Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Disambiguation

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WikiProject Disambiguation
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Disambiguation, an attempt to structure and organize all disambiguation pages on Wikipedia. If you wish to help, you can edit the page attached to this talk page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project or contribute to the discussion.

Tracking down missing entries[edit]

If a new page gets created at say, Foo (song), then usually an entry for it will get added to the disambiguation page at Foo. However, this doesn't get done with absolute consistency and I'm wondering if there's a way to track down the ones that have slipped away. Can we get some report listing all articles with reasonably disambiguated titles (e.g. Foo (bar), or Foo, Bar) that are not linked from the article at the bare title (Foo in this case)? – Uanfala 10:35, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

Yes, yes, yes. This is a hobby-horse of mine: whenever I see a new article or stub with a bracketed disambiguation (or a location with a comma disambiguation) I check to see that it's linked from a dab page, or a hatnote at the primary topic, or a redirect (for comma-disambiguated places). There are huge numbers which aren't linked. A few years ago I had some thoughts about a big project to try and catch up with all of these: I'll try to find what I wrote. You'd start by looking for titles with brackets which didn't have a link from the primary topic or from "primary topic (disambiguation)" ... but of course some books, films, etc have brackets anyway which aren't disambiguators, and you'd not manage to do the same with the "Xxxville, Texas" kind of titles, as commas are so common anyway. But any automation, or creation of a category of disambiguated articles not linked from primary topic, would be a great start. PamD 10:54, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
Ta-daaa: Found it: see Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Disambiguation/Archive_35#Missing_links:_thoughts_about_a_project. PamD 11:03, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
And here's my research which gave me the "2%" figure. PamD 11:08, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
Oh, that's good! In the linked thread you describe a concrete algorithm for dealing with the bracketed ones. Do you think this could be requested as a bot task? – Uanfala 11:46, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
We'd need to check it through even more carefully, and establish that there are people interested in the project of cleaning up the articles in the various categories, else no point. Would need a total bot run initially, perhaps chunked into A-Z portions or some more meaningful categories, and then perhaps a regular run on articles created since the last run. Let's see what other people think. Pinging @JHunterJ and BD2412: who commented on the last discussion (not a lot of people seemed interested!). PamD 15:19, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
I am interested, but I also feel like I have seen this done before. @R'n'B: yes? bd2412 T 15:27, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Not that I can recall. You're welcome to look through my list of reports yourself (some of these are quite old and outdated), but I couldn't find any that fit the bill. --R'n'B (call me Russ) 18:36, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Will probably be impossible to track down now, but I think the reports that I vaguely recall were created by an editor who was not a dab project regular. I think it discussed on a village pump, or possibly at WP:AT/NC. olderwiser 19:18, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
It's a long term TODO for Dabfix. I figure its going to take 10-30 hours to do (iteration is slow with 1 hour queries). — Dispenser 17:02, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
A good idea. I am running this quite often when handling newpages. Staszek Lem (talk) 17:28, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
(ec) I may be misremembering, but I seem to recall someone created some database reports a long time back which, at least in part, addressed this. If I recall correctly, these reports were primarily dealing with the multiplicity of place naming styles. Some of these report pages may still be hanging around somewhere in non-article space, although I think they may have been deleted once their purpose was served. Sorry I can't recall anything about who created them or what they were titled. olderwiser 17:32, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Well, it seems there's no concrete trace of this having been done before, and even if it has, it will have gone stale long ago, so I think we could roll up our sleeves and do it from scratch? Dispenser, I'm not sure I completely understood what you said: is this a task that you plan to add as a capability to Dabfix? How do you envisage it would work, in broad terms? Is 10-30 hours an estimate of the time required to program it, or is that the time needed for the bot run? – Uanfala 18:36, 23 August 2017 (UTC)
    10-30 hours for programming and testing. It would run automatically monthly. The results are stored on my server and users can click "random" to work on a page that hasn't been done yet (no edit conflicts) in Dabfix. Dabfix lists blue links with automatically generated descriptions in a suggestion section that can be easily copied and pasted. — Dispenser 19:17, 23 August 2017 (UTC)
    Sounds great! I imagine that this will entail outputting a report which will give the total number of pages done and remaining? Also, it's essential that individual articles can be marked as exceptions and not come up in subsequent reports, as there'll be a number of articles where the comma or the parentheses aren't disambiguators. That's part of the plan, I'd imagine? PamD, what do you think of Dispenser's solution, which might probably differ in the specifics from what you've previously proposed?
    And what articles would fall under the scope of this task? I guess it goes without saying that we'll have to start with titles containing commas or parentheses, as these are probably going to be the ones with the lowest number of false positives. But maybe this should then be expanded to include titles with certain natural-language disambiguators, like "language" or "River" (Foo language almost invariably being commonly referred to as Foo)? – Uanfala 21:21, 23 August 2017 (UTC)

Follow up[edit]

@Uanfala, PamD, Staszek Lem, and Bkonrad:

So I think it's taken about 10 hours, but it's up on the Dabfix landing page. The report takes about less than an hour to run and to kick it off we have 16,535 disambiguation pages to add links to. — Dispenser 16:32, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Brilliant, Dispenser, this is precisely what we need! I like the way the report is structured, and I notice neat little things, like the inclusion of The foo along with Foo (bar). Well done! And now two follow-up questions: 1) How often will the report be run? With so many entries, it's unlikely for different people working along to run into each other, so probably doesn't need to be very often? 2) Is there a way to have the functionality of adding exceptions? Like marking Foo (bar) as exempt from appearing in future reports?
Now, given the expectedly large amount of work ahead and the desirability of getting more editors involved, maybe the next step would be the creation of a little page with an explanation somewhere in projectspace, which we could then link to from edit summaries as we go along (shortcut WP:DABMISSING?). Any thoughts anyone? – Uanfala 19:42, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
1) At least once a month. It can be updated daily, but it depends on if people are using it. In the last 5 days [1] (start of forced Dabfix usage) I see User:Tassedethe (40 edits), myself (17 edits), and you (4 edit). Improvement would depend on Return-On-Investment. It great having reports and tools, but they may as well not exist if nobody's using them. I have ideas for lockout, but people seem to be very choosy and want it to be stupidly easy to use. 2) Currently no way of adding exceptions and I'm using a cap to keep (season 1-12) TV episode series list articles from appearing on the list — Dispenser 20:55, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
The capability of adding exceptions isn't essential at this stage, but I think it's the single most important feature needed to keep this sustainable in the long run. Anyway, so far I've inspected about 15 entries, most of the additions I did manually (still easing into dabfix). Regardless of the tool used, this is a slow process as I find myself effectively curating the pages I'm going through: for example the entry for MACI had me seek help from Wikiproject Medicine, which resulted in a series of mergers; while Ora (mythological creature) had me make a trip to the library to double-check it is not a hoax. The report is doing a brilliant job not only of listing missing dab entries but also of indirectly identifying areas of the encyclopedia that need work. We knew this was going to be slow, no? – Uanfala 22:09, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
@Dispenser: Looks great, thanks for your work. I can't quite get my head round it at moment, got a cold on top of other health stuff and just generally under the weather. But I look forward to working with it when I can get my brain back into gear. An introductory page about it sounds a very good idea. Good luck! PamD 20:30, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
OK, I had a go anyway (polished off the handful of years like 263 and a couple more oddments). One thought: would it be possible for the items in the right-hand column to be clickable links? Can't add to dab page without seeing the actual article, or at least a mouse-over. Another slight puzzle: Ability (1910) was listed, but Ability (1878) wasn't. Any particular reason, or is this some slight glitch? I'm delighted to see that you've included links from different capitalisations - Arba to ARBA and Byala reka to Byala Reka. If we get all this lot tidied up we'll have a much smarter encyclopedia. Thanks again. PamD 21:03, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
Maybe deserves a Signpost article? Once we've sorted out any bugs etc and worked out good ways of working from the list. Might attract more gnomes who'd like to help. PamD 21:06, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
@PamD: The idea is you click on "Missing entries" on the table left, it allocates an article to work on and send you to Dabfix. Dabfix cleanup the existing disambiguation page and generates a suggestions section with text for making into a description.

I took shortcuts in writing the report, so it see that Ability (1878) was already linked from SIA Innisfallen. And it wont suggest anything for Borisov government (Created Jan 2014)/Borisov Government (Created Nov 2014) since they might be different topics. The report is capable of matching accent character too, but is disabled as Dabfix is currently incapable of finding Aspås for Aspas. — Dispenser 22:03, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Just remarking on the modus operandi: I don't know if I'm representative of the WP DAB population as a whole, but I prefer working directly from the report and choosing what to fix: if I had to deal with pages randomly allocated to me then the likely preponderance of biographies and songs/albums will probably make me loose interest for good. – Uanfala 22:38, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
@Dispenser: OMG! this is just fantastic; I am so going to use this. @Uanfala: What works for me is a) go to the list of entries, b) add a filter, then select a page to open in a new tab. I have Dabfix as a bookmarklet that I can then click and go. If the links in the missing_entries page had an option for Dabfix (currently Read, Edit, History, Last edit) that would really make it simple. Tassedethe (talk) 00:30, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
@Tassedethe: I've decided to simplify completely and have only a single link. This should make it easier for everyone to quickly work on pages that they're interested in. — Dispenser 18:37, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

Titles like British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles) v British Columbia (Council of Human Rights) will no longer be normalized to British_Columbia, but Holland (hamlet), New York will still be normalized. This has eliminated less than 300 results. — Dispenser 16:27, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

  • We have enough to keep us busy now, but just noting that it would be great if the report could ultimately detect the absence of links not only from dab pages but also from the hatnotes (or ledes) of primary-topic articles. – Uanfala 22:11, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
    • The query can to do that, but the lack of time and the presentation was too complex. It wasn't "Add these links to this disambiguation page", but "These links can go on either or both disambiguation pages" or "These two disambiguation pages vary only by capitalization or accent characters" or "These links need hatnotes or a new disambiguation page". — Dispenser 03:27, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

@Dispenser and Uanfala: I've had a go, and found Dabfix quite overwhelming at first with a lot of rather incomprehensible data - is there an idiot's guide to Dabfix anywhere? But I got the hang of it, I think, and found the all-important "ctrl-click" to check the target article, and it all seems pretty impressive. Will certainly continue to work on the list from time to time, picking out interesting-looking dabs (and in some cases pages which need to be page-moved first, like "... (Artist)". Thanks for all your effort on this. Let's hope there are enough WikiGnomes who find it fun so we can get these unlinked articles linked to their dab pages. PamD 21:41, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

For info: repeated a few minutes later and got same error report. PamD 13:15, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
That link seems to work for me. I tried it three times and got different dabs that looked like decent candidates for improvement. Certes (talk) 13:53, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
@PamD: I saw something similar. It looks like there is a subtle difference in some of the URLs that have been linked. The random link from Dabfix Reports is You can see it doesn't have the "temp" in the URL that you are using. Tassedethe (talk) 15:34, 31 October 2017 (UTC)


There's an interesting discussion at Talk:Canini (surname)#Requested move 15 October 2017 with no participation which needs some expert help IMO. TIA Andrewa (talk) 01:33, 23 October 2017 (UTC)


Comments are requested at Talk:Lada (goddess) regarding what should be the primary topic for the term Lada, if any. Thank you. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 01:31, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

More explicit rules for moving an existing article to create a disambiguation page.[edit]

I would like to set out a more explicit set of rules for moving an existing article in order to create a disambiguation page. Wikipedia:Requested moves states, "In particular, use this process before moving any existing page with incoming links to create a disambiguation page at that title". In practice, this is frequently ignored, as editors will come across a primary topic title and unilaterally decide that since it has more than one possible meaning, it needs to be made into a disambiguation page immediately and without discussion. Sometimes this is even done with cut-and-paste moves that confuse the article edit histories. I would therefore like to codify the following elements as steps for making an existing article title into a disambiguation page:

  • First, for a "Foo" page being proposed for disambiguation, create the intended disambiguation page at the "Foo (disambiguation)" title. That way, there is a concrete proposal with listed links that can be examined to determine if there is indeed an absence of a primary topic.
  • Second, propose a multimove at WP:RM to move the existing "Foo" article to a proposed disambiguated title, and to move the "Foo (disambiguation)" page to the "Foo" title. This proposal must be supported by evidence supporting the proposition that the existing article is not the primary topic of the term.
  • Third, if the proposal succeeds, reasonable efforts must be made to fix incoming links to the page before the page moves are carried out.

Thoughts? bd2412 T 04:06, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

Why hinder editors with red tape? Sometimes something is a "primary topic" just by virtue of being the only article in existence at the time of its creation. Why should I have to waste other editors' time with an RM when I'm just moving some tiny village of 5 people from the base term in order to disambiguate a dozen other articles? —Xezbeth (talk) 07:02, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
I would deliberately like to hinder editors with red tape because I have seen far too many bad moves in this area - frankly, more bad than good. bd2412 T 13:30, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Here's an example: I've just boldly moved Dard (river) from the base name and moved the dab page there. There are nine links to base term, but only one of them were intended for the river. It would be absurd to force me to make an RM for something as common sense as that. —Xezbeth (talk) 13:12, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
Having tidied up a few messes resulting from hasty moves, I sympathise. Some pages should go through that process but in other cases it's overkill. This is a positive suggestion to encourage best practices. However, the problem may simply be that the editor didn't notice the existing guidelines and won't read a more explicit version of them, however carefully crafted. Certes (talk) 12:42, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
  • There are already sufficiently detailed guidelines in place to cover that ground: there's WP:CWW and WP:BUTIDONTKNOWABOUTIT (itself part of the extensive WP:PTOPIC). If brash editors don't read these, they aren't going to read any other guidelines we decide to adopt – that's the open nature of wikipedia and we all just have to live with it. (Though of course adding a mention in the pagemove editnotice might be a good idea). And if the proposal is to actually "physically" prevent editors form carrying out any of these things, then yes, this will save us the occasional mess, but it will also place unnecessary hurdles in the way of dealing with large amounts of non-controversial day-to-day work. I regularly create dab pages on titles that I've just vacated after the move of a straightforwardly non-primary-topic article, and if I knew I'd have to start an RM in each case, I would have never bothered. That's just not the kinds of stuff that formal discussion mechanisms exist for. We have to admit it: no matter how much we love it, disambiguation is one of the most trivial aspects of wikipedia, and – no matter how much we occasionally like to bicker about its details – it's also one of the most uncontroversial. – Uanfala 19:38, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

Ship index naming convention[edit]

There's discussion about standardizing naming of ship index pages at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ships#Ship Index pages - another try and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ships#Proposal that may be of interest. olderwiser 20:40, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

Should Stones be a dab page?[edit]

I have reverted two editors now who have made this into a dab page, duplicating what can be found at Stone (disambiguation). It has redirected to rock (geology) for 12 years so I want to see some sort of consensus before the change happens. As far as I'm concerned the current target is the overwhelming primary topic for both the singular and plural. —Xezbeth (talk) 13:27, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

Football (soccer) training game[edit]

Rondo is, it seems, also a well-recognised training game used by association football coaches/players. I'm not familiar enough with it to add myself though. Ride the Hurricane (talk) 10:35, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

Done.swpbT go beyond 14:46, 17 November 2017 (UTC)


User:JMDGamotia is mass dab editing with a moderately high error rate per WP:MOSDAB. Several of us have pointed this out on their talk page. There may need some cleanup, and agreement for the editor to improve understanding before continuing at a rate of more than 5 dabs per day. Widefox; talk 22:54, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

Dab fix null title[edit]

Disambiguation pages with links has an interesting new entry at #7: the null title! I hope I've fixed it with this edit but please feel free to improve things. Certes (talk) 14:39, 24 November 2017 (UTC)