Wiktionary talk:Wikisaurus/Improvements 1

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Structure too much like Wiktionary[edit]

I strongly disagree with the basic duplication of Wiktionary's structure. Instead of doing something different, this seems to repeat the word-centered structure that Wiktionary already has. I thought the essence of a thesaurus was that a user who was looking for synonyms or antonyms had a large pool of choices, preferrably graded in some number of dimensions. I would have thought that the multiple senses of the word that brought the person to a thesaurus ("I'm looking for something like the adjective 'manifold'.") would be irrelevant from that point on. (If they were relevant, then they would be available with one or two hits of the back button, anyway.) What Wiktionary is unlikely to have are:

  1. a complete list of synonyms (too many for many concepts, too hard for definers to do)
  2. a discussion of grades of meaning of synonyms (rarely appearing in Usage notes, at present).

I would be impressed it Wikisaurus had a good color-word map, to mention one specific easy-to-conceptualize area for "grading". Similarly for shape words, emotion words, container words, clothing words, tool words, fastener words, material words, .... DCDuring TALK 07:45, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

I see no duplication of the wiktionary structure. What is repeated? The sense is totally irrelivent from that point on. Oh! Wait! I think I know the problem. You were only looking at a shell. Here is an actual example of that shell created for a complex word. Take a look at sound. 09:11, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
What is see there is a subset of what a normal Wiktionary entry is supposed to have: a gloss for each sense and a list of synonyms for each gloss. I see no value added other than editing away all the other material that Wiktionary has to that, if someone only wants what is there, there's less clutter. It's just a parallel, but diminished universe. Saurus should not have to limit itself to this status. DCDuring TALK 11:36, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
If 'Saurus is to do something different that adds value for users beyond the very limited value of a new presentation of information already in Wiktionary, there needs to be a structure focused on concepts. The headword for a concept should be a word (if possible) that has no common meaning other that the meaning of the concept. If that is not possible than a set of words each of which has a definition that defines the concept or, possibly, a phrase. Instead of having book be a 'Saurus entry, there could be an entry for the concepts characterized by "work by an author or editor": (novel, collection, script, drama, screenplay, manuscript, diary, webpage, instruction manual, feature film, etc.); "bound paper": (tome, volume, notebook); "knowledge in a field": (lore, expertise, etc.); "official record": (acta, accounts, minutes, etc.), and other meanings. This would enable users to see related concepts not very visible from a Wiktionary entry, which is intrincally limited to a unit defined solely by orthography. DCDuring TALK 11:55, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
What does gloss mean? What do you mean by headword? What you describe still sounds exactly like what I have displayed. I think I may be just thick headed because I truly see no difference at all! Amina (sack36) 09:38, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Headword is the page name. Gloss is a definition or a shortened version of a definition. "Book (noun)" has several glosses. What I'm trying to say is that there might be no 'Saurus page named "book", that there would be links from book to several different pages of synonyms. I am trying to let Wiktionary keep the existing synonyms sections and have 'Saurus supplement them and do something more. Does that help? DCDuring TALK 10:53, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I'm starting to understand a bit now. What I am hearing is that you really want to leave the thesaurus function in the dictionary and move one of the dictionary functions into the wikisaurus pages? What kind of supplements do you have in mind? Amina (sack36) 21:38, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I just reread what you said earlier and realized you already tried to answer the kind of supplement issue and I didn't understand. Can you give me an example of what you're trying to do? Amina (sack36) 21:42, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm not volunteering to do it. What I'm saying is that each Wikisaurus page should be a list of synonyms. The name of the page should be a word whose only common meaning is the common meaning of the synonyms. Thus, a polysemic word like head might well not have its own Wikisaurus page. It like the idea of a discussion of the shades of meaning. I'm not sure about having multiple parts of speech on the same page (except adjectives and adverbs).
When I look at a print thesaurus, I see lists of synonyms. That is what needs to be achieved first as a basis for other things. I am not looking to subtract anything from Wiktionary, including lists of synonyms. Wikisaurus should be more comprehensive and follow the different model Roget has set out. The integration between Wiktionary and Wikisaurus means that full definitions are only a click away from Wikisaurus and full annotated lists of synonyms are only a click away from Wiktionary.
When I looked at a sample Wikisaurus entry for sound, I saw all of the diverse senses of sound, each of which had a list of synonyms, which list would be duplicated in the 'Saurus entries for each of the synonyms. A Wiktionary page allows someone to select one of the many meaning of a word. A Saurus page should enable one to select one word from the pool of synonyms for a concept. DCDuring TALK 23:30, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I could also imagine that Wikisaurus could include phrases that would not meet WT:CFI because of attestation problems or because a phrase was not "idiomatic". DCDuring TALK 23:30, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Specifics of the new system[edit]

I can see how Wiktionary could take care of pointing people to a given segment of meaning such as fat(obese) fat(grease) fat(file action transfer). I just don't see the purpose in doing that. Wiktionary is for defining the word. It's function is to list the different meanings given to a word.
I try to think of how the user gets to a page in Wiktionary or Wikisaurus. What was she looking for? I am always especially concerned with the anon users and low-volume users because they are the easiest ones to lose. How will somebody use Wiktionary to find a word?

They might well look up a word like the word that they really want, based on their experience that dictionaries have synonyms. Then maybe they realize that fat has a lot of meanings, then they find the synonyms and wish there were more. click they're in Wikisaurus and they may come to appreciate the range of choices that exist for some meanings. Perhaps they don't understand the differences in shaded of meaning. Perhaps they would like to compare shades of meaning. That is my imaginary user case.

I know there must be other models and could probably come up with some of them if I thought about for a while, but it's a place to start. My answers to your questions are mostly premised on this user case. I am assuming that Wikisaurus does not have its own user base initially, thugh it will probably develop one over time. You might find it a useful exercise to try to be explicit about your assumed user model, which might be very different. It would be interesting to expose some user models to the thoughts of others. DCDuring TALK 04:55, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Here is a list of questions I can't find answers to.

Parts of Speech[edit]

What is the purpose of having different pages for different parts of speech? (sack36)

  1. This might not be essential, especially because words float across PoS so easily and certainly if they get a helping hand from a suffix. I'd just like to leave room for discussion of shades of meaning. What's on the same page is not as important as what is on the same screen. Links to different pages are in some ways more flexible than page-down page-up (though same-page section links are available too. (DCDuring)

It would be nice to avoid the trap of assuming a seeker's purpose, so let's stick with it all on the same page. That way, sound (noun) and sound (verb) don't have to be rerouted by the user. (ie. Wiktionary puts all the meanings together for a reason.) Amina (sack36) 04:23, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Roget's: How and Why?[edit]

How would we follow the original Roget model, and why? (sack36)

  1. I like the idea of semantic buckets, but it seems clear that the buckets leak and you need to add new ones fairly regularly. The why is because to add value to Wiktionary you have to do something different from what Wiktionary does, but that users undertand how to use. The thesaurus model and the usage-book models are the only obvious alternatives to the dictionary model. The word orientation of Wiktionary has some real disadvantages from a user perspective should the user want to compare meanings across words. (DCDuring)

To add value to wiktionary you have to remove some of the peripheral complexities so that your average person will want to use it as a dictionary. I understand the thesaurus model, though I can't figure out how to make it work here, but I don't know what you mean by usage-book.

The fact is, I seem to be asking for the definitions of your terms more than I've been able to discuss the matter at hand. If you could "dumb it down" for me I would appreciate it. My expertise is in teaching technophobes how to run computers so I'm not much up on English major speak. We'd get a great deal more done if you thought of me as an Art major trying to talk English major concepts without knowing the lingo. Amina (sack36) 04:23, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Synonyms vs Concepts[edit]

How is the selection of synonyms from a concept different than the list of concepts that they can click on to get to a pool of synonyms? (sack36)

  1. The selection that I have in mind is a writer's choice among alternatives that are visible on a page that explains differences. (DCDuring)

Could you elucidate? I don't catch your meaning here. Amina (sack36) 04:23, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the non WT:CFI inclusions[edit]

Definitions a click away[edit]

In my model, for any given headword the full definitions are only a click away from Wikisaurus and full lists of synonyms are only a click away from Wiktionary. (annotation is not necessary, it is part of Wiktionary) (sack36)

  1. I believe that the nuances are not always so clear. In particular I believe that the cognitive load on a user of clicking from synonym page to def 1 page, back to synonym page, to def 2 page, back to synonym page, to def 3 page, remembering what was found a def 1 page and def 2 page is too much. That is what would be nice to eliminate. Paging up and down is easier and perhaps show/hide can be used to allow a user to readily compare only words that seem close to what he wants. DCDuring TALK 04:55, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

I've been conducting an impromptu survey in my neighborhood: "Why would you use a Thesaurus?" Not a single person so far has said they use it to find a word nuance. They have all said they know the word they want, but they just can't remember it. In my use of a thesaurus I must admit I'm more versatile. I look for a word I want, yes, but it is often several FULL meanings away from the one I can think of. eg. look up "purse" to get the word "sow". Not the best of examples, but it is the kind of thing I'd come up with. Nothing short of a walk through a Roget's or the model I espouse (or Wikipedia possibly) would get me in the ballpark. What I'd love to see is a mouseover capability such that the nuance would show when the word is pointed at and the wikisaurus page for that word would come up when clicked. (I'm researching a mouseover capability even as we type) We would still have the click-back to wiktionary via the head-word. Without the ability to go from one wikisaurus word to another I don't see how you could ever make wikisaurus into a useful thesaurus. Amina (sack36) 04:23, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Mouseover came through and looks like this {{comment|It works something like this|mouseover text}} and behaves this way

Placement of this page[edit]

This page should better be merged with Wiktionary:Wikisaurus/improvements or at least discontinued. The page title suggests that this page is a subpage of the Wikisaurus entry for "project", which stands for the word "project" in Wikisaurus, not for the Wikisaurus project. --Dan Polansky 15:37, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

I propose the page is moved back to Wiktionary:Wikisaurus/improvements/archive of Project - Improving WikiSaurus, from where it has been moved to the current name by Amina (Sack36). But I cannot do it myself, having no rights to move this page to an already existing page. --Dan Polansky 15:43, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

I have moved the page to "Wiktionary:Wikisaurus/improvements/archive"; that at least semantically matches the original title. --Dan Polansky 08:33, 5 September 2008 (UTC)