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Forum: The Situation Room > Manual of Style disambiguation changes proposal


After years of thinking I'd come up with a disambiguation policy better than that used on Memory Alpha, I must conceit that the way they seem to do it is probably the best. The reason for me writing the Manual of Style the way it is is because I wanted to avoid the use of the hideously long "(disambiguation)" tag on articles, when it it seemed unnecessary. However, I see now this is likely the best way in a lot of situations.

So, here's my proposal for the new policy:

  1. If there's only one character with a single name (ie. Eric), that character gets the "Eric" page and a note appears at the top of his page, directing to "Eric (disambiguation)" for other characters with the same name (ie. Eric Balfour).
  2. If more than one character shares a single name (ie. Lisa), they each have a disambiguation tag (ie. "(Day 1)", "(The Rookie)", etc.) added to their title, with a link to "Lisa (disambiguation)" at the top of each article. The "Lisa" page would redirect to "Lisa (disambiguation)." Or we would remove the tag in this case (which is what I was originally trying to do), however this would seem to create inconsistency with the policy. Characters with full names (ie. Lisa Miller) still need no disambiguation notes, of course.

And I'm pretty sure this exact same policy will work with non-character name articles, too. What do you think, sirs? --Proudhug 23:18, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm all for the first option, but I slightly disagree with the second proposal. As I've asked on a couple talk pages before, it's not necessary to link to a disambiguation page if the article already has a more specific title (full name, or day appearance). It's already implied that there are other characters named "Lisa" when a user sees the disambig tags in the title, so that user can just type "Lisa" into the search and be taken to its respective disambiguation page. --Deege515 01:48, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree, but my only concern is that some disambiguation pages will have the tag and some won't, creating a bit of inconsistency. --Proudhug 01:51, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

How about every disambiguation page has such a tag? I'll understand and agree that, yes, it does makes the article name "hideously long"; but if implemented correctly, the amount of links to these disambig pages should be very limited, since we're technically supposed to be linking to the actual intended page regardless. --Deege515 02:02, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Ah yes, I'd misunderstood what you'd said. Yes, I agree completely that the note would be unnecessary on already-tagged pages. Other than that, you're for the change? --Proudhug 02:06, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

This is a reasonable proposal, and yes the method has been used on other wikis. I only have a few questions, but otherwise I'm down for these changes. First, I have no clue why you've lost faith in the system you had formulated that is currently in use. Why try to implement an overhauling substitute for something that is not broken? You haven't mentioned what exactly you believe is wrong with the current standard.
Second, I agree that putting the word "disambiguation" after a title is awful. I think this should be avoided at all times. The current system accomplishes this.(My opinion on this has changed drastically since, see bottom) Over at Memory_Alpha:Disambiguation, you can see that they are actually very hesitant in their policy when it comes to allowing pages with "disambiguation" in their titles to be created. If we implement this proposal, we have to be willing to accept a crap ton of pages over in Special:Disambiguations. The only way to solve this is to stop using {{disambig}} and create our own notice, perhaps {{disambiguation}}, in the style of Template:Welcome and Template:Status.
Finally, I understand everything in the proposal, and am willing to agree with it, but before I do, please explain this line: "Or we would remove the tag in this case (which is what I was originally trying to do), however this would seem to create inconsistency with the policy." I have no clue if this is referring to the tag in the title or the sentence at the top of the page. – Blue Rook 03:19, 2 April 2008 (UTC)talkcontribs

I guess I just find this system to remain simple and consistent. The whole disambiguation note idea can get messy if there are more than two or three links at the top of the page. The tag I was referring to was "(disambiguation)" in the title of the article.

One of the projects I've been (slowly) working on is the disambiguation system, so I think I'm gonna mill this over a bit. --Proudhug 15:01, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Bump Edit

I'm still down for these changes, and recommend we change the MoS accordingly. I no longer believe that Nicole from Day 4 should have "(Day 4)" in her title until, or that Ray should have "(Day 1)" in his... until another character comes along who is only identified as "Nicole" or "Ray". To be clear about my viewpoint, my opinion as represented over in Forum:Disambig has completely changed since then, and I now wholeheartedly support that we don't use parenthetical disambig tags in character titles unless another character shares that precise name, not just a part of it.

Proudhug, besides the Nicole and Ray examples, can you think of some other pages that would be affected by this change? Blue Rook  talk  contribs 15:11, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it would be prudent to start implementing these plans. I think that all disambig pages should have "(disambiguation)" in the title, for consistency. As Deege pointed out, the goal is to have no pages link there anyway (except for "Wiki 24:Disambiguation pages," of course), so the hideously long tag shouldn't really be an issue. I can't think of any specific examples that would be affected by this, but I'm sure there are tons. --Proudhug 15:46, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
If only "Wiki 24:Disambiguation pages" linked to stuff like "Firstname (disambiguation)", then how would anyone ever reach "Firstname (disambiguation)"? I'm just worried because nary a soul beyond a tiny handful of veteran editors even knows that "Wiki 24:Disambiguation pages" exists.
Also, will there be a "Nicole (disambiguation)" and similar pages? I ask because in her case currently, and in similar cases, just the 1 character has the first-name-only. The alternative is to permit disambig pages strictly for cases when 2 or more characters share the precise name. I prefer the alternative. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 22:23, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Here's how I see it. All disambiguation pages have the "(disambiguation)" tag in the title. If there's only one character simply named "Nicole," then she gets the page with that title. At the top of her page, we make a disambiguation note, directing to other Nicoles at "Nicole (disambiguation)." If we have two or more characters named simply "Nicole," then they get disambig tags in the title and "Nicole" redirects to "Nicole (disambiguation)." Any problems with this? --Proudhug 22:31, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
I like it. So that I am certain: you're changing your statement earlier that only the disambig-list project page would link to the disambig pages? It seems now that Frank (Day 1) and Frank (Day 2) will both be linking to the "Frank" disambig, yes? That's my last question before I go around implementing this, I promise haha! Blue Rook  talk  contribs 05:28, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I wasn't thinking clearly. The only pages that should link to disambig pages are the disambig list and any characters (or objects) which share the same name and require disambig tags. --Proudhug 05:33, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Perfect. I'm going to update the MoS, link to this discussion in the edit summary, and start implementing. Please check my change to the MoS, I'm worried I might fail describe these changes clearly enough. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 05:57, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Item of note Edit

According to Special:Statistics, any page that links directly to a disambiguation page is not considered by the software to be a "content article" and doesn't count toward our total article count. If this is true, many (but not all) of the pages with disambig notes aren't being counted! This is probably my fault since I wrote most of the new notes. But I'm trying to undo this now.

I think I have the solution. Whenever possible, use the redirect in a disambig note, instead of piping the direct link to the disambig page. At the moment, I did this for the disambig note in the article for Reed (deleted) because the link to simply "Reed" is a redirect. You can't do this for Carl, however, because the link for Carl is the article itself. In his case, you really do need to pipe the direct link to the disambig page. If anyone doesn't understand this, please ask here and I'll clarify as best I can. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 17:52, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm not seeing where it's stated that any page linking to a disambiguation page is disqualified from being "content." --Proudhug 05:34, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
In Special:Statistics, it lists Special:Disambiguations among the "additional non-content pages". But they may be wrong, anyway: when I fixed some of those to the redirects, the Disambigs pages got reduced, but the Article Count didn't increase as a result. So the wording on Special:Stats must be wrong or incorrect. I still recommend using the redirects instead of the piped links directly to the disambigs, though, whenever possible! Blue Rook  talk  contribs 05:54, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I wouldn't have interpreted it that way, but I see how you can. I would be very surprised if that was actual criteria for exclusion. So why do you still make the recommendation since it seems to be incorrect? --Proudhug 19:19, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
I still recommend using the redirects because 1) it's simpler and much faster to do, 2) this is the function of redirects after all, and 3) it shaves down on the amount of pages that are listed in Special:Disambiguations. Even though it doesn't affect the total article count, those three reasons are good enough for me :)Blue Rook  talk  contribs 21:37, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
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