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I've notice several talk page discussion about this, as well as a user who is ignoring his own talk page and adding all kinds of out-of-context links, so I submit this rant.

If a link is created in the text, it must fit the context of the statement it falls in. The statement must remain true if the idea that is described in the linked text is explicitly inserted into the statement.

For instance:

Jeffrey Combs moved to Los Angeles in 1980.

is a true statment.

Jeffrey Combs moved to Los Angeles in 1980.

is NOT a true statement. If you explicitly add information from the article Los Angeles to the statement you get:

In 1980, Jeffrey Combs moved to Los Angeles, which was made an island in 2047 when the Hermosa Earthquake caused the area around it to sink 200 meters underwater.

This is why Los Angeles should not be linked in Jeffrey Combs. Not for some improvised rule about linking In-universe to Realworld, but becuase the statement is false. Combs did not move to the fictional Star Trek Los Angeles which happens to be based on the real Los Angeles.

Also, consider a reference included in an in-universe POV text, Gary Speckman (Crewman):

(TNG: "All Good Things..." set artwork)

The same as Los Angeles, but even worse because there is no real connection between the idea of Art in Trek, and the character of Gary Speckman. Doing this, makes the What links here list for Arts and Music completely unreliable as a source for any kind of semantic information. In other words, because an article is linked to "Art" doesn't mean it has anything to do with Art.

And my favorite example, Time. Consider this phrase from Micro-tunneling sensor:

It is able to penetrate through most interference, but can only scan targets one molecule at a time.

If this is a proper context for a Time link, then think of all the words that could be linked to Time: event, sequence, moment, instant. This is another case, like "Art" mentioned above, where the backlinks are completely useless. Micro-tunneling sensor does not relate to time any more than any other article in the database. Just because T is next to I, M, and, E does not mean it needs to be linked.

About "building the web", I have these points:

  • The links in the web need to be useful and flow in a logical way, providing more in-depth information about something that is specifically referenced in the satement.
  • The backlinks need to be useful. If an article links to a page X, it should be expected that it specifially relates to the thing or idea described in page X.
  • The destination of the links need to be obvious. The user should know what to expect from the linked text. We aren't playing a game of "what is behind link #1", and ...
  • We are not trying to make every text completely blue, with every word linked to something that might be vaguely appropriate if one really stretches his definition.

--Bp 07:06, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Just would like to bring this to attention once again. For some reason Hollywood, Los Angeles and California are three of the big hitters on this topic, as was Texas, movie, and several other generic references that I have already removed. --Alan 10:00, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Case PointEdit

moved from Talk:Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Whats this silly rule that has popped up? We can't link certain things to real world articles? I have to wonder why an article about an aquarium can't link to the MA article about fish...Please explain! -FleetCaptain 00:30, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

It's not a silly rule, it has to do with an accurate links as applied in the proper context. An article that links to a page should have to do with the page it links to. The "in-universe" article fish or California, based on and full of in-universe references, has zero to do with this "real world" aquarium. A fuller explanation can be found here: Forum:Link Context. --Alan 00:39, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Makes a little bit more sense...I still think the article should link to fish. -FleetCaptain 14:43, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Any reason why fish can't be linked to this article? Also, not to offend people here...but as the primary creator of the article I think an automatic revert without explanation wasn't really called for. I'm not exactly a vandal here...right? -FleetCaptain 23:26, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Look up, it was explained to you on this very talk page 4 days ago. --OuroborosCobra talk 23:27, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

By that logic, George and Gracie shouldnt be allowed here either...yet they are. I'm not trying to ruffle people's feathers, I'd just like to know why some things can stay and others can't since the policy itself seems flawed. And yes, I did read the entire thing and looked it up as you said. -FleetCaptain 23:35, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

RE: " the primary creator of the article..." <--> "Please note that all contributions to Memory Alpha are considered to be released under Memory Alpha's Creative Commons License (see Copyrights for details). If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, then don't submit it here."
That aside, George and Gracie were seen in this aquarium and have a direct connection to the subject, just like having the name James T. Kirk or USS Enterprise (which walks the line) linked to William Shatner's does not, it's just a random link in the article, as there are no direct connections between "Star Trek fish" and the "Monterey Bay Aquarium," even as a background reference. --Alan 23:40, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

I still don't think the anti-vandal/auto-revert feature should have been used to undo my edits. It implies disrespect since, as I stated, I'm not some vandal on this site but rather a major contributor. Enough on that subject, though. -FleetCaptain 03:06, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Also, note that it talks about the "fictitious whales george and gracie". That puts things into the correct perspective immediately. Do also note that wording does not give you license to put fictional links in every real world article ad infinitum. :) -- Sulfur 00:46, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

That makes a lot more sense, now; but I guess the link to humpback whales will have to go per the policy if I am at last understanding this correctly. -FleetCaptain 03:06, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

The humpback whales link is used in an in-universe context to describe George and Gracie, so it doesn't need to be removed. Even though it's in a production-POV page, it's discussing an in-universe subject, so the link is fine. It's like saying "Leonard Nimoy played the half-Human, half-Vulcan science officer Spock", which would be okay, because it's describing an in-universe subject. :) --From Andoria with Love 04:23, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
You know, really, to have this drawn out discussion about fish is about silly, when everyone replying to this is basically stating the same thing from 10 different angles. Look at it this way: M/A is, as my Doritos bag calls it, "collisions: two flavors-- one bag", like Star Trek Encyclopedia meets imdb or wikipedia. On one hand you have a fish, and on the other you have a fish (the links are different, check them). One would be used in the case originally stated in Bp's forum that I pointed out above, the other would be used in the case relating to the following: When one clicks here, one expects to find other Star Trek references to fish (or the occasional user page), not links to a relatively meaningless usage found on an "real world" aquarium page. If fish was a character and Monterey Bay Aquarium was his real name, they sure, but otherwise, no. With that said, I am done with this discussion, so lets all go watch paint dry or something. --Alan 05:23, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

The conversation was more about explaining how the policy works rather than with just linking to the fish article. Maybe it should be linked somewhere since this is a pretty good explanation of it; much better than the policy page on the subject itself. You're also right on the 2nd point. Time to move on. -FleetCaptain 15:35, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

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