Wiktionary talk:Votes/2011-07/Variations: namespace

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The following discussion has been moved from the page user talk:msh210.

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Disambiguation pages

Considering what you said in this revision, I'd like to explain that pages like Appendix:Variations of "a" or Appendix:Variations of "ab" really are merely designed to aid finding out other pages. They give enough information for that purpose, while not going far from it.

Specifically, in my experience, pages like Appendix:Variations of "a" contain:

  • Links to entries. Sometimes, many of them. Typical quantity is at least ten or twenty. Appendix:Variations of "a" got more than 200 links.
  • Small explanations about what makes the entries unique: e.g. "Phoenician" or "minuscule, with breve".
  • Links to other pages of variations.
  • Sometimes, a link to Wikipedia, which is typically (or always, I assume) redundant to the ones found in the 0th namespace; both Appendix:Variations of "a" and the entry a point to w:A.
  • A few meaningful files: a letter in "Morse code", "Signal flag" and "Semaphore", which are redundant to the ones found in the 0th namespace too, but fit nicely the purpose of representing a letter in many ways.
  • Organization and design: tables, sections, categorization and a short introduction.

You said you are "leaning toward the former". Do you disagree with anything I said here? --Daniel 00:30, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

All that stuff is good not only for a page of links ("did you mean this, or did you mean that?") but also for a supplementary page about variations of a. In fact, that things like the NATO-phonetic-alphabet word, the semaphore position, and the ship's signal flag appear there make it seem more like an appendix about a than a pure disambiguation page redirecting a user to the page he seeks. Thanks for pointing out the presence of those three (or two of them) on the appendix page; I may well change my vote to "oppose" (though not yet. I still want to hear arguments either way).​—msh210 14:37, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Good thing I listed everything that may be found on these variations pages, then, so you could come to your own conclusions.
If that page should be an appendix not about variations of "A", but about "A" in general, then some things most certainly should change:
  1. Liberty to add more information. If people have "carte blanche" to talk about a particular letter or word in any way other than representing them in a number of ways, then these pages could have, for example... A section teaching how to draw A, some pseudorandom explanations like "In many languages, it represents the open front unrounded vowel (/a/)." and "It means other things too: A-, A or A+ denote quality or status; and this letter comes after 9 in hexadecimal notation, like in the number 987a3f." and a list of languages written with A as a native letter, or as a form of romanization.
  2. A change of name, anyway. Both Appendix:Variations of "a" and Variations:a would be incorrect, for Appendix:A would be far more accurate. (and Appendix:AA, Appendix:AB, etc.)
--Daniel 15:28, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Sorry: I misstated my opinion. I didn't mean what I wrote, "make it seem more like an appendix about a than a pure disambiguation page". I meant "make it seem more like an appendix about variations of a than a pure disambiguation page".​—msh210 16:15, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying that statement. In this case, I take back the item #2 that mentions the possible creation of Appendix:A. However, the item #1 remains:
Notably, if we have an appendix about variations of a that can be more than a mere list, then it certainly can be filled with many additional paragraphs and much more information. It can explain the roles of uppercase A and lowercase a, which are "variations" of the same letter. It can tell readers that different languages have different ways to deal with diacritics, such as a short insight of how gâteau was borrowed from French to English gateau. It can provide information about romanization, such as why becomes a in multiple romanization systems of Japanese. --Daniel 18:34, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, at the moment it's somewhere between that and merely a disambiguation page. I'm not sure which direction it should go in.​—msh210 18:39, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Maybe it would help if we had separate pages for detailed information. What I mentioned (uppercase, lowercase, diacritics, romanization, and even pronunciations and meanings) is common to all letters, so I think a good solution would be expanding Appendix:Latin script and its pseudo-subpages (Appendix:Latin script alphabets, Appendix:Roman numerals and possibly more to be created in the future). It's a hypothetical solution, but so are the others. --Daniel 18:56, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
In other words, I believe Appendix:Variations of "a", Appendix:Variations of "b", Appendix:Variations of "c", etc. should not become full-fledged detailed appendices of each individual letter, because it appears to me that everything we have to say about each letter can be said in one or more separate appendix encompassing all letters at once. --Daniel 19:47, 11 August 2011 (UTC)