Category talk:Wikipedia administration

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Either this category needs to be a parent category of Category:Wikipedia, or that category needs to be a parent of this one. They cannot both avoid each other -- it makes things more difficult to find. Elonka 05:12, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Wrong, this is a top level category. Category:Wikipedia is part of the encylopedia. This category is not. Mirror Vax 07:10, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure that makes any sense, can you please explain how you are defining "top level category"? In any case, I went ahead and added a "See also" link. The problem that I am trying to address, is that when someone is searching through a series of categories for a specific article, there needs to be some cross-over so that if they get to this one, they still have a way of finding Category:Wikipedia, and vice-versa. Elonka 07:17, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Top level means it has no parent category. The "see also" is fine. Mirror Vax 10:44, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

MV: I think that this category should have a parent category. You, who are already familiar with what categories you are interested in, desire some kind of purity in the category design, whereas some others think such "purity" is of little benefit. Some of us others want even these supposed "top-level" categories to be easily browseable from Category:Categories. Your approach seesm to be based on lore or theory or something and others just want the Category structure to be browseable and useable so that it does not take a lot of searching or guessing for users (even new users) to find what they are looking for. Again, insisting that this category have no parent category makes is HARD TO USE, which is wasteful of other user's time. Is your problem that you think that this is somehow the most "important" category in some way and that giving it a parent would be an insult to it or something? -- Pinktulip 05:42, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

It's not about purity, it's about avoiding self reference. Content for readers shouldn't be intermixed with Wikimedia operational cruft as much as possible and that extends to the category system. --Gmaxwell 05:52, 25 February 2006 (UTC)


The following discussion is excerpted from User_talk:Gmaxwell.

Category:Wikipedia as top-level


Thank you for pointing that out; would you be opposed to adding Category:Wikipedia administration to Category:Categories, in that case? It seems your arguments against this (Category talk:Wikipedia administration#Categorization) concern self-reference. Self-reference is not a problem in Category:Categories, as it's not part of the encyclopedic content (any more than, say, the index page in a paper encyclopedia including an initial help chapter). Further, it'd not be a self-reference in itself; it'd be 'for content concerning Wikipedia itself, see this subcategory.' // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 06:04, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
No objection there. Thats fine... The problem that initally caused that category to be split off was because the interlink with the main hierarchy was causing all the policy stuff to be (ultimately) a root of almost every top level encyclopedic category which goofs up some next generation navagation tools I've been working on. I went through a severed a lot of bogus links, connecting it up to Categories would cause no harm... (Until someone puts categories in Category:Science and then I have to kill them :) ). --Gmaxwell 06:08, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
Duly noted. ;) // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 06:27, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
Per the discussion above, I've added this page to the top category. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 10:47, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Categories with no parents and "top-level" categories[edit]

After discussion elsewhere, and reading the above, I think a distinction needs to be made between "categories with no parents" and "top-level categories". Although all top-level categories, by definition, have no parents, sometimes it is useful to create categories with no parents that are not top-level categories.

My reasoning is that excessive upwards linking towards a "top-level" category, often for reasons of wanting to browse downwards from said top level, often causes incorrect linking within the category structure, mainly with a top-level category linking downwards to an incorrect lower-level category or article. I feel that it should be OK to only be able to access a category by accessing it from article namespace, or from lower down the category "tree". It shouldn't always be necessary to be able to move downwards through the "tree" to reach the category (ie. it doesn't have to have a parent).

Quoting from here: "[A category can act] like a portal for a wide range of [...] articles. As such it should be a natural endpoint, and should have few parents, or even (gasp) none. I don't see any reason why it can't be seen as a natural dead-end for a specialised purpose (gathering together [broadly connected] articles [on a particular subject]), with only one route in (from any of the articles in the category). Then, to get back out into the "tree", you have to exit via the way you came in, or via a different article. I see absolutely no reason why every category has to have a parent category - there are plenty of routes away from [or into] the category - the fact that they all point downwards into article space (or subcategories), rather than upwards (into parent categories), is neither here nor there."

But then how should these "parentless" portal-type categories be organised? Carcharoth 14:48, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Having “orphan” categories simply implies a poorly defined conceptual “universe.” The universe of Wikipedia articles should have at least one classification system that is “exhaustive” – every article fits into at least one category and the top-level categories subsume all of the articles. It also would be nice if these top-level categories are at roughly comparable levels of discourse (fundamental, top 10, or whatever). “Categories with no parents” are, by definition, “top-level.” The question then becomes, do these top-level categories serve any meaningful and useful purposes for the readers and editors of Wikipedia? Rfrisbietalk 15:51, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

OK. I agree with what you say, but would you agree that it is better to leave a category without parents, rather than rush into linking it into fundamental categories before seeing what structure emerges? As an example, what about Category:Categories by person? That is currently undergoing a vote to rename it, and I think this is an example of how poorly organised linking of categories upwards towards the "top" of the category scheme can cause more problems than it is worth. Sometimes the links between things are not obvious, let alone the names for these sometimes rather nebulous "fundamental" categories. Trying to link everything into the fundamental category structure can be counter-productive, at least at this stage in the evolution of the category structure.
I often find it easier to start browsing a few levels below the fundamental levels, as the names of the fundamental levels can be so abstract as to be nearly useless.
And what about the point that browsing is not always drilling down from higher to lower levels. Often I want to browse upwards to higher levels, and then back down into article space. As long as the category I am interested in is there (so I can read the articles in that category), and I can reach it in several ways, I don't really care that I cannot reach it directly from a top-level category. Instead, I would have to drill down to a related subject area, move sideways, and then back up again to find this "parentless" category. I think people should be flexible enough to move within a multi-dimensional category space, rather then the "drill down to find what you want" mentality. Carcharoth 16:15, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Sure, I agree objective and process both are important and distinct. I'm definitely an eventualist and an "everything-is-related-to-everything-else-ist," ;-) so I don't mind how I find something or how many different ways they are related. For a specific category, I think the best place to have a discussion about how it should be classified is at its own talk page. I think issues like the one you mention will work themselves out in time (I'm sure it's at least about "people" somehow). These differences of opinion seem to be more conceptual than time-sensitive, so I don't see the "rush" factor playing into it very much.
The root category, Category:Categories has six subcategories under it, not just Category:Fundamental. Are there really all that many categories that don't fit under one of those six? If there are, maybe some other high-level category is in order, but I would be surprised if it's necessary. Rfrisbietalk 17:20, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Endless loop[edit]

I've not read all of the above. Some of it may explain why this category is now both a parent and a child category of category:Wikipedia categories. Not good. Robin Patterson 14:01, 16 April 2007 (UTC)