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  • CzechOut
    CzechOut closed this thread
    02:06, April 12, 2013

    Um, basically what the title says. Is there a specific policy in regards to redlinks?

      Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • Actually, yes: Tardis:Redlinks. Not too hard to find, eh? ;)

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • No idea how I missed that.

      Can you weigh in on this recent diff of mine? http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/The_Bells_of_Saint_John_%28TV_story%29?diff=prev&oldid=1392663

      I undid redlinks which I now understand is very bad, but it still seems like a good idea. Does that policy mean that it's really ok to have pages with dozens of redlinks all to things not specific to the whoniverse? I get that there are articles on serious minutia, like, celery. But is it really a good idea to have redlinks for almost every noun in an article? If that's the idea, I'll fix my edits.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • Majority of my editing here is "from the real world" articles. These are articles like, say, hospital, pub or book.

      What you might not understand is that, when I (or someone else) create cave, I'm going to first use a special tool called "WhatLinksHere" to gather all the information. No longer among that is the bit about the TARDIS being in a cave here.

      Which is just why I have to search the word 'cave', and try to get info that way. The problem there is with pages like pond, which I haven't created yet due to the difficulty of finding any info on it (namely that Amy search for 'Pond' will bring up any instance of Amy). If people redlinked to pond, it would be much easier.

      You also have to consider that I might not think to create cave or IQ (I'm positive there's been quite a bit of "I have an IQ of...", so lots of info to create a good page) without any redlinks to them. Well... Those two are on my list, but it's a really long list.

      Anyway, to answer your question specifically, it's almost always good to have the redlinks. If you can't determine whether or not something deserves a page, either leave the redlinks or search for similar pages on this wiki.

      Pages 'not linked directly to the Whoniverse' are a huge percentage of our articles. You'd really be surprised how in-depth an article cave can potentially be.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • No I understand how redlinking creates a want for the page and I love that this wiki has so much that isn't directly linked to the Whoniverse. I guess I have a bit of an issue with both how incredibly vague and excessive a lot of it is. Holiday is linked on that page and there's not even a specific holiday that is being referred to. Or the following sentence from that article:

      She then picks up a tablet which shows his name and picture, and sliders marked conscience, paranoia, obedience and IQ.


      What is keeping someone from redlinking the few words that aren't in that sentence? Picks, name, picture, sliders, marked? It's a bit distracting to read a sentence or paragraph littered with redlinks. Partially because it's jarring, but also partially because I use links in an article to help expand what I know. When things are linked, I often mouse my cursor over the link to see where it goes. When I mouse of the linking of the mad monk and see that it links to Aliases of the Doctor I remember that it's there but I don't open it. If it had however linked to a page called the mad monk I would have opened the page in a new tab and looked at it when I got to the end of the paragraph. Sure, there would be a chance that the page was just summarizing the information gleaned about the mad monk from this episode, but maybe there are references to the mad monk or the Doctor's life as a monk in earlier seasons. If there was I'd skim the article briefly before going back and finishing the episodes article.

      So when I see that tablet is linked I open that article page because I assume that there is information I don't know that could be relevant. Maybe it's not just any old tablet, but a special one. Maybe there is a special meaning to tablets in Doctor Who. Maybe there is some history to tablets in Doctor Who. Maybe certain characters are found of tablets. Maybe this is a mistake but when I see something ordinary linked on this wiki I assume that if I go to that page I will learn information about the use of [whatever it is] in Doctor Who. Maybe [it's] something the Doctor [or another character] is fond of, or doesn't like. Maybe the use [of X] highlights a particularly theme or is used by writers to show a particular emotion.

      I like that there can be pages of just about anything--I guess my problem is with the idea of pages on everything. It seems so counter-intuitive and is completely against the way I edit and the way I read that I have a hard time wrapping my head around it.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • Just from a simple search on 'IQ', I got this:

      An IQ was a variable used in measuring intelligence. Many geniuses boasted of their IQs. 176 was considered an enormous IQ. (TV: The Sontaran Stratagem)
      Oswald was a human genius with an IQ so high that it could not be measured. (COMIC: Children of the Evil Eye)
      Luke Rattigan, another human genius, had an IQ of 176. (TV: The Sontaran Stratagem)
      When Miss Evangelista was uploaded to the Library Data Core, she theorised that a decimal point had shifted in her IQ. (TV: Forest of the Dead)
      Miss Kizlet, using the technology of the Great Intelligence, had a tablet that was able to 'hack' into, among other things, peoples' IQs. (TV: The Bells of Saint John)

      If I were to search through prose and TV stories for the slightest mention of an IQ, I'd have much more than double that! While, admittedly, that's not very much information at the moment, something makes me doubt that the Doctor's never boasted or commented on his IQ once...

      Point is, that's material for a page already! If you find a redlink ugly, then just put a little work into adding pages on the other side.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • It's not about the redlink being ugly. Or even that I don't think the article would be valuable, though I admit I really can't see value of a lot of those potential articles. It's not that I have an issue with the ability of anything to because an article. I don't. My issue is that policy allows for everything to become an article. If I read an episode article in which every unique word is a link to an article about that word, that's just too much. If there are a half dozen links in every sentence, then I never know when something important is linked. I guess I also see a difference between an article not about something directly related to the whoniverse and an article that doesn't provide any insight into the whoniverse. An article about IQ for example could tell me about the characters whose IQs are important enough to be mentioned. Maybe also the Doctor's opinion of intelligence and how he reacted to particularly high or low intelligence. It might help me put in context Oswald's changed intelligence and Kislet's control of it. Helping me put things into context or deepening my understanding of how a particularly subject is treated in the whoniverse seems of value. Sure, maybe the article isn't directly about something whoniverse centric but it can still be of use. My issue is with that there's nothing differentiating creating an article on "IQ" from creating an article on "important". Sure, there's lots of potential material for the later. Various things that are important to various characters. But it wouldn't deepen my understanding of how a character or the show treats things that are "important." It can't give me a sense of anything over-arching. It doesn't add anything to my understanding of "interesting" and Doctor Who. I guess that's my concern.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • I feel the policy is about linking together all the little things to make a unified whole. Things that weren't interesting can get interesting. Besides, an article where every other word links to something would be against T:OVER-WIKIFY and T:WIKIFY.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • Anoted, it might be against the way you edit, but it is the way a wiki works. The goal is to have the reader click on link after link. That's why orphaned pages are such a concern for the wiki, incidentally — nothing links to them.

      It can get frustrating to follow link after link, eventually losing your original place, but that's just the nature of the beast. I do agree with you, however, that some people over-link to any noun they see, with no intention of ever creating the page, just leaving it for someone else. It's good practice to try to create at least some of the pages one redlinks.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • Note that T:RED says, in bold,

      If there should be an article about something, it is better to create a redlink for it than not to link it at all.

      So, what do we mean by should?

      • Nouns only. Thus, no one would reasonably wikify picks and marked, as you suggest above.
      • Proper nouns always. Sometimes people on story pages, particularly non-televised story pages, don't wikify minor characters for reasons that are maddeningly obscure to me. Places that are only briefly mentioned are also often un-linked. Every character, every place deserves a page.
      • When you can think of clear instances where an ordinary noun has been used, you should redlink the noun. A good example is helicopter. Off the top of my head, I can think of Fury from the Deep, The Dæmons, and The Mind of Evil where helicopters played an integral role to the plot.
      • When you can do a search for a term and find references to it, it should be redlinked. As SOTO demonstrated with IQ, it's relatively easy to demonstrate when a term might be worthy of a redlink.

      That said, the last of these guidelines is the trickiest. I'm personally opposed to redlinking very common nouns unless you personally intend to write the article. I know I never redlinked hospital until I was prepared to write hospital. I never would have linked hat or book unless there were actually an article present. There are, it seems to me, some words so ubiquitous that putting in a request for an article may be a bit of a fool's errand. It's not wrong to do so, but I personally wouldn't do it unless, again, I was prepared to actually start the article personally.

      To me, it comes down to the word should. Should there be an article about the word belt? Belts exist in the DWU, and thus are nominally allowed an article. But eligibility is not the same thing as destiny. I can't reasonably imagine an article about belts being written because belts have never been integral to a televised plot, and have been rarely remarked upon in other media. Conversely, back before we had an article on hypnosis, I did redlink the word, because that was something that I could immediately see had enough clear instances in DWU narratives that someone could easily write an article about it.

      Articles about very common nouns are comparatively difficult to write, as you have to find some sort of organisation to them that makes them easy to read and doesn't convert them into simply a list of appearances. So you have to assess the likelihood of the article being created by someone other than you.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • Anoted wrote: If there are a half dozen links in every sentence, then I never know when something important is linked.

      "Important" is a subjective term, which is why policy doesn't use such language. The threshold for inclusion is simply that the noun be shown or referenced in a valid DWU narrative.

      I guess I also see a difference between an article not about something directly related to the whoniverse and an article that doesn't provide any insight into the whoniverse.

      All in-universe articles are bound by T:VS. The only valid sources for writing in-universe articles are DWU narratives. I'm not sure what you mean by the allegation that our articles don't "provide any insight into the Whoniverse". If you see an article without narrative sourcing, then it should be amended or deleted.

      Sure, maybe the article isn't directly about something whoniverse centric but it can still be of use.

      I really don't understand what you mean by "isn't directly about something whoniverse centric". As far as I know, the wiki doesn't have non-whoniverse-centric articles, except those that are clearly labelled with the {{real world}} tophat.

      "important" … interesting … "important"

      Again, we can't run a wiki on subjectivity. You might not think that maples are particularly important to the DWU, but Canadians and New Englanders might like to know where their beloved flora appears in DWU narratives. I personally find it interesting to catalog the number of nations and regions that have appeared in DWU narratives, even though Hawaii and New South Wales haven't seen too many TARDIS landings. Conversely, there are things that are unique to the DWU, but which appear only once. I assume you'd have no truck with articles about any one of thousands of one-off characters, even though they actually appear less than something as "minor" as maple trees.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • By Whoniverse centric, I mean something unique to Doctor Who, or treated uniquely by Doctor Who. Characters, planets, technology--there's a ton of stuff that doesn't exist outside the world of Doctor Who. Or things that exist in the real world but are fundamentally different in the Who world. The most prominent example (to my mind) is that of governments. There's a lot that's similar, but so much that's different.

      So celery isn't Whoniverse centric for example. It's something found in the real world-it's not a creation of Who. And celery in the Whoniverse is the same as celery in the real world. It's still a vegetable, still green, still edible. But reading the celery article adds context for me.

      I get that the wiki can't judge importance or interest and that this is a very subjective issue.

      My issue with the particular line I came here about isn't any particular potential article. It's the overwhelming excess and how incredibly distracting and detracting I find it. Your earlier comment on what should be linked and how to treat redlinking is incredibly helpful. I guess my question is what to do when a sentence, paragraph or article is littered with redlinks that aren't SHOULD but are ALLOWED. Any advice on that?

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • Remember that policy says something should be linked only the first time it's mentioned in a section?

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • I know that. But if every word that can be linked is.... My point is simple that even without repeat linking this can and is an issue. If there's a sentence or paragraph or article that's littered with redlinks that are ALLOWED but not SHOULDs...do we just leave it like that? Assuming all basic rules are followed, what do we do?

      Look at this comment or some of the others and imagine what it would look like if every word that could be redlinked (meaning only the first instance) was. There are bits of pieces of the wiki that look like this. I'm asking what to do in those circumstances.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • One solution is to create the pages yourself. The blue links are less obtrusive than the red links.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • I think, Anoted, that you have a dangerous misconception of what this wiki is. This is not a wiki about those things which only appear in the DWU. How could it be? That would exclude the writing of articles like Marco Polo, Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, "Ticket to Ride", John F. Kennedy—or any one of hundreds of subjects that have appeared in the DWU which also are a part of the real world.

      This franchise isn't Star Trek or Star Wars. This is the very domesticated Doctor Who, which is often about how the Doctor impacted some bit of actual Earth history, or just the modern day.

      Your idea of subjects being "Whoniverse centric" really has no validity in writing about this franchise.

      I would suggest that your feelings of being "overwhelmed" by the number of links, or this idea you're pushing that articles are "littered with redlinks"—well, those are very much your problems.

      Stick with us for a while. You'll get used to it.

      Therefore, to answer your most recent question, if you encounter an article with a lot of redlinks, yeah, you just leave it. Unless of course the redlinks blatantly violate a rule, or the redlinks are pointed towards an insensible target page. Most of the time, though, you either leave it alone or see what you can do about creating the articles.

      Now you've mentioned "overwhelming" redlinks in some areas, but you've not given any specific links. Obviously, this isn't a science. There aren't absolute, firm rules on any of this. So it's a bit hard to talk about it in general terms. If it would be useful to you, link to a page or two you find objectionable and we'll be able to talk about this in more concrete terms.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • CzechOut wrote:

      I think, Anoted, that you have a dangerous misconception of what this wiki is. This is not a wiki about those things which only appear in the DWU.

      Woah! I never said that. Ok, one thing at a time. Maybe my definition of Whoniverse centric doesn't include a A Christmas Carol, but I do get an insight into the Who world from it. Just like the celery article I mentioned above. So A Christmas Carol is the same book in and out of the Who world, but there are things about it, and about Charles Dickens that only happened in the Whoniverse and reading those articles add to my understanding of the characters I see, the history according to Who and The Doctor.

      CzechOut wrote:

      This franchise isn't Star Trek or Star Wars. This is the very domesticated Doctor Who, which is often about how the Doctor impacted some bit of actual Earth history, or just the modern day.

      Exactly. That's why it's so important to have articles about things which happened a little bit differently in Who, or things that are exactly the same but have some wider import. </div> Anyway, specifics. I did come here about a specific diff of mine which prompted me to go hunting for redlinking policy. In particular, one line bothered me:

      "She then picks up a tablet which shows his name and picture, and sliders marked conscience, paranoia, obedience and IQ."

      That's where picks, name, picture, sliders, and marked came from. That's also where the IQ example came from. Anyway, this came right after another line in which the word holiday was redlinked (when holiday was referring to nothing specific). I understand quite clearly the idea that anything mentioned in Who can be an article, but I'd have a hard time reading that line if all of those redlinked words had actual articles. The thread taught me a bit about policy, and has been very helpful. My only remaining question is if there is an excess of linkage, links that are not against the rules, what, if anything should be done? Maybe a fairly good holiday article can be written. But I can't think of any relevance it would have to the article for The Bells of Saint John. There are times when we un-bluelink things, right? When there's no real relevance, correct? So what if I can't see the possible relevance between a redlink and the article it's in. Do I leave it so that the request will remain in the system? Do I leave it because red links are good?

      Basically, I'm asking if we have higher standards for de-redlinking than we do re-bluelinking. Hope that clarifies things.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • Well, you have just successfully created a new word: bluelinking. Congratulations. :)

      First things first, we don't only record what's different in the DWU, but also what's the same. Much of the information in our articles is just common sense to most people, yet they're still there, and they still have sources.

      Take a look at Amelia Earhart. We all know that she's a pilot, but yet we can't write it in the article. All we can record is that she disappeared in 1932, and that Diane Holmes speculated that she might have gotten lost in time. You might question why she deserved an article with only one piece of info about her that can be found at Wikipedia. The reason is: she's mentioned, and therefore she's part of the DWU, and therefore she deserved a page. It's not the most crucial of pages; we could get along without it. But yet I still created it.


      The context of holiday was something like "after going on holiday," right? That one's certainly debatable. Broadly speaking, it's a bit too general to create a proper article. If we started an article about every instance of people going on holiday, it'd start to get too list-like.

      On the other hand, we're given a lot of insight into holiday/vacation destinations. Off the top of my head, we can talk about

      1. Where the posh of London went for Christmas (TV: Turn Left)
      2. How leasure planets were planets made or engineered specifically for their use as holiday destinations. (TV: Midnight)
      3. How San Francisco was a popular vacation destination, (TV: 'The Fires of Pompeii)
      4. How beaches were too. In fact, the Tenth Doctor took Martha Jones on vacation to Nacre, a planet with seemingly endless beaches. (PROSE: Breathing Space)
      5. We can also go through the instances where the Doctor or his companions warn people to go on holiday to protect them from an oncoming disaster. (TV: Doctor Who, Turn Left, The Fires of Pompeii, just to name a few.

      ...Okay, I'm stopping myself before I veer off-topic again. At the moment, we don't have much on tablets aside from Kizlet's. Kizlet's tablet might actually be a useful page that could talk about all its capabilities. If I were in your place I'd change "...picks up a [[tablet]] which..." to "...picks up [[Kizlet's tablet|a tablet]] which..."

      Paranoia: There's plenty of things in the DWU that induce paranoia. I could easily create the page, I suppose, although I'd have to do more research so that the article's not just a list of things that cause paranoia.
      Obedience: Kizlet has her tablet, the Third Doctor had his obedience spray, the War Lords had their glasses and the Ice Warriors had their brain-racks. Ooh, and the Ood were "conditioned to serve."
      Conscience: Naa, too subjective to create a proper page. I'd get rid of that link.
      As I demonstrated above, IQ deserves a page, which I might just create sometime soon.

      You should also probably note that there doesn't necessarily have to have your definition of 'significance' to the story to be linked there. We run like a business here; we want people to click on obedience, and find out about how obedience fit in to Classic Who, or comic stories, or prose. Then, from there, they click on more links. Trust me - before I was editing here, I would get addicted to reading the articles here. That's just the nature of wikis; we want people to get lost in the wiki (in the good sense).

      Honestly, as we've all said above, if you see a link, either leave it alone or, better yet, create the article. I rarely remove redlinks, but you can do it if it's entirely subjective or way too broad, like if someone redlinked happiness.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • Anoted wrote:

      Anyway, specifics. I did come here about a specific diff of mine which prompted me to go hunting for redlinking policy. In particular, one line bothered me:

      "She then picks up a tablet which shows his name and picture, and sliders marked conscience, paranoia, obedience and IQ."

      Well, I was hoping you'd give me something different to work with, because you seemed to be suggesting there was a widespread problem. But if this is the one you want to focus on, it's pretty easy to demonstrate how we could write these articles. At a very minimum all four of those words could have this tiny article for a start:

      '''{{PAGENAME}}''' was one of several personality traits that Miss [[Kismet]] was able to control in the people whom she had uploaded into [[the Cloud]]. By manipulating a numerical values for {{lc:{{PAGENAME}}}}, she was able to, as one of her underlings once said, "hack into" people's personalities and instantly change their {{lc:{{PAGENAME}}}} metric.  ([[TV]]: ''[[The Bells of Saint John (TV story)|]]'')
      {{wikipediainfo}} 
      

      Done. Does that define the term in a way that is relevant to the DWU? Yes. Does it get mired down into some sort of T:NO RW-violating, here's-what-wikipedia-told-me-this-thing-was? No.

      I understand quite clearly the idea that anything mentioned in Who can be an article, but I'd have a hard time reading that line if all of those redlinked words had actual articles.

      A hard time? What do you mean by that? Your eyes would rebel in their sockets? How exactly would it be difficult? I've taken a lot of pains to ensure that the contrast ratios on this wiki are good for even people who are colour blind. So I'm afraid I just don't buy that it would be physically difficult to read the line, whether the links were the shades of red and blue that we employ here.

      Maybe you should use the "change colours" button at the top of every main namespace page if you're having difficulty reading linked text.

      My only remaining question is if there is an excess of linkage, links that are not against the rules, what, if anything should be done? Maybe a fairly good holiday article can be written. But I can't think of any relevance it would have to the article for The Bells of Saint John. There are times when we un-bluelink things, right? When there's no real relevance, correct?

      Sounds like you've come to us from Wikipedia. It's important to note that we're Wikipedia's evil twin. We do a lot of things in precisely the opposite way to how Wikipedia does. I"m very much aware that Wikipedia say to link in a more contextual way than we do. But a part of that is purely technical. They're, what, more than 1000 times bigger than us. At that sort of size, links on a page start having a cost when you run reports like Special:WhatLinksHere. So they've got to attempt some balancing of utility versus speed.

      We're probably never going to have to worry about that. So it's our policy to link everything that has an article, generally once per section, and, again, remove the value judgement. If there's a chariot or a pair of glasses or a stovepipe hat in a story, we make the link.

      A part of the reason is this

      So what if I can't see the possible relevance between a redlink and the article it's in. Do I leave it so that the request will remain in the system? Do I leave it because red links are good?

      Yep. And yep. And just because you can't see the relevance doesn't mean there isn't one. Or that there might not be one once other stories are released. Or once one of our editors reads a story that was published long ago.

      See, the links, be they red or blue, are helpful as long as they're present. You have the Wikipedia worry that the link be present only if going to the destination article will help you understand the origin article. Does William Hartnell help you understand First Doctor? Yes, so, fine, make the link. But the thing is that no one's knowledge of this vast literature is even close to complete. So often we just do not know if a thing is relevant or not. So we make the link and hope one day that relevance is found. For instance, there's a hospital in Spearhead from Space. But let's say I'd never seen Spearhead and didn't know that. If someone had redlinked hospital at Spearhead then eventually the article could indeed include the incident in Spearhead and therefore hospital would become relevant to Spearhead.

      Linking, whether red or blue, is a valuable research tool for us. I can't tell you how many articles I've expanded (read: made more relevant) through the use of Special:WhatLinksHere.

      Basically, I'm asking if we have higher standards for de-redlinking than we do re-bluelinking. Hope that clarifies things.

      Nope: not clearer at all. Doesn't matter, though. I think if you give yourself a little more time to edit with us and sort of get a sense of how our articles are written, you'll get a better feel for things. My general advice to you in particular is just not de-link anything for the time being and to continue asking more specific questions until you think you've understood things more fully.

      And here's a little task for you. Go to Special:WantedPages and pick the most ordinary noun you can find out of the list that has more than one link. Then check out what those links are and see if you can write a useful article. They don't really uses Special:WantedPages the same way at WIkipedia anymore (again: evil twin) so maybe it's been a while for you. I think once you start using the tools associated with red links, you'll see their value more clearly.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • Thanks SmallerOnTheOutside--that's very helpful.

      @CzechOut - No, my eyes aren't going to roll out of my head. And no, the problem isn't visual, though on that note, it is insanely difficult to read links that have already been clicked on. In one color theme clicked-through links are the same color as text and therefore they vanish into ordinary text. In another there is no differentiation between links I've clicked on and those I haven't, making it a bit difficult to keep track of things. But back to what I was saying--the issue isn't visual, it's that that level of stuff is information overload, insanely distracting and affects my reading. If that link for holiday wasn't redlinked but blue linked I'd probably go to the article. And there would be nothing at that article that would give me any sense of anything related to the episode. I'm as fond as the next person of clicking through endlessly, until I have a backlog of a 100 tabs (slight exaggeration), but there are some things it just doesn't make sense to link.

      And no, I'm not coming to you from anywhere. This isn't about being used to a particular style of editing. I get that links are good, even (perhaps especially) redlinks. I get that articles about little things are ok, and often good.

      I guess what I'm really asking about is editorial discretion. If a link fits the basic requirements of not having been linked earlier in the article, and can be an article, MUST it be linked? To be more specific, say that there was a Holiday article, which I think I'd rather like btw. I wouldn't link to it from The Bells of Saint John article because there is no earthly reason to.

      Unless I'm completely misunderstanding the editing process (and correct me if I am), it's ok to un-link blue links if they're irrelevant, silly, or in some way not-a-good-link. There's such a thing as editorial discretion right? I assume so, that's kinda what editing is about. Disagreements and discussions take place on the talk page of course, but each editor has their own editorial discretion. I'm wondering if I have the same discretion when it comes to redlinks. There's a clear difference between de-redlinking and de-bluelinking: de-redlinking could remove an entry from Special:WantedPages. Is there any other difference? Is there a higher standard for un-redlinking than there is un-bluelinking? If there is, what is it? Making sure that it's still a wanted page? Something else?

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • Anoted wrote: And no, the problem isn't visual, though on that note, it is insanely difficult to read links that have already been clicked on. In one color theme clicked-through links are the same color as text and therefore they vanish into ordinary text.

      Except for the fact that mouseovers result in a highly legible highlight. And you seem to be trying to have it both ways. On the one hand you're saying you don't like it that you can see so many links, but on the other, you complain about the fact that links you have already clicked on recede into the normal text colour. I would have thought you would have liked that feature, based on your observations so far.

      In another there is no differentiation between links I've clicked on and those I haven't, making it a bit difficult to keep track of things.

      Are you sure you haven't come to us from Wikipedia? It's usually only heavy Wikipedia users who notice or care about the "visited" colour differentiation. Wikia default is to not distinguish between those things you've clicked on and those you haven't. The light-on-dark skin is a concession to the way that Wikia wikis usually work, since it's presumed that most people who were introduced to the MediaWiki software through Wikia will probably prefer seeing links always shiny and bright.

      But back to what I was saying--the issue isn't visual, it's that that level of stuff is information overload, insanely distracting and affects my reading.

      Again, the key phrase here is "my reading". I'm afraid this is a peccadillo of yours. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there are no records in the almost 9 year history of this wiki of any user being affected so badly by our linking practices to call them "insanely distracting".

      If that link for holiday wasn't redlinked but blue linked I'd probably go to the article. And there would be nothing at that article that would give me any sense of anything related to the episode.

      Again the notion that a link must be directly related to the page on which the link is found is something that exists at Wikipedia. It is not our policy. As laid out at the T:LINKS series of guidelines, the basic policy is to create blue-links where it is possible to do so—not just where you think it is relevant to do so.

      Now there are are a few common-sense exceptions that maybe aren't explicit in the rules:

      • Beware capitonyms. Don't link to polish if you mean Polish. There are a surprising number of these in the DWU, mainly because some alien races are named after wholly ordinary things. For instance, last week we were introduced to the Vigil, which shouldn't be confused with an ordinary vigil—but that gets us into questions of dab terms and naming conventions. Suffice to say, there are hundreds of ordinary nouns which have a different meaning in the DWU by the transposition of a single capital letter.
      • Avoid heteronyms. Don't link to the fish bass if you mean the tonal pitch bass. And in particular, remember that links should be to nouns, or at least variants derived from the nouns. I suppose it's okay to have regenerate as a redirect to regeneration, but the verb form of concert should never be linked to a page on the noun concert.

      Now, you may have thought it insulting to go through a basic English lesson, and I certainly didn't mean to cause offence. But I did want to point out with specificity that, yes, there is a reasonable case for relevancy guiding linking choices. However, that case is purely grammatical. It's nothing to do with clicking through on a link and being disappointed that it doesn't amplify your understanding of the page you came from.

      I'm as fond as the next person of clicking through endlessly, until I have a backlog of a 100 tabs (slight exaggeration)…

      I would strongly urge you to return to browser defaults while on our site. Having a new tab or a new window open for every link click is a non-standard setup, and it would indeed drive a person round the bend. You're already causing problems for yourself, technically, on the site by being so far back with your browser. And while I have more sympathy for that situation than probably anyone else on this site, I can't have any sympathy for someone who has their browser set to open a new instance on every click.

      The other piece of advice I'd give is to skim articles in their entirety first and then click on the links. That way, you won't feel quite so much like you're jumping all around in a disjointed fashion. You'd be able to finish one though and then move on to the next.

      ..but there are some things it just doesn't make sense to link.

      Again, what we consider "sensible" is apparently different than you. To us, the main provision for reducing links can be found at T:OVER-WIKIFY. We reduce the number of links in an article not because of our individual perception of relevancy to understanding the present article. Rather, the main reason for reducing links is because of how we define "over-wikification": the repeated linkage of the same word throughout an article. Yes, as described above, if the wrong word, or sense of the word, is linked, then we should de-link it. But that's about the only "relevancy reason" that applies.

      I guess what I'm really asking about is editorial discretion. If a link fits the basic requirements of not having been linked earlier in the article, and can be an article, MUST it be linked?

      Yes.

      To be more specific, say that there was a Holiday article, which I think I'd rather like btw. I wouldn't link to it from The Bells of Saint John article because there is no earthly reason to.

      There is an earthly reason to. T:LINKS. In other words, it's policy, and we're bound to follow it. Again, it's not really up to us to decide whether something is "relevant", except in the grammatical sense.

      Unless I'm completely misunderstanding the editing process (and correct me if I am), it's ok to un-link blue links if they're irrelevant, silly, or in some way not-a-good-link.

      You are misunderstanding. And I've been trying to correct you, but it doesn't seem to be taking, if you'll forgive the observation. Delinking is highly discouraged, except as set forth earlier in this post.

      There's such a thing as editorial discretion right? I assume so, that's kinda what editing is about. Disagreements and discussions take place on the talk page of course, but each editor has their own editorial discretion.

      You don't have the discretion to blatantly defy policy, no. You can't go off on a campaign of linking only when relevant to the particular article you're working on when the policy is that you should link to all nouns that have existing articles and any nouns that logically could qualify for an article.

      I'm wondering if I have the same discretion when it comes to redlinks. There's a clear difference between de-redlinking and de-bluelinking: de-redlinking could remove an entry from Special:WantedPages. Is there any other difference? Is there a higher standard for un-redlinking than there is un-bluelinking? If there is, what is it? Making sure that it's still a wanted page? Something else?

      T:RED is actually very clear on all this.

      Some editors misunderstand the utility of redlinks … and try to delink them. Don't do this. Redlinks are good. The should be kept unless the term has zero relevance to this wiki.

      The threshold of relevance is "to this wiki", not "to the article on which an editor is currently working". If you cannot demonstrate that the redlink has little value to the wiki—that is, that it will not likely result in an article—then you can't de-link it.

      If by "a clear difference between de-redlinking and de-bluelinking" you mean exactly one difference, then sure: there is one clear difference between them. De-redlinking depopulates Special:WantedPages. But otherwise, they have a similarly negative effects on our ability to improve articles in that delinking either type depopulates the much more important Special:WhatLinksHere reports, and prevents any number of bot related processes from fully working.

      Links are the very lifeblood of a wiki. Nothing could actually be more vandalistic than going through and pulling them out just because one rather arrogantly believes that one knows what's "relevant" and what's "silly". Without links — red and blue — there's literally no point to having a wiki.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • CzechOut wrote: Except for the fact that mouseovers result in a highly legible highlight.

      And you seem to be trying to have it both ways. On the one hand you're saying you don't like it that you can see so many links, but on the other, you complain about the fact that links you have already clicked on recede into the normal text colour. I would have thought you would have liked that feature, based on your observations so far.

      Please, please, listen to what I say. I made that comment immediately after saying that my issue with the links was NOT a visual one. And immediately after that comment I elaborated on that. It's NOT A VISUAL PROBLEM. I don't know how to be any clearer. I never said it was one, and when you misunderstood my previous comments I made sure to be abundantly clear.

      Are you sure you haven't come to us from Wikipedia? It's usually only heavy Wikipedia users who notice or care about the "visited" colour differentiation. Wikia default is to not distinguish between those things you've clicked on and those you haven't. The light-on-dark skin is a concession to the way that Wikia wikis usually work, since it's presumed that most people who were introduced to the MediaWiki software through Wikia will probably prefer seeing links always shiny and bright.

      Yeah, I'm sure. The wikia default may be for links to work this way but that's not the default of the internet. If I read an article that has a lot of links I can differentiate between those I clicked on and those I haven't. I don't really understand why that's different on Wikia. Especially because reading on a wiki is different from everywhere else. If I read an article on a website I generally read it once and that's it. That's not true of wikis.

      I guess what I'm really asking about is editorial discretion. If a link fits the basic requirements of not having been linked earlier in the article, and can be an article, MUST it be linked?

      Yes.

      Thanks, that's all I needed. I've been asking that question a variety of ways on this thread, over and over and over again and it was never really answered. Which is why I asked it several times in my last post.

      You are misunderstanding. And I've been trying to correct you, but it doesn't seem to be taking, if you'll forgive the observation. Delinking is highly discouraged, except as set forth earlier in this post.

      Right, thanks. My question was asking for a clarification of this oft-used quote. SmallerOnTheOutside's earlier post was really wonderfully helpful. It took the specifics of my question and broke it down. The reason I kept on is because there's a big difference between, "this is discouraged" and don't do it. SmallerOnTheOutside's post and some earlier ones led me to believe that this is discouraged. SOTO went through my specific example and showed me the value of some of the potential links but confirmed that there was such a thing as too vague. Your posts seem to suggest that there isn't, prompting me to continue to seek clarification.

      A couple other things. While the way I read my be a "non-standard setup", it's mine. And it's my setup because it works for me. I don't like clicking through on the same page. I lose track of what I'm reading and doing very easily that way. Whereas handling lots of windows and tabs is fairly easy for me. So while I appreciate your suggesting that I try something else and see if it helps, everything else was pretty unnecessary.

      Repeating the same things over and over again is just not productive at all. Especially when you're simply quoting sections of a policy that's been read by everyone on this page and brought up in discussion already. I understand that wikis survive on links. And that links are good. And that we should err on the side of links. I understood the first time I read that. It really doesn't take multiple readings for something to sink in. And I not only understand the rules in terms of rules, I, for the most part, get the driving force behind the rules.

      I was asking for a clarification of a fairly small point, and my concerns were, let's be honest here, not things that were likely to pop-up that much.

      I'd have completely understood if I got responses questioning why I was asking for clarification on something that was in reality pretty much a non-issue. And I appreciated the more in depths responses I got from a few people that focused a bit on the whys behind policy. Knowing the whys really helps someone put something into action properly, or at least, not-blindly.

      But the latter part of this discussion with you has left me with an incredibly sour taste in my mouth. I don't like being treated like an idiot, particularly on forums where I'm coming to learn and try and understand the hows and whys. And I don't like my opinions and views being belittled. I get that it's just my opinion--I don't need that rammed down my throat. No one has to agree with me, and I certainly try never to assume that people do.

      Also, this weird Wikia v. Wikipedia thing is just annoying as hell. As though if you're new to Wikia and come in with certain assumptions and views you must be from Wikipedia. Uggh!

      I asked a question earlier in this thread about a sentence that had a fair number of links. Trying to understand the policy, I asked what was keeping every other word in that sentence from being linked. I got two responses from you, one pointing out that two of the words couldn't be linked because it was against policy, and one about only linking the first time. I was trying to understand where your policy stopped. If the only reason not to link to something were the few (fairly technical) exemptions you had against linking, what was to stop every possible word (given the various rules) in an article from being linked? I didn't need to come from Wikipedia or anywhere to see that some discretion was needed or that would be the logical outcome. And by the way, this question was never really answered. I'm assuming that the answer is "who the hell would want to do that?" but I've never really gotten one. And while it may seem like a silly question, it becomes necessary when the mentality I'm being presented with is that policy is the driving force behind editing. I really doubt that that's how anyone actually views things. It's sorta the antithesis of the idea behind wikis.

      And btw, there's a difference between making a couple conservative edits and "blatantly defy[ing] policy" or "going off on a campaign". I get the conservative editing is not encouraged, and that it can be discouraged. I was asking if it was ever ok. I was asking if there were exceptions for which it could be ok, even if they were few and far between. SOTO's comments were incredibly helpful in speeding up my understanding of this wiki functions, and helped me understand just how much time on this wiki would help. Your comments made me feel like an idiot and were really not that helpful. They were far more discouraging than encouraging, and seemed like they were designed to engender a feeling that I didn't do enough.

      Just so that there is no confusion--this is all my opinion. These are the feelings of one fairly new editor. Feel free to disregard them if I'm the only one who feels this way, or because it's an opinion or for whatever other reason you like.

      I apologise if this came across as rude and abrupt, I really don't mean it that way. I'm very frustrated and very annoyed. I put off writing a response more than once because I thought I'd be less annoyed later, but every time I read what you wrote in order to reply, my hackles just get raised again. Mainly because most of what I'm reading isn't really a response to me, and I don't know how to be any clearer about some of these things, and having to constantly say "I didn't say that" is insanely frustrating. The "you" v. "us" stuff is also just fairly ick. There's a big difference between explaining why the wiki works the way it does and the driving ideas behind it and setting up someone as an outsider.

      A lot of people on this wiki have been inviting and friendly and encouraging. But this exchange has not been despite my best efforts.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
    • This thread was opened on a question of policy.

      Is there a specific policy in regards to redlinks?

      That invites a policy-based discussion. Of course policy isn't the driving force behind editing. It facilitates editing, but it's merely the rails, not the train.

      But you asked about policy. In a policy based discussion, especially to a new user, it is reasonable for the administrative staff to acquaint the new user with as many policies as might be relevant to answer the question.

      Also there is an extent to which this thread is not just for you but for others who may have similar questions. Thus, pointing out policies that don't have directly to do with you, like the ones regarding Wikipedia, may have future applicability to readers, even if they don't to you. I'm sorry that you have some sort of bad feeling about that particular aspect of the discussion, but it is incumbent on admin to make people aware of the differences between this project and WP:DW. We get a number of editors, myself included, but even the very leaders of that project, who edit here. Since your objections precisely mirrored those in standard Wikipedia philosophy about links, it was entirely appropriate to mention our philosophical differences with Wikipedia in an effort to better explain the "relevancy" questions you had. I honestly can't see why that would be at all offensive.

      Additionally, the fact that you continued to ask the same questions even after policy was pointed out to you seemed to indicate that you needed further explanation. In fairness, it is difficult to know how to answer someone who on the one hand says "all I wanted was a yes or no", and on the other says, "I wanted to know if there were exceptions". If in my confusion over what you wanted, I insulted you by over-explaining, I honestly was only trying to cover a very wide spread of possibilities.

      And the fact that you used hyperbole not employed by other users—like "insanely difficult to read"—required questions to obtain clarification, not to minimise your opinions.

      However, as you're claiming that you have been acquainted with policy, the question of this this thread has been answered, and the thread may now be safely closed.

        Establishing interface with the TARDIS
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