hustler trademark-related items, which were neatly put together in one clump
  8. Removed at least one redlink very likely to soon have its own article
  9. Moved things that barely belong on the list, because they are not simply "Hustler" but "something Hustler" or "Hustler something" to near the top of the list instead of the bottom where they logically belong, if retained at all
  10. Undid grouping of plural entries together
  11. Deleted WP:NPOV fixes, factual corrections and other important changes
  12. I could go on.

I allege no bad faith of any kind on the part of the editor who did this, but rather allege that MOSDAB is a mess and needs 1) an examination of the rationales behind its specific points of advice if they lead to reader-hateful DAB pages like this, and 2) clarification to prevent such poor results where its advice does not actually call for such changes but is confusing well-meaning editors into thinking that it does. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 22:45, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't see if that the changes made are so horrible nor do I think the changes point to major problems here. Some might be differences in judgement. For example, at the size of the page, groupings might make sense. And the selection of the magazine was already made - Hustler is there. The editor only updated the page as WP:MOSDAB suggests (which explains why we do that to the primary topic). How specifically would you make changes here? (John User:Jwy talk) 23:09, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I am going to copy the list above to Talk:Hustler (disambiguation). Some of this, at least, should be discussed there. It should have been discussed there first, IMO. (John User:Jwy talk) 23:14, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, forking the discussion like this isn't going to be conductive to resolution. I brought it here for a reason. No one watches Talk:Hustler (disambiguation). — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 03:08, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I have responded now in detail at Talk:Hustler (disambiguation). I have not in many cases yet provided any great detail on how I would change MOSDAB, since changing MOSDAB to "do what I want it to" or whatever is not my goal. Rather I have pointed out situations of interpretation and action on those interpretations that indicates that two reasonable editors can come to very radically different conclusions on what to do on DAB page, suggesting lack of clear guidance on various points at MOSDAB. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 06:26, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
And to continue to your general point, I disagree with the allegation that the MOS here is a mess or reader-hateful. -- JHunterJ (talk) 03:14, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Please don't be defensive. All of MOS is a mess. This is both the result and the cause of constant talk page bickering and in-guideline editwarring over every tiny point in every MOS page. I have spent much of the last 3 years of my wikitime at MOS proper and MOSNUM trying to help, but it's a constant process. MOSDAB isn't magically invisible to my or anyone else's eye. :-) Also, I did not say that MOSDAB is reader-hateful, I said that the edits made in the name of alleged compliance with MOSDAB resulted in a reader-hateful (a geek joke term for "non-reader-friendly") DAB page at Hustler (disambiguation). — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 06:26, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Please don't be defensive. I have recently stated that WP:D and WP:MOSDAB need to be cleaned up. But it's not the reader-hateful mess you claim. -- JHunterJ (talk) 23:03, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
To repeat: I did not say either guideline was user-hateful, I said that the DAB page being used as the example was user-hateful (as it stood at that time; there's been some editing on it since then). — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 11:11, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Alright. I disagree that the dab page example (as it stood at that time) was user-hateful, although it may have been improved since then. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:39, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Of all the statements made by SMcCandlish in this discussion, the one I find most problematic is the initial equating of consensus with "general real-world editing practice on Wikipedia". Consensus may be achieved as a result of the editing process, but this achievement of consensus is based on edits and reversions of a particular page where issues may be concisely resolved, not over a plethora of disparate pages, as with the current discussion of disambiguation pages in general. Whenever editing of a particular page fails to achieve consensus, the burden of consensus falls to discussion, either on the article's talk page or in a more central community area. Consensus is not the same as the standard editing habits of the masses; there are solid reasons for establishing guidelines. Neelix (talk) 17:26, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
See WP:POLICY: Policy in the general WP sense and (more specifically here) guidelines describe best editorial practice as determined by consensus. In order to do that they actually have to reflect editorial practice, not simply prescribe what someone thinks that practice should be. In particular for this (now unfortunately fragmented) discussion, there are several general maxims of MOSDAB, and more problematically various interpretations of some of these maxims, that are preferred by some editors who read MOSDAB narrowly, but which are not actually helpful to readers, and which are not actually the preference, in my pretty broad DAB-editing experience, of a large number of editors of DAB pages. This suggests that MOSDAB has (fixable) problems, that it has lost a bit of touch with editing reality. I think all of these issues are easily resolvable, and Hustler (disambiguation) seems as useful a starting point for discussion as any. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 06:18, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Also relevant and probably better worded than I can do, from WP:IAR?:
  • "Rules derive their power to compel not from being written down on a page labeled "guideline" or "policy", but from being a reflection of the shared opinions and practices of many editors. (See also Wikipedia:Consensus.)
  • "Most rules are ultimately descriptive, not proscriptive; they describe existing current practice. They sometimes lag behind the practices they describe. (See also Wikipedia:Product, process, policy.)"
I'm not trying to be pedantic here; I just think its important that where I'm coming from on this is understood clearly. I am in no way arguing for some new definition of "consensus". What I am arguing is that this guideline is "lag[ging] behind the practices [it] describes", and mostly in a manner that's simply leading to confusion and differing interpretations (i.e., it should be easy to fix and is unlikely to be any sort of sweeping change). — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 11:04, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I would like to address the specific issues SMcCandlish mentions above.
  1. The first I do not see as necessary, but have no objection to; WP:MOSDAB states that "it is not necessary to mention minor variations of capitalization, punctuation or diacritics" in the introductory line, but indicating some such variation is OK. I do not believe that the guideline should be changed so that all such variations should necessarily be mentioned in the introductory line, however.
  2. The primary topic, on a disambiguation page, is the article corresponding to the title of the disambiguation page without any disambiguators. In this case, this happens to be a magazine. No WP:MOSDAB guidelines should be altered because a user feels that the magazine should not be the primary topic; that is outside the scope of disambiguation page formatting. Such a user should suggest on WP:Requested moves that the magazine article be moved to Hustler (magazine) and that the disambiguation page be moved to Hustler. This issue has nothing to do with WP:MOSDAB.
  3. This entry suggests that a topic about which there is no article on Wikipedia should be included on the disambiguation page. If the topic is important enough to merit its own article, it should be given its own article; then, and only then, should it be included on the disambiguation page.
  4. Ordering of entries is highly subjective. I have no objections to the ordering SMcCandlish suggests.
  5. There is no indication on the Pimp or Illegal drug trade articles that "Hustler" is a term which could refer to them. If it can, there should be sources to demonstrate this possibility given on those articles. Then the entries may be included on the disambiguation page. Otherwise, the entries constitute original research.
  6. I do not understand this objection or why entries formatted in a more straightforward and easily understandable way would be considered "surprise links." Entries which include the term being disambiguated in their title demonstrate more transparantly why they exist on the page.
  7. This objection suggests that partial title matches should be included on disambiguation pages. The reasons that they should not are clearly outlined on WP:MOSDAB.
  8. See issue 3.
  9. See issue 4. Also, I would like to assert that there is no such thing as "barely" belonging on a disambiguation page; a topic is either referred to by a certain term or it is not.
  10. Again, see issue 4. I do, however, feel that grouping entries based on use of singular or plural is not normally a helpful manner of organizing a disambiguation page.
  11. I don't know what this refers to considering the allegation is so broad and ambiguous.
In short, I am not convinced that WP:MOSDAB should change in any way based on the arguments presented above, neither am I convinced that my edits of the particular disambiguation page in question were unjustified. I am, of course, open to further discussion on both subjects. Neelix (talk) 17:26, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
I'll take this up at Talk:Hustler (disambiguation). I want to reiterate that this has nothing to do with whether your edits personally were justified or not. It's to do with MOSDAB [d]evolving over time to suggest things that are not actually helpful to our readers. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 03:08, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree with others that the best place for this type of point-by-point discussion is on the Talk page of the disambiguation page. If the two involved users (and anyone else who cares to participate) can resolve those issues that are simply matters of discretion, then the complaints that are genuinely about the MOS itself can be discussed here more productively. Propaniac (talk) 18:26, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
I will respond there to the extent that issues have not already been further discussed here. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 03:08, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Item #3 seems to be an appropriate matter for discussion here. There are several reasons to have an item on a DAB page which does not have its own article:
  • The subject is notable, but nobody has yet written an article on it. For navigation purposes, it is helpful to include the entry explicitly, so a reader doesn't waste time picking at the other entries, trying to find what isn't there.
  • The subject has an article in a sister project, but not here. Again for navigation purposes, the entry is useful.
  • The subject is discussed substantively in another article.
Matchups 02:34, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes; the first this is why there were, I think, two redlinks in the DAB page. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 03:08, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
So how would you suggest MOS:DABRL be changed? I think those issues are covered and the specific issue here is one of exactly how it applies. (John User:Jwy talk) 02:52, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
It apparently needs to be more clearly or more strongly worded in some way, as people – including Neelix and others who have definitely read MOSDAB, not just random noobs – frequently remove redlinks from DAB pages, including redlinks that are linked to from other, non-DAB artricles. The wording seems clear to me, but self-evidently isn't or I wouldn't so frequently have to undo such deletions, and no one would insist that links should appear "if and only if" the link goes to an extant article. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 06:36, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree with John. I'll copy my response to Talk:Hustler (disambiguation). Neelix (talk) 04:31, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
The point-by-point has now been responded to in detail at Talk:Hustler (disambiguation)#Item 1: point-by-point, where this all got shunted for some reason. As I figured, almost every point brings up whether or not MOSDAB (and in one case WP:DAB) needs clarification. Not sure what to do about that other than to discuss until the discussion stops over there, then bring it all back over here. Not very efficient, but I guess it won't kill anyone. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 06:18, 6 January 2010 (UTC)


I think it's about time we started "enforcing" the clearer of the rules in MOSDAB. We ought to enumerate the parts of the MOSDAB that are widely supported, clear, unambiguous and not open to interpretation and encode them in a bot that identifies variation. To reduce impact, any violation of the rules could be added as a HTML comment after each line in the page. There ought to be a mechanism to identify override rules.

We could start by applying its attentions only to {{disambig-cleanup}} pages. There's just over fifty as a write this.

I suggest the following rules be noted:

  1. No more than one redlink per dab line <!-- one redlink per line -->
  2. Redlinks must have a bluelink too <!-- redlinks need a bluelink -->
  3. One bluelink per dab line: no more, no less <!-- one bluelink per line -->
  4. Redlinks must have an article also including that red link <!-- no orphaned redlinks -->
  5. Bluelinked articles must mention the dab or any redirect to it (not link to them, just have the words appear) <!-- term1|term2|term3 not mentioned in article -->
  6. No punctuation at the end of a dab line <!-- no ; at the end of a line -->
  7. Dab lines to start with a * <!-- lines with links start with * -->
  8. The bluelink must start with a lowercase letter if the target article is marked with {{lowercase}} <!-- lowercase bluelink if article has {{lowercase}} -->
  9. The start of a dab line must start with a capital letter <!-- Capitalize first letter -->
  10. No bold on dab lines <!-- no bold -->
  11. At least two blue links on the page <!-- at least two links on a page -->
  12. No external links <!-- no external links -->
  13. No <ref> tags <!-- no <ref> tags -->
  14. Section and anchor points in links should be piped <!-- hide #section with | -->
  15. biographies should include birth and death years if available <!-- needs (1920–1984) as per article -->

I've skipped as too hard:

  1. No piping other than for:
    • formatting;
    • only hiding subsections;
    • articles with {{wrongtitle}}; or
    • unsurprising #sections (this is the hard bit; should the bot just always flag this and be told to ignore it in most cases?)

Are there any other clear rules? Is having a bot just comment helpful, or should it do more, like ensure the -cleanup template doesn't come off while these issues aren't fixed (excluding overrides)? Or even apply fixes when that fix is clear (such as birth and death dates)? If the editor doesn't, should the bot clear rule-comments off when they're addressed? Josh Parris 12:18, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Two issues:
  1. It needs to do something like <!-- Cleanup per MOSDABot: no <ref> tags --> for clarity/blame (I mean the latter in the bugtracking sense).
  2. There needs to be some way to "escape" this on an entry-by-entry basis, like a <!-- MOSDABot ignore --> that can be added at the end of a line in place of the bot's own comment. There are always well-reasoned exceptions to prescriptive guideline "rules", including even the overly-snotty "no more, no less" bit. One of the most unbearably annoying things on WP (besides snotty guidelines >;-) is bots that won't stop mucking with something that an editor has done on purpose carefully. The advanced features of {{Sic}}, for example, exist principally to avoid the unwanted behaviors of questionably helpful bots. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 12:47, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
The exclusion bit is important, but hard to make easy and good looking. I'm imagining:
  • A normal dab line <!-- rule13: no <ref> tags () see [[MOS:DAB13]] -->
  • Another dab line <!-- MOSDABot rule3: one bluelink per line see [[MOS:DAB3]] -->
which you'd change to
  • Another dab line <!-- !rule3 -->
and then the bot would change it to
  • Another dab line <!-- MOSDABot !rule3 rule8: lowercase bluelink if article has {{lowercase}} see [[MOS:DAB8]] -->
or it could read
MOSDABot says: [[MOS:DAB8]] lowercase bluelink if article has {{lowercase}}, or maybe
MOSDABot says: no[[MOS:DAB8]] [[MOS:DAB9]] Capitalize first letter, or something else again.
Very rubbery. What of my other questions? Josh Parris 14:16, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
The human beings doing this "enforcement" are already, in my opinion, following the "rules" with too little flexibility and consideration of the usability of the encyclopedia. For this reason, I oppose the introduction of a bot to enforce MOSDAB. The fact that MOSDAB makes "clear" a "rule" does not mean the encyclopedia will be improved by enforcing it universally. Wareh (talk) 07:16, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
While I appreciate the effort, I'm not sure how useful this sort of bot would be, but I'm also not sure I understand what it would be doing. Would it actually make changes to the page, or would it merely mark up the page with hidden notes about what apparently needs to be changed? If the latter, that doesn't seem very useful, since I don't think any editors conducting dab clean-up would be likely to skip over the parts of the page with no notes; personally, I would be going through the whole thing looking for stuff that could be improved, so a note pointing out the error that I can already see for myself wouldn't be much help. It might be more helpful if the bot posted a list of issues on the Talk page instead of posting each next to the offending entry.
If it actually edited the page, the problem is, I think the edits that a bot could reasonably make without direct human oversight are to fix the errors that pose the least problem to the page's users, like unnecessary bolding. I guess we have a lot of bots that just go around fixing tiny things like typos, so a bot that fixed small errors on dab pages wouldn't be particularly strange. But to me it seems it would be more helpful to have a bot that could identify the dab pages that seem to be in really awful shape and tag them in some way so that they could be more easily found by editors like myself who'd want to fix them. I'm thinking of pages filled with redlinks, or with way too much descriptive text, or just really long pages (which might be filled with legitimate uses but in my experience tend to be bloated with partial title matches). Propaniac (talk) 16:43, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Identifying the really bad shape pages doesn't even require a bot. I can be done offline with a recent snapshop and compiled to someone's userspace list. In fact, I might start such a project at some point if I get the time. As you obviously acknowledge, the majority of these edits are going to need a person looking at them for all the hundreds of exceptions and variations.
I don't have objections to adding comments for what are really badly formatted pages, but I wonder how effective it will be. Perhaps a well crafted abuse filter plugin would do the job better, and do it before someone saves the edit. Shadowjams (talk) 06:52, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
From my reading, implementing such a filter would be too great a burden on the servers. Josh Parris 09:37, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Don't worry about performance. Setting an appropriate editing rate is the job of server admins and WP:BAG once you apply. --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 12:11, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
The original comment was about avoiding the need for a bot; the pages (and talk pages) on constructing an edit filter stress there are things you can do that will work out poorly. Scanning every single edit for "{{disamb}}" would rate up there as sucking performance, apparently. Josh Parris 08:51, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
One place where a comment would be extremely helpful though is on redlinks. With AWB, or just looking at the wiki text, there's no way to write expressions that identify redlinks (if you know one please let me know), so I occasionally remove a bluelink accidentally on a redlink entry. If those redlink + bluelink lines were marked, that would make patrolling much easier. Shadowjams (talk) 07:25, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Oh, like *[[Beside me (Lara Benenit song)]]<!--redlink-->, a song by from [[Where are you? (Lara Benenit album)]]? That's doable. Josh Parris 09:37, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
And then when those redlinked articles get created, the comment would be uselessly incorrect. Better for the AWB operator to preview changes in which wikilinks are removed. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:15, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Ah, but a bot could watch for that like a hawk, and the moment it gets created remove the comment. Eternal vigilance is one super-power bots have. In fact, at that point it could immediately remove the bluelink too, pending appropriate rules. That or alert the humans.Josh Parris 08:18, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
In my opinion, a bot should not automatically remove a second blue link when a previously red link turns blue, the problem being that it might very well turn red again in short order, if the article is deleted speedily, a PROD succeeds or a quick AfD is successful.
Also, I'm not convinced it would be simple for a bot to determine that items red linked from DAB articles have been created (or blue links deleted) in a responsive way for an acceptable load. This is a small intersection between two large groups, generally a difficult issue to resolve efficiently. The most obvious solution (to me) is to do "what links here" every time a page is created or deleted. But then you would need to check each article listed to see if it was a DAB page. This is a potentially large number of database queries for each article created or deleted. In order to be kinder to the central database, the bot would need to maintain its own lists, which is much more complex and raises the question of how synchronisation is to be maintained. --MegaSloth (talk) 14:23, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
There's 296,175 disambiguation pages. That might work on a watchlist. If there's ten links from each dab page, I don't think 1.7m pages being watched would work. I suspect there are other data feeds that can be sat on rather than a watchlist.
However, WildBot is currently watching all page creations. It also knows the names of every disambiguation page. A call to what links here for a new page, filtered by the bot through it's local cache, that would work with minimal server load (there's not a lot of new pages - about 1000/day). Deletes would have a similar rate, and so be cheap to monitor with a local cache of every link on every dab page. When a delete occurs and it's for a page pointed to by a dab page, you could then validate against the current page state and react appropriately - not all that expensive, and dig the old blue-linked version out of the page history (you might even be able to cache this too). So, yes, watching for changing redlinks could be done without any onerous server load. Josh Parris 14:44, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm not saying the bot should remove any links, I'm just suggesting that it tag them. I think the redlink idea is actually a fruitful one. I imagine something just like what Parris described above.
As for edit filter, that's one area where the ignore performance thing doesn't fly. It does check every single edit, and to not slow down the whole system it's got to be used judiciously. That said, there are ways to funnel the performance impact quickly. That's probably an issue better left for the Edit Filter talk pages though. Shadowjams (talk) 02:50, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
I also think there's a little bit of a misunderstanding here too about how the WP server loads work. Edit filter is a direct process that runs on each edit, so efficiency is extremely important. I'm totally eyeballing it, but I think there are roughly 300 edit filters running right now. They have internal metrics to help determine their server load and runtime.
All recent changes (or changes in general) are easily and low load accessible through the API. But even that is trumped by an IRC server that posts the recent changes summary lines in real time. If you've ever used huggle that's likely what you've been connected to.
There may be other bot tricks out there that I don't know, because I've never written one myself. I'm not sure I want to either. Monitoring page changes for new pages that satisfy a red link would be trivial, assuming the bot was always online. This could be updated monthly by comparing against the database. All of this is just interesting if nobody's interested in doing it. I just want people to have some ideas about what's practical. Shadowjams (talk) 06:32, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Rather than adding hidden comments to pages, I think it would be more helpful if the bot compiled logs of pages that potentially require maintenance, similar to the lists of malplaced disambiguation pages (I think there are other maintenance lists, but none come to mind). olderwiser 18:39, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Redlink possibility aside, I agree. At that point it wouldn't really need to be a bot. It'd be less of a server load to do it from a database dump, and quicker. Shadowjams (talk) 07:26, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

From my read of the discussion above, merely noting trivial style issues wouldn't be helpful. What would be helpful are reports detailing dab pages that are a mess, and bot actions to do some of the more tedious checking/fixes. Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Items to appear in one/many reports

Should all the problems be lumped into a big table with checkboxes, or individual reports, or some kind of mix?

No more than one redlink per dab line
Requires a human to resolve. Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Redlinks must have a bluelink too
Requires a human to resolve, supplying a useful blue. A list of all pages with the redlink could be used as a prompt/suggestion/hint. Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
One bluelink per dab line, no more, no less
Requires a human to resolve - pick one, or split the line. Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Redlinks must have an article also including that red link
I don't think there's a consensus for a bot to identify these and delete the dab line. Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Bluelinked articles must mention the dab or any redirect to it (not link to them, just have the words appear)
Perhaps these ought to have a HTML comment placed next to them <!--no mention-->? Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Dab lines to start with a *
Only a human can determine if something is meant to be a dab line, or something else. Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
The start of a dab line must start with a capital letter
Editorial call? Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
This will almost always be the case. Absent weird circumstances like e.e. cummings and k.d. lang, that's standard practice - and circumstances like those can be solved with coding for the specific line to waive off a bot. bd2412 T 23:15, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
Several items at the disambig page 3D don't even start with a letter, let alone a capital letter. --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 00:23, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
At least two blue links on the page
Requires a human to resolve unless it's the redlink becomes bluelink case detailed below. Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
No external links
Fairly rare Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
754 currently on User:Shadowjams/Problem dabs, which means 1 in 393 pages
No <ref> tags
Fairly rare Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Section and anchor points in links should be piped
Requires a human to repair Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
One bluelink per dab line
no more, no less
Requires a human to resolve Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Too much text per bluelink (article-like dab pages)
Report-like identification; requires a human to resolve Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Dab lines without any links
I don't think there's a consensus that these ought to be deleted Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

I've created a starter list here, of disambiguation pages with some of these problems. Due to the nature of the tools I have available, these are not complete. I will try to improve them in the future, but would encourage others to try as well. Shadowjams (talk) 20:37, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Problems for a bot to fix

Typically, these involve traipsing around examining things, possibly repeatedly.

Links to biographies should include birth and death years if available
Can be extracted from the categories of the target page - birth year, death year. Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Change bluelinks to start with a lowercase letter if the target article is marked with {{lowercase}}
There's an MediaWiki API function that would support this well. Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
When a redlink becomes blue, remove the other bluelinks (and the converse; do a historical restore)
Simple enough to sit and watch new pages and recent deletes, then look at What links here for that page. Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
If the bot is doing other editing, then
remove punctuation at the end of a dab line
Punctuation defined as ;,. Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
remove bold on dab lines
Where a dab line is any line starting with a * Josh Parris 12:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Otherwise don't bother

Disambiguation pages heavy on the text

There was talk earlier of a report of dab pages with a lot of text/links. I present:

Disambiguation pages with a large size/links ratio

These pages turned up in Category:All disambiguation pages

page_title bytes_per_link
Chandrabhaga 2724.0000
Franklin_Bridge 2697.8182
Infoshop_(disambiguation) 2618.0000
MISA 2276.0000
Enchantica_(band) 1645.3333
Cryan 840.3333
Odd_Fellows 806.7778
Malakand 764.8182
Four_Heavenly_Kings_(disambiguation) 741.7500
Muss 714.0000
Brahmi 693.2500
EDX 643.0000
Parangdo 624.6667
Polans 597.8000
Assumption_University 584.0000
Richland,_Kansas 582.1667
Red_Canyon 577.4000
Mollywood 577.3333
ETourism 575.0000
Aintiram 546.5000
The_Shakers 513.3333
Star_of_the_Sea_Church 513.3000 (seems fine)
Eziama 512.8750
Retrogames 500.6000
Collin 500.3750
LOBSTER 495.3333
SPIF 490.2857
Genographics_(disambiguation) 482.5714
UTSS 482.5000
Design_Science 481.2857
Overage 479.8000
Bascom 472.3200
Church_of_the_Firstborn 471.7500
Whole_number 469.8000
Bravery_Medal 469.7500
Lydon 451.0000
Retail_Price_Index 447.6667
Golden_Swallow 444.6667
Calvary_Christian_School 432.2500
Bell,_Oklahoma_(disambiguation) 429.5000
Neo-experimentalism 409.0000
Sri_Kumaran_Children's_Home,_Bangalore 402.5000
Angiras 396.4000
Nassi 394.5000
Modern_American_Usage 393.8000
Acid_attack_(disambiguation) 393.1667
Posol 392.5000
Federal_Reserve_Bank_Building 392.0000
Tadiran 391.5625
$5000 388.3333
Dubai_Duty_Free 387.0000
Treatment_effect 384.3333
Red_Rock_Canyon 381.5000
CCISD 374.0000
Limbu_Clans_and_Tribes 368.4848
DLB 363.6667
CADS 350.0000
EALA 345.2857
Theudas 343.5000
Raiding 342.3333
Sumpak 339.3333
Rocky_Lake_(Nova_Scotia) 337.2727
Curtiss_Hawk 332.5000
McGhee 330.0833
Beta_function 329.9200
Airtourer 329.3750
Posola 327.2500
Mud_Lake_(Wisconsin) 327.0612
$10000 326.2857
University_of_Louisiana 325.7143
The_Weblog_Awards 323.2500
Penex_(disambiguation) 321.0000
NVM 320.0000
Jan_Tęczyński 319.6667
Baghmara,_Bangladesh 316.6667
Dimethylhydrazine 316.3333
Archuleta 315.7143
Tzedek 315.0000
Hedda_Gabler_(film) 308.0000
Bonarda 305.2500
Kailash 304.5000
Moon_Records 302.5000
Bezanson 301.5000
Summit_Lake_(California) 300.7500
MicroTAS 297.5000
That's an awesome metric. I don't know what I didn't think of that. Should be a very useful list. I'm just thinking now of more similar metrics... something like sentences to bulleted entries... or something similar. Shadowjams (talk) 09:22, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
By the way, do you want people to remove, or strike entries as they're fixed? Shadowjams (talk) 09:24, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
I guess if they're fixed there's not much point in leaving them in. Josh Parris 10:06, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I've started striking thru after cleaning, or if i notice one already done; IMO this provides a progress metric.
    --Jerzyt 06:07, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Next time I run this, I ought to exclude/disclose the number of links. NVM is a dab page with one (or maybe two) entries. Josh Parris 10:13, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Not sure how much granularity you have, but separating pages with < 2 links would be relevant (although probably mostly deletion or redirects). Perhaps a metric about blue to red links would be interesting. These are just ideas though. The better work is spent on dealing with the very good list you put together. Shadowjams (talk) 10:15, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Don't exclude for small# of lks, tho it may (i haven't done any numbers) be worth estimating the typical overhead common to any Dab due to headings and footers and using a linear criterion rather than straight proportion, to get a somewhat lower ratio of false hits. And i presume you're aware of the short-page monitor/dummy-comment scheme that keeps minimal Dabs from clogging the list of short pages.
    --Jerzyt 06:07, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
    • There may be some value also in indicating how much text there is inside those links, as opposed to outside them. Some pages have excessive text because the links themselves are very long (especially where they are links to long-titled sections of long-titled pages). bd2412 T 02:00, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

What refinements ought there be done to the report? Josh Parris 02:02, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Delinking bluelinks accompanying a redlink

Due to the MOSDAB's redlink policy, Wikipedia:Bot requests/Archive 34#NRHP disambiguation refinement has been raised. It smells like an opportunity to generically evaluate bluelinks that accompany redlinks for compliance while fixing the particular problem identified in the bot request.

I think in the case where there's a redlink with multiple bluelinks, it wouldn't be unreasonable for a bot to delink articles that don't link to the redlink (assuming this leaves at least one bluelink; otherwise do nothing). Josh Parris 15:42, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Red links on dab pages should have a blue link in the description, and the red link should be used on the page linked, yes. Red links that aren't used on Wikipedia articles don't need to be used on Wikipedia dab pages. Red link entries on dab pages shouldn't have multiple blue links, just like any other entry should have multiple blue links. I'm not sure if those answer your question (or statements, rather). -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:21, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Unless and until we find a solution to editors who like to remove red links in articles, I'm not sure that a bot in this area is wise. While this is occurring less, I still see edits with the only change was to remove red links from articles. Vegaswikian (talk) 17:57, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure it should matter, so long as the redlink term is mentioned in the bluelink article, whether linked there or not. If it is not mentioned at all, then the line should probably be disposed of. bd2412 T 18:30, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
If the red link isn't used in an article, then it shouldn't be used in the disambiguation page. The entry should still be included, but with no red link, just the blue link in the description. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:57, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
But the problem I'm raising is those editors who like to remove red links. An entry could be added along with a link in an article. If someone removes the link, why should the entry be removed from the dab page? Maybe limit the bot to only one pass per page or allow the bot to add the links, but I don't see how that would work unless the term is disambiguated without parenthesis. Vegaswikian (talk) 22:57, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Editors removing red links incorrectly should be corrected, but red links that are correctly removed from the article space should also be removed from the disambig pages -- JHunterJ (talk) 23:57, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
I think a lot of that redlink removal isn't disregard or ignorance of the rule, but more a consequence of the editing tools. I do many of these edits with some reg-exes I have in AWB, but AWB won't tell me if a link is a redlink or a bluelink, so I have to check by hand. That slows down the process and sometimes I make mistakes because of it. That might be one way to focus on this. A bot could check the red/blue link status, but there are other worries about a bot borking carefully planned special entries. Shadowjams (talk) 07:49, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Linking from one dab page to another

Please see Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation#Linking from one dab page to another. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 10:10, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Redirects (again)

I've been motivated to come here having seen several well-meaning but destructive edits to disambiguation pages. Whenever I see an edit summary "Repairing link to disambiguation page" now my heart sinks!

I notice that this page provides no reason why redirects should be avoided, and only gives one example: BNL, linking Banca Nazionale del Lavoro not BNL (bank). Note that, completely forgetting about DAB pages for a moment, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro is a much better name for an article title than BNL (bank). But if there are two completely reasonable names for an article and a DAB page happens to be more similar to the one that is not the primary article title, then I think using a redirect is completely reasonable.


  • Take this edit to positive - particularly, the change from Positive number (a redirect) to Negative and non-negative numbers (not a redirect). To remove a possible exception, imagine that the new title was simply non-negative numbers, hypothetically not a redirect. Surely this is blatently a change for the worse? There is nothing wrong with the article title positive number, it is completely precise and still gives the reader a term to type into Wikipedia in future to avoid getting a DAB page (sure they will pass through a redirect, but so what?).
  • Take Continuity, which includes a link to Continuity (topology), which redirects to Continuous function (topology). Again I see nothing wrong with this, and it seems silly that a page on continuity should be forced to have irksome links just because of a completely arbitrary choice of the article's main title.

This policy seems to be more relevant to proper names, and out of place for abstract concepts. When you have an idea like continuity or positivity, the reader should be drawn to what's different between the pages (that it applies to numbers or operators or whatever), not a different tense or synonym that is only a primary title by pure arbitrary choice.

In summary, I propose this page be updated to stress that redirects should not be used to link using text that would be considered an inferior title for an article (such as in the BNL example). But when several titles for an article are equally reasonable (such as positive number vs. non-negative number), the link used should be the one most appropriate for that DAB page, with no regard for whether it is a redirect. Quietbritishjim (talk) 02:06, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

I find that position reasonable, although I'd like to hear some of the justifications for the present rule as well.
What you're saying is true for pages that have multiple redirects to the same content, but less true when redirects are placeholders for either future pages or for what otherwise don't justify an article. I'm drawing a distinction between redirects that I don't think exists technically in policy, but that we all knows exists. The most obvious example is song titles where the song isn't notable but the album is. Shadowjams (talk) 02:29, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
The current disambiguation guidelines and redirect guidelines both indicate that the appropriate title, redirect or not, can and should be used. I'm not sure what change you would like to see. It seems that either the problem (edits that are contrary to the existing guidelines) is with either Wikicleaner or Wikicleaner users. -- JHunterJ (talk) 03:13, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
We're referring to WP:PIPING, specifically "Subject to certain exceptions as listed below, piping or redirects should not be used in disambiguation pages." Shadowjams (talk) 03:24, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Ah, I see. Yes, I disagreed with the need to add that bit about redirects at the time. The exceptions do cover the cases mentioned here, I think, but in general, the guideline could just as easily be "use redirects when the redirect title is the ambiguous one and the article title is not". -- JHunterJ (talk) 10:56, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Well, perhaps the guideline should not even start by saying redirects should be avoided and then giving exceptions, but instead start by saying that there is no reason to avoid redirects and giving exceptions to that. I have given my (fairly radical) suggested change at User:Quietbritishjim/piping. Quietbritishjim (talk) 13:59, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Quietbritishjim's proposal

Here are my thoughts on the proposal. When the direct link is obviously related to the page title (an entry for Continuity function (topography) on the Continuity disambiguation page), the direct link should be preferred over the redirect. In other words, I don't want to change that part of the policy.

I propose the test be based on whether there is a phonological connection between the page title and the direct link. For example,

On the page Continuity,


On the page Positive,


The phonological test does a few things. First, it is a bright line; the phonological connection (which would include acronyms, but might not if they're a foreign language) is going to be clear in most cases. Second, it mirrors how people actually search for articles. Third, it limits the use of redirects that can obscure a page's true content while maintaining the stylistic consistency and discouraging unnecessary parenthetical redirect creations. Shadowjams (talk) 03:55, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

I would say that Continuity (topology) is also correct -- either alternative would be okay on the dab page. Other pages use each link (i.e., the link wasn't created just for the dab page), the dab page is for both continuity and continuous. Whichever one the editor who added the entry to the page used should be allowed to stand, IMO. (The "positive" case I fully agree with.) -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:52, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Order of entries allowing geographic order explicitly

I revised the ordering section by adding "Disambiguation of places may be organized by country, and within each country by districts such as counties or towns." I hope that is okay. It addresses a recurrent problem with disambiguation pages of places listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, of which there are 2,400 dab pages now, mostly organized by geography. Editors keep arriving and re-sorting by other orders, which makes it harder for readers and editors, and they cite MOSDAB as their reason for revising the order. So, although the previous version did explicitly allow for other sensible orders, it seems helpful to add a specific statement permitting geographic ordering. I raised my wish to make some change here in discussion still open at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Disambiguation#feedback requested on NRHP dab pages. It didn't garner much discussion, but it didn't get any opposition either, and I think this is helpful. --doncram (talk) 20:25, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

There is no consensus for such a major change. By changing "should" to "might" and then adding a paragraph after item 3 saying, "Other orderings than this may be preferred for special cases, such as ordering places by geography. Disambiguation of places may be organized by country, and within each country by districts such as counties or towns"[4], the guideline is significantly weakened, to the point where we would be basically advocating overriding at whim the long-standing WP-wide consensus as to how dab pages are normally organized - first entries with a parenthetical qualifier, then comma qualifier, etc. There was a recent discussion on this talk page in October about order of entries. (And it appears to be inaccurate to say that the discussion you cite has not gathered opposition.) Station1 (talk) 02:48, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, this is not at a whim at all. The geographic ordering stuff has been discussed previously, repeatedly, and consensus several times has been that geographically ordered dabs of places are acceptable. In the current discussion as of this current version (scroll down to "feedback requested on NRHP dab pages" there has in fact been no opposition whatsoever to geographic ordering. There is discussion instead about different issues like whether dabs consisting of all primary red-links (but with supporting bluelinks) are acceptable. --doncram (talk) 04:00, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Doncram's additional paragraph. Might it be restored as long as the earlier "should" remains "should" instead of becoming "might"? -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:51, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree with the general sense Doncram's edit, but it was a little clumsily done, as it broke the numbered list. olderwiser 11:57, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
Please see the discussion at Talk:Little Theatre#ordering. I believe this is a major change that was made in order to allow pages such as Broad Street Historic District, where articles that actually use the name "Broad Street Historic District" (see how quickly you can find them) are mixed with other articles and redlinks rather than coming first, where they would be more useful imo. Please see also this version of Hooper House, which I believe is more useful, vs. this version, which would meet the proposed guideline. If all that is wanted is to say geographical order is one acceptable method of ordering within each type of entry described in section 3, just change the last sentence of section 4 to read: This order might be by most likely target, alphabetical, chronological, geographical, or by some other method. But as proposed, it makes the entire section 3 virtually meaningless. Station1 (talk) 05:34, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
I strongly disagree that the non-geo version of Hooper House is better. That separates the two places in Baltimore that are known as Hooper House, making it more likely a reader will click and go confidently to the wrong one, unaware that there are 2 of that name in that city. That problem would be worse if the dab page were bigger. It also separates the more numerous Massachusetts ones. There are many example dab pages, where there clusters of nearly-the-same-named ones in the very same small town should be shown as a cluster of family-name-related places, where the ordering proposed would scatter them and make it difficult for readers to find the set of ones relevant to their search. And, also, it is harder to verify that there is no wikipedia entry for a place of uncertain name, when you cannot look up a place by its location. --doncram (talk) 00:43, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
OK, if the intent is to promote such practices as you mention, then the addition is definitely not a good thing. I usually avoid working on NHRP dab pages because they tend to be such a mess and more often then not involve interacting with tendentious editors. olderwiser 11:07, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Me, too. Propaniac (talk) 19:39, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
And, likewise, most NRHP editors avoid working on NRHP dab pages because of interactions with tendentious editors. There is a long history of NRHP dab pages being deleted outright and of many NRHP items being individually deleted, which drove away most NRHP editors. --doncram (talk) 22:50, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't understand the nuances of some assertions above. The point of NRHP disambiguation is to assist readers and editors, who are coming in with very geographic focus usually, with finding the topic (article or red-link) they are looking for, and with being sure they have found it or determined that it is not there. A geographically sorted list provides that.
I re-added the geographic-focus paragraph. Per comment of JHunterJ above, i did not change "should" to "might" at the earlier point, but rather inserted the word "generally", a qualifier that was already used before, to make it all make sense. (You can't say "should" with no qualifications, only to allow for major exceptions shortly after.) Hope this is acceptable. About the numbering/formatting, perhaps someone could set that a little better. I just inserted it with a number sign this time, not sure if it should be numbered or not, and I don't know how to turn off numbering for just one item. --doncram (talk) 22:50, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

And Station1 has immediately removed the statement that geographical ordering is an acceptable top-level scheme. (Extra edits fixing up formatting might give u the impression that something was conceded, but it was not: only within small subsections can geographic or other orders be used.) This would outlaw, again, the geographic ordering of many dab pages that has been reviewed and accepted in numerous discussions to consensus. It requires complex ordering that is unacceptable. For example, consider Smith House, which works fine now for readers and editors, but is rendered illegal. I submit it would be ridiculous to try to make that page comply to the overly complex, currently stated, wording. There are about 3,000 NRHP dab pages that are involved. --doncram (talk) 00:29, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

trying again

The current "order of entries" section, after recent edits by Station1, is:

Entries should generally be ordered as follows:

1. The primary topic should be placed at the top. In unusual cases, several of the most common meanings may be placed at the top, with other meanings below.
2. Long dab pages should be organized into subject sections, as described below.
3. Within each section, entries should then be grouped by how similar the name of the target article is to the name of the disambiguation page. A recommended order is:
a. Articles with a clarifier in parentheses: e.g., South Pacific (film)
b. Articles with a clarifier following a comma: e.g., Kneeland, California
c. Articles with the item as part of the name: e.g., Electronic keyboard as part of a Keyboard dab page (Only include articles whose subject might reasonably be called by the ambiguous title.)
d. Synonyms: e.g., Bite as part of a Nibble dab page
e. Broader-subject articles that treat the topic in a section: e.g., Medieval art as part of a Fresco dab page
Often, the latter two groups (synonyms and broader articles) should be separated from the rest of the entries, into a See also section.
4. Finally, within the above groups, entries should be ordered to best assist the reader in finding their intended article. This order might be by most likely target, alphabetical, chronological, geographical, or by some other method.

Might that be changed to the following (same, just with addition of "Other orderings..." paragraph:

Entries should generally be ordered as follows:

1. The primary topic should be placed at the top. In unusual cases, several of the most common meanings may be placed at the top, with other meanings below.
2. Long dab pages should be organized into subject sections, as described below.
3. Within each section, entries should then be grouped by how similar the name of the target article is to the name of the disambiguation page. A recommended order is:
a. Articles with a clarifier in parentheses: e.g., South Pacific (film)
b. Articles with a clarifier following a comma: e.g., Kneeland, California
c. Articles with the item as part of the name: e.g., Electronic keyboard as part of a Keyboard dab page (Only include articles whose subject might reasonably be called by the ambiguous title.)
d. Synonyms: e.g., Bite as part of a Nibble dab page
e. Broader-subject articles that treat the topic in a section: e.g., Medieval art as part of a Fresco dab page
Often, the latter two groups (synonyms and broader articles) should be separated from the rest of the entries, into a See also section.
4. Finally, within the above groups, entries should be ordered to best assist the reader in finding their intended article. This order might be by most likely target, alphabetical, chronological, geographical, or by some other method.

Other orderings than this may be preferred for special cases, such as ordering places by geography. Disambiguation of places may be organized by country, and within each country by districts such as counties or towns.

I appreciate that the qualifier "generally" that i had inserted was kept by Station1's recent edits. I believe that adding the paragraph is helpful to clarify that geographic ordering is okay. Otherwise editors are encouraged, inappropriately, to re-organize dabs of places away from the most simple-to-understand, and simply best, ordering that is used in several thousand places dab pages already. I sincerely believe that reorganizing First Presbyterian Church, U.S. Post Office, and other long places dab pages by the complex ordering would be detrimental, so the MOSDAB should be revised to allow the simple geo ordering. I do not believe there is general consensus that the one more elaborate ordering suggested is the only acceptable ordering scheme in dab pages. And i believe this replacement/change is consistent with JHunterJ's comment above, and the first comment of Bkonrad / (Older ne Wiser) above. --doncram (talk) 21:54, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Dab-page AfD in progress

At Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Şerbeşti, a page, tagged as a Dab & consisting of 3 red-link-only entries for villages in Romania, was nominated for deletion. Vigorous discussion has proceeded for nearly five days.
--Jerzyt 04:01, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Chabad (disambiguation)

Perhaps someone might like to look at this page sometime. Abtract (talk) 20:03, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Done. -- JHunterJ (talk) 20:52, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
And now tagged for cleanup. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:19, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. Abtract (talk) 15:28, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

MoS naming style

There is currently an ongoing discussion about the future of this and others MoS naming style. Please consider the issues raised in the discussion and vote if you wish GnevinAWB (talk) 20:54, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Avenger and The Avengers

Could someone else go have a look at Avenger and The Avengers (and their recent history), please? -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:28, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Italicizing or not media franchise names

A recent change indicated that "franchises shouldn't be in italics". I have no expertise here, but I found that surprising. Is there a related discussion about that? -- JHunterJ (talk) 01:37, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

It was purportedly a year or two ago, but I don't recall where exactly. It started with an unyielding change to Pokémon, and it's been vaguely in practice since. Can't even recollect who made a point about it... Lord Sesshomaru (talkedits) 01:51, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Agreed, I find that surprising. Is this making a distinction between the franchise (Americans would probably use the term series in this case) and the television show itself? So in other words, if I refer to Batman the TV show it should be italics... but if I refer to Batman as a whole, including movies, comic books, video games, action figures... then I don't use italics? Is that what this means? Shadowjams (talk) 02:37, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
That's the gist of it. Lord Sesshomaru (talkedits) 03:32, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Not so sure I like that distinction. What are the reasons for it (I can't seem to find the actual discussion)? Shadowjams (talk) 03:33, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
This doesn't seem like the best place to discuss it. As was said, I fail to recall what happened to lead to these amendments. Lord Sesshomaru (talkedits) 12:33, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I have brought it up on WT:MOSTITLE#Italicizing media franchises (I incorrectly used WT:MOSCAPS in my edit summary though.) -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:46, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Double-headed DAB

Comments requested on the solution at Talk:Dreamweaver_(disambiguation)#Why_two. An unusual setup. I'm hoping that the paragraph linked to explains enough that there won't be objections. I think its an odd enough case that it doesn't require codification here, but would be interested if you see troubles that I am missing. --John (User:Jwy/talk) 02:37, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

"Distinguish" templates in disambig pages

R'n'B has compiled a list of disambiguation pages which have {{Distinguish}} as a hatnote, to inform the reader that they might be looking for similar spellings. It seems to me that these should not exist on disambig pages, as this MOS already provides for links to similar spellings to go in a "See also" section. Should we formalize this, and prohibit disambiguating hatnotes on disambig pages? bd2412 T 13:41, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Good question! I suppose the answers may be different for:
  1. Base-name dab X distinguishes article Y
  2. Base-name dab X distinguishes dab page Y
  3. X (disambiguation) distinguishes article Y
  4. X (disambiguation) distinguishes dab Y
I would definitely say #3 and #4 should be handled by See also -- the "distinguish", if needed, should be on the primary topic article. For #1, I'm inclined to leave the hatnote (and possibly also put the article in See also). And #2 I'll think about some more. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:25, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
In the first case, I think it would also depend on whether there is a page "Y (disambiguation)", in which case we should really be pointing users to the other disambig page, rather than the Y article, since we don't know which "Y" they might be looking for which could be confused with X. bd2412 T 16:10, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
They have arrived at a base-name dab, so they are not necessarily looking for a dab. If there is a primary topic for the confusing title, then (as a primary topic) IMO we should direct them there. (Otherwise, the argument lends weight to the "any ambiguity means there's no primary topic" argument.) If Y (disambiguation) exists, I'd agree that it would be the one in the See also. -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:18, 10 June 2010 (UTC)


As a separate issue from the one discussed above, I think the page could be much more clearly structured if we might an explicit distinction between two types of entries: (1) those that go to an article whose title contains the dab term; and (2) those that don't (because the article has a different title or has a wider scope than the topic referenced by the term). Then we can be quite clear that with type (1) entries, we put the link at the start of the line, don't hide parts of the title with piping, etc., whereas with type (2) entries the possibilities are different (although there should still be only one link). The question is what to call these two types of entries: I though possibly "direct entries" and "indirect entries"? Any better ideas?--Kotniski (talk) 11:33, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Interesting idea, but I think it might not always be a helpful distinction. For example, one I just now fixed, EA redirects to Electronic Arts. How would that be presented? Or perhaps the proposed would still apply, only in that the opening line would be
EA is Electronic Arts, a video game company.
instead of the current
EA is Electronic Arts, a video game company.
That is only one form of a more general topic about redirects -- many disambiguation editors create redirects for the purpose of placing a link at the front of the description -- but it would appear from the proposal that such a practice would be deprecated. olderwiser 12:57, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm not trying to propose any substantial change in the guidance, I'm just trying to find a way of communicating what we say more clearly. And I wasn't thinking about primary topic lines, just about the ordinary dab entries (although some of the same principles apply to primary topic lines as well; that's another thing that isn't made particularly clear at the moment).--Kotniski (talk) 13:10, 19 June 2010 (UTC)


Are the guidelines set forth in MOS:DABMENTION too lax? Specifically, is the mere mention of something in an article the only thing that should be considered when creating a dab entry? Here's a case in point -- Lambtron (talk) 14:37, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Well as we've explained at that page, the inclusion of the mentioned item on the dab page makes the encyclopedia a (tiny) bit better. Why do you think we should be making it harder for people to find such information?--Kotniski (talk) 14:46, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
There are many "explanations" at that page that discuss various facets of this issue, but no consensus has been reached. The discussion here, on this page, is not so much about that specific case as it is about the DABMENTION guidelines that apply to that case. The cited dab is simply an example of the guidelines in action, whereas this discussion is focused on the guidelines that apply to that case. -- Lambtron (talk) 15:13, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
There appears to be consensus for inclusion at that page; WP:CONSENSUS doesn't require unanimity. But if you want opinions on the guidelines: no, MOS:DABMENTION isn't too lax. The mention, mere or not, of an ambiguous topic in an article is something that should be considered when creating a dab entry. The topic should be linked to the best article, which would be an article dedicated to the topic first, an article with an extensive section on the topic next, and then an article that mentions the topic if nothing else is available. But if the topic is ambiguous and there's no full article on it, it still needs to be disambiguated and the "mention" is the link to use. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:22, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
I think the current interpretation of MOS:DABMENTION is a useful solution to the disparity of opinion between editors like Lambtron, who would like to see dab page entries limited to topics that have articles, might at some time merit articles, or are at least supported within an article by more than a mere mention, and, on the other side, inclusionist editors who think that dab pages should cover every use under the sun, even uses that are not supported in any way by or within an article. The consensus on the current formulation probably makes everyone at least a little bit unhappy, which means it is an ideal compromise. --ShelfSkewed Talk 16:12, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The portion of the guideline that appears to be under discussion: "If a topic does not have an article of its own, but is mentioned within another article, then a link to that article should be included." I have to say that I do think this wording could be improved, as I agree with the original poster that a mere mention does not always warrant a link. As I said in the linked discussion at Talk:Split, I occasionally exclude such entries when either a) the topic is so obscure that it seems wholly implausible that anyone would ever search for that item, and/or b) the article mentions it but really provides no information whatsoever likely to be helpful to someone searching for that topic. I suggest changing the last part of the sentence to "then it may be appropriate to link to that article" or "it is often appropriate to link to that article," or something like that. The "Split" case is one where I would find it reasonable to leave it up to consensus whether that entry should be included or not. Propaniac (talk) 16:15, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm OK with the current wording, but there might be room to somehow clarify that a "mere mention" is not necessarily a mandate to include an entry on a dab page. olderwiser 18:51, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
It could be loosened a bit, I suppose, but a more pressing problem is that various bits of information are scattered around the page, making it unclear and making individual sections incomplete as they stand. For example, the DABMENTION section says that "if the topic doesn't have an article, the link shouldn't begin the line", but this contradicts what we say elsewhere about redirects (if there's a redirect, then we would probably link to that, and so the link would begin the line).--Kotniski (talk) 10:29, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
I agree, in the abstract, that the "mere mention" criteria is at best vague, and at worst, incredibly over expansive. While I'm tempted to say it's an interpretation issue, that language provides almost no guidance, which is the current problem.
Without getting into inclusionist/deletionist (really a meta debate about those) issues, perhaps we could discuss in concrete terms what we think ought to be the boundary line... then we can work, from there, on a better wording. Shadowjams (talk) 10:40, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
The intent of the wording should be to include target topics that readers are likely to use the dab term to find using the search box and disallow other mentioned topics. That's kind of a mouthful as it is, but hat's the goal, right? A lawyerly reading of the current guidance would allow a very long dab page at The (disambiguation). I'm not sure a different layout of the line accomplishes, but that's secondary. --John (User:Jwy/talk) 13:43, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
Re the very long "The" page: How so? The "the"s mentioned at ambiguous pages would need to be different topics than the other "the"s already mentioned on the page. The current wording of MOS:DABMENTION does not allow concordances. -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:17, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
In the context of DABMENTION, what is meant by "topic"? In its traditional sense, a topic is the focus of an article or, in an essay, it's the main subject. So, when DABMENTION says it applies when "a topic is mentioned in an article", what does that mean? If no article exists for a subject, and it is mentioned once or twice in an article but could not be thought of as the main subject of, say, a section or paragraph within that article, does that mere mention constitute a "topic"? A good starting point might be to clarify what DABMENTION means by "topic". Lambtron (talk) 16:37, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
Do you have any suggestions? Or do you have an example of a dab page which suffers actual problems because of this? In my experience, common sense works quite well in this matter.--Kotniski (talk) 16:50, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
Common sense can't resolve the definition of "topic", and therein lies the problem. Until "topic" is clearly defined in DABMENTION, it means different things to different people. What do you think is meant by "topic" in DABMENTION? Lambtron (talk) 17:35, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
(after ec) Common sense, yes. I understand it to mean "thing", but to line up with the definition you've posited, it would be the focus of the disambiguation page entry. Please also see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Disambiguation#Masonic Temple Building if you are considering proposing that being mentioned on an article (even just red linked on a list article) is not sufficient for inclusion in a disambiguation page, because I predict a lot of resistance there. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:39, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't mean to be facetious, but if "topic" is understood to mean "thing" then living people, places, and subjects that lack physical form are excluded. I think I understand what you mean, although "thing" would probably not be an improvement over "topic" in a formal specification. Two things (no pun intended) need to happen here:
  • Decide upon an unambiguous policy so that editors can know what DABMENTION is trying to accomplish and what it applies to. Should every dab entry lead to an article that conveys some well-defined "critical mass" of knowledge about the dab subject? Should a dab entry be created for a single mention of a person, place, object, idea, etc., in any context? Is there some rational middle ground and, if so, what is it?
  • Rewrite DABMENTION so that it unambiguously states its purpose and policy.
Lambtron (talk) 18:36, 19 June 2010 (UTC)
Those are all things too.[5]. You are welcome to suggest rewrites. I don't experience a problem with the current language. -- JHunterJ (talk) 21:08, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

I also don't see a problem with the current language, though if someone wants to suggest something else, I'm happy to consider it. However, again with the aim of structuring this guidance more logically, I'd rather this matter were dealt with at the WP:Disambiguation guideline (at the moment, the question of "what things should be included" is split/duplicated between these two pages - in fact, several things are, as has been noted by various people on various occasions, though a clean-up has never got done). This question seems to belong at the other page because it's not necessarily just a question of how to format the dab page, but may need answering when deciding whether a dab page is needed at all. (But if people disagree and prefer to have it on this guideline, then let's have the detail only on this guideline, with just a link from the other one.)--Kotniski (talk) 08:49, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

  • I think the appropriate criteria is one of the two: 1) capable of having its own article that hasn't been written yet. 2) a plausible alternative title, or a probable DAB term. Shadowjams (talk) 08:54, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
    • I don't think it has to be "capable of having its own article", except in the very abstract sense that one could write an article about almost anything (except people would vote to delete it or merge it with another article).--Kotniski (talk) 09:02, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Since an encyclopedia has only one purpose (to help readers find the information they need) inclusion in a dab page should satisfy just one condition, that a reader may use the dab term when searching for the particular information in question. IMHO dabmention achieves just that right now. Abtract (talk) 17:08, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Star Trek planets

I see that my logic has failed to convince, so I'll try to expose DABMENTION's flaws through a hypothetical case study. It's important to keep in mind that although this is an edge case, it could happen and, in fact, one could legitimately argue that this outcome is dictated by DABMENTION. And lest you think this case obscure and therefore unimportant, consider that Wikipedia, due to its sheer size, may contain many other similar cases.

A Wikipedia article, List of Star Trek Planets: G-L, mentions a planet named Ingraham B as follows: "Ingraham B - A Federation colony." That's the sum total of everything said about Ingraham B on Wikipedia, except for a reference to the associated TV episode. Since "topic" is undefined by DABMENTION, and therefore left completely to the interpretation of editors, an editor decides that Ingraham B is a topic. It so happens that there is an Ingraham dab. Following the mandate set forth by DABMENTION, the author creates a dab entry, "Ingraham B, a Federation colony planet in the Operation: Annihilate! Star Trek episode", which links to List of Star Trek Planets: G-L.

I have some questions and observations about this scenario:

  1. Is Ingraham B a "topic" and, if so, what makes it so?
  2. If Ingraham B really is a "topic", is it a notable one?
  3. Is it realistic to think that someone would seek detailed information about Ingraham B through the dab and, if so, under what plausible circumstances? Well, it's true that anything is possible no matter how remote the chances, so ...
  4. What useful information will be found at the end of the trail? Nothing, because the dab already says everything Wikipedia knows about Ingraham B. The article at the end of the trail says nothing more about the planet. We will never know if it's a Class M planet, how large it is, its human population, whether water is present on its surface, the name of the star it orbits, or any other facts about the planet. An article about this planet would be a very short stub indeed.
  5. Since the dab entry already covers this "topic", why link to redundant information elsewhere? Because every dab entry is required to link to something.
  6. Since the dab entry simply repeats this "topic", why does the dab entry even exist? Because it's mandated by DABMENTION.
  7. Will there ever be an article, or even an article section about Ingraham B? Unlikely, but possible. Until then, there's nothing else to link to.
  8. What would happen if, on Star Trek and other TV shows, there were numerous other Ingraham planets (Ingraham C, D, ...) appearing in this and other similar lists? The dab page would, for the most part, become a redundant and lengthly list of fictional planets.
  9. In this case, how has DABMENTION served the Wikipedia community? It hasn't. It has mandated the creation of a dab entry that regurgitates the briefest mention of a non-notable subject.
  10. Should DABMENTION be modified to prevent similar scenarios? Yes. Otherwise every case similar to this one will spawn a discussion of its merits.
  11. Should I unilaterally propose DABMENTION wording changes, as suggested by other editors? No. As Shadowjams pointed out, we must first discuss in concrete terms what we think ought to be the boundary line; then we can work, from there, on a better wording.

It's obvious that the boundary is not where it should be, and there is both reason and justification for changing it. The question is, how can DABMENTION policy be sensibly (and acceptably) adjusted? Lambtron (talk) 18:19, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Hope you don't mind that I numbered your bulleted questions to facilitate referring to them without having to copy the text or intersperse comments. My take:
1) Yes, it is a "thing", broadly construed.
2) Probably not.
3) Probably not.
4) Hard to say -- there might be more verifiable information that could be provided, which could be added to the list article or if appropriate spun out into a separate article. Assuming that you mean the list article contains everything that is possible to be said about the planet, then it is almost certainly unnotable and IMO should not be mentioned in the dab page.
5) In this case, the mention on the dab page is unverifiable; the mention on the list article should be referenced (or at least be possible to reference).
6) DABMENTION does not "mandate" anything. The very premise of this question is disputable.
7) Right. Speculation is pointless either way.
8) More likely would be a categorical link to the list article along the lines of "For several fictional planets named 'Ingraham' in the Star Trek universe, see List of Star Trek planets (G–L)" (or possibly linking through a redirect with a section link).
9) As before, DABMENTION does not mandate anything. Individuals might interpret it that way, but if discussion determines otherwise, there is no requirement to include trivial mentions of a topic on a disambiguation page.
10) I have no problem with DABMENTION as it currently exists, but I would not be opposed to some tightening of the language.
11) Whatever you might think Shadowjams said, you are welcome to propose changes to the language of DABMENTION. However, you'd be wise to propose the specific changes here on the talk page before unilaterally attempting to change the guideline. olderwiser 18:55, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm still failing to see the problem. If there's some fictional planet called Ingraham B, and someone looks for it under the name Ingraham, and finds it on a dab page for the term Ingraham, then we've helped him, haven't we? Regardless of whether the help is in the form of a link to the information he requires, or a sentence containing the information he requires (if a sentence is all the information it's possible to give about this planet). If it turns out there are lots of ficitonal planets called Ingraham, we can make a separate section for them on the dab page (or one entry covering all of them) so they don't get in the way of anyone searching for other meanings of Ingraham. Where is the problem you're trying to solve?--Kotniski (talk) 19:16, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, Bkonrad, your feedback offers some helpful thoughts about DABMENTION policy:
  • There is no requirement to include trivial mentions of a topic on a disambiguation page. I think I know what you mean, but how would "trivial" be defined? And how could that be said in a clearly understandable way in DABMENTION?
  • Unnotable things should not be mentioned on a dab page. How is notability defined, insofar as DABMENTION is concerned? Is it the same criteria used by WP:NOTABILITY? And how could that be made clear as a matter of policy?
  • DABMENTION does not mandate anything. If that's true, what is really meant when DABMENTION says "... a link to that article should be included"? There's quite a difference between "should" and "may".

Lambtron (talk) 19:49, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Conflicting policies?

Imagine for a moment that planet Ingraham B is mentioned in the article about the Star Trek episode as follows: "In this episode, the Enterprise travels to planet Ingraham B and Captain Kirk falls in love with his old girlfriend." No other mention is made of the planet in the article, and the article is entirely focused on the love story plot, which has no relevance to being on Ingraham B. Is Ingraham B "described" in the article? If not, doesn't that violate WP:DABSTYLE, which says "(i)nclude related subject articles only if the term in question is actually described on the target article." Yet DABMENTION says that "(i)f a topic does not have an article of its own, but is mentioned within another article, then a link to that article should be included". Isn't that a contradiction? Lambtron (talk) 21:41, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

This issue is about policy, not style, so the conversation really belongs here. Lambtron (talk) 16:01, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Section redirects in descriptions

Currently, we have "The above technique [for using redirects to sections] should be used only when the link is the subject of the line, not when it is in the description. For description sections, consider piping instead. <!-- see talk page for discussion about this section -->". That talk page discussion has been archived, it seems. But this appears wrong. For a section redirect, particularly a redirect with possibilities, it should be used in the description (just as in the entry) if that is the appropriate target for the reader. Redirects aren't broken in and of themselves. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:43, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Do you have a particular dab in mind? Lord Sesshomaru (talkedits) 13:50, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
I didn't. I noticed the oddity while looking at the other exceptions, based on a discussion from Vera. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:40, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

New reports and tool

I have setup two new reports. The first report, incorrect redirects ending in (disambiguation), that is "A_(disambiguation)" does not redirect to disambiguation page "A". The second report, List MoS issues which is generated from matching the HTML against a list of common issues as people use the Dab solver tool.

I have also created an assistive tool to speed up the cleanup effort. This edit demonstrates the features of adding Wiktionary links, Introductory line corrections, link pruning, and adding birth and death years. Other interesting features include blue and red missing article suggestions and primary topic determination. People interested in the tool should contact me in irc:wikimedia-toolserver for access (to prevent "automated abuse").

On a side note: Should we create a "Definitions from Wiktionary" template for definitions on disambiguation pages? — Dispenser 18:54, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Wonderful! I'm not sure that all "A (disambiguation)" redirects that target disambiguation page "B" need to be fixed, but certainly any "(disambiguation)" redirect that targets a non-disambiguation page needs to be fixed -- I would like to sort or filter on the "dab?" column in that report. But I will be using it immediately regardless. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:11, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
You can filter it, just type yes above "dab?" and hit enter. I should have also probably mention redirects tagged with {{disambig}}. — Dispenser 19:28, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Aha! Thanks. And I retract my uncertainty above. I see that the program is finding problems A (disambiguation) -> B where A exists, so those should be fixed too. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:44, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
You'll probably want to run the target article with redirect check tool as the bots "fix" all the double redirects. — Dispenser 20:00, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Would it take much to add a link directly to the edit history of "A (disambiguation)"[6]? After taking care of a couple, that seems to be my first stop each time, and it takes three clicks to get there. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:46, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
I've added a popup menu which includes Edit, History, and Last edit. Does that work well enough? — Dispenser 15:05, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Even better! Thanks, -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:11, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
These are cool, Dispenser. Is there a way to check off the ones that get fixed from the second report? --Auntof6 (talk) 16:45, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
The database reports are regenerated daily and take about 3 minutes to do each. The mosdab report has a daily script to remove the non-current revisions. I can more frequently run these if there are multiple people simultaneously working on them. — Dispenser 17:16, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Mosdab report update: I have changed the logic for "3-Multiple blue links" from "two non-red links on line" to "all blue non-section links on line". I have also refined several of the other regular expressions. I have removed affected entries form the report which did not have anything else wrong (such as punctuation), reducing it from 3000 to 1500 entries. Finally, a reminder that the tool given over IRC does a wonderful job at automatically delinking. — Dispenser 03:58, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Oddity: the two remaining entries on the incorrect redirects ending in (disambiguation) are not and don't appear to have been incorrect. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:02, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

These are errors in the WMF database. I have identified 1,647 redirects from mismatches between the pagelinks table (used by WhatLinksHere) and the redirect table (unused by my knowledge). This information has been reported to wikimedia-tech. The cause is unknown, the fix is to touch these redirects with a bot. — Dispenser 03:21, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Exception to MOS:DABINT

Shouldn't there be an exception to MOS:DABINT when the subject is in foreign language, or on of the other cases that merit italics? Shouldn't the term be both bold and italics in that case? --Muhandes (talk) 07:21, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

The title being disambiguated is just a sequence of letters. Until it's associated with a topic (in an entry), it doesn't need to be italicized. It might be italicized in a link to the primary topic, but not in the "may (also) refer to" line. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:15, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree when it does not create an association. But what if the title already associates it with a topic. It says (in the relevant case) "per se is a Latin phrase used in English arguments for "by itself" or "by themselves". It may refer to:" --Muhandes (talk) 12:27, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
I'd leave those definitions to the wiktionary link. If included in the dab page, the intro definition could be italicized, but the "refer to" line should not be. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:41, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I now realize that the first line in per se was a dictionary definition, redundant due to {{wiktionary}}. I also realized that what I was referring to wasn't even MOS:DABINT, but the section above that. It doesn't say anything about italics, which would mean exactly what you said (that it can include italics). Thanks --Muhandes (talk) 12:51, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Putting a category as one of the items on a DAB page

I went slightly bold on Arp and added a category as one of the items. What do you think? Can this be warranted in this/other cases? --Muhandes (talk) 06:14, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

I might code it a little differently, maybe like this:
One of the things about dab pages is that they should be very clear what they're linking to, to be of maximum help to someone looking for something. Coded the way you have it, it appears that there's a link to an article called synthesizers; why not make it a little clearer that it's a link to a category instead? --Auntof6 (talk) 08:30, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Excellent idea, thanks. --Muhandes (talk) 08:55, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't have any deep reservations about it (just shallow ones). Gut feeling is that if the elements of a category are ambiguous, they should be listed on the dab page or collected into a list article. But in the absence of a list article and if listing the ambiguous elements would be too cluttering, I can live with a cat link. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:03, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

"Still alive"

(How) do you indicate if a given person is still alive if you don't know the year of birth? Here i've added the bio dates, but Rebecca Hagelin seems to be still alive and i couldn't find out a year of birth. I guess you could add something that contains a word like "currently" to the description. Is there any standard?--ospalh (talk) 10:58, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

I think it should be the same as in the lead, per MOS:DOB. I don't see any recommendation there. --Muhandes (talk) 11:10, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
I would just leave it without any indication, like you've done.--Kotniski (talk) 11:32, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Pipe tricks edit summary says "Better piping style". The pipe trick works, but is it better style? -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:26, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure if this answers your question, but when you use the pipe trick and save the article, it's saved with text added after the pipe. In other words, "[[The Scream (album)|]]" is saved as "[[The Scream (album)|The Scream]]". --Auntof6 (talk) 19:47, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that's how the pipe trick works. I think the point intended by the editor who made the change is that using the pipe trick, as opposed to manually typing the right-hand portion, always guarantees that the display is identical to the title in the link. It's not a bad point to make as long as it is spelled out. --ShelfSkewed Talk 20:47, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Alternatively, the user may have been unaware how the pipe trick works exactly and thought that the source would stay "[[The Scream (album)|]]" forever.* (* until changed by another edit) That's been true for me. I've been using the bipe trick for quite some time until i found out that the text is saved in the expanded version. (Maybe somebody should tell em.)--ospalh (talk) 10:46, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm the one who inserted the "pipe trick", and I realized just a few days ago what Auntof6 explained. On the other hand, ShelfSkewed understood perfectly what I wanted to say. I think the manual should teach the trick. (missing paren (talk) 18:12, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
I could go either way on that. On the one hand, yes, it's an opportunity to demonstrate an incidental feature that's generally useful; on the other hand, those who could benefit—i.e., those who don't yet know the trick—have no reason to understand what they're seeing, so it could add a layer of confusion. Might be best to avoid it therefore. Either way, for consistency the examples should probably adhere to one or other approach. By the way, imo the markup in the examples looks terrible as <small></small>. As done elsewhere, we should use <code></code>, which makes it a readable size and, more importantly, renders the text in a fixed font instead of a proportional one so that it's immediately obvious where any spaces are. PL290 (talk) 18:47, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

One Blue Link

Perhaps I am being naive here, but if I come across a DAB page I change it in accordance with MOS to give the minimal amont of information necessary to disambiguate and... give it one blue link.

This has become such a mantra with me (making manual edits, not being a bot) that One Blue Link deserves a shortcut.

This is such a weak argument because all I call it is One Blue Link and other editors may think differently. Of course I could just add it (asWP:OBL, I suggest_, but I would like to hear the views of other editors.

Si Trew (talk) 22:29, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Of course I am aware that blue links may not be the colour blue on some browsers. Si Trew (talk) 22:32, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
The guideline says "Each entry should have exactly one navigable (blue) link", so I see no problem with shortcutting WP:OBL or WP:ONELINK or WP:1LINK there. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:29, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
FWIW I added an anchor a while back, so you can already use WP:MOSDAB#onelinkonly. PL290 (talk) 13:51, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Better to make a redirect, anchors have the habit of unexpectedly changing. See all redirects. — Dispenser 03:36, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
But when an anchor changes, who changes the redirect that points to it? Is there an automated report of redirects to anchors that no longer exist? --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 16:19, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
The tool I linked to which can produce reports on demand. — Dispenser 17:50, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

I am totally and entirely unhappy with the policy named One link only rule. Who have made this disgusting rule? How arrogant! When and where the one link rule policy gain its consensus? Are they insisting that ambugation page should not have the form of Chelsea Clinton (born 1980), the only child of former U.S. President Bill Clinton and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton???? Did they have no capability to imagine that some users sometimes inclined to to follow Bill Clinton when they see the ambigaution page of Chelsea Clinton?

Anyway it is really funny and ridiculous that one link rule prohibits followings

(Gauge00 (talk) 12:01, 10 August 2010 (UTC))

Yes, that is the current guideline. There is a page history and there are talk page archives, if you would like to find the earlier consensus. The gist of it is, though, that rather than being disgusting, arrogant, unimaginative, funny, or ridiculous, giving the reader a single link to the ambiguous article that they were looking for is the most helpful for a page that exists to render that navigational assistance. The article would then provide exploratory links (like the ones you would like to see) if the reader would like to explore further from the topic they were seeking. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:24, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
gauge00-aa I'd tryied to find the consensus page at the history page and at this talk page but I failed, now I think you are more apt than me at finding that consensus page. Would you please give the page of the consensus procedures of the one link rule??? And you'd said that giving the reader a single link to the ambiguous article that they were looking for is the most helpful for a page that exists to render that navigational assistance
gauge00-aa but I'd like to say that the all the humane beings have a brain in there skull that have capabilities of thinking that (1) the most helpful link comes FIRST, at the LEFTEST; RIGHT after the larget bullet sign and that (2) they dont be confused, I think, by the very existance of the other links and that (3) sometimes human beings become curious about its author or creator than the item itself. For example in the case Chelsea, a product of Bill Clinton, someones are more inclined to follow the Bill Clinton instead of Chelsea mainly because the Bill Clinton is NOT the only one in this world who have a child named Chelsea.
gauge00-aa And I'd like to add that (4) saying a single link would be more appropriate to users is the same to saying that my brain can handle more links, but if I added more links, many other users may get confused. This is not good for the poor brains., and this is the same to saying that my brain is more powerful thatn your suck simple brain. And finnaly I'd like to ask to the supporters of one link rule that the brain in my skull looks to you get confused when you add two link at one item? Finnaly I added again that the most relevent and the most helpful link almost alwasy comes FIRST, at the LEFTEST corner; RIGHT after the bullet. The one link rule supporters did not figure out this simple fact yet??? (Gauge00 (talk) 12:56, 10 August 2010 (UTC))
gauge00-aa And I'd like to add that for example, in the case of *"Ave Maria" (Vavilov) (1970), an aria by Vladimir Vavilov, I am inclined to follow the Vladimir Vavilov thinking who the fuck is this guy, Vladimir Vavilov. This is same phenomenon that if I saw the line pornographic film, the film first develped by Alexander Byer, I would first follow the Alexander Byer, thinking who the fucking this guy is??? Do One link rule policy supporters dislike these behaviour of mine???? Should NOT I follow the alexander byer at the first time??? (Gauge00 (talk) 13:12, 10 August 2010 (UTC))
The most recent extensive discussion took place in April 2009 and can be found at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)/Archive 38#Allowing all wikilinks. This discussion also includes a list of links to previous discussions on the topic. And I'll repeat now what I wrote then: "It seems to me that the current guideline is not at all condescending. In fact, it treats users as intelligent agents, who a) know what they want and are in need of the correct path to get there; and b) actually want what they say they want, and not something else. So, for each topic or usage of the ambiguous term, the dab page offers the single most relevant link." If a user then wishes to explore further, those links will be available, as JHunterJ pointed out, in the target article.--ShelfSkewed Talk 14:20, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
And, besides what ShelfSkewed has helpfully pointed out, Gauge00, your blustering, condescending, profane posts here do little to inspire me to go look up the past discussions for you. Please be civil. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:07, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Gauge00, to be honest I wonder if you're missing the point about what a dab page is for. As it says on each dab page, "This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title." Its job is to handle ambiguous requests, quickly channeling them to the intended page. It's not a place for general gazing at associated info, and its primary (and only) function is compromised by having more than one blue link, as the reader is then slowed down by having to work out which one to use. There will nearly always be associated info the reader may be interested in, but that should be linked from the target page anyway, which is a far more helpful place for the reader to start considering it. PL290 (talk) 15:57, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
gauge00-bb After reading Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)/Archive 38#Allowing all wikilinks I am really happy to see lots of people around grobe from time to time came and said tons of bad things of the one link guideline. I feel this is my turn and I know how many people have to be killed to get the democracy. As I said above I still think that the one link guideline supporters treat wikipedia users having so simple and rotten brain that if they got two links they would be got confused. I can feel sympathy for those who was treated like that. I wonder there exists one person in this world who would be happy to hear that if I offer two apples, you would got confused.
gauge00-bb For him who said that Its job is to handle ambiguous requests, quickly channeling them to the intended page, I'd like to said that, (1) sometimes there exists a case when you forget the name of a book and its author while you still know about one of its book. In this case bookname I know, a novel of bootauthor would be good for finding the forgotten bookname. And I add that (2) sometimes there exists a case that the explanation would be more interesting than the target. For example, something, an extint reptile in a unmanned island someIsland in the Pacific. In this case one would be inclinded to follow the someIsland. Another example, questia, an extint putiana. If you dont know questia and putiana, which one you prefer to follow?
gauge00-bb Let's imagine that when someone walk along the trails along the national park, he sometimes would be stopped by some barking wild dogs, loudly barking wild dogs. Usually these traillers came from some far and remote city, they only came here to spend their vacation. While the wild dogs have lived at this national park. This park is their home. I mean offenders are usullay came from far, and defenders are those who live at the very spot. In this talk page, the defenders are PL290, JHunterJ and .--ShelfSkewed. Why the poeple who have bad feeling about one link guideline should meet these people all the time??? Why do you defend one-link-rule? as the same way that the wild dog defended their home?? Let me give you an advice. Please try to think about that your permant existance in this talk page prevents the consensus mechanism of this wiki. Newbie came complaining, you barked, and another newbie came complaining about one link rule, you altogether barked, and some newbie came complaining, you barked again. I mean why you permanantly reside in this talk page. It would be better to give others the chance of defending one-link-rule. Try to think again that the very reason that you always win is not the fact that one-rule-guideline is appropriate, but the fact that the talk page is your home, the fact you permanantly resides here. (Gauge00 (talk) 22:37, 10 August 2010 (UTC))

─────────────────────────The only thing that can be certain is that when someone is looking for bookname they are looking for bookname. The may have been really looking for the author of bookname, a film of bookname, a quote from bookname, or the illustration on the cover of a book written by the wife of bookname's author's protégé. For that reason we do not link to any or all of these possibilities. The answer to any of these questions, and a myriad of others, is found at the appropriate article, reached by the single navigable (blue) link. Tassedethe (talk) 23:19, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

You said that the only thing that can be certain is that when someone is looking for bookname they are looking for bookname, The may have been really looking for the author of bookname, a film of bookname, a quote from bookname, or the illustration on the cover of a book written by the wife of bookname's author's protégé, then I'd like to say that, "Tom Sawyer" (song), a song by Rush, why a ambigugarion page of Tom Sawyer said about author Rush? You surely agree that the most important parts of Tom Sawyer" (song) was its author? Simple enough, the most important part of a painting, a novel, song, etc is its author not its film, not a quote, or illustration. Many amgugation pages show this...... but only one link guideliners do not like to link its author.
And I'd like to say, for example, Bille jean, a music by Michael Jackson, I now surley can say that you have NEVER imagined that in this world, at least one person exists NOW, that someone goes to the page Michael jackson, by typing Bille Jean. I mean there exists someone he who is looking for bookname, he mightly could have searched for its author. This is another type of searching in wiki. This is really helpful when I forgot the name Michael Jackson and I only knew his album Billie Jean. This is another type of search. Do one link guideline supporters insist that Ambigation page should not be used as a search method???(Gauge00 (talk) 02:40, 11 August 2010 (UTC))
Many people that have come to "complain" about dab guidelines often change their minds when they spend some time understanding why they are the way they are. I feel we are more like park guides than your dogs - we point out what is different here and why you might act a little differently when editing these dab pages. I don't believe I am guilty of barking. I try to explain the guidelines when people ask calmly and respectably. --John (User:Jwy/talk) 00:32, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree that many people have come to complain about bab guidelines, but I can advice you NOT to think that the fact that they went silence does not mean the fact that they changed their mind. I mean silence is not agreement. Let's imagine. A street dog barks you at first, but minutes later it does not bark any more. At this, dont think that dog become docile, that dog might have wanted to dodge you. By the same way, I bark you now, but days later I do not anymore, but do not think I have changed my mind. (Gauge00 (talk) 02:40, 11 August 2010 (UTC))

I add these again that the most relevent and the most helpful link almost alwasy comes FIRST, at the LEFTEST corner; RIGHT after the bullet. (Gauge00 (talk) 02:40, 11 August 2010 (UTC))

I don't like that idea. It would constrain our ability to assemble a clear and meaningful entry. It would also rely on readers' knowledge of the convention. But anyway, that suggestion would only come into play if the use of more than one blue link gained consensus, which, as far as I can see, it shows no sign of doing, for very good reasons. PL290 (talk) 06:31, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
gauge00 You said that I don't like that idea, then I'd like say that that idea is not my idea, and that I didn't advocate that idea, and that the most relevent and the most helpful link almost alwasy comes first, at the leftest corner; right after the bullet. is just a general form of the disambiguation pages. Just visit one of disambiguation pages, for exmaple, Raul. surely you can see that all the relevent and the most helpful link come first, at the left most corner, right after the bullet. Just a simple phenonemon. Therefore one link guideline supporters dont need to worry about the complexities of disambiguation pages induced by 2 links, 3 links in one item. Simple enough. The most important link is always located right after the bullet. (Gauge00 (talk) 09:57, 11 August 2010 (UTC))
gauge00 Haha, really funny and entertaining. The convention that the most relevent and the most helpful link almost alwasy comes first, at the leftest corner; right after the bullet. is NOT mine, it is just a general form of disambugation page. See any disambiguation pages in wiki. You can reallize that the most relevent link always comes first, right after the bullet. If you had not realized yet up today, I recommand you not to say anything about styles or guidelines in wiki. Your incabability of realizing the convention showes your inabailities. I expressed my words using hard words in gratitude for your calling me keyboard cat(Gauge00 (talk) 10:43, 11 August 2010 (UTC))

This isn't going anywhere and it's pretty clear the current policy works the best for now. Close this out [keyboard cat]. Shadowjams (talk) 09:34, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

gauge00. Many people came and complained one link guideline. This simple fact disprove your claim that the current policy works the best for now. Your claim is only your imagination(Gauge00 (talk) 09:57, 11 August 2010 (UTC))