Friday, June 01, 2012

#WMDEVDAYS - disambiguating and redirecting

Once #Wikidata is used for real, all the articles in Wikipedia are known to it. People will add "additional names" to the existing label of an article and these will be used when searching for the right article.

These additional names are essentially what redirect pages are. Wikidata knows all the redirect pages so why have them?

When all these aliases, these additional names are known, there will be instances where disambiguation is needed. As Wikidata is about data, it will know when the provision of a disambiguation page is needed. When Wikidata has the information to provide such disambiguation, why have disambiguation pages?

Getting rid of redirect pages should be uncontroversial. Getting rid of existing disambiguation pages may prove controversial. Providing disambiguation where there was none before should be fine.

It is fun to theorise how Wikidata will change our practices.

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