Wikipedia:Merge some redundant lists to categories
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This is a proposal for a categorization project to merge information from lists into acategories all across Wikipedia.
Initial proposal and explanation of project
Yesterday morning, I noticed that the page Gay icon included a "List of gay icons". There is also a category for gay icons. (A gay icon is a celebrity--not necessarily a gay celebrity--who is somehow important to the gay community. Check out the article for more information). The list in the article and the category were different, with some on the list and not in the category, some in the category and not on the list, and some in both. Last night, I rectified this by going to the page of every single person or group on the "List of gay icons", categorizing them as gay icons, and deleting the list from the article.
Now, the obvious question is, if the list was somehow vandalized or inaccurate (and it almost definitely was), wasn't I just doing more damage to Wikipedia by spreading it over 238(!) different articles? The answer, I believe, is no. The vandalized or inaccurate information in that list was already in Wikipedia, but it was only apparent to those who ventured to the article Gay icon. Now that the information, accurate or not, has been spread around to some 238 articles. So if we assume that only one out of four Wikipedia articles has a full-time editor (i.e. someone who watches the page to make sure it isn't vandalized or otherwise made inaccurate), and further assuming that the article Gay icon had five full-time editors, I have increased the number of editors overseeing this potentially incorrect information from five to 60. And these are only very conservative figures--Gay icon probably didn't have five full-time editors (for instance, LaToya Jackson was listed as "American singer/trainwreck"), and I'm sure more than 1 in 4 Wikipedia articles has at least one full-time editor.
My argument is that by blindly merging information from lists into categories where appropriate, fact-checking will be more effective. Another advantage to the technique of blindly merging information is that it can be done by a script or a bot.
I am, therefore, proposing a categorization project. I am proposing that all lists on Wikipedia that can be made into categories, or already have been made into categories, be merged into said categories by a script. My work on the Gay Icon Project (as I am beginning to call it) is a test case for this.
In order for this project to happen, we need to have consensus, manpower, and someone to write a script/bot for the grunt work. Please head to the talk page if you are for or against this proposal, and/or able to write a script/bot for the project. If you want to join, feel free to sign up below.
Philwelch 23:29, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
- More Wikipedians to join the project.
- Someone to code and run scripts/bots in order to carry out the actual merges (if they involve large lists).
- A list of lists to be merged into categories.
The project has yet to start. Before that happens, we need a consensus in favor of it, more manpower, and, if possible, the ability to do most of the actual merging with a script.
Merges pending MediaWiki changes
Categories presently can not fully replace lists. The software supporting Wikipedia presently can not produce category displays which are equivalent to list usage.
- Category:Wikipedia images: Need to be able to label images in Category autogalleries. Perhaps through Category Pipe notation.
- First application: Images which illustrate subsets. Wikipedia:List of images/Places needs to label one image with the name of the subcategory "Antarctica" instead of with the name of the image. Could be implemented through [[Category:Images of places|[[:Category:Images of Antarctica|Antarctica]] ]].
- Second application: Captions for images. Show an appropriate caption instead of only the name of the image. Could be implemented through [[Category:Images of Earth|Apollo 8 Earthrise over Moon]].