Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (languages)/Archive

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Regarding moving Sanskrit to Sanskrit language (originally written at Talk:Sanskrit language:

Hey! "Page titles should stay listed for a minimum of a week before a decision is made." We got less than eight hours to discuss that one! I know that no information was deleted, so nothing drastic has happened, but I didn't get to put forward my opinion! :) As the page says, "Sanskrit is a language". As far as I'm aware, it's nothing else. (I can't find a statement in the page saying that "the term is also used for...") I therefore submit that the word "language" is unnecessary, and looks like it was inserted by the Department of Redundancy Department. It's not analogous to "French" vs. "French language", because the adjective "French" can be applied to any number of things, whereas "Sanskrit" can only be applied to the language. As far as I know. If anyone knows differently, please add "the term is also used for..." to the page. -- Oliver Pereira 20:05 Nov 26, 2002 (UTC)

This happens to a Wikipedia naming convention. An old and outdated one IMO since it was made before we had the ability to make parenthetical titles. I would prefer that instead we had English (language), Farsi, Sanskrit, BASIC, Fortran etc instead of English language, Farsi language, Sanskrit language, and the really stupid BASIC programming language and Fortran programming language. The only time we should disambiguate is when two terms share the same name. I'm personally tired of writing English all the time - it would be much simpler to use the pipe trick to turn [[English (language)|]] into [[English (language)|English]] (note the pipe after the first parenthetical language). --mav 20:33 Nov 26, 2002 (UTC)

"Farsi" is not a correct word to use in English. "Farsi" is the local name for the Persian language used in hte Persian language itself.

I suppose I'd better defend myself. Firstly, I didn't leave the vote up for a week because there was no need - partly because, as Oliver says, no info was deleted, but also because if anybody wants to move this page back to the original location, they can do so. The only reason the page couldn't be moved from Sanskrit in the first place is because there was something in the history of this page. However, there's nothing in the history of Sanskrit apart from a redirect to here, and the "Move page function" will let you write over those. So if you disagree you can move it back.
Second, I agree that the naming convention is outdated, but thought it best to follow it as somebody had requested it be followed. Better to get the convention changed that simply ignore it, I think (if you just ignore them, they never get changed anyway). So I encourage everybody to take up the matter at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions. I'd argue about it myself, but I'm far too lazy ;)
Thirdly, I had no idea you could do the [[English (language)|]] thing - that's very handy indeed. How long have we been able to do that? (Probably been possible since I arrived, and I've just missed it somehow...) --Camembert
I was also not aware that was possible. Tokerboy 20:48 Nov 26, 2002 (UTC)

I've moved the page back to Sanskrit. The "X language" naming convention is only useful or desireable as a disambiguator (usually with adjectives of nationality that people frequently want to link to a country page rather than a language); we don't use it at Esperanto, Lojban, Loglan, or Volapuk either. Interlingua is a slightly more dubious case, as the term is used in a general sense as well as the name of a particular language. As for the parenthetical magic link naming; I suspect roughly one or two people at most know about it and actively use it. I have vague memories of it being discussed on the mailing lists months and months ago but was not aware it had been implemented. --Brion 20:54 Nov 26, 2002 (UTC)

Hmm, I feel my apathy towards getting that convention changed falling away - we've got Visual Basic programming language, FORTRAN programming language, lord knows how many others, all (well, nearly all) unnecessary. Pretty silly to disambiguate when there's nothing to disambiguate against. As for the pipe trick - I guess it should be documented in Wikipedia:How does one edit a page. I'd add it there myself, but the html table markup gives me a headache... --Camembert
"I suppose I'd better defend myself." Okay, sorry if I sounded like I was attacking you! I must have been getting overheated again. :) I didn't realise there was a convention that all languages had to end in "language". I see you've asked about changing it on the Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions page. If no-one objects to changing it, do we just assume that the convention can be dropped? And if so, after how long...? -- Oliver Pereira 18:08 Nov 27, 2002 (UTC)
As far as I know, there is no answer to these questions. I tried to be pro-active and change the convention after a couple of days, but it didn't go down too well in some quarters... Oh, and I didn't really feel like I was being attacked: just couldn't think of a better opening sentence for my post :-) --Camembert

Originally from Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions:

Would there be any objections if we changed the "Languages, both natural and programming" convention from: Programming languages should be suffixed with "programming language", and natural languages with "language", to:

Languages which share their names with some other thing should be suffixed with "programming languages" in the case of programming languages, and "language" in the case of natural languages. If the language's name is unique, there is no need for any suffix. For example, Python programming language and English language, but Visual Basic and Sanskrit.

(As an aside: I'd also like to think that eventually English language could be changed to English (language), as mav says at Talk:Sanskrit, but I don't think the pipe trick he refers to on that page is widely enough known for this to be such a great idea just at the moment - it does mean an extra pair of parenthesis to type for those who don't know the trick, after all). --Camembert

The start of this thread was originally on the Wikipedia:Village pump:

What's the right thing to do when one wants to move an article to a title that has some substance in its history? Should we be very careful to preserve the old edits, or is it OK to just delete them and move the page as we want? For example, I wanted to move Visual Basic programming language to Visual Basic (to fit in with the new naming convention) but the latter has quite a bit in its history. If it was just a couple of redirects, I wouldn't hesitate to delete the page to make the move possible, but there's quite a bit more than that, and even though none of the history has survived into the present Visual Basic programming language article, I'm still wary about deleting it. SNOBOL, Objective C and C Plus Plus provide other examples (there are probably many more, I've given up looking for them). I really want to move these pages so that common practice and the stated convention are the same thing. If they're not, the convention isn't a lot of use; if they are, then it should avoid dupliacted articles like these in the future. --Camembert 00:53 Nov 29, 2002 (UTC)

That is exactly what you DON'T want to do. The naming convention for programming language is "NNNN programming language". Visual Basic and all the others are absolutely fine where they are. Extensive conversations have gone on about this for more then a year. And myself and many others have invested literally hundreds of hours into moving those languages to the CORRECT name of "NNNN programming language". -Robert Lee
Ahem. I think you mean the conventional name. Presumably, the correct name for a programming language is whatever its inventor decided to call it at the time, unless it has been renamed since then. Calling them "[something] programming language" is, of course, just a Wikipedia convention. Is there an article somewhere explaining why this convention was established in the first place? It seems to be a general rule that whenever anyone challenges a convention, the Old Ones dismiss the challenge by saying, "We had long and tedious discussions about this years before you came here, and everything was settled back then. We don't want to go over the same arguments again. The discussion is over!" Or something along those lines. I paraphrase, of course. :) Why don't we keep records of the conclusions of these discussions, with the reasons behind them explained in detail, as articles (in the Meta thingy, I suppose it would be), and then point people to them when they question the conventions, instead of just getting angry with them? That would be much more constructive, and if people still wanted to challenge the conventions after having absorbed the earlier conclusions, at least they would be doing so in a new way, and not just going through all the same arguments again and again. -- Oliver Pereira 06:33 Nov 29, 2002 (UTC)
In general, the old discussions either are or should be in or linked to from the talk pages of the pages describing the conventions. (Wikipedia:Naming conventions & friends.) If they are not linked, this should be corrected if the discussions A) were done on the wiki B) were made at all! and C) are still on the wiki. Unfortunately, the old old software used to periodically wipe out old revisions of articles, so some material may have been vanished. In this particular case, see Talk:Programming language, where the only suggestion seems to be for the convetion as now expressed -- that is, the "X programming language" convention is intended for ambiguous names. Whoever copied it into the naming conventions page probably mistakenly overgeneralized it. --Brion 06:56 Nov 29, 2002 (UTC)

Yes, I looked for old discussion of the matter, found none, couldn't think of a reason not to change the convention (still can't), so asked on the talk page if there were any objections to my proposed change; there weren't, so I changed it. All that aside: I still don't know whether it is OK for me to delete C Plus Plus and similar articles (which has a fair number of edits in their history) so I can move C Plus Plus programming language there to fit in with the new improved naming convention. In short: how reluctant should I be to delete pages and lose old edits when I want to move a page to that title? --Camembert 19:30 Nov 29, 2002 (UTC)

Little known fact: if you delete a page, you or another sysop can restore it via Special:Undelete. If a new page of the same title has been since created, the old revisions will drop onto the end of the new page. So, you can combine the histories back into one: delete C Plus Plus, rename C Plus Plus programming language to C Plus Plus, and undelete the old C Plus Plus. Be very sure this is what you want to do, though! (I've done it in this case -- if need be it can be re-renamed willy-nilly, but now the history will be intact.) --Brion 19:42 Nov 29, 2002 (UTC)
Thanks Brion - I knew one could undelete pages, but didn't know it was possible to combine histories. That solves all (well, nearly all) my problems. --Camembert 19:55 Nov 29, 2002 (UTC)
talk:programming language, you obviously didn't look too hard. Now about half way down the page I asked people what they thought of me going though and making the requested changes for the sake of consistency. I got support and an offer for help. Further many people spent MONTHS making the changes you are nowing f**king with. Quite frankly, its a little upsetting to have just completed a major change after a long discussion (not just on that page, but on others as well) and having someone turn around and without adding anything to the existing discussion revert hundreds of changes. If this is how I can expect my work here to be appreciated, I'm leaving. This is nuts. There is no way in hell I'm going to tolerate having months of work reverted for no reason other then "Well, I felt like it". That said, if you guys want to go through hundreds of articles and move them on your own fine. But I'm outta here. This site is a huge waste of time. -Robert Lee
Can you tell the rest of us where to find this long discussion, or do we have to guess? (Furthermore, I reread Talk:Programming language; the single offer of help from Jeronimo makes no mention of naming conventions, nor does your proposal to which it is a response -- rather it's about the organization of topics into articles and lists of articles. I'm left utterly perplexed at your reaction to the present discussion.) --Brion 22:30 Nov 29, 2002 (UTC)

Well I do have to agree with Lee here on the process issue: Several people, myself included, have spent the better part of a month discussing a change to the Anglicization convention. Only after that was an actual change made to the convention (a small change at that). In a few minutes I will create a talk page for the language convention so that discussion can exist for posterity. --mav

I'm aware of the long discussion over Anglicization - where there is dispute, of course there must be discussion. But I repeat: I proposed the change on Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions and left it there for a couple of days before doing anything else. Perhaps I could have waited a little longer, but as far as I was aware there was no dispute over the matter, so I saw no point in waiting. If there was some other process I was supposed to go through, I wasn't aware of it. I'm still not aware of it, so you'd better tell me what it is so I don't make this mistake again.
I'll expand on the rationale behind my change to the convention in a moment - I must admit, I didn't expect it to create such controversy, so hadn't written at great length about the change before. For now let me clear one thing up: I'm not on a crusade to undo other people's work here. I'm aware that Rlee0001 has done a lot of work on the programming languages pages, and I hope he doesn't see this change as an attack on that work. The only reason I'm changing things is to try and avoid more work in the future (as I say, I'll expand on this later).
As for "having someone turn around and without adding anything to the existing discussion revert hundreds of changes" - I've not made hundreds of changes, I've made two: VBScript and C Plus Plus (Brion actually moved the pages in the latter case, but at my behest). And, as I already said, I wasn't aware of any "existing discussion" on the issue. I have looked at Talk:Programming languages, but can't see anything there about the matter apart from the sentence In particular, those language names that are ambiguous should all either be "Lang programming language" or "Lang language" - this is consistent with my revision of the convention (names which are ambiguous should be followed with "programming language").
Finally (for now), I'm not obsessed with this idea of renaming programming langaues pages, and am quite prepared to let it drop and have us go back to the way things were before if that's the best thing to do. But I still don't understand the rationale behind putting the words "programming language" behind every article title, whether needed or not. I don't see why QBASIC programming language is more "correct" than QBASIC. If there is a reason, please tell me, I'm dying to hear it! And yes, I am quite preapred to do all the work in moving pages to fit with convention myself if the revised convention sticks. --Camembert 00:26 Nov 30, 2002 (UTC)
I would consider a week an absolute minimum time to wait for responses. To my knowledge there isn't a policy on the process that should be taken in these cases but there is a strong consensus that conventions shouldn't be changed too often - otherwise they are useless. With that said, I would like to restate my support for the proposed change. There is no reason to preemptively disambiguate a term when that term is the only thing known by that name. Blindly tacking on the extra "programming language" or "language" to the end of an already unique term only makes it more difficult to make direct links to articles. Redirects are nice but it is silly to have FORTRAN redirect to FORTRAN programming language when we could simply have the article at FORTRAN. Having the simplified title is also consistent with the general naming convention of using common names and being precise when necessary. The specific naming conventions need to respect the general ones. This is one of the main reasons why the preemptive city naming convention died. --mav
OK, apologies to anyone who thinks I changed the convention without waiting long enough - it's probably a justified belief; I was rather too eager to get things done, perhaps. If anybody wants to change it back to the old form while we discuss this, I certainly won't revert it back again (although I will still argue for the convention to be changed). --Camembert

I think mav has got to the nub of the matter as to why the convention should be changed, but I said I'd expand on my reasoning, so I will. As mav says, there is no reason to disambiguate article titles unless such disambiguation is necessary (Brion suggested this earlier, also). One of the most serious consequences of unnecessary disambiguation in my view is that duplicate articles are created - I've seen this happen on other subjects, and I think it's happened with programming languages as well.

What happens is that somebody unaware of the naming conventions writes an article that includes a link to a programming language that doesn't yet have an article: I'll call it "skree". So they write in this article: "'''Charinfink''' is a [[web browser]] written in [[Skree]]." They see there is no article on "skree" yet, so they write it. Later, somebody comes along who ''is'' aware of the naming conventions and writes in a different article: "'''Popperling''' is a [[word processor]] originally written in the [[Skree programming language]]." She sees there is no article on "skree programming languages", so she writes the article, giving us two articles on the same subject, which might be edited independently for quite some time. I think everyone would agree that this would be undesireable.

There are other reasons for not disambiguating unless you have to (you have to type more characters to get a direct link to the article, for example), but this seems like one of the most compelling to me.

I reiterate, by the way, that I am prepared to be convinced I'm wrong on this matter, and I'll hold fire on renaming pages until some sort of consensus is reached or a decent chunk of time has passed without disagreement (ten days or so, to be on the safe side). --Camembert