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Community Wishlist Survey 2021/Search/Use Wikidata to improve search

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  • Problem: The current search function is quite poor unless you know exactly what article you are searching for, and what it's title is. If you're searching based on a category (say, "French films of the 1970s"), the search is quite useless.
  • Who would benefit: Everybody using the search function.
  • Proposed solution: Use Wikidata to find search results. This would work by comparing terms in the search query against the Wikidata profiles of pages. So searching for "French films of the 1970s" in Wikipedia would find articles which are categorized as a "film", as "French", and as related to the "1970s". Those articles which would have all three would then be in the top search results if no article had a title with a close match.
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Oijsdaio (talk) 03:34, 30 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]


  • Having an interface to easily make semantic queries to execute on Wikidata would be very useful. Silver hr (talk) 02:12, 1 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • If this were possible, we would already be doing it at Wikidata Query Service. Mapping English language phrases into Wikidata claims is impossible with some very serious AI. And even if it were possible, it would be much too slow for the regular search interface. Kaldari (talk) 02:47, 9 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    Do any support voters have a response to this? I see that this request is gaining a lot of traction, but if that's just since we all wish search functioned better rather than since this would actually be a good idea, it might not be the best thing to push to the top. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 10:32, 9 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    • only because who's working on this right now couldn't figure out a way to do it doesn't mean it's impossible. if enough people think this should be done, there might be a threshold of collective brain power which is able to find a solution. and, if not, at least we'll have a better case for the impossibility of it today. that being said, i don't know enough of the technical policies, but i also don't believe there's any such search problem that can't be solved with a bigger index and less updated results. it is, after all, how every web search work in the end. (ps: i'm probably unable to support this idea any further. wished to vote for integration with fossil because of offline search among other things, but got in too late. this is my only contribution for the 2021 wishlist, though. cheers! 😘) --cacawee (talk) 07:55, 13 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • WMDE is making a UI for 'easy queries' right now so I wonder if that suits the need. --Izno (talk) 14:57, 11 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • I am running a website (German, non-profit) covering some 60000 pages on basic maths and physics. A search field takes a query and first looks for exact matches based on file names. The query then looks for similiar matches, mixing two algorithms (Levenshtein and the PHP similar-function). Finally, a list of search results with short preview texts is displayed. The search-engine is self-programmed in PHP, but not at a professional level. One (big) shortcoming is lack of speed. I'd gladly share any ideas and experiences. --Rhetos (talk) 12:51, 14 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]