Wikidata:Requests for comment/Help:Modelling

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An editor has requested the community to provide input on "Help:Modelling" via the Requests for comment (RFC) process. This is the discussion page regarding the issue.

If you have an opinion regarding this issue, feel free to comment below. Thank you!

In the last couple of months I've heavily reworked Help:Modelling, including splitting out much of its content into two subpages, Help:Modelling/General and Help:Modelling/By domain, plus the auxiliary Help:Modelling/Tabs/en. The page is (still) marked {{Draft}}; I'd like to remove that and see this considered as a full-fledged part of our help system. Obviously, it is in no way "final", and never will be, but I think that at this point it is a very useful introduction to Wikidata modeling for people coming from other WMF projects such as one of the Wikipedias, or Commons.

Obviously, I'd welcome others improving the content of these pages as well. In particular, being relatively new to Wikidata myself, I am likely to have made a few mistakes, and am particularly likely to have omitted some WikiProject that deserves mention there. I have been approaching this more as a reference than a tutorial (especially Help:Modelling/By domain); I know that User:John Cummings has been working on some very different approaches to Wikidata help, and he or others may have some ideas for supplementing this page with other ways of presenting similar material, possibly in a more tutorial manner. - Jmabel (talk) 01:22, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support I think this is a very useful guideline to how to do things, Jmabel has done good work here. ArthurPSmith (talk) 14:41, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support --Pasleim (talk) 09:52, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg SupportJc86035 (talk) 11:24, 6 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Mahir256 (talk) 15:53, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Thumbs up! There is no algorithm for modelling statement structures, but we can go with the general approach. Therefore I support this cause. Harsh Rathod Poke me! 16:01, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support --ChristianSW (talk) 10:53, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support. Although it could use some expansion (including, for example, some content on metaclasses), it's certainly useful enough to be part of the help system. --Yair rand (talk) 20:05, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Just a new help page creating more mess than helping any newbee:
    What is the difference between Help:Basic membership properties, Help:Modelling/General and Help:Classification ?
    Why do we have a section about inverse properties in Help:Modelling/General if we have a dedicated help page for properties (see Help:Properties) ?
    Why do we speak about a particular topic like colors in a general page like Help:Modelling/General ?
    Why do we have to copy some modelling cases in Help:Modelling/By_domain if we provide a link to the Wikiproject responsible to define the model ? This just create confusion if the model is not synchronize between the Wikiproject and the Help page (see Help:Modelling/By_domain#Opera;_theatrical_plays;_live_shows). This questions who is responsible to define the model and who will take care of the model repository. If wikiprojects are responsible, then Help:Modelling/By_domain should just provide a link, if not then no link should be created towards the wikiproject page. Snipre (talk) 20:08, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
    • @Snipre: My thoughts on your questions:
      Help:Basic membership properties is about three specific properties and how to use them; Help:Modelling/General is more general on how to represent various kinds of data items in wikidata - it links to the first and to other resources as needed. It's a good central reference. Help:Classification does not exist (it's a redirect to the Ontology Wikiproject now).
      The section about inverse properties seems very helpful to me; of course it could be moved to Help:Properties; at the least the two pages should refer to one another in this section (the section heading just above does link to Help:Properties.)
      Colors probably should be moved to the "by domain" page, not on the general page, you're right about that
      There's lots of duplication all over the place - you should have seen it a few months ago! If you want to pare this one down further that would probably be helpful. As Jmabel said above, the page is definitely not "final", but it's much improved and I think provides an excellent central resource pointing to everything else that's relevant.
      In general, if we want to be helpful to newcomers here we need pages like this! ArthurPSmith (talk) 14:48, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
@ArthurPSmith: If we want to help newcomers, we have to provide them a limited amount of help pages with a clear overview of the general organization of the help pages. So instead of creating 5 help pages with a dozen of sections having each one a link to one other help page or even several links, we better need 1 or 2 help pages with a very good section organization. Too much links just shows a lack of organization or common view, so this just leads to contradictions between examples or information as no global view is provided.
If Help:Modelling wants to be the general page so it should first start to provide a section with all help pages on the modelling topic and providing the relations between the help pages. Why don't I find your explanation about the different help pages in the first section of Help:Modelling ? How a newcomer can understand that Help:Modellingis a general page and Help:Basic membership properties is a specialized one ? And if I look at Help:Modelling/General#General, it seems that your eyplanation is not correct as Help:Basic membership properties is described as a general topic.
You say that Help:Classification doesn't matter as it is a redirection, so why do we have to mention it in this help page ? Either the author of Help:Modelling never click the link to see what was in Help:Classification or Help:Classification was modified since the time the author was creating the link, and this is a perfect example of what I want to show when I speak about lack of global overview.
So I oppose to this help page because it starts from the wrong end: it goes directly to a bunch of examples without having a global view. How can I contribute to that page if I don't understand the organization ?
You say that the section about inverse properties was interesting. So what's about transitive properties, symmetric properties, asymmetric properties,... If this help page will reach the status of a general page then we shouldn't find examples, but definition. Instead of Help:Modelling/General#Inverse_properties we should find things like "If a property p links individual a to individual b, then the inverse property q links individual b to individual a." One line which can replace a dozen of examples. Snipre (talk) 15:59, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
I believe the original author of "Help:Modelling" started it years ago, so that's why there was a lot of cruft on it. This page has existed for many years in a draft mode; Jmabel finally (mostly) cleaned it up to a point where I think it is useful. If you have particular quibbles, you can go discuss them on the talk page or try to actually implement them on the page itself. However, replacing a collection of examples with a mathematical-like definition will most likely scare away 90% of the people who we should be trying to help, so I'm not sure you have the right frame of mind here for this kind of page. ArthurPSmith (talk) 16:06, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  1. As I said, I'm sure this is not in its final form. What I am requesting here is that we recognize that it is now (unlike the mess I inherited) basically useful and should be removed from draft status. So far, 7 people support this and only one opposes. Of course it should continue to evolve once it is no longer in draft status (as it has continued to evolve in the 3 weeks since I proposed this).
  2. I specifically tried to avoid the abstraction of formal logic with examples devoid of specific real-world meaning. I have a degree in mathematics, I can do formal logic just fine, but the reality is that most people can't and they are far more likely to be helped by a representative example than by dry formalism. If someone wants to put together a separate help page expressing these issues in strictly formal terms for those few who find that easier, that's fine with me, but it's a different thing.
  3. Yes, I apparently did not find 100% of the cruft in the page I inherited, only maybe 90%+ or so. So fix it. My own feeling is that if we wait till everyone is in perfect agreement that each help page is exactly as we want it before removing it from draft status, no help page will probably ever again make it out of draft status, especially because some disagreements about the best way to do things are not amenable to a solution that leaves everyone 100% happy: for example, if one person wants more formalism and another less, neither is ever going to be completely happy. - Jmabel (talk) 00:46, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Why do we speak about a particular topic like colors in a general page like Help:Modelling/General ? I think I put this in this section because the « color » property itself is highly generic in the sense it concerns many many physical objects, from cars to chemical substances, by opposition to very specialized topic who do not concern at all other ontologies. The « generic » section is meant precisely for this actually, things that concerns many specialized topic. I think that being consistent in the way we treat colors for car and the way we treat colors for chemical substances is a good thing, for example. Generally it should be a benefit to take a look at the topics treated in the « generic » section before starting a specialized model to see which one are relevant. author  TomT0m / talk page 16:33, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

With 7 supports and 1 oppose, can we remove this from "draft" status? Again, that doesn't mean it will then be frozen in stone, this is a help page, not a policy. - Jmabel (talk) 00:47, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

  • Closed - draft tag removed. That doesn't mean that the page is in it's final form; this is a wiki, everything can be improved as needed. Removing the draft tag (for which there is consensus here) only signifies that it is a relatively complete help page. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 01:17, 30 July 2018 (UTC)