RulesToConsider/Establish Context

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Almost every entry in the Wikipedia should begin with a line or two that establishes context. These opening lines should include the most basic facts about the subject.

An article on Charles Darwin should not begin with "Darwin created controversy with the publication of the Origin of Species...." It should begin with "Charles Darwin was a 19th century biologist who proposed the modern theory of evolution."

An article on Scotland should not begin with "Scotland retains its identity despite political dominance by the English..." It should begin by stating what Scotland is, where it is, etc.: "Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, located in the northern end of the British Isles..."

In other words, it is helpful, especially for long articles, to put a short description/definition at the beginning of the article.


Note that this practice also facilitates uplinks--i.e., links to the more general topic of which the present page is a subtopic. For example, "Poker is a gambling card game based on..."

Disagreeing with this...as I sorta put into practice before noticing this line...but I put warnings and had no complaints and some encouragement. Doing this gives us uplinks, but it prevents us from making subpages when they really matter, and forces us to use the alternate brackets thing, destroying much hope of accidental linking (Daffodil vs Flower/Daffodil, Anthophyta/Daffodil, etc)

Elaborate, please, Josh, I don't understand.  :-) -- Larry Sanger

I'm not sure I understand either, but I do very much agree with Joshua that we should watch out for excessive sub-paging making for difficult accidental linking. Of course, one answer is to very simply have lots and lots of REDIRECT pages. Daffodil can redirect to Flower/Daffodil, so that accidental links work out o.k. --Jimbo Wales

Redirect pages are nice to have (daffodils to daffodil) -- but I think that they shouldn't be made necessary. Since pages would always want to use the word "daffodil", then everyone would either have to go through the needless redirect from daffodil to flower/Daffodil or change the referring page to use the name with a different link, as daffodil (what I somehow meant by alternate bracket thing). That's a lot of wasteful typing, if you ask me (which you did, this time at least :).

Another problem, of course, is that many subjects have more than one potential top-level category -- do Card games belong under games, or cards? And conversely, every subject has at least one heading it belongs to, but it would be awful to have all of wikipedia as subpages of the categories listed on the main page, with billions of redirects to send links to them. So I would avoid subpages for subcategories altogether, and use them for items that have no meaning outside of a context (like characters in a novel), and things like /Talk, /Examples, /Notes, /History, /Bibliography, and so forth. -- Josh Grosse