Forum:Buffing up disambiguation guidelines

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Forums: Yew Grove > Buffing up disambiguation guidelines
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This thread was archived on 16 June 2014 by Suppa chuppa.

Disambiguations can some of the most helpful pages on the wiki. Not everyone knows everything, and when they're not sure exactly what they want, disambiguations can help them find it. Not many people are making disambiguations now a day (I probably account for 80+% of those made in the past year), and that's fine. I've mostly been catering to disambiguations on my own, creating unofficial guidelines. While disambiguation creation is still inactive (not that it will ever pick up), I'd like to take the opportunity to make some of these guidelines official; i.e. replace RuneScape:Disambiguation with what we decide here.

First and foremost, I'd like to cover what deserves a disambiguation page. In my opinion, most any term with 3 or more plausible (important key word) results and a few cases of 2 item pages, where one doesn't take preference over the other. This is pretty much what we already have; I'd just like to state my position on creation since I'm intent on pretty much rewriting the style guide.

Now on to how to name them; Disambiguations:

  • Should always be singular words (e.g. Whip not Whips)
    • This can be ignored in cases where it is an item disambiguation, such as for Bolt tips, where every item is given a plural name.
  • Should always get their title without a parenthetical if there is no conflict

Now what to include. If you've already read the current guidelines, you'll realize I've not changed much. I'm about to become a bit stricter here.

  • The lead sentence should be nothing more than 1 or 2 sentences. Usually 1. Saradomin (disambiguation) is a great example of when 2 sentences make sense. Everything else should invariably be some form of "Term may refer to:"
  • Anything with an official in game name – items, monsters, NPCs, music tracks, etc. – can and should always be listed in a disambiguation if all or part of their official name is the phrase being disambiguated. Obviously, this does not count short, common phrases. Like, no disambiguation for "it". It may be weird at first for Doughnut to appear on Nut, but it is helpful.
  • Like currently, there should be nothing more than a brief sentence fragment that follows the link. One link in that tidit is fine, but only if it's directly related and would definitely help the reader. Disambiguation pages should never be places to find information. No stats, no lore, no levels, no nothing. These pages are for navigation, and should stay for navigation only.
  • Our acronym pages are incredibly stupid. I'll just say that outright. Just because something could be called by that, doesn't mean it is. And if it isn't, it should not be on the page. CS, for example, is fine. Not only do those terms make sense, but I have actually seen this used for all of those terms. DD is half questionable. The term has multiple usages, but I question a number of those listed, such as Drill Demon. On the otherhand, BD is a disambiguation that does not even need to exist. Those are all made up uses. I have literally never seen anyone call any of those things by that name. Before anyone screams Tavvy: Redirects are cheap, where as disambiguation pages have actual material (not necessarily content). Another huge difference, is that every redirect that falls under this point is 2 or 3 letters. There's a number of such pages I actually want to see deleted, because everything listed under them is nonsense. I can give said list on request.
    • A minor point about acronyms is they should also always include {{SlangAlso}} above the disambig template.
  • If a page cannot be made for a term without breaking one of these guidelines, then the page is not a disambiguation. That does not mean it shouldn't be made, it just means the page should not be classified as one. Any page on a race, such as Ogres, is a good example of something that covers a term but is not a strictly navigational page. These pages can still list any other article relevant to them, but, unlike a disambiguation, they should include as much relevant information as possible. A disambiguation should list only relevant terms and, if needed, a description only long enough to distinguish the term from the others.

Where to link to disambiguations? Thus far, I've only linked to disambiguation pages at the tops of pages that were either music tracks, like Invaders Must Die III, and on pages where the disambiguation was exactly the same name, like Air rune. With the latter, there both other items with the exact same in game name of "Air rune", and other items that include the phrase in it, like Glowing air rune. No other pages except Air rune and Air rune (Runespan) link to the disambiguation. Hopefully we can touch on when to link to a disambiguation assuming the article is mentioned on the term page. I personally have no preference.

So why am I repeating 90% of the current guidelines? Well, with an approving consensus, I'd like to rewrite the guide to be more comprehensible along with a slight improvement on the guidelines. To do that, I need to make sure we're entirely on the same page. Remember this is a forum, and I'm still open to suggestions and feedback. It's not my style guide, after all. As such, nothing is even drafter yet. It'd be a waste of effort to create a decent draft only to have it later need complete revamping. I'll get to work on a basic draft when it looks like we've all come to an agreement.

I know the wiki, and you guys don't care about this. I was pretty longwinded because I'm procrastinating right now. Since no one can see this, let me just say some nonsense: dingo macaw shamalam flop dilly wing wang wozzle floop da hoop gizzy wizzy wocka yoyo shimmy lamba phi. MolMan 19:16, April 4, 2014 (UTC)


Question - Hmm. I was wondering the other day whether this should be a disambig. Bluefire2 Talk page Vandalize my sig
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Oil4 I made this 19:21, April 4, 2014 (UTC)

By my standards yes. I'd remove a number of terms though, such as Crystal pike and the mention about Priffindas' walls. MolMan 19:23, April 4, 2014 (UTC)
But let's remind ourselves what disambiguation pages are for in the first place. A user who wants to find information about the crystal bow or the constitution crystal probably won't just type "crystal" into the search bar and hit enter. Bluefire2 Talk page Vandalize my sig
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Oil4 I made this 19:24, April 4, 2014 (UTC)
It's very plausible that if they know the item is a crystal, but not what it actually is, they could search that term. It could also prove helpful for anyone wanting to know what other crystal items there are. The people in your example sound like they know what they're looking for; disambiguations are for people who don't. MolMan 19:33, April 4, 2014 (UTC)
Why would anyone want to know what "other crystal items are"? Anyway, that's what categories are for, isn't it? Bluefire2 Talk page Vandalize my sig
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Oil4 I made this 19:35, April 4, 2014 (UTC)
Not necessarily. Categories cover pages that are actually related. Disambiguations link pages that don't necessarily have any relation except for their name. Both are good navigation tools, but they cover different scopes. MolMan 19:43, April 4, 2014 (UTC)
If several pages have no relation other than by name, why would anyone want to be able to see all of them? I can see why someone would want to see a list of swords, for example, but not a list of items who happen to have "sword" in their name. Bluefire2 Talk page Vandalize my sig
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Oil4 I made this 19:46, April 4, 2014 (UTC)
This isn't really about want either. No one wants to be on a disambiguation page. "Crystal" is an ambiguous term. I have no idea what it means. I can't tell you what you want to know, but I can give you a list of plausible terms that very likely might include what you're looking for. MolMan 19:51, April 4, 2014 (UTC)

reset indentIf it isn't about want, then give me another reason a user might want to search for "crystal". Bluefire2 Talk page Vandalize my sig
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Oil4 I made this 19:55, April 4, 2014 (UTC)

I really don't understand what you're arguing about, unless it's just to argue. Something you have a penchant for. Something you've admitted before. I can't tell you why people do things. What I can tell you is a number of disambiguations like Super and Triangle were made because they were so heavily searched. Super had over 1,000 hits and was #1 in the searchdigest at one point. Warpriest and Respite are examples of redirects to disambiguations that are currently heavily searched. You're dismissing people searching simple terms because you don't consider it likely, when search behavior shows that not only is it likely, but it actually happens. I have absolutely no clue what those people actually wanted to find, but I did my best to list everything that they might have. MolMan 20:05, April 4, 2014 (UTC)
Do not dismiss my argument as one made "just for fun" simply because you disagree. It's not. The fact that you don't believe I have the capability to take a forum discussion seriously is, well, stupid. Anyway, I kinda see where you're coming from (no idea why anyone would ever search for "super"), and I might have to reformulate my stance here. However, I don't think you should have listed respite: let's not overcomplicate things; people who look for that probably just want the slayer-boosting drink. Bluefire2 Talk page Vandalize my sig
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Oil4 I made this 20:16, April 4, 2014 (UTC)
I need to make sure. As for respite, I don't think anyone even cares about that drink. It's mostly forgotten because of wild pie's better boost. To you, respite means one thing; to me, another. That's why we have disambiguations. MolMan 20:21, April 4, 2014 (UTC)
OK, so we can draw a conclusion from this: don't make disambiguations for things that are ridiculously vague (you still haven't told me why crystal deserves one). Oh wait... that was pretty obvious. :/ But this does reinforce your point about how we need strict rules about this. It also shows just how hard a set of such rules will be to make. Bluefire2 Talk page Vandalize my sig
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Oil4 I made this 20:24, April 4, 2014 (UTC)
I agree with you there. It's why I didn't attempt to make guidelines for it. Disambiguations are not something made often, so I don't think it's something we'll need to worry about. I hate saying "RS:UCS", but there's nothing better we can do. As a ridiculous example, we wouldn't list Magnet on net, even though the term is in that article's title. In general, a single word is fine to disambiguate (another ridiculous example would be a disambiguation for pages with "of" in the title). If a disambiguation really does pose itself to be a problem or completely useless, we can always delete it. MolMan 20:32, April 4, 2014 (UTC)
re:respite - I added template:Redirect to the top of that page to at least include a link to the page if that's what you're looking for, but there are a bunch of other solutions that might be better:
  • The Respite page could redirect to Slayer's respite instead, and have a {{Redirect}} at the top of that page,
  • The disambig page could be moved to "Respite", and then the beer could be listed as well as the signs of respite,
  • Instead of a redirect notice at the top, the link to the beer could be at the bottom of the page in a 'see also' section, just like on Super#See also
so, what would be best here? I do think there really should be a link to the Slayer's respite page. Otherwise you'd be breaking the suggested rule of "Anything (...) should always be listed in a disambiguation if all or part of their official name is the phrase being disambiguated.". JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 09:32, April 8, 2014 (UTC)

Analysis - It would be pretty helpful if we had a way to analyze (in depth) our traffic regarding these pages: what does a user do when he looks up, say, fm, and gets redirected to firemaking? Does he search for farming?

So, do we have such a tool? Bluefire2 Talk page Vandalize my sig
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Oil4 I made this 20:27, April 4, 2014 (UTC)

I was looking for Fox mask. MolMan 20:34, April 4, 2014 (UTC)
Which just emphasises the need for such a tool :D Bluefire2 Talk page Vandalize my sig
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Oil4 I made this 20:38, April 4, 2014 (UTC)
We're an interesting pair. MolMan 20:41, April 4, 2014 (UTC)
Maybe nobody else really cares. Bluefire2 Talk page Vandalize my sig
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Oil4 I made this 20:45, April 4, 2014 (UTC)
Then we have the place all to ourselves. MolMan 20:48, April 4, 2014 (UTC)
What should we do? Bluefire2 Talk page Vandalize my sig
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Oil4 I made this 20:49, April 4, 2014 (UTC)
Wait patiently for the others. MolMan 20:51, April 4, 2014 (UTC)
We just don't want to interfere in your bromance Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 22:08, April 4, 2014 (UTC)

Support - Just to be sure, if one or multiple things have the exact same name (like Lava monster (Lava Flow Mine) and Lava monster (TokTz-Ket-Dill)), would that name ("Lava monster") lead to one of the pages (for example the LFM one) with {{otheruses}} telling people that there is a disambig with other uses, or should it go to the disambig directly (therefore the disambig would be "Lava monster" rather than "Lava monster (disambiguation)")? I have a preference for the former, personally.

As for acronyms, hm... I am not entirely sure whether we should dismiss made up ones because they are barely ever or unused. Look at CC for example; it's single most common use is definitely for 'clan chat' but that doesn't make the other things invalid, does it? User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 08:01, April 5, 2014 (UTC)

An idea - maybe we should think about it this way. There's nothing wrong with having a page per se; it's only bad if it's displacing another page. So, make the rules quite loose: there's nothing wrong with a disambig floating around here and there, even if nobody uses it. The only reason we should have for not making a disambig is if it conflicts with another page that could have potentially been there, e.g. a redirect.

So, the real question here is, disambig or redirect? Let's assume, for a moment, that saradomin brews are really popular and widely used, like they were a while back. Should brew, therefore, be a disambiguation page, as it is now, or should it redirect to saradomin brew, as users who look up "brew" are likely to mean the latter?

Of course, the above is just an example that doesn't work anymore, but I think it is a good illustration, and there should be plenty of such cases to be found around the wiki. Also, please don’t misinterpret this as me saying that the choice is only a redirect or a disambig: if Jagex made an item named “brew”, obviously, that page would be reserved for that item. Bluefire2 Talk page Vandalize my sig
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Oil4 I made this 08:02, April 5, 2014 (UTC)

Because there is no item/NPC/whatever literally called "Brew", it should be a disambig if there are 3+ uses for it and not redirect to Saradomin brew because that's the most common use for it. Unless there are only two uses for 'brew', in which case it should redirect to one of the two brews and there should be no disambig at all. In my O.P. onion. User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 09:49, April 5, 2014 (UTC)
I disagree. And my argument is brief and below under Gaz's post. MolMan 13:12, April 7, 2014 (UTC)
I think in situations where by far the most used meaning for a word is clear, the page should redirect to that most common usage, and then also link to a disambig. I've been in the situation where I looked up wikipedia:nl:CSS on the Dutch wikipedia, and I got annoyed that I was led to a disambig page that wasn't necessary ("Cross-site scripting" and "Counter-Strike: Source" were the only other real candidates for popular phrases, but those already have other acronyms, "XSS" and "CS:S"). Redirecting to the most likely target is what enwp does, and I do think that's the best system for us to use too (if there's one target that is by far the most popular, like in Brew's case). Disambiguations and redirects are to make finding information as easy as possible for as many users as possible. If you can speed this up for most of the visitors that search for "Brew", then I do think the page should be a redirect. JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 09:47, April 8, 2014 (UTC)

When a bullet point on a disambig is about some group or set of items, should it be split down into its component items (as an indented bullet list)? For example, should Saradomin (disambiguation) have the link to Saradomin armour be followed by all 5 parts of the armour (plus the two boxed sets for 7 extra links)? Similarly for the Warpriest of Saradomin (6 parts), Saradomin vestment set (6 parts) and Saradomin's Book of Wisdom (4 pages plus illuminated). Do we list every single thing that contains the term "Saradomin" (because the current disambig certainly does not) - if not, when should things be split down and when should only the group/set be linked?

What circumstances should a term be a redirect to a page with {{redirect}} or {{redirect3}} at the top? For example, I would argue that brew should redirect to Saradomin brew - as that is what is almost always what players mean when talking about "brews" - with {{redirect|brew}} added to it, linking to Brew (disambiguation).

Just some thoughts. Quest.png Gaz Lloyd 7:^]Events!99s 01:50, April 7, 2014 (UTC)

You'd think I'd have noticed that I contradicted myself. I think the best way to reword that point would be "For most cases, items can, but not necessarily should, be listed". For this one, there's a lot of stuff for Saradomin, so I'll use my own example: Emerald (disambiguation). My point in not listing anything else under Emerald is that all related topics can be found on the page. I'd argue that as long as one can get to a page they may want from a strongly related topic, then it can be left out in favor of said topic. If you can think of other such cases or examples, I'd really like to know them. For the other, I can fix that by giving some clarification on conflict. One could argue just as well that most people who want "whip" (actually, it wasn't the disambig page, nor should it be (I've changed my example)) want Abyssal whip. I agree with you here, and I think a page being the most popular case for a redirect constitutes a conflict. After all, disambiguations are only for navigation. MolMan 13:12, April 7, 2014 (UTC)

I think that for situations where there are exactly 2 uses for the same term (not 1, not 3), the most popular one should get the page name without parentheses, and the other one should be linked via otheruses and have parentheses. An example would be Black demon, or most monsters with a Dungeoneering variant for that matter. JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 09:47, April 8, 2014 (UTC)

I agree with that entirely. But, how do we judge which one is the 'most popular' one? Do we need to resort to editwarring based on personal judgement, or is there a set of rules we can lay down? Bluefire2 Talk page Vandalize my sig
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Oil4 I made this 08:41, April 10, 2014 (UTC)
Now that we have Google Analytics we can see which pages are more popular using that standard metric. For example, as of time of writing saradomin brew has well over twice the pageviews (and approaching thrice the unique pageviews) of the next most viewed page containing 'brew' (Trouble Brewing). The next most viewed thing that is listed on brew is zamorak brew with under a third of the views of saradomin brew.
Using GA could be a feasible way to decide this but it should be part of the decision process only, not the be all and end all. If something has at least twice the views of the next most viewed page (be that the other page in a 2-use term like Joey said or any of the other pages on the disambig in the redirect-vs-disambig scenario like I mentioned), then there is a good case for the term to redirect to the main usage with {{redirect}} or {{otheruses}} to link to the other page/disambig, but this can be ignored in some cases. [Obviously, if there's no clear winner then the term should be the disambig.] At the least it can be a metric to determine what 'most popular' means. Quest.png Gaz Lloyd 7:^]Events!99s 14:57, April 10, 2014 (UTC)
We can do more than that, we can just see what the next visited page is for people who searched for "brew". In all cases so far (admittedly not a lot, but still 100%) it's been Sara brew. Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 17:48, April 10, 2014 (UTC)

This request for closure is complete A user has requested closure for Buffing up disambiguation guidelines. Request complete. The reason given was: Dead.

User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 14:52, June 11, 2014 (UTC)

Closed - No action; dead forum. Suppa chuppa Talk 23:38, June 16, 2014 (UTC)