Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/Archive 42

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Note: This extended discussion on the linking of dates, during March and April 2006, is 171 kilobytes long. It therefore occupies archives 42 through 46.

  (long discussion)
> next page:/archive43

linking of dates

The main issue in discussion here, is what guidelines/suggestions should we promote, for whether or not to link to time/date words. Particularly at issue are 19th, 20th and 21st century year links, days of the week, and specific month/date dates. eg:

This is slightly complicated by the fact that dates need to be linked in order to enable date preferences (m:Help:Preferences#Date_format). but note: this will become a non-issue when bug 4582 is fixed.

This is a contentious issue because of differing degrees of relevance of the date in any particular uses context. eg. Should all album release dates be linked? Should all birth and death dates be linked? Should every year be linked always? etc. This becomes rapidly more complicated when considering articles on historical events, such as wars, in which chronological information plays a crucial part.

Specific existing guidelines that should be noted/updated/clarified are here:

Past discussion on this topic can be found here:

Various proposals and comments follow:

I have just withdrawn my application for a bot to reduce overlinking of non-preference dates. There was a lot of support but not enough for a bot. Some people supported delinking of dates but wanted it done without a bot. Unfortunately the MoS only addresses the issue from the point of view of an editor looking at an unlinked date (generally do not link). It does not address the issue from the point of view of an editor looking at a linked date.

I propose adding the following to the 'Avoid overlinking dates section:

  • Editors are encouraged to remove links that do not conform with the guidance on this page.

If somebody has better proposed text, I would be happy to read it. In the meantime, I am seeking responses over the next two weeks to the question:

  • Do you support or object to this addition? bobblewik 20:32, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
This is really splitting hairs, and certainly doesn't need an additional guideline. The existing rule doesn't say "don't over-link when you write, but don't remove links when you edit". It just recommends what an article should look like.
The bot issue is completely unrelated. It sounds to me that editors over-linking dates to be fixed with an editor's judgement, and not by a dumb machine. Live with it. Michael Z. 2006-03-09 21:16 Z
We probably should add a suggestion to not delink to this page. -- User:Docu
Actually, the present text does suggest delinking, at least in extreme cases. If we generally do not link, that is on the same footing as the advice not to link every word in an article. If somone has gone ahead and done this rash thing, consider the merits and then, if it is excessive, reverse it. This requires judgment; it may require asking the linker's reasons. A bot can do neither. Septentrionalis 16:07, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

I Support that quotes addition to the MoS page. We need some official guideline on this point, and many agree that the overlinking is a vast and growing problem (particularly the 20thcentury year links). --Quiddity 21:01, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

  • I don't completely agree with encouraging editors to remove links, since this almost implies that the date delinking is a high priority issue for Wikipedia, and has a full concensus behind it. Here's an alternative stab at it:
"Existing date links which do not conform to these standards, and which obviously do not contribute to the overall understanding or context of the article, can be deleted. When making edits of this sort, be sure to state so in the edit summary, so that problems can be quickly resolved." Neier 05:29, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
  • I support Neier's version. It's clear about which links should and should not be removed, and I definately agree that overlinking can be a problem. EWS23 | (Leave me a message!) 17:45, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Ditto. Support this version.
  • Support à la Neier. --AStanhope 19:23, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

KillerChihuahua?!? 17:49, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

OK. I take your point about encouragement being more than permission. The role of this sentence is simply to give explicit permission to implement the guidance that follows. Self-evidently, that permission is constrained by the guidance that follows. The bit about 'overall understanding' is part of the guidance that follows and is therefore already inherent as a constraint.

I would have thought normal rules for edit summaries apply. So I do not see the need for the second sentence, but if you think it is needed, so be it. How about:

  • Editors may remove links that do not conform with the guidance on this page. When making edits of this sort, be sure to state so in the edit summary, so that problems can be quickly resolved.

I support this. Most linked dates are irrelevant, and obstruct readability. Birth and death dates/years I can understand - but how many people, upon reading "Joe Bloggs joined the army on September 18 1976", would think "Gosh, I wonder what else happened on a September 18th"? Dates should only be linked if the date itself is a significant discussion point, or if contemporanea would be an aid to the reader. UrbaneLegend 19:49, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

I do, actually. I do it all the time (more often with years than specific days of the month). I like finding out what other events happened during that year. Talrias (t | e | c) 20:21, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
This begs the question, why? David D. (Talk) 20:37, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Why what? If the question is, why do I click these links, I just answered that - it's because I like finding out what other events happened during that year. Talrias (t | e | c) 22:47, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Why do you like finding out what other events happened in a particular year? Why when reading an article do you feel the need to click on all these dates to read about random events that happened that year? I'm sorry but I don't understand the reasoning for this? Are you looking for context or do you just enjoy going off on tangents? If the later then I can understand why you do it since the year pages are suited for going off on tangents; rarely have i found a year link that adds real context to an article. Anything important is usually already mentioned in the article.
After reading all the things that happened in a given year do you actually go back to the original article to continue reading? Or do you get side tracked with new articles. If side tracked are they relevant to the article you were orginially reading, or something completely different? If you do continue reading the original artcile do you then click on the next date that is linked? These are serious questions because i find it hard to relate to this kind of browsing. Why not just read the whole article? It's great to link to relevent pages but something more specific than an incomplete list of hundreds of unrelated events is desirable. David D. (Talk) 07:45, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Why does everyone have to browse Wikipedia the same way you do? We all do things differently. Ambi 08:00, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
So you browse like that too? Seriously, if that's what people want why don't they just go straight the the year page? David D. (Talk) 08:05, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Why do you think we're complaining about this? And as to your question, why do we have internal links at all? Ambi 08:11, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Whoa there. People can browse Wikipedia how they like. If someone wants to go off on tangents, then they can. I'm against linking all the dates in an article becuase of readability issues and the fact that such links seldom offer insight into the article. But there's no need to attack those who want to look up what else happened in the same year as Alanis Morrisette's debut album, or whatever they want. Be tolerant of other people's browsing styles. ~ UrbaneLegend 10:13, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
My point is that he almost certainly does not browse this way. And i bet very few do. How people use links and browsing styles are as relevant to this discussion as readability. There is a random article link to the left for those that enjoy tangents. In general linking to years does not provide useful context. Now if I was reading a science article and the years linked to other major discoveries in that year related to the article, that would be one thing, but that is not what i get when I link to the year. I get a random collection of events that are very hard to parse to find anything relevant. I think it is important not to link to years if there is no context. The whole point of links is to coordinate relevant information. Linking to unrelated data is not helpful. Linking such dates we are suggesting that there is something useful on that page. In fact, what is really happening is that people are being conditioned NOT to use date links since there is rarely anything relevant on those pages. So who are these date links aimed at? Is this an encylopedia or a random collection of facts? David D. (Talk) 18:04, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Why do you need to understand how I browse Wikipedia? The fact that I do it that way should be good enough for you. You're not the Wikipedia Inquisition. There is no "correct" way to browse a website or an encyclopaedia. Please respect the way I do, and don't enforce a style which makes it difficult for me. Talrias (t | e | c) 17:19, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
See my comment above, specifically 'The whole point of links is to coordinate relevant information' and 'people are being conditioned NOT to use date links'. It would be great to have dates linking to relevant information but they hardly ever do. To say that everything that happened in 1984 is ALL relevant to a specific date in a specific article is silly. It's easy to link to all this random information but a good and responsible editor would make sure it links to something useful. To get back to Bobblewick's edits. He is de-linking masses of linked dates that seem to serve no purpose with regard to coordinating relevant information. Most appear to be linked for no other reason than they can be linked.
In summary, the encyclopedia should not be linked to help people randomly browse the encyclopedia. It should be linked to help people make this information less random. If this goes against your preferred browsing style then so be it. I never had any intention and have no interest in leading a "Wikipedia Inquisition" but to link to random information goes so strongly against the function of an encyclopedia that these points need to be made. Note I am not saying do not link dates, I am saying lets make these links more useful. David D. (Talk) 18:11, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
In honour of your campaign to tell people how to browse Wikipedia "properly", I dedicate Wikipedia:Manual of Style (browsing methods) to you, Daycd. Talrias (t | e | c) 18:42, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Thank you ;-) that's funny. But seriously, what about the point of people who end up not using the date links since they are invariably not well conceived. You don't think this is a problem with regard to overlinking dates without thought? David D. (Talk) 18:50, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Sure, but having all dates in an article function as links is detrimental to readability. If you want to search for a particular date then you could always use the standard search box. You'd still get the cross-references you want without the page being a mess of blue links. :-) ~ UrbaneLegend 02:06, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Hm .. this page still requires that all full dates be linked. "September 18 1976" should be linked to enable date preferences. It's probably a good thing to request that one explains in the edit summary why a particular link is irrelevant to a page. "links as per MoS" is a bit too short. -- User:Docu
Can you give an example that might not be too short (serious question)? bobblewik 10:21, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
As for full links, there is a proposed code change thrashing about somewhere that would produce a new date formatting syntax that didn't link. I don't know how work is going on that front, though. --Cyde Weys 05:23, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Very interesting. The only mention i've managed to find is here. Can someone hunt down further details? --Quiddity 06:25, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. As proposer. bobblewik 20:33, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Object, of course. Let us have a proper discussion about coming to an actual compromise, rather than trying to ram this through at all costs. Ambi 04:57, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support - I don't see this as trying to ram anything through. The guideline is already in place; is it so outrageous to encourage that it be enforced?! And the proper discussion was already had awhile ago when date unlinking was decided on. --Cyde Weys 05:21, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
    Any chance you can find a link to that discussion/archive? (search isnt rewarding me..). It would help cut-down on repeating arguments. thanks :) --Quiddity 06:36, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment. For simplicity, I am only commenting on the linking of years (not, days, dates, months etc.) that are not part of the linking of dates for display preference. Although I find linked years an irritation, if Talrias and others find it helpful to click them then it is a case of balancing the benefit to these people with the irritation to others. What I find very unfortunate is that in the current dispute so many of Bobblewik’s uncontroversial and useful changes (not relating to linked years) are getting reverted blindly. For people who favour linked years, what would you like the MoS to say? Maybe to ask editors link the first occurrence of every year in an article? Would you encourage or allow editors to change articles to this style? The convenience for viewing the events of a year seems to me to be unrelated to the importance of the year within the article. Do you have a problem when editors create an article with unlinked years? Do you ever link them yourself (or feel like linking them)? Could there be a pop-up menu option so all four digit numbers were clickable? I find it quite strange that some people feel such a strong wish for years remaining linked but seem so less concerned with years that were never linked in the first place. If I could understand this better it would help me "vote". Thincat 13:00, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
    You're correct -- there are years which probably should be linked, but which aren't. The main concern I have is that wholesale "cleansing" of wikipedia will result in more of those, with the only benefit being that the nasty blue and purple colored links don't distract everyone. I agree that there are many many superfluous year links. A well-managed effort to eliminate them (like, the 2004 example bobblewik cited) would be welcome, in my opinion. I get the sense that bobblewik has paid more attention to things in recent weeks, and that the number of bad de-links has gone down. But, it is still not a perfect process, and that is why I opposed the bot. It is also why I would like to see some words added to the statement regarding verifying the relevance of the links, so that we don't have to go through the same type of learning curve with the next people who want to cite this MoS. The mention of relevant links is already in the MoS, so it is not like anything is being added. Just reinforced; and experience has shown that without an explicit statement to that effect, it is easy to ignore. Neier 13:41, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
    The problem with the relevance criterion is that it is subjective. The problem is not that it is forgotten or overlooked. Stating it twice within 3 lines will not solve that. bobblewik 14:21, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Object. Bobblecruft. Bloating guidelines entirely unnecessarily. Noisy | Talk 14:34, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support What to link seems to be hard to get right, but I do think we have too many year links. And it does sort of irritate me when someone comes in and blindly links every year in an article I've worked on. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 18:21, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Object. I click dates in articles all the time, I just like doing it. --Rory096 01:35, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Object, for several reasons: 1) that date preferences require the over-linking of full dates, and thus reducing the linking of bare years only does a unsatisfactory and sometimes unsightly half job; 2) that context for dates is sometimes very helpful, especially so as one goes further back in history. I would recommend that in many cases date links should be pipe-linked to a more specific page (e.g. 1953 in art). Matthew Brown (Morven) (T:C) 07:14, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
  • STRONG SUPPORT Editors are suggested to be bold when editing. To not allow editors to remove date links (and indeed other non-useful links such as redlinks) which in their opinion at that time do not add to the value of an article smacks of administrative policing gone mad . I have noted that some administrators take this to the extreme of not even allowing original editors to remove links they actually created in error. I do not need this type of mothering! Most editors are mature, supportive and take their writings to wiki seriously. The second suggested adjustment by Bobblewik being
Editors may, remove links that do not conform with the guidance on this page. When making edits of this sort, be sure to state so in the edit summary, so that problems can be quickly resolved.
reads to me no differently than any other edit I choose to make - that is if I do not agree with content then I can adjust, put my reasons in the edit summary and await legitimate response to which I can object or agree with. VirtualSteve.pngVirtualSteve 09:38, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong support. Talrias and Ambi, please don't impose your way of browsing on the rest of us. You and others are free to type a simple year (usually four digits) into the search box, which will take you a whole five seconds. Why you favour patches of blue everywhere is beyond me. They make the text more difficult to read (trust me, my PhD was in the psychology of reading), look messy on the page in cases where there's already a high density of linking, and lessen the likelihood that readers will follow up high-value links.
The habit of inserting trivial chronological links has apparently arisen from the necessity of linking auto-formatted dates (i.e., those that include the day of the month). It's a great pity that some people have become obsessed with pursuing this wrong-headed practice. Ambi, for example, has been going around busily relinking trivial items that have recently been delinked. Ahem ....
Piped chronological items that are reasonably focused on the topic are fine; perhaps ancient dates are. But I have no problem explicitly encouraging editors to remove links to centuries, decades, years, and months and years from modern times.
Rather than 'may', I'd use 'are encouraged to'. Tony 11:22, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Object. There isn't really any disadvantage in having the links to the year/date pages. We should rather discourage editors to delink the years/dates. We might just need a preference setting for editors who don't want to see them. I do agree with the proposal that editors who delink the dates, should explain why is done for specific occurences. -- User:Docu
  • Oppose. This is still contentious and I don't think it's worth removing date-links (unless the situation is out-of-control). Note that the whole issue will disappear when bug 4582 is fixed. ··gracefool | 12:07, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per above opponents and objectors --Francis Schonken 12:14, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose per the above. Doesn't hurt anyone. —Nightstallion (?) 13:52, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
No one is talking about 'hurting' readers with splashes of useless blue all over the page. It concerns the issues I raised above. If you take that argument further, poor writing never 'hurt' anyone either. Tony 15:02, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support with encouragement to remove links unless they are particularly relevant to the topic, though perhaps it should be spelled out that a linked date at the start of a topic can be useful to make it easy for the less experienced reader to find out what else went on then. I've found this useful myself, and at least one reviewer on The Guardian was impressed by this feature. Making this clear could reduce the risk of a revert war . ..dave souza, talk 15:33, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support, though it might be a good idea to add that we don't want people systematically going through the encyclopedia to make these changes (as with BCE/BC or British/American spelling). For example: "While editing articles, editors are encouraged to remove links that do not conform with the guidance on this page. However, going through the encyclopedia with the sole purpose of removing links is discouraged." SlimVirgin (talk) 17:27, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
    • Support version proposed by SlimVirgin. Also the transformation of source citation format was similar, until ArbCom ruled it out ref. --Francis Schonken 18:04, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
    • Mostly support version proposed by SlimVirgin since it addresses my main concern that edits en masse are likely to delink some dates which are relevant (as experience in the past has already shown us to be true). Encouraging the delinking of (some/most) dates in edits made by people familiar with the subject matter of the article seems like a great compromise. Neier 22:27, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
Comment (I've already voted above): SlimVirgin's suggestion appears to be a satisfactory compromise. Tony 02:16, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
    • Comment: I've already supported Neier's version above, but I like SlimVirgin's too. I'd also support a combination of the two, such as:
"Existing date links which do not conform to these standards, and which obviously do not contribute to the overall understanding or context of the article, can be deleted. (However, going through the encyclopedia with the sole purpose of removing links is discouraged.) When making edits of this sort, be sure to state so in the edit summary, so that problems can be quickly resolved."
EWS23 | (Leave me a message!) 19:20, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. per bobblewik. Kaldari 18:47, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support per Bobblewik - I think linking to enable date preferences is too much too. I think dates shoud be as per spelling, Commonwealth date preferences in articles where that spelling date prevails, American date preferences where American-English prevails. We should avoid excessive linking and concentrate on those links which are important and we know the reader wil want to clarify or explore further - ie significant links - links to enable preferences are by definition not necessarily significant. They should of course be linked when significant.--A Y Arktos 19:04, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support Bobblewik proposal. I also have an additional idea: to have articles with NO links to dates at all, to avoid all the time spent linking and delinking dates and arguing over it. Instead, have the Wikipedia software, based on user preference, either show all dates (years, months, days, etc) as linked or not linked. Thanks. Hmains 05:55, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. I have made several comments above and have yet to see any reason not to make these suggested changes. David D. (Talk) 05:07, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support SlimVirgin's version. Walter Siegmund (talk) 18:37, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support Bobblewik. Get rid of the sea of useless blue. I would like a specific mention, though, that the "as of 2006" (etc.) links are useful and are to be retained in order to let future Wikipedians more easily update current events. Tempshill 19:37, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support as proposed. Some people seem to be opposing because they oppose Bobblewik. But if anyone else had proposed saying we should edit articles so that they conform to the MoS, would anyone oppose? Why? I really don't understand. – Quadell (talk) (bounties) 19:45, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support as proposed. Makes sense, lots of distracting date links out there :) Haukur 20:04, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose adding an instruction about deleting date links. The discussion above implies that somehow editors need permission to do this. I disagree. Editors are free to be bold and remove year links at will, if they feel that this brings an article into better accord with this Manual of Style page. No specific authorization to delete links is needed, and adding one is just instruction creep. To be clear: I am in favor of deleting nearly all year links in articles, except for the very few that are actually likely to provide relevant content to readers. I delete year links on sight. I reject any implication that anyone needs special permission or instructions here to do likewise. The MoS is clear (in several places) that year links are generally undesirable. Nothing further is required. --Srleffler 23:12, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
    The proposed change/clarification would be to help stop the increasing occurances of debates and edit/wheel wars that this issue is creating. The alternative is to continuing allowing essentially random link/no-link decisions for every occurance of eg: Saturday, April 1, 1990's. --Quiddity 23:26, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support any or all of the above versions/modifications - get rid of the useless date-links. Vsmith 01:01, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support (I commented previously). The problems caused to some people by unlinking dates seem pretty slight to me although the irritation of excessive links is also not a severe issue. I wonder if the dispute is more about the way Bobblewik has been editing than the actual nature of his changes. However, if it necessary to avoid an impasse, I would support SlimVirgin's suggested change as second choice. I think her idea is politically wise (though lacking in hard logic!). The damage caused by the retaliation to Bobblewik has, for me, become the problem to be solved. Thincat 12:08, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support the general principle. Overlinking is bad for our readers. Date links rarely add much to the understanding of the article and if I just want to surf randomly, there are better ways to do that. However, I also appreciate the comments about instruction creep. This might be an addition that we need on the page for a couple of months until everyone realizes that we no longer need to link to support the reformatting. After it's become part of the norm for editing, perhaps it could be taken back out. Rossami (talk) 04:08, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
    • Don't you find it a problem that you're trying to change - in your own words - a widespread norm by enforcing your own views on people? Ambi 06:23, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support per bobblewik, or anything that encourages/allows reduction of year links; overlinking is an issue. Neonumbers 12:49, 23 March 2006 (UTC) (Feel free to move the the remaining part of this post of mine to a more logical/chronological place if necessary — I won't mind, as long as it's not edited or deleted.) It seems we've been talking a lot here about what certain people do and don't do. Aside from the limitation that we don't have reliable statistics on who browses how, I believe we are thinking on the wrong line. What we need to consider is what an encyclopedia is for. Nothing takes away from the fact that this is an encyclopedia. Now, my understanding is that it is intended to offer knowledge and information to someone who is looking up a certain topic, both in-depth and basic. I do not believe, however, that an ability to go take tangents is a purpose. Don't get me wrong here — I too browse Wikipedia for random knowledge. However, it is fair to expect a wanderer to either have a certain sense of direction once he's on a road, or to use the search box when he has a sudden change of mind. This is a fair point because, let's be fair, someone interested in field hockey doesn't really give a damn that in 1849, James Knox Polk became the first U.S. president to have his photo taken. Someone interested in 1849 would, but that's not field hockey, and it is reasonable to expect such a person to have arrived at that page through the search box or a year-browsing system. It remains to see that a sea of blue is harmful, because unnecessary blue does interfere with reading, and an irrelevant link isn't worth that price. (My sincere apologies for the long post. I am meant on a wiki-break so I may not be back here awhile.) Neonumbers 12:49, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. As long as editors are clear as to what constitutes a preference link. --Phronima 17:15, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. I opposed the bot, but I don't have a problem with this as long as people take proper care in doing it. Please do be careful, though, when delinking from articles on topics you don't specialize in. A fair number of dates do offer useful context, at least in the ancient history articles I work on, and I'd rather not have to go through and relink the useful ones every time someone does this to an article on my watchlist. RobthTalk 16:45, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose for two reasons. First, I simply don't think linking dates is a problem and there's a marginal plus to doing it: people can see what else happened in the year/on the day in question. So, one, no harm in links. Second, encouraging actions is a bad, bad idea. "Encourage" people to deprecate userboxes and they kick off a war over them. "Encourage" people to remove dates and the outcome will probably be ugly. Why can't we just use our common sense? If an article is absolutely littered with links, so that you can't read it, cut out some of the date links. If it's not too linked up, what's the problem? The editors who want to make rapid, rote edits in these circumstances do not have to be accommodated. We aren't actually in a hurry to create this thing. If an article has a few marginal links to dates for a few weeks, a month, a year, what does it actually matter? Does it matter more than the strife caused by upsetting editors who have worked on an article for some time when you drive by, delink all the dates that they carefully linked and then drive off again? Grace Note 06:34, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
  • I have to say, I agree exactly with Grace Note here. Removing such links is a (very) significant reversal of what understood policy was until Bobblewik decided to change this page to countermand it, without anyone noticing. The arguments given in favour of not linking are, at best, specious. James F. (talk) 15:26, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. One might have thought that the MoS guidance was sufficient: "Avoid overlinking of dates." However, as the arguments indicate, there needs to be some further guidance. The reason for not linking all dates is the same as the reason for not linking all words. We link things because they add meaning, explain, give context. A date with events that are relevant to the article should be linked. Overlinking, however, destroys readability. To avoid crusades and edit wars, however, I like the addition proposed by SlimVirgin. Sunray 16:49, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

The second-level header section "linking of dates" continues in archive43.

  (long discussion)
> discussion continues in /archive43