It is possible to represent linguistic patterns as items but it needs some work to conceptualize a structure that can be used in several languages.
Then you could implement a complex query that selects the one that displays the most information.

The biggest hurdle I see is that we are not storing enough linguistic data. We could already do it without any further development, but I think that we need more time to understand thoroughly the structure that is emerging.

Maybe it could be thought as a research project to explore the possibilities.

On Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 4:34 PM, Thomas Douillard <> wrote:
One answer would be deeper answer of autodescription into Wikidata. I don't know how to make this flexible and generic enough to make this only depedant of Wikibase model concept though.

One rough and not thought throw proposition would be: associate a (mediawiki?) template to a query or a class for each language, which generates a description if an item matches the query according to the values of the properties.

hen we could add an API call that uses the template.

2014-08-19 16:13 GMT+02:00 Lydia Pintscher <>:

On Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:19 AM, David Cuenca <> wrote:
> Thanks for the stats, Gerard. Two thoughts:
> - With so many items without description I wonder why we don't have the
> automatic descriptions gadget enabled by default.

I am a bit worried about enabling this by default for everyone as a
gadget. We need the descriptions in a lot of places where people
search for items. The next big one will be Commons. But _a lot_ more
will come in the future. Think for example of tagging your blog post
on Wordpress with Wikidata concepts. You'll need the descriptions. If
we enable automatic descriptions on Wikidata now we will actively
discourage people from entering more descriptions. That would be bad
as 3rd parties then don't get the benefit of them.
I am also hesitant to build this into Wikibase directly as it'd need
quite some domain-knowledge for all I can tell at this point. That's
something we need to avoid.
Anyone got ideas how to get out of this?


Lydia Pintscher -
Product Manager for Wikidata

Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.
Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24
10963 Berlin

Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.

Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg
unter der Nummer 23855 Nz. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das
Finanzamt für Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/681/51985.

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