The section about redirects for alternate spellings should focus not just on composer names, but also the spelling of songs. E.g.: Descendi In Ortum Meum vs. Hortum. I'm thinking that no edit needs to be made to the composer page to indicate the alternate spelling, since once someone can eyeball the titles, they'll recognize the alternate spelling.
I agree completely. A redirect to a page whose title has a word with a common alternate spelling is entirely appropriate. And you are right about it being unnecessary to list a work on a composer page together with its alternate spellings.
Another point should perhaps be made here, and that is the difficulty of locating a page through a wiki search whose title has unusual diacritics or characters, such as: þ, Æ, ß, ç, œ, ł, ʒ - or vowels with unexpected accents. For such cases it is entirely appropriate to list the title with an alternate spelling with standard English characters only at the top of the page (as with "Aliases") and also to use a sort key (with the standard English rendering) for categories placed on the page - so that the page will sort correctly in categories in which it is placed.
Hi Vaarky. Your suggestion of creating redirects for alternative spelling is indeed valid and has been done before. The problem we've found is that redirects don't show up neither in the wiki Search nor on Google search (try with Adiuro vos filiae Jerusalem). So, the redirects end up being useless. Perhaps it would be more effective to add the alternative spellings inside the works page, after the "official" title, as we do with the "Aliases" field in composer pages.
I think that, with newer versions of the wiki software, it is possible to set ones search preferences to include redirects. Our current version does not permit this, however.
Edit: I was wrong above. However, when one is presented with a list from a wiki search, there appears at the bottom of the page "Search in namespaces" section that allows one to check "List redirects". Thus, if you type, say, "Mahler" in a search box, click on "Search" (do not click on "Go", which tries to find an exact match), when the "Search results" page appears, at the bottom, check "List redirects", then click on "Search" (just to the right of "Search for ...", you will find the Mahler redirect (it's the 2nd entry when I try it). -- ChucktalkGiffen♫ 06:55, 12 August 2008 (PDT)
Is there some other benefit to not using redirects and instead opting to put the alternate terms on the score page, such as saving disk space (less overhead if not creating a page?) or filename slots in the filesystem?
Interesting question. To some extent, yes there are indeed some benefits in using redirects sparingly:
Each redirect does take up a bit of disk space (every link in wiki is actually a two-way link - forward to the target of the link, and backward from the target page to the page containing the link, which you can see by clicking on "What links here" in the toolbox on the left panel).
The default action when one hits "Enter" in a search box is the same as clicking "Go" - which tries to find an exact match. This can be frustrating when one is looking for every occurrence, say, of the word "Mahler", since one may be used to hitting "Enter" or clicking "Go" automatically (or accidentally) and being redirected to the Gustav Mahler page, when one should really click on "Search" to find a list of pages with the word "Mahler" in them. With time and practice (experience), one eventually gets around to remembering to do the right thing in such situations - but it really frustrates many users. Of course, if the Mahler redirect were not there at all, then it would not matter whether one hits "Enter" after typing "Mahler" or clicked on either of "Go" or "Search", because if no page (redirect or not) with the name Mahler existed, then the wiki search takes over.
Similarly, a redirect to the Tomás Luis de Victoria page corresponding to the possible spelling "Tomas Luis de Victoria" (without accent) is entirely superfluous, since a search (either "Go" or "Search") will turn up the right page (2nd on my listing).
An extra point about last name redirects, such as "Mahler" redirecting to "Gustav Mahler" - these should be viewed as "shortcuts" to enable quick access to a composer page. In cases where there is some ambiguity, such as "Bach", one is typically sent to the one of the pages (the most common one), where ones finds a disambiguation (as with Bach) notice or redirect (try Mendelssohn) notice of some sort which enables one to find the other pages easily(!), or one might be sent directly to a disambiguation page.
I was wrong in one point too, Chuck: it seems redirects DO appear in Google searches, though they don't seem to receive a priority as high as normal pages. I made a search test with "Torquato Tasso" & CPDL and first the Category, then the redirect page showed up. It's a pity the wiki software doesn't behave the same by default.
Yes, thanks--I figured it out after rechecking all the syntax references I could find. I thought the arrow was missing in preview mode because I got something wrong when I did my first redirect. I wanted to mention it in case anyone else thinks it would be good to add a parenthetical note of reassurance where the redirect instructions appear on the volunteer page. I might be alone in having worried about this, though.
add volunteer project: looking up nationalities of composers?
That information should be included here, yes. If you have the time to add it, please go ahead! By the way, messages are normally left at the bottom of a talk page, except on the wiki BB where they are added at the top. --Bobnottstalk 03:03, 29 August 2008 (PDT)