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Enable a combined text/item datatype of Wikidata property values
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Description

Currently, we have a P2093 property "author name string" as an alternative for P50 "author", for an author which has not yet (or will never have) its own item.

This solution is somewhat unsystematic. For the same reason, we would then have to duplicate a lot of other properties where we have the same problem. "Creator" and "Creator name string", "Architect" and "Architect name string", "Discoverer or inventor" and "Discoverer or inventor name string", "Street" and "Street name string", "Surname" and "Surname string", "Given name" and "Given name string", "Location" and "Location name string" etc. etc. Virtually every property which refers to a specific entity that has its proper name.

An elegant solution would be an combined text/item datatype, which enable to enter both, either the item link or a character string. Of course, tools would still need to be developed that could additionally transform a string into a link as soon as the item were ever created.

There are several ways how to construct the combined datatype. One of them is to switch string/link modes, the second one can be to create automatically some virtual/temporary items, which would be similar to disambiguation pages.

This taks has relation to the T107693 task (both are related to the cases where the target item doesn't exist). Sometimes it is better to create such an item, other times not.

Event Timeline

SJu created this task.Aug 20 2020, 9:28 PM
Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptAug 20 2020, 9:28 PM
Lydia_Pintscher closed this task as Declined.Aug 24 2020, 2:34 PM
Lydia_Pintscher added a subscriber: Lydia_Pintscher.

I fear doing this is not a good idea. So much in Wikibase is built around the idea of datatypes and the expectation that the datatypes bring. The Item link datatype for example always links to another concept that you can find out more about by following that link. This influences queries, API repsonses, how people integrate it in other applications and more. This is too fundamental an assumption in Wikibase for us to break.