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AWB: Disallow WikiProject banner template sortkey assignment when the proposed target of listas= is identical to {{PAGENAME}} or is a nontrivial prefix of {{PAGENAME}}, likewise with {{DEFAULTSORT}}
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Description

By "listas=", I'm referring to the template parameter used by (possibly all) WikiProject banner templates (for example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:WikiProject_Biography#Listas). Asute readers can legitimately ask "since somebody fixed MediaWiki years ago to use the sortkey assigned to the mainspace article when sorting its corresponding talk page, why are you picking on AWB when you really should be campaigning for the deprecation of listas"? I acknowledge your concern, but the "listas=" sortkey assignment is an entrenched feature that would take enormous amounts of time and energy to convince people to drop. AWB has the opportunity to help educate editors that:

  1. assigning sortkeys that are identical to {{PAGENAME}} means introducing unnecessary complexity and
  2. the "ideal for which to strive" is to have exactly one sortkey per article and to prefer the implicit sortkey {{PAGENAME}} and if that can't be done (as is the case with biographies in the English language Wikipedia), prefer the sortkey assigned by DEFAULTSORT on the article page.

Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:DEFAULTSORT, "It is not necessary to use DEFAULTSORT at all if the article or page should be alphabetized according to its title"

AWB apparently allows or encourages the explicit assignment of "listas=" when the target of "listas=" is identical to {{PAGENAME}}.
Examples:
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Seyler_family&curid=36714899&diff=823917660&oldid=798746819
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Mugar_family&curid=12977510&diff=823917598&oldid=758729706
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Lindner_family&curid=52564723&diff=823917554&oldid=801031001
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Getty_family&curid=27237309&diff=823917490&oldid=806090948

The same goes for nontrivial prefixes of {{PAGENAME}}
Example:
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Seagram_(rapper)&diff=prev&oldid=823743537

The request is to have AWB disallow such superfluous assignments (or at least discourage them) and present the user a warning message as to why the assignment could (or should) not be done.

Event Timeline

There are a number of points worth making here, though they do not impact on the base idea behind the bug, indeed one is makes it more important.

  1. DEFAULTSORT is not just useful for Wikipedia, it is also useful for other projects that use our wiki-text., which may not run on the same version or configuration of Mediawiki, or even use that software at all.
  2. "Trivial prefixes" are probably a mistake anyway. In the case of collisions we want names sorted by disambiguators. Admittedly this happens mainly in categories like "Living people".
  3. It is important that we back-port listas to the DEFAULTSORT of the article, especially if we foresee it being deprecated.