Forum:The curious case of the sea slugs

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Forums: Redwood Grove > The curious case of the sea slugs
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This thread was archived on 25 March 2020 by BigDiesel2m.

Hey folks. We have a lot of pages whose names only differ by capitalization. Examples:

Here is a full list.

These page names are a little bit confusing, and (to some users) perhaps could do with some disambiguation in the page names. In fact, the RuneScape Wiki already has a policy to do this as of 2018. Normally I would be opposed to this: I have no issue keeping the names as they are, since there's no collision for the exact capitalizations.

However, I've recently found out that Google Search (which leads to ~85% of our traffic) actually seems to treat things with the same uncapitalized name, as the same page. That means they will only ever display one of these for a search result, for the reason "Duplicate, submitted URL not selected as canonical". What's worse is, they'll often select the less popular page as the "canonical" one.

Try it out: searching sea slug osrs on Google returns the Sea slug species article, and the quick guide, but the main quest article is nowhere on the search results page. Same with enchanted key osrs: the item, not the much more relevant miniquest, shows up. Same with dark altar osrs, where the completely useless quest reward scroll item shows up instead of the actual useful location. This dramatically reduces the number of people that see the relevant page on our wiki, hurts our traffic, and sometimes even makes people think we don't have pages for certain things.

However, we can fix this by putting something in parentheses on one of the page names. You might notice that this already works for Dark altar (Construction). While we shouldn't force Google's idiosyncrasies to define how we name things, it's clearly a good idea here. Therefore, I'm proposing we take our guidelines for disambiguation (written or otherwise) and extend them to pages with different capitalization. Generally this would mean adding parentheses to whatever the less popular/canonical page is, so renaming Sea slug to "Sea slug (race)" or similar, adding (item) to the end of teletabs, et cetera. It might be a bit unclear which version is less popular, but whatever we do is going to be better than nothing.

There's also a question of what to do with the old page name: where should Sea slug or Varrock teleport redirect to? I don't have strong feelings on this (and I think it go case by case), but let's have that discussion here. ʞooɔ 23:53, 14 March 2020 (UTC)


Question - In the case of teletabs (which make up the majority of these name overlaps) would we just be calling them "Varrock teleport (item)"? Or would we want to call them something like "Varrock teleport (tablet)"? BigDiesel2m (talk) 00:19, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

If there is a single item with the name, I would think it would make sense to be named "Varrock teleport (item)". If there are multiple, then it would make sense to have "Varrock teleport (tablet)", "Varrock teleport (other descriptor)". It would appear that the RS Wiki does this for RSW:Varrock Teleport and RSW:Varrock teleport (item). Sir Veylantz (talk) 04:58, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
Since the item is based on the spell; I think the spell should be the default/plain naming and the tablet should have the disambig portion. As for the specific naming, I could be swayed to support either. (tablet) would be intuitive for someone looking for the tablet, while (item) would allow us to follow a consistent naming convention for all items. Legaia2Pla · ʟ · 01:32, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
Personally, I think I lean towards "(tablet)" in this case, rather than just a generic "(item)". Of course there will be some situations like the Shantay pass where there isn't a more descriptive way to label them than just "(item)", but in cases where we do have a better term for it like tablets, I think we should take advantage of it. I think it's similar to NPCs like Jade (Warriors' Guild) and Death (Halloween). Both of those were recently moved from "(NPC)" to a more descriptive paranthesis, and I think those changes are for the better. I'd like to see us aim for more descriptive page titles when we can :) BigDiesel2m (talk) 23:05, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
I also like (tablet) or anything specific that still sounds like natural language Riblet15 (talk) 04:57, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

Comment - I think it clears up any ambiguity if they are not only different pages (which are are now) to also have different, case-insensitive, page names. Many people do not realize that URLs can be case sensitive. Honestly, I forgot about this until I had to do some dev work on URLs. I think what the default is should be decided on a case-by-case basis, but I believe consistency is key for wiki users. For instance, I would think the spells would be the default and their item counterpart be parenthesized. However, things like "Sea slug" would be harder. In my opinion it should be the species, and the quest be parenthesized. While this may not be the most popular scenario for users, it sounds like the most logical structuring of the data. Sir Veylantz (talk) 04:58, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

To follow up on this. I'm not 100% sure on the OSRS Wiki's stance on handling cases that the RS Wiki has dealt with. However it would appear to me that in some cases the OSRS Wiki shouldn't need to reinvent the wheel. If the RS Wiki has done it one way, why would OSRS need to do it another way unless the content itself is substantially different? On the RS Wiki, we have RSW:Sea Slug for the quest and RSW:Sea slug (species) for the species. Unless there is a strong reason, I don't see why the RS Wiki and OSRS shouldn't be consistent where possible. Sir Veylantz (talk) 05:07, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
I agree with following in RSW's footsteps when it makes sense (helps make external links less of a headache too). As for which page to pick as the main, we should prioritize the end user first (data structure nerds can suffer). Whichever page people are looking for when they google the pagename should be made the default one (so quests will take priority 99% 100% of the time). -Towelcat (talk) 06:40, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

Support removing ambiguity - Much of the success of this wiki relies on us catering to the people that actually use it (and catering to google search results :_H_:). Copy what RSW has already done (e.g. suffixing magic tabs with (item), and change the current pages to redirect to whichever one becomes the "main" page. If people search for varrock teleport, they're usually looking for the spell, so it should redirect to Varrock Teleport. Suffixing with generic terms like (item) or (species) is fine so long as it's the only one. -Towelcat (talk) 06:40, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

Support removing ambiguity - I hate this ambiguity that exists. These pages contribute greatly to a bad user experience for no valid reasoning that I've ever seen given. I support adding disambigs on the least used/searched for page.

I would disagree with Towelcat and Sir Veylantz's talk about following RSW's policies solely for consistency, we're a separate wiki with in large part separate editors so there's no reason to follow their policies without changing our own via a thread such as this one. zTUG5mD.png Crow 653  15:19, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

Just to clarify, I prefer (tablet) over (item) and would like "Varrock teleport" to redirect to the most commonly used version after adding the disambig, so redirected to the one without the disambig, in the case of spells/tablets I believe that'd be the spells. zTUG5mD.png Crow 653  05:17, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

Support removing ambiguity - I would very much like pages to not differ by just captalization and have disambiguating terms for the less common search or in the case that they are both about the same, case by case. I don't care much for keeping or deviating from RSW policy as long as it works well for OSW, however I generally agree with cat's points. Choppetalk 15:58, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

Support removing ambiguity - I also would like to remove this unfortunate naming convention we ended up with. Using capitalization to differentiate between two identically spelled things is not useful or intuitive. I've come across a couple times using the wrong one... which is easy to do because if you don't look up which capitalization to use, you're bound to use the wrong one.

As for deciding which to use as the default, I agree with many above of using the more visited page to be the default. I'm curious on the stats across the different pages to make sure that our assumptions on which is more traveled is accurate. Examples of how we've disambig'd situations like this is both with Shilo Village and the Tower of Life. For Shilo Village, the quest is the default and the location has (location). This is similar to Tower of Life, the quest is the default. Legaia2Pla · ʟ · 01:32, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

Comment - I went ahead and made a list of of all the problematic pages, and the fixes I think should be applied each of them. Please take a look and tell me what you think. (Thanks to people from the Discord who helped on some of the weird ones <3 ) In some case I attached a note if the situation was a bit odd or the descriptor was generic, but for the most part I think it's a pretty solid list.

BigDiesel2m (talk) 18:49, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

Support. Support Diesel's list --Gau Cho (talk) 18:52, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

Comment - I thought we just inhereited this policy from rsw. I've been moving relevant pages when I notice them already, anyway. Doesn't seem like it should've needed a thread. Regardless, I am in favor of moving pages to remove ambiguity in case of minor name differences (capitals, plurals, maybe others). In the case of willow trees and other con/farming things I think "willow tree" should redirect to the woodcutting tree, and the other two pages use disambiguation parens チェン (話し合う) 02:08, 22 March 2020 (UTC)

Comment - I support removing the ambiguation, but I have a caveat. Right now, there are a lot of inconsistency in the way pages are referred to. During multiple of my edits, I see pages referred to in all lowercase within the source editor (example: Super antipoison (/w/Super_antipoison) referred to as [[super antipoison]] and as [[Super Antipoison]], sometimes within the same page). This is an entirely different beast on its own, but it might be something to consider when looking at these name changes. How many instances of this are there to these ambiguities across the wiki (and how many of them are cases when the disambiguation is important)? --JMcAfreak (talk) 00:13, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

That is actually a different issue. When we use non-proper nouns in sentences, we lowercase all aspects of them (or at least should). So [[super antipoison]] is correct in most cases unless it's the first word of a sentence. [[Super Antipoison]] is just wrong and should be fixed for contextual correctness (more than likely as super antipoison). Jakesterwars (talk) 00:19, 25 March 2020 (UTC)
Like I said, it's a different beast entirely (and one I think ought to be discussed in its entirety elsewhere). However, it does pose a potential problem for this specific thing because what we're talking about is pages with the same title where the only difference is the case of one letter. Case-insensitive references to case-sensitive titles very much affects this. Example: "Next, talk to the [[sawmill operator]]." This is the grammatically correct way to refer to both [[Sawmill Operator]] (Prifddinas) and [[Sawmill operator]] (Varrock). The all lowercase reference would currently take you to the Varrock entry. We would still have to adopt [[Sawmill operator (Varrock)|sawmill operator]] as the way to do grammar and not have the disambiguation appear in the text of the article, so why not make that the consistent way to do it all over the place? Once again, this is probably a discussion that should be held elsewhere, but it is something to think about. --JMcAfreak (talk) 02:16, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

Comment - I don't know if we have established this and I think common sense will generally cover it, but if we have a new page created in the future for new content that causes need for disambiguation on either the new or old page, it may be confusing. I think there is a natural preference for music to be less popular, so something like that wouldn't be an issue, however if something new came out that was equally or more popular, would that then take over as the main page and we would disambiguate the previous. In the same situation, what if that new page were to drop off and be useless.

Just theoretical idea to consider, because I'm not sure where I stand on it, though I'm sure someone will have a good reponse. Also:

Support. Support Diesel's list - per gau Choppetalk 01:30, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

If a similar issue arises, we'll just disambiguate the pages appropriately. For example, the it makes sense to give the parenthesis description to the holiday "Trapped soul", since the quest monster still in the game today is much more relevant. If Jagex takes "The Butcher" as described by the book and turns him into a quest boss or something, we'll likely make the NPC page the primary one, and move the book to something like "The butcher (book)". It's not a perfect solution, obviously, but adjusting pagenames as new game content is released is something we're more than ready for :) BigDiesel2m (talk) 19:53, 25 March 2020 (UTC)
That is sufficient, just wanted it to be brought up. Choppetalk 19:57, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

Closure - The pages will be moved as outlined in the list above. Any redirects created for alternate capitalizations of the page will point towards the page without any parenthesized descriptor. In the future, pages will not be created that are alternate captializations of an existing page. In places where the "primary" page is deemed to have shifted from one captilization to another (such as if Jagex releases "The Butcher" as a boss NPC), we will use common sense to adjust the page titles accordingly. BigDiesel2m (talk) 20:31, 25 March 2020 (UTC)