On Wed, 3 Nov 2004 20:11:36 +0100, Andre Engels <andreengels(a)gmail.com> wrote:
As a bot writer and operator, I can say that bots
_could_ help in
finding this kind of cases. We might go work more on it (the bot
notices it if it can get to two pages on the same language - in this
case "Germanic languages" and "German language"). There's quite
number of such problems; a common cause is that when a page turns into
a disambiguation page on some Wikipedia, the interwiki links to it are
usually not changed.
I see your point that bots can help; my point was that they can't do
so automatically. A bot would have to inform a human that both
'Germanic language' and 'German language' were encountered, and the
human would have to take action based on this.
What I suggest is to have a language-independent 'linker' page
maintained in a separate namespace. (Maybe 'meta' or something new,
e.g. 'interwiki'). All it would consist of is a list of interwiki
links, with the meaning that any page named on the linker page was to
be taken to be an equivalent for any other named page.
Under this new scheme, suppose I'm reading the English wikipedia
article on 'Germanic languages''. If I then notice a link to
[[da:Tysk sprog]] and fix it, I will be editing this linker page. If
the previous error had been propogated into other wikipedias, they
will have their link corrected immediately, without having to wait for
a bot or human to spot the bad link and fix it.
Some more advantages:
1) Since interwiki changes would then be changes to the linker page,
they would not add volume to the changelist history of linked pages.
2) There would be fewer anonymous edits to wikipedias. Right now, if
I want to add an interwiki link to a language I don't speak, I won't
bother creating an account, because I wouldn't particularly benefit
from having one. In this proposed system, I would merely need to have
an account on 'meta' or 'interwiki'.
3) The bloat factor of interwiki links on pages would be reduced.
4) The problems with broken interwiki links caused by a wikipedia
munging foreign characters entered as literals in the input would be
more easily fixed. I've seen a few interwiki links to Cyrillic
wikipedias appear as, for example, [[bg:????????]], probably because
someone tried to copy-paste a literal character from one page to
another, and their system didn't support the character set.
Hmm, that was a bit longer than I intended. :) Again, please feel
free to give me feedback on the above idea, or redirect me to the
appropriate forum to post it if this isn't it.