Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Lists/Lists of links

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List of X topics[edit]

I have a question about these "List of X topics" articles. I think they are pretty handy, and I even created a Byzantine Empire one myself (and I'm considering creating a Crusades one), but is there any specific format for them? Some seem to be a bunch of unorganized links, some are organized alphabetically, some are organized by theme...is there any standard for these types of lists? If not, should there be? (I also imagine there must be people who really despise them...) Adam Bishop 23:48, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)


I don't know if there is a format, but what I would do is list them alphabetically if it's a list of articles and by theme if it's a list of topics. I find them rather useful, but they do tend to get neglected rather easily if there aren't too many people that care about them. Dori
Yes they do tend to get neglected. The reason is that they are hard to find. I was using the 'opedia for months before I found out about them. The solution is to make them visible. Include them in articles. The easier they are to find, the better navigation tools they will become, the more people will use them, and the more people will maintain them. mydogategodshat 04:28, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Hopefully at some point we'll be able to auto-update those lists from category tags attached to articles. They are potentially useful as a way to gauge completeness, if the topics list is comprehensive. Alphabetical seems most useful, since they're more like development and indexing aids than normal articles. Stan 05:21, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
The best format for these lists is difficult to determine because it depends on which of the many uses a list is being put to in any specific instance. If the list is being used by someone familiar with the subject, then an hierarchical list would be prefered. If used by someone not familiar with the topic, then an alphabetical list would be more useful. Probably the best compromise is an annotized hierarchical list. This is helpful to both groups. Then there is the question of whether the list is being used primarily for navigational purposes or 'pedia development purposes. There is also the question of whether the user is looking for a specific topic, a group of related topics, or just browsing. Because we really can't answer any of these questions, there is no definitive answer to your question. mydogategodshat 06:23, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I have just written Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(lists_of_links). What does everybody think? mydogategodshat 11:06, 23 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Looks like a good start. I think there are other things that need to be answered there, but I can't think of any right now :) Adam Bishop 17:17, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)

There has been talk among various users asking for either automated lists of articles on X topic, or a Wikiproject on lists. Besides the time it would save, in some realms the question of which lists should be created or what they are named can be a POV issue. For example, see VfD for discussions of list of multiracial people and list of queer composers. What's other people's thoughts on this? -- zandperl 21:41, 25 Oct 2003 (UTC)