Wikipedia talk:Redirect

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Application of MOS:NOPIPE and WP:NOTBROKEN[edit]

Because this talk page is relevant to WP:NOTBROKEN but I want to keep this in one discussion, please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Linking#Application of MOS:NOPIPE and WP:NOTBROKEN. Thank you. Dustin (talk) 22:17, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

All you have to do is replace the redirect with an article and that's it. No spending time looking for links to the redirect or target page. GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 22:10, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Re creating accidental Double redirects[edit]

This happens when the (newbie or veteran) editor reads the existing instruction at the last phrase/sentence of the section as one entire line of code: For example, #REDIRECT [[Secretary-General of the United Nations]] to #REDIRECT [[Trygve Lie]] reads as: " Redirect [Old target page] to Redirect [New target page] ", that is, he/she submits the entire quoted phrase on the redirect Edit page. The desired fix does not happen---the redirect still goes to the old target page, not the new one. And the newbie editor is flummoxed and an oldie editor is puzzled for a time. Such doesn't need to be.

If you will pls try it for yourself, goto Hominidae (lede) and find "hominins" (in the 2nd ph); then attempt to redirect it, but keep the 'existing redirect note' in this phrase= " Redirect [Chimpanzee-human last common ancestor] to Redirect [Hominini] "; this causes the double redirect to happen. (Pls 'undo' your trial run so others can play.) Thanks Jbeans (talk) 17:25, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

If the layout is the problem, let's change just the layout. Adding more text to explain it just makes things more confusing, IMHO. —capmo (talk) 17:45, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm ok with that---whatever works. Pls proceed. Jbeans (talk) 17:50, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
@Jbeans: I think that you're under a mistaken impression as to what a "double redirect" is. This is not a double redirect; it is a misconstructed redirect. A double redirect is where page A is set up as a redirect to page B, and page B is itself set up as a redirect to page C. To fix this, we edit page A so that it is set up as a redirect to page C. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:52, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Redrose64, I appreciate your point---wish I had known it yesterday. Jbeans (talk) 01:54, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

New article[edit]

You can replace a redirect with an article and spend less time looking for links to the original target. You may still look for links to the new article (previously a redirect). GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 05:22, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

A purpose of redirects to present a common name of a subject with parenthesis as a redirect in cases in which a Natural disambiguation is used[edit]

I was just looking at the article John Cyril Smith and saw that, in his obituary, he was known simply as "John Smith". In cases like this I'm wondering about the potential value of creating the article as something like John Smith (barrister), John Smith (professor of law) or John Smith (authority on law) or creating such a title as a redirect. The reason for this is that, if a reader clicked into the search box to the top right of a Wikipedia page and searched on "John Smith (" or on something like "John Smith (b" then a topic option such as "John Smith (barrister)" would then have a chance of appearing within the drop down menu that appears when a reader starts to input a search term. I think that this may be useful in cases where someone who is disambiguated with use of a middle name but is still commonly known by first and last name. However the other option is that readers can always make use of a navigation page such as the one found at John Smith. GregKaye 19:05, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Of course, it is perfectly okay to deliberately create such redirects, for as long as they are justified by their name and you can find a properly disambiguating term (ideally following a scheme used for similar article titles elsewhere already). There are various useful applications. In some cases (though not in yours), it can also help linking to a redirect in other articles, see Help:Pipe trick. --Matthiaspaul (talk) 10:00, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Is there an effective way to find articles by parenthetical disambiguator, or otherwise to learn how commonly different disambiguators are in use? As simple search strings "(character)" and (character) seem to be equivalent with the parentheses ignored in both cases. --P64 (talk) 19:55, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Download the latest Wikipedia title dump and grep for disambiguators. Gorobay (talk) 20:43, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Bypassing redirects[edit]

I'm bringing this matter up in response to a couple of statements that other users have made on my talk page.

While I appreciate the intent of the Not Broken policy, I don't agree with the inflexible understanding that some users have of it. My main peeve is this: I often use the "What links here" link for research purposes. Instead of a nice, tidy, alphabetical list I often get a jumble of links, redirects, and more links. That's not very user-friendly. Especially with an article like Non-resident Indian and person of Indian origin (no longer such a good illustration, mind you, as I've cleaned it up to a large extent, although there's one major redirect to it with 500 links that I haven't bothered with), the researcher has to navigate a minefield.

There is also the lesser problem of people moving pages and forgetting to fix the (broken) double redirects. That problem wouldn't arise if the redirects had all be bypassed in the first place!

What I've been doing: I've been bypassing redirects on many of the articles that I've been heavily been involved with. The only major exception is Non-resident Indian and person of Indian origin — but even that article is closely related to many of the Fiji-related articles that I have either written myself, or heavily edited. I have made a point of NOT bypassing those redirects that could potentially be turned into articles (and in a couple of cases, I have done just that), and that's one project I believe I know enough about to know whether a redirect could eventually be an article of its own or not. Some of them are potential articles, no doubt about that. But a good many of them are things like spelling errors. Should a link be routed through a spelling error? E.g., I found a few articles for Seru Epenisa Cakobau redirecting from Thakombau. Anyone who knows anything about Fiji, seeing "Redirected from Thakombau", would think Wikipedia was an amateurish mess. That is the kind of thing that needs to be corrected, in my view.

Bottom line: While I do not believe it should be prioritised, I do believe that users who are so inclined should be encouraged to bypass all redirects except those that serve a purpose, such as potential articles. Such streamlining would make for a much cleaner project.

My purpose in bringing this up is not to create an argument, but to encourage a healthy debate about a policy that I think has been taken to extremes by some members of the community. David Cannon (talk) 11:41, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Fine, Davidcannon you've brought this up for discussion. Now please STOP such edits until and unless there is a consensus to change this page. Making edits you know are objected to, and moreover are against existing guideline and policy pages, much less doing so in an automated or semi-automated manner, is disruptive editing, and can lead to a block. I will reply on the merits later today. DES (talk) 14:14, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
  • After thinking the matter over a bit, I oppose the suggested change, at least as suggested. I have two significant reasons for this:
    1. When a user follows a link to a redirect, and winds up at the target page, a small notice "[Redirected from XXX]" is placed in the upper left of the page. This can help a reader understand why s/he would up on a page whose title may be very different from the test of the link clicked. This doesn't happen with a piped link. I think this benefit to at least some readers well outweighs the benefits to researchers mentioned by David Cannon above.
    2. When a link is made via a redirect, it documents, through the use of "what links here", which redirects are used. This can be helpful in considering which redirects to retain. It might also be of interest to some researchers, as documenting the intent that a page drafter or editor had when forming the link. This data is lost if a link to a redir is converted to a piped link. DES (talk) 18:46, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
  • However, in some cases linking via a redirect is I think a poor idea and should be corrected. Specifically, redirects from misspellings. These are useful to make searches return correct or plausible results from incorrectly spelled search terms, but there is no good reason for a misspelling to be in the article text (except perhaps in a direct quote, or if the misspelling is somehow the subject of the article). Links to "r from misspelling" redirs should be simply corrected, usually there will be no need to pipe. DES (talk) 18:46, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
    • As to the research concerns listed above, it should be trivial to devise an external tool to automatically process the result of what-links-here to leave only the target pages, stripping any redirs. It shouldn't be very hard to make a user script to generate such a list directly. By the way what-links-here is NOT guaranteed to return items in alphabetical order or anything close to it, and is unlikely to do so on a page that has many links to it and has existed for a while. I think it returns in the order encountered in the relevant server table, which might be roughly the order in which likes were added or most recently edited. DES (talk) 18:46, 23 July 2015 (UTC) @David Cannon: (ping above mis-formmated) DES (talk) 18:48, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
  • You've raised a couple of issues, DES, which I hadn't thought of. In particular, I think I agree with your second point; also the first point has some value, which I hadn't thought of.

However, many of my edits (not all, but many of them) don't violate the spirit of what you are saying, in my opinion. Nearly all of them are to articles that I either created myself, or heavily edited. Those that I had apparently little to do with link to a lot of articles that I do have an interest in. In most cases, I created the articles years ago. In some cases, others have moved them; in other cases, I have recently moved quite a lot of them myself (for example, a lot of the articles that had FIJI in brackets after the title have been moved to take that off — it's unnecessary). In such cases, after moving an article, I've gone through and changed, rather than piped, the redirects. (I can't say I've never piped them, but in about three quarters of cases, I haven't — I've simply changed an existing pipe). For example, I've changed Prime Minister to Prime Minister. That's all! I don't see why anybody would have an issue with that; the "list" was merged with the main article years ago (and will probably stay that way), so I see every reason for related articles to point directly to the article itself. Now, if a particular article was about "lists of office holders", and one link was to List of Prime Ministers of Fiji, I could accept your reasoning about leaving that link alone. Now that you've explained that, it makes sense to me. But (with perhaps two or three exceptions), my changes are not like that. Changing President to President is not "creating" a pipe — the pipe is already there, and all I'm doing is changing the link inside the pipe. There are HARDLY ANY cases where I have created a pipe where there wasn't one. Yes, you'll find one or two if you look hard enough, but you will have to look pretty hard. Almost all of my redirect fixing has been simply cleaning up after myself following page moves. What's your issue with that?

There have also been a lot of redirects from which I have REMOVED the pipe. For example, I have changed every case of Queen Elizabeth Barracks to just Queen Elizabeth Barracks, as that's the direct link. I've done that to MANY articles. Objections?

Then there's the issue of mis-spellings. I'm dealing with Fijian articles. A lot of British and American users who have a surface knowledge of Fiji have created quite a lot of articles about geography, flora and fauna, etc, which spell words as if they were English, not Fijian. I found a reference to Ngau Airport, for example. A Fijian would not have a clue what that meant — the correct spelling is simply Gau Airport. So I moved the page, and corrected (corrected, not piped) the redirects. Why should any user have an issue with that?

On the other hand, there are some redirects that I don't believe in changing. British/American correspondences, such as colour redirecting to color, serve a definite purpose, and I would be very much opposed to changing them.

Three people have complained to me about my edits — and mostly because I made the mistake of intruding on their user space. That was wrong of me, and regardless of the outcome of these discussions, I will not do that again. I have reset the AWB settings to exclude all user and talk pages (except in my own user space), and have made a few test edits today to see that it works as intended; it does.

There have also been quite a lot of people who have sent me "thanks" for my edits over the last few days — and they considerably outnumber those who have taken exception to them. David Cannon (talk) 10:06, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Davidcannon My primary objections was to edits such as this, this, abd this all of which changed direct links via a redirect to piped links, and were moreover on user talk pages, thus changing the postings of other editors; edits such as this, this, and [1] in article talk pages, which similarly introduced piped links in place of links to redirect pages in article talk pages, and particularly edits such as this, this, this, this, this, and this all of which converted links to redirect pages in article text to piped links. None of the twelve edits (and the many similar ones, I found the above in minutes in your contributions) improved the project. None of them corrected a spelling error, or indeed changed the displayed text at all. All of them were made using AWB in rapid sequence (from 3-6 edits per minute) and all of them were made after you had agreed not to make such edits in future without obtaining consensus first. You should be aware that there have been arbitration cases holding that making rapid automated edits against consensus (as represented by policy guideline pages) or in defiance of known objections can be grounds for being banned from the project. DES (talk) 12:50, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
    • I see, I get it. Those edits are a tiny minority of my edits, but okay. No use arguing, is there. It's true, I did agree to stop — AFTER you first threatened me with a block. I felt bullied. But yes, I did say that, and I shouldn't have gone back on it. I hate leaving something 80 percent done, but I'll stop now. But if you and I are the only ones talking about it, that doesn't exactly constitute consensus, does it? Those who have complained, and those who have sent me thanks, are about equal in number, so I'm rather doubtful that a clear majority will emerge either way. But, for the sake of peace, I'll let it go your way, until/unless the situation becomes clearer. David Cannon (talk) 13:18, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I have no objection to changes to links that correct misspellings. I have no objections to changing a link via a redirect to a direct link to the proper page when this improves the article, or removes pointless redirection, such as Queen Elizabeth Barracks -> Queen Elizabeth Barracks, in the course of normal editing. However if you wish to make those changes en masse, I suggest obtaining a bot approval first. I object strongly to changes such as the twelve linked above, which introduce piping where none was previously present, and remove the benefits of linking via a redirect, particularly when such changes are made in a semi-automated manner, at rapid speed. In fact I find such edits in article space even more troubling than ones in user talk or article talk space (although those edits at least arguably violate Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. But they won't add to reader confusion, as the article space edits may. Please stop all such edits at once unless consensus for them is achieved here. DES (talk) 12:50, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
    • Introducing piping where there was none — okay, I'm willing to support and uphold a "ban" on that. "Obtaining a bot approval first"? AWB is not a bot, for one thing, and to be absolutely honest, I think your suggestion makes a mountain out of a molehill. But for the sake of peace, I'll comply with your wishes unless/until the situation is resolved. I have no wish to get involved in a conflict on Wikipedia. David Cannon (talk) 13:18, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
  • For the record, I agree completely with what DES has said here and I think it does accurately reflect consensus established in many previous discussions. olderwiser 15:01, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
    • Now that I've slept on it for a couple of days, I can see that *I* was the one who was making a mountain out of a molehill. I allowed myself to get carried away with what I was doing and gave no thought to the feelings of other users. I see now that my behaviour was childish and stupid. I really regret doing that, and will not do it again. Unless there is general agreement here, I will not resume bypassing redirects via AWB. Unless someone else brings up a different angle, this is my last comment on this topic. Once again, I apologize for having been so arrogant. David Cannon (talk) 02:22, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Well, don't be too hard on yourself, David Cannon – most of us have done things at least as bad if not worse, then we move on by using what we've learned to make a better and better reference work. Joys! and Best of Everything to You and Yours! – Paine  02:15, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Also, WP:NOTBROKEN is a guideline, not a policy. I generally adhere to it, though. Flyer22 (talk) 02:24, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, Flyer :-) David Cannon (talk) 08:19, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you Davidcannon and if you still think the guideline should be modified, you can start and WP:RFC to attract additional attention oir UI'll be happy to do it on your behalf. I'm sorry to have come off as over-vehemant -- use of automated or semi-automated tools without consensus is a problem i have run into several times in the past. But this didn't really equate to most of thjsoe, adn my tome was not ideal. I apologize for it. DES (talk) 23:45, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you DES. I think the "time out" over the last few days has given us both a bit of space to think more reasonably. Thank you for explaining why you felt so strongly about automated and semi-automated editing - it makes more sense now that I know. And yes, I would really appreaciate it if you'd bring the matter up for me (as I haven't done it before), and I'll contribute. Perhaps my ideas could be broken up into several parts which could be considered separately, along with any ideas that other users may contribute.David Cannon (talk) 12:48, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

RFC: Should users be permitted/encouraged to change links via redirects to piped links or direct links?[edit]

Should users be permitted/encouraged to change links via redirects to piped links or direct links? A user in the Bypassing redirects thread argues that what-links-here is more useful when all or most links go directly to a page, and that if people routinely changed such links page moves would be less likely to create double-redirects which might be forgotten. Other users have argued that the display of "[Redirected from XXX]" is helpful to a reader who clicks on a link via a redirect, and is not available via a piped link, and that What-links-here actually gives better information by showing how pages have been linked. WP:NOTBROKEN currently advises not changing such links in fairly strong terms, specifically saying "While there are a limited number of cases where this is beneficial, there is otherwise no good reason to pipe links solely to avoid redirects. Doing so is generally an unhelpful, time-wasting exercise that can actually be detrimental. It is almost never helpful to replace redirect with redirect". Should this be changed to permit or even encourage such changes in smoe or all cases, and if so, in which cases? The previous discussion was too small and too polarized to form a consensus. I now request comment from editors more generally on the matter. DES (talk) 11:03, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

  • No/Oppose, per the WP:NOTBROKEN guideline, Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Linking/Archive 16#Editor not seeing the benefit of WP:NOTBROKEN, and the #Bypassing redirects discussion above, I think it's generally best not to bypass redirects. For example, in some cases, an article (such as a medical article) might have WP:Alternative titles listed in the lead or lower, and it might be best to link one of the alternative titles for a particular article instead of linking to the default title. Flyer22 (talk) 11:28, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Clarify. There are times as indicated by this guideline when editors should not be so encouraged, and there are times when they should. Perhaps the guideline should show an example or two when it should be encouraged, such as misspelling/typo redirects, redirects from incorrect names and non-neutral names and so on. Any one or two of these could serve as examples that may be given more detail in the guideline, examples of when a redirect should be bypassed and a direct link is the way to go. Just to bypass a redirect that is not broken for the sole purpose of bypassing the redirect is known as a "trivial edit", an edit that can serve only one purpose: to inflate an editor's edit count. There are "major" edits, there are "minor" edits and about 17 steps below "minor" are the "trivial" edits. Trivial edits, if an editor feels they absolutely must perform them, should only be engaged if other non-trivial edits are necessary on the page. Good working redirects are there for a purpose. They should be used, not bypassed. – Paine  15:21, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Agree with Paine. It is not a black and white use/encourage or don't use/discourage. In cases where there is a legitimate topic that is distinct from the title of the target article, using a redirect may in fact make what links here more effective not less effective, in that an editor can more easily find links that concern the specific topic. But of course misspelling should be corrected. olderwiser 17:07, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
  • With certain exceptions, I think it should be allowable for the link on the left side of a pipe character to be changed to a direct link. Redirects can often be fine, though, so if someone wants to link San Francisco, California, they would not put [[San Francisco|San Francisco, California]] but could just put [[San Francisco, California]] even though it is a redirect. I disagree with some redirects, such as [[Hopi people|Hopi]] where the text on the right side already is a direct link, and I have a few other reservations as well. Dustin (talk) 17:18, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
  • One reason to keep redirects is for future-proofing. In the example of [[Hopi people|Hopi]], it is safe to assume that Hopi people will always be about the people, but Hopi might one day have a different primary topic or become a disambiguation page. Allowing the redirect now reduces the possible future maintenance burden. Gorobay (talk) 17:28, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
  • No/Oppose. Piped links break the connection between what you see on the page and the underlying functionality. They have their uses in cases where all other options are worse, but they should not be resorted to merely to avoid a redirect. There is nothing wrong with redirects, whereas there is something wrong with piped links. --Trovatore (talk) 18:40, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
    • Sub-comment I just now see that you've folded in the issue of changing to a direct link. That's really a separate issue and should be treated separately. Anyway, to me, when you're contemplating changing [[redirect]] to [[target]], there's only one question: Which is the text you want to see in the article? If you want to see redirect on the page then leave it as [[redirect]]; if you'd rather see target then change it to [[target]]. The fact that one of them is a redirect is irrelevant; just go with the better text. But never change [[redirect]] to [[target|redirect]], because that creates a piped link where one is not needed. --Trovatore (talk) 18:56, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Are people commenting in this RfC making some sort of effort to get onto people for changing links in universal situations? I am going off the word "permitted" here. If so, there is no way I can ever support this. Dustin (talk) 20:31, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
    • Dustin, this is a guideline, which is a "strong suggestion" based on community consensus of how to manage the subject of the guideline, in this case redirects. "Permitted" in this context does not mean that there will be an editor block on those who don't comply – in this context it means "not discouraged", and that is what probably should have been used. "Coulda, woulda, shoulda" and all that. Joys! – Paine  22:29, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
  • No/Oppose. "... to change links via redirects to piped links" [full stop]. Broadly I agree with Flyer, Paine Ellsworth, and Trovatore. "... to change links via redirects to direct links". It may be useful to describe and illustrate some classes wherein such replacement by direct links is good, but even among the good replacements there must be few we should encourage from editors who will make no other contributions. Comment. Where it is destructive that "Redirected from [XXX]" appears at the top of the target page, maybe we should delete the redirect page. --P64 (talk) 20:23, 2 August 2015 (UTC)
    • I'll second that opinion – there are several cases where it is undesirable to have the redirect appear at the top of a page under the page title as "(Redirected from blue link)". From typos to non-neutral names, incorrect names to some shortcuts/aliases, I've felt for a long time that the redirect link should read just that: "(Redirect link)", with no indication as to the exact name of the redirect. – Paine  22:22, 2 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If there is a problem with the user-interface of 'What links here' and how the redirects are sorted, rather than do what amounts to be a psuedo-hack just here on the English Wikipedia, it is better to make a bug/feature request (see WP:Bugzilla). The issue also affects other Wikis, so we could see if the developers could find a solution. As for double redirects, a list of them is regularly updated at Special:DoubleRedirects, so either a bot or a normal editor can fix them. Zzyzx11 (talk) 22:53, 2 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment. Dustin mentioned the idea of changing the link on the left side of the pipe. I think that should be encouraged. On the other hand, cases where I bypassed a simple redirect to a more complicated direct link (which I did quite a lot of) I now see as a foolish mistake. I think it's helpful to distinguish between the two. Also, I think mis-spelled or poorly formatted indirect links should be changed to direct links (and even the policy page says that). For example, I've come across quite a few articles redirecting to a title with two initials, separated with a period, plus a surname. If the article itself has a space between the two initials, the redirect should be changed to a direct link — e.g. A.B. Smith >> A. B. Smith (not a real article —I've made this one up — but it represents a lot of cases which I've fixed up). A third case is the use of official spellings. I edit a lot of Fijian articles. Fijian spellings do not follow English norms — e.g., 'C' is pronounced 'TH'. I've come across British and American editors who don't know that and go by the pronunciation, linking to Thakombau, which redirects to Cakobau (and rightly so, as that is the correct spelling). Nobody in Fiji would recognize the spelling "Thakombau" so the redirect should be changed to a direct link, not left as a redirect. (I've already replaced those ones, but there are many other cases — especially with Fijian place names, flora, fauna, etc). David Cannon (talk) 02:29, 3 August 2015 (UTC)