Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Miscellaneous/Stop ifexist checks from appearing in Special:WhatLinksHere

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  • Problem: #ifexist is the parser function that checks if a page exists. It is also available as a Lua function. It is potentially a very useful function for Wikidata-enabled infoboxes as it can be used to discover redirects to existing articles (since allowing the creation of links to redirects in Wikidata has been under discussion since 2017 and is unlikely to be resolved soon). However, doing the check also makes a link appear in Special:WhatLinksHere - and that causes problems for Wikimedians who are checking links to disambiguation pages. It is not currently possible to stop that link from appearing.
  • Who would benefit: People writing template code who want to use #ifexist to provide extra functionality, but currently can't as it causes. People doing disambiguation checking while people are using #ifexist statements.
  • Proposed solution: Either stop #ifexist from creating a link in Special:WhatLinksHere, or create a new magic word that does the same as #ifexist without creating the link.

Discussion[edit]

See also: #Separate_templates_in_"What_links_here"TheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:28, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

  • As noted in the past where this issue has come up, the reason the problem has existed for so long is because the solution isn't as simple as it at first seems. When a page is edited, created, or deleted, MediaWiki needs to know which other pages need to be re-parsed due to that change, so it maintains pagelinks (for changes on creation/deletion) and templatelinks (for changes on edit) tables in the database. These tables are also used for Special:WhatLinksHere. Satisfying the request to not display some kinds of "links" from these tables on Special:WhatLinksHere while still correctly updating other pages when a page is created/deleted/edited would require either adding more tables to mostly duplicate the data or adding a field to the existing (very large) tables, both of which would be a very significant amount of work. Anomie (talk) 15:58, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

Voting[edit]