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FormatEdit

There isn't any note about where this might be leading, so I guess I'll rather add a word of caution here now, before logging off and returning tomorrow to find a bunch of changed pages:

I don't think that this template, as it is now, should be used. It seems rather messy in case it needs to be administrated later, and adds complexity that seems unnecessary. Also, even if we want a single disambiguation template for all calls (not sure about that, though), there must be a better way than to use several #switch instructions. Last but not least, using this template would mean adding 4KB to the parser limit each time - for a template that will most often be used on articles that are big already.

Perhaps the question should be: what is wrong with the disambiguation templates we have? -- Cid Highwind 22:46, February 1, 2011 (UTC)

When was the last time I went on a rampage through the database without some warning?
This template is to address problems we currently have in our disambiguation templates, mainly because they weren't originally designed to handle some of the uses we use them for. This format has options to change the displayed text and/or the actual link when necessary for all versions, options the templates in use now don't have sometimes. This also has the parameters (for a single link) laid out in a format I think is much easier to understand than some of the layouts we use currently.
This is also to put a cap on the number of disambiguation links on a page. While we have already talk about a cap, without agreeing on a number, I would think we could agree that a cap should be implemented, at least informally through a template, since a formal cap would require a consensus.
The final format isn't set either, and changing it is rather easy. There may also be a way to reduce the parser functions as well. The idea at least should be explored before we just write this off. - Archduk3 00:08, February 2, 2011 (UTC)

RevisitingEdit

While there are some things that this template does that I like, I'd like to revisit the idea of having two templates to handle basic disambiguations:

  1. The first would be a pared down version of this that would link to "(disambiguation)" pages (and hide the "(disambiguation)" bit. It would have the "redirect" handling, but be designed to point to disambiguation pages only. This type could also populate a category listing pages that link to disambiguation pages.
  2. The second would be a combination of "Disambiguate" and {{Disambiguation link}}, and handle single other meanings, where we do not require a disambiguation page. The first has about 500 uses, the second about 150.

We've currently got too many ways to disambiguate pages, and I can never remember which one to use at any given time. And if I have trouble with it, your standard user is going to find it to be a major morass. We need to make this simpler. -- sulfur (talk) 12:21, August 8, 2013 (UTC)

I'm generally in favor of making things simpler; did we get so many simply over time, or were there reasons for doing so? Just curious. 31dot (talk) 12:25, August 8, 2013 (UTC)

I think that it was doing one thing, then another, then trying to merge them all into one big one (which ends up being way too complicated unfortunately). The motives are good, the end execution fell down somewhere. -- sulfur (talk) 12:26, August 8, 2013 (UTC)

If we revisit that, I think we should also talk about whether we really need (or want) so many disambiguation pages to be located at "X (disambiguation)" instead of "X". Remember that the typical use-case of a disambiguation page is to allow users that have searched for a term to navigate to the proper article. If the simple title is populated by an article, that means one additional page load - and in the past, we allowed articles there only if they are the most important (by a considerable margin) object that could be located there. I don't think this is the case for lemmas like Sean (disambiguation) (where either the one-line explanation on Sean could be merged with the disambiguation stuff, or alternatively the four existing "Sean" articles could become a "see also" list on the Sean article, removing the need for a disambiguation page completely), or Captain (disambiguation) (which, in my opinion, is complete nonsense - most of the articles linked there aren't candidates for a proper disambiguation at all), or Daedalus (disambiguation) (where, again in my opinion, the mythological character isn't that much more important (vs. the ENT episode of the starship class) to warrant the non-disambiguated title). If we fix those first, we may or may not need that suggested additional template - although I wouldn't mind anything that makes that stuff simpler (and easier to read in wikicode). -- Cid Highwind (talk) 12:44, August 8, 2013 (UTC)

In the case of "Sean", I'm not totally convinced that the disambiguation page should actually exist in that case. We've had numerous deletion discussions about similar such pages, and most of them come down on the side of "Sean Kenney" isn't sufficiently close to "Sean" to begin with. Ditto for "Captain". -- sulfur (talk) 12:58, August 8, 2013 (UTC)

Looking at Daedalus, I agree. The disambiguation should likely sit at the base page, as there's a novel with the same name as the mythical character. If there was only an episode and the character, I'd be fine with the current layout (as we dictate that all episodes are automatically disambig'd with "(episode)", but as soon as a third item of the identical name is introduced, the base should become a disambig, unless the base is "significant" enough to not need a disambig. -- sulfur (talk) 13:05, August 8, 2013 (UTC)

I've now had another look at the description for this template, and I agree. It probably would be difficult for me to put that to proper use without testing first, so it might be difficult for others as well. I wonder why this template, like {{Disambiguation link}} assumes that "(disambiguation)" should be the standard title of disambiguation pages (as described above, I think it should be an exception, not the rule). Also, I think it is unnecessary to overly complicate this template by allowing for a "multiple" disambiguation - these case should probably just link to a proper disambiguation page in most cases, and it would suffice to use the template multiple times in all other cases.
Next, I don't really like the overloading of the first parameter ("REASON"). Apparently, it can be used to give a reason manually, or use one of several keywords for an automatic reason, or another keyword for no reason at all (but instead a link to a disambiguation page). If that could be separated out into two named parameters, that would make it much simpler to use as well.
Last but not least, I don't think it is necessary to "hide" the page title via an additional "DISPLAY" parameter. On disambiguation pages, we make it a case to use the full title, so I think we might want to use that in this case as well. So, finally, what I have in mind would look like this:
  1. {{disambiguation|type=XXX|TITLE}} (for stuff like the "mirror" disambiguation)
  2. {{disambiguation|reason=XXX|TITLE}} (for "manual" reasons)
  3. {{disambiguation|<reason|type>|TITLE|rd=REDIRECT_TITLE}} (additional "redirect" parameter, where/if necessary)
If these simplifications are done, we could either achieve the "link to disambiguation page" use-case via the type-parameter, or create a separate template as suggested. -- Cid Highwind (talk) 15:38, August 8, 2013 (UTC)

When linking to a disambiguation page, we should always link to "X (disambiguation)". That page may be a redirect to the actual disambiguation page at "X", but it helps keep the disambiguation link list clean (and is based on a practice at Wikipedia for the same reason). In short, it is designed to guarantee that all links to "X" are intentional links rather than accidental links.

For things like the "mirror" disambiguation (etc), I suspect that we could continue to use the {{mirror disambiguation}} and {{ep disambiguation}} templates, and simply make them call the "master" template, in the same way that we deal with the image licensing. -- sulfur (talk) 16:04, August 8, 2013 (UTC)

Which could also be done for the "(disambiguation)" disambiguation which you suggested at the beginning of this discussion. There would also be the (potential, not sure if this can be useful to anyone) benefit of being able to see which disambiguation is used where by checking for transclusions of the individual templates. I like this idea. -- Cid Highwind (talk) 17:29, August 8, 2013 (UTC)
Of all the days to do this you had to choose the day where all I have is an iPad to connect to the Internet. To address a few things:
  • The display option is part of why this template was made, as there are places we want to be able to format the displayed link text, and not all the templates in use now have that option (and we currently use some really ugly cheats) so that option should remain in any final product.
  • Another reason for this was to "force" the three disambiguations per page "guideline" (I don't remember right now where that discussion was located), which is why this only allows for three links. The idea was that if there was more than two other options you could be looking for, you should just link to the disambiguation page and the two most likely one (see James T. Kirk).
  • Yet another reason for the creation of this was to standardize the format of these links to something that is slightly more intuitive to fill in. That really didn't work out, as the needs for the template itself became the problem due to the number of options.
All that said, this has remained on my to do list, and I have been thinking of ways to address the issues with this on and off since its creation. I have a few ideas there, none of which I could demonstrate without a real computer (I need a real copy & paste function at the least). I might be able to whip a few of the up by the end of the weekend though. - Archduk3 18:41, August 8, 2013 (UTC)
See here for the slimmed down version of this that I think handles links to (disambiguation) pages the way that sulfur wanted, or at least is closer to what he had in mind. This also removes the option to link to more than one page at a time, so it should be much lighter on the parser limit. I've kept the first option as the place where you would add the "keyword" to format this for other types of links "bare", instead of making it a named parameter because this should actually be easier for new people to use, as named parameters seem to trip them up when using inline templates. This also means the only named parameter remains the redirect option (which if used incorrectly hopefully wouldn't actually "break" anything), and that's because there is no reasonable way to make it the first option without naming it, and one of the points of this was to make our disambiguations work like our other inline templates by having the template look as much like the bare wikitext needed to do the same thing as much as possible. - Archduk3 16:40, August 12, 2013 (UTC)

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