[Wikipedia-l] RE: movie naming convention (in grater context)

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Wed Aug 28 02:25:46 UTC 2002

Daniel Mayer wrote:

>>The policy should remain that first level of 
>>disambiguation answers the question "what?" 
>>rather than "when?". The 1932 movie "Scarface" 
>>was based on the 1930 novel of the same name 
>>by Armitage Trail.  It is not safe to assume 
>>that just because you have [[Scarface (1930)]] 
>>and [[Scarface (1932)]] the earlier one must be the
>I wasn't talking about having a (YEAR) convention for
>novels (that would have to be discussed separately).
>The issue here is that there are two movies with the
>name; Sacarface -- thus we would have [[Scarface
>(1932)]] and [[Scarface (1983)]]. If there is only one
>novel by that name then that would be at either
>[[Scarface (novel)]] or just [[Scarface]] (with a
>disambiguation block on top -- my preference). If
>there were only one movie by the name Scarface and
>only one novel by that name, then to disambiguate the
>movie from the novel we would have [[Scarface
There are at least six distinct books three movies with the one word 
title "Scarface" including the 1983 one by Paul Monette that relates to 
the Oliver Stone screenplay for the movie from the same year.  I don't 
know if they are all novels.  But the attitude of dealing with books or 
novels later puts a far too narrow focus on the present issue.  How can 
we ignore the books?  Another problem with the simple [Movie (year)] 
format is that it may have the effect that a year-alone disambiguator 
implies that the main word refers to a movie.  Do we really want to 
reserve such an important disambiguation tool to apply to movies alone?

>The whole point here is to have the minimum amount of
>disambiguation information in order to distinguish one
>thing from another (thus the word "movie" is not
>needed to differentiate between the two movies with
>the same name). 
"Minimum amount" is a good thing but not always the best.  If the most 
effective disambiguation is a little longer that needn't be a big 
problem.  A little redundancy can be very helpful.  We need a little 
farsightedness here.  The shorter the movie title the greater the 
likelihood that there a disambiguation problem lurking in the background.

>In fact one contributor has titled many movie articles
>in this very format without even knowing there was a
>movie naming convention (so many, that if the current
>convention is kept and if it is to be effective, then
>all those pages will have to be moved to the
>unnecessary (YEAR movie) format that will never be
>linked without pipes). 
That's not a problem

>With the (YEAR) convention there is also less to type
>since the word "movie" would not be used (as in (YEAR
>movie) -- of course, (movie) would still be used when
>needed to differentiate one movie from something else
>that shares its name).
I think that many Wikipedians are long winded enough that typing one 
more word should not be an excessive demand.

> In short, when two or more things have the same name
>/and/ they are the same type of thing, then it is
>perfectly reasonable to differentiate them based on a
>temporal aspect.  
Disambiguation can be an art.  Considering the disambiguation of movies 
in isolotion from everything else can become a problem at a later stage. 
 We need to look at the process (as distinct from format) of 
disambiguation as a whole.  I would make the specific proposal that "the 
first level of disambiguation should answer the question 'what?'".

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