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Forum: The Situation Room > Disambig


Just a question about disambig pages: the name Graves refers to at least two characters. Because of what it says in the Manual of Style, we can't make a disambig page for "Graves" because they both have last names. So, typing in Graves takes the user directly to Kevin Graves. What rules do we follow to decide which of the two characters gets the redirect when this situation arises? It seems pretty arbitrary. It also stinks for the guy who's trying to look up Agent Graves (and doesn't have the cards for the first name "D.J."), no? – Blue Rook 01:35, 21 October 2007 (UTC)talkcontribs

I don't speak for Proudhug, but as an admin, I think that there are two possible solutions. Either we disambiguate Graves, we isn't horrible, but not particularly preferable, or we fix all of the redirects to Graves and then delete that redirect. I'm sure Proudhug can decide which is best, but it's not an issue you should worry about too much. Xtreme680 07:20, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
God I'm an idiot, you're an admin as well. That's what happens when you've been gone as long as I have. I honestly think that we should just fix all the pages which might link to Graves and then delete that redirect, but I'm not as familiar with our policies as I used to be. I think we can just assume no one will ever search for Graves. Proudhug? Xtreme680 07:31, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

For situations like this, I usually defer to what Memory Alpha does, but in the case of disambiguation, I've never liked having pages with the tag "(disamgibuation)" in the title. The only one I couldn't figure out how to avoid was Agent (disambiguation). I figured it would be silly to have "Agent" be a disambiguation page and the article on agents be found at something like "Agent (title)" or whatever. So perhaps, MA is smarter than us and we should follow their example. As it stands, we have lots of disambiguation pages that don't follow our rules as their written. For example, Paul is a dismabiguation page, yet there's only one character named just "Paul" (Paul (Day 1)). According to the current Manual of Style, there should be no disambiguation page, and Paul (Day 1)'s pages should be moved to "Paul." I'm up for ideas on how to improve or change our MoS's rules on disambiguation, but as it stands, for the case of Graves, I'd say make "Graves" a disambiguation page. --Proudhug 23:40, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Okay sounds like a plan; I put Graves as a disambig. Also, lol Xtreme no problem.
With reference to the current MoS disambig policy, I always took issue with the Bob example rule. I don't see that current detailing to be terribly efficient, and I'm down for a change toward Proudhug's "Paul" example, where disambigs are used whenever possible.
I see it like this: it should never be the case that a character with one name ("Jim", "Sara", you name it) gets their article title with that name alone, without a disambig tag... when someone else simultaneously has that name as well (that is, there is also a "Jim Ascot", "Sara McGee", etc.). This means we should always create disambig pages whenever possible, which is at odds with the current policy on paper where you have to put this line of text at the top of the Single-Named character page.
My proposal also avoids any need for the cumbersome (disambiguation) to be typed in any article title as well. So far as I can tell, it doesn't require very many retroactive fixes, either, but will serve as a guideline for future disambigs. – Blue Rook 08:09, 22 October 2007 (UTC)talkcontribs

See, I'm of the exact opposite thought. I think disambig tags should be avoided whenever possible. The way I look at it, the goal is to simplify things as much as possible, while still maintaining clarity. Do we really want articles to have as many articles as possible, and as long article titles as possible, merely to keep things crystal clear? If we can just have a "Bob" and a "Bob Smith" or a "Bob," a "Bob Smith" and a "Bob Jones" as opposed to adding in a "Bob (Day 9)" and/or a "Bob (disambiguation)," shouldn't we aim for that?

A parallel argument would be for a non-character article such as "Placerita Canyon" and "Placerita Canyon Road." According to your proposal, the former should be a disambiguation page and we should create another page with a disambig tag for the actual canyon itself. This seems unnecessarily convoluted to me. Not to mention, it's annoying having to add disambiguation tags when typing wikilinks when it's possible to avoid them.

I say we only use disambiguation when it's unavoidable and when not doing it would realistically confuse a site user. --Proudhug 22:02, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

I should have articulated the point about the PC page better: we can delete it, or use it as a RD. Nothing should be said about the "canyon itself" because we don't even know if there is one. Apologies if it sounded like I thought there was a canyon deserving its own page. The PCR page is the matter of import there; it needs a rewrite (check out the sandbox, please tell me if that rewrite is sufficient).
Concerning disambigs in general, I might better illustrate my opinion with this example. Say a visitor wants to read about a character named Bob Jones in season 1. Now, "Jones" was revealed on his name tag, or in TCG, or some other fairly obscure way, and the user only knows the character to be called "Bob." There is also a Bob Smith from season 2 and a straight Bob from season 3.
According to your system, when the user types in Bob, it will take him directly to Bob from season 3. Now, a savvy wiki user will type in Bob and search for him, but everyone else will assume that there is no article for the season 1 Bob Jones. It is not fair to assume that all users use searches, or can comprehend our policy when they're automatically taken to a page that seems to indicate the character they're searching for is not here.
This is why I consider the lack of the disambig in these cases to realistically confuse a user. While you aim for a minus-1 reduction of articles numerically with the danger of confusing some users, I argue for a disambig page by default for extra clarity. In those terms I figure it's best to lean toward disambig pages when a name is repeated. – Blue Rook 23:17, 25 October 2007 (UTC)talkcontribs

That's why the top of Bob's page would have a note stating that you may instead be looking for "Bob Jones" or "Bob Smith." This way we've covered the disambiguation with a few words on an existing page, rather than a whole new page, a ton of disambig-tagged wikilinks, and a bit of a wild goose chase. It's more clear, more consistent, more user-friendly, and more practical.

As for PC/PCR, I guess that was a bad example, due to PC needing to be deleted. Instead, consider "Santa Clarita" and "Santa Clarita Power Plant." By your rationale, "Santa Clarita" should be a disambig page and the article for the city should be called "Santa Clarita (city)." This seems totally unnecessary to me. --Proudhug 13:28, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

The system I'm proposing might sometimes produce results that seem totally unnecessary to you, but look what happens under the current system: do a search for Frank. Do you really propose we literally type in 10 of those you may be looking for things on the top of the Frank character page... simply because there isn't another character only identifiable as Frank? That's patently unacceptable. And if looking through a small alphabetized list of a handful of names is "a bit of a wild goose chase" for you, then I'd hate to hear what you think of paging through a real encyclopedia!
Also, if I didn't think this proposal here was more clear, more consistent, more user-friendly, and more practical, I wouldn't be defending it 8^P – Blue Rook 20:55, 27 October 2007 (UTC)talkcontribs
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