Forums:Archive indexPanopticon archives → Story names should be automatically disambiguated
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Forum:Works with the same name and Discontinuity indexes has reminded me of an issue that really needs to be dealt with. For the sake of not only {{discontinuity}}, but every template that deals with page titles — as well as for the sanity of new users — we need to move to a standard nomenclature for all titles. And given how many times I'm still finding things that need to be move from Story to Story (story type) names, I think we should just move every story page to a disambiguated name, leaving behind the redirect.

This would have the effect of making the title of, say, An Unearthly Child be An Unearthly Child (TV story). However, since the redirect would remain untouched, there wouldn't be much of a mess to clean up. Those of us used to typing Colony in Space can go right on doing so. New users, however, will immediately see the logic of the system. They'll get in the habit of typing Colony in Space (TV story). As things stand, it is absolutely confusing to the entry-level editor why there's Kinda (TV story) at the same time that there's Snakedance.

Standardisation would also help us with all those times where people have disambiguated in different ways. Why is it Asylum (audio story) but The Gathering (audio story)? Why is it sometimes (comic strip) and other times (comic story)?

We need clear, universal page title conventions, while at the same time offering as many simple redirects as possible.

I therefore propose the following:

Do use When you want to title Don't use
(TV story) televised narratives of any length (episode), (television story), (television)[1]
(audio story) any sort of audio release, be it narrative, documentary or music (audio), (audio release)
(novel) out-of-universe discussion about a DWU novel; e.g. Hope (novel) any term which uses the book series along with the word novel, like (EDA novel), (NSA novel) or the like — except when there is more than one novel series to use the title.[2]
in-universe discussion about books and films within the DWU; this matches the in-universe category, books and films Very rarely used, as most in-universe books, like A Christmas Carol have precedence, and therefore don't require disambiguation. For example, if both the book and movie Casino Royale were discussed in the DWU, you'd have Casino Royale (book) and Casino Royale (film).
(comic story) any story that uses sequential art, of any length up to, but excluding the graphic novel (comic), (comic strip)
(graphic novel) any sort of collected edition of sequential art, or sequential art which was originally published without the use of staples, or, if bound with staples, at a length over 47 pages. For the sake of consistency, we shall adopt the British definition of graphic novel for the main titles of pages.[3]
(omnibus) when you want to title a page discussing an omnibus. The most likely use of this is with IDW products. IDW omnibuses are collections of IDW trade paperbacks/graphic novels, which themselves collect IDW comic stories. (omnibus edition), (IDW omnibus), (Pinnacle omnibus)
(short story) out-of-universe articles about DWU short stories
(documentary) any sort of video documentary
(CON episode) Doctor Who Confidential episodes (Doctor Who Confidential episode)
(species) in-universe species (race) should be avoided, as it has dual meanings
  1. If two different television series have stories of the same name, then disambiguate by using the prefix from Tardis:List of prefixes. For instance, if there were an SJA story named Inferno, then it would be Inferno (SJA TV story) and the DW story would have to move to Inferno (DW TV story). If two episodes of the same television series have the same noiame, then disambiguate by the year of initial broadcast. As of 2012, neither has really happened, though there have been some close calls with respect to William Hartnell episodes. Still, if The Daleks were now known by its original production title of The Mutants, then it would be The Mutants (1963 TV story) and the Jon Pertwee story would be The Mutants (1972 TV story)
  2. The obvious exception to the rule is something like Twilight of the Gods which should use the disambig (MA novel) to distinguish it from the Bernice Summerfield novel of the same name, which should use (BNA novel). The "novel" might seem superfluous, but it helps readers unfamiliar with these rather obscure corners of the DWU to immediately recognize they're novels. Any use of one of our wiki's prefixes should be followed by a word that will help any user to know instantly which medium the work is in.
  3. The term "graphic novel" has tremendous variability, especially as between American and British use. As a purely arbitrary matter, all things which might be considered trade paperbacks, original graphic novels or collected editions shall be disambiguated "(graphic novel)". Yes, technically, we should be using the American "trade paperback" to disambig IDW output, but simplicity wins over accuracy in this case. We need everything disambiguated the same way.

As always with these huge technical shifts, I'm not asking anyone to spend any time actually doing the work that's implied by the change. The bot will take care of everything quickly. So please don't base your decision on whether you think it will be a lot of work. It won't be. Well, not for you anyway.

Remember, even when it comes to typing in a story name, your job won't be any harder, because there will be a redirect from, say, Snakedance to Snakedance (TV story)]. So, however hard it is today to link to a story name is exactly how hard it will be to link to a story name under this plan.'

Far from burdening you with new work, what this scheme does is to put us on more solid footing that will help us write all sorts of lovely, magical templates. And I honestly think it'll make more intuitive sense to new editors, who will simply get in the habit of adding (TV story) and (audio story) and whatever after every title.

Oh and incidentally, another side benefit of this is that it takes care of a flaw in the MediaWiki software which can occasionally create false redlinks in Special:WantedPages. So, if you rely on that page to edit, and some people do, then we can make all sorts of nifty templates without fear of cluttering up WantedPages.
czechout   23:42:12 Wed 13 Jul 2011 

Sounds like a great idea

  • This would be espically helpful when later uses of the same title appear. I have encountered a couple places where It took me a little wandering before I realized I was trying to reconcile, for example, a comic when I should have been on a Short Trip of the same title. MGailP 22:08, July 16, 2011 (UTC)
  • CzechOut makes a compelling argument. (Though I'm sure I've been on the other side of this argument in the past.) But I've also come to see that consistency and logic within the site is a good thing. So as long as we maintain the redirects, unless they're needed as disambig pages, then...I think it may be the way forward. --Tangerineduel / talk 15:03, October 2, 2011 (UTC)

Sounds like a terrible idea

I'm just not sure about this

While I do think it would be great to see uniformed page titles, I also feel it may be unneeded. It could look quite messy to have a page title such as The Wedding of River Song (TV story) when it's not necessary. Out of the two hundred and something TV story pages, there can't be that many that need to be differentiated from other media with the same name. I'm leaning towards voting for this at the moment (considering how it would beneficial), but I'm not certain. D0ct0r11  22:36 Sat 10 Oct 2011

I think you're misunderstanding the benefit here. It's not about differentiating from other media. It's about differentiating from in-universe things. Our current policy requires you to know that there is a thing called The Pandorica Opens or Paradise Towers, or Castrovalva within the DWU, in order to properly link to the story. The cases where you need disambiguation are quite common, because stories are often titled around a concept within the episode. You're talking about 30=40% of all stories need disambiguation. (Whether they currently are disambiguated is a different matter.)
czechout   22:43: Sat 01 Oct 2011 
I see. Considering how many story pages need to be titled with (TV story), then I guess uniforming pages would be an ideal advance. D0ct0r11  22:57 Sat 10 Oct 2011
Yeah, I just did a count of a single range, the BBC Past Doctor Adventures, and that's running at 25% of the titles needing disambiguation. That's too high a percentage, I think, to be managed on a case-by-case basis. In fact the number would be even higher, save for some near misses, like Byzantium!, which is saved from disambiguation only by an exclamation point. And, technically, over half the television episodes need disambiguation because of the presence of a novelisation. According to our disambig policy, we've no cause to preference the TV story over the novelisation in terms of disambiguation. Two things with the same name in different media should both be disambiguated. Yes, a lot of the early novelisations have the fomat Doctor Who and the . . . . But a lot of novelisations have exactly the same name as the corresponding serial. I haven't done the actual count, but I feel certain that once you took into consideration novelisations and in-universe "things of the same name", over 50% of all classic series titles would need disambiguation.
czechout   23:05: Sat 01 Oct 2011 

I understand what is trying to be done but I think it is unnecessary. Glimmer721 talk to me 17:33, October 2, 2011 (UTC)


There being no sustained objection in over six months, this policy change is deemed acceptable and is now being implemented. It may take up to a week for all stories to be moved to disambiguated names.
czechout   04:56: Sat 18 Feb 2012 

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