Wikidata talk:Glossary

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Better English (official) definitions[edit]

Some of the English definitions of the terms could really need better wording, but we also need those to be technically correct. Could we simply use this talk page to discuss the wording and then someone with translate admin rights can copy it into the right place? Jeblad (talk) 18:25, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, that can be done. I hear that we can even change the page without it resetting all the other languages, so this would work. Ajraddatz (talk) 18:30, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Only the individual translate sections will need updating, and the old text will be available as a starting point. I think we should mark the translate sections for updating and try to avoid that the glossary gets out of sync on different terms. Jeblad (talk) 10:28, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

As far as I could see (mostly the first two or three sections), each and very item in this glossary has severe grammar issues or contains blatantly incorrect definitions. Editors should be bold in fixing, the glossary won't get worse. :) --Nemo 10:26, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

T:23, T:24 and T:?[edit]

T:23 and T:24 is not shown as available for translation. --Kaganer (talk) 18:23, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Please do re-makup of this page more correctly! "Property", "Query" and "Qualifier" terms are now unavailable for translation! --Kaganer (talk) 14:05, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Translatable categories[edit]

Unless there is a very clear consensus on introducing translated categories I will not add them. Translated categories creates a huge mess and a lot of double work. John Erling Blad (WMDE) (talk) 19:09, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Please see Wikidata:Bureaucrats for already-existing usage. -happy5214 19:20, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
I would call that an accident, not consensus. Anyhow, I would only mark stuff for translation that is strictly for the on-going dev-project and not anything relating to what community may or may not chose to do. As there is no consensus I will not start creating categories or enforce any type of future categories. John Erling Blad (WMDE) (talk) 19:35, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
I started a discussion at Wikidata:Project chat#Categories of project pages. -happy5214 23:51, 9 November 2012 (UTC)


What does snak literally mean? If it is any slang word, please avoid such words in order that you don't complicate translations unnecessarily. Please use clear words. --Michawiki (talk) 23:45, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

I join the question. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 07:43, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Not slang, but a "joke". The idea is to go from bit to byte (bite) to snak (snack). I think it is rather difficult to remember: it is not a string (the next step after byte), nor a statement, nor strictly an assertion (although very often one). I believe it would have been better to use a theoretically founded model for wikidata, avoiding the need to invent ad-hoc terms. But then it is more important to achieve something tangible and useful than to dream of a theoretically best solution; I highly respect the creators of wikidata. Markus said that mainly developers will have to deal with it [1]. Should all data importer have to deal with it, I suggest to seek an improved term that fits the data importers perspective. Suggestions? --G.Hagedorn (talk) 09:24, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
It will be visible at least in the API, so it will be visible while importing data. It is a connector or adaptor for data values of different types, and as such is known as a pattern in programming. In this case it uses inheritance to give the different types a common interface to other classes. Jeblad (talk) 17:31, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't understand the joke. :/ If you refer to a Knuth-ian terminology, you can use bit, nybble, byte, wyde, tetra(byte), octa(byte). But even there it's probably rather based on an idiomatic pun than on a consistent rule based lexicon. As for the snak term, wouldn't be one of affirmation, attestation, allegation, contention, proposition, thesis, or vindication make a good match for this concept (at least as proposed alias)? G.Hagedorn (talkcontribslogs), Jeblad (talkcontribslogs), Amire80 (talkcontribslogs), any opinion? --Psychoslave (talk) 13:39, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
No, don't think so. Jeblad (talk) 09:44, 29 December 2016 (UTC)


In the glossary about types is this sentance "Types will be indicative [...]". What are these types indicative of, exactly? --Snaevar (talk) 11:05, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Nevermind. I reworded the sentance.--Snaevar (talk) 21:01, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
Values must be according to the type when you enter them, but if the definition changes the existing values will not fail. Still if you then tries to change them the new values must be according to the new type. According to the last implementation it would not be possible to change the definition of a property, so this should not normally happen. Jeblad (talk) 17:41, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Terms missing[edit]

1) The difference between "title" and "label" is unclear, 2) "... pages in different namespaces": "namespace" needs to be explained, 3) the term "authority control" (see Wikidata:Infoboxes task force) should be added, 4) the expressions "fallback" and "fallback path" are used in the discussions and might also be useful for the glossary. --Kolja21 (talk) 14:02, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

1 and 2 are done. 3 is not part of Wikidata, add it if it becomes an integral part. Otherwise it should be documented as an ordinary property. 4 I assume is about fallback languages. Jeblad (talk) 20:40, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Vague "values" definition[edit]

The definition of "value" says: "Internally they are connected to the claims through snaks to make them look similar."

I'm not sure that I understand it. Can anybody please rewrite it to make it clearer? --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 07:44, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Shortened the sentence to "Internally they are connected to the claims through snaks." This is really implementation details that unfortunately creeps out through the API. Perhaps we can get rid of it in the final implementation. Jeblad (talk) 20:51, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Definition of "type"[edit]

The definition of "type" says: "Types are how the information shall be stored in each claim". This is quite vague. I would imagine that it's something like "types describe the information in the values" (with a link to "values"). --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 07:59, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Not really... The type is indicative (or hinting) about what can be stored. You can in fact get something back that is not according to the type. That doesn't mean that the description is well-formulated. ;) Jeblad (talk) 20:54, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Marking modifications[edit]


please mark modifications in translations. It isn't sufficient to change the English original. Mark the modified text sections and update the English message in the translation tool. Otherwise translations remain obsolete. Regards, --Michawiki (talk) 12:35, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

I mark them when I am sure that they are correct, and when they significant enough to bother people. A change in punctuation, for example, is not very important. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 12:41, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
Everything is important, or why would you change the punctuation in the English original? In source code of programs the correct punctuation mark can be very important. But you for instance changed the English original and message text in the translation tool yesterday. But in the translations the modifications were not marked. Why did you change the English original if you are not sure if the modifications are correct? G. Hagedorn changed the text for Entity message today. But in the English original only. His modifications are neither marked in the translations nor the English message in the translation tool has been modified. I know Wikidata and its information texts are in development yet. I don't want to be more papal than the pope himself as we say in Germany, that means I don't want to be to strict. But a certain degree of accuracy should be. Regards, --Michawiki (talk) 13:35, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
Quite often the translators are smart enough to do a good translation even if the source is a bit wrong. That's why the Translate extension has the option not to mark a translation unit as FUZZY even if it was updated. It's up to discussion, of course, but usually common sense works.
I didn't yet mark G. Hagedorn's changes for translation, because I want to make sure that they are correct. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 14:21, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
See mw:Help:Extension:Translate/Page translation administration for a detailed discussion of these issues. The Translate software is very dynamic and changes frequently, and we are very much open for discussion of its features. Now is a particularly good time for this, because it is undergoing a major overhaul in its UI design and workflows. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 14:21, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
A little reformulated by G. Hagedorn's changes but seems okey to me. Jeblad (talk) 19:37, 30 December 2012 (UTC)


Definitions for Property and Query mention the term "identificator", which I could not find in dictionaries and do not understand. Is that a programming/database jargon with a defined meaning or should I translate it as a word equivalent to "identifier" (or something else)? --朝彦/Asahiko (talk) 09:55, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Changed to identifier, it creates less confusion. Jeblad (talk) 19:28, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! --朝彦/Asahiko (talk) 15:13, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

Translation status[edit]


why I can't set translation status anymore? For a while there is no button and when I change the status yet, it is not saved. Regards, --Michawiki (talk) 13:56, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

sitelink == Interlanguage links?[edit]

Are sitelinks the same as what is wikipedia help calls interlanguage links and what most often is called "interwiki" links? --Jarekt (talk) 20:13, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Sitelinks has some of the same functionality. Most notable differences are that they can be injected on Wikipedia pages and used for lookup of Wikidata pages (items). They can also go to pages on external sites, not only Wikipedia sites. Jeblad (talk) 05:13, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Sitelink is a link from Wikipedia to Wikibooks, i.e. Interlanguage links are from English Wikipedia to Spanish Wikipedia, for example. Interwiki are them both.--Lagoset (talk) 06:53, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

Translate Tags[edit]

The glossary is subject to changes. So if it is necessary to introduce additional sections into this text PLEASE NEVER EVER CHANGE THE NUMBERS OF THE SECTIONS e.g. (<translate><!--T:4--> into (<translate><!--T:5-->). Just give a new section a new number which has not been used before, no matter if the section is on top or at the bottom or in the middle. Every time a section is renumbered, there will be lots of addtitional work necessary for all the translators in every language. It does not matter, if there is a section moved somewhere else in the document, as long as it still has the same number, the translation also moves the section to the new position. This happened twice so far, so this is enough now. There is just no need to renumber the sections. Thanks.--Giftzwerg 88 (talk) 23:15, 24 January 2013 (UTC)


Since this glossary seems very useful for introducing new users to aspects of the project, I've created {{Glossary}}, for easy linking to entries. Improvements are of course welcome. — PinkAmpers&(Je vous invite à me parler) 01:57, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Rank messages[edit]

How often the four new "Rank" messages are still modified? --Michawiki (talk) 23:06, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

definition of property[edit]

"Property (also called member, or field) is a smaller part of an item". Is that correct ? I think properties conceptually exist more or less indepently from the items to which they are applied. In any case, they are subparts of items. --Zolo (talk) 08:51, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Alphabetical order[edit]

It would be fine to make this Glossary in alphabetical order, or there is a reason for not do that ? Best regards. --Epsilon0 (talk) 22:42, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes I was going to suggest the same. So I have BOLDly done so. The "Wikidata" entry would make sense to have at the top, but right now the definition of "Wikidata" is not explanatory enough to bother. Espeso (talk) 23:51, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
That makes sense for English only. Other languages have other words and will have another alphabetical order then. So you can't e.g. say that the string for German Kennzeichen (letter K) is in the same place like English badge (letter B). --Michawiki (talk) 00:21, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
Of course. While I am not versed in the translation aspects of this project, I assume they should not stop anyone from improving documentation for the language they work in, with the goal being of course pages of similar content and quality in as many languages as possible. Espeso (talk) 00:41, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
You should be careful when changing the order of messages. Suddenly all translations can be fuzzied and all translators have to change the whole document once more, especially if you don't have any experiences with translation aspects. Please don't make changes without discussing them with somebody else before. --Michawiki (talk) 01:01, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
You could at least provide an example that I've done something incorrectly before saying that. I followed the advice in the section above, #Translate Tags, and did not change the order of the messages. So if there is a problem, name it. This is a wiki and I'm not going to ask to improve a non-protected page! My lord. Precisely why I was hesitant to help improve documentation though I can help, and it's a screaming issue with Wikipedia users showing up more and more often. Espeso (talk) 01:13, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
I did not say that you made anything wrong, I wrote you should be careful. So don't get excited. There are different opinions what is improve and what not and besides there are talk pages in a wiki as well and they have a purpose. You can and should improve and help but be careful. That I want to say and nothing else. --Michawiki (talk) 01:23, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Confusing terminology[edit]

Terms such as "Entity", "Item" and "Main type" are often confused with each other, because this glossary gives vague definitions that differ from they way the terms are used in the Wikidata development project at Meta, and because entity has a different meaning in the GND ontology that is used as a reference for Wikidata. I suggested revised definitions in the glossary, based on the way the terms are used in the meta:Wikidata/Development pages. Ok?

What should we call the "q-value"? Prefixed entity identifier/number is the term used in the Development pages. Mange01 (talk) 13:44, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

The glossary is according to the initial m:Wikidata/Glossary which should be according to the m:Wikidata/Development pages. If they are out of sync please identify the entries. Jeblad (talk) 13:58, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
I started going over everything and will do some more work later today or tomorrow. Thanks a lot for putting work into this. It helps a lot. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 16:27, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
It is new to me that the glossary should follow any specific standard, but if we should follow some specific one please give references and explain why. An item is our representation of the external entity. The "q-value" is the id of items. Internally in the code all ids are "EntityID" but internal representation should not be used in the user interface or the user documentation. Jeblad (talk) 00:59, 3 March 2013 (UTC)


Could someone please write a definition for "string"? It's used throughout the glossary without a definition of what it actually means. Shawn in Montreal (talk) 01:15, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

@Shawn in Montreal:. Can find here: Special:ListDatatypes and mainly here: "a sequence of characters, possibly empty, where each character represents a Unicode code point".--Lagoset (talk) 07:01, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

Labels called titles[edit]

I did an overstrike of the substring stating that the labels are called titles in the user interface. Labels should not be called titles as a title in Mediawiki is a piece of code identifying a page. The title for the page is the namespace+identificator in Wikidata, while the label is the localized version of the identificator. John Erling Blad (WMDE) (talk) 13:53, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

If you try to edit a label, the word label is not shown, but if you click on the question mark, it says "Enter the title of this data set in English". (This is the wikibase-label-input-help-message in the Wikibase messages definition file) In other languages this message seems to use word for "title" or "name", but never label. I suggest that this message should be changed. The word "title" occurs in many other messages in that file, please check them as well.
It is also confusing that sometimes we talk about data set, sometimes entity. I think we should reduce the number of terms that an ordinary user would come in contact with. -- Mange01 (talk) 15:47, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes you are completely right. Can you file bugs for this on please? Then we'll get it changed. Thanks! --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 16:26, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
Sure. Should we stick to "entity" or "data set"? Mange01 (talk) 16:47, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
I think entity is used more and is used in the development team. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 16:50, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
"Data set" is also mainly used for a broader collection of data, in my experience, i.e. data about a number of entities with a common group of properties, not just a single entity. Using it to mean the same as entity struck me as misleading. --Avenue (talk) 00:06, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
In Wikidata messages, data set seems to be equal to entity, while in other Wikidata and Wikimedia documents, dataset often refers to a file of structured data that you import or export. Is that what you mean? I hope the development team will address the bug report, and stick to "entity". Mange01 (talk) 19:44, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
What you call a data set is an item, but a label can be used for items and properties. A label is part of an internal class called "Entity", but that class is not what we in general call an entity. An entity is the external subject an item describes. Our internal "Entity" is a baseclass that holds some common features. Do not propagate technical jargon from the code up into the user interface and into other unrelated documentation. The labels just happens to be part of the same type of internal datastructure, what the user interface consist of (at least for the moment) is properties and entities and both just happens to contain labels, descriptions and aliases. Jeblad (talk) 00:49, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
If you open a property page, and click on the question mark to the right of the label, it says "enter the title of this data set".
The user interface needa a common word for items, properties and queries. Which would you prefer? "Entity", "data set", "data page"? Mange01 (talk) 20:06, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
What about using appellation or designation? --Psychoslave (talk) 10:24, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Why talk about meta data?[edit]

Why do we need to give a Wikidata specific definition of metadata? The glossary says "data that Wikidata either records about [the statements], or that is embedded in the software and cannot be changed by the editors, e.g. the edit history of a page, like the name of the Wikidata editor who has entered a statement or given a reference."

The word is not used in the Wikibase messages. Every time the word is used at Wikidata:wikidata pages, and at meta:wikidata , it is in a generic sense, as data about Wikipedia or wikisource content. Wikidata is sometimes described as a database of metadata for Wikipedia articles, and it is suggested to be used as a database for bibliographical metadata (e.g. keywords, classification and identification) about Wikisource and Wikipedia sources and authors. At Wikipedia, meta data/pages/content sometimes refers to metatags in coord template, somtimes project pages (corresponding to Wikidata:Wikidata names space), sometimes

I suggest that the word should be skipped in the glossary, because it causes confusion, and other more specific words can be used.Mange01 (talk) 16:10, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 16:28, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
✓ Done. Instead I added "Internal pages""meta pages", which to my understanding refer to non-entity pages, somewhat resembling the above meta data definition. Or do you mean internal pages as in opposite to external? Mange01 (talk) 20:32, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
We need metadata as the difference between data and metadata is blurry for most users. Jeblad (talk) 00:06, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
On Wikidata everything is data somehow. So it is helpfull for the users to know what kind of data we are talking about. Data is the content of the database, metadata is the data needed for overhead of the content. So metadata is necessary, but it will not or rarely be used by the users or clients of wikidata.--Giftzwerg 88 (talk) 01:24, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
I would differ "data" from other "content". When you say metadata, do you mean meta pages content? Mange01 (talk) 19:47, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Suggestions for more terms[edit]

The following terms occur in Wikibase messages. Can anyone provide a definition in the glossary, or should they be clarified or avoided in the messages?

  • "Data namespace" (Entity namespaces, database repository namespaces?) ✓ Done
  • "Constraint", "length constraint", "constraint violation" - is this the max label and description lengths of 150 characters?
  • "ID", "ID of the entity", ✓ Done - called "Entity id" in the glossary
  • "entity value" - what is the meaning of this message?
  • "subpage syntax" - what is the meaning?
  • "article" ✓ Done - but why not change the message and call it "linked page" instead, to include non-article pages.
  • "data set" ✓ Done

More suggestions:

  • "REST API" is mentioned in the glossary. See . Should it be explained or removed?
  • Should we use "Internal page",✓ Done (replaced by "Meta page") or "project page"✓ Done for a non-database repository page (non-entity page)?
  • "Structured data" ✓ Done
  • "Repo" = "repository" ✓ Done deleted
  • "Client" ✓ Done deleted
  • "Inclusion syntax"  Not done
  • "Main type of item" (when the property name is decided also called: entity type)  Not done
  • Phase 1, 2 and 3  Not done
  • List article  Not done
  • Template, infobox, parameter  Not done
  • Decentralized Interwiki links, centralized (global) interwiki links, interwiki codes
  • Bot  Not done
  • Gadget  Not done

Mange01 (talk) 19:03, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Even more suggestions
  • Metadata .
  • Metapages as help-pages, discussion pages ✓ Done--Giftzwerg 88 (talk) 20:17, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Metapages is a good name. I skipped "internal page" and replaced it by metapage. Please comment on the metadata discussion above. Mange01 (talk) 22:36, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

New and changed terms + namespace clarification[edit]

Entity namespaces should not be used, we have a baseclass that is named entity for objects in those namespaces but that is mostly just an internal simplification. The internal class holds some common stuff. Nothing should be called entities unless we are talking about real world entities. Having both real world entities and internal entities that has no external meaning will be very confusing for the users. If data namespaces are a no go, I would say it is okey for item namespace, but if you want to speak about all namespaces use wikibase namespaces.
Length constraints and other constraints should not be described in the glossary unless it is clear that the constraints are important and that they are in fact used. The length constraints will most likely change.
Entity id should change unless someone find a real good reason why we should propagate internal class names into the glossary in this case.
Entity value is simply wrong. There are no single entity value.
Subpage syntax is a way the URL is set up. It is how subpages are addressed in Mediawiki.
Wikibase Repo and Wikibase Client is how we name the extension now. If you want to change the name to the full "repository" it will trigger some changes. If "repo" is difficult to understand, then explain the short form.
Inclusion syntax is a bit confusing right now. Explain the individual parts when they are available, don't try to explain what the "syntax" is in this case. I'm not even sure we have a well-defined syntax, we have a verbal description of how the parser function should work, but most likely templates on Wikipedia will use Lua-scripting and not the parser function.
Then some more about internal entity classes.
That should be most of it. Jeblad (talk) 00:43, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
The namespaces are somehow mixed up. On the one hand the main namespace consists of item namespace, property namespace, query namespace, on the other hand it is refered only to item name space. Perhaps a table can help to show clearly how the namespaces are organized. The term "entity" is very difficult to translate into other languages, as long as it is not clearly defined. It has so many meanings or a very general meaning and here in wikidata it just means a set of data, almost the same as items but more general. When I hear "item" I think about the things in a shopping cart and you won´t find the meaning ist has on wikadata in any dictionary. Entity is something philosophical. Entity of life or something like that.--Giftzwerg 88 (talk) 01:15, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
Please read the Wikibase messages. I have problems with the way the word namespace is used there. Do you agree with the way "entity" is used there? Before my changes to the glossary, the relationship between entity and item was vaguely defined in the glossary, and due to a misunderstanding of the glossary, people started to use item and entity interchangebly. Partly also because of the way entity is used in the GND ontology. GND causes a lot of problems for us. If you read the original technical suggestions at, it is apparent that the initial idea was that an entity can be either an item, a property or a query page. If we don't like entity in this meaning, we need another word. Object? Resource? Data page? As someone pointed out above, dataset is also problematic because people would interpret that as several related entities. Mange01 (talk) 02:08, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
Do not use the message strings that should follow the glossary but fails to do so as an argument to change the glossary. The entity is the outer object, the item is the inner subject, the statement is a construct that holds the predicate. Perhaps this sentence makes it clearer "The individual things that Wikidata talks about, including Items and Properties, are called Entities." [2] Items and Properties are about entities, they are out in the real world. In some messages the class hierarchies from the code grows into the message strings, but that is simply the wrong way to define those strings. The Entity class is an internal base class for things that looks similar in the code, it should not be used for defining the glossary. See also glossary on meta, and how things was defined there. Jeblad (talk) 15:42, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
Data, datatype, values, entity, items, its really weird now. Also the user interface messages are used as argument for changing the glossary, while the user interface should use the glossary. And even using ui-messages that are clearly wrong for arguing for changes... An entity is external, an item is its internal representation. Whats called "Data type" in the user interface is a "value type". Data is the collection of values for a set of items that the users enters and maintain. Metadata is information about that collection of values, and typically not something the user can change. Some types of data can be argued to be metadata in other systems, that is a description about how the data was produced, but in this system there was a choice to say that metadata is not user entered. Jeblad (talk) 01:25, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
Would a solution to this bug report solve some of your issues? Mange01 (talk) 02:08, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't think splitting this off in a separate thread is a good idea, it is about errors introduced in the glossary due to proposals in #Suggestions for more terms. Jeblad (talk) 15:24, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Would this kind of table help? Template:List_of_namespaces Mange01 (talk) 2:12, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Missing section in Translation tool[edit]

Hello, please add the section See also to the Translation tool that it can be translated. Thanks! --Michawiki (talk) 15:00, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

✓ Done Mange01 (talk) 02:12, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Alphabetical order and Alphabetical sections[edit]

Adding alphabetical order and alphabetical sections (with index) - was good idea for English version, but untranslatable and wrong for many translations, where localized terms have another alphabet, another writing system and anther alphabetical order. Too bad it was not discussed before doing so. --Kaganer (talk) 16:06, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

I propose to choose one from ways:

  1. unmark this page as translatable source and protect all obsolete translations for prevent of manual editing. And start looking for a solution how to implement support for these pages by Extension:Translation system.
    or, contrary,
  2. remove english alphabetical order and alphabetical sections as untranslatable, and
    • re-order content by intelligible thematic sections.
      or, contrary, for keeping "alphabetical order's idea",
    • urgently develop .js code for dinamical generated language-dependent alphabetical index (saved as "MediaWiki:ScriptName.js" and included for calls of pages as "")

Any comments? --Kaganer (talk) 17:09, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

I'm sorry that I initiated an alphabetic reordering in English, based on a suggestion on this page. You'll have to forgive me if I don't understand what the point of a series of individually marked "T##" items is, if those messages can't be reordered in a target language. This page does not seem to be a good candidate for the current translation system and I support your first suggestion. The message I've received on this talk page is that documentation is untouchable except by people who study the entire translation component of the wiki. That is unfortunate, because documentation needs work. Espeso (talk) 17:25, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
[edit to above, 17:59, 4 March 2013 (UTC)] I meant to say more explicitly that I did not see evidence when I reordered the English page that the other pages would also be reordered; I did check. (Might that have happened only when the page was marked for translation?) I had no intention of preferencing English. I wish someone had picked up on this immediately and reverted my change. This page is an exception to the translation system, it appears, because a glossary is by definition alphabetical and presenting users with anything else is simply confusing. In any event, since the page was essentially unordered (by any definition) in any language before, the harm seems to be minimal, while acknowledging that the current state is far from ideal. Espeso (talk) 17:59, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Any good tool has its specifical limitations. Working with multilingual pages requires especial accuracy. Any change (marked to translate) - and more that 50 translators was receive notifications what their translations has needs update. Any next marked change - and next 50 calls. It is bad enough when such changes are continuous, and it is unclear when the same will be relatively stable version. --Kaganer (talk) 17:40, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
About alphabetical oder - i update my second proposal ;) Maybe exist solution with dinamical generated language-dependent alphabetical index. Maybe... If someone writes a such script. --Kaganer (talk) 17:40, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
The alphabetic index is translated to several languages. See template:CompactTOC. Mange01 (talk) 18:54, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Of course. This only set of links to static sections, who depends from language. These same terms in Japan (as example) will begin with a very different character (very non-English ;), with very different order and groupping by alphabetical sections. Currently used technology allows to work only with static page structure. It does not allow to use it to the glossary page (in its present form). --Kaganer (talk) 19:47, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
You really do not understand what the problem is? Maybe this no problem to Swedish, no this really problem to russian, Japan, Arabic, Henbrew and anothers languages with non-latin alphabet. --Kaganer (talk) 19:51, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
@Espeso: I warned you, see Alphabetical order. But you got excited without any reason.
Principally it is good to have a glossary in alphabetical order. But I don't know how FuzzyBot will work. May be the whole translation will be marked red if it compares English version and translated version 1:1.
I know ;) FuzzyBot started only after manual approve of changes; approval is making by someone from "translation administrators". As you can see, alphabetic division has not spread to other pages. And so it will remain until a decision is made.--Kaganer (talk) 20:13, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
I know that FuzzyBot will be started manually. But until now nobody hasn't started FuzzyBot (thank God?) and so I don't know exactly what would happen then. I'am afraid that we will have a big issue then and it seems that you think the same. :-) --Michawiki (talk) 20:35, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
FuzzyBot will be started automatically, but after manual approving of last changes. Every from translation admins should be verify changes before approving. --Kaganer (talk) 20:46, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
@Mange01: The template is good for the index but, it may be I'm wrong, with the letter headings, there could be issues if they don't exist in another language. If I'm not wrong here, a solution could be to include the letter in message of the corresponding first term. --Michawiki (talk) 19:55, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
TOC template is not related to the problem. Forget about it. If necessary, it will be simply connected. Please read my initial proposal. This complete set of possible ways. --Kaganer (talk) 20:19, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Any way, I think alphabet headers will be (if will) mantained automatically by reordering scripts, and can be removed from this page at all. In time while this page will be without alpahabet headers, it can be ordered "by intelligible thematic sections" for better reading. And, I think, it will be good enought to keep it in this state and do not make alphabet reordering in future. --Nashev (talk) 17:05, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Illustration for latin-centric users[edit]

In English In Russian (current order) In Russian (correct order)


Data is ...
Description is ...
Entity is ...


Label is ...


Данные (Data) — это ...
Описание (Description) — это ...
Сущность (Entity) — это ...


Метка (Label) — это ...



Данные (Data) — это ...


Метка (Label) — это ...


Описание (Description) — это ...


Сущность (Entity) — это ...


Comments to illustration[edit]

"Correct order" from this example is impossible with using current version of translate extension (without use custom Javascript). With JavaScript - maybe. --Kaganer (talk) 20:35, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't know if this could help: On 13rd March the Lua script language will be launched, together with the extension Scribunto. On this page in English Wikipedia you could request for a new script.This is a proposal only. --Michawiki (talk) 21:03, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

… :Introduzca texto sin formato aquí =Rodolfogonzalez

Possible solutions?[edit]

Can/should we make a three column sortable wikitable? First column shows the English terms, 2nd column the term in the chosen language, and third the description. Default sort order is the English column. Ugly, but probably simple. Mange01 (talk) 02:13, 5 March 2013 (UTC)


After thematical reorganisation, this topic is no loner relevant. Closed.--Kaganer (talk) 10:38, 28 March 2013 (UTC)


The previous definition of metadata was a bit wrong. metadata are how some specific data is formulated and processed. Shifting the position in the overall system data and metadata might change roles. Data for a property might be metadata for an item, for example the valuetype is a data for a property while it is metadata for the items using that property. Another way to say this is that "metadata is the definitions about the current data" but changing the role of the data also changes what would then be the metadata. — Jeblad 03:56, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Metadata, as a start point- --Lagoset (talk) 07:42, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

Claim vs Statement[edit]

The current version of the English Glossary uses the terms "Claim" and "Statement" inconsistently. The definition of "Claim" says that a claim is a simplified statement without rank and references to be used on non-item pages. But several other definitions use the term "Claim" in a more general sense, for instance:

  • the definition of "Datatype" relates to how data values are stored in each claim;
  • the definition of "Qualifier" says that a qualifier is part of a claim;
  • the definition of "Values" refers to the information pieces embedded in each claim.

You should either change the definition of "Claim" or change the above three definitions to refer to statements instead of claims. AxelBoldt (talk) 18:21, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

I just noticed that the German version of the glossary uses the term "Behauptung (Claim)" in an altogether different (and unintelligible) sense, namely "the claim is a part of the statement that consists of a claim and the corresponding reference." AxelBoldt (talk) 18:29, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Claim vs Statement
If this image is correct (and I have no reason to doubt it) a claim is a property - value combination (and qualifiers) and a statement is a claim with a source. Not sure if a claim that doesn't have a source is also called a statement, or in other words: Is a statement a claim with zero or more sources, or one or more sources? I would opt for the zero or more, as the section is called Statements, not Claims. HenkvD (talk) 18:43, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
That figure is quite helpful; we might actually want to include it in the glossary. I would agree then that a statement should be defined as a claim with 0 or more sources; see for instance the technical proposal, where in P3.4 they talk about "unsourced statements". This is also consistent with (though not clear from) the text in the German glossary. The Technical proposal seems to use the word "fact" instead of "claim" though.
Assuming that the glossary was originally written in German and then translated, what is the proper etiquette for making changes? Can we just edit the English one? AxelBoldt (talk) 23:16, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
A Statement is a Claim with additional rank and references. Even if there is zero references it is still a Statement. A Claim is the base class and the Statement is the subclass. It is possible to add Claims to Properties, like Statements are added to Items, but when doing so the Claims in the Properties will have no references or ranks. — Jeblad 01:01, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Clarifications reverted[edit]

Hi again. I made several changes to the glossary, and most of them were reverted. Perhaps it was by mistake? My aim was to address the following issues:

  • In the glossary, prefix sometimes refers to the namespace, for example "Property:" or "Query", and sometimes to the first letter (the "Q", "P" or "U") in the entity identifier. In the Wikidata user-interface, and in other Mediawiki glossaries, prefix always refers to the namespace identifier.
  • We should explain that Repo is short for repository. We need a glossary entry about repo as well as client.
  • The "Title-entity" entry is very confusing. "Name" is confused with "title", and it confuses the search results (including label) with the title. The relationship to the url is unclear. We need examples to clarify this.
  • Phase I, II, III should be defined, and their project pages (WD:Phase II and WD:Phase III) should be mentioned in the glossary. (Actually, I think they should have their own Glossary entries.) Mange01 (talk) 12:21, 3 April 2013 (UTC)


This acronym is explained somehow in the glossary, however I am not able to understand the meaning of this term and what it references to. We should have a long form of this acronym and a more detailed explanation. Or otherwise tell me my IQ is too low for comprehension.--Giftzwerg 88 (talk) 15:30, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

I completely agree. I'm trying to translate the glossary into my language but it's hard to make a good translation if the original is too technical and you are not a programmer, in my opinion Wikidata editors shouldn't have to be programmers to understand the glossary. In fact I translated (or tried to) the URI section but didn't understand its meaning at all. Additionally, shouldn't it be Dereferenceable URIs are used instead of Dereferenceable URIs is used?--Qllach (talk) 18:09, 5 May 2013 (UTC)


The last half sentence in Wikidata:Glossary#snak is currently ungrammatical and not understandable:

..., but it will be visible Import of data in the REST API.

Also "REST API" should be explained or linked to an explantion. --Purodha Blissenbach Discussion  01:20, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Instance or Entity or Item?[edit]

  1. What is the difference between an Item and an Entity?
  2. Some wikidata pages refer to one thing which is described by a series of statements. e.g. County Cork (Q162475). Should we define this as an 'instance'?
  3. Sometimes an instance will have a wikipedia page plus a number of daughter pages on wikipedia providing more information on particular aspects of that thing. What should we call the wikidata pages corresponding to these?
  4. Other wikidata pages refer to a class of things. e.g. county of Ireland (Q179872). Should be define this as a 'class'?
  5. Other wikidata pages refer to more than one think. e.g. Bonnie and Clyde (Q414595). Should we define this as a 'group' or a 'list'?
  6. Wikipedia main namespace also includes 'list', 'disambiguation', and 'Outline' pages. Wikidata has pages corresponding to these.

Should this glossary include terms to refer to these different types of wikidata pages? Filceolaire (talk) 17:55, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

I like your analysis, but a little more discussion is needed, I think, because some things like #5, and all creative works, seem problematic. Don't you agree it would make things easier if all items under no. 6 were a separate space? Littledogboy (talk)
1. An Entity is an Entity. An Item is a type of Entity. A Property is also a type of Entity. ·addshore· talk to me! 07:24, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
What about 'Compound Items' for 5. ?
I don't think it would help for 6, to be a separate space.
Thanks Addshore. That does help. Filceolaire (talk) 21:45, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
1. Entity is more general than item. Items have item IDs like Q#####. An entity is defined as a set of data in the database, so it can be an item, a property, a query or whatever, as long as it represents a set of data, but not single values.--Giftzwerg 88 (talk) 15:31, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Claims / statements and Lua[edit]

According to this glossary, claims do not include references, but in Lua tables, as described in mw:Extension:Wikibase_Client/Lua, and as they work in practice, "claims" is actually the whole part of the item table that has to do with the properties. It includes references, qualifiers and all. --Zolo (talk) 08:06, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Language code link? and Please fix this minor error.[edit]

Please fix "an meta page" in the Page section as I don't have rights there yet. Thank you.

I apologize in advance if I missed something, but I'm running out of steam & have a chronic illness, so please understand. Thanks!

Is there a link in this glossary to what the language codes mean? Also, it would be great if the Interwiki Links on the Item page had a pop-up saying what the language code meant in the language that the person is reading the page in. At least somewhere here & in the Item layout there should be a link directly to a list of what lanuage each code means.

(For more of my comments touching on this, see and the 2nd section.)

Thanks! --Geekdiva (talk) 11:26, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Confusing sentence in description of "entities"[edit]

This sentence, "(In ontologies and library catalogues that are used as reference for Wikidata, an entity is typically a real-life topic or subject, or its database representation, and corresponds in that context to what in Wikidata is called an item.)" is, as far as I can tell, devoid of information. I would like to delete it, but want to check here first. Klortho (talk) 21:06, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

Removed. --Nemo 10:22, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

New "elements of a statement" diagram[edit]

Anatomy of Wikidata statements; illustration of various terms

I created a somewhat more comprehensive version of the "elements of a statement" diagram, that you can see here. It's a realistic example that shows two statements, one with a source and one with a qualifier, so I think it is an improvement. I did it in Lucidchart, though, which doesn't have SVG output. In hindsight, I should have done it in Inkscape, so that it could be internationalized. So, my question is, can I replace the one there with this one, now, or should I redo it in SVG first? Klortho (talk) 04:23, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

No value vs unknown value[edit]

I think the descriptions of these two are very confusing:

  • No value is a marker when there is no known value for the property. Lack of a value for a claim is very different from negation of a claim.
  • Unknown value is a marker when there is some value but the exact value is not known for the property.

What is the difference? Both indicate "no known value". In looking over meta:Wikidata/Data_model, I think the description for "no value" is wrong. I found, for example, the description of the PropertyNoValueSnak: "Angela Merkel (subject) has no children (property)." So I'd like to change the descriptions, but, again, I am new here, so I want to make sure I'm not mistaken. Maybe I should just "be bold". Klortho (talk) 04:55, 23 December 2013 (UTC)


The documentation for MediaWiki:Right-item-term references this glossary for the definition of Term but there does not seem to be a corresponding entry here. Any ideas if this is a missing entry or a mis-pointed anchor? /André Costa (WMSE) (talk) 13:02, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

✓ Done /Thanks. /André Costa (WMSE) (talk) 07:49, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

New Tabular Formatting Proposal[edit]

The ability to sort and put some order into the glossary is needed. Here is a proposal for a new tabular format:

If this is acceptable, please confirm. There are also content issues that should be addressed following this change. Changing the format is the first step.

--Christopher Johnson (WMDE) (talk) 12:03, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

I disagree. Content is the first step, especially to be able to see the diff. After that, converting to table should be trivial. --Nemo 10:27, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Tables are more difficult to edit and to handle. I can´t see any progress in using tables.--Giftzwerg 88 (talk) 11:16, 8 October 2014 (UTC)


Datatypes are not properly explained. Why do we need datatypes, what kind of datatypes do we have, a exhaustive explanation of the different datatypes. We can also describe datatypes that are not available at present but are to come in the future. Id´like to have a page help:datatypes. --Giftzwerg 88 (talk) 22:59, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

Create it ;-) --Lagoset (talk) 07:49, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

reified statements[edit]

"Both claims and statements is reified statements". I dont get the sense of this words. Can please someone reword the sentence so non native speakers will be able to understand the meaning. Thanx--Giftzwerg 88 (talk) 13:39, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

See the w:de:Reifikation. --Psychoslave (talk) 09:38, 28 December 2016 (UTC)


Can include links to imaginary or real examples, for more easy understanding?--Lagoset (talk) 06:46, 2 April 2015 (UTC)


Think would be interesting link to a definition in Wiktionary, instead link to all the entry (page) in Wiktionary, from a Wikidata item / Wikipedia page.--Lagoset (talk) 07:54, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

Proposed reorganisation[edit]

Here are my proposals for changing the order of stuff on this page

  1. Names and Projects
  2. Entities, items, properties and other wikidata name spaces
  3. Parts of an item page from the top -
    1. Labels,
    2. Descriptions,
    3. Aliases,
    4. Statements,
      1. Properties
      2. values
    5. Qualifications,
    6. References,
    7. Sitelinks
  4. Property pages
    1. Labels, Descriptions and Aliases
    2. statements about properties
    3. Datatypes
  5. More about statements
    1. instances
    2. Classes
    3. Part of
  6. Sitelinks and Languagelinks
  7. Basic terms in structured data

Any comments User:TomT0m, User:LydiaPintscher? Joe Filceolaire (talk) 18:37, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Done. Well ready for review. I have completely rewritten the Glossary at User:Filceolaire/Draft:Glossary and kept less than 10% of the old definitions. Anyone who wants to comment please do before I overwrite the existing. Joe Filceolaire (talk) 19:35, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
Subheadings can be flattered to lists in "3.3 Sitelinks", "1. Names and Projects", "3.1 Item IDs, Labels, Descriptions and Aliases", "4.1 Property IDs, Labels, Descriptions and Aliases", "6 Specialist terms" d1g (talk) 11:34, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

link Wikidata to other projects[edit]

In the "Wikimedia projects" section is written that only Wikimedia projects can be linked to Mediawiki. I think it is incorrect because the API allows to link also other projects. Am I right?--Malore (talk) 22:55, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

sections "Entities, items, properties and queries" and "Claims and statements" lack information about structure[edit]

Information is nested in WIkidata, but every definition presented with same tab level.

Probably, there too many plain-English words about structure ("parent of", "child of"); at least tiny outline would help:

d1g 19:46, 27 November 2016 (UTC)


Please see phab:T154282 about a new special pages listing translations of key terms.
--- Jura 12:43, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

This has been declined. --JakobVoss (talk) 14:03, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

Snak and snaktype at this page[edit]

commons:File:Datamodel in Wikidata.svg is omitting both of them, but another image still uses them: commons:File:SnaktypeUI.png. d1g (talk) 10:31, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

I couldn't find an interface text using them.
--- Jura 15:12, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
Well, images are still described at this page; 12 matches in Wikidata:Glossary#Claims_and_statements section. d1g (talk) 21:49, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
It notes that isn't used for users. BTW "claim" is mostly absent from the user interface (MediaWiki namespace) as well. Joe's re-write User:Filceolaire/Draft:Glossary includes them.
--- Jura 22:45, 3 January 2017 (UTC)

Glossary Revision[edit]

We are currently revising the glossary at Wikimedia Hackathon 2017 Wikidata documentation sprint. A first summary can be found at Wikidata:Glossary/Guidelines and in my blog at -- JakobVoss (talk) 13:23, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

@JakobVoss: Thanks for your work on the glossary! I would argue that the removal of "snak" is a mistake; the term is all over the API documentation and real-world results from it, and it's one of the most opaque bits of Wikidata-specific jargon, where it's instantly frustrating to not quickly find a definition. (And I suspect the boundary between "ordinary" Wikidata users and API consumers is porous at best, so I'm not sold on the rationale that it's too technical to include here.) Having a moderately technical definition here that points to the data model for details seemed like a sensible approach to me, until/unless the use of the term is deprecated.--Eloquence (talk) 22:24, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
@Eloquence: Is there is more detailed, stable description of "snak" with links to where this term is required to know about? The glossary should give a very brief definition and link to more details. -- JakobVoss (talk) 15:27, 28 July 2017 (UTC)