I'm in favor of changing the convention to put links to Wikipedia in the External links section of pages, rather than burying them in the navigational material. If it's an external link, why should it be anywhere other than there? Either that, or make the Other Sites area into a section. It's really hard to find Wikipedia links below all of navigational items that most users aren't interested in. -- Beland 21:09, 21 Jul 2004 (EDT)
I tend to agree. It is an external link, and not much like a Wikitravel article in another language. -- Infrogmation 19:30, 23 Jul 2004 (EDT)
This is completely trivial but it annoys me just the same: why on earth is the link syntax "WikiPedia", when the dictionary in question is called "Wikipedia" with a lower case P? Jpatokal 14:56, 23 Jul 2004 (EDT)
It's based on the fact that most wiki engines use CamelCase to make links. Interwiki links like WikiName:WikiPage also usually have CamelCase prefixes. For this reason, the well-known interwiki prefix for Wikipedia is WikiPedia.
This is hard-coded in a number of places in the MediaWiki code, and it'd be a bit of effort to change that each time I updated the software for Wikitravel. I can change it if we want, but it'll break the existing WikiPedia links. --Evan 15:11, 23 Jul 2004 (EDT)
This annoys me, too, BTW. Why not do it and use a robot to fix all the existing links? (Actually, why not support both, but make the lower case the convention?) -- Beland 02:34, 25 Jul 2004 (EDT)
Link to an article on specific section, not on whole page
> the link you add should be to an article on exactly the same topic.
I added link to GreekWines article at Wikipedia from Wines section of Greece -- under pressure of VFD for Greek_wines as a separate page. Does it comply to this policies?
A similar link to CuisineOfGreece (without precedent yet of creating a separate page) was deleted with reference to policies defined by this article.
How can I comply with the current policy of linking to WikiPedia, and still keep link to wikipedia, which I consider both relevant and useful for online users planning their travel? --DenisYurkin 10:46, 29 Sep 2005 (EDT)
> In general, try not to use in-line Wikipedia links. The traveler may not be on-line when they read a Wikitravel article, so a link to Wikipedia (or anywhere else) won't be of much use to them. Wikitravel articles should be as complete as possible in and of themselves. Essential information about a topic should be included in the Wikitravel article.
That's great in theory, but reality shows that Wikipedia is much more dynamic and populated than WikiTravel. I like the idea that Wikitravellers should create something much better -- but before that becomes true, why ignore strengths of WikiPedia? OK, we don't have agreements for exchanging content between Wikipedia and Wikitravel (and thus benefitting to each other) -- but it sounds bit arrogant to IGNORE wikipedia usefulness for a traveller planning his itineraries. Why won't we encourage users to link from Wikitravel to Wikipedia? It won't affect rate of content accumulation at Wikitravel -- but will help those looking for info to find it (and ultimately love the Wikitravel service which linked in a right direction).
We (the community so far) have generally felt that linking to Wikipedia or anything else is an easy way for contributors to avoid writing something. It's a bit of a cop-out. What we want is for people to take the time to write their subject up from a travel perspective. This is usually, but not always different from what's in Wikipedia. For instance a discussion of Greek wines should provide the basics in a terse paragraph like summary and then provide some info on where to go to buy the wine, or links to some itineraries of Wine tasting tours or something like that.
Since you've done this the link to Wikipedia is probably harmless, but it's kindof hard for us to make a guideline that says something like "If there's enough info in the article for a traveller to go on already, then you can link to Wikipedia, but not until". So we just discourage linking altogether. -- Mark 11:12, 29 Sep 2005 (EDT)
My point is the following. Giving a link to existing WikiPedia article is not encouraging WRITERS to contribute to WikiPedia instead of WikiTravel -- it's giving an extra benefit to READERS who came to WikiTravel, like its idea and are grateful for relevant info, even if it's not right on the same page. READERS will be grateful for helping them, and would bring new content to WikiTravel from their own experiences (which is quite hard to find place for at Wikipedia -- I think many of you tried, it's OVERcompetitive in terms of contributing new info, esp. compared to WikiTravel). --DenisYurkin 11:22, 29 Sep 2005 (EDT)
Yes I understood that, but I think you've missed my point. We're not being competitive with WikiPedia at all. Rather what we are trying to do is to make sure that when the reader is reading Wikitravel on a printed page somewhere they don't run into a section which amounts to "there are some great things to do in Barcelona, see this article in Wikipedia" at which point the reader asks "why did I waste my 16 cents printing this article"?
We are not in any way in competition with Wikipedia. I don't know where you got that idea. Maybe I should repeat that: wanting to have travel information in Wikitravel does not mean that we are in any way competing with Wikipedia. It just means that we want the relevant information here in Wikitravel. Avoiding links to WikiPedia is about keeping us from being lazy; simple as that. -- Mark 12:07, 29 Sep 2005 (EDT)
For individual article printouts, that is, for printing a list of museums or karaoke bars and putting it in your back pocket for when you need it -- or making a photocopy when someone else does
For ad-hoc travel guides, small fit-to-purpose travel books that match a particular itinerary
For inclusion in other travel books, giving up-to-date information for travel guide publishers.
Or the Non-Goal:
'9 Make a travel guide supplement. The WikiWiki technique we use for Wikitravel makes it possible for us to include information that's not in other travel guides. This doesn't mean that we only include information not found in other guides. Wikitravel aims to be a complete travel guide -- not just an additional resource on the side of traditional guides.
Although I can see no reason to do it, the shorthand for articles in other languages on the Wikipedia would be [[interwiki:2LetterWikiShorthand:ArticleName]]. Therefore, to get to the German article on Los Angeles, you would use wikiPedia:de:Los Angeles. BlankVerse 04:42, 16 January 2007 (EST)
A suggestion: I've been on a couple of wikis that have added w: into their interwiki maps as a synonym for the Wikipedia. On the other hand, you might not want to make it so easy to link to the Wikipedia. BlankVerse 05:01, 16 January 2007 (EST)
That's a good point. I think that should work with all Wikimedia projects and also with Wikitravel (I think it doesn't work with wikiHow or Wikia sites, but I'm not sure). I'll make a note on this page. --evanp 14:03, 16 January 2007 (EST)
I've read the discussions above, but I still don't understand the following policy: "Links from Wikitravel articles to Wikipedia articles which have a different subject conflict with the Wikitravel:External links guidelines. They are generally considered "secondary sources" and therefore should be avoided." This implies that some links to Wikipedia, that is, to articles which don't have a different subject, are acceptable and others, to those which do have a different subject, aren't. Could someone please give an example of each? Sailsetter 16:07, 13 April 2008 (EDT)
Thanks, that makes sense to me. One thing I was thinking is that historical background on a destination might be given very briefly in Wiktravel, referring to an article in Wikipedia (if there was a good one)for more detail. Sailsetter 17:38, 13 April 2008 (EDT)
There isn't really an ironclad consensus on what WP links are acceptable. IMHO it's usually enough to just give the WP link for the destination, because from there users can find out all the background info they need.
One exception for which I support WP links is biographies of authors and other historical figures: obviously (say) wikipedia:Julius Caesar or wikipedia:Matsuo Basho is not going to have an official homepage, and it's not within Wikitravel's scope to give their life story in detail. Jpatokal 02:00, 14 April 2008 (EDT)
I'm thinking it would be a slippery slope to say it's okay to link to historical or cultural things which by their nature have no homepage. If biographies were to be okayed, why not wikipedia links for wars and battles, religions and ethnic groups, ethnic dishes and ingredients, bodies of water and other articles that would be non-articles here? Texugo 02:19, 14 April 2008 (EDT)
Because we can say so in the guideline. =P Jpatokal 04:21, 14 April 2008 (EDT)
I agree, allowing some is a very slippery slope. It is a lot simpler just not to do it at all. Some examples:
Most people would probably be OK with wikipedia links to Sir Winston Churchill and Mohandas Ghandi from Ladysmith, but what about a link to a biography of Lady Smith? Even thought the town was named after her, she was really not important in history at all.
Johannesburg/Soweto can easily be linked to a biography of Nelson Mandela, but should it then also have a link for Archbishop Desmond Tutu? And if we add Tutu then what about the other couple of thousand freedom fighters?
The other problem with biographies is that people move around...especially prominent people. Ghandi and Churchill above are prime examples. Should Churchill be linked from Ladysmith, London, Madeira ....? We will end up with a huge number of external links leading our readers and contributors away from WT towards other sites.
The external link policy is there to keep us from being lazy and keeping WT for deteriorating into just another list of links. Inline WT links is just that, the lazy way out. If a biography is required, writing a short one in the History section or an Infobox, with specific emphasis on the person's relationship to the article. Add a booksource if really needed, but not an external link.
The slippery slope is easy to see, once we allow those kind of external links, then it is also just a short, easy, logical step before we start linking things like African flora and fauna to wikipedia or wikispecies. Might seem like a good idea at first, but it is not. We then end up with links that contain all the info about about those animals, except the info that a traveller really need, i.e. where is the best place to go if you want to see them and what time of the year is the best. --Nick 01:55, 15 April 2008 (EDT)
Well, I think the policy either ought to be changed to prohibit all links to Wikipedia, or should be rewritten so people will never be in doubt as to what sort of Wikipedia links they can use. Sailsetter 13:01, 15 April 2008 (EDT)
I'm fully in agreement that any links to Wikipedia beyond the one "article topic link" are a slippery slope that would undermine our general external links policy of not linking secondary sources (of which Wikipedia undoubtedly is an example). I'd be happy to slice and dice this policy article a bit to make this very clear, if there are no objections. --PeterTalk 13:15, 15 April 2008 (EDT)
Peter, I don't see here a consensus on this issue... Too many people (including me) sense a great utility to reader (e.g. as further reading). Denis Yurkin even made a suggestion to define a rules more precisely (see "Linking to WP for further details" above). -- Sergey kudryavtsev 03:59, 16 April 2008 (EDT)
I'd like to point out that said conversation above was two and a half years ago, within 10 days of DenisYurkin's first ever contribution here. I don't know about Denis, but my opinions on various subjects have changed a lot in the two years I've been contributing, so I'd rather see this conversation start afresh. Texugo 04:11, 16 April 2008 (EDT)
At any rate, the policy as it reads now already disallows more than the basic toolbar wikipedia link. It's simply not worded very eloquently. Texugo 04:13, 16 April 2008 (EDT)
For me, current policy is still strange. I would rather propose one of the following alternatives:
For simplicity and consistency of rules, I would vote for no links to wikipedia, as the current policy only confuses, but adds little value. However, having links to WP from Talk: page in "sources for further research" section sounds logical for me.
most radically, I seriously believe that wikitravel's core competence is in having up-to-date eat and sleep listings--and the rest can be referred to elsewhere (I realize I won't find any support in this)
I disagree that there needs to be any change to current policy for the reasons already given above. I find it really easy to look up anything I don't understand independently of our linking there.
Moreover, I find that when contributors add in-line Wikipedia links it generally ends up as a disservice to our readers because they eliminate the usual explanatory phrase one would otherwise use. For example: "Try the local specialty, hummus if you get a chance." rather than "Try the local specialty, hummus, a dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas, blended with tahini, lemon juice, salt and garlic. -OldPine 16:32, 20 April 2008 (EDT)
I wonder if the best thing would just have a policy not to link to Wikipedia. If I understand, the only links allowed by the current policy would be something like linking to the Wikipedia entry for France in the France Wikitravel article. But surely anyone who uses Wikitravel knows about Wikipedia and can go look up France (or any other subject) there if they want to. If that's the only allowed use of links to Wikipedia, then why allow them at all? Sailsetter 20:15, 20 April 2008 (EDT)
Because they link to us, one link per article, and bring us traffic too. And because that one allowed link sits unobtrusively in our sidebar next to the W66 link. Texugo 21:28, 20 April 2008 (EDT)
The truth is in that, one article in Wikitravel correspond several ones in Wikipedia. This is a nature of both projects. Wikitravel dissallow a article level deeper then a city part (and i agree with that rules). Quite the reverse Wikipedia have a tend to extremely detailed level of object description. Therefore оne article in Wikitravel may links to several in Wikipedia (e.g. from sights listings). The contributor's behaviour as explaned by OldPine is just a careless action. It is necessary to talk him, and explain why this is badly. -- Sergey kudryavtsev 06:25, 21 April 2008 (EDT)
My main concern isn't with what the policy of linking to Wikipedia should be, but that the policy should be entirely clear to contributors. A clearer statement of the current policy, if I understand it, is that "A link to Wikipedia for background information is allowed only if the link is to a Wikipedia article heading of the same name as the Wikitravel destination page being linked from; for instance, the France Wikitravel destination page could include a link to the Wikipedia France article, or the Cincinatti Wikitravel destination page could include a link to the Cincinatti Wikipedia article." I still think though that it would be even simpler, and therefore better, just to have a policy of not linking to Wikitravel, leave the link to Wikipedia on the Wikitravel welcome page, and remind users in the documentation that they can go to Wikpedia for more background information. Or, alternatively, have a policy that no contributor should make a Wikipedia link, but have the template for all destination articles have a link to the Wikipedia article for that destination. Sailsetter 10:42, 21 April 2008 (EDT)
I like the "no manual links; only one link made automatically by template" idea--at least, it's better than the current policy. --DenisYurkin 16:26, 21 April 2008 (EDT)
Well, that essentially is how the policy reads now, except that having the template do it automatically isn't practical, since our naming conventions are different, and since on Wikipedia there is a lot more disambiguation necessary. Texugo 19:20, 21 April 2008 (EDT)
Having read through the above again, it seems to me that there still isn't any resolution. The language of the policy is still confusing. I would like to propose that one of three things be done:
either the policy statement be changed to read, "The only links from Wikitravel pages to Wikipedia articles that should be used are links to a Wikipedia article that has the same title as the Wikitravel page; for example, there can be a link on the Wikitravel France page to the Wikipedia France article, or from the Wikitravel Kyoto page to the Wikipedia Kyoto article.
or the policy statement should read, "Links to Wikipedia articles should not be included in Wikitravel pages."
or if neither of the above represents what the policy actually is, then the language should be changed to do so.
At any rate, I think the same article only phraseology certainly shouldn't stand as it is; it should at least be clarified by examples. Sailsetter
allow a link to detailed description of See: attraction only
What if we allow linking to WP for individual attractions in See:, at least for cases when we've written enough on an attraction a traveler (and a travel guide) needs, while WP clearly have much more details and background on the attraction? --DenisYurkin 11:32, 6 February 2010 (EST)
That would be a big change in policy, contradicting Wikitravel:External links#What not to link to. I think the rationale for our WP links is that the information on major sights will be accessible via the one link that we provide per page. --PeterTalk 14:49, 6 February 2010 (EST)
I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Is that something like "Wikipedia should maintain a list of major attractions on its own page for a destination we link to, and when done so WT user can always find details on an attraction in question, at a cost of extra click after going to Wikipedia article on destination"? --DenisYurkin 15:58, 6 February 2010 (EST)
Precisely. And of course, we don't really want to give readers too much encouragement to leave our site! --PeterTalk 19:33, 6 February 2010 (EST)
Thanks, Peter. This is one of my first cases with XL slippery slopes where I clearly understand the point ;-) --DenisYurkin 15:34, 12 February 2010 (EST)