Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Short descriptions

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Reversion of short description at St James' Church, SydneyEdit

(Discussion transferred from User talk:Wittylama)

Hi Wittylama, Please read the background and history of the {{short description}} at Wikipedia:WikiProject Short descriptions, where I think you will find that the subject has had sufficient discussion for the template to be applied, and for Wikidata descriptions to be used where they are good enough. You may also take into account that this was imposed upon Wikipedia by WMF when they decided to overrule consensus not to allow the use of Wikidata short descriptions until there are at least 2 million local to Wikipedia. Since you have reverted this instance, I leave it to you to provide a better version. I do not have the time to debate each case in isolation. Please take any discussion on this matter to the project talk page and ping me if you want my attention. Cheers, · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:02, 9 May 2018 (UTC)

@Pbsouthwood: - I'm unclear what you mean by 'provide a better version' (honestly! I'm not trying to be tricky/lawyering). The text you added "Anglican parish church in inner city Sydney, Australia" is precisely the text that is already the description on Wikidata: As far as I can tell there is no need to duplicate it here. Equivalent to how we removed the "persondata" template on WP - because that 'invisible' info is provided via Wikidata already. Wittylama 11:33, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
When the 2 million short descriptions demanded by WMF have been provided on Wikipedia, the use of Wikidata descriptions will be permanently discontinued (unless WMF go back on their word). The text I copied over from Wikidata for St James Church looked good enough to be used as is, so I copied it, so that when the Wikidata descriptions are shut down, the article will have a short description on Wikipedia, and not be represented by a blank where the short description is called. Someone else may change it before that happens, but if they don't the description looks good enough. The Wikidata short descriptions are sometimes good enough to be simply copied. Not often, but often enough to be worth doing when possible. I refer to them for each case, and they are usually not good enough as they stand (I do not imply that they are not suitable for their purpose on Wikidata, that is a separate issue for Wikidata to determine), so I compose something which I think is better. If someone else can improve on them they are very welcome to do so, but deleting is not a helpful response unless the short description is actually wrong. Cheers, · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 12:29, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
For background, about 10% of Wikipedia articles now have local short descriptions. Most of these have been automatically generated, but as I lack the relevant skills, I put my time into articles where automated descriptions seem inappropriate or impracticable, like featured articles. When they are done I will move to good articles. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 12:35, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
Wikiprojects don't get to impose their own rules on the rest of the encyclopedia, especially a brand new project you started yourself. Gamaliel (talk) 13:11, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
Gamaliel, Someone had to start it, if we are ever going to finish it. If you don't like how we are doing it, please propose better methods at the project talk page. The "rules" are not mine. We are dealing with a reality that was thrust upon us, and necessarily working out what to do as we do it. It just happens that the work I am doing is more noticeable to you, probably because of the things you are watching. Cheers, · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:29, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
You might also find the RfC: Populating article descriptions magic word informative. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 16:00, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
@Pbsouthwood: but why do we need to duplicate the Wikidata short descriptions at all? If they're not good - improve them. If they don't exist, add them. But why go to the effort of copying them across to Wikipedia? The point of Wikidata is to centralise effort of data-like things rather than having them all in semi-structured ways on all different wikis - just like the point of Commons is to centralise effort of multimedia hosting rather than having them all locally hosted on different wikis. I just don't understand why people would want to duplicate that work? Wittylama 13:12, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
Wittylama, Read all about it in the links in Wikipedia:WikiProject_Short_descriptions#History. It is a bit long to summarise here, but the general feeling was that Wikidata is unreliable and Wikipedians do not wish to be forced to fix another project's perceived deficiencies. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:29, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
Wikidata is the unreliable project? I'll just leave this right here. Gamaliel (talk) 18:23, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
@Wittylama and Gamaliel: There is no point whatsoever in storing information centrally when that information is applicable almost entirely just in one local place. The principle of subsidiarity applies, and we are better off curating descriptions, in English, of English Wikipedia articles on the English Wikipedia. Unlike the rest of the data, that piece of information is of no value to other language Wikipedias, and any possible benefit of storing it centrally is outweighed by the disadvantages of requiring editors to go to another project, with an unfamiliar interface, in order to make corrections or combat vandalism, especially when the sister project does not share the sensibilities of this project. By insisting on storing data on, and drawing data from, Wikidata unnecessarily, we simply give more ammunition to those who want to stop the use of any Wikidata – including the really beneficial uses. You only have to read Wikipedia:Wikidata/2018 Infobox RfC to see the amount of misinformation and degree of opposition. --RexxS (talk) 13:46, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
@Pbsouthwood: "...Wikidata descriptions will be permanently discontinued " Citation, please? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:52, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
Andy, see here for DannyH (WMF)'s declaration. Read the rest of that page for a lot of the background. Cheers, · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:29, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
I quote from DannyH (WMF): In stage one of this process, if blanked the description, then it would be easy for someone to run a bot and put that on every page. I have said consistently that mass blanking of the descriptions is not going to work for us. Once there are ~2 million descriptions on English WP articles, we move to stage two, and at that point any page that doesn't have a SHORTDESC magic word will automatically be blank. This is the same thing I've said throughout the discussion. (my emphasis added) · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:37, 9 May 2018 (UTC)
Only recently I described something as the most stupid thing ever done on Wikipedia. I was wrong. Words fail me. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 05:11, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
You're still wrong :P. A while ago, the WMF decided to add a short description, immediately after the article title, on mobile view and on the app for all of the articles on the English Wikipedia. That's fine per se, but the stupidest thing ever done on Wikipedia was to source that description from one of the only two fields on Wikidata that have no means of verification. They might as well have given a loaded canon to all the Wikidata-haters and said "Here's a little gift for you to use in your campaign to remove all traces of Wikidata from the encyclopedia." --RexxS (talk) 14:42, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
There are so many contenders for the title. Any winner is likely to be unseated fairly promptly as new and exotic forms of stupidity are discovered. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:40, 12 May 2018 (UTC)

Wittylama, This discussion should be on the project talk page, as I requested above. With your permission I will relocate it. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:29, 9 May 2018 (UTC)

Pbsouthwood certainly - makes sense to keep it together. Wittylama 21:38, 9 May 2018 (UTC)

Hmm. If we're going to start to see edit wars over the presence or not of {{short description}}, it looks as if a further community discussion may be necessary before continuing with this project. Where descriptions in Wikidata are missing, inadequate, or incorrect, should we continue adding or changing descriptions locally on enwiki, or should we all pile into Wikidata and add or change them there? Where descriptions in Wikidata are adequate, should we copy them over or continue to draw them from Wikidata?: Noyster (talk), 09:51, 10 May 2018 (UTC)

Didn't we just have an RfC? In the village pump? Advertised on CENT? That decided we were going to have local descriptions and discontinue the use of Wikidata descriptions? And another RfC an year ago that had a consensus not to use wikidata descriptions? If someone wants to change then start a bloody RfC. If not, then allow the descriptions to be added locally. (I'll also note that there is no real centralization across wikis for these descriptions unlike other data like interwikis or numbers; the english description is only going to be written by those in english and english wikipedia and putting it here grants it visibility meaning it'll get maintained and not vandalized; there is no more effort doing descriptions here than on wikidata; in fact it is easier to do things here because we can generate consistent descriptions en masse from infoboxes) Galobtter (pingó mió) 13:07, 10 May 2018 (UTC)

What should actually be happening is that Wikidata should draw its short descriptions for each item from each language Wikipedia where a short description exists, either dynamically or by a regular bot import. That way the descriptions will be policy-compliant for every use, easier to maintain, and still be reusable by third parties in their preferred language. I'd prefer to fight that battle another time, though. --RexxS (talk) 13:51, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
I see the more recent RfC Galobtter mentions, it is RfC: Populating article descriptions magic word. Perhaps related to its not very catchy title, this didn't attract anything like the number of participants compared to many other project-wide discussions. Nevertheless, by the current plan based upon that RfC and agreed with WMF, the link to Wikidata descriptions will be cut at some future date, and that's why we need to copy over those descriptions that we think adequate, before we lose access to them. Plainly, there remain those who don't accept this course. Those undertaking this work will not want their edits to be subject to revertal: is another discussion needed to achieve this assurance?: Noyster (talk), 08:11, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
Only very few people ever want to get into this kind of stuff. As such RfCs like this are heavily biased in terms of audience. Most people will have missed this. It's thus not unexpected to see problems like this, it takes time for everyone to get familiar with new rules. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 08:59, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
Yeah yeah, I'd expect the occasional revert, which is ok, people don't know all the stuff that goes one etc, this is mostly to the experienced editors complaining above even after being given the link to the history and what not Galobtter (pingó mió) 09:12, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
That is what happens - occasional reverts - somewhere between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000, so really not worth the effort of fighting over. I will take the trouble to explain if someone asks politely, even though it is not an effective use of my time, because I feel it is the right thing to do. People will get used to it eventually, and having a few isolated articles with reverted short descriptions is not a big issue at this stage when the majority of articles still need one. Cheers, · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:35, 12 May 2018 (UTC)
Well honestly, it's not easy to parse all that information. If you really want to understand it, you basically have to read through all of Wikipedia_talk:Wikidata/2017_State_of_affairs which in itself is days worth of reading (we should create some sort of glossary of the history of all this really...). —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 09:28, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
A summary of the history would be nice, but I feel that I am too involved to be considered impartial, so will not be volunteering to write it. I will cheerfully criticise comment on someone else's efforts though. :-) · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:35, 12 May 2018 (UTC)

I'm as puzzled as Wittylama by all the spam produced by pointless edits which merely replicate Wikidata's descriptions, thereby increasing Wikipedia's technical debt. I hope someone has an exit plan, in case the community ever changes mind on allowing such redundancy, including a bot able to remove all duplicate descriptions and update Wikidata's descriptions with the local ones which were actually supposed to update the Wikidata description. Nemo 15:25, 21 July 2019 (UTC)

@Nemo bis: If you're puzzled, perhaps you ought to be checking the history of short descriptions. There is nothing "redundant" about providing descriptions that are used as content on the English Wikipedia from the English Wikipedia, rather than from a source that most Wikipedia readers and editors would not know about. Particularly when that source is prone to vandalism, keeps the relevant text in a field that is not able to be referenced, and has undeveloped policies such as BLP, which have the potential to cause harm to individuals when a Wikidata description is applied to their English Wikipedia article. Guarding against such eventualities is anything but "spam", and if you've got a better idea for dealing with the problems caused by outsourcing these descriptions, we'd all love to hear from you.
And while you're musing over that, maybe you'd like to work out how content (short descriptions) supplied to the English Wikipedia under a CC-BY-SA licence can be placed by a bot on Wikidata under a CC-0 licence. Nobody is going to give bot approval to a licence-breaking bot. --RexxS (talk) 23:00, 21 July 2019 (UTC)

Automatic conversion to Template:Short descriptionEdit

A Bot Request was made by User:Bhunacat10

Do you think this is a good idea?

Convert this:

{{SHORTDESC:<xyz>}} this:

{{Short description|<xyz>}}

The rationale from #Which articles have a short description on Wikipedia?:

... about 400 are using the SHORTDESC magic word. These should be converted to the standard {{Short description}} template for ease of maintenance.

Do you think this is a good idea to have a background process continually checking for and converting these? Bot writers are required to verify there is consensus. -- GreenC 14:17, 13 January 2019 (UTC)

Support the principle of conversion. The template was originally created to act as a placeholder while we were waiting for the magic word to be implemented. It quickly became obvious that using a template allowed CSS to be applied to the display of the short description and simplified the creation of code that could read the short description from the article. As more novel uses like {{annotated link}} are found, having a consistent format for short descriptions becomes more important. In terms of carrying out the job, I expect that AWB is quite capable of processing the 325 results from an article search for SHORTDESC, without the need for a bot. --RexxS (talk) 15:17, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
The proposal is for a bot to check every day or so and do the conversion as new ones show up. This is an easier and more accurate method than relying on manual and intermittent AWB checks. -- GreenC 15:42, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
Support as requester. Here are more details of the motivation for this task. I don't think the repeat runs need to be all that frequent, as there appear to be very few new additions of the magic word: Bhunacat10 (talk), 18:02, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
The cost of checking amounts to an automated insource search which is minimal overhead due to indexing (notice how fast it returns). If it was regex it would be more expensive and frequency would be a question, but in this case it might as well be whatever gets best results. I can run it for a while and see how often they show up. -- GreenC 21:26, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
Support for consistency, and to make it easier to parse the short descriptions from wikitext. — Newslinger talk 03:52, 15 January 2019 (UTC)

Could the bot move short descriptions from odd places in the text to the top (or within a few lines of the top) at the same time? · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 10:51, 15 January 2019 (UTC)

Support - seems non-controversial to me with only pros and no cons to this proposal. --Gonnym (talk) 10:36, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
Moving to top would require a different bot than I planned on writing. The move when it occurred would only be for {{SHORTDESC:<xyz>}} since that is what it searches for (only a few hundred). Better solution would be a task that checks all instances of {{Short description|<xyz>}} for moving. -- GreenC 14:57, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
GreenC, I was referring only to moving the magic word cases to the top, as quite a large proportion of them are near the bottom, and it should be a lot easier to move them when converting than to hunt them down later. There are a few which are not on a new line, which might or might not complicate things a bit. I don't think that there are any or many templates near the bottom yet, but if you convert without moving, there will be. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 17:40, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
I see, will try. -- GreenC 22:33, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment The BRFA has been submitted. Wikipedia:Bots/Requests_for_approval/GreenC_bot_9. -- GreenC 14:52, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
  • The bot is   Done running, it converted about 300 many moved to the top the rest already there. It's running on a set schedule, no worries about the magic keyword! If anyone would like it added on a different language wiki (it would be trivial to implement) let me know. -- GreenC 16:01, 20 January 2019 (UTC)

update: After 1 week, the script ran automatically on schedule and converted 6 cases that accumulated over the prior week. I'll leave it on a weekly schedule until some period of time goes by without changes. -- GreenC 15:57, 27 January 2019 (UTC)

Infobox settlement and Category:Articles with short descriptionEdit

Is it correct that all articles which contain {{Infobox settlement}} and its derivatives are automatically in Category:Articles with short description even if they in fact do not contain short descriptions?--Ymblanter (talk) 16:46, 21 January 2019 (UTC)

Ymblanter, No: the category is added by {{short description}} which is only used when there is a short description to display; noting however that all articles with {{infobox settlement}} have a short description unless |short_description = no Galobtter (pingó mió) 16:56, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
If I look at a random page from the category, 1st Rabochiy Poselok, its code contains no {{short description}}. This means the short description must be coded in the template, and I can not figure out what it actually is. Also, I spent quite some time recently adding {{short description}} into articles on administrative divisions (which seems pointless if the category is added automatically), in this case, which short description shows up?--Ymblanter (talk) 16:59, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
That specific article you linked has one - "Settlement in Moscow, Russia". --Gonnym (talk) 17:02, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
Thanks.--Ymblanter (talk) 17:27, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
Ymblanter, See Wikipedia:WikiProject Short descriptions#How can I see the short description in desktop view? for how to see the local short description when from a template etc. Galobtter (pingó mió) 17:36, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
I see, thanks. This actually answers most of my questions as well. I indeed wasted several hours of my time for nothing by adding short descriptions.--Ymblanter (talk) 17:47, 21 January 2019 (UTC)
Not complete waste I think because the one's you added are somewhat better than the automatic ones (which are often enough erroneous or could be improved), but yeah, there is not too much need for addition of descriptions to settlements. Galobtter (pingó mió) 18:00, 21 January 2019 (UTC)

Proposal: Standard format of short description for bilateral relationsEdit

For pages in the category Category:Bilateral relations by country (and its subcategories) I propose that a standard format for short descriptions for some pages be created, and then a bot (mine) be able to fill them in. Specifically, I suggest that pages in the style of Country 1–Country 2 relations have the standard description of Diplomatic relations between Country 1 and Country 2 (with the short description's country names being the official names, eg "the Republic of Chad" instead of Chad). The wording is a draft, so please suggest alternatives if you dislike it. --DannyS712 (talk) 03:52, 25 January 2019 (UTC)

Sensible enough. DannyS712, I'd suggest leaving a note at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject International relations regarding this. Galobtter (pingó mió) 09:32, 25 January 2019 (UTC)
@Galobtter: My post below was an (edit conflict) that was automatically resolved - I'll let them chime in, and will post to the international relations page if there is any support for it here (if not, no need to post) --DannyS712 (talk) 09:34, 25 January 2019 (UTC)

Pings to people listed as participants:

  1. Peter (Southwood)
  2. Jheald
  3. Not a very active user
  4. HotdogPi
  5. Galobtter
  6. Johnbod
  7. EstablishedCalculus
  8. AddWittyNameHere
  9. AfroThundr3007730
  10. Sam Sailor
  11. Newslinger
  12. Jmertel23
  13. Vinvibes
  14. Qwertyxp2000
  15. SamCordes
  17. Stregadellanonna
  18. Clovermoss
  19. NotTheFakeJTP
  20. Zeke, the Mad Horrorist
  21. Ntmamgtw
  22. Galatz
  23. Daviddwd

--DannyS712 (talk) 09:32, 25 January 2019 (UTC)

What does the reader see?Edit

I have just become aware of short descriptions, and I have been going back adding them to some of the articles I wrote. But I am unclear about why this is supposed to be a good thing. Who can ever see these descriptions? Where can they see them, under what conditions? The descriptions all read as though this is just some technical thing that is better than the old way they used to do things, but does it actually benefit the readers?--Gronk Oz (talk) 07:22, 25 January 2019 (UTC)

Gronk Oz, they are displayed on mobile, see the images at the top of Wikipedia:Short description Galobtter (pingó mió) 09:33, 25 January 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the prompt reply, @Galobtter:, but I would like to understand what I am looking at there. How can the reader get that information? Does it work on iPhones? What sort of phone do they need, and what app do they need to use? I thought all this would be listed somewhere, but I just can't find it - please feel free to point me in the right direction if that is easier.--Gronk Oz (talk) 09:54, 25 January 2019 (UTC)
Gronk Oz, They're shown in mobile apps (which are available for android and iphone) and in mobile view, e.g go to mobile web view (on any computer) and search for "foo". Galobtter (pingó mió) 09:59, 25 January 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, Galobtter. On my phone (Samsung S9+) that works if I use the WikiPedia app, but not when I use Google. Plenty of readers use Google, but very few use that special WikiPedia app. So if that's the only place it can be seen, I really have to wonder whether it's ever going to be seen. It would be good to have a list of which specific apps use it, even though I doubt that normal readers would care. I have asked a friend to check it with his iPhone so we can try to understand it.--Gronk Oz (talk) 10:16, 25 January 2019 (UTC)
@Gronk Oz: I think it may help you if you read Wikipedia:Short description. Have a look at the images of short description being used to augment searches on mobile and as a subtitle on the Wikipedia App. Recently, the template {{Annotated link}} is making use of short descriptions to improve "See also" lists like this:
Previously, the short description was also shown as a subtitle on all articles when viewed on mobile. It was turned off after complaints that Wikidata descriptions were unsuitable. When the majority of short descriptions have come under the direct control of the English Wikipedia, there is every chance that those subtitles could be switched back on again. HTH --RexxS (talk) 20:21, 25 January 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, RexxS - but I did read Wikipedia:Short description before I found this WikiProject, and I was surprised that it gave no information about how the short description can be displayed to the reader. I can't see anything about how they can augment searches; just a screen shot which omits any details about what app is needed to get that display. That article has some vague references like "Pages that have a Wikipedia-written SHORTDESC description ... will display the new description", but no indication of what setup a reader has to use in order to see it.
If I understand correctly now, apart from the annotated link (which looks helpful), the short description is only displayed to mobile users who use the WikiPedia app; is that right?--Gronk Oz (talk) 01:49, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
@Gronk Oz: No, as the images at Wikipedia:Short description show, a short description is displayed to all mobile users as the second line of each search result, and also appears as a sub-title below the article title for those using the Wikipedia app. --RexxS (talk) 17:47, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

@RexxS: Sorry, but the short description is not displayed to all mobile users. Perhaps in can be if they use specific apps; I can see it when I use the Wikipedia app, but not when I use Google on my mobile (Samsung S9+). So it is displayed in some apps and not others. All I was hoping or is a list of which apps can be used to display it - Galobtter said above there are several suitable apps, but declined to say which ones they are.--Gronk Oz (talk) 01:34, 27 January 2019 (UTC)

Gronk Oz, they are displayed in Wikipedia's search when using the Wikipedia mobile website, which I linked above, not in Google search. Galobtter (pingó mió) 06:14, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
Ah, now I can see it - thanks Galobtter!   So readers can see the short descriptions if they use either the Wikipedia app, or a normal browser at that special web site. Maybe the people here think that is so obvious that everybody should already know it somehow; it isn't. IMHO, that information really needs to be made available if you want people to use it - no point in keeping it such a secret. And it should also be available to the editors, so they know what happens to their input. The screen shots need to explain what app/ web page they are using, if you want people to understand how it relates to what they see, and how to replicate it.
Though to be frank, having tried that special web site, I can't imagine users putting up with its reduced function, even if they find out about it somehow. I'm trying very hard to give this exercise the benefit of the doubt. I will keep putting those tags on pages I edit, in the vague hope that somebody in future can make good use of it, but for now I am finding if terribly hard to see the value. Sorry to finish on such a down note: I am genuinely grateful for your assistance.--Gronk Oz (talk) 13:07, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
That is not really a "special website", that is the default web site if you are browsing wikipedia on mobile using the browser.. Galobtter (pingó mió) 13:09, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps I'm not sure what you mean by "default" then. It only shows on my Android phone if I type that URL explicitly; otherwise I see the normal Wikipedia page. I had a friend check on his iPhone and it is the same - when he goes to Wikipedia it also displays the normal web page. Maybe there is something we need to change in the phone's setup? If so, I request that information also be placed somewhere easily accessible to people looking up details about "short descriptions".--Gronk Oz (talk) 00:08, 28 January 2019 (UTC)
@Gronk Oz: It will depend on your web browser and its settings whether you get redirected to the mobile site (i.e. from en.wikipedia… to en.m.wikipedia…). For example, I believe some browsers have a setting like "always request desktop site"? On an old test Android phone with mostly default settings, I currently get the mobile site with Firefox, Chrome, and Samsung's "Internet" browser. (I can confirm that iPhone and iPad users also get them in Safari.) Regardless, you should always be able to switch between "desktop view" and "mobile view" using the links at the bottom of the page. (Sorry for the late addition to this earlier conversation, but I hope this extra detail will help other readers who pass by.) Pelagic (talk) 21:01, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
Aside: in addition to searches, short descriptions also show in the Related Articles feature on mobile web. (Wikipedia automatically suggests 3 articles independently from what's in the See Also section.) Pelagic (talk) 21:01, 4 November 2019 (UTC)

Redirects with short descriptionsEdit

Should redirects have short descriptions? See, eg, the redirects in Category:Television episode articles with short description and disambiguated page names, including .380 (Daredevil) and 3AM (The Punisher). If not, would people be okay with a bot run to comment-out (not remove, just hide) these short descriptions? --DannyS712 (talk) 23:11, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

I see no reason why these shouldn't have one and oppose commenting them out. --Gonnym (talk) 23:36, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
It seems quite likely that there's no point in having a short description in a redirect. I know of three uses for short description at present:
  1. When searching on mobile - however if I search for "3AM (Th", it displays

    The Punisher (season 1)

    Redirected from 3AM (The Punisher)

    The info page for AM (The Punisher) shows it has no 'Central description'. A redirect page doesn't use the short description when searching on mobile.
  2. As a subtitle on the Wikipedia App - if I try to look at 3AM (The Punisher), it displays The Punisher (season 1) as expected. That takes its subtitle from The Punisher (season 1), of course, so the Wikipedia App doesn't use the redirect's short description.
  3. Annotated links - I can't see any point in making an annotated link to a redirect when it can be made to the actual article. Naturally, a page can be moved, leaving a redirect behind, but the short description will move with the article, so the resulting empty annotated link should act as a trigger to update the target of the link.
So, unless there are other uses I don't know about, I wouldn't put short descriptions on redirects. --RexxS (talk) 23:52, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
Not all episodes have articles, so the annotated link works regardless if there is an article. Regarding the redirect not working on mobile, I'm a bit surprised by how they did that, but regardless, something that does not work now, might work in the future. Seeing as how this does not effect the redirect nor cause any other issues, there is nothing to gain from removing it. --Gonnym (talk) 00:01, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
I take your point about many episodes not having articles, but:
Is {{Annotated link}} able to read these sort of short descriptions?
As redirected titles often don't have their own Wikidata entries, I assume the devs simply used a boilerplate "redirected from <matched-title>" as the second line of the search result when <matched-title> is a redirect. Given the backlog of development work and the priority likely to be assigned to changing that behaviour, I seriously doubt we'll see a change in my lifetime. So I'm not going to worry about it.
Nonetheless, you're quite right that they don't cause any harm that I can see, so there's no point in removing them. On the other hand, I wouldn't bother adding any more of them to redirects either. --RexxS (talk) 01:07, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
As it is probably me who has added most of the short descriptions to redirects I have two comments to make.
  1. Please do not remove, comment out, or in any way disable these short descriptions, they serve a useful purpose.
  2. That useful purpose in mainly with annotated links, which do not work by going to the final destination of a redirect, and that is often better, because there are a large number of redirects for which the destination page short description would be confusing, ungrammatical, or otherwise slightly weird if used in conjunction with the redirect page title. If anyone wants examples, they are out there for the looking. They are particularly useful for redirects to a section, where this is the way a short description can be made available without creating a full article. I thought I had explained this already somewhere, but maybe I didn't. I will look again.· · · Peter Southwood (talk): 10:04, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
I see that there is already a section explaining the use of short descriptions on redirect pages at Wikipedia:Short description#Short descriptions on redirect pages, but it mostly about a technical problem which has been fixed, and could probably be improved. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 13:02, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

Random page w/ no short descriptionEdit

Is there a way to make it so the Random Article link only targets pages that have no short description? Or does something else already available offer similar functionality? Zeke, the Mad Horrorist (Speak quickly) (Follow my trail) 04:00, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

If someone were to invent Special:RandomNotInCategory/Articles with short description that would do what you seek: Bhunacat10 (talk), 09:41, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
This (example) produces a list of articles in a certain category that lack short descriptions, although not randomised: Bhunacat10 (talk), 11:04, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

WikiData's description visibleEdit

I wanted to check before I open a phab ticket - wikidata's description is never supposed to be shown on enwiki, right? I tracked down the issue presented in Talk:LeBron James#Semi-protected edit request on 2 March 2019 (pasted below) and figured out that to fix it required going to wikidata and fixing it there ([1]). If there is no enwiki short description, people should see nothing at all, right?

When searching for LeBron James in Wikipedia, the autocomplete box description for the page just says "loves dick". I can't find that in the source so I'm not sure what it used to say (presumably "American basketball player"), but it should obviously be changed back.

Thanks, --DannyS712 (talk) 09:57, 2 March 2019 (UTC)

@DannyS712: No, the description drawn from Wikidata is visible in three cases on enwiki (that i know of):
  1. It is displayed immediately below the article title when viewed using the Wikipedia app;
  2. It is displayed immediately below the article title in the list of results seen when searching using the mobile interface;
  3. It is displayed immediately below the article title for anyone who has installed a script to show the short description, such as User:Galobtter/Shortdesc helper.js.
It is possible there are other occasions that I'm unaware of. I assume that the user searching for LeBron James was using a mobile device, and this shows just how vulnerable we are to vandalism on Wikidata while these short descriptions are drawn from Wikidata. It was precisely to obviate those problems that this project was set up. Cheers --RexxS (talk) 10:42, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
@RexxS: yes, I assume they were using the mobile search. Should this ~feature~ be fixed to stop showing such descriptions? --DannyS712 (talk) 11:50, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
DannyH (WMF) at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 145#RfC: Populating article descriptions magic word: As we discussed below, the WMF plan is to switch from a Wikidata-fallback to full enwiki control when there are 2 million non-blank short descriptions on enwiki, which is roughly comparable to the number of existing descriptions on Wikidata. That will help to ensure that the readers and editors who use these descriptions won't notice a sudden degradation of the feature. Galobtter (pingó mió) 11:57, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
[Translation from WMF-speak]: "If you put the huge effort into making local descriptions for 2,000,000 articles, we'll think about the possibility of switching of the Wikidata feed." Unfortunately, they don't consider displaying statements like "Celebrity XYZ sucks dick" to be a degradation of the feature. --RexxS (talk) 12:17, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
The local fix for these cases is to create an accurate short description on Wikipedia, as that will be shown by default if it exists. There is no way that I know to find this sort of problem except by accident. Cheers, · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 18:58, 2 March 2019 (UTC)

Short descriptions prone to changeEdit

I just added the description to Zuzana Čaputová, who is likely to be Slovakia's president soon. That means introducing more overhead into this tiny, invisible piece of the article that is hard to access. Is there a best practice for updating short descriptions? I was opposed to this the entire time because it is redundant to Wikidata and now it seems like we are adding even more work for no real payoff here. ―Justin (koavf)TCM 23:39, 21 March 2019 (UTC)

Bear in mind that anyone using the Wikipedia app or searching on a mobile platform will see a short description for Zuzana Čaputová, either from a Wikipedia {{short description}} in her article or from the description field of Zuzana Čaputová (Q26273268) on Wikidata. It's okay to trust the unsourced description field of Wikidata; it's okay to trust Wikidata's ability to combat vandalism; it's okay to trust descriptions that may violate enwiki's BLP policies (which don't exist on Wikidata). But many other editors don't share your trust, and the real payoff for moving control of the short description to enwiki is going to be avoidance of those potential problems. --RexxS (talk) 01:18, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
@RexxS: Do you have any examples of BLP problems with Wikidata? ―Justin (koavf)TCM 05:55, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
What do you think is the raison d'être for d:Wikidata:Vandalism, d:Wikidata:WikiProject Counter-Vandalism, phab:T194737, and similar forums? I leave it to you to browse Wikidata:Project chat archives and Special:ProtectedPages. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 09:51, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
@Justin: I think the thread immediately above (#WikiData's description visible) is a pretty clear example of the frustration which can be caused to ordinary editors by vandalism to descriptions on Wikidata. User:DannyS712 was savvy enough to fix the problem by going to Wikidata, but not all editors will know to do that. As it was, the vandalism sat there for over two hours, and it took an editor from en-wiki to go to Wikidata to fix it. Much as I wished it were different, Wikidata's community base isn't big enough to clear vandalism with the rapidity that we do on the English Wikipedia. Cheers --RexxS (talk) 11:30, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
I thought about updating short descriptions, and I was not able to come up with any good solution. Probably the best we can do is to formulate the descriptions in such a way that they do not need to be changes - for example, here "Slovak politician" would work even when she becomes a president, and would perfectly fulfill the function of, well, being a short description.--Ymblanter (talk) 11:30, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

A new newsletter directory is out!Edit

A new Newsletter directory has been created to replace the old, out-of-date one. If your WikiProject and its taskforces have newsletters (even inactive ones), or if you know of a missing newsletter (including from sister projects like WikiSpecies), please include it in the directory! The template can be a bit tricky, so if you need help, just post the newsletter on the template's talk page and someone will add it for you.

– Sent on behalf of Headbomb. 03:11, 11 April 2019 (UTC)

Duplicate display of Short descriptionEdit

I need some help because I think I have done something stupid. When I first started looking at Short descriptions, I set an option to display the SD on my PC display - I don't remember what that option was. It did not involve coding, I know that. The problem is that now I have enabled Shortdesc Helper, so I see every SD listed twice at the top of each page. Can anybody suggest where that first display-only option might have been, so I can turn it off?--Gronk Oz (talk) 12:49, 19 April 2019 (UTC)

That's baffling, Gronk Oz. It's possible to display the short descriptions using your personal CSS, but I see you have no custom CSS pages. You only have 5 things enabled in your custom JavaScript pages, and none of those should affect short descriptions.
That leaves your user preferences and there's only one entry for short descriptions currently. It's just possible that you enabled an earlier version of the gadget, which has now been removed (replaced by the latest one). You could try a full reset of all of your user preferences by clicking on the "Restore all default settings (in all sections)" link at the bottom of any of those pages – make a note first of what you have set, so you can re-enable them afterwards.
Optionally, if you're comfortable using the browser inspector, you could use it to trace back the CSS used on the erroneous short descriptions that you see, and that might give you a clue as to the origin of the duplicate. Hope that helps --RexxS (talk) 14:06, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
@RexxS: thanks for that. I certainly didn't do any editing of CSS or anything like that - it was just a tick box somewhere. BTW, there is no "erroneous short description" - just two versions of the same description. Not a big deal, but it bugs me. I'm a bit reluctant to reset it all because I can't remember where I set all my options over the years, so all sorts of useful stuff will probably stop working. If that's the only way then I might just live with it.--Gronk Oz (talk) 14:16, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
Indeed, Gronk Oz, a full reset is really a last resort, and even then I can't guarantee it will work. A quick tip is to use your mobile phone to take snapshots of each of your preferences pages, and then use those to put everything back to how you like it. Cheers --RexxS (talk) 14:38, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
Gronk Oz, Do you have both "Show page description beneath the page title (not compatible with Page assessments gadget)" and shortdesc helper gadget enabled? Galobtter (pingó mió) 15:37, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
@Galobtter: That was it! Thank you - all fixed now.--Gronk Oz (talk) 09:57, 20 April 2019 (UTC)

Incorrect short description of non-disambig articleEdit

The article System D (about a French term) has a short description that reads "Wikimedia disambiguation page". There is a disambig however for System D on enwiki: System D (disambiguation), with a short description of "Disambiguation page providing links to topics that could be referred to by the same search term". What to do in this case? Seems like it's connected to wikimedia. StaringAtTheStars✉Talk 15:56, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

Issue with wikidata - d:Q2377235 has the wrong description. I added a local description. Galobtter (pingó mió) 18:28, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
It's more that the page is linked in wikidata to the other disambiguation pages instead of System D (disambiguation). As it takes me forever to understand how to do anything in Wikidata I can't fix that. --Gonnym (talk) 19:07, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia Beta App 'Suggested Edits' functionality and Wikidata GuidelinesEdit

The 'Suggested Edits' functionality in the Wikipedia Beta App links to and The limit that is shown inside the App is 90 characters, the Wikidata guidelines states "... In most cases, the proper length is between two and twelve words. They are not capitalized unless the first word is a proper noun.", and on Wikipedia:Short description it is stated "A target of 40 characters has been suggested, but this can be exceeded when necessary. ... Whether it should have an initial capital remains undecided, but is favored at present." This is all a bit confusing, can't these guidelines be a bit more alligned, or at least cross-referencing / explaining why this difference exists? Also, isn't it double work that the App updates the description on Wikidata, while on this WikiProject page it is stated that the plan is that Wikidata descriptions will not be shown anymore at some point in the (near) future? Best regards, Wiki-uk (talk) 12:53, 28 May 2019 (UTC)

@Wiki-uk: The page on mediawiki is the result of one person's idea of how the descriptions should look. The page here is the result of debate among members of the project. Perhaps you should be asking at mw:Talk:Wikimedia Apps/Suggested edits why their guidelines don't fit with ours?
On the Wikipedia app, where these descriptions show up as a subtitle below the article's main title, if we followed mediawiki's advice, we would have an article like The Punisher (season 1) with a subtitle "season of television series" – see The Punisher, season 1 (Q43263902) on Wikidata where that description is lower case. Where have you ever seen on English Wikipedia a title, subtitle, heading, etc. that starts with a lower case letter? Fortunately we have the sense to override the Wikidata with {{short description|Season of American television series}} and readers of the English Wikipedia App see a properly capitalised subtitle.
An analogous use of a short phrase is often found in image captions. Have you ever seen a image caption on English Wikipedia start with a lower case letter? It goes against all of edit editing conventions to have these stand-alone sentence fragments begin in lower-case. And yet mediwiki still offers such thoughtless advice on how things should look on the English Wikipedia.
Why does the mediawiki advice settle for 90 characters, between 2 and 12 words? Is it because they have had experience at writing short descriptions? Not a chance. Those figures were plucked out of thin air, like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat, and bear no resemblance to what actually writing a useful short description entails. Perhaps you could find time to visit Wikipedia talk:Short description #How much detail? to gain an idea of the amount of thought that editors have to put into writing good short descriptions, which have to serve multiple purposes.
The App doesn't update the description on Wikidata; that job is done by Wikidata editors. The App takes its description from the {{short description}} here on Wikipedia if it exists, and from the Wikidata description field otherwise. When sufficient articles here have their own short description, the App will no longer draw a description from Wikidata. As the word "sufficient" means at least 2,000,000, I don't envisage that happening anytime in the near future. --RexxS (talk) 18:07, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
Post script: I just checked an article on the Wikipedia App that has no short description here John I. Fitzgerald. It turns out that the developers turn the first letter of the description into a capital before they display the description in the search or as a subtitle! So I was wrong about the effect, but the devs agree it should be capitalised. Yet they still give the advice to start Wikidata descriptions with a lower-case letter, for no reason whatsoever. What a fine example of make-work! That results in Pierre Omidyar displaying the subtitle "EBay founder, American entrepreneur and philanthropist". You couldn't make this sort of stuff up. --RexxS (talk) 18:24, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
Hi, Thank you for your replies. It's a bit more clear now. Wiki-uk (talk) 05:29, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
d:Help:Description was decided by consensus just like Wikipedia guidelines.
The reason the first letter is lowercase is to preserve information (whether the first letter must be uppercase because it's a proper noun) while allowing style to be applied as necessary (including making the first letter uppercase in headers or wherever needed). This is a standard internationalization practice in software to avoid assuming that all languages and styles have the same requirements about capitalisation. Nemo 15:34, 21 July 2019 (UTC)
Editors on the English Wikipedia weren't consulted on that consensus. It's simply inappropriate for content on the English Wikipedia to be dictated by decisions made by a handful of contributors on other projects.
Who needs the information about whether the first letter of a description must be capitalised? What about the information that the initial letter must be lower-case? That's why we end up with "EBay".
Each language has its own Wikidata description for each entity, so internationalisation has no bearing on the English description. This is nothing whatsoever to do with any assumptions about styles in other languages.
Here's what the advice on d:Help:Description says "Essentially, you should pretend that the description is appearing in the middle of a normal sentence, and then follow normal language rules". What's the point of that? Nowhere on any project is the description used "in the middle of a normal sentence". In fact that's expressly forbidden for the English Wikipedia by long-standing consensus established at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Wikidata Phase 2. --RexxS (talk) 23:50, 21 July 2019 (UTC)

Category or query articles without Short DescriptionEdit

Where can I find an overview of articles without Short Description? I see there exists only an overview of articles WITH Short Description. It would also be good to be able to filter on Short Descriptions of only one word or those that are very lenghty, so below or above a certain number of characters. Wiki-uk (talk) 16:52, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

On a related note, would it be plausible to have a category for articles which have descriptions on Wikidata but which have yet to be imported to Wikipedia itself? Ionmars10 (talk) 01:57, 27 July 2019 (UTC)

Standardizing style for geography in short descriptionsEdit

When importing and browsing through short descriptions, I've come across some instances where, say, a town will have "Town in Los Angeles County, California, United States", whereas another might have "Town in Los Angeles County, California, U.S.", or just "Town in Los Angeles County, California". Is there a consensus on which of these is correct? I've seen a similar pattern with UK places. Sdkb (talk) 17:15, 5 July 2019 (UTC)

Since that specific template is probably {{Infobox settlement}} it already has the code to create a consistent short description (whichever that is). If you different styles, that probably means someone added a manual one, which might not be helping at all. As for your question - "United States" and no "U.S.", but again, that should be covered by the infobox. --Gonnym (talk) 17:55, 5 July 2019 (UTC)

Licensing for short descriptionsEdit

As I undersatand it, short descriptions are ordinary Wikipedia content, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. However, Wikidata uses CC0, which is incompatible with importing short descriptions from Wikipedia into Wikidata. I think this is a major drawback of the current implementation of short descriptions, as it prevents two-way interchange of these descriptions. Has there been any thought on this? -- The Anome (talk) 15:18, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

I think what you are saying is correct but there is very little we can do about it.--Ymblanter (talk) 11:37, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
That is true. Nevertheless, much of Wikidata was created by automated scraping of infoboxes in Wikipedias, so we have precedent for transferring from CC-BY-SA Wikipedias to CC-0 Wikidata. Presumably that hinges on the general agreement that facts can't be copyrighted, although that rationale may be stretched somewhat when considering Wikidata description fields. At present, when the short description helper is used, it will also add the description to Wikidata if it is empty there. That's the only circumstance that I'm aware of where the CC-BY-SA to CC-0 mismatch might be an issue. Perhaps it needs a popup explaining that the editor is also making a CC-0 contribution in those cases (with the option to cancel if desired)? --RexxS (talk) 13:11, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

Need for bot operatorsEdit

Having just completed Category:Moths of Europe, assisted by WP:JWB, I have learned the hard way that:

  • Even with semi-automated assistance, manual work takes far too long to make much of an impact. 5200 articles took several hours
  • There are many articles that could be updated very easily with a bot, especially those where the short description can be reliably derived from an article category, eg virtually all the pages within Category:Moths by continent could be "Species of moth", except those that have a one-word title which are "Genus of moths". (Wikidata has the less-good "species of insect")

Are there any bot operators who would be willing to run updates based on rules suggested by non bot users? MichaelMaggs (talk) 20:55, 29 July 2019 (UTC)

@Michael: Possibly DannyS712 might be wiling to help. But check Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/DannyS712 bot for some of the hurdles to using bots for this sort of work. --RexxS (talk) 21:55, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
@MichaelMaggs: I can take a look - thanks for the ping @RexxS. I've also filed (and received approval for) Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/DannyS712 bot 4 and Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/DannyS712 bot 20. --DannyS712 (talk) 21:58, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
Many thanks DannyS712. I see that the bot requests are for very pretty specific tasks, so it might make sense to propose something definite here, get it discussed and agreed, then use that as the basis for a bot request that you could action. Would that work for you? If so I'll have a think and start a new section here in a while. Really thinking of picking out some specific animal and plant categories where the simple rules I've used with WP:JWB can be fully automated with high accuracy. MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:57, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
Note that such mass edits are trivial to perform on Wikidata with PetScan and friends. Nemo 11:03, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
Indeed. And if we are improving the descriptions here on WP, it would be good to get them updated on Wikidata as well. MichaelMaggs (talk) 12:20, 30 July 2019 (UTC)
For taxonomy related articles, it may be better to automatically generate the descriptions using the taxobox. Galobtter (pingó mió) 21:02, 29 August 2019 (UTC)


What should we be using for the sort description for pages like History of fountains in the United States? There seems to be no way to describe it without just restating the title. - Sdkb (talk) 18:10, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

Template:Short description/doc: If the article title alone is sufficient to ensure reliable identification of the desired article, a null value of {{Short description|none}} may be used.. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 03:10, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

Short blitz?Edit

Hello WikiProject members. I was thinking of a way to increase participation and enthusiasm in the project. I thought a short blitz might be ideal, say 1 or 2 days or maybe something as short as an hour or two? The blitz would be rather informal, just put your name down and start at the arranged time, those with the most shortdescs added receive some kind of award. In terms of how to count the number of short descs added, we could use the counter tool on wmflabs. Write down the number before the blitz starts and write down the number after then get a total. I think it should be kept short (<2 days) as doing something as repetitive as adding short descs for a long time would get painful and people would lose interest - other WikiProjects do week/month blitzes/drives but theirs include something more varied and interesting eg. Reviewing GANs. I hope that people like the idea and I am looking forward to hearing any improvements that could be made. Regards, Willbb234Talk (please {{ping}} me in replies) 19:15, 23 August 2019 (UTC)

Pinging all members:
Extended content
  1. Peter (Southwood) (talk): 11:49, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
  2. Jheald (talk) 16:46, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
  3. Not a very active user (talk) 04:58, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
  4. HotdogPi 21:32, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
  5. Galobtter (pingó mió) 05:10, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
  6. So far mostly fiddling with Peter (Southwood)'s ones. Johnbod (talk) 15:02, 8 May 2018 (UTC)
  7. EstablishedCalculus 20:21, 25 May 2018 (UTC)
  8. Focusing on the larger taxa of insects. AddWittyNameHere (talk) 04:12, 1 June 2018 (UTC)
  9. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 17:22, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
  10. Sam Sailor 19:01, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
  11. Newslinger talk 20:39, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
  12. Jmertel23 (talk) 14:38, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
  13. Vinvibes (talk) 09:06, 9 December 2018 (UTC)
  14. Qwertyxp2000 (talk | contribs) 23:40, 10 December 2018 (UTC)
  15. SamCordes (talk) 05:49, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
  16. CASSIOPEIA(talk) 13:46, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
  17. Stregadellanonna (talk) 11:11, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
  18. Clovermoss (talk) 23:15, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
  19. --DannyS712 (talk) 18:10, 6 January 2019 (UTC)
  20. JTP (talkcontribs) 02:29, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  21. Zeke, the Mad Horrorist (Speak quickly) (Follow my trail) 06:49, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  22. Ntmamgtw (talk) 15:50, 19 January 2019 (UTC)
  23. Galatz גאליץשיחה Talk 21:30, 22 January 2019 (UTC)
  24. Daviddwd (talk · contribs) Daviddwd (talk) 04:39, 25 January 2019 (UTC)
  25. Fettlemap (talk) 17:33, 25 January 2019 (UTC)
  26. YuriNikolai (talk) 23:17, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
  27. rogerd (talk) 04:50, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
  28. BRAINULATOR9 (TALK) 20:37, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  29. --Kew Gardens 613 (talk) 13:42, 28 February 2019 (UTC) I can do this in my regular course of editing as part of WP:NYCPT
  30. CoolSkittle (talk) 17:41, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  31. Mooeena💌✒️ 20:28, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
  32. · · · Serenity Mask 1:56 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  33. J947(c), at 03:30, 29 March 2019 (UTC)
  34. DarkGlow (talk) 15:37, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
  35. The Eloquent Peasant 00:40, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
  36. <RetroCraft314 /> 02:22, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  37.  AltoStev  Talk 23:09, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
  38. AcoriSage 00:27, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
  39. MainlyTwelve (talk) 20:23, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
  40. Lepricavark (talk) 20:53, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
  41. Lafayette Baguette talk 23:35, 17 April 2019 (UTC)
  42. JoeHebda (talk) 18:43, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
  43. Rob3512 chat? what I did 14:06, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
  44. Hmxhmx 12:45, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  45. Aspening (talk) 04:28, 25 May 2019 (UTC)

Willbb234Talk (please {{ping}} me in replies) 21:30, 23 August 2019 (UTC)

  1. Gronk Oz (talk) 16:15, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
  2. Kpgjhpjm 07:10, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
  3. Fylindfotberserk (talk) 16:24, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
  4. OwenwongHY (talk) 07:33, 7 June 2019 (GTM+8)
  5. OliverEastwood talk 03:26, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
  6. Ipigott (talk) 16:25, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
  7. ___CAPTAIN MEDUSAtalk 00:23, 22 June 2019 (UTC)

Willbb234Talk (please {{ping}} me in replies) 21:34, 23 August 2019 (UTC)

  1. Taketa (talk) 18:13, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
  2. Laterthanyouthink (talk) 12:03, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
  3. Amkrausesten (talk) 01:20, 29 June 2019 (UTC)
  4. Ayenaee (talk) 16:01, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
  5. Ionmars10 (talk) 01:04, 27 July 2019 (UTC)
  6. Willbb234 (talk) 08:32, 6 August 2019 (UTC)
  7. Poydoo (talk) 17:52, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
  8. AmericanAir88(talk) 15:36, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
  9. TheAwesomeHwyh 18:07, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
  10. BEANS X2 (talk)

Willbb234Talk (please {{ping}} me in replies) 21:36, 23 August 2019 (UTC)

Adding automatic short description to Infobox schoolEdit

There is a discussion about adding automatic short descriptions to Infobox school at Template talk:Infobox school#Automatic short descriptions which may concern the project. --Trialpears (talk) 11:23, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

Do we have a way to find articles without short descriptions?Edit

There are a lot of categories for articles that have short descriptions. How can I find ones that just don't have any manual short description? — Preceding unsigned comment added by DemonDays64 (talkcontribs) 04:30, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

mw:Help:CirrusSearch#Hastemplate. You can use -hastemplate:"short description" or the like. Use "incategory" to filter by some category you're interested in (it's not recursive). Nemo 06:46, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

Unpatrolled Wikidata changes rendered immediately in shortdesc fieldEdit

There is currently a discussion going on at Wikidata that folks here may be interested in commenting on. In brief: a vandal's change to the "description" field at the Wikidata Gay (Q592) item showed up immediately as the "short description" at the top of Wikipedia's Gay article.

Although it affects Wikipedia, the locus of the problem appears to be Wikidata, so the discussion is being hosted there. Your feedback would be appreciated at WD:CHAT. Thanks, Mathglot (talk) 01:22, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

Blank, none and nbspEdit

Regarding the values "blank", "none", and &nbsp;, I question whether these values are better than nothing.

The text in section What if a short description is redundant? currently reads:

if someone adds a template with a blankshort description, or with the word blank, or a non-breaking space, just leave it like that, as it shows that someone has checked and decided that a description is not necessary.

Regarding the "leave it like that" part: apparently, none of the values none,[a] blank, or &nbsp; will block the wikidata value, so why do we say to leave it alone? Even a simple alternative like copying the article title into the template, while adding no information would at least block imported vandalism. Wouldn't that be better? Otherwise, what about {{short description|Needs short description}}? Mathglot (talk) 21:59, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

When WMF turn off the get it from Wikidata default for no short description at 2 million short descriptions, then blank will display as blank. There are some articles which do not need a short description. Putting {{short description|Needs short description}} in would be wrong if a short description is not needed, and could be seen as gaming the system by WMF, and therefore an excuse to refuse to turn off the Wikidata feed, or they could just program the app to treat it as no short description and not display it, which would be unproductive. If an article actually does need a short description, it is better to put one in if reasonably possible. I accept that there are articles which are so badly written that it is not possible to come up with a short description as one cannot work out what they are supposed to be about. I just move on. Cheers, · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 09:24, 15 October 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ none: Not currently listed on the project page, but see Template:Short description#Usage.

Short descriptions for radio stationsEdit

There is a discussion about the formatting of short descriptions for certain United States radio stations at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Radio Stations#Short descriptions for radio station pages which may concern the project. Raymie (tc) 20:37, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

suggestions - 'progress bar' and 'topic-list'Edit

There are a lot of redirect and disambiguation pages in Wikipedia. Here are the categories, although they're not much help [2] and [3]

We could remove them, after all they're kinda outside of this project's scope... but there are tons of disambiguous and redirect pages with short descriptions...

... so therefore a hopefully better suggestion would be to make those pages be represented as yellow in the progress bar - between green and red. [Though yellow would probably overlap the green and red if it was implemented.]

I mean, sure the purpose of this project is not the progress bar (though it is a nice side effect), but come on, there are about 4,300,000 pages left.

Now, my more helpful suggestion is that someone take the articles without a short description, and then order it based on how popular it is (Aargh, where did that list of the 10000 most popular pages go??)

This would be helpful because we could effectively edit pages where more of everyone's interests are. Much more mobile views would be 'supplemented'.  AltoStev  Talk 21:07, 19 October 2019 (UTC)

"wikimedia project page"Edit

I think this question needs to be definitively settled. (please point me to any prior discussions if those exist.) On many project space pages the default wikidata description is "wikimedia project page". Should those be imported? Do these pages need a short description? Should a proper short description be added? JJMC89 for example believes that these pages shouldn't use a generic short description. see diff and separate discussion. same goes for the ubiquitous "Wikimedia list article". Hydromania (talk) 05:34, 25 October 2019 (UTC)

We have no control over the existence of short descriptions: if we don't supply one locally, we get the one from Wikidata. Given that "no short description" isn't an option, what are you actually proposing? --RexxS (talk) 16:08, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
How are they assigned on wiki data? --Trialpears (talk) 16:28, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
Wikidata editors or bots add them. --RexxS (talk) 16:29, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
Then how about discussing removal of these useless bot added descriptions over there then? --Trialpears (talk) 16:48, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
Wikidata is beyond our control, the lack of close cooperation between the two wikis is why this wikiproject exists. @RexxS: I don't have any opinion here, just would like some uniformity. I'm totally ok with Wikimedia project page and wikimedia list article. I'd support switching it fr Wikimedia to wikipeida but wtvr. I'd also be ok with a guideline which says to use a more specific short description.
Ftr I believe making an option no short description has been brought up. Hydromania (talk) 19:12, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
@Trialpears: The editors on Wikidata would be outraged at a suggestion that they had to alter their project just to fit in with the English Wikipedia, and quite rightly so. Many projects see enwiki as arrogant in expecting other projects to dance to our tune, and I wouldn't like to see another incident fanning those flames further.
@Hydromania: I'm all in favour of consistency, and I also think your suggestion of replacing "Wikimedia" with "Wikipedia" in describing pages here is a sensible one. You could make a request at WP:Botrequests for a bot to change existing short descriptions in that manner, but there's a general wariness about adding new descriptions by bot.
The idea of having no short description has been previously raised, but the only way I know of making that happen is to reach 2,000,000 articles with short descriptions when WMF will switch off the fetching from Wikidata. --RexxS (talk) 19:41, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
@RexxS:: Until then, what is the consensus, generic Wikimedia project page, Wikimedia list page? or more specific descriptions? how do we go about getting a broader consensus?.Hydromania (talk) 01:31, 27 October 2019 (UTC)
@Hydromania: I don't know of any established consensus. I'd suggest just using whatever you think is best in each case. This is a wiki and folks can always change it if they come up with anything better. Cheers --RexxS (talk) 01:55, 27 October 2019 (UTC)
@RexxS: I completely understand that Wikidata is used for a lot more things than English Wikipedia, but I also recognize that Wikipedia is a major stakeholder in this case. Having a discussion about the needs and wants of our different communities would be beneficial. Judging from d:Help:Description, these wouldn't be considered optimal according to Wikidata standards either. My previous suggestion of systematic removal may be a bit exaggerated, but a consensus against indiscriminately adding these descriptions may be desirable for all parties. I won't start any formal discussion about this because, as you pointed out, could be detrimental to Wikidata–Wikipedia relations if done poorly. --Trialpears (talk) 11:03, 27 October 2019 (UTC)

Automatic biography short descriptionsEdit

Hello, I've just created an automated system capable of extracting short descriptions of the form "[Nationality] [Career]" from the first sentance in an article. A list of about 200 short descriptions generated by the system can be found at User:Trialpears/Automatic biography short descriptions, all of which I've reviewed and found satisfactory, although in some cases not perfect. I believe this system is reliable enough for deployment by a bot, but would like your input before filing a BRFA. When dealing with BLPs it's always of utmost importance to not spread misinformation, but since it extract information word by word from the article this system won't experience any BLP issues as long as the article doesn't contain any from the start. I've also notified WP:WPBIO of this discussion. --Trialpears (talk) 19:29, 29 October 2019 (UTC)

Trialpears, They look better than average to me. How was your sample selected?
Can this process be carried out using AWB as a semi-automated method (so the editor can see the proposed short description and accept or reject or amend it? 18:26, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
The bot went through 1000 pages found by searching for incategory:"Living people" and added all enteries where it succesfully generated a description to User:Trialpears/Automatic biography short descriptions. There were no human selection bias involved. The big step that made them this good was disposing of everything longer than 40 characters, which is the length recommended by WP:SHORTDESC. This removed all the cases where it selected too much text as well as the cases where the list of careers/attributes simply was too long to be used as a short description. I also check that the description contain a nationality.
While I've never dabled in user scripts I'm certain I could make a semi automatic version, possibly by forking shortdeschelper to gives these as an additional suggestion. My preferred outcome would however be full automation using a bot. Since all short descriptions generated up to this point have been acceptable and the absolute worst case scenario of adding some irrelevant information from the article is so tame I would trust it to do so. --Trialpears (talk) 18:48, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
MY $0.2: I like it, although I'll note some aren't perfect, eg "Andrew Clements American writer of many children's books" while a human would probably stick with "writer" "author" or "children's author". some should ideally have a more specific description eg "Askar Akayev Kyrgyz politician" while the wikidata "1st and former President of Kyrgyzstan" is slightly better. On the whole I'm pro letting a bot add such descrips, but I think a wider consensus is needed. Hydromania (talk) 23:17, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
Trialpears, In principle I am in favour, provided that it ignores pages where a short description has already been added manually, and on the understanding that anyone can improve them without notice. They may not be optimum, but are much better than nothing (a fair description of almost all Wikipedia content anyway). My suggestion: Try for bot approval, quote/ping me there if it might help, and if there is any technical objection we can try a semi-automatic version, which I would be willing to help operate. We should consider a similar treatment for bios of no-living people too. Give it a week to see if this proposal gets any further comments or advice. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 05:31, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
Why use a bot and not do this via the infobox? The infobox has the same data you are using from the lead. --Gonnym (talk) 06:57, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
Gonnym, I've found that this method generates better descriptions. Many infoboxes don't contain the nationality, presumably since it seems redundant to other information such as the birth place and the first sentance of the lead, and extracting it from other parameters, such as birthplace or deathplace would be a sure fire way to generate some inaccurate discriptions. This factor alone makes the fraction of article this method can generate discriptions for lower than the bot, but there is also problems with the occupation parameter since it often contains careers they're not notable for which would generate inappropriate descriptions, which this system basically never hardly ever does. --Trialpears (talk) 08:02, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
"Never" is an optimistic estimate. Hardly ever would be quite satisfactory, and more realistic. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 08:42, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
Yep, that was careless language. Struck and replaced. --Trialpears (talk) 09:15, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
Pbsouthwood that was basically my plan: The only reason I didn't use articles on dead people was since Category:Living people is such a convenient way to generate biography articles, and will make sure they're included in the bot run. The description will of course be open for manual improvement as all other descriptions are. --Trialpears (talk) 08:02, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
Cool, Keep me in the loop. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 08:42, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
As pbsouthwood mentioned on the project page, having these pages automatically added to a Category:Bot-generated short descriptions would be a good idea so humans can double check them later.Hydromania (talk) 21:52, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Hydromania, sure, I'll update {{Short description}} to have a |bot= parameter. Pherhaps it should sort per bot task as well incase of more bots or improvements to this one. ‑‑Trialpears (talk) 08:02, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
Two trials completed with over 500 edits, currently waiting for community feedback. ‑‑Trialpears (talk) 08:52, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Suggestion requests and suggested description templatesEdit

I'm having some trouble figuring out standard descriptions for sports teams' seasons (e.g., 2016–17 Arsenal F.C. season) and sports championships (e.g., 1995 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament). Any suggestions?

OTOH, for discographies I suggest: [Cataloging of published recordings by ___ ]. (I freely admit that I s/t/o/l/e/ copied this from an article, though I don't recall which one, never mind who coined it.) Similarly, for filmographies I suggest: [Cataloging of roles by ___ ]. E.g., Shruti Haasan filmography: "Cataloging of roles by Indian actress Shruti Haasan". I'm not suggesting that these be codified as standard—I'm just offering them for use and modification at the users' personal discretion. —DocWatson42 (talk) 03:47, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

Considering that cataloging (US) vs. cataloguing (UK) may cause problems, why not simply remove it ("Published recordings by...") or replace it with "List of published recordings by..."? Short and simple is what we aim for with short descriptions (well, that and being correct and informative of course). Fram (talk) 08:35, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
@Fram: Or use "Cataloguing" for Commonwealth countries and and "Cataloging" for the US? Follow the article's "Use ___ English" template, per MOS:ENGVAR. BTW, bumping my question in the first sentence. —DocWatson42 (talk) 08:48, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Issue with Annotated link templateEdit

Not sure how best to fix the issue. FYI Template talk:Annotated link -- GhostInTheMachine (talk) 14:56, 23 November 2019 (UTC)


@Why is this a username?: it's called looking at your contributions. Willbb234Talk (please {{ping}} me in replies) 19:08, 1 January 2020 (UTC)

Note to readers: The comment above is a followup to this exchange on the project page. - dcljr (talk) 23:24, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
@Dcljr: thanks, should have clarified it myself. Willbb234Talk (please {{ping}} me in replies) 17:14, 2 January 2020 (UTC)

@Willbb234 Yeah, i know. I'm trying to help the mood. Aslo,i need to know Formatting better. Know where i can start? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Why is this a username? (talkcontribs)

@Why is this a username?: Perhaps start by signing your posts?   --RexxS (talk) 19:44, 5 January 2020 (UTC)
Return to the project page "WikiProject Short descriptions".