Wikidata:Property proposal/default description for instances

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default description for instances[edit]

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   Under discussion
Descriptiondescription that should be displayed/add by default to instances of this class (that it, to items which have a statement
< class > instance of (P31) View with SQID < {{{2}}} >
if the item « class » has a statement with this property. To include property value, use $ and the property, e.g. to include $P571 for placement of the value of P571.
Data typeItem
Domainitems with many instances, e.g. from Wikidata:Database reports/Popular items
Allowed valuesitems with suitable descriptions as labels, including $Pnn for property values
Example 1Wikimedia disambiguation page (Q4167410)Wikimedia disambiguation page (Q64875536) (applies to max. 1,326,946 of 57,662,380 items, 2.3%)
Example 2film (Q11424) → new item with "film"@en as label
Example 3film (Q11424)$P571 film by $P57 (Q64875670)
Example 4Wikimedia category (Q4167836) → new item with "Wikimedia category"@en, etc as label (applies to max. 4,309,102 of 57,662,380 items, 7.5%)
Example 5scholarly article (Q13442814) → new item with "article published $P571"@en, etc as label (applies to max. 21,731,437 of 57,662,380 items, 37.7%)
Example 6Wikimedia template (Q11266439) → .. (applies to max. 889,411 of 57,662,380 items, 1.5%)
Example 7human settlement (Q486972)human settlement in $P131, $P17 (Q64896833) (applies to max. 460,153 of 57,662,380 items, 0.8%) )
Planned use
  • store what bots currently use
  • (continue to) use by bots
  • phase 2: make available for a Wikibase function to display by default
Number of IDs in sourcemaybe 10-20 items that apply to > 30,000,000 items (50% Wikidata's items)


Initially bots could add the provided description (as they already do now). Eventually it's preferable that Wikibase displays/adds that by default, similar to what is being done for lexemes (based on language/lexical category).

The numbers above are just a rough estimate. If you have better ones, please add them.

Please add more samples above. (Add your motivation for this property here.) --- Jura 16:24, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

@Милан Јелисавчић, ValterVB, Emijrp, Edoderoo, Mr. Ibrahem: @Daniel Mietchen, Ivan A. Krestinin, Liridon, Renamerr: who operate bots working on some of the above. @Multichill: who started a discussion on project chat. @Lydia_Pintscher (WMDE): re possible phase 2, --- Jura 16:51, 29 June 2019 (UTC) @TomT0m: who brought it up (at least afaik) . --- Jura 17:02, 29 June 2019 (UTC)


oh yeah that’s an old one I forgot. As far as I remember my proposal was a bit different and to use a wikitemplate as a pattern to do that, as there is already stuff to deal with linguistic issues like grammatical agreements in Mediawiki. Something possible would be to use an Special:ExpandTemplates API call to get the description. But it’s more complicated to create a template. author  TomT0m / talk page 18:06, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose for several reasons:
  1. Description does not require examples of data type "item"
  2. There are already properties that explain the items:See here
  3. The labels of the proposed items in the examples match the labels of the original items David (talk) 06:47, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
    • (1) it shouldn't be a general requirement. It just applies to a series of frequent types. Compare, e.g. with lexeme entities where the description is entirely generated by structured data. (3) indeed, that's true for some. --- Jura 10:14, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm a bit confused. We want to introduce a property for the description, while there is already a description for that. What problem do we try to solve here? People that create items already do not take the effort to add a description, why would we expect (hope?) that they would add a property with the description instead? Edoderoo (talk) 08:54, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
    • @Edoderoo: It’s just the opposite ! The proposal is not to put, in the example, this property on any movie item, it’s to put the property on the film (Q11424) View with Reasonator View with SQID item. Then the statement can be used on any item with a
      < film (Q11424) View with Reasonator View with SQID > instance of (P31) View with SQID < {{{2}}} >
      statement (or a subclass of it potentially) to autogenerate a description by data consumer if there is no description in the language for the item. It could be used for example by the autodesc project or templates like {{Autodescription}}. author  TomT0m / talk page 09:54, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
      • Right, basically that is what my bot does, on some cases with a bit more intelligence. We could integrate that in the wiki-software. But that also means that this is not a proposal for a property, but a proposal to change how the information in existing properties is (re)used. Edoderoo (talk) 11:15, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
        • @Edoderoo: Mmm no, that means that your bot or Magnus’ tool and other tools could reuse informations from this property in cases he does not know how to handle some item, if we choose the path of filling by bot. It does not imply anything on how information is reused by clients if they just choose to ignore it. If we choose to integrate automated descriptions on Mediawiki this property could as well be useful, for example if there is a Mediawiki configuration option (or special page, in the spirit of MediaWiki:Wikibase-SortedProperties which can trigger some special behavior by Mediawiki) that associates, say, an item with a shape expression (maybe the future property Wikidata:Property proposal/Shape Expression for class if it’s created) with a pattern. For example there could be a special page with content « Pdefault description for instances ; PShape Expression for class » and mediawiki would autocompute the descriptions for items that validates « PShape Expression for class ». To get something more robust and smarter as your bot can do, this could be instead of a raw string with « $ » symbols, a mediawiki template page that is specified to render the description however, as noted in my first comment. author  TomT0m / talk page 12:19, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Thanks for your feedback. I expanded the samples a bit, maybe it's more clear now. @ديفيد عادل وهبة خليل 2, Edoderoo: --- Jura 10:14, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
    • I still do not convinced of your responses and do not see any benefit from the proposed property David (talk) 10:28, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
      • Well, the main benefit would be in phase 2. --- Jura 10:41, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
      • @ديفيد عادل وهبة خليل 2: The point is that there is already in use tools that generates autodescriptions, see the autodesc project (@Magnus Manske: who can probably say stuffs about this), that store the way the description is generated off wiki. Doing this storage « on wiki » would probably make them more useful as it would make the contribution way more accessible to non programmers. author  TomT0m / talk page 10:44, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I'd like to see some input from people who have done auto-descriptions (like Magnus Manske). Is it really necessary to have a separate template for each class and language, or can something more general be done somehow? ArthurPSmith (talk) 15:08, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
    • I think there should be at least one template per class and possibly additional ones if the description is to include the label of another property (e.g. see the film sample above). @Magnus Manske: --- Jura 15:31, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
      • I think Magnus (without looking at the code) has additional « default » rule in the abscence of a template. That can be seen as a « default » template for any item : if the item has an instance of (P31) or subclass of (P279) statement, he just puts the label of the value of the statements as a default description, separated by commas or conjunctions like « and ». This could be implemented if we could express rules such as« if the item matches some shape expression [in this case there is a P31 or P279 statement] then generate [that kind of description].
        Maybe Magnus has also rules such as « if there is a author (P50) View with SQID statement, add « by [the statement value] » to the description previously created. author  TomT0m / talk page 15:46, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't think this is necessary, since bots already sort of do this without the property. I also find that a lot of Wikipedians consider Wikidata descriptions generic and sterile, so forcing this to be connected solely to P31 might be detrimental even compared to the current situation. Jc86035 (talk) 16:39, 8 July 2019 (UTC)