Template talk:Authority control

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A prediction[edit]

Hey WikiWizards, just a prediction here: the more intrusive and obnoxious you make this (now vey intrusive and obnoxious) template, the more resistance you will generate towards its future implementation and retention. You may in fact be tinkering until you break it. Note that in many cases, trivial links to (relatively) irrelevant Wikipedia articles like Virtual International Authority File or Trove (identifier) are more prominent than the actual authority identifier (e.g. VIAF (1)). I'm an experienced Wikipedian, and my fat thumb or fat mouse pointer still too often clicks on the former rather than the latter, resulting in virtual hog swill. To everyone who deems the current structure of this template ideal I ask: Do you value pedantry over utility? --Animalparty! (talk) 05:55, 24 October 2021 (UTC)

Does anyone know why the box at the bottom of William Shakespeare has the two links for VIAF shown in the comment above? Is there any reason for two links for any of the items? The Authority control page should list all names like VIAF with whatever links are wanted. Then double links would not be needed. Johnuniq (talk) 06:31, 24 October 2021 (UTC)
Please see extended discussion in archive 11! — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 05:59, 25 October 2021 (UTC)

Lighthouse identifiers[edit]

I have proposed removing some identifiers from Template:Infobox lighthouse and putting them in authority control instead. That would mean adding support, initially, for:

— Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:23, 8 March 2021 (UTC)

There was no comment on these back in March. Are they uncontroversial? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 06:46, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
I will propose each one separately below — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:21, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

Would it be appropriate to put these identifiers in a separate group, i.e. see below? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:19, 12 November 2021 (UTC)


Reliable, valuable and freely available source for lighthouses, published by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Code is on sandbox. Example below. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:21, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

plus Added — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:22, 6 November 2021 (UTC)

Admiralty number[edit]

Authoritative and widely used identifier for lighthouses worldwide, published by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office. Unfortunately the catalogue is not available online so no relevant link can be provided. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 15:18, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

plus Added — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 16:50, 7 November 2021 (UTC)

Tom.Reding, I have partially reverted your change to this identifier. The link you included, to http://listoflights.org/ is not a reliable source and not published by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office. I think it is misleading to include this link next to "Admiralty". As I mentioned above there is no relevant link for this identifier. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:48, 8 November 2021 (UTC)


Authoritative and reliable source for lighthouses, published by the United States Coast Guard. The catalogue is available online and we can link to it as a PDF file, but I'm not sure how helpful that would be, because it would not go directly to the relevant entry. (This is volume 2, - 397 pages.) Code is on the /sandbox — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 17:16, 7 November 2021 (UTC)

This has been plus Added — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:20, 12 November 2021 (UTC)


Extensive directory of lighthouses published by the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 15:58, 12 November 2021 (UTC)

plus Added — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:01, 13 November 2021 (UTC)


Official list of lighthouses in Canada, published by the Canadian Coast Guard. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:00, 13 November 2021 (UTC)

plus Added — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:56, 15 November 2021 (UTC)

Disable override parameter?[edit]

The template currently allows all fields to be overridden with a local parameter. Is there any way this can be disabled in certain cases? For example, all the identifiers for lighthouses have now been migrated to Wikidata, and I would prefer not to allow Wikipedia to get out of sync with Wikidata. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:32, 5 November 2021 (UTC)

Gagetown, New Brunswick currently has two identifiers, one of which gives a 404 error.[1]. Why would we disable the override parameter? People should never be forced to edit Wikidata to get rid of unwanted entries. Fram (talk) 09:33, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
I don't know why that link doesn't work because I don't personally work with VIAF links. I am only proposing that the override be disabled for certain links that we know have been fully migrated, for example the NGA number I have proposed above. In this cases, if an error is discovered, the best way to fix that is on Wikidata because it would benefit other language Wikipedias too. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 10:11, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
I have seen too many problems and too little quality control at Wikidata to support this: everything needs to be overwritable at enwiki. Fram (talk) 15:58, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
My experience with trying to edit Wikidata to remove erroneous information is that then the bot operators will swoop in and tell you that the erroneous information must be restored because it is in somebody else's database and their bot will just copy it back from that database to Wikidata anyway. So I agree with Fram above re poor quality control and the need for override here. —David Eppstein (talk) 17:24, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
@Tom.Reding: perhaps you could comment on the WorldCat via VIAF issue, as you previously noted at Template talk:Authority control/Archive 12#Broken identifiers that this may be a temporary problem? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:18, 6 November 2021 (UTC)
@MSGJ: the situation seems to have marginally improved - I very quickly found working links in Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-LCCN identifiers & Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers (for example, American Base Hospital No. 20 & One World Trade Center, respectively), but many links are still 404'ing. Since the situation is improving, I don't think removal is warranted.
As for disabling override functionality, that is why we have Category:Pages using authority control with parameters all matching Wikidata (16) & Category:Pages using authority control with parameters different on Wikidata (401) for manual followup. Currently, both WD & WP values are shown. For example, see Abraham Langlet: d:Q2706401 contains VIAF:262055026, and Abraham Langlet contains |VIAF=42619234; both are displayed in the AC box. In this case, 42619234 should be transferred to d:Q2706401 & removed from Abraham Langlet.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  11:48, 7 November 2021 (UTC)

Articles which cover more than one thing[edit]

In an attempt to restart this conversation, I have created some examples at User:MSGJ/Lighthouse identifiers/examples to show how this could possibly work with lighthouse articles. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:59, 15 November 2021 (UTC)

I've added to the sandbox a couple of extra parameters, extragroup and extralist which allows me to generate an extra row in the template like this:
But it's not very clean code to put in an article, so I'm still looking for a better solution — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:58, 18 November 2021 (UTC)
Further progress on this can be seen at Template:Lighthouse identifiers/testcases — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:45, 19 November 2021 (UTC)
I have finished testing this on every combination of situations that I can think of, and I'm satisfied with the output. I admit the method is slightly hacky, but it should be a reliable interim solution until this module can accept multiple QIDs. Please let me know if you see any problem with those testcases. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:14, 19 November 2021 (UTC)
I have implemented this — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:38, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

Article with numerous identifiers for the same database[edit]

Hello. For the article Catholicate of the West, there are four different identifiers on WorldCat (they can be seen at d:Q109621016). I have checked, and those identifiers are referring to the same entity, no doubt. However, only the first one is in Worldcat the link of this template. Does anyone know how I could fix this situation? Veverve (talk) 06:14, 18 November 2021 (UTC)

This should be possible, at least for some identifiers (see Template:Authority control/testcases#Multiple IDs (proposed)). I haven't dug into the code for this, but perhaps Tom.Reding could comment on this? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:40, 18 November 2021 (UTC)
If I'm reading correctly, the only parameters able to support multiple links are those which are using the prefix parameter. Is that correct Pppery? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:53, 18 November 2021 (UTC)
That's certainly not the case. For example, One World Trade Center (the very first article in Category:Articles with multiple identifiers) has two LCCN identifiers, and LCCN doesn't have a prefix. It instead looks like WorldCat is implemented in a very different way then all other identifiers and the special case code for WorldCat lacks support for multiple IDs. My rewrite of the code did not change this, so I'll leave it to Tom.Reding to comment further. * Pppery * it has begun... 16:29, 18 November 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for answering — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 20:19, 18 November 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, WorldCat has always been an oddball. Will take a look at this soon.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  13:20, 19 November 2021 (UTC)
 Done   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  04:19, 25 November 2021 (UTC)

So, now how do I put the multiple WorldCat identifiers in the article? Veverve (talk) 04:48, 25 November 2021 (UTC)

They are in the article now Veverve! Thanks to Tom.Reding for sorting this — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 09:03, 25 November 2021 (UTC)

NLK (National Library of Korea ID)[edit]

The URL set in the NLK is currently broken and does not work anymore. Please replace the http://nl.go.kr/authorities/resource/ with http://librarian.nl.go.kr/LI/contents/L20101000000.do?id=. (ko:Special:diff/30738894) Thank you. --ted (talk) 09:33, 21 November 2021 (UTC)

Random example: David Acheson (mathematician). Link will change from Korea to Korea That looks correct to me — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:46, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
 Done — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:51, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

TLSID [Theaterlexikon der Schweiz ID (P1362)] change[edit]

On 26 July 2021 the Wikidata Property P1362 changed the 'format as regular expression' from 60 to 70 characters

This should be reflected in function p.tlsLink

However, the regex that is generated in its current form causes a lot of backtracking within the regex engine.

A suggested variant would be

function p.tlsLink( id, label )
	id = id:gsub(' +', '_')
	--P1362's format regex: \p{Lu}[\p{L}\d_',\.\-\(\)\*/–]{3,69} (e.g. Abcd)
	local class = "[%a%d_',%.%-%(%)%*/–]"
	local idlen = #id
	if idlen < 4 or idlen > 70 then
		return false
	local regex = '^%u'..string.rep(class, idlen - 1)..'$'
	if not mw.ustring.match( id, regex ) then
		return false
	return '[http://tls.theaterwissenschaft.ch/wiki/'..id..' '..(label or 'Theaterlexikon (Switzerland)')..']'..p.getCatForId( 'TLS' ) --no http as of 9/2019

An example of a long tlsid can be found in UNIMA Desb42 (talk) 13:59, 21 November 2021 (UTC)

I have updated Module:Authority control/sandbox2 and Template:Authority control/sandbox2 with your suggestion, if you would like to test it? (I noticed that Tom.Reding is busy working in the main sandbox and don't want to disturb him!) — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:57, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
I have tested on UNIMA where it is now working and on Lausanne_Conservatory which does not work - which is correct (as the tlsid is >70 chars) Desb42 (talk) 15:30, 23 November 2021 (UTC)
Thanks, I have added your code to the module — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 16:21, 23 November 2021 (UTC)


Why do we have a group for "Other" and could these be put into "General" instead? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 09:05, 25 November 2021 (UTC)

"General" is for IDs that cover everything, like VIAF. "Other" is for IDs which are specialized, but where there aren't sufficient to warrant a new line (I mean, we have plenty of links to national libraries, so having a line for those make sense: but we have only one "Base Léonore", "a French database that lists the records of the members of the National Order of the Legion of Honor." type of entry. Fram (talk) 10:13, 25 November 2021 (UTC)

Request - Online PWN Encyclopedia ID[edit]

Regards. Please add a module displaying a link to the Polish encyclopedia - Online PWN Encyclopedia ID (http://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Property:P7305). I would be grateful for this help. Abraham (talk) 16:48, 25 November 2021 (UTC)


I'm completely out of my element here, so forgive me if it sounds like I have no idea what I'm talking about (I don't). This template still refers to a database maintained by RERO in Switzerland. RERO is a library network in Western Switzerland, which used to have a high number of members, including all the universities based there. But it lost the vast majority of its members (including all the universities) in late 2020, as most institutions have moved to a new network called "Swisscovery". Article in French: [2]. I have no idea what this means in terms of authority control, but just wanted to put it out there. JBchrch talk 16:15, 1 December 2021 (UTC)