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I'd like to commend Artemaz for his DEFAULTSORT work lately, going through the thousands of pages that need it. However I was wondering if we could put our resident Stone Golem or Unseen Servant to the task instead, I would save Artemaz a lot of work. If this is something that can only be done by hand then I will lend my hand to task as well, when able.
--Eli the Tanner (talk) 20:36, June 17, 2015 (UTC)


It would also not clog up the recent edits... BadCat? - Darkwynters (talk) 21:28, June 17, 2015 (UTC)
- Darkwynters (talk) 21:28, June 17, 2015 (UTC)


Is this something a bot could do?
- Darkwynters (talk) 21:23, June 18, 2015 (UTC)


I don't think so. A bot will not likely ever be smart enough to recognize how to parse the article title of persons with first and last names, much less distinguish titles, definite articles, patronyms, or disambiguation words if any are present.
~ Lhynard (talk) 16:07, June 19, 2015 (UTC)


Thanks for the commendation! If a bot could do it that would be great, if not then I'm fine chiseling away at it a bit at a time. It does clog up the recent edits page so I'm at least trying to find other things to edit on these pages as I go such as categories, past tense, grammar, etc.
Artemas (talk) 16:32, June 19, 2015 (UTC)


Time to respond at last. I run the UnseenServantBot, by the way. StoneGolemBot's user doesn't come in so much now.

When I noticed Artemaz and others doing it, I thought about using the bot. Unfortunately, in AutoWikiBrowser, there's no option to simply move a section of text from one part of a page to another. (Unless maybe I need much more coding knowhow.) I can delete a {{DEFAULTSORT:}} line and I can prepend or append one, but I can't re-insert the sorting information. I could do it semi-automatically, finding and loading the pages in the program and making the changes manually, which is quicker than doing it through a browser, though still time-consuming. I've started doing it, but there's currently over 3600 to check.

A technical fix for the problem, so that {{class table}} uses defaultsort for the generated categories rather than pagename or sortkey, would be preferable, to save this ever being an issue again. But I understand if that's not possible.

Perhaps, rather than shifting defaultsort, we encourage the use of sortkey in the class tables. Not all characters have classes or multiple names, so the sorting problem shouldn't arise for them. It's only those making use of the class table with editions and levels that need updating. That's a much shorter list of pages to find, check, and update via the bot, though still not something that can be done automatically.

Regardless, who is actually in favour of using a "Family Name, Given Name" sorting order? I know I argued for it in the past (at Forum:Sort categories for individuals), and I introduced the use of {{DEFAULTSORT:}} at this wiki (when I arrived, no page used it, and every category had its own sortkey or none at all). It kind of flourished without a consensus being reached. But, given the increasingly technical nature of our categories (which we didn't have in 2012), I'm beginning to wonder if the difficulties outweigh its usefulness. "Given Name, Family Name" would be much easier across the board.

There's actually a setting-based directive for this: Forgotten Realms Adventures, page 72, under "Human Names in the Realms", says "Not all humans of Faerun have surnames. Many are known only by a single name, plus a nickname to distinguish them from neighbors or colleagues who share that same name. As a result, the alphabetical lists of characters here are arranged by first name, simply because everyone has at least a first name." The FRCS 3e index sorts characters this way too. So, there's precedent and that's a good and easy model to follow. I prefer the convention of sorting by family name, but prefer ease of use more. I can use the bot to eradicate the defaultsorts and sortkey parameters if we're all in favour.

— BadCatMan (talk) 03:57, June 20, 2015 (UTC)


I'm leaning toward the "Family Name, Given Name" standard for sorting categories because the search function will quickly list everyone with the same first name, but to find everyone with the same last name is not so easy. If you want a list of all people with the last name Silverhand, then someone has to write an article to make such a list (which someone did). I could be persuaded into the "Given name Family name" (without the comma, right?) camp if we were more diligent about giving all the Category:Noble houses an {{Organization}} infobox and filling out the "Members of House Foo" categories. This would not eliminate the need for pages like Silverhand, but would go a long way toward making it convenient to find "families" of people.
Moviesign (talk) 13:13, June 20, 2015 (UTC)


I am not sure I understand the two camps here... please provide an example, so I can see what I am voting for...
- Darkwynters (talk) 17:07, June 20, 2015 (UTC)


A specific example of the choices: do you want Arvin Kothonos to appear in the categories under A or K? If you want to go with A, then we don't need to specify a DEFAULTSORT for any of our person pages and we will have to undo a lot of work by User:Artemaz and others who have started putting DEFAULTSORT into many pages already. If you want to go with K, then any Person page with a compound name (this question is moot for names like Wulfgar) will need a DEFAULTSORT template and, because auto-generated categories do not honor the DEFAULTSORT unless it occurs before the category is generated, the DEFAULTSORT needs to go at the top of the file. Choosing this option means not only putting DEFAULTSORT in all our Person pages, but also, in those pages that already have one, moving it to the top of the file if they use a {{Class table}}. It's a lot of work either way.

I like having Arvin Kothonos show up in Category:Inhabitants of Ravens Bluff under K because if he had a brother named Zeddadiah Kothonos, then Zed would be listed right next to his brother, rather than the two brothers be listed under A and Z respectively. The Search function already produces a list of Arvins (there are two) so why not have the categories sorted by last name as an alternative?

User:BadCatMan's position is that most everyone knows NPCs by their first name and many only have a first name, so why not sort them like they are listed in the sourcebooks? He stated his reasoning in his post above so I'm not going to repeat it and I don't want to put words in his mouth. In either case, it sounds like a lot of work with the bot :-/

Hehe, I've invested more time in writing these posts than is justified by the amount I care. I won't be heartbroken either way.

Moviesign (talk) 21:54, June 20, 2015 (UTC)


That's right, though I too don't care much one way or the other. I like to use the standard convention of sorting by family name, but I see that sorting by given name is easier and is supported by the setting and sourcebooks. Plus, it works for characters with no family names or who only have nicknames. But I don't even use the Inhabitant categories.

It would actually be very easy to remove the sorting using the bot: load all Person pages, delete all instances of "{{DEFAULTSORT:*}}" and "|sortkey=*" with a little regular expression work. That can be done automatically, but could take a few hours.

Of course, much of the work for sorting by family name has already been done and it would be painful/impossible to reintroduce it later if we change our minds.

I'm in favour of keeping the existing family-name sorting system.

BTW, family pages and categories only make sense for clans and noble/royal families. It would be quite unnecessary to make them for someone like the Mellicot sisters.
— BadCatMan (talk) 09:35, June 21, 2015 (UTC)


Okay this all sounds like a big bunch of bantha poodoo (pardon my horrid "Phantom Menace" reference)... If it is easy to just remove the DEFAULTSORT, maybe we should just keep things as they are sorting by "Last name, Given name"... Easy to place the sort at the top of the page... Down the road, switching is like pressing the Bot Red Button :)
- Darkwynters (talk) 15:00, June 21, 2015 (UTC)


I prefer Family Name, Given Name, for the same reasons as MovieSign.
~ Lhynard (talk) 01:47, June 22, 2015 (UTC)


It looks like as admins are in favour of keeping the family-name sort order, but regular users can come in to outvote us. :)

Using the bot to find the relevant pages and hand-deleting only those with single names, I've compiled a list of articles that still need checking at User:BadCatMan/Sandbox Number 2. That needs work to make them into formatted links, however, which I'll try later.

— BadCatMan (talk) 03:59, June 22, 2015 (UTC)


I can probably help you out there BadCat, just give me tomorrow to play with it. What exactly do you need? A list of article names that are Wiki linked? Something like User:Moviesign/Class table no edition only without the extra stuff like numbers and template parameters?
Moviesign (talk) 04:44, June 22, 2015 (UTC)


Thanks, but with a bit of hacking I got it: an orderly list of links anyone can click on to adjust the defaultsort/sortkey. As for myself, I'll keep working through the bot.
— BadCatMan (talk) 11:26, June 22, 2015 (UTC)


Just because I like to tinker, does something like this help narrow it down? How does this compare with your list?
Moviesign (talk) 04:46, June 23, 2015 (UTC)


Nice work. However, yours is longer by a few hundred, because I've already pruned some titles and removed those already checked and updated. Yours probably isn't updateable to show only those that still need checking, either. Still, I need to learn that code.
— BadCatMan (talk) 06:18, June 23, 2015 (UTC)


And done! All the pages that need to be checked and fixed are now checked and fixed. Thanks to everyone involved in updating these. These long edit grinds are what make veteran editors. :)
— BadCatMan (talk) 12:05, July 7, 2015 (UTC)
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