Community Wishlist Survey 2022/Reading/Show disambiguation hatnotes only on redirect

Show disambiguation hatnotes only on redirect

  • Problem: Many disambiguation hatnotes are confusing and unnecessary.
  • Proposed solution: Only display disambiguation hatnotes when users are redirected from that term.
  • Who would benefit: All readers of Wikipedia.
  • More comments: If you visit the English Wikipedia article about the band Pink Floyd, the very first thing it says is:
"The Tea Set" and "The T-Set" redirect here. For tea service, see tea set. For the Dutch band, see Tee-Set. For other uses, see T Set (disambiguation).
There are two scenarios here:
1) You typed "The Tea Set" or "Tee-Set" into the Wikipedia search bar because you were looking for tea sets or the Dutch band, and not Pink Floyd. Great! This hatnote will help you find what you need.
2) You arrived at the article by any other means – from Google, say, or a link from another Wikipedia article, or by typing "Pink Floyd" into the Wikipedia search box. In this case, you definitely weren't looking for information about tea sets or Dutch bands, and the hatnote serves no function. It's confusing (it looks like you've been redirected), it's distracting, and it takes up prime real estate right at the top of the article.
I've written some more detail about this problem here.


  • I do a bunch of maintenance and development of the hatnote infrastructure on English Wikipedia. Hatnotes are on-wiki constructs, rather than made by the MediaWiki software, so this proposal would require some sort of flag that templates or Lua modules could retrieve and act on. Mightn't that have caching implications? More generally, I think the benefits of this change are tenuous enough that they're outweighed by the work required to make it happen. {{Nihiltres |talk |edits}} 00:05, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    • To avoid caching issues, this would probably best be accomplished with a CSS class that is only set to visible by the Mediawiki software when the mw-redirectedfrom message is being displayed. -- Ahecht (TALK
      ) 23:14, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • There are also instances that are more complicated than you describe that would need accommodating, including
    • Where hatnotes for redirects and the general page names are combined (e.g. at w:Barack Obama: "Barack" and "Obama" redirect here. For other uses, see Barack (disambiguation), Obama (disambiguation), and Barack Obama (disambiguation).)
    • Where multiple similar searches redirect to the same place but not all are shown, so fuzzy matching (prone to false positives and false negatives) or a hidden list of redirects maintained (ongoing maintenance requirement).
    • Where no specific redirects are shown, ("multiple terms redirect here...").
    • Pages that use non-standard hatnotes.
    So there would be a lot of work required for this, and I'm not really convinced that the "problem" is actually a problem that needs solving, let alone this much effort. Thryduulf (talk: meta · en.wp · wikidata) 01:41, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • I personally don't like the wordy part of these notices they should just be: "For similar topics, visit the topic disambiguation page." done... —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:00, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    That's fine when the only link is to a disambiguation page that matches (or nearly matches) the title of the page. In the example the OP gives the "X redirects here" portion exists to:
    • explain why people are seeing the hatnote
    • to minimise the surprise of people who arrived via one of the redirects
    • to reassure those people that their search did work correctly and inform them that repeating it will just lead back to the same place.
    These are all important functions that cannot be done away with just because of simple dislike. Thryduulf (talk: meta · en.wp · wikidata) 14:33, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • I think it can be possible, like short description; and only be edited by source mode. However we have to code a lot to show that. Thingofme (talk) 07:12, 20 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • A good idea in theory but impractical. Such hatnotes often silently cover a number of similar redirects. For example, Tilde's hatnote about ~ also applies to '~' and ∼ which redirect there too. Certes (talk) 01:42, 29 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]