Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Disambiguation/Archive 13

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William Thomson and William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin

Could people here have a look at the comments I left here? I just spent some time tidying up the links pointing at William Thomson, but I think that this should be a redirect to William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, with a hatnote pointing from there to William Thomson (disambiguation). As can be seen from what I wrote in the comments I linked to above, this is what was the case for about four years until June 2008. What is annoying is that it took four months for anyone to notice that the redirect had been deleted and replaced by a disambiguation page moved from elsewhere. For those four months, there seemed to have been around 50 previously correct redirects that ended up pointing at a disambiguation page instead. Carcharoth (talk) 21:40, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Forgot to mention this related village pump discussion (version as of time of writing is here). Carcharoth (talk) 21:50, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

what is wp:NRHP doing wrong RE disambiguation?

I mainly like to work on articles about sites listed on the U.S. NRHP, and to make lists of them. There are numerous disambiguation pages necessary to distinguish between the numerous places listed, however, and frequently there are editors attracted -- i don't know why -- to attacking them. For example, the Lewis House disambiguation article has been attacked twice recently. It costs tons of time and edits to dissuade each one of the new attackers. What, in general, can i or other wp:NRHP members do to reduce the likelihood of attack, or to reduce the damage done in any one program of attack? doncram (talk) 20:05, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Lists of sites listed on the U.S. NRHP are not disambiguation pages. Lists of Wikipedia articles that might have been titled the same thing are disambiguation pages. There are, however, frequently editors attracted to disambiguation pages who try -- I don't know why -- to use disambiguation pages for things other than listing ambiguous Wikipedia articles. Then disambiguation project members have to come in and use tons of their own time and edits to clean up these mistakes. To reduce the "damage" done in these "attacks", you can:
  1. Assume good faith and use less confrontational language. The "attacks" aren't attacks, for instance.
  2. Follow the disambiguation guidelines when editing disambiguation pages.
  3. Use list articles (or user pages, or NRHP project pages) instead of disambiguation pages for your lists that aren't disambiguation pages.
These are the suggestions I made before. -- JHunterJ (talk) 21:37, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Okay your sarcasm made me laugh. I deserved some of that. However, seriously i am asking how to avoid campaigns by new and/or experienced editors who take a different view than has previously been taken on what is proper for a disambiguation page, and apply their view to 150 articles in a few hours time. The latest campaign is costing at least one AFD-type discussion (with result KEEP), and three Requested Moves, and lots of edits to undo the effects of the editor, costing many more hours than the campaigning editor put in. It is very confusing to figure out what to do. Will just putting "SIA" on a disambiguation page work? But what if it is disambiguating between bands and other things that are not NRHP sites, it seems the disambiguation is real but it is false to assert it is a set index, there is no way that there should be a normal article mixing up bands and historic places. Specifically, is Lewis House okay, or is there some way to improve it to lessen the likelihood of a campaign. I do believe it complies fully with all disambiguation guidelines, but I am afraid for it, i am up nights worrying. doncram (talk) 01:08, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm not directly involved with the disambiguation project, but I do try to follow WP:MOSDAB when I edit disambiguation pages. To that end, I don't see what benefit the header "United States" gives the reader — anyone who sees that the locations are in Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, etc., will recognize that these are locations in the United States. WP:MOSDAB suggests headings only for longer lists, which Lewis House isn't. I also don't think that the subhead "(by state)" is necessary.
Personally I'd expand "NRHP" to National Register of Historic Places in its first usage. I think it would be OK for the first line to read:
Lewis House may refer to any of these houses listed on the National Register of Historic Places:
Incidentally, if you have concerns about the actions of one editor, it's often more useful to contact that editor and discuss those concerns directly, rather than complain about their actions in different fora.
And it's not good to be staying up nights worrying about Wikipedia pages. Try to relax and keep cool! —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 01:58, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, laughter is a good sign. I'd say, no, you wouldn't want to just replace {{disambig}} with {{SIA}} in general, although I'm sure there are other pages that have done so in an attempt to escape the dab guidelines (and the dab project members). Certainly on any page that is titled "blah (disambiguation)" couldn't just be called a set index article without being moved, and base-name lists would possibly run in to different problems, especially if they are at a base name that could house one of the articles (or be a redirect to an article) as the primary topic for that name. But as long as it's not misnamed or nominated for deletion (on whatever basis lists use for notability), that'd be an option.
As for the example of Lewis House, currently:
Lewis House can refer to:
==United States==
(by state)
No, it's not properly formatted for a dab page. There's no need for the section header or the "(by state)" notation (which could be kept in a comment), and the NRHP article does not serve as the blue link for the red link entries, since that WP article does not describe any of these Lewis Houses, so the red links should be commented out, moved to the Talk page, or moved to a List of historic places named Lewis House list article. Even if it is copied to a list somewhere else, the Lewis House base name article should remain a disambiguation with (currently) two entries, the Florida and North Carolina blue-linked articles, and the a "See also" section pointing to the new list article. -- JHunterJ (talk) 02:12, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Thank you Josiah and JHunterJ for your comments.
About spelling out NRHP, I am fine with that, i was just trying to be succinct. It is not a generally known acronym though, so I guess i agree the first instance should be spelled out.
About including the "United States" section header, that is more helpful in disambig pages that have places from more countries, such as Gilbert House which is similar but has one place in the Falkland Islands. I guess i think that having "United States" in is still helpful for Lewis House, given that probably there are other Lewis Houses in other countries. It seems U.S.-centric to omit the United States, especially if the places are sorted by state. In the Gilbert House case, it would be improper to insert the Falkland Islands one amidst the U.S. ones, that would not be a natural organization that would serve readers. It seems natural to organize it by country and then sort the U.S. ones by U.S. state. It seems unfriendly to the arriving other wikipedian who wants to add a Lewis House in another country, to have a structure that doesn't accomodate its addition. So, perhaps could you consider further about Lewis House, and comment about the same issue for Gilbert House?
About NRHP serving as a bluelink for some purpose, JHunterJ, I don't understand what you are driving at. There are currently two blue-links in the list, meaning two articles about Lewis Houses. A link to NRHP is unrelated and does not count in the total of articles disambiguated, no one is asserting that.
If you are counting how many blue-links there are, as if that is a criteria for whether a disambiguation page is allowable, I understand that having one bluelink is enough to justify having the disambiguation page. I believe this is the consensus of discussions at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)#Red links on disambiguation pages and at Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation#Disambiguation pages with all red links but one. Do you think otherwise? If so, this is important to discuss again.
About red-links for sites being disambiguated, that seems to be another crucial point to discuss here. I understand that having red-links is okay. The proposal to ban red-links in disambiguation pages, in the MOS discussion linked above, was dropped in the face of what I thought were convincing arguments. In particular, red-links to all the Lewis House articles that will eventually be created serves wikipedia readers and it serves wikipedia editors. It serves readers looking for a specific Lewis House, who are not misdirected to a different one, and who get to see whether there is an article for their one already or if an article is needed. It also serves readers indirectly by serving editors, who know what names work well in creating other Lewis House articles, rather than creating them in some incompatible style. And there are further reasons, well detailed in the previous discussions about how it serves readers and editors. Also, there is no wikipedia policy or guideline suggesting that red-links should be deleted or hidden in comments (which is pretty much equivalent in my view). AFAIK, it is and continues to be proper style to include red-links in disambiguation pages. I stated that in talk about red-links at Talk:Gilbert House, which i have just noticed and rejoined. I notice that JHunterJ responded there with a further comment which I didn't understand, but which generally seemed to be against meaningful red-links. JHunterJ, sorry to be making this discussion in two places, but could you respond here as well as there, to clarify what you mean? Or, reading the previous discussions, can you now agree that red-links to disambiguated places are justified? doncram (talk) 04:35, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Ah, there does seem to be one more point of confusion: dab pages vs. dab page entries. It isn't that dab pages must have relevant blue links; each entry on a dab page needs to have exactly one relevant (i.e., linking to an article descriptive of the entry) blue link. There are eight entries on Lewis House, only two of which have appropriate blue links. There is no proposal to ban red links one disambiguation pages. There is also no proposal to allow red links on disambiguation pages without an appropriate blue link in each of the red-linked entries.-- JHunterJ (talk) 11:41, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Maybe there is a simple answer that we have all missed ... include only entries with articles (bluelinks) and put NRHP in the "See also" section. This way the manual of style is satisfied and the reader is given the opportunity to find a list of items that do not have an article yet. Oh and the headers are really not helpful in such a short list imho. Abtract (talk) 05:26, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

I don't get whether Abtract is making a joke or is serious. It is obvious to me that just putting a see also to the general NRHP article or to the nationwide list of NRHP sites is not helpful to the reader. Obviously, a reader looking for a local place named Lewis House or whatever is looking for an article on Lewis House, and deserves to be given a list of the places named Lewis House, hopefully showing a bluelink or at least showing a red-link for the one that they are specifically interested in. That is what disambiguation pages are for. I could understand you being mistaken but not persisting in an anti-reader view that the reader should not be allowed to learn of the known-to-be-wikipedia-notable places named Lewis House. Perhaps you are not familiar with NRHP sites: they are notable in wikipedia because a) there is documentation available about each of them (secondary sources for verifiability) and b) they have been deemed notable by the U.S. government (and in the process, by state and sometimes local governments) on a national scale of importance, according to various criteria regarding significance of architecture, important persons associated with a site, and so on. Please see NRHP for an intro to the topic. doncram (talk) 05:43, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I was making a serious suggestion. Trying to shoehorn non-articles onto a dab page is not helpful to readers who are looking for an article whereas limiting the list to actual articles is helpful ... that's why the manual of style "prohibits" redlinks unless there is a link on the same line to another article containing (at the very least) a section on the topic. What you are trying to do is to make these dab pages into lists of sites ... I am not saying that list are not useful but a dab page is not the place; dab pages are not lists of articles that may one day exist, they are pages to help readers find the article they seek. My suggestion is to retain the value of the dab page by including only articles and to show NRHP (or whatever site listing is more suitable) in "See also". This will have the effect of being helpful to readers who seek an article that exists because the page will be uncluttered with redlinked lines that go nowhere useful, and may also be helpful to disappointed readers (the article they seek does not exist yet) because it will point them to a list of places similarly named. Abtract (talk) 05:57, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I want to acknowledge that you have a point about dab pages involving NRHPs that some editors (although not me) are trying to make into lists of sites. For example, someone else put the NRHP redlink "McGilbert House" onto the "Gilbert House" disambiguation list. I would be fine with such implausible alternatives being removed; I went as far already to move that one down to a see-also section. And there are some editors who have tried to make disambiguations about some types of sites into lists, even adding a message "This is a list and a disambiguation article" into the text, which is not correct according to wikipedia style.
However, you are incorrect about what is explicit wikipedia style for red-links. Explicitly, red-links are allowed, and there is no requirement for a bluelink on the same line that links to an article that has the same redlink. I see that having a bluelink like "List of Registered Historic Places in Georgia|a registered historic place in Georgia" on the same line serves a purpose in making it easy for the dab editor to see that there is a context in which the red-link is important enough to be linked from. But the explicit MOS:DABRL guideline says that is not necessary, it is only necessary that the red-link be important in some wikipedia context, i.e. to be linked from it. There is a procedure described for you to look that up, and presumably find the list-article of registered historic places in some state which has the same red-link. It is a courtesy to dab-editors, going beyond what is necessary, for me to add ", NRHP" after a red-link, to suggest to you that there probably is a state or county NRHP list-article already linking there. However, I have to admit that in many cases, the state or county NRHP list-article still links to the disambiguation page, and not to the red-link.
So, bottom-line, I request that you refrain from deleting (or commenting out) red-links that meet any one of the following criteria:
  1. Do not delete a red-link to a NRHP site if there is a county-, state-, or other NRHP list-article with the same red-link. (This is explicitly per MOS:DABRL.)
  2. Do not delete a red-link to a NRHP site if there is link from a county-, state-, or other NRHP article to the disambiguation page, which should be replaced by a specific red-link to the specific NRHP site. (This is a request, to you to be courteous to the wp:NRHP editors like myself who are busy fixing up the county and state list articles to find such occurences and replace them with correct, specific red-links. Note, it helps us to have the disambiguation pages in place to find these properly. I myself have been working through all the List of Registered Historic Places in New York to find such cases, and others are working in other states. If you identify a red-link of this sort, it would be appreciated if you would fix it (by fixing the entry in the relevant county- or state list-article) or note it in a list of fixes to be implemented at wp:NRHP.
Note, since there is or should be a link to every NRHP site from one or another NRHP list-article, I am asking you in effect not to delete any NRHP redlinks. If there is any circumstance not covered, I would appreciate your notifying me and/or the wp:NRHP, so we can address anything missed by my reasoning here. Also, I would like to ask you (and other dab-editors), not to delete mention of ", NRHP" following a NRHP redlink, because that serves to identify to editors that there is a context in which the article is important (saving them from going through the lookup procedure). This is important because experience has shown that editors are often arriving and embarking on red-link deletion. Also, it serves readers by giving some suggestion of what the place is, like saying this is "The Cedars" which is an NRHP, rather than "The Cedars" which is a band or a person, and it is extremely brief so it does not clutter up the article. doncram (talk) 06:34, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

back to the Lewis House example

The discussion has wandered away from the original example, Lewis House, but there are still a few MOS items that I'm not sure Doncram understands the rationale behind. If a disambiguation page has a long list, it's appropriate to divide it into logical sections. For a geographically based dab page, it makes sense for that division to be geographical. For example, the division at Gilbert House seems appropriate. But that doesn't mean that every geographical disambiguation page needs to have those divisions. In the case of Lewis House, it really doesn't make sense to have a header under which all the entries fall. It's not US-centric if no Lewis House outside the US has been identified as potentially worthy of having a Wikipedia article. I think the appropriate course of action is to delete "United States" and "(by state)". If an editor subsequently wants to add another Lewis House in the UK, or Australia, or South Africa or somewhere, then the page can have bolded divisions, like Gilbert House does. But there's no need to establish that structure preemptively.

Doncram, you seem to have a slightly proprietary attitude towards this page. Would you mind if I made the small edits which I think would bring the page into closer keeping with WP:MOSDAB? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 04:01, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for responding, and I am sorry if i have given the wrong impression here by being too argumentative (really, i was thinking that, that i have been too argumentative here). I don't feel proprietary about that one disambiguation page in particular; my interest in asking for feedback here is really to try to cut short the numerous, conflicting edit campaigns by both wp:NRHP editors and dab editors and others, which change stuff back and forth, often losing reader-useful and editor-useful info in the process. If we could hash it all out in just one or two pages, and agree that those are the models, then I am hopeful a lot of low-grade edit warring could be stopped. Please do make changes to the Lewis House page to illustrate whatever points you would like to make. doncram (talk) 04:10, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I appreciate the more cooperative tone, Doncram. We are all working towards the same goal here, after all. :)
I've made a few structural changes to Lewis House (removing the "United States" header, putting the link to National Register of Historic Places into the lead, turning the "by state" into a hidden comment). The only matter that needs to be resolved is the lines which lack blue links. The reason that WP:MOSDAB recommends that each line contain one blue link (which need not be the main entry, mind you!) is that we want to be able to point editors towards some article which contains information related to each entry. (See MOS:DABRL.) In this case, this is a bit of a challenge. Options could include linking to the relevant list of NRHP places, or the city in which each Lewis House is found. Neither of these is ideal, though. We should talk this part out a bit more. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 04:53, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Have just had a look at Lewis House and it seems a very strange dab page. When another building (or even person) not on the US NRHP and called "Lewis House" needs to be added it will need to be totally rejigged. I would think that the introductory line of a dab page should be much more neutral, just the usual "... may refer to:", and the individual items should have a blue link, on the lines of:
*Lewis House (Ruston, Louisiana), Registered Historic Place in Louisiana, USA
The first item on the list has no incoming links, so should not be listed. I've not checked others.
One value of including redlinks in dab pages, where these are already established in other articles, is that it shows what the established form of name for this potential article is, to help any future editors create an article which will match existing redlinks rather than inventing a subtly different new article title, avoiding future confusion. This doesn't seem to have been mentioned much in the above discussions.
Well, that's my thoughts anyway, from the other side of the big pond. PamD (talk) 07:46, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks PamD. The reason why the first one on the list, Lewis House (Lafayette, Colorado) doesn't have another incoming red-link is because the geographically organized NRHP list that should show it, List of Registered Historic Places in Colorado, currently links to the Lewis House disambiguation page instead. Instances like that will be fixed when wp:NRHP editors work through the Colorado list, table-izing it, adding photos, and checking all the links, at which time the Lewis House disambiguation page will serve a useful purpose. I have very actively been doing this for List of Registered Historic Places in New York, which covers 5,000 of the 85,000 NRHPs. Other editors, such as prolific User:Sanfranman59 are working on other state lists. Obviously i could fix the Lafayette one to avoid the issue for this one, but I want to ask dab editors to refrain from deleting NRHP red-links like this one. To ask you to either let it be, or to fix it (by finding it in the Colorado NRHP list and changing "Lewis House" to "Lewis House (Lafayette, Colorado)|Lewis House". I am pretty sure that wp:NRHP will get through almost all of these in about 6 months time, if that helps anyone see their way to agreeing to let these be. (If 6 months went by and not every single one was fixed, I would still want you to let these be, or fix them yourself, rather than deleting them, though).
I strongly agree with PamD's observation that the entire page would have to be "rejigged" when one non-US or other non-NRHP Lewis House gets added to the page, so I don't think the general introductory sentence saying that all the following are NRHPs is the way to go. That assertion is only temporarily true. When the first non-NRHP gets added, perhaps a bogus non-notable place added by a Mr. Lewis, or perhaps a legitimate addition by someone aware of another wikipedia-notable Lewis House, it is very likely that it would be added in without changing the first sentence and without identifying which is the non-NRHP one. I prefer this version of the Lewis House page, which is neutral in its intro, has one blue-link to National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), and which identifies on each NRHP line ", NRHP". This is robust to newbies or others adding in other types of sites.
For example, Gilbert House is mostly NRHPs and may once have been all NRHPs, but it now includes one non-US place and a couple non-NRHP places, such as a Gilbert House which is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument but not NRHP listed. I don't think Gilbert House is an ideal example in its current form, now showing as a Set Index Article, but it shows the complications that one or two additions make.
To amplify, it is also for consistency grounds that I favor the simple ", NRHP" following each NRHP entry following the first one, whether the entry is a blue-link or a red-link, because that is also robust to new editors making changes, and all the NRHPs in a dab page can be treated consistently. It seems wrong to me to add an explanation for each of the NRHP red-links, but then to drop the explanation for those ones which become blue-links. It would appear inconsistent, and many editors would be attracted to adding back the NRHP mention or geographical NRHP list blue-link on lines for existing articles, or they would be attracted to deleting the NRHP mention or geographical NRHP list blue-link on lines without articles. doncram (talk) 17:08, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
For the robustness reason, i prefer putting in the United States label already, even though Lewis House currently has only U.S. entries, because the formatting for adding in other countries is then clear to others who come in. Also, showing United States already makes it clear you don't need to say USA on each of the U.S. entries. Notice the adding and subtracting of ", USA" to the individual entries within Gilbert House's edit history, nearly an edit war. However, I don't care as much about this, i mostly really want the NRHP red-link entries kept in and with some identification that they are NRHP sites to deter those who are likely to come in and delete them. But, why not make the dab page more functional and robust for future additions, at the negligible cost of showing the reader a "United States" label (which is an accurate label, anyhow)? doncram (talk) 17:08, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
There is (or should be) no need to change the description of a dab entry between the time it is a red link and the time it is a blue link except to remove the blue link in the description -- the exception is if entry link (once it becomes blue) is sufficient to navigate the reader without any description. The "some identification that they are NRHP sites" should be a blue link in the description that links to an NRHP article (possibly a list), not just a cryptic ", NRHP" tag -- the appropriate blue link is the deterrent against deletion of the entry. One's "negligible cost" is another's "speed bump"; omitting the grouping text from dab pages with only a single group does not inhibit future functionality of robustness. The question from the other side becomes "Why clutter the dab page for the negligible benefit of pre-constructing groups for hypothetical future additions?" -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:59, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Because it serves readers who are looking for a specific place, and they get to see that there is a red-link for that specific place, therefore they need not look any further. And, it happens to inform reader-editors that they would be allowed to create an article for that specific place, and that it is an NRHP-listed place. And, it happens to help wp:NRHP editors who are working through lists like List of Registered Historic Places in Colorado, and it will take about 6 months i am guessing for them to complete that, or somewhat longer if they can only add each separate Trinity Episcopal Church one by one to the Trinity Episcopal Church dab page, etc. doncram (talk) 21:34, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Here's another good dab example, Trinity Episcopal Church. That includes many U.S. churches, most but not all being NRHPs, including at least two which would have the very same blue-link under what JHJ and others are recommending. You would have:
Can you concede that, at least in this case, it is not correct to insist on the 2nd bluelink, which would violate other wikipedia principles. I don't know exactly which MOS guideline to point to, but I know that other editors would de-wikilink the second bluelink. Honestly, would you edit war back and forth with other editors about that?
I also don't want to agree to laboriously putting in phrases like listed on the National Register of Historic Places in St. Lawrence County, New York, if the phrase won't stay in after the dab entry converts from a red-link to a blue-link. After the dab entry becomes a blue-link, I myself would want to edit that down to ", NRHP", rather than convert it to "listed on the National Register of Historic Places in St. Lawrence County, New York". A reader interested in NRHP sites like this would click on the NRHP site itself, which will have a nice NRHP infobox and other info about NRHPs, etc. It serves no good purpose to have the long phrase in, for the blue-link, or anything more than "NRHP", so I don't want to have to put it in for the red-links, either.
Note, in Trinity Episcopal Church, a list of about 60 churches, there would be 55 or so long phrases introduced to comply with the way some seem to be arguing for. Isn't it better with just the succinct ", NRHP"? doncram (talk) 21:18, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
(copied from my previous response on one of the other splinters): Yes, it would be redundant to repeat the blue link, but in a usefully redundant way. Not all redundancy is bad. If it's possible to combine the entries so that they are all listed on one bullet with one blue link, great, but if that's cumbersome, then navigation would be best served by listing the entries and providing a blue link on each entry, even if the target article is the same. The reader looking for Gilbert House and meaning Jeremiah S. Gilbert House is unlikely to read the description for Elisha Gilbert House to follow its link. There is a Wikipedia guidelines to avoid repeated links to the same Wikipedia article from within a single Wikipedia article paragraph (IIRC), but dab pages aren't articles and each entry could be seen as a different "paragraph" anyway. If you want to argue against that, then we can agree to collapse all of those entries into a single entry on the dab page just to avoid the repeated wikilink. ", NRHP" is a poor description for any dab entry and should not be used by itself anywhere. The less labor-intensive approach would be to avoid putting the entry in the dab page at all until the article was created. -- JHunterJ (talk) 21:30, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps you misunderstood me, I want to define the term first, so on the first NRHP entry i say ", listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Thereafter, using ", NRHP" on each entry that is an NRHP is meaningful and helpful to the average reader. I hear what you are saying now that some redundancy is okay, but i still don't like the length of the longer phrases and the work that would be involved in putting them in, when I would choose to delete them, myself, later. Would you be okay with putting ", NRHP" on each NRHP entry after the first one? Or would you be okay with that as long as "NRHP pipelinks to List of National Register of Historic Places entries, the current name for the nation-wide list of them all? I don't think it adds a lot of value to add in a longer phrase that links to the more specific state or county or city list of NRHPs. doncram (talk) 21:47, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
", listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)" is not an appropriate blue link, since National Register of Historic Places does not mention, say, and of the Lewis Houses. The blue link needs to be to an article about the entry, not about the registry. Similarly ", NHRP" provides no navigational assistance to the reader. And List of National Register of Historic Places entries doesn't mention Lewis House either. The link would need to be to the eventual page within that hierarchy that actually mentions Lewis House. It could be piped, as long as it isn't surprising to the reader. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:55, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) Okay, how about this new version of Lewis House dab]. Note:

  1. It achieves having exactly one blue-link in each entry. For the first red-link NRHP, it has ", a property listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)". For subsequent red-link NRHPs, it has the blue-link phrase a property listed on the NRHP, with all these pipelinking to the main article about the National Register of Historic Places. For blue-link NRHPs, it has the same phrase, but not wikilinked.
  2. It pretty much accomplishes the MOSDAB guideline that "A link to a non-existent article (a "red link") should only be included on a disambiguation page when another article also includes that red link," because there are (or should be) NRHP list-articles pointing to each one. (It fails that for Lewis House (Lafayette, Colorado) whose NRHP list-article entry points to Lewis House instead. That failure should be fixed by editing the relevant NRHP list-article, not by deleting the red-link in the dab page.)
  3. It meets the MOSDAB dictum "A disambiguation shouldn't be made up completely of red links or have only one blue link in it", because there are two entry blue-links. (Some other dab pages for NRHPs have only one blue-link entry; there are wp:NRHP members ready to fix all those they can find by adding at least one more stub article.)
  4. It meets the MOSDAB dictum "Red links should not be the only link in a given entry; link also to an existing article, so that a reader (as opposed to a contributing editor) will have somewhere to navigate to for additional information." Note that MOSDAB does not specify that for red-link Lewis House (Lafayette, Colorado) that the link given be the List of Registered Historic Places in Colorado which would have the same red-link. Instead, it is okay and I choose to link to National Register of Historic Places.
  5. It might seem preferable to introduce each entry as "a registered historic place" or as "a Registered Historic Place" but there are strong opinions against such phrases because it would appear to be inventing a phrase that is not in common enough usage. The latter one, with capitalization, would pretty clearly violate wp:neologism, according to lengthy discussions recently at wt:NRHP.
  6. It has "In the United States:" as a section title, although the only entries are currently US ones. That sets up formatting for others to add entries for other countries. This could perhaps be put into a comment, instead? About this, I think it is helpful but i don't care if this dropped.
  7. It has "(by state)" only in a comment, trying to clarify for editors adding new ones but it is obvious enough for most readers. I think this is helpful but don't care if the comment is dropped.
  8. It is a disambiguation page not a SIA.
  9. It will pretty easily accomodate addition of new Lewis Houses in the U.S. or elsewhere, whether they be places, houses, buildings, bands, or persons, without requiring wholesale changes.
  10. This would introduce some length into many dab pages such as Trinity Episcopal Church, likely inducing some editors to come in and start deleting the long phrases. To address that likelihood, I would further want a clarifying note be put somewhere in the WikiProject Disambiguation page, and/or in MOSDAB, about this being the consensus determination for how to handle NRHP pages. If it is not possible to add such a note, then i would be okay with just having this discussion archive to point to.

Would this do? I would have prefered less words in the article, but this would do for me. It would be simple and clear to implement for the dabs involving NRHPs. Please comment. doncram (talk) 23:11, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Why not provide blue links to List of Registered Historic Places in Louisiana etc where available, as these are the articles which already link to the red links?
  • And the black text "a property listed on the NRHP" isn't necessary - it's descriptive, rather than distinguishing, and "The description associated with a link should be kept to a minimum, just sufficient to allow the reader to find the correct link." (from WP:MOSDAB. Unless there's another Lewis House in Tallahassee, Florida, you don't need to describe this one. PamD (talk) 07:06, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Response to PamD's comments: Thanks. About the more specific phrase, I'd be fine with anyone choosing to add more specific links, like to List of Registered Historic Places in Louisiana, if they want to, and if it works well in a given disambiguation page, and if the longer phrase would be retained, in black, after the NRHP article is created. However, given the second part of your comment, I anticipate you would want to delete the phrase ", a property listed on the NRHP in Louisiana" once the NRHP article was created. So then I don't want to invest energy in putting in stuff that will just be deleted, when lower investment suffices in complying with MOSDAB. If anyone else wants to put in more specific links that will later be deleted, that would be fine by me. But, for longer disambiguation pages such as Trinity Episcopal Church, I don't believe that the more specific link would work well for readers (and it would be a pain for editors to put in). So I would want the more specific phrase to be optional, not required. And I personally want to devote my energy to creating NRHP pages, and proper lists of them, to bring towards FA and FL status; for disambiguation pages I want an easy-to-implement solution for the temporary problem of NRHP red-links attracting attention and edit warring. (By the way, wp:NRHP now has about 15000 articles, including all 3000 NRHPs in the state of Massachusetts which someone recently finished stubbing.) About the particular phrase "a property listed on the NRHP" that I propose, which you would delete once the red-link turned blue: I would prefer a shorter phrase, just ", NRHP" which still serves readers by conveying, yes, this is a historic site / historic house in Tallahassee, it is not some modern house or other kind of place or person or band in Tallahassee. I am trying to propose a phrase which is the same for blue-link and red-link entries, and another editor objected to just ", NRHP". I agree that "a property listed on the NRHP" is a bit long. Would just ", NRHP" suffice for you (meaning ", NRHP" for red-link entries and ", NRHP" for blue-link entries? doncram (talk) 16:12, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
No, NRHP is not an appropriate blue link for these entries, as NRHP does not mention these entries, so it doesn't comply; the more specific link is required. Putting your energy into creating the pages is a fine idea. It could be that other editors putting their energies into cleaning up dab pages will remove ", NRHP", ", NRHP", or bare red links from any given dab page, though. There's nothing wrong with that; as the pages are created, they can be added back to the disambiguation pages as needed. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:25, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
I am asking as nicely as I can, how can i get editors in general who put energy into cleaning up dab pages, not to delete NRHP red-links. To get them not to delete red-links, it seems to be helpful to assert importance of the sites by mentioning NRHPness in some way, and it also seems to me to be helpful to readers, to mention NRHPness. And in particular I want to ask experienced, interested dab editors such as you how I can get your support in stopping, efficiently, any new campaigns by uninformed new editors in this area. But you seem to be very clear: a) it is okay by you if others delete the NRHP mention, thereby baring the red-link, and b) it is okay by you for others to delete the bare red-link. That is a problem for me, because i and others are working at developing the wikipedia to cover NRHP sites and developing disambiguation for them is part of that work. Having disambiguation of those places is both part of the end product and also helps during the overall process of developing the NRHP system. Tearing out the NRHP entries in disambiguation pages causes confusion and more work elsewhere, along lines suggested by PamD above. Putting all the NRHP entries into disambiguation pages at once is something that can be done efficiently and comprehensively. It is depressing and discouraging to me and others to face repeated campaigns to delete NRHP red-links. There will be new editors arriving who will rip out a few, of course. On the other hand, it would encourage me if we could work out some pact, in which you and other regular dab editors would agree to support retention of the NRHP red-links in dealing with those new editors. Bottom-line: is there some way of creating these pages so that you would support advising new editors not to delete the NRHP mention, and not to delete the NRHP red-links? Perhaps it will suffice if you would agree to say the new editor is "not wrong" in some sense, but you would support the new editor working on creating the NRHP articles or doing something else, rather than deleting the NRHP mention and red-links? doncram (talk) 17:59, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
And I'm answering as patiently as I can that the best way to do so is to make the pages conform to the guidelines. That's the way of creating these pages so that we would support advising new editors not to delete the entries that serve the reader. This is harder than just blindly tacking on ", NRHP" to all the entries. That's OK; nobody's demanding that you put in the effort. However, that does not mean there must exist an lower-effort solution. It is okay (and I'd encourage) the deletion of a navigationally-empty NRHP link. It would not be OK to delete an appropriate blue link on the dab entry. As for the pact, I can offer you that I won't delete your NRHP redlinks, but I'd oppose any changes to the guidelines that would indicate they are proper or permitted. -- JHunterJ (talk) 02:40, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I suspect that even if all the regular readers of this talk page agreed on something, as you hope, the pages would still be edited as you don't want, by random editors who fall over them while looking for other things and who stop briefly to improve the page, by their reading of WP:MOSDAB etc, and perhaps move on to improve similar pages in the same way. If there's a blue link, beside the redlink, which leads to a page which has that redlink, then the redlink is unlikely to be deleted. If there's a redlink which no other page links to, then it's likely to be deleted. I guess one solution is for you to work on creating all the state lists, so that every NRHP redlink can have a bluelink to the list which includes it (even though these links will then be deleted once the redlink turns blue). I wonder whether you could then use AWB in some way to semi-automate the process of going from the state list to the pages which have redlinks to pages also redlinked from that state list, to add appropriate bluelinks to those dab pages? PamD (talk) 22:22, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

I've taken the liberty of editing Lewis House so that each redlinked entry has a bluelink to the list which contains (or should contain) that redlink. I understand why Doncram would rather spend his energy making pages for actual NRHP properties, instead of fixing up disambiguation pages. But the desire to accommodate one editor's preferences shouldn't preclude the possibility of disambiguation pages being brought up to standard as well. I understand that Remember the dot's attempts were traumatic for Doncram and his NRHP colleagues, but I think that the way forward is for editors who work on disambiguation and NRHP pages to work together to bring the NRHP-related disambiguation pages up to snuff, not to amend the disambiguation rules.

As a pointer towards constructive cooperation, I'll point out this list that another NRHP project member has made of NRHP sites with duplicate names. If WP:DAB members would try to whittle away at a few of these each day, it wouldn't take long before they were all "safe", in the way that Doncram wants NRHP disambiguation pages to be. If Doncram agrees with the current state of Lewis House, I'll start tidying the other entries on Elkman's list. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 03:02, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Funny you should find that list of NRHP disambiguation pages needed for all cases of 5 or more NRHPs having exactly the same name. Of course there are also many more with 4 or less, and there are other cases of the form "St. Blix Church", "Saint Blix Church", "St. Blix Church Complex", "St. Blix Church and Cemetery", "St. Blix Church and Rectory" which add up to requiring a 5+ NRHPs disambiguation page for "Blix Church" with redirects from the variations. I came across that list a while back and finished it off in terms of creating all the disambiguation pages needed. Now, there are a few red-links on the same list (Bailey House and Longfellow School), because those disambiguation pages were taken to AfD apparently, and have to be recreated now. I'll get right on that.  :)
But, yes, I see that the Josiah Rowe-revised Lewis House page works and I would be supportive on working on just what you suggest. The more specific blue-links require more work to make the pages more satisfactory to dab editors, work that may eventually be discarded after the NRHP articles are created, but the effort required is not too very much. And it is worth it if that satisfies most regular dab editors and helps deter or shorten some new editor red-link deletion campaigns. It would be nice to hear who else this satisfies (although Abtract is not yet on board, clearly). doncram (talk) 16:19, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Check out new {{tl:NRHP dab cleanup}} tag in new Bailey House dab page, partway adhering to the current Lewis House standard. doncram (talk) 17:41, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

With respect, this really is a nonsense. I looked at Lewis House and the first entry is a redlink to Lewis House (Lafayette, Colorado) so I click on the bluelink to listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in Colorado which takes me to a page arranged by county; since I have no idea which county Lafayette is in I start at the top and move down the page and after seven clicks I reach Lafayette where I see a bluelink to Lewis House ... far from taking me to my desired article, it takes me back to the dab page. I suggest that any reader taking that journey would be frustrated, not assisted. We simply must get back to basics here - dab pages exist to help readers find articles, or sections within articles, about the term being disambiguated; they are not to impart information about which places exist. This argument must have taken place a while ago when the SIAs for ships with the same name were started. If it is thought that readers will benefit from seeing a list of places called Lewis House regardless of whether or not there is an article for such a building, then the way to display that information is through a SIA (which are not bound by the sme rules as dab pages). In the case of Lewis House the SIA should still be called Lewis House because there are no entries other than places - if, in the future, a notable person called "Lewis House" appears on the scene, then Lewis House would need to revert to being a normal dab page and the places info would need to be transferred to a new page called Places called Lewis House (or similar). Entries on the new dab page would be limited to LH the man and any of the LH places with actual articles (these places would also be on the list). Since this solves all the problems that have taken attention here for some time, I don't quite understand the reluctance to adopt it. Abtract (talk) 05:42, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

The current Lewis House article works as it is intended to. Within the Colorado link you would have found Lewis House within Lafayette quickly by searching for "Lewis" or "Lafayette". Then, yup, it is currently just a link back to the Lewis House disambiguaton page, while that should be changed to show the red-link Lewis House (Lafayette, Colorado) instead, perhaps not much better in your view. But what did you expect, an article on the Lafayette Lewis House? You already knew it was a red-link. By the way, if you had searched on the Lewis House in New York state you might have been more satisfied, as the NY list is already "table-ized" and shows the street address and its location coordinates in clickable form. I do happen agree with you that the bluelink phrases do not provide a whole lot of value for the NRHP redlinks. But i am coming to accept a MOSDAB policy that a bluelink is needed, and this suffices and meets other dab editors' strict requirements. About what are the basics here, I don't see how you can argue that it doesn't serve the need of a Colorado wikipedia who hears about a local Lewis House and looks it up, to find that it is a red-link. That tells the reader that no more searching is necessary, don't bother trying "Louis House", and confirms it is located in Lafayette or wherever, and the reader can now go out and take a picture and start the article. Note, the reader in NY can directly upload a pic into the table already. New contributors seem to like the tables and are showing up all the time now, by the way. I respond more about your call to make these SIAs in the SIA talk subsection below. doncram (talk) 16:19, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

SIAs vs. dab pages

Surely these are all SIAs not dab pages? Abtract (talk) 19:35, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

No, I think many of them are disambiguation pages (I don't know about all). For instance, there are two Wikipedia articles that could have been titled "Lewis House", and neither is the primary topic, so a Lewis House disambiguation is needed. To handle the red links, if they need handling, we can also either add a description to each one with a blue link to another article describing them or move them to their own set index article and add that as a "See also". If neither of those can be done, then the other option would be to delete the red links. -- JHunterJ (talk) 21:05, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I set this off into a separate section, to discuss separately without stopping discussion above. The SIA vs. dab page issue comes up in Gilbert House, for example, which Abtract switched to SIA and which someone else switched back to dab. My sense is that these are all dab pages, but I admit i don't grok any subtle distinction between disambiguation pages self-identifying themselves as disambiguation vs. disambiguation pages self-identifying themselves as SIAs. Perhaps if you label a disambiguation page as a SIA, then you are exempt from dab editors coming in? If so, I would be happy to label all of these as SIAs for editors, but for readers I also want to put the nice disambiguation logo on these and allow readers to understand that these are disambiguation pages. I don't think that will fly though. I myself do not want to make these disambiguation pages into articles, I don't want to add categories, I don't want to clutter them with long explanations of what each entry is, I just want them to work as disambiguation. I want to allow short explanations which helps a reader and which helps to stave off red-link-deleters, e.g. the single word "NRHP" in the "NRHP" entries. doncram (talk) 21:18, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Responding to Abtract's comment in section above: I don't see that calling the disambiguation page a SIA solves anything that would not better be solved by dab editors agreeing to let these be. There are nuances i don't understand, but I believe that calling them SIAs makes the disambiguation pages fragile, requiring wholesale changes upon the addition of a single person or company or anything that is not the same type of thing as the rest. And mixing SIAs and regular dabs would require a lot of people to understand about both dab pages and SIA pages, which they often won't, so there'd be more changes back and forth. I don't think the effort to create and maintain a distinction would be worth it. Wouldn't you have to defend SIA pages as SIAs, to defend dabs as dabs and to defend "appropriate" switches back and forth as entries on the disambiguation pages changed? doncram (talk) 16:27, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
It's a pity you think like that because the way you are trying to get these pages to look is going to bring you into conflict with pretty well all dab page editors ... my way would have freed you to do more or less what you liked with these specific pages. If someone could find an example of a ships sia that may be helpful. Abtract (talk) 17:13, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Here is a good example HMS Enterprise ... if a guy called Harry Matthew Stephen Enterprise had an article written about him we would then need a dab page with him and all the ship articles that actually exist but meanwhile this SIA does the job you want and the job of a dab page ... problem solved. Abtract (talk) 17:20, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, but I don't think the NRHP pages would be coherent on their own, the way that a ship name page is, since NRHPness is by definition a secondary characteristic of a property, site, object, structure or district. First a place is a ship or a house, and then there is some randomness in which ones eventually become NRHP-listed. A list of ships or churches is more natural than a list of NRHP-listed ships or churches. Would there be a SIA for "First Presbyterian Church" and also a SIA for "First Presbyterian Churches listed on the NRHP", or how would the sets be defined? Separate SIAs for NRHP ones only would be easier to maintain, but would would serve readers poorly for disambiguation, as many searchers would not know if their one is NRHP-listed or not. And I don't want to get into fights with others about their wish for a non-NRHP to be listed in a unified First Presbyterian Church SIA. For example, [this version of St. Anne's Episcopal Church] shows 4 NRHPs and now one probably non-notable church. If it were a SIA, wouldn't I have to develop the article more, and defend it from non-notable additions? I was bogged down for a long time in some List of churches article, which was impossible to keep free from such, and it was very unpleasant. doncram (talk) 18:26, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Why on earth would you have to defend it? You are in danger of showing ownership tendencies methinks. "Ships called ... " seems pretty similar to "Places called ... " or "Buildings called ... " to me; just don't hold out for "NRHP buildings coloured blue and located in America sorted by state ... " is my advice. Look I don't have any more time to spend on this, I just know that what you are asking is not possible in the guise of a dab page; like it or not you will need to change your ideas a tad. Whatever your hangup is about a SIA page I don't know but it's your best option imho. Abtract (talk) 20:00, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, an argument could be made that an SIA need not maintain the same notability standards as a disambiguation page. Every entry in a disambiguation page should have the potential to have a Wikipedia entry, or at least a section of an article, about it. But that's not necessarily true for the members of a list. There could well be churches called "First Presbyterian Church" which aren't notable enough to merit their own entry, but which could sit happily on a SIA listing churches with that name.
If a decision were made that pages like Lewis House and St. Anne's Episcopal Church were to be treated as SIAs instead of disambiguation pages, then the list wouldn't have to meet the "one blue link per entry" rule or the other requirements of WP:MOSDAB. It would only have to meet the less stringent requirements of Wikipedia:Stand-alone lists (presumably, with the exception of the naming convention — I've dropped a note asking about that, because I don't see any benefit in moving Lewis House to List of buildings named Lewis House unless, say, Gregory House gets a long-lost brother who becomes a major character on House).
Also, if such a decision in favor of treating these as SIAs were made, it might be worthwhile to create a template similar to {{shipindex}}. That would be another discussion, I suppose. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 21:29, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
A set index article is not simply a dab page with fewer rules. If there are Wikipedia articles to be disambiguated (e.g., the two blue-link Lewis House articles), then a dab page is necessary, regardless of whether there is also a set index article (which could be listed as a "see also"). True, entries on set index articles don't need to meet any particular criteria outside of whatever the set index article itself imposes, but the set index article itself would be subject to the notability and other guidelines of lists in the regular article space. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:44, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Although earlier i was not able to understand several of JHJ's postings, eventually i come to appreciate that JHJ is being very consistent. Thank you for your patience. JHJ's position on this, which i would not expect to be able to change, is such that creating a SIA for Lewis House is useless for purposes of NRHP site disambiguation. A reader reading about a local Lewis House museum or other historic site in the news, would search on Lewis House and would get to the disambiguation page first. It would not serve readers to split the disambiguation across a first dab page and a SIA named something like "List of places named Lewis House" that the dab is allowed to reference by "see also". I want the readers to find articles about NRHP places named Lewis House in the disambiguation page. Also, I myself would not expect that such a list article would survive AfD's that would be launched by many editors, because I myself would not believe that anyone is really interested in all places named Lewis House. The fact is that a number of places, by mere coincidence, were named Lewis House. It is not like a SIA for HMS Enterprise, where there was one original ship of that name, and others after were named after that one. Editors would swarm in saying wp:wikipedia is not a directory, etc., and the SIA would get deleted. Also, the SIA, as it appears to be a proper list-article, would attract many more additions of non-notable Lewis Houses. It would be easier to defend/maintain a page self-described as a dab page, from such additions which obscure disambiguation to real articles about notable places (and to red-links about places that legitimately deserve wikipedia articles). My purpose is to create NRHP pages and, relatedly, to ensure associated disambiguation, and I don't want to get involved in list-articles with little coherence that are headed toward AfD. Basically, I do want to provide disambiguation for NRHP sites, and I don't want to contribute stuff that will most likely get deleted. doncram (talk) 21:33, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
What you want is pretty immaterial in this context ... you just need to understand that dab pages cannot be used for your purpose. Abtract (talk) 23:35, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Disambiguation of NRHP sites that have articles or are individually covered in a list article is possible in disambiguation pages -- just blue link to the appropriate article. Other lists of NRHP sites that are disambiguating Wikipedia articles will have issues if they appear in disambiguation pages, yes. -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:35, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

current version of Lewis House and ordering

So, is the current version of Lewis House acceptable to all parties? If so, I'll start editing some of the other NRHP disambiguation pages, to bring them up to snuff. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 06:46, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

I moved the blue links up and, to address Doncram's observation about multiple blue links to the same article, added section links to the two links to the Louisiana list. It now looks good to me. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:42, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
(inserting subsection title) I'm sorry, i thought that there was a near-consensus here, too. But JHJ's changes of order of the entries in this version of Lewis House seems unhelpful to me and to go against what has been discussed and developed. If the ordering is not part of MOSDAB, then is it just any editor's view, and we can go into changing it back and forth continually? I would prefer to have a consensus on this unexpected point too, and I personally think the useful order for US entries is by state and then city alphabetically. In general I don't think that it helps readers or editors to reorder U.S. entries out of state order, just so the blue-links show up first, because it makes more work for experienced dab and NRHP editors, it makes it confusing for new editors adding one more Lewis House, and it makes it more likely that readers at first glance will misunderstand the ordering. This is more of a problem the longer the dab page is. Readers will be more likely to fail to find a blue-link or red-link that is the one of interest to them, or it will take them longer to find it. Also, the blue-links-first order seems "wikicentric" to me, meaning that it brings wikipedia into the content. There's a policy about not writing about wikipedia in the content of articles, with few exceptions (sorry can't find it in MOS main table of contents). doncram (talk) 14:06, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
By the way, for NRHP entries, it is easiest to put them in state order, because the National Register database extract tools that I and other wp:NRHP editors use provides them in that order (deliberately, because that is what wp:NRHP editor-programmers believe is the most useful order). Otherwise, putting entries into state and city order is a non-trivial exercise for many people. It is striking to me how often there are mistakes in such lists that are hand-ordered. So, it seems useful to start with the perfectly ordered NRHP lists, and keep them that way, absorbing additions as necessary and fixing mistakes in the ordering, rather than bringing them out of intended-to-be-final order and causing unnecessary work and confusion. doncram (talk) 14:06, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Per WP:MOSDAB#Order of entries, entries with their own articles go before entries that are in sections (or lists) in other articles. No, we can't edit war over it. Dab pages are absolutely wiki-centric: they are navigational pages (not articles) and they disambiguate Wikipedia articles rather than disambiguating ambiguous WP and non-WP topics. -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:55, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
My reading of WP:MOSDAB#Order of entries does not support that bluelink entries come before redlink entries. The specific example at MOS:DABRL for including red-links shows a red-link before a blue-link. MOSDAB does suggest "In most cases, place the items in order of usage", and then I am afraid you're interpreting that bluelink entries are more primary than redlink entries, and applying that usage order reasoning. The fallacy of that has been discussed repeatedly in dab editors' editing of dab pages having just one bluelink, where they reasoned that the one bluelink was the primary usage, but several NRHP editors point out that the NRHP sites are equal and it is random which one a local editor has created. In every AfD or requested move so far, I believe, the view that bluelinks are not primary has been upheld. Putting bluelinks first and then by geo location does not put in order of usage in the sense suggested by MOSDAB as one alternative for organizing. At best it is a mix of orders even if the bluelinked ones are in fact primary, because neither red nor blue subsection is in usage order. I do hope we can all agree the final intended order is by state and then by city. A mix of blue-links first then that order is not helpful, in my view. I wish we did not have to debate this. About the order, I don't mean to be impolite, but do you really care? I assume you believe the bluelink order first would serve readers. But in my view, and I think this is a legitimate position, the effect would be to serve readers less well immediately. And it would cause confusion and more work for editors, and it would not improve the final product. I do appreciate your consistent views and your patience in expressing them. I do appreciate your response to the "pact" request above. To resolve this, could we extend the pact to agree to disagree about what's best for readers temporarily (while the NRHP links are redlinks), and not try to make any change to MOSDAB specific to NRHP, but agree not to change the order of NRHP entries (keep them in geo order)? doncram (talk) 17:37, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I've put in a query at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)#Should bluelinks always go first?, to see what the interpretation there is. I don't much care, myself, but I won't work on these disambiguation pages until there's a clear consensus on how they should end up. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 19:10, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
My take is that ordering of blue links first only really makes sense in lists containing dissimilar types of subjects. It seems that lists (or sub-lists) that contain only items of the same general type (i.e., a property listed on the NRHP), the list should use an internally consistent sorting method. I think it would be confusing to decipher a list that is ostensibly sorted by geography, but is also somewhat unintuitively sorted by existence of the article. For comparison, in the case of lists of placenames, these are typically sorted by country and state/province regardless of redness or blueness. Sometimes it makes sense to not get tied up in rules and just do what makes sense. olderwiser 21:19, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Ordering by likelihood makes a lot of sense, and topics that have had articles written about them are "more likely to be likely" than others. Place names are often grouped by country or state/province, yes, and then ordered within the group. That's not the case on Lewis House. -- JHunterJ (talk) 02:39, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
It used to be. True, the "groups" were not separated, but they were indeed ordered alphabetically by state, and then within the state they were ordered alphabetically by town. Of course, as it happened, there was only one entry per state in every case except Louisiana.
I'd also question the assumption that the bluelinked locations are "more likely to be likely" in this case. All locations on the National Register of Historic Places meet a basic threshold of notability, and thus any one could be considered a plausible search target. I think that the "more likely to be likely" rule applies more easily to disambiguation pages in which the terms fall into different categories, like at Beard (disambiguation). —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 03:29, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree with doncram and Bkonrad. Like doncram, I do not see the MOS as indicating that blue links must precede redlinks on DAB pages. Further, there is seldom going to be a single most common usage for names like Lewis House, Gilbert House, or Old Jail, making a geography-based organization eminently sensible. When one or two specific articles on a particular list have been written, but others have not, the selection of articles has little or no correlation with the significance of the topics, but a strong correlation with the topic's location in the home town of a productive article writer. --Orlady (talk) 04:13, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Josiah Rowe, it didn't use to be. They were not grouped by state/province (and then correctly ordered within each group. They were "grouped" into one group by country and incorrectly ordered within that group. The "basic threshold for notability" is useful for creating articles, not for creating dab page entries. The "more likely to be likely" is a simple observation that at least one editor took the time to create an article for the blue link, whereas none have taken the time to create an article for the red links. It's a "natural" check-and-balance. For those who don't read "blue links before red links", note that WP:MOSDAB#Order of entries orders three article types (which would yield blue links) before "Larger subject articles which treat this item in a section" (such as the NRHP list articles linked in the description of red link entries). -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:31, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
JHunterJ, I read that section of WP:MOSDAB as being about types of entries, and silent on the issue of blue vs. red. As I see it, the question of whether the article yet exists is orthogonal to the question of which of the four "types" of entry it is. It appears that you are alone in your interpretation of the "order of entries" as speaking to the order of blue and red links. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 17:36, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
There are many lists of placenames that do not first "group" by country or state and also do not sort blue links ahead of redlinks. Overlaying two inconsistent sorting criteria on a simple list of similar items is confusing. As has already been explained repeatedly, being first out of the gate is not necessarily an indication of the likelihood a reader may be looking for that particular item. Without some other external basis (such as an overwhelming majority of google hits for one or a couple of senses over others) there is little basis for rearranging lists according to something as subjective and transient a phenomena as "likelihood". olderwiser 12:29, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I hope this discussion can fairly be summarized as at consensus of all-but-one, that a dab page of all "Lewis House" entries that are all U.S. NRHP places can be ordered by state and city. More complexity in next section. doncram (talk) 16:06, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
This isn't a vote (and no calls for votes have been made), but as I've already said, I'm flexible with your edits to the pages. The guidelines show a preference for ordering links to articles on the entries (i.e., blue links) before links to other articles that mention the entry (i.e., red link or no link with a blue link in the description). It could easily be that another dab member might come along and clean up the NRHP pages and reorder them, leading to another complaint here. I just want to make sure the guidelines are clear:
  1. Articles with a clarifier in parentheses (Anticipation (music)) -- this will result in a blue link entry with no link in the description
  2. Articles with the item as part of the name (Computer keyboard as part of a Keyboard dab page) -- blue link entry with no link in the description
  3. Synonyms -- blue link entry with no link in the description
  4. Larger subject articles which treat this item in a section (Medieval art from a Fresco dab page) -- red link entry or unlinked entry with blue link in the description
If you are claiming that "articles" includes anything that is the target of a wikilink, whether it exists or not, then we're at an impasse. An article is "a page that has encyclopedic information on it", not "a link to nothing that might some day be something, and that something would be a page with encyclopedic information on it". -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:58, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

expanded version of Lewis House

I am truly sorry to add more complexity to the discussion now, but the reality is that there is more complexity in many NRHP dabs that hasn't been addressed. This can be illustrated in the Lewis House article, which I have just expanded to this Lewis House version having 42 entries. To the eight NRHP sites referred to primarily as "Lewis House" alone, I added 34 NRHP sites that are of form Firstname Lewis House, Firstname Lewis Cottage, Firstname Lewis Farmhouse, and Firstname Lewis Home. It happens there are none of the form Firstname Lewis Residence. Please understand, I was not avoiding this complexity, i just hadn't thought of it before, or didn't previously perceive that it as a more complex case that could serve as the basis of much more extended discussion. :) I understand, based on principles discussed, I would reorder the 2nd group into state and local order, and add the appropriate bluelinks to corresponding NRHP geo list articles that do (or should) link to the redlinks in the second group. I wonder, then would that be the best way, or an acceptable way, to present and order the 42 entry version? doncram (talk) 16:06, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Okay, then to get it all out on the table, i just added a 3rd group of 23 places of various other forms that are "likely" to be thought by some readers to be named "Lewis House", including places named Lewis-Williams House and Morey-Lewis House. In my NRHP editing work/hobby, I personally do not always feel compelled to add places like these to dabs like Lewis House dab, because they are not as crucial in helping editors to get the names of new articles right, but others do add places like these for reader service purposes, and I guess they are okay and they need to be discussed. Also, I found and added four more places to the second group, adding Lewis Bungalow for example. Sparing us from 20 or 30 more, I made the executive judgment that places of the form "Lewis Lastname House" should not be included at all. Now, should there be three groups with introductory phrases as given, each sorted by state and then city? Or should they all be merged into one or two lists sorted by state and then city? Oh, and, by the way, several associated dab pages now need to be created: Isaac Lewis House, John Lewis House, Samuel Lewis House, and William Lewis House, because there are several of each. doncram (talk) 16:33, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I would: (a) expand the names of the U.S. states on this list, (b) group all the entries by state instead of whatever grouping is there now, and of course (c) move the blue links for each group before the red links for each group. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:00, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. I expanded from AL -> Alabama, etc., everywhere. I reordered by state and city within each of the groupings in the dab. Consensus, except for JHJ, seems to be that blue links do not have to be first within a grouping, and I don't think that would help here. I know for a fact here that which links are blue here has nothing to do with likelihood of reader searching for a given site. (Instead, I created a high proportion of the current blue link articles for the entirely unrelated reason that I had to ensure that there would be two bluelinks in Isaac Lewis House and other smaller disambig articles that i created.) I revised the intros to the three groupings on the current Lewis House dab, and similarly for three groupings in this current version of Old Jail dab. Compare, also this current version of Gilbert House dab. I'd appreciate feedback/suggestions on intro wording to each of the groups. I'm not sure about the usefulness of the 3rd group in the Lewis House case. For Old Jail, i happen to think the whole 3rd group should possibly be deleted, in favor of creating a separate list-article on jails and prisons listed on the NRHP, to be linked only by a "See also". doncram (talk) 18:06, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Can you explain the groupings you chose? I can't see how they help a reader who is seeking "Lewis House", since someone looking for something they think is called "Lewis House" won't be able to use the sections to narrow their scan. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:54, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Group 1, introduced now by "Lewis House may refer to any of the following places known primarily as "Lewis House":", is a list of places that are exact matches to "Lewis House" in the NRHP database. Group 2, introduced now by "Lewis House may also refer to places that secondarily may be known as "Lewis House":", includes other close matches, such as Lewis Farmhouse and Firstname Lewis House. Group 3, introduced now by "Less often, Lewis House may be thought to be the name of:", includes other, less closely related places having "Lewis" in their name. The order of the three groups is according what I perceive to be likelihood that a reader searching on Lewis House would be searching for these; they are sorted, within, by state and city. I am unsure whether they should be kept as separate groups, or introduced differently. I am unsure whether all of the Group 3 ones should be kept: perhaps "Lewis-Williams House" and "Morey-Lewis House" should be kept, but not "Lewis Apartment Building" and "Lewis Inn" which don't have the word "House". Until I'm more comfortable with the group 3 membership, I don't want to merge the groups, and even then i am not sure if they should be merged. doncram (talk) 19:35, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Order within a group is by likelihood. Grouping is used for longer lists so that a reader doesn't have to read the whole list. A reader looking for something they only know as "Lewis House" will not be helped by distinctions of primary name, secondary name, and related places. The reader is much more likely to know that they are looking for a Lewis House in Illinois (for example), and benefit from having all the primary, secondary, and related places in Illinois grouped. (And then the blue links on top within the Illinois group...)
The "group 3" entries that are not referred to by the dab phrase should be removed or at least moved to a "See also" section, but that's true whether or not the groups are redone. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:43, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Okay, i guess you're right about how readers would come to the page. So I dropped the dubious Group 3 entries, and then merged away the separate groups, so Lewis House is now just one list, sorted by state and city. For Old Jail i removed the entire dubious group 3, and merged the rest. So Gilbert House, Lewis House, and Old Jail should be okay by everyone now i hope. doncram (talk) 21:32, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
I think there needs to be a mention of "USA", either in each entry or as a section header to a one-section listing, to avoid the USA-centric implication that American states are of the same status as countries of the rest of the world. PamD (talk) 22:47, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
On dabs that dab places both in U.S. states and in non-U.S. countries, possibly. But still, disambiguation pages are navigational aids, not encyclopedia articles, so if someone's looking for a Bleak House in North Dakota, they probably know that North Dakota is in the U.S., and if they aren't looking for the one in North Dakota, then it won't matter what nation North Dakota is a state of. The inference of equal status isn't an implication. -- JHunterJ (talk) 22:57, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
But if they're wikipedia readers in England or Australia they would be more likely to be looking for a Lewis House in that country, and they're probably unfamiliar with the NRHP language, and also they may not see the naturalness of sorting by state which appears at the end of most entries. It is a bit rude to make them search for a while through this list, only to eventually discover that NRHP is about the U.S. and all these entries are U.S. in some non-obvious-to-them order. As a matter of politeness to readers, I would like to add back both "In the United States" and "(ordered by state and then city)" for such articles. doncram (talk) 01:56, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Is there a Lewis House in England or Australia? -- JHunterJ (talk) 10:42, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Yep. I created C. S. Lewis House article, just to make there be one non-US one. doncram (talk) 18:30, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) Followup: having had this long discussion has been helpful, and I've gone on to edit many of the NRHP-intensive disambiguation pages to comply with the guidelines sorted out here. Upon noticing a new editor making drastic changes to one such page today, I found it very helpful to be able to point the editor to this discussion, and the new issue seems to have been resolved by that, very quickly. Thanks everyone!

For the record, before this discussion gets archived, the current versions of the NRHP-intensive disambiguation pages that have been worked over so much, and which pretty much meet a consensus as being okay here, are:

Right now, they each show one bluelink per entry, and they exemplify other wp:MOSDAB compliance in general terms, although there remains some room for minor editorial preference differences. doncram (talk) 18:30, 20 October 2008 (UTC)