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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2010

    Speaking of disambiguation, I noticed we should probably do something about topology. It is both a mathematical object, i.e. a set of subsets declared to be “open”, and a field of study.

    Maybe we can collect some samples here?

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2010

    I was just thinking that. I think the former could be called point-set topology or better, general topology (like the arXiv :-) because there are things like locale theory or lattice theory that are appropriate for topology, but are certainly not point-set ^-^.

    The former could be called topology on a set, so people don’t assume it’s about the subject.

    Samples as in….? (I can guess with the advent of K-topology this has become more pressing on your mind)

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2010

    Samples as in….?

    Sorry. I was looking for other examples in need of disambiguations besides “signature” and “topology”, but didn’t say that very clearly (was in a rush).

    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2010

    The mathematical object is at topological structure (which redirects to topological space, sensibly enough I think). The general field of study is topology.

    For what it’s worth, Wikipedia does that the same way (topological space (wikipedia), topology (wikipedia)).

    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2010

    ok good. I should have realised that the problem would have been solved earlier

    • CommentRowNumber6.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2010

    Toby writes:

    The mathematical object is at topological structure

    David replies:

    ok good. I should have realised that the problem would have been solved earlier

    Wait, that does not solve the problem: while it is logical and reasonable to declare to speak of “topological structure”, that’s not how the term is used in common practice. That means we will have nLab pages (and many of them, I assume) that say things like

    let the topology on X be the discrete topology

    and not

    let the topological structure on X be discrete.

    So we should make sure that the link to topology sends people not to an unreasonable page, which means it must send them to a disambiguation page. If the author of the entry is aware of the issue, of course, he or she should prefer to use the more specific link to topological structure.

    We did deal with this kind of issue correctly at homotopy. Another place where we still have to deal with it is algebra.

    • CommentRowNumber7.
    • CommentAuthorTim_van_Beek
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2010

    Is there a naming convention yet for disambiguation pages? Should it just be the buzzword ("algebra") or what wikipedia does ("algebra (disambiguation)")?

    • CommentRowNumber8.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2010

    I added some disambiguation remarks right atthe beginning of algebra. Also added a little bit of stuff to associative algebra and algebra over an operad

    • CommentRowNumber9.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2010

    I agree with Urs #6. I’ve already used topology in the way Urs mentioned and it goes to the wrong page.

    • CommentRowNumber10.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2010

    Is there a naming convention yet for disambiguation pages? Should it just be the buzzword (“algebra”) or what wikipedia does (“algebra (disambiguation)”)?

    well, as I just said in the other discussion with Todd: it seems to me that if the title of the dismbiguation page is not the ambiguous keyword itself (or if that at least redirects to that page) then the page won’t serve its intended purpose.

    • CommentRowNumber11.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2010

    I certainly agree with Urs #10 that the name of the disambiguation page should be the ambiguous keyword itself.

    However, I don’t agree that topology should be such a page. It says right there in the first paragraph of that page what it’s about and gives a link to topological structure in case that’s what the reader wants. How will moving topology somewhere else and putting a disambiguation page at that name make following those links any easier? It just means that all links to topology are wrong instead of only half of them.

    algebra is different, because we simply don’t have a big discussion of algebra as a discipline. To the extent that we cover it, we cover it at algebra. As for homotopy, you only have to look at that page to see what I think about it (^_^).

    That doesn’t mean that we can’t make things look better. I like what Urs recently did at algebra. Let’s do that at topology too.

    • CommentRowNumber12.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2010

    I agree with Toby #11. The page similar to algebra for topology would satisfy what I expect when clicking topology.

    BUT, I would say that algebra is precisely the disambiguation format I think we’ve suggested, so I think you actually agree with what has been suggested already for topology :)

    Regardless, I would be very happy to see the format for topology modeled on that of algebra.

    • CommentRowNumber13.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2010

    Regardless, I would be very happy to see the format for topology modeled on that of algebra.

    It’s done. It just took me a few minutes. (^_^)

    • CommentRowNumber14.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2010

    Very nice! :)

    • CommentRowNumber15.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2010

    Yes, nice, thanks. Added hyperlinks to Toby’s addition at topology.

    I agree with what you (Toby and Eric) are saying.

    I suppose we are converging to: let’s have the ambiguous name be the title of a page that

    1. in its first paragraph provides the disambiguation;

    2. in the remainder discusses one of the different meanings in detail.

    • CommentRowNumber16.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2010
    • CommentRowNumber17.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2010
    • (edited May 11th 2010)

    The summary at #15 sounds best to me. Shall we apply that to homotopy as well? There I think the ambiguous name should take you to what’s currently at homotopy (as a transformation).

    • CommentRowNumber18.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2010

    Shall we apply that to homotopy as well?

    Yes, I think we should. Do you have a free moment? I don’t have right now…

    • CommentRowNumber19.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2010

    Homotopy is rearranged.

    • CommentRowNumber20.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2010
    • (edited May 12th 2010)

    Thanks, Mike. Very nice. Much better than the previous situation.

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