Talk:Wikidata/Development/Storyboard for linking Wikipedia articles v0.1

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Adding multiple links for one language[edit]

I'm interested in story 1, more specifically, what is done in case there is already another link for that language on Wikidata. Is it shown on the page as well (leading to twice the own language)? Also, is the backlink automatically added to the other language(s)?

Similarly, what happens if a link is removed? Is it removed in general or only from this language? Is such obvious to the user? - Andre Engels (talk) 13:13, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Hi Andre! I am not sure I understand your question fully, but I will give it a try:
  • Backlinks are automatically added to other languages. A link removed is removed in general, not only from this language. This is not obvious to the user (otoh, it is also not obvious that a language link added today is *not* added automatically to the other language editions).
  • I do not understand the case that "there is already another link for that language". Every item in Wikidata can link only to one page of a given language edition. Also, every page can only be linked once from Wikidata. This is checked in Wikidata, upon edits, we ensure the consistency.
I hope this helps, but I might have misunderstood your questions. --Denny Vrandečić (WMDE) (talk) 13:42, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your answers, I'll try to be a bit more clear. Regarding the removal: Suppose there is a cat where de:Hund is linked to en:Cat. Then when the rest are links to dogs, the user would do best to remove the English link from de:, if the rest are cats to remove the German link somewhere. Will users realize this? And is there a good method for the case where it's not really removing one language from a set, but actually splitting it in two?

Regarding the "there is already another link for that language" case, what I meant is this: Suppose that en:X already has an interwiki to de:Y, and then someone adds a language link en:X to de:Z. What happens? Is the link from en:X to de:Y removed? The link from de:Y to en:X? Is a link from de:Z to en:X created? On what wikidata page does the information go? - Andre Engels (talk) 16:52, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

In general, the language editions should not have links to each other anymore. This should only happen in some corner cases where the central language link repository does not cover the use case. So, in general, there will be Wikidata saying, "OK, I have an item Q1: en:Cat, de:Katze, fr:Chat, ..., and I have an item Q2: en:Dog, de:Hund, fr:Chien, ..."
If item Q1 looked rather like en:Cat, de:Hund, fr:Chien, ..., the users could remove the link to en:Cat from de:Hund or fr:Chien, etc., because they notice that it is wrong. Or change it from en:Cat to en:Dog (if en:Dog is not linked from another item).
Is this the case you were referring to?
The second part of your question seems also to assume that we have wiki-to-wiki language links, not merely the central-to-wiki links. --Denny Vrandečić (WMDE) (talk) 11:10, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Regarding the first: Yes, that's the case that I refer to. The issue is, if on de:Hund I see a link to en:Cat, there can be three possible situations:
  1. There is a Wikidata page that links to dogs in many languages, but to cat in English
  2. There is a Wikidata page that links to cats in many languages, but to dog in English
  3. There is a Wikidata page that links to cats in some languages, to dog in others.
If the user sees the en:Cat link on de:Hund, realizes that is in correct, and removes it, then in the first case the result will be exactly as wanted, but in the second case, a number of correct links will be removed together with the wrong one, and a number of wrong links will remain. In the extreme case, a user might be tempted to remove all the links from de:Hund because they are wrong, in the process also removing the correct links between the various cat pages. My question is, could a way be found to make the user realize that that's not the way to go, and that he should remove the de:Hund link from en:Cat instead? And in the third case, that he should learn to edit Wikidata directly.
Regarding the seond: The question can easily be adapted to talk about central-to-language links: Suppose I add a link from en:XX to fr:XY. However, there already exists a Wikidata page linking fr:XY and en:YY. Will en:YY be removed from that page? Will en:YY stop getting its language links from that page? - Andre Engels (talk) 14:07, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Regarding the first: A user can also hover over the language they are on (i.e. in this case "Deutsch") and they can remove their own language, which would lead to all other links disappear. It is somehow consistent, but I am not sure if it is intuitive. We probably need to run some user testing here. If there are indeed a mixed set of links, then the user would need to remove one of them, and start a new Wikidata item for the removed ones.

Regarding the second: When the user tries to add a link to a page in a language that already has a link, the edit will not be saved and a hopefully useful error message is displayed that allows the user to unlink the other article and then re-link it.

I hope it starting to make sense :) --Denny Vrandečić (WMDE) (talk) 16:11, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

“Also, every page can only be linked once from Wikidata.” Well, but there might be more than one Interwiki-link to the same language. It is not the regular case, but it still happens quite often, when one wiki has articles for two terms which are covered by a single article in another wiki. How is that going to be handled? --Chricho (talk) 19:41, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

It does not happen quite often, it is the case for much less than 1%. We will not handle this case in Wikidata in the first iteration. But it is possible to locally add a second link, and also to switch of Wikidata central language links for a given article, even just for a few of the languages. --Denny Vrandečić (WMDE) (talk) 20:26, 9 May 2012 (UTC)


In the 2nd and 7th mockup, the user can add or edit an interwiki, How can we detect a vandalism? pe: If I have a page in Spanish like "Perro" (en:Dog) but someone changes the interwiki to English page "Cat". Any user can modify a interwiki?. User rights? Superzerocool (talk) 14:08, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

It will be possible to restrict editing in Wikidata based on rights management in Wikidata. How exactly this is going to be restricted depends on the community. It could be editable by anyone, only registered users, only a special group and so on. We're going to provide the technical means for it though. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 15:26, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

purging interlanguage links[edit]

4. editor is on the Wikipedia article FROM in fr: which has a number of interlanguage links already, and wants to transfer them to Wikidata.

Editor clicks on "edit" for editing the page and removes all language links from the wikitext...

This section confuses me. There is an script in the old Interlanguage extension (named InterlanguageCentralExtensionPurgeJob.php, I think) that purges interlanguage links on the wiki that have allready been added to the central server. Why isin't Wikidata making use of this? --Snaevar (talk) 15:29, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

We're aware of the script however we'd rather not automate things like this for now. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 10:23, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

"add language"[edit]

I'd worry that "add language" is going to be too tempting for users not to click on, even if they don't know what it means. Was the team intending for it only to display to registered users, for example, for this reason? Jarry1250 (talk) 15:45, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

I don't think it is a problem to be honest. What's the worst thing that can happen if a user clicks add language? Until that moment nothing happens. He/She'd have to look for an existing article that fits at which point they'd probably stop. Or am I missing something? --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 08:42, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
I'd more think they click the link, get confused / not understand the purpose of the box, and then type something that made sense to them but wouldn't make sense if you understood the concept of interwikis. Unfortunately, I'm not sure many people (by which I mean readers - and in particular English-language readers) understand interwikis, hence my concern that the amount of confusion generated could be quite high. Jarry1250 (talk) 22:42, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Ah ok. Got your point. I guess we can only find out by testing this with users. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 09:05, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

How do we make it clear that a simple change has global impact?[edit]

I would argue for the need for a user interface affordance signalling clearly that the change the user is about to make is going to affect other language versions of the article as well. We can verify through user testing whether such an affordance is needed, but we know from other contexts that users are surprised if a seemingly local action has global impact.

This is going to be a recurring challenge with Wikidata (e.g. inline editing of a table affects other language instantiations of the same data), so I think this would be a good place to start experimenting with different ways to manage user expectations.--Eloquence (talk) 22:11, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

One could argue that the current system is just as broken for some users who expect language links to be consistent across Wikipedias. The question is if it makes a difference if they know or don't know that this is global. Do you have a case where this is important? Unrelated to this you are of course right that we need to do user testing. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 08:47, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I guess this is one of the places where we should reality check our design. The problem is that the task at hand -- maintaining language links -- is nothing that a casual editor does, so who would be group to test? I fully agree with the argument for data editing, but for the language links I am not so sure. I guess that's what user testing would be helpful for... we'll investigate. --Denny Vrandečić (WMDE) (talk)

Adding a language link[edit]

  1. I hope the language will be seleceted by a drop-down-list and not by simply writing it down?
  2. how is made sure that article really exists and is no disambiguation? Experienced users no how to handle/check that, but one of the aims is usability (and specially for unexperienced/new editors).
    1. example I: I'm on pl:Leszno and see that the link to the German Wikipedia is missing. I know the German Name so i add de:Lissa - that would be wrong
    2. example II: I'm on pl:Zbychowice and see the Link to the German Wikipedia is missing. I know the rules about geografic-names on Wikipedia and add: de:Zbychowice - no article there though
  3. what about interwikis to redirects?

...Sicherlich Post 04:42, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

  1. A drop-down list with >280 items isn't really that useful either, we will go instead for "writing with smart autocomplete". If this doesn't work, heck, we will go for a simple dropdown list. But how useful is the dropdown list in the users preference for selecting a language?
  2. In short, we do not make it impossible to point to non-existing pages, we do not make it impossible to point to disambiguation pages. We *do* make it impossible to have several items point to the same Wikipedia title (before redirecting, but after normalization). The UI helps a little bit in making the right entry with auto-completion, but even that does not ensure that the next day the article does not disappear. In these cases, instead of creating a complex solution, we hope that the human editor community -- with the help of gardening bots and special pages will keep this problem in check -- just as they do it now. --Denny Vrandečić (WMDE) (talk) 10:34, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
  3. Intwerwikis to redirects might happen. I am not seeing right now why they would be useful, but the future Wikidata community might disagree. They do not get resolved automatically in any way.
Thanks for the questions, they are rather hard ones :) --Denny Vrandečić (WMDE) (talk) 10:34, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Not too hard I as see :) - thanks for the answers
  1. - good point - hope the solution will work out
  2. hmm!! "We *do* make it impossible to have several items point to the same Wikipedia title " sounds good from the technical point of view, but from the readers side I doubt;
    1. en:Hermione Granger, en:Draco Malfoy aso. all point to de:Figuren der Harry-Potter-Romane. From the readers point of view; its exactly what they are looking for; the desciption on de - you want to make it impossible!?
    2. of course you may argue that you could link to redirects aso but thats only working in this example, There are others (know there are as I saw it several times but its much harder to finde them :o) ) where it would not work or where you force editors to create redirects with no other puprose then interwikis. That makes the worker adapting to the tool; should be the other way around! Please rething that.
  3. Interwikis to redirects; yeah just came to my mind; dont know if good, bad or what so ever :o) - if nothing changes no need to get into it :)
...Sicherlich Post 14:48, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  1. Me too. :)
  2. It will not be possible to link to several articles in the same language from Wikidata at first. But don't forget that local language links are still possible, i.e. en:Hermione can still point to de:HP-Figuren if she is so inclined. This means that any case that is possible now will still be possible -- Wikidata just takes care of the simple, reciprocal examples. We have then to observe how the situation develops with interwiki links and see if there is any more help that Wikidata can provide.
  3. Agree :). --Denny Vrandečić (WMDE) (talk) 15:16, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  1. A grouped drop-down list with language families at level 1 might be useful. --Rosentod (talk) 12:20, 11 May 2012 (UTC)


I really like this storyboard! — Jeblad 12:29, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

don´t add language links[edit]

Could you define a "magic word" or something else (check box?) that there should be no language link to a certain language version. Because it is a known problem, that sometimes articles in different languages are too different but bots don´t understand this. -- 00:15, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Please have a look at mw:Extension:Wikibase Client#Usage. There are already a few magic words defined. I am not sure if they cover what you have in mind. Let me know if they don't please. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 09:33, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Interlanguage edit wars[edit]

If there is a possibility to edit, you will have edit wars. Is there a tool to globally restrict/block editing of interwiki links of an interlanguage article cloud? Will global rights be required or are local admin rights sufficient, i.e. can a local admin get a global (or it might be better to say Wikidata) user right? --Rosentod (talk) 12:17, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

How admin privileges and rights are given out is up to the community to decide later. So we can't say yet how exactly this will be done. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 12:38, 11 May 2012 (UTC)


Hi. First of all: Its a great idea to have a more centralized approach for interwikis!

How do you plan to cope with interwiki-conflicts (Interwiki_conflicts, de:Wikipedia:Interwiki-Konflikte)?

Here is a good example for a difficult case: de:Benutzer:AwOc/iw3.

Greetings, Teilzeittroll (talk) 13:56, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Hey :) Wikidata will not solve the problem of names in one language not mapping directly to names in other languages sometimes. This isn't something Wikidata can solve. However Wikidata will help with the current problems in Wikipedia by centralizing the storage in many cases. This should simplify the management of the interwiki links massively. For those cases where it is needed however the old system will continue to work. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 15:41, 11 June 2012 (UTC)