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Disambiguation pages are pages that list links to more specific pages for a given search term. Since in MediaWiki page titles are unique,[1] there may be multiple pages that could refer to a given word or phrase that a reader searches for. It is in this situation that disambiguation pages are often used, to help mitigate the ambiguity and accessibility to pages with similar but distinct titles.

An example to explain the need for a disambiguation page refers to the name New York. The name could refer to a myriad of more specific topics such as New York City, the state of New York, or a magazine by the title of New York. If a user simply searches for "New York", they are brought to the disambiguation page from which they can find the topic they were looking for.

Disambiguation pages typically do not by themselves describe specific content, they only lead to more pages with similar titles. A list of all disambiguation pages on a wiki can be found at Special:DisambiguationPages, while pages linking to disambiguation pages are listed at Special:DisambiguationPageLinks.

When to link to disambiguation pages edit

Disambiguation pages refer to multiple topics, so in most cases it is undesirable to link to them. Where possible, links should instead point to pages on a specific topic. The Disambiguator extension has some features that make it easier to reduce the number of unwanted links to disambiguation pages.

Reducing links to disambiguation pages edit

Pages that contain links to disambiguation pages are listed at Special:DisambiguationPageLinks. In addition, Disambiguator provides other features that can help reduce the number of links to disambiguation pages:

Warning editors about linking to disambiguation pages edit

Example of the notifications feature

When using WikiEditor (also known as the 2010 wikitext editor), a notification warns editors about linking to a disambiguation page after they type the link.[2] The notification contains a "Review link" that once clicked, will prompt the editor to correct the link to a more specific term.

Users can disable this feature by adding the following to their personal CSS such as at Special:MyPage/common.css:

.mw-disambiguator-notification { display: none; }

Revision tag edit

Edits that add links to disambiguation pages are given the disambiguator-link-added revision tag. Patrollers can filter Special:RecentChanges and Special:Watchlist to show only changes that have this tag, making it easier to find and fix the links.

CSS class edit

Disambiguator adds the CSS class .mw-disambig to links to disambiguation pages.[3] The color of these links can then easily be changed through CSS (such as through MediaWiki:Common.css or individual user CSS), for instance with: {
	color: #f17600;

With these colored differently than normal links, it is easier for patrollers to spot and fix the links.

Notes edit

  1. It is possible to modify display titles depending on how your wiki is configured, but internally each page still has a unique title.
  2. This requires the $wgDisambiguatorNotifications configuration flag be enabled.
  3. This requires the $wgDisambiguatorIndicateLinks configuration flag be enabled.