Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

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Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

Rachel Dwight
https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Disambiguation_Comment states that disambiguation comments are intended to differentiate between/among 2 or more identically named artists/labels/entities. It explicitly states that the field is not to be used as a general description field, yet some editors are dead set on using it for this purpose. They claim it’s a pre-emptive strike, but I don’t buy it. If we’re going to abuse the disambiguation field in this manner, it should be renamed to better suit its purpose.

This thread is to only be used to discuss renaming the disambiguation field. If enough support is shown I will open a new thread to alter the disambiguation document to allow for similar or confusing names.

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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

Staffan Vilcans

Rachel Dwight skrev:

> https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Disambiguation_Comment states that
> disambiguation comments are intended to differentiate between/among 2 or
> more identically named artists/labels/entities. It explicitly states that
> the field is not to be used as a general description field, yet some
> editors are dead set on using it for this purpose. They claim it’s a
> pre-emptive strike, but I don’t buy it. If we’re going to abuse the
> disambiguation field in this manner, it should be renamed to better suit
> its purpose.

I don't think it should be renamed, but it should perhaps be made more
explicit that it is OK, perhaps even encouraged, to put in a
disambiguation comment there even if we so far only have one artist with
that name. Especially when the artist name is very generic.

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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

Frederik "Freso" S. Olesen
Den 15-08-2014 kl. 08:37 skrev Staffan Vilcans:

> Rachel Dwight skrev:
>
>> https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Disambiguation_Comment states that
>> disambiguation comments are intended to differentiate between/among 2 or
>> more identically named artists/labels/entities. It explicitly states that
>> the field is not to be used as a general description field, yet some
>> editors are dead set on using it for this purpose. They claim it’s a
>> pre-emptive strike, but I don’t buy it. If we’re going to abuse the
>> disambiguation field in this manner, it should be renamed to better suit
>> its purpose.
Note that that WikiPage is not a Style document and as such is not
subject to the RFC/RFV process. It might be more appropriate to discuss
this in e.g. -users.

> I don't think it should be renamed, but it should perhaps be made more
> explicit that it is OK, perhaps even encouraged, to put in a
> disambiguation comment there even if we so far only have one artist with
> that name. Especially when the artist name is very generic.

+1

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MB:   https://musicbrainz.org/user/Freso
Wiki: https://wiki.musicbrainz.org/User:Freso


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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

Maurits Meulenbelt-2
In reply to this post by Staffan Vilcans
I don't think we should encourage editors to dump even more information
into that field. The UI already gives some more information about a
given search in some places, such as an English locale alias for works.
If anything, that could be expanded (seeing the most used relationship
would be nice for some artists).

Staffan Vilcans schreef op 15-8-2014 om 8:37:

> Rachel Dwight skrev:
>
>> https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Disambiguation_Comment states that
>> disambiguation comments are intended to differentiate between/among 2 or
>> more identically named artists/labels/entities. It explicitly states that
>> the field is not to be used as a general description field, yet some
>> editors are dead set on using it for this purpose. They claim it’s a
>> pre-emptive strike, but I don’t buy it. If we’re going to abuse the
>> disambiguation field in this manner, it should be renamed to better suit
>> its purpose.
> I don't think it should be renamed, but it should perhaps be made more
> explicit that it is OK, perhaps even encouraged, to put in a
> disambiguation comment there even if we so far only have one artist with
> that name. Especially when the artist name is very generic.
>


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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

LordSputnik
In reply to this post by Rachel Dwight
Rachel Dwight wrote
https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Disambiguation_Comment states that disambiguation comments are intended to differentiate between/among 2 or more identically named artists/labels/entities.
Well, it actually says:

"The disambiguation comments are fields in the database used to help distinguish identically named artists, labels and other entities."

And adding pre-emptive disambiguation comments is in line with that goal. Even with the most unlikely of names, it's not impossible (or too improbable) that one day an artist with the same name will be added to MusicBrainz. And when that happens, the sources used to add the existing artist may no longer exist, making it much more difficult to add a disambiguation to both artists. So adding a disambiguation comment to each new artist helps editors in the future.

Not only that, but adding a disambiguation comment to all artists helps people when selecting artist entities for use in relationships, since the disambiguation is displayed alongside the name in inline search.
For example, I would be more sure about making a composition relationship between an artist and a work if the artist disambiguation comment was "songwriter". Otherwise, I might not be able to tell if the artist is a songwriter or something else, and could end up creating a new artist to avoid creating (possibly) incorrect relationships.

Rachel Dwight wrote
It explicitly states that the field is not to be used as a general description field, yet some editors are dead set on using it for this purpose.
If description is the intention, and not disambiguation, then that *is* incorrect use of the field. The annotation should be used instead.
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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

bflaminio
In reply to this post by Rachel Dwight
Are there some examples you feel are particularly heinous?

Perhaps just editing the bad ones to bring them in line is more appropriate, with a brief and polite talking to the editor who made them.
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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

Rachel Dwight
In reply to this post by LordSputnik

On Aug 15, 2014, at 5:30 AM, LordSputnik <[hidden email]> wrote:

Rachel Dwight wrote
https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Disambiguation_Comment states that
disambiguation comments are intended to differentiate between/among 2 or
more identically named artists/labels/entities.

Well, it actually says:

"The disambiguation comments are fields in the database used to help
distinguish identically named artists, labels and other entities."

And adding pre-emptive disambiguation comments is in line with that goal.
Even with the most unlikely of names, it's not impossible (or too
improbable) that one day an artist with the same name will be added to
MusicBrainz.

Except in cases where the name is trademarked. It is safe to say that there will never be another Jay Z, for example, since Shawn "Jay Z” Carter is super-aggressive about protecting his brand. (This came to light when he tried to force the game DayZ to change its name.)

And when that happens, the sources used to add the existing
artist may no longer exist, making it much more difficult to add a
disambiguation to both artists. So adding a disambiguation comment to each
new artist helps editors in the future.

That’s what URL relationships are for. Most artist info comes from a small pool of websites, the majority of which are cleared for inclusion in the sidebar.

Not only that, but adding a disambiguation comment to all artists helps
people when selecting artist entities for use in relationships, since the
disambiguation is displayed alongside the name in inline search.
For example, I would be more sure about making a composition relationship
between an artist and a work if the artist disambiguation comment was
"songwriter". Otherwise, I might not be able to tell if the artist is a
songwriter or something else, and could end up creating a new artist to
avoid creating (possibly) incorrect relationships.

A lot of artists perform multiple duties (e.g. writing and producing) so this is mostly a non-issue.



Rachel Dwight wrote
It explicitly states that the field is not to be used as a general
description field, yet some editors are dead set on using it for this
purpose.

If description is the intention, and not disambiguation, then that *is*
incorrect use of the field. The annotation should be used instead.

What you’re describing is a description. You can’t call it a disambiguation unless there are 2 or more entities by the same (or nearly the same) name.




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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

Staffan Vilcans
15 augusti 2014, Rachel Dwight <[hidden email]> skrev:

Except in cases where the name is trademarked. It is safe to say that there will never be another Jay Z, for example, since Shawn "Jay Z” Carter is super-aggressive about protecting his brand. (This came to light when he tried to force the game DayZ to change its name.)

He probably don't have it trademarked in every country in the world. Some countries don't even have the possibility to trademark things.
 

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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

Rachel Dwight

On Aug 15, 2014, at 11:34 AM, Staffan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 15 augusti 2014, Rachel Dwight <[hidden email]> skrev:
>>
>>
>> Except in cases where the name is trademarked. It is safe to say that there will never be another Jay Z, for example, since Shawn "Jay Z” Carter is super-aggressive about protecting his brand. (This came to light when he tried to force the game DayZ to change its name.)
>>
> He probably don't have it trademarked in every country in the world. Some countries don't even have the possibility to trademark things.

Most do. All signatories to the Berne Convention (most every country in the world at this point) are required to honor each other’s copyrights, trademarks, patents and other intellectual property rights. An assortment of trade agreements provide enforcement mechanisms.
In other words, Jay Z has the power to regulate use of his name worldwide (and possibly beyond).

>  
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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

Staffan Vilcans
15 augusti 2014, Rachel Dwight <[hidden email]> skrev:
He probably don't have it trademarked in every country in the world. Some countries don't even have the possibility to trademark things.

Most do. All signatories to the Berne Convention (most every country in the world at this point) are required to honor each other’s copyrights, trademarks, patents and other intellectual property rights. An assortment of trade agreements provide enforcement mechanisms.
In other words, Jay Z has the power to regulate use of his name worldwide (and possibly beyond).

There are exceptions. I think Afghanistan has no copyright at all for instance.
Another example is The Ropes. The indie pop band sued the punk band with the same name and won, but we still lists both of them.

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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

Alexander VanValin
In reply to this post by Rachel Dwight
On 08/15/2014 09:16 AM, Rachel Dwight wrote:

On Aug 15, 2014, at 5:30 AM, LordSputnik <[hidden email]> wrote:
If description is the intention, and not disambiguation, then that *is*
incorrect use of the field. The annotation should be used instead.

What you’re describing is a description. You can’t call it a disambiguation unless there are 2 or more entities by the same (or nearly the same) name.


A disambiguation comment is going to be descriptive, of course.

tl;dr: in an imperfect world, I prefer to err on the side of over-commenting

So "distinguish identically named artists, labels and other entities" is the stated goal of the field. A narrow reading of that would be "entities already in the database under that name", but that's not the only possible reading. Any name might be somewhat ambiguous (i.e. it's unclear who/what it refers to) if you're not already familiar with the entity(s) in question.

Is there only one JayFoo? Does she fiercely protect her brand? Cool. But am I expected to know that before I search for her in MB?

Maybe there is no JayFoo in MB at all. Maybe it's an alias (misspelling or legal name) for an artist who /is/ in MB. Or a one-off artist credit. A comment might help me there too.

Help me what? Help me find what I'm looking for with minimal link-clicking.

Alex / caller#6

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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

Ulrich Klauer
In reply to this post by Rachel Dwight
Rachel Dwight wrote:

> All signatories to the Berne Convention (most every country in the  
> world at this point) are required to honor each other’s copyrights,  
> trademarks, patents and other intellectual property rights.

The Berne Convention says absolutely nothing about trademarks, patents  
and other intellectual property rights. It is solely about copyright.

There are other treaties, such as the Paris Convention for the  
Protection of Industrial Property; as an artist name is not  
"industrial property", however, it is not covered by that treaty,  
which doesn't guarantee a uniform right in all of its member states  
anyway. There is more, such as TRIPS, but far from every country is a  
member of these.


Regarding the original topic, I don't see it as a problem. If there  
are unnecessary or unnecessarily wordy disambiguation comments, they  
can be edited or removed, and they don't hurt otherwise.

Ulrich


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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

Rachel Dwight
In reply to this post by Alexander VanValin

On Aug 15, 2014, at 2:06 PM, caller#6 <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
> So "distinguish identically named artists, labels and other entities" is the stated goal of the field. A narrow reading of that would be "entities already in the database under that name", but that's not the only possible reading. Any name might be somewhat ambiguous (i.e. it's unclear who/what it refers to) if you're not already familiar with the entity(s) in question.

For extremely generic names (e.g. John Smith) I could see that, but for unique, rare or famous names it’s really not necessary. Everybody knows who Justin Timberlake is, so we don’t need to add a disambiguation to his MB entry.

>
> Is there only one JayFoo? Does she fiercely protect her brand? Cool. But am I expected to know that before I search for her in MB?

I brought up the trademark point to demonstrate an instance where there would never be an artist by the same name. If another artist tried to use the same name or similar, he/she would face dire legal consequences.
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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

jesus2099
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Staffan Vilcans
Staffan Vilcans wrote
I don't think it should be renamed, but it should perhaps be made more
explicit that it is OK, perhaps even encouraged, to put in a
disambiguation comment there even if we so far only have one artist with
that name. Especially when the artist name is very generic.
+1
vietnamese artists almost all have ultra generic artist names (only given name) and most of the session musicians need commenting (not talking about the “stars” here).
 PATATE12   jesus2099   GOLD MASTER KING   FAKE E-MAIL ADDRESS 
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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

Calvin Walton-2
In reply to this post by Staffan Vilcans

On Fri, 2014-08-15 at 08:37 +0200, Staffan Vilcans wrote:

> Rachel Dwight skrev:
>
> >  https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Disambiguation_Comment states that
> >  disambiguation comments are intended to differentiate
> > between/among 2 or
> >  more identically named artists/labels/entities. It explicitly
> > states that
> >  the field is not to be used as a general description field, yet
> > some
> >  editors are dead set on using it for this purpose. They claim
> > it’s a
> >  pre-emptive strike, but I don’t buy it. If we’re going to abuse
> > the
> >  disambiguation field in this manner, it should be renamed to
> > better suit
> >  its purpose.>
> I don't think it should be renamed, but it should perhaps be made
> more
> explicit that it is OK, perhaps even encouraged, to put in a
> disambiguation comment there even if we so far only have one artist
> with
> that name. Especially when the artist name is very generic.
I've been thinking about this for a little while, perhaps rewording
the documentation on the Wiki page with something like this?

    The disambiguation comments are fields in the database on artists,
    labels, and other entities. They are used to help users determine
    whether an entity in the database is the one that they are searching
    for. Disambiguation comments should be used in cases where the name is
    similar or identical to another entity, is common, or may otherwise be
    confusing.

I think we should be discouraging including information in the disambiguation field which can be represented as structured data - e.g. things like type, gender, and country on artists. This can be shown in search results automatically.


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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

tommycrock

.
On 20 Aug 2014 22:42, "Calvin Walton" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
> On Fri, 2014-08-15 at 08:37 +0200, Staffan Vilcans wrote:
> > Rachel Dwight skrev:
> >
> > > https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Disambiguation_Commentstates that
> > >  disambiguation comments are intended to differentiate
> > > between/among 2 or
> > >  more identically named artists/labels/entities. It explicitly
> > > states that
> > >  the field is not to be used as a general description field, yet
> > > some
> > >  editors are dead set on using it for this purpose. They claim
> > > it’s a
> > >  pre-emptive strike, but I don’t buy it. If we’re going to abuse
> > > the
> > >  disambiguation field in this manner, it should be renamed to
> > > better suit
> > >  its purpose.>
> > I don't think it should be renamed, but it should perhaps be made
> > more
> > explicit that it is OK, perhaps even encouraged, to put in a
> > disambiguation comment there even if we so far only have one artist
> > with
> > that name. Especially when the artist name is very generic.
> I've been thinking about this for a little while, perhaps rewording
> the documentation on the Wiki page with something like this?
>
>     The disambiguation comments are fields in the database on artists,
>     labels, and other entities. They are used to help users determine
>     whether an entity in the database is the one that they are searching
>     for. Disambiguation comments should be used in cases where the name is
>     similar or identical to another entity, is common, or may otherwise be
>     confusing.
>
> I think we should be discouraging including information in the disambiguation field which can be represented as structured data - e.g. things like type, gender, and country on artists. This can be shown in search results automatically.
>

Although structured data can be shown it isn't for artist/label editing drop down boxes. I agree with the principle of not duplicating stuff, particularly not structured data as free text. The problem, particularly for artists,  is it's much easier for an editor to decide which of the various things we record are the distinguishing features for them. Type and gender probably aren't usually useful for disambiguation but it probably would be useful to show area, start and end dates. I know genre keeps being kicked into the long grass but the other info that regularly pops up is roles: singer/songwriter ; composer ; trombonist. Perhaps we should be able to record roles without relationships or aggregate them from relationships? Or we let editors decide the most relevant info for the artists?


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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

tommycrock

.
On 20 Aug 2014 22:42, "Calvin Walton" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
> On Fri, 2014-08-15 at 08:37 +0200, Staffan Vilcans wrote:
> > Rachel Dwight skrev:
> >
> > > https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Disambiguation_Commentstates that
> > >  disambiguation comments are intended to differentiate
> > > between/among 2 or
> > >  more identically named artists/labels/entities. It explicitly
> > > states that
> > >  the field is not to be used as a general description field, yet
> > > some
> > >  editors are dead set on using it for this purpose. They claim
> > > it’s a
> > >  pre-emptive strike, but I don’t buy it. If we’re going to abuse
> > > the
> > >  disambiguation field in this manner, it should be renamed to
> > > better suit
> > >  its purpose.>
> > I don't think it should be renamed, but it should perhaps be made
> > more
> > explicit that it is OK, perhaps even encouraged, to put in a
> > disambiguation comment there even if we so far only have one artist
> > with
> > that name. Especially when the artist name is very generic.
> I've been thinking about this for a little while, perhaps rewording
> the documentation on the Wiki page with something like this?
>
>     The disambiguation comments are fields in the database on artists,
>     labels, and other entities. They are used to help users determine
>     whether an entity in the database is the one that they are searching
>     for. Disambiguation comments should be used in cases where the name is
>     similar or identical to another entity, is common, or may otherwise be
>     confusing.
>
> I think we should be discouraging including information in the disambiguation field which can be represented as structured data - e.g. things like type, gender, and country on artists. This can be shown in search results automatically.
>

Although structured data can be shown it isn't for artist/label editing drop down boxes. I agree with the principle of not duplicating stuff, particularly not structured data as free text. The problem, particularly for artists,  is it's much easier for an editor to decide which of the various things we record are the distinguishing features for them. Type and gender probably aren't usually useful for disambiguation but it probably would be useful to show area, start and end dates. I know genre keeps being kicked into the long grass but the other info that regularly pops up is roles: singer/songwriter ; composer ; trombonist. Perhaps we should be able to record roles without relationships or aggregate them from relationships? Or we let editors decide the most relevant info for the artists?


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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

Staffan Vilcans
In reply to this post by Calvin Walton-2

Calvin Walton skrev:
> I think we should be discouraging including information in the
> disambiguation field which can be represented as structured data - e.g.
> things like type, gender, and country on artists. This can be shown in
> search results automatically.

But it can sometimes be necessary like when you need to be able to tell
apart the Swedish punk band and the Australian punk band or an Italian and
a Dutch trance artist.

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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

Ulrich Klauer
In reply to this post by Calvin Walton-2
Calvin Walton wrote:

> I've been thinking about this for a little while, perhaps rewording
> the documentation on the Wiki page with something like this?
>
>     The disambiguation comments are fields in the database on artists,
>     labels, and other entities. They are used to help users determine
>     whether an entity in the database is the one that they are searching
>     for. Disambiguation comments should be used in cases where the name is
>     similar or identical to another entity, is common, or may otherwise be
>     confusing.

+1

Ulrich


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Re: Pre-RFC: Rename disambiguation field "Description"

lixobix
In reply to this post by tommycrock
tommycrock wrote
Although structured data can be shown it isn't for artist/label editing
drop down boxes. I agree with the principle of not duplicating stuff,
particularly not structured data as free text. The problem, particularly
for artists,  is it's much easier for an editor to decide which of the
various things we record are the distinguishing features for them. Type and
gender probably aren't usually useful for disambiguation but it probably
would be useful to show area, start and end dates. I know genre keeps being
kicked into the long grass but the other info that regularly pops up is
roles: singer/songwriter ; composer ; trombonist. Perhaps we should be able
to record roles without relationships or aggregate them from relationships?
Or we let editors decide the most relevant info for the artists?
+1

If we want to restrict the DC to it's pure role, we first need to display all the other data related to an entity any time that entity is available for selection. Users seem to be misusing the DC only because it's easier than having to click through each entity to access the full data related to it. So until full data is readily visible, we should alter the DC guide to allow for more freedom, even if it results in data duplication. Pragmatism before idealism.

As a side note, I would eventually like to see the DC go completely. It's use almost always fits into certain categories that should be represented by specific data types, e.g. 'edition' for releases, 'area' and 'place' for artist etc, 'version' for recordings. Disambiguation is only necessary because MB does not contain all the sufficient data types to represent different but similar entities.
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