Wikipedia talk:Categorization/Archive 15

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Archive 10 Archive 13 Archive 14 Archive 15 Archive 16


Help documentation for plusses & minusses in Category at foot of the articles

Can someone please point me to the documentation for the actions triggered by selecting the plus / minus symbols which currently adorn Categories at the foot of the articles? I will watch this page. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 13:20, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

some documentation can be found in Wikipedia:HotCat , a JavaScript add-on which can be selected in your Preferences profile. Anywhere else? --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 13:40, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
To familiarize myself with the powerful utility HotCat I noticed that Portal:Urdu was too high up in the hierarchy. The minus symbol removed this link and popped me into the editor, at which point I believed I understood the semantics. Might there be anything else I'm missing? __Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 14:05, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Busy work

I consider categorization as simple busy work for editors who don't have the capacity or desire to actually write articles. I suppose it keeps them off the streets, but does anybody actually use the categories to find WP articles? Are there statistics? This has been troubling me for a long time. GeorgeLouis (talk) 23:05, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

In a word, yes. Before there were portals, there were categories, which even served as portals for some years. As for statistics, there was an article in Signpost with some graphs, some years back. Sorry, you'll have to search there if you want more.
But you know what, we can always use critical editors on the lookout for NPOV categories. Your thoughts are welcome. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 00:41, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
I use categories to find articles all the time. They're particularly helpful when the spelling of an article title is variable (or just difficult), or if the title may contain diacritics, parentheticals for disambiguation, or anything else that might make it difficult to locate an article by title alone. postdlf (talk) 02:58, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments. GeorgeLouis (talk) 16:48, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Multiple listings of ancestry cats

The question is what categories should a naturalized American citizen born in Mexico to parents born in Argentina who in turn were immigrants from German and Italy be in. It is fairly clear that they belong in Category:Mexican people of Argentine descent, Category:Mexican people of German descent, Category:Mexican people of Italian descent and Category:Mexican emigrants to the United States. Persoanlly I think that this is a sufficient number of ancestry and natioanlity categories for anyone. However some people seem to think we should also put this indicidual in Category:American people of Argentine descent, Category:American people of Italian descent and Category:American people of German descent. I think that is just excessive. I think we should limit x people of y descent to those who are x people by birth. We have the immigrant categories which fill their function, but to get into anything else just leads to an excessively high number of categories, especially because we can actually find people who immigrated more than once in their lives.John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:34, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

I have long had issues with the descent categories without a benchmark for how much is enough. So for your example, the person is Mexican by place of birth and of German and Italian descent. Now, is 50% defining for heritage? But your example point out how difficult placing people into these categories really is. I would love to see some clear objective guidelines. Right now consensus seems to support self identification. But is someone who is 12.5% of one heritage notable for being of that descent? Or 6.25% if they self identify? Even Native American tribes don't agree on how much blood you need to be in a specific tribe. It varies by tribe and who is in power as I understand it. There is a related expat issue. Just yesterday I read an article for a played who was listed in about 8 expat articles. Are any of those defining? Note that I realize that heritage can affect disease susceptibility. But is that defining for an encyclopedia? I have been thinking about starting an RFC on this topic. So... Vegaswikian (talk) 03:18, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Interesting, your response did not even try to answer my question. I think the record number of descent categories I have seen someone placed in is 8. I am not as concerned about proportion as time. I have seen articles on people born in the 20th century that note the person had an ancestory who came on the Mayflower in the early 17th century and then categorize them as of English descent. I would not go as far as the early-20th century "German stock" rules of the census that limited ther term to people who had at least one parent born in Germany. However when people who said things like "the only thing Irish about me is my name" get classed as being of Irish descent people have gone too far.John Pack Lambert (talk) 03:46, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Do comments need to answer questions that are posed? Proportion and time both have merits. If all of someone's grand parents were born in Foo, they should be able to self identify as Fooian is they desire. But is that defining? And no, I'm not sure. But that case is easier then for someone who is 25% Fooian. Your point on time is also valid, but for how many generations? And when you choose an number of generations, how is that not arbitrary unless the limit is for one generation which is arbitrary, but may be supportable. Vegaswikian (talk) 00:37, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
  • The question is, should people of descents be so categorized in each of their nationality categories, or should we assume by their birth nationality is enough. A simplet case, which avoids the potential nightmare of the case I gave, but maybe will gauge opinion more clearly is, we have a person born in the United Kingdom to parents who immigrated from Pakistan. Then they immigrate to the United States. They clearly belong in Category:British people of Pakistani descent and Category:British emigrants to the United States. Do they also belong in Category:American people of Pakistani descent. Of course, if I did want to make this complex, I would change it to someone who was born in Britain, to parents born in Kenya and Uganda, who were in turn children of people from India, except at least one of the person's grandparents had been born in what is now Pakistan, but the family was Hindu, and they left long before Pakistan was created. OK, now I am just trying to give you a headache. However since Pakistan is a country ctreated in the 20th century with no clear group previously counting as "Pakistani", Pakistani is almost as potentially complicating an ancestry as Israeli.
  • Comment a possibly more complicating factor. Lets say a person is ethnically Tamil and born in the United Kingdom, such that they fit in Category:British people of Tamil descent (which I am not even sure it exists). Then they emigrate to the United States qualifying as Category:British emigrants to the United States. Do they also go in Category:American people of Tamil descent (which I know exists)?John Pack Lambert (talk) 03:46, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Related to my last example is Sunkrish Bala, an ethnic Tamil from India now a US citizen. What remains unclear to me is if he is Tamil or just "of Tamil descent". Currently he is in Category:Indian emigrants to the United States and Category:American people of Tamil descent. Should he also be in Category:Tamil people or is foo people of bar descent a subcat of that, and so he can't be in that as a parent cat?John Pack Lambert (talk) 03:59, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I have a workable theory on this but I am not sure I can quite explain it, and I am less sure that people will support it. Basically it is people who are clearly part of an ethnic group, and not just possesors of a given descent, in their home country can be classified as of that descent in their country of emigration. That is people of mixed German and Italian descent living in Argentina or Mexico are not clealry part of an ethnic group. Ethnic Poles living in the German empire or Ethnic Germans living in Russia (who we class in Category:Russian-German people) are clearly part of an ethnic group. The former on emigration to the US should just be put in the emigrant category, while the later cases can be put in ancestry categories related to their origin ancestries. On the other hand, maybe that is too complicated and so we should adopt as a rule people can be classed in all defined ancestries for each country they are citizen-residents of. I want to at least add that caveat, because I don't want to see an American person of German, Filipino, African-American and Portuguese descent classified as German of any of those descents just because they have dual-citizenship when they have never been a permanent resident of Germany.John Pack Lambert (talk) 03:59, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Just to give you a flavor of how complexed these categorization schemes get we have Joshua Beloya. When I came across his article he was in Category:American people of Filipino descent probably because originally he was in Category:Filipino-American people before the mass rename in the spring of 2010. The old name was ambiguous, the new name is by most accounts not a good descriptor. Beloya was born in the Philippines to an American father and a Filipino mother. If that was all he would be fairly simple to categorize. However after his father died, his mother remarried a Swiss national, and then they emigrated to Switzerland. So he is also in Category:Filipino emigrants to Switzerland. The question I have is, should he also be in Category:Swiss people of American descent?John Pack Lambert (talk) 05:30, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
I think we are getting into political waters here by denying categorizations for how people might self identify. We should consider this sensitivity on the basis of WP:BLP. For instance, the Pakistani mentioned by John Pack Lambert may be most directly of British emigration, but if they came here young and moved to a Pakistani neighborhood like Devon in Chicago, there is probably a lot of self-identity wrapped up in being a Pakistani-American and having Pakistani parents, which would fit under the Category:American people of Pakistani descent. I would think WP:BLP should come into play in that omissions can also be "Contentious material". I am an inclusionist so I don't see a solid argument here for "too many" categories, though I do agree with Johnpacklambert that WP:Verifiability calls for reference of ancestry in the article. Wikipedia:Categorization of people#General considerations Limit the number does call for minimizing the number of cats if possible, but it also states that the whole point is to "ensure that categories contain all of the most relevant articles". Equally, generational limitations on that ancestry don't seem necessary. The Mayflower/British American example given above actually sounds reasonable to me. I suspect this may be a regional thing as well. People from different regions of the US hold differing views on self identification based on where their ancestors come from. Again I would default to WP:BLP and say that if the article self references where ancestors are from, why not add the cat? --Dkriegls (talk to me!) 20:07, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I would point out the Mayflower example is "of English descent" not "of British descent". Also it is "Americans of English descent" not "English Americans". The later term is just too imprecise. Where it is clear I at times try to move away from "English-Americans" to the more precise "American of English descent" or "English-born American" in the text, or on occasion "American born English" or "English of American descent". However there are many articles, that say "Joan Garcia was a Filipino-American actress" and it is never clear whether they mean she was born in the Philippines, or her parents were or what, so I just leave it with that ambiguous term.John Pack Lambert (talk) 01:59, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I was going to summarize a consensus, but I am not sure we have one. It seems that the one person besides me who has weighed in thinks that someone born in England to Pakistani parents who then moved to the US should be in 1- Category:English people of Pakistani descent, 2-Category:English emigrants to the United States and 3-[[:Category:American people of Pakistani descent. I can live with that.John Pack Lambert (talk) 01:59, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I am still waiting for any answer that addresses my original question. That was the person born in Mexico to parents who immigrated to Mexico from Argentina and whose ancestors had come to Argetina from Germany and Italy. This person then immigrated to the United States. What seems clear to me is they belong in 1-Category:Mexcian people of Argentine descent, 2-Category:Mexican people of German descent, 3-Category:Mexican people of Italian descent and 4-Category:Mexican emigrants to the United States. Do we also need to repeat the first three cats for being American. Or do we assume German and Italian are ethnic origins, but Argentine is a passing nationality descriptor and not repeat it, but repeat the German and Italian identifiers?John Pack Lambert (talk) 01:59, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I actually have found that the in article rule works wonders. There were a whole bunch of people in Category:American people of German descent who were put their because it mentioned in the article who their grandfather, or greatgrandfather was. Others were put there because you could go back through multiple articles and identify the great grandfather. Then in the article on the great-grandfather it mentioned that his paternal line ancestors had a few hundred years before moved to what would become the United States from Germany. In my mind this does not work. If we want to categorize someone we need to mention that their ancestors came from a given place in the article on them, not hide it four articles away. If the ancestry is significant to them it will be mentioned in the article on them. Applying this rule gets rid of a lot of unjustified categorizations. This is especially true because the system I described could in theory put someone who had 7 great-grand parents emigrate to the US from Italy into Category:American people of German descent and not Category:American people of Italian descent. That is an even bigger possibility with the categorization just by assuming a last name means a certain ancestry. That is even more problematic because last names mean no such thing.John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:07, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
  • On the Mayflower issue, one of my ancestors who came over just after the Mayflower married a women who was part of the Wampanoag people, making me part Wampanoag. If I remember correctly this makes me about one-2000th Wampanoag. Most people laugh at me when I bring this up and consider my claims to Native American ancestry unreasonable. Of course I later learned that some of my ancestors in the late-18th century on another line may have still been fully Cherokee. Considering my grandmother can trace all her lines back to England, and most of her grandparents were born in England, I just do not think that a claim to English ancestry that precdes the formation of the United States by over a century-and-a-half is notable for people born over 2 centuries after the US was formed. This does not mean I am going to change categorization for any article that actually states the person's ancestors came from England, but it has to be said in the article not just assumed from an assumption based on last names or what not.John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:49, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
--To your point about not using both categories for Mexican people of German decent and American people of German Decent, I would defer to the usage of the category as a navigation template. If I am looking for interesting biographies about either one, I would need that biography to appear in both categories. Back tracking through the Mexican emigrants to the United States category wouldn't work becasue I wouldn't even be aware of the initial ancestry. Your point about subcategories populating into parent categories avoids this problem and allows for simplified categorization as you have been doing. It is however not the case above. I think we need to prioritize the utility of the individual category as a navigation tool over the tidiness of the categories at the bottom of a bio page. --Dkriegls (talk to me!) 09:55, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
--To your point about citations being used from another family member's page; I have dealt with this a lot working with Notable People lists. I don't feel like looking up the rule but citations must be on the page of the actual referenced materiel. No exception. Most list pages are completely void of citations even though they shouldn't be. However, that doesn't mean deleting the information. If there is reasonable enough evidence that a citation can be found, then deletion just gets viewed as uncivil behavior. Copying that citation from the ancestor's bio would be the appropriate action --Dkriegls (talk to me!) 09:55, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
--To your point about last names being used to justify categorization; there is no justification for that under Wikipedia:Verifiability.
--Finally, the Mayflower or 0.005% Native American issue. I think it is boarding on WP:OR to restrict such categorization if it is cited and especially if the subject self identified as such. For instance Obama. I think if I was looking over the category for Americans or English Ancestry, I would very interested to learn about our president being in that category, Even if it was several generations back when they emigrated, his mother self identified as such and he writes about that identity in his memoir. I am an inclusionist, but agree with you that citation is key. --Dkriegls (talk to me!) 09:55, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
I would note 1/2000 would suggest 11 generations back (with 1 generation back meaning 1 of your parents was 'fully' whatever, 2 generations back meaning 1 of your grandparents was 'fully' whatever, this may not be the standard meaning) and it would seem fairly rare people can actually trace their ancestry that far back. But I agree if they can and self identified as such and this is noted in RS, there doesn't seem to be a good reason to restrict such categorisation. (In reality, figures like 1/2048 almost definitely mean a rough minimum of 1/2048 presuming the understanding of the person's ancestry is roughly correct. To truly know you are only 1/2048 you'd need to actually know the information on all '2048' of these ancestors otherwise you can't rule out some of the other '2048' being whatever you're referring to. I say '2048' because it's resonably possible there are less then 2048 as some are the same person.) Nil Einne (talk) 09:55, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Overcategorization related to orders, decorations, and medals

I'd like some guidance on Wikipedia policy with regard to categorization of biography articles as far as the subject of the article's having been awarded honorary memberships, or otherwise recognized for achievements. How does WP:DEFINING apply in these cases? Many editors seem to be completely ignoring that rule of categorization in applying categories to articles.

An example is the Ban Ki-Moon article, which includes Category:Grand Crosses of the Order of Rio Branco and the Category:Grand Cross of the Order of the Sun (Peru) as well as the Category:Order of Friendship (Kazakhstan). Are any of these orders defining for Ban Ki-moon? Would his belonging to these orders be noteworthy enough that they should be mentioned in the lead for his article? Should not, under the guidelines, membership in these orders be included in WP in list form rather than by categorization?

If the consensus is to keep these forms of categories on the bio pages, then shouldn't the Categorization guideline page (and related guidelines pages) be modified to indicate that a different guideline is operative for honorary orders and similar non-defining categories? Dezastru (talk) 01:03, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

I think all we have in the way of guidelines is WP:OC#AWARD, which just says that it's only the exceptional award that merits a category, and all others should be dealt with only by lists. And the question is whether the category should exist or not, not whether it should or shouldn't be applied to some individuals for whom it may be factually applicable but relatively unimportant. For the three you gave examples of above, taking a quick look at them, I'd be surprised if any survived at CFD, though note also that we're dealing with guidelines and not "rules", which is why anyone can create these kinds of categories and it's possible that there might be a consensus at CFD to keep them. postdlf (talk) 02:31, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Buildings name sorting

In going through the building categories, I have seen several default sorts being used which are probably incorrect and I just want to do a sanity check here.

  1. Some NRHP articles use a default sort like a person article when the building article title includes a persons name. This causes random sorting in larger general categories since this is not always done and virtually all of the articles outside of that project just use the building name. I have been removing this when found since the resulting sort is consistent and, as I recall, have not had any objections.
  2. Many building articles use an address. So they have been sorting by a number (using the article title). I just ran into one article that used a default sort for 'street, number'. So which is the preferred solution? Doing the sorting by the street number or street name? Also we have articles titled as Building at number street and these probably should not be sorted as building. Vegaswikian (talk) 07:16, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
  3. Many British building articles set a default sort of city, I think this may mostly be for religious buildings but I'm not sure. This makes no sense for the general categories that cover all countries. So I have been changing the default sort to what would normally be used and using the by city sort on the categories I think it was intended for. Also the sort being used generally does not follow the general sorting rules since it just uses the title leaving in punctuation and not expanding abbreviations. So should these articles be changed to just use the normal default sort by name for all categories?

Advice appreciated. Vegaswikian (talk) 20:25, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

One additional observation on 2, If you look at Category:Buildings and structures completed in 1991, you can see how using the article title for sorting produces a sort that is not correct. So it may be that for articles that start with a number sometime of default sort will be required. Vegaswikian (talk) 20:58, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
  1. A building named after a person has a specific name. This is especially true in cases where the building is named after a person's nickname or common name, and not their birth name. It obviously shouldn't be sorted as a person's name would be in a phone book : )
  2. I don't understand this, could you link an example?
  3. (As I'm certain you're aware of already : ) - The goal of sorting is to enhance navigation. Imagine looking in the cat, but not seeing something that starts with C til you get to M. That's needlessly confusing, especially in large cats. I presume we want like things sorted together, and so on.
If you give some specific examples, I'd be glad to look them over. - jc37 07:46, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
2 check in Category:Buildings and structures completed in 1991 and Category:Buildings and structures completed in 1875. I don't recall the one with the default sort set to street, number, but I believe it was in the UK. Vegaswikian (talk) 08:01, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
You know, maybe I spoke too hastily.
Look at the sortkey here: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
It dawned on me that we may have a COMMONNAME issue here as well. Do we use the full name, or the commonname? Marshall Field and Company Building is not known as the Field building. But Field Museum of Natural History, does specifically use the last name and not the first name (Both are named after the same person.)
So I guess I'm not sure. We may need to check some references and see what sources call the buildings in questions (I have little doubt that sources will vary on sort rules, however, as we've seen in the past.) - jc37 08:27, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
But as you said, that may be more of a common name issue. If the article is correctly named, then there should be no need for using DEFAULTSORT. In your example, on the MacArthur Foundation, the sort key should probably be 'MacArthur Foundation'. In my opinion, the current guidelines prohibit the default sorts used by the NRHP editors to sort buildings by person names like these were people articles, the British building sorting by city and the occasional river sorting by numeric level of the branch. If I were to add something to the project page it would be along the lines that if you are implementing a local project recommendation, you should not use DEFAULTSORT, but should use the piped sort on only those categories that must follow the project guideline. Sorting should be for the general reader and not the expert. Vegaswikian (talk) 04:00, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

New Sports Category

I have never used categories, and have never even understood why anyone cared about them. Until now. I am trying to gather information on professional sports franchises that have relocated (e.g., Brooklyn Dodgers ---> Los Angeles Dodgers, or Decatur Staleys ---> Chicago Bears), and so I automatically went to the bottom of the page for New Orleans Hornets (né Charlotte Hornets), assuming that there would be a category Relocated Professional Sports Franchises, but there was nothing like that. There was a category on Teams established in 1988, and some obvious stuff about the NBA, but not what (to me) seemed to be an obvious and fascinating category--the relocated teams.

So my question is, how does one create such a category? Can I, on my own, create it and apply it where it is appropriate to use? Or do I have to take my idea through some vetting process? If so, at what venue? Here?

Thanks for any help. HuskyHuskie (talk) 21:34, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

The starting place is to read Wikipedia:Categorization. In the case you are asking about, the question would be, is this a defining aspect for a team? I'm not sure that the answer would be yes. It is an interesting fact and likely encyclopedic. However this material would be better presented as a list article where it would provide the year, both cities and both leagues/divisions. All of that really can not be done with categories. Note the existence of the relocation of professional sports teams article. Vegaswikian (talk) 22:24, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your quick and thorough reply. I'm puzzled by something you said that perhaps the article will answer. You asked, is this a defining aspect for a team?. I certainly think not, but that's not what I'm looking for. I've presumed that categories would help find articles that have something in common, which certainly the Memphis Grizzlies and Chicago Bears do (other than their ursine mascots). Anyway, I'll read Wikipedia:Categorization and look at the relocation article, and try to find my answers there. Thanks again. HuskyHuskie (talk) 00:02, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
At least for American professional baseball, this should be a redirect category at least in part. Many/most/all of the pages that should be its members are redirects from the old names of ballclubs to their new names. For example see Brooklyn Dodgers --the redirect not its target-- and skim Category:Redirect-Class Baseball articles --which is a talk category comprising Talk: Brooklyn Dodgers and so on.
My familiarity with Baseball pages that cover defunct ballclubs and those which have relocated is several years out of date. Only just now I learned that the target of Brooklyn Dodgers is History of the Brooklyn Dodgers. I don't know how many analogous "History" articles we have, how many names of defunct ballclubs are now disambiguation pages, etc.
Just now I have added {{R from historic name}} to that Brooklyn Dodgers redirect, which puts it in the appropriate administrative category. If you do add redirects to a new sports category as discussed here (a hard category, so to speak), please add this template at the same time. --P64 (talk) 16:43, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
I have advocated that we keep renamed team articles in the old categories when the article is solely about the old name or team or a by year article. But this position has not gained much support. I think if properly done, having categories for the old and new would be clearer and much more accurate. Vegaswikian (talk) 03:46, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Disambiguation RFC

FYI: Just a pointer to an allegedly relevant discussion elsewhere.

an RFC regarding categorization of disambiguation pages is ongoing at Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation#RFC. Feel free to join in and comment. Carlossuarez46 (talk) 18:12, 31 December 2012 (UTC)


Are categories always categorizing the subject of the article? Or always categorizing the article itself? Or are both acceptable uses of categorization? For example, say we have an article about a shooting, where the shooter has claimed self-defense, and the is a lot of coverage, discussion, etc in reliable sources about if the shooting was self defense. Ultimately the trial hinged on if it was self-defense or not, and in the end was ruled that the killing was not in self defense, and the shooter is convicted of murder. Would self-defense be an appropriate category for that article as the article has quite a bit of content about self-defense in it, but the incident itself was not self-defense? Gaijin42 (talk) 22:04, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

My personal opinion is that categories are only about the subject, not the article. So in this case I think self-defense would be an incorrect category. Same goes with categorizing abortion in Category:Murder, and so on. -- YPNYPN 01:26, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
We have categories of both kinds. For example of the other, see Category: Date of birth missing or Search for Category: Articles ..., Category: Redirects ..., and so on. Perhaps all of that other kind are administrative categories?
We have articles with multiple subjects in the relevant sense, such as an article titled for a book that also covers the book series inaugurated by that book. Probably that article is in some book categories and also in at least one book series category, as long as there is no main article on the series.
Regarding the self-defense issue in a trial for murder, I suppose we have one or more "main" articles that are appropriate. Probably we have at least one relevant wikiproject. If the shooting article includes information about self-defense in a trial for murder that is not available elsewhere --or it provides an illustration of extraordinary quality-- the most best action may be to notify editors of the appropriate article or members of the appropriate wikiproject in Talk or Wikipedia Talk space. --P64 (talk) 22:29, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Generally the categories an article is in should apply to the article. We generally do not want to clutter broad topics, like self defense, with specific articles. A more tircky issue is should say an article on the murder of person x, where they person is not notable enough to have their own article, go in the applicable deaths in year x category. Let us say the person was named Lydia Smilegood. You could create Lydia Smilegood as a redirect to the article Muder of Lydia Smilegood, and then categorize the redirect there. In general this is the best way to do things, but for various reasons many articles, especially on performing duos, have been put in categories that only apply to one of the people in the duo. Thus we have some articles currently in multiple x year births, which in the case of performing duos is especially odd, because the duos are not born, they are created by the two people involved deciding to collaborate, and as such should really be in the approapriate Performing groups established in x years cats. The other place where this issue comes up is that articles are not on words, but on things. Thus it makes no sense to put articles into categories like Category:Hindi loanwords, since the things categorized are not loanwords, just the words used to describe them. On the other hand List of Hindi loanwords is a perfectly acceptable article name.John Pack Lambert (talk) 23:16, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
    • Redirecta handle many cases. If a category would only apply to a person and not an event, create a redirect for the person and add the person related categories there. Vegaswikian (talk) 23:39, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Categorization by place established by year

This is a discussion of categories like Category:1865 establishments in Pakistan and Category:1911 establishments in Turkey. Both are higly problematic names. The first is just plain egregious. The idea of a seperate Muslim state carved out of India was not proposed until 1930. The name Pakistan was not put forward until 1933. In 1865 there was a concept of a place called India. Most of it was British India, a territory of the British Empire. There were also hundreds of "Princely States" of various sizes from Hyderabad State down, and under various levels of British Protection. Beyond this there was also Portuguese India, mainly Goa, and French India. Last I checked the one thing in the category mentioned was located in Lahore, which was a city clearly in British India, part of the province of Punjab, which transcended the modern international bouandary. As it is from 1947 until 1970 we clearly categoize those things established in East Pakistan in Category:1947 establishments in Pakistan etc. We also have Category:1960 establishments in West Germany, East Germany by year establishments categorizes, also Yugoslavia, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, the Soviet Union, Mandatory Palestine, the Thirteen Colonies and probably a few more refering to now defunct categories. We have x year in Dahomey and a few similarly named categories as well. It seems to me the best course would be to categorize everything by where it was in the year it was established. This solves a lot of problems and avoids potential conflicts. Since these categories are clearly refering to the year involved it gives us a staight forward way to categorize things, and it makes it so we do not have to change categorize when boundaries change. It also allows for categorizing things such as sub-national entities that transcended modern boundaries. Thus we would categorize things established in 1910 in Lemburg (now Lvov) as being established in Austria-Hungary, since they were, and not in Ukraine, which makes no sense since a-there was no such place and b-the plurality of Lemburg's population was Polish. We have clearly recognized that we cannot retroactively call things "Israel" before that country was formed. This should be applied across the board. In the case of India, most of the stuff established in what is now Pakistan and Bangaldesh before 1947 is already in the India category. In the case of "Turkey" to the extent that that name was used before 1923 it was used as a synonym for the Ottoman Empire. However it would jus be too confusing to retroactively use Turkey for the Ottoman Empire, and we have clearly decided to use Ottoman Empire as the article on the place, so we should use Ottoman Empire to refer to the place during those times. This also avoids classifying as establishments in Romania things formed by ethnic Hungarian in the Kingdom of Hungary in 1917 or before, that now are located in Romania. This will avoid anarchronism and inaccuracy. It also makes it so we do not have to recategorize things when international boundaries change. I also think we should move toward having a set earliest year we categorize establishments by country. The extreme is Category:993 establishments in the Czech Republic which not only incorreclty calls the place a Republic, implies modern understandings of place nearly a century before they came to be, but also contains the only article anywhere in the Category:993 establishments tree. For Category:Educational institutions established in 1800 that is the first year we have the category, and for Populated places we only do by year back to 1500. I think we should agree to some year before which we do not do the establishments by country. I am thinking 1800 might be a good year, since much before that placing things in countries gets progressively trickier. However I think a fixed year would work.John Pack Lambert (talk) 01:13, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

  • I just remembered a related issue. With the currently used method of placing these categories into parent categories we take a category like Category:1911 establishments in Estonia and place a set of links on the category. This makes it so the category liks to th article Estonia. However in 1911 the thing we really should be linking to is Estonia Governorate, which covered only about half the area of modern Estonia. One option would be to try to use different names in the categories, but that would probably just create confusion, especially in a case like Category:1910 establishments in Romania. With Category:1910 establishments in Russia it might be worth using "The Russian Empire" as the name, but there is a strong argument that at the time "Russia" would have worked. It migth not be that big a deal. I guess we could still add manually on [[:Category:1910 establishments in Russia" a header that says "This is for things established in 1910 in the Russian Empire" but I am not sure how to do that and deal with the current header being placed there. I am not even sure if I am explaining this so people understand the problem. The problem is that currently there is something linking to Russia which is the article on the modern nation state.John Pack Lambert (talk) 01:13, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
One more set of thoughts. As long as we have Category:1960 establishments in Yugoslavia and Category:1911 establishments in the Ottoman Empire it seems we have a clear consensus to at least categorize by the place name at the time. There are two issues here. 1-does it make sense to categorize by both the current place name and the place name at the time. I would say no, because the current place name came change, the place name at the time is fixed. Also, at least at present we have Germany, Russia and Romania categories from years when Germany, Russia and Romania included places that they do not now include.John Pack Lambert (talk) 01:13, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Another issue on place and year

We currently have Category:1905 establishments in India which is being used to categorize all establishments in places that were then considered India, including in what is now Pakistan and Bangladesh. In the same way Category:1955 establishments in Pakistan includes things established in what is now Bangladesh. I really do not see any way to avoid that going on with Pakistan in 1955. However some people have suggested that we should rename the India categories before 1947. I personally think that the fact that at the time the place was called India should control our usage. However, we do use Category:1911 establishments in the Ottoman Empire despite the fact that in 1911 the common name for the Ottoman Empire in the English speaking world was "Turkey" and maps would show "Turkey" as streching from the Adriatic on the west to the Persian Gulf in the east and into the Arabian Peninsula in the south. I guess there are lots of questions, but one seems to be, is common name about the common name at the time or the common name for the thing as described historically at present?John Pack Lambert (talk) 01:18, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Can we just do away with categories entirely?

Having categories seems like a good idea, but I never use them. On the other hand, the category wars soak up a ton of editing time. I pretty much avoid the whole business, yet it wastes my time just for the noise it creates in my watchlist articles. Can someone provide serious cost-benefit analysis that they are worth the overhead? --Hobbes Goodyear (talk) 20:24, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Ooow! Bold words! Face-smile.svg Categories are used but are visited to a far lesser extent than articles. I had a look at evolution and Category:Biological evolution for October as an example of usage. They were visited 220,000 and 1200 times respectively. Categories are too firmly entrenched to simply get rid of them. As for the cost benefit analysis, it is a good point but as volunteers we do what we want to do rather than what needs doing. Unfortunately. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 06:55, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
I was not aware of significant category wars. Tim! (talk) 07:21, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
They can be confusing because 'Category:X' and 'List of X' accomplish more or less the same thing. Given the choice I'd prefer the category. Fuddle (talk) 03:51, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Categories by decade

What is the rationale behind categories like Category:1990s television series? The category isn't applied consistently and there are beginning and ending categories for each year.Fuddle (talk) 03:38, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Sportspeople from FOO - what should the inclusion criteria be?

Hi - I have a question for this project regarding the 'Sports people from location' categories. My understanding has always been that they are intended as a way of sub dividing 'People from location' categories - is that the case? On that basis their inclusion criteria would be defined as 'people born in place x who are notable for their sporting career' would it not?

I'm asking because an editor has been through and added the categories pertaining to players from sports teams in a location to the 'sports people from' category for a number of UK cities. EG he's added Category:Manchester United F.C. players to Category:Sportspeople from Manchester. By my understanding of the inclusion criteria, this is a complete misnomer as the vast majority of the people in the 'players' category are not from Manchester - they were not born there or in many cases have ever even lived there, they merely worked there - often for a very short period. I've asked him for the MOS guidelines for his justification for this but he just claims 'that's the way it is' - my feeling is this is a unilateral thing he's taken upon himself to do and it's not been largely noticed because categories are rarely on people's watchlists.

Some clarification from this project would be appreciated. Thanks. Bladeboy1889 (talk) 09:05, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

How much description should there be on a category page?

Category:Adnanites has 21 references and a diagram under the section heading "Reliable references" - basically a genealogy. I'm also wondering about the articles in this category - is it enough that the article claims that the subject is a descendant of Muhammad to be in this category, as that is the only rationale I can see for some of the bios as they don't mention Adnan anywhere. Dougweller (talk) 16:21, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Not that much! References belong in articles rather than on category pages. I moved the content to Adnanites. I didn't check the sources, but the number of incoming links indicate that it is a genuine subject. – Fayenatic London 18:03, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks very much, that makes sense. I don't deal with categories as much as I probably should. Am I right in thinking that an article that doesn't have a reliable source saying that the subject is an Adnanite shouldn't be in the category? Or is alleged descent enough? Dougweller (talk) 18:38, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
In the end everything should be verified if it's liable to be debated. I see Elijah is currently in the category; Banu Hothail explains why, but the only citation for that is in Arabic, which I can't read... moreover, another editor has just removed it. I left a note on Talk:Banu Hothail but will take it up at Adnanites. – Fayenatic London 19:18, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Categorization by place of birth

At Talk:Amanda Righetti someone has cited me to this place to say we should categorize by place of birth. I am fairly certain I have read a statement that says that in general the place of birth is not alone worth categorizing, that we should categorize people by where they were raised, not where they were born. If someone could help me find this information, and maybe even point this out on the talk page involved that would be helpful.John Pack Lambert (talk) 07:27, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

This is aligned to the issue I raised about the 'Sportspeople from...' categories further up the page. Having read the MOS info on categorisation I was very surprised to discover that the 'People from...' categories are supposed to infer residence not place of birth because that's deemed not notable. I has always assumed it referred to birth, I'm pretty sure that 95% of editors who put people in those categories believe it to be birth and that most casual readers would expect the same.
There are various problems with this interpretation:
if place of birth is not notable then why is it included in the info box of every biographical article?
I'd suggest POB being notable specifically because most towns make a big thing of their 'favourite sons' - Sheffield Town Hall has a 'walk of fame' area outside with plaques commemorating famous Sheffielders - and these are people born in Sheffield, not someone who happened to live there for a while
I don't know of anyone who would ever describe themselves as being 'from' the place they live unless they were born there. Coming 'from' somewhere infers birth in the English speaking world. I was born and raised in Sheffield but have lived and worked in Leeds but I'd never say I was 'from' Leeds. If asked 'where I was from' I might say that 'I live in Leeds but I was born in Sheffield' but would never associate myself as being 'from Leeds' - and I don't think anyone else would either.
This is important because one editor is insisting that any player for a local sports team eg Sheffield United should be included in the 'Sportspeople from Sheffield' category and therefore the 'People from Sheffield' category because of their supposed association with the city. This is ludicrous - the majority of these players were born and raised elsewhere (many of them not even in England), most of them only played for the club for one year or less and increasingly you couldn't even claim residence as most of the players live in the more upmarket rural towns and villages around the city and commute in. To suggest they should be included due to their association with Sheffield makes no sense and is confusing to the casual reader - not least because on that basis most of them would be in 5-10 different 'sportspeople from' categories. Bladeboy1889 (talk) 08:59, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, that may not be universal. In the US, the places where you lived are commonly where you are from if people ask. The other issue is that birthplace can be by accident if it occurs early and unexpected. How do we categorize someone born on a boat? Do we have a category for the ship or the cruse line? The birthplace is not defining. What can be defining are the places where someone grew up which can affect the persons later life. Vegaswikian (talk) 19:42, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
First off, let's not use "notable" here as the inclusion standard, because that's regarding whether a subject merits an article. Whether a verifiable fact merits inclusion in an article is a completely different question (generally under the standard "relevant" or "nontrivial"), and whether a verifiable fact merits categorization is a third question (generally under the standard "defining" or "significant").

We do not permit categories for every fact contained within articles. WP:OCAT is our general guideline on this point, but the basic issue is that the more category tags that are applied to an article, the more they just become clutter and thus less useful.

Birthplace, if verifiable, should always be noted within an article. That doesn't mean it's significant enough to merit categorization, however. Many people never lived in the city where they were born (myself included), or never lived there long.

However, the "people from FOO" categories have always been inclusive (or poorly defined, if you prefer) as far as what "from" means. Generally you can be confident that it would not include someone who merely visited a place, but would include more than just people who are most known for being from that place and/or achieved their biggest accomplishments there. So the middle between those two points is rather vast, and really should just be dealt with on a case by case basis.

Regarding the Sheffield players, if their only connection to the place is through the team, I'd think it would be sufficient (and hopefully uncontroversial) to include the team players category as a subcategory of the sportspeople from Sheffield category. postdlf (talk) 20:55, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Further to what postdlf has written, this is what it says in WP:DEFINING: "Often, users can become confused between the standards of notability, verifiability, and 'definingness'. Notability is the test that is used to determine if a topic should have its own article. This test, combined with the test of verifiability, is used to determine if particular information should be included in an article about a topic. Definingness is the test that is used to determine if a category should be created for a particular attribute of a topic. In general, it is much easier to verifiably demonstrate that a particular characteristic is notable than to prove that it is a defining characteristic of the topic." Place of birth is verifiable; it is generally not defining. Good Ol’factory (talk) 21:02, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
OK - leaving aside the notability bit I'd still disagree with the 'sportspeople' category inclusion. Take John Egan - he played one game for Sheffield United, whilst spending a month on loan at the club. During this time he didn't live in Sheffield, the one game he played wasn't even in Sheffield and people barely remember that he was ever at the club. He qualifies for the 'Sheffield United players' category but there is no logical reason to include him in the 'People from Sheffield' or 'Sportspeople from Sheffield' category which by placing the players category within the latter infers he is. By sub categorising in this way he gets automatically bundled up with people from Sheffield. On this basis many footballers would be put in about 20 'sportspeople from' categories which is nonsensical. I'm not attempting just to troll on this it just feels very bizarre - if those are to be the criteria then the category should be called 'Associated with' or similar, not 'From...' surely? Bladeboy1889 (talk) 09:02, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
I would have to agree with you on that player example. While some sports players do live in a nearby community and are active and notable contributors to that community, not all are. I don't how you can argue that anyone who 'passes through' is from an area. If you have someone who was in a military family, can you say that they are from the 12 places they lived in before they went away to college? Military families tend to move every year or two so they lack roots for this part of their lives. Vegaswikian (talk) 19:21, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
I think the issue is that most 'Person from...' or 'Sportsperson from' categories have no description and the category criteria is not well defined. The consensus at WP:Football is that the 'Foo F.C. players' categories should not be placed within either 'sportspeople from' or 'people from' categories as this is both confusing and largely incorrect. Individually if a player was born and raised within the boundaries of the same town / city then they'll be placed in the relevant category on their own merit, not lumped together as part of a whole category. Bladeboy1889 (talk) 08:55, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I think we make a mistake in trying to treat the category structure too strictly as a tree instead of a network of associations. I'd expect to find a category for the players of a team in FOO in a "Sportspeople from FOO" category, and it's a useful connection to have to be able to browse directly from one category to the other. It would also make it a completely moot issue as far as whether any of the individual FOO team players should be directly categorized as "sportspeople from FOO". Seriously, what readers would reasonably infer absolute statements of fact from category hierarchies when the higher-level categories are not actually part of the article content? I think most readers would understand that placing the "Team FOO" in the "from FOO" category did not necessarily mean the players had a connection to FOO outside of the team. Plus, where someone works in the profession for which they achieved notability (or at least where they played home games) is not exactly a trivial association. postdlf (talk) 18:50, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
But WP:Categorization#Subcategorization states that a category within a category should be deemed a sub category - thus "When making one category a subcategory of another, ensure that the members of the first really can be expected (with possibly a few exceptions) to belong to the second also." - Therefore placing players categories in these sports/people from categories would expect that the people within them could independently be placed in the upper 'people from category' which in 95% of case they wouldn't. Bladeboy1889 (talk) 19:53, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
That's really not a response to the substance of what I said about this particular issue. Guidelines are not statutes to be invoked in the abstract and applied mechanically without regard to arguments for not doing so; they are guidelines, "best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply." So any comment on what I said? postdlf (talk) 22:45, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
  • My general view is that people should not be categorized as from a place if they moved away from the place before about the age of three. This is easy to follow when the article says they did so. The bigger frustration is lots of articles just give their birth and say nothing else about what they did or where they lived until they were 25 or older. I really don't feel up to removing the categorization of such articles by place of birth, since a lot of those people did stay where they were born. However if the article says they moved to some other city at age one than I feel confident in removing a categorization by their place of birth.John Pack Lambert (talk) 03:06, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
The reverse of how long a person has to live in a place after birth to be "from" there, is even more difficult. I generally assume if they attended college in a place, that alone does not make them from there. If they held a political office such as member of a city council or mayor in a place, they are clearly from there. Beyond that, I think it is really hard to decide. Also, dieing in a place does not show someone was from there.John Pack Lambert (talk) 03:09, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Village pump discussion on "defining"

There is a discussion at village pump about the "defining" requirement for categories. Click here to view. --Noleander (talk) 04:19, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

RfC - Alumni

From discussion at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2013 January 23#Category:Eastman School of Music alumni, it seems that we have a bunch of categories in the style of Category:Eastman School of Music alumni and Category:University of Paris alumni (with "alumni" last) vs. Category:Alumni of Bangor University and Category:Alumni of the Académie Julian (with "alumni" first).

This is not helpful to our readers, nor to editors using Hotcat and other categorisation tools. How should we resolve this, to ensure greater consistency?

Should we move all categories to one or another style? Should we have redirects in all cases (a job for a bot, perhaps)?

Does this affect other types of categories? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:20, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

  • Personally I think we should use x alumni in all cases. It is clear enough, and it makes it so the categories start with the name of the place involved with makes it a lot easier to order them. It also makes it easier to start typing in the name of the place and see what subcats exist when using hot cats. It is also the form one sees in the United States, for example alumni associations are named "x university alumni association". I cannot say if elsewhere such groups use such names.John Pack Lambert (talk) 16:31, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I agree. X alumni is the best style to use. The phrasing also avoids any "of/in/from" potential issues, makes intuitive sense, and has the HotCat advantage John Pack Lambert mentioned. I don't know what absolute numering is, but I tend to see it more than the other way. I don't think creating new redirects is necessary, because I would hope that users are going to the parent institution's category to see what the existing subcats are before they create a new one. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 17:56, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
  • "X alumni" is fine (to the extent any such categories should exist – "where I went to university" isn't a defining characteristic of anyone but a very recent graduate with no professional experience yet, and ergo no likely notability yet either). There's generally no reason to use longer constructions, and when there may be in some rare case, just make an exception (e.g. Category:Players of English billiards being an exception to the normal "Category:Sport-name players}}" convention, without anyone's head exploding). — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 19:16, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
  • "Alumni of" is the much clearer and less likely to be ambigious configuration, IMHO. - The Bushranger One ping only 02:23, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Use one or the other universally. I don't particularly care which, but "FOO alumni" is shorter. Categories are not meant to necessarily be phrased like sentences. If all the alumni categories are phrased as in FOO alumni, I doubt there would be much confusion as to what it means. Right now all the UK ones use "Alumni of FOO", which is fine, but it is inconsistent with most of the others. Avoiding "Alumni of FOO" has the benefit of completely avoiding the issue of whether it needs to be "Alumni of THE FOO" or just Alumni of FOO" in any given cases (I can think of dozen of examples where there would be fights over this issue). Good Ol’factory (talk) 04:04, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Repeating my comments from the last time someone raised this:
    This was originally formed several years ago when setting up and standardising the university categories and a division opened up (and was generally maintained by CFD) between countries on this, mainly with the British, Irish, Sri Lankan and Hong Kong categories going one way and most other countries going the other. Part of the divide may be different preferences for title order between countries but a particular problem is that "Institution Name alumni" can produce awkward sounding results when the institution name is punctuated, especially when it's part of a larger institution. There are quite a number of such cases in the UK, particularly Oxbridge colleges where the name is "Foo College, Oxbridge", and also some of the University of London colleges where the current branding is "Foo, University of London". Ireland has similar cases such as "Trinity College, Dublin". (Sri Lanka and Hong Kong don't appear to have these forms so I'm not sure why precisely the categories went the way it did when other Commonwealth countries didn't.) As these were amongst the earliest with categories the form was naturally copied by others.
    At a random glance of other English speaking countries with lots of such categories, Canada, Israel, New Zeland, Pakistan and South Africa don't have any such institution names to cope with, whilst Australia only has a couple. The US categories are harder to glance browse (although I remember you once produced a monster of a multi-hyphenated name). India has several within the collegiate Universities of Bangalore, Calcutta, Delhi, Madras and Mumbai. Without looking too indepth, it's my impression that such problematic institution names are also rare in at least the English names for many other countries' universities.
    Any general discussion in this area will need to take in the universities as well but it will need to give explicit thought to institutions with such names that don't easily fit.
    Timrollpickering (talk) 18:15, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
  • "Alumni of" has one virtue. Many editors or a few hard-working robots put categories in alphabetical order or nearly so. Category names such as Alumni of (the) FOO, Members of (the) FOO, People from (the) FOO, and Winners of (the) FOO ensure that cats of those kinds are displayed together when the entire list is alphabetically ordered. That makes them easier to ignore, or to find. --P64 (talk) 18:51, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
    • "FOO alumni" would lead to automatic alphabetization. I don't see how "Alumni of FOO" is more effective at that. Assuming that no sorting is done for either, then everything goes under "A" for "Alumni of FOO".. This is not an issue with "FOO alumni". Good Ol’factory (talk) 21:34, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
      • Most alumni categories have two parents: one is a broader categ of alumni, and the other is a categ relating to the university (usually "Foo University people" or "People associated with Foo University"). Whichever format we use here "Foo alumni" or "Alumni pof Foo"), one of those parents will require a sort key.
        See for example Category:Alumni of the University of Oxford. It is currently in: [[Category:People associated with the University of Oxford]] and [[Category:Alumni by university or college in England|Oxford]]. If we renamed it to Category:University of Oxford alumni, we'd need to sort the other parent: [[Category:People associated with the University of Oxford|Alumni]] and [[Category:Alumni by university or college in England|Oxford]].
        So there is no net gain wrt sorting. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs)
        • That is true, if there are two parents. Many have two parents, but many others do not have a related parent for the applicable university. So on balance, there is what you could call a "net" advantage to the "FOO alumni" form, taking into account those categories that only have the one parent. But it is admittedly minor, and I don't see that sorting convenience should really be a major factor at all. I was just responding to what I saw as moderately backwards logic. Good Ol’factory (talk) 20:33, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Prefer "Alumni of Foo", but probably oppose further standardisation, because this is not as simple as it first appears.
Andy Mabbett makes a good case that our readers and editors are ill-served by having two standards. Usage is currently split between British English and American English, and this also leads to disputes about which variation of English predominates in the region where a particular institution is located. So standardisation on one or other format could help.
My strong preference is that any new std format should be "Alumni of Foo". If we were simply dealing with multiple cases of "foo" as a single short word, modified on by "alumni" then I would agree with those who point of that "foo alumni" is shorter and avoids any need to consider whether we should use "alumni of foo" or "alumni of the foo". However, "foo" is rarely a single word, and in many cases it is a long phrase; and similar categories exist for academics/faculty, people-associated with, etc.
So what we are dealing with here is not simply how to label categories alumni, but how to label the many different categories of topics associated with each university or college. The alumni are in fact a single instance of the many types of category we have for university people, so we are really looking at a more generalised question of whether to use "Foo Bar" or "Bar of Foo". Consider for example California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. We currently have:
In each case we have a long name, followed by a modifier (people/alumni/faculty). This is a perverse order: there are many possible modifier words, each of which is short, but in order to see which particular modifier is used by this category, the reader first has to read a verbose name. It is much easier to parse these phrases if we use the "Bar of Foo" format, with the short modifier at the start
The Cal State example is actually a relatively simple one. If we look for example at Category:People associated with the University of Oxford, there are numerous sub-categories of people, including:
  1. Category:Alumni of the University of Oxford
  2. Category:Academics of the University of Oxford
  3. Category:Administrators of the University of Oxford
  4. Category:Heads of colleges of the University of Oxford
  5. Category:Public Orators of the University of Oxford
  6. Category:Chancellors of the University of Oxford
  7. Category:Vice-Chancellors of the University of Oxford
  8. Category:Pro-Vice-Chancellors of the University of Oxford
If we invert the order of the first of these categories, then we create inconsistency with the others, which will also confuse readers and editors.
Note that Oxford is far from being the only university with such a proliferastion of categories. There is a similar situation at Harvard, Yale, Cambridge, and countless other major universities.
If we tackle this piecemeal, all we will achieve is to shift the inconsistency into another field. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 15:00, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
If we can agree that having two different formats in the alumni categories is at least somewhat of an issue, wouldn't it be logical therefore to change the format of all of the academic people categories, not just the alumni ones? I really can't see any good justification for keeping some one way and others the other way. And we shouldn't hesitate to change the alumni ones merely because it leads us to also consider the faculty ones, the presidents ones, the chancellors ones, and so forth. Tackling the issue would actually be progress! Good Ol’factory (talk) 20:36, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, we should probably look at all these things to together. One point which occurs to me when re-reading my examples above is that if we use the "foo bar" format for alumni/presidents/faculty/chancellors/academics/etc, then there is no clear separator between the name of the university and the second noun. This noun-noun format is hard to parse. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 01:20, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
The change in caps can help when it's "faculty" or "alumni", but some users might want to capitalize things like "Presidents". No doubt this is a messy issue. I can see the benefits of both formats. I could lean towards the "FOO of BAR" format if I didn't think that that format would create a whole new set of problems with debates over when to include the word "the" before "BAR". Good Ol’factory (talk) 01:35, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I see your point about "FOO of BAR" vs "FOO of the BAR" ... but that issue occurs too with universities in the British English zone, and I am not aware of it having been a difficult point to resolve. AFAICS, the general rule is that we need a "the" when the institution is the "X of Y". So we have "Alumni of Foo University" and "Alumni of the University of Bar". That may need more checking, but I think that's the general rule. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:17, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
In some forms of American English, it's common for people to say "BAR of the FOO University", as in "Faculty of the Texas A&M University", so I'm not if it would be super clear cut or not. The issue might also arise when the name of the university is in a different language, especially if that language does not use articles like "the". Good Ol’factory (talk) 23:11, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
Is academia special? Why do we have Category:Presidents of the American Statistical Association. The ASA has titled these people President and PASA may be a novelty as I write it here --unlike, say Category:Members of the European Parliament, whose singular form seems to be an official title and its abbreviation MEP established.
Do we have Category:Newbery Medal winners and Category:Winners of the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival Film Grand Prix because the former honor has a short name and the latter has a long name? If so, that is a good reason, maybe a sufficient to depart from a general practice, if we have one.
--P64 (talk) 22:11, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
That could have been the thinking of those who created the categories, but I don't think there's a guideline or anything that suggests doing it this way (or either way). I imagine the point of contention would likely be over the dividing line between "short" and "long". Good Ol’factory (talk) 23:48, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
The advantage is even more extreme in the people categories. Category:Harvard University people is so much simpler of a name than Category:People associated with the University of Oxford. If it was Category:Oxford University people it would be so much shorter. Admitably Category:John F. Kennedy School of Government people is not short, but I don't think we want Category:People assocaited with the John F. Kennedy School of Goverment, and there I can see "the" people a major bone of contention.John Pack Lambert (talk) 22:42, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I have not seen anyone present any evidence that there is actually different usage in different places. I guess there is the BYU Alumni association, and my general sense is this is standard American usage to names thins x alumni association. However I have not seen anyone present evidence that there are British organizations named the other way around. In fact this website [1] seems to be using the form "Oxford alumni" which suggests to me that British usage tends toward Oxford Univeristy alumni and not the other way around.John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:56, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
If we really want to keep the status quo (and I'd prefer standardisation myself) we should surely use whatever the term is at that institution? For example, my (English) university uses "Foo alumni", so, to my mind, that should be the form used for the category. Which currently, it isn't, so if there's any imposition going on, it's the other way around than Oculi suggests. There may, of course, be institutions where this isn't the case, but I think we need to see which ones they are, and how common they might be. Anaxial (talk) 20:36, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Despite what Oculi says, there is no evidence that this is an WP:ENGVAR issue. It seems to be a matter of personal preference of individual editors. There is no reason that these should not be consistent across all categories, either one way or the other. Good Ol’factory (talk) 22:06, 17 February 2013 (UTC)


Category:Energy has a link to Energy and society that needs to be removed. It is a redir. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 08:38, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Fixed. I elected to delete that link altogether since the redirect target was not categorized there. In addition I did not think it would be an appropriate member. Vegaswikian (talk) 19:37, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Categories for pages with sister links?

Just as we have e.g. Category:Articles with dead external links from August 2010, should templates like {{Wikisourcelang}} or {{Sister project links}} add the articles that feature these templates (or relevant parameters within them) to e.g. Category:Articles with links to Wikisource? It Is Me Here t / c 14:51, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

User sandbox with cats

User:Eraalickaj/sandbox contains content cats. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 07:35, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Fire houses

Ran into this when I ran into one of these classified as a house. Many US fire stations provide living facilities in the station, especially in places where firefighters are at the station for longer shifts, like 24 hours. They live at the station when not out on calls so they sleep and eat their meals there. So this raises the question, should these be included under a parent of Category:Houses or Category:Residential buildings? I'm not sure that this is common enough to justify adding a parent like the ones suggested and would it apply to all of the older buildings we have articles on or is this a more modern phenomenon? Vegaswikian (talk) 22:16, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

By their nature categories need to focus on the major topic of an article and in this case it is firehouse (fire station) rather than house. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 23:56, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Category:Words and phrases by language

I just came across Category:Words and phrases by language.

It's a strange hotchpotch of a container category, and I have proposed some changes at Category talk:Words and phrases by language#Cleaning_up_this_category.

Comments welcome. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 21:07, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Curious about rational...

I am trying to better understand the concept of "Standard biographical information" as it relates to categorization (and over-categorization)... my question is inspired by reading this CfD from 2005, and this CfD from a few days ago. I am not questioning the results (I agree with them)... I am trying to better understand the thinking behind the comments made.

From reading the CfD's, there seems to be a solid consensus that birth days are too trivial for categorization (and are better handled as a list) but that birth years are not too trivial for categorization. I am not "challenging" that consensus. However, I don't really understand it. I understand the rational against categorizing by day of birth... but I don't understand the rational for categorize by year of birth. To me, they are the same... and all the arguments against categorizing by day of birth are valid for categorizing by year of birth. So what am I missing? Why do we listify birth days... but categorize birth years? Blueboar (talk) 19:46, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

It seems to me that a person's year of birth is of long-term relevance, as it places them in the historical era in which they live or lived. My experience with Facebook tells me that birthdays are of great interest to social media addicts, but they do that mainly so they can send birthday greetings to their online connections. The fact that Joe and Amy share a birthday is fundamentally just trivia. I can't see how a category that lists people who were born on (for example) January 15 in years ranging from 800 C.E. to 1993 would be anything more than trivia. --Orlady (talk) 20:22, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Orlady on this. Year of birth groupings place people in a broad historical context. Day of birth is pretty trivial in comparison. For what purposes could it possibly be important to group people by birthday, especially if the person is dead. Astrological analyses? Good Ol’factory (talk) 06:04, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Also: copyright. Being able to query "all the artist who died in 1942" enables me, for example, to find recently out-of-copyright works. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:04, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

A proposed mess

Seems like some editors are proposing to replace some toolserver functions with categories. The discussion is here. Vegaswikian (talk) 06:34, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Why do we split large categories

In the reaction the the hullabaloo about Category:American women novelists someone has asked me why we split large categories. Since I am not as gungho about this as some others, I really do not see a call to try splitting most categories that get over 200 pages the way some do, I thought I would bring the discussion here and ask.John Pack Lambert (talk) 19:27, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I brought up this question, specifically after I encountered a reader who expressed that they wanted to be able to browse an enormous category of all American novelists. In the face of actual readers saying that large categories are useful, I find myself questioning the conventional wisdom that large categories are not useful, and should necessarily be broken up. How do we know that readers don't want large categories, or for that matter, how do we know readers don't want redundancy between parent and daughter categories? -GTBacchus(talk) 20:42, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
It's a recursive problem. If you put the children in the parent, do you put the parent in the grandparents? And so on? If users want to see the full recursive sub-contents of any given categories there are tools that give that to them.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 20:50, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
We split most large categories because most users find that enormous lists are not navigable. Faced with a category that contains thousands of pages, most people look at the first page and then leave. Look at Category:Stub-Class medicine articles for a minute. There are more than 13,000 pages listed there. We need them to be there (that's why the cat isn't split), but do you realistically think you could find what you were looking for in a cat that size? Pages starting with the letter B don't appear until the seventh page. Who do you think would actually get there, much less to page #66? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:55, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
Stub categories are kind of different, it seems to me. The reader I was thinking of was talking about American Novelists, and how they liked the long list to browse alphabetically. Even so, what's the evidence that "most readers find that enormous lists are not navigable?" Is this an assumption, or empirical?

Obiwan, I'm not aware of these tools. What are they, and how do we expect readers to know about them? -GTBacchus(talk) 22:02, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

It's the fundamental law of the web: every single click costs readers.
Organizing it based on the alphabet is trivial: you just paste {{CategoryTOC}} into the cat page. But that's worthless if your goal is to browse for something that looks interesting or something whose name you don't know but hope to recognize. (And if you did know the name, then why would you look in the cats rather than use the search tool?) WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:54, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
Just my two cents: There really is no need to split every large category. I think that the tendancy to want to split them causes for some very unnecessary subcategorization. Subcategorization just for the sake of subcategorization does not produce any more helpful organization than just having a large category. Perhaps if there are any very good reasons why large categories are inconvenient, then we could find a good way to subcategorize them alphabetically, and leave it at that.Greg Bard (talk) 22:58, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
i am someone who prefers entire large categories because of the way my memory works -- i will have some fragment in my mind, like the first syllable of a writer's last name, or i remember it starts either with a B or a P or a V, but i know it's an american novelist (but not whether it was a male or a female or a gender-neutral name). if i can look at the whole list i can quickly scroll through and scan for matches; if i have to page and page and page it's frustrating to useless, and if the author is diffused into some category i don't even know then i won't ever find it unless i do different, individual searches, which is less efficient for me and more demanding of the database. i have no idea how common this search method is. i concur that long lists present navigation problems. however, i think it's a bad idea to split off subcategorization solely for navigational purposes; it should be a content matter. navigation needs to be handled externally to content. because seriously, 200 pages is already 10 times too many to be useful; heck, 20 is a lot. piranha (talk) 00:56, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
But Category:American novelists is already a subcategory - at a higher level there are the likes of Category:Novelists, Category:American fiction writers, Category:American writers, Category:American people, Category:Writers and even Category:People. Obviously some of these can be easily dismissed but others are harder cases - at exactly what point do you draw the line, novelists, fictional writers or writers? Timrollpickering (talk) 01:30, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
There will also be people who say "I know it's a British mystery writer" or "I'm sure it was a woman". We can accommodate both types through duplication: all American novelists in the American novelists cat plus listing each author in every appropriate subcat. I'm just not sure that we'd all be happy with the result. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:02, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
I would not support any large scale change before we find out what will happen with the search phase of wikidata. With that it may well be possible to ask:
country=United Kingdom
That would render moot discussions over how to categorize for searching. Since that database was built knowing that a search feature would be there, the searches should be simple and reasonably quick. They will not be constrained by the category structure. Vegaswikian (talk) 02:33, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
i am not really arguing for any specific solution at this point; i am just providing a datapoint for usefulness of large categories, since the argument was made that american women novelists were being split from american novelists because that category was too large for navigational purposes, and people should therefore be diffused into numerous subcategories. i consider that a bad argument, because ghettoization results from gender and ethnic diffusion, while the subcategories still remain much too large for easy visual navigation. i don't know where to draw the line either, and in principle i would prefer not to draw any, since there is value in analysis of even very large categories. when it comes to more targeted searches i prefer keywords (cf Vegaswikian above); i don't know that hierarchical categorization is helping me here much at all -- but i am new to this area and need to do more reading on how categories and lists are used here. piranha (talk) 04:29, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
For me the main utility of splitting large categories is so that you can better categorize things. If every single novelist is in Category:american novelists, how do you know which ones would still need to be categorized at a more specific level? Take a look at Category:American politicians - it has been fully diffused. Would you prefer to every single politician there? Much better to keep it diffused, then when someone adds a new politician and slots it into the category, they stand out like a sore thumb and can be diffused. I agree with Vegas - let's see what wikidata search brings. That would essentially end up with massive categories (e.g. all writers, all americans, all men), but you would always be searching across a set of intersecting parameters that could be arbitrary.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 04:36, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

National invention categories and criteria for inclusion

Raised at WP:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2013_April_29#Category:Inventions_by_country. Your contributions are welcomed. Andy Dingley (talk) 12:44, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Closing the "alumni" RFC

See [2] for the previous discussion on whether to classify a university's alumni as:

  • "University of Foo alumni"
  • "Alumni of the University of Foo"
  • Maintain status quo, which is different for each university.

The consensus appears to be in favor of standardization, i.e. to prefer one of the first two options, and to change noncompliant categories to reflect the new standardization. There was a dissenter on this point.

The consensus within the first two choices appears to be the first choice, namely, "University of Foo alumni". BrownHairedGirl vigorously dissented but I think she is outnumbered. She correctly pointed out that if we make this change, we must also deal with "University of Foo Presidents," "University of Foo chancellors," and so on to avoid inconsistency.

I must express a concern that the execution of this closure may be more trouble than it's worth. It will require hours of editor time for a very small incremendtal benefit to the readership of Wikipedia. Therefore, it may be advisable as a practical matter to ignore the apparent consensus for standardization and leave the status quo, unless there is a stronger push for standardization. Chutznik (talk) 03:52, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

I agree with you that at the very least, there was consensus for standardization. Good Ol’factory (talk) 01:10, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Partial overlap categories

I just thought of this issue. If Category:American novelists is a sub-cat of Category:American writers does this mean if we only had these two categories we should move Mark Twain from Category:American writers to Category:American novelists, or since Twain wrote things besides novels and is notable for it, should we leave him in both. Maybe a better example is with Category:American film actors and Category:American silent film actors. Do we move all those who acted in silent films just to the silent film category, or do we leave anyone who acted in a talking film in the parent as well, or do we move almsot everyone, except for those who had the majority of their career in films with sound.John Pack Lambert (talk) 19:55, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Hehe - I've just been thinking about the same thing. I don't know - the pattern seems to be, put them in both. Odd, but probably the best solution. Can you imagine the howls if Twain was taken out of the novelists cat? --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 21:42, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
I can't give any examples offhand, but that's how I've been doing it, and how I've seen it in lots of older articles--lots of sideways categorization. If you have those categories, then that's how it goes. I've just updated Gerrit Komrij, a (dead) man of many talents: Category:Dutch poets, Category:Dutch essayists, Category:Dutch television critics, Category:Dutch literary critics, Category:Dutch encyclopedists, Category:Dutch dramatists and playwrights, Category:Dutch translators, Category:Dutch columnists, Category:Dutch novelists, Category:Dutch journalists. Don't even think about trimming that bunch. :) Obi, someone in the previous section asked you about "tools" but you never answered. I'm curious too. Thanks, Drmies (talk) 02:21, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, that's another issue - is how many cats do you add? Let's say he wrote a poem - is he a dutch poet? I think we waver between massive overcategorization and massive undercategorization. We have very few standards, besides WP:DEFINING to help us. The tool is this one: [3] <== for example, that link shows you all American women poets who are not in American poets (thus, ghettoized.)--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 04:16, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
In this case (you'll have to take my word for it since the article is sub-par) they're all justified, yes. He's also male and gay and dead and expatriate (moved to Portugal) and formerly of Amsterdam and poet laureate et cetera in all those categories... The link is not opening up right now; I suppose when it will I can do some playing around. How many categories--I use the same kind of rationale I use for including items in a bibliography, for instance: is it verifiable that a person is known for something. His TV criticism was published in a newspaper, originally, then republished as a collection (so those might could count as essays), which makes him a kind of journalist as well though "columnist" covers it just as good. But by that time we're really in sillyland. So, for TV criticism I could validate the category by pointing to coverage on his Horen, Zien en Zwijgen, of which there is plenty: how's your Dutch? But the article should bear that out, of course. I routinely remove categories that do not have such validation. In Filipacchi's case, for instance, the humor wasn't verified until I added a reference. Drmies (talk)

Linking from main page to category

It seems the practice is to put a hatnote at the top of the category page linking to the associated article, then adding that article to the category which puts a link at the bottom of that page and adds an unnecessary (redundant) link to the article within the category list. I think it would be better not[–Editor P64] to put a hatnote to the category at the top of that article instead of adding it to the category. That removes the redundant link from the category list and distinguishes that category from any others the article might be added to. Joeldbenson (talk) 17:14, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Actually a better argument is that the hatnote should be removed. The category is needed on the article to establish navigation to the eponymous named category. So the categorization of the article is critical. Vegaswikian (talk) 17:23, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean - can you point to an example? --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 21:20, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
If you don't add the category to the main article, there will be no link in the main article to the category. Vegaswikian (talk) 21:59, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
I too deprecate a hatnote or a one-line preface that names the main article. Routinely a category needs a more substantial preface to explain what belongs.
As VW says, the main article does need to be in the category for navigation from the main article to the category. In the footer list of categories, preferred location for any main article categories (not limited to eponymous cat) is at the head of the list.
In the category-page list of pages in the category, preferred location is the very top --as we accomplish by sort key ' ' ahead of '+' which is ahead of '1' and 'A'
--P64 (talk) 22:27, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Joeldbenson mentions using header and footer locations to distinguish main-article categories from all other categories (links to main-article categories at the head of the article; membership in other categories at the foot, which is no change). That distinction is one we might display within the current category list at the foot by using template {{cl}} for main article categories --prior to the list of membership in other categories. For instance, the Harry Potter Categories list now looks like this (abbreviated and without active links):

Categories (++): 1997 introductions (−) (±) Fantasy novel series (−) (±) Harry Potter (−) (±) Schools in fiction (−) (±)

Instead it would look like this:

Categories (++): Category:Harry Potter (−) (±) 1997 introductions (−) (±) Fantasy novel series (−) (±) Schools in fiction (−) (±)

In effect this may be what Joeldbenson is for or against. In execution I consider it much superior to using a hatnote. --P64 (talk) 22:53, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

I'm still confused by what you mean by hatnote. Is this the use of {{catmain|article name}} template? or something else? for me, a hatnote is the note on top of an article page. Also, I'm curious why you don't think the article should be in its main cat. Why ever not?--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 23:23, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, the hatnote would apply to {{catmain}}. Vegaswikian (talk) 23:51, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
I guess in that case, are you saying we shouldn't use catmain? Or??? sorry I'm confused here. I personally like catmain, and wouldn't want to be rid of it.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 00:08, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
My feeling is that {{catmain}} should be done away with. It does not really add material information and leads to the confusion you raised. Vegaswikian (talk) 00:22, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Hmm. I wasn't confused about catmain, or what it does, I guess I was confused as to whether that's what y'all meant by hatnote. Catmain is great, and it allows multiple articles to be linked. More importantly, there are often cases where there are several articles you want to bubble up to the top using "|*" or whatever, but only one is the main article. Finally, when there are lots of subcats, catmain provides easy access to the lead article right from the top. In short, I see nothing wrong with it and a lot right.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 00:45, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

If I understand User:Joeldbenson correctly, the word "not" is a mistake above.

Exhibits A and B below are copied from my yesterday note above.

Many of our articles have Category lists like this one which is quoted in part from the franchise article Harry Potter.

Exhibit A.
Categories (++): 1997 introductions (−) (±) Fantasy novel series (−) (±) Harry Potter (−) (±) Schools in fiction (−) (±)

Nothing distinguishes cat Harry Potter in this list, although the article's membership in that cat is distinctive. It's the main article of the category (and the cat is eponymous).

Jdb suggested this alternative using a hatnote at the top of the article:

(in header) See also Category:Harry Potter.
(in footer) Categories (++): 1997 introductions (−) (±) Fantasy novel series (−) (±) Schools in fiction (−) (±)

The franchise article is not in the category, whose preface identifies it somehow. Navigation from article to WP:EPONCAT relies on the hatnote.

Twenty hours ago I observed that if the main article will not be in the category we might provide navigation at the front of the list in the footer rather than in the header.

B. (in footer)
Categories (++): Category:Harry Potter (−) (±) 1997 introductions (−) (±) Fantasy novel series (−) (±) Schools in fiction (−) (±)

The franchise article is not in the category, whose preface identifies it somehow.

Alternatively that link from article to category might be located to provide this display in the footer:

C. (two consecutive lines in footer)
Category:Harry Potter (−) (±)
Categories (++): 1997 introductions (−) (±) Fantasy novel series (−) (±) Schools in fiction (−) (±)

or one of a zillion variations:

C1. (two consecutive lines in footer)
This is the main article for Category:Harry Potter (−) (±)
Categories (++): 1997 introductions (−) (±) Fantasy novel series (−) (±) Schools in fiction (−) (±)

The franchise article is not in the category, whose preface identifies it somehow.

With revised software we might code two classes of categories and have a display along these lines:

Special Categories: Harry Potter (−) (±)
Plain Categories (++): 1997 introductions (−) (±) Fantasy novel series (−) (±) Schools in fiction (−) (±)

Finally we might distinguish category/s in which Harry Potter is main article merely by listing any such category/s before the others, preferably with the eponymous category, if any, first in the list.

Categories (++): Harry Potter (−) (±) 1997 introductions (−) (±) Fantasy novel series (−) (±) Schools in fiction (−) (±)

Here the franchise article is in cat Harry Potter. Some editors manually effect Exhibit E now. But some add new categories at the beginning of the list. Some re-arrange categories in alphabetical order. Robots might enforce this style.

--P64 (talk) 18:33, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Note your samples show what hotcat displays and not what is normal. This likely confuses many readers and adds unnecessary length to the display which makes it longer. Vegaswikian (talk) 18:49, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

General question on defining

From the guidance:

A defining characteristic is one that reliable sources commonly and consistently define[1] the subject as having—such as nationality or notable profession (in the case of people), type of location or region (in the case of places), etc. For example, here: "Caravaggio, an Italian artist of the Baroque movement ...", Italian, artist, and Baroque may all be considered to be defining characteristics of the subject Caravaggio. A category embodies one or more defining characteristic—how this is achieved in practice is described in the following sections. (emphasis mine)

The way I've always interpreted this is, if we have a reliable source that says person X is a woman, and another reliable source that says person X is a poet, and a third that says X is American, then there is no problem with putting them in Category:American women poets - and then if we find a fourth source that says she is African-American from New York, then she can go to Category:African-American women poets and Category:Writers from New York. In other words, the question of DEFINING is whether that person has a particular characteristic/facet, and a given category can combine multiple characteristics, even if sources don't speak of them as having that exact combination. (Nb: One exception to this rule seems to be religion, whereby even if someone is Catholic, it doesn't mean they should be in Catholic baseball players or whatever - even if such a cat exists - the religion must be in some way closely related to their performance of that job).

This has all come to a head for obvious reasons, and someone recently claimed that for example some women should not be put into Category:American women novelists because not all sources refer to every women novelist as a women novelist, and this should be battled out bio-by-bio. I agree that from a sources perspective this is probably true, and not all sources refer to Charles Barkley as an African-American basketball player - he's just a great player - but if we have these categories, shouldn't we use them and fill them up? And if not, shouldn't they be deleted? I can see that for occupations, yes, if someone was a bus driver for a few weeks, that aspect of their life is not defining- but gender and ethnicity and many others would seem to be, meaning, you should be free to place someone in as many intersections as make sense, as long as the characteristic(s) that make up those intersections are indeed defining. There shouldn't be, IMHO, a lot of debate at an article level around a given intersection - if the intersection category itself is notable, then everyone who has those intersecting characteristics should be placed in it - otherwise the cat should be deleted.

This is what I see in practice, but I just want to see if others think this aligns with the guidance, and whether the guidance needs to be revised to be more in line with practice. As a more detailed look at this, please read this algorithm I came up with, and see if you agree or disagree with the resultant classification. --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 17:30, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

I would think this is to a large extent a question on how we define the intersection categories: if we have a category XY, does it contain all subjects that have both X and Y as a defining characteristic, or only those that explicitly have XY? This has to be decided at least on the level of each category, to give a basis for the decision made for each article. But there should also be a more general concept behind what we decide for each category. After all, the readers should have a good chance of getting the meaning of a category by just reading the title, without looking for detailed definitions. If the latter is necessary, then the usefulness of that category is questionable.
P.S.: these thoughts are only valid for manually populated intersection categories. If some software tool says 'this is a list of articles that have both property X and property Y', then that's what it means. — HHHIPPO 19:04, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
No, my question is about manually populated categories - specifically, intersections as you point out. I think you put it nicely, but let's take a real-life example - Category:American women novelists - should there be any people who are (a) American, (b) women (identify as such) and (c) notable as novelists -- that should *not* be in that category - for example, if protective editors on a particular page edit-war to keep that bio *out* of that category, because they don't like it? That has been happening a lot recently... for example, editors are warring to keep Ernest Hemingway out of Category:American men novelists. I think when readers go to that page, they would expect to see a full list of every American male novelist that we have, no? That's what I would expect. My thought is, fill up a category with all those members for whom the attributes of the cat are defining (meaning, not everyone who was a bus driver ever should go in Category:Bus_drivers_by_nationality) - otherwise, delete the category. --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 19:41, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Hmm, do they give any real reasons, other than WP:JUSTDONTLIKEIT? Maybe that Hemingway is in too many categories already? Which would lead us to the question: how many are too many? In any case I think, as you say, to keep the categorization consistent such a category has to either include all articles that fulfill the inclusion criteria, or none (and then be deleted). But where to draw the line? One could say something like "If there's more than x articles that should be in category A, but then would be member of more than y categories, then category A should be deleted to avoid category clutter." But, apart from defining x and y, one would also have to weigh the benefits of having that particular category against the clutter it produces. And one would need a systematic way to decide which of the many categories that together produce clutter is the one to be deleted...
I see I provide more questions than answers, maybe I should go to sleep instead ;-) — HHHIPPO 21:29, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, suppose we look at Obama - he's in around 47 cats - and his article certainly has a lot of eyes on it. So, it seems, people are ok with having 47 cats. As to your second point, if many articles would be in cat X, such articles are regularly deleted. For example, Category:Bachelors was recently deleted - it was argued all men are bachelors at some point (I was bummed, I kind of liked that category).--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 22:02, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
No, that's not quite what I meant. My point was it's the combination of these two measures that counts: a category should be deleted if it creates too much overall clutter. The amount of clutter it creates can (for example) be measured by the number of members that carry a lot of category tags. So a possible red line could be "delete if it has more than x members with more than y category tags", but that would be very difficult to phrase quantitatively.
The Obama example translated to this scheme would show that y=47, x=1 is acceptable, which could mean that y=47 is generally accepted. But it could also mean that very large y are accepted as long as x is very small.
The Bachelor example is the other extreme: too large x are not accepted, even if the y are small.
Overall I think it's not really possible to objectively quantify category clutter, it has to be decided from case to case. But the way to reduce it is only by deleting categories or redefining their inclusion criteria, not by removing individual articles that fulfill the criteria. — HHHIPPO 13:24, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Ok, I've proposed some changes to the guidance based on this discussion. Please take a look below.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:16, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Proposal: Disallow diacritics in category names

After thinking about this a bit, I think we should disallow diacritics in category names. Unless you have HotCat, category names are typed, and redirects from non-diacritics-versions don't work the same way article redirects work (e.g. if you place something in a non-diacritic category, I don't think it ends up in the diacritic category). Thus, I think all category names should use the standard roman character set (26 letters + punctuation). Any thoughts on changing the guidance here? (Note: this has nothing to do with whether diacritics should be allowed in article names - they are today, and this isn't likely to change - since redirects from non-diacritics work fine - with categories however it's a different case).--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 15:29, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Category redirects do work but it takes about 24 hours at most for the bot to catch them (longer if someone's bypassed CFD and just converted the category to a redirect). Diacritics are a part of the English language and category names should use the same spellings as the articles or else we'll get more confusion. Timrollpickering (talk) 15:32, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
Ah ok - so you mean, if someone puts it in the wrong category (e.g. one without diacritics), the bot will fix it? --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:16, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes! Face-smile.svgFayenatic London 20:45, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
Shall we add some guidance to the guidelines - just to make this explicit, perhaps as follows:
  1. Diacritics in category names are ok - the general rule should be, match the head article name if one exists
  2. If you do use diacritics, make sure to create a diacritic-free redirect and redirect it with the ((redirect)) template. A bot will move any articles categorized into this redirect to the real category every night.
I've searched for such guidance for a long time, so why not make it explicit? --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 00:54, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Is it possible to have a bot automatically create diacritic-free category redirects for every category that has a name with diacritics? postdlf (talk) 01:52, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

yes, if you could come up with a good mapping, e.g. given diacritic X, always replace with Y. I think this is not always as easy as it looks though.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 02:06, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

May 2013 changes to guidance

I've made some proposed edit to the category guidance here, mostly to clarify the rules around non-diffusing categories and intersecting categories (and requirements of sources/etc for same). Please take a look and let me know if you disagree with any of the changes (you can see all of them by doing a diff against the first version). If you want to reword further, please feel free to edit the sandbox directly, or make your comments below. Thanks! --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:15, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

I'm generally in favour of the changes, but why change "embodies" to "can embody" ? In that paragraph would it be better if one of the examples was not a bio article ? you could place brief comments explaining the purpose of the changes in the text. DexDor (talk) 13:47, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
Note: I made some changes as you suggested - please take a look and let me know your thoughts. --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 19:22, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
I think this:

A category can embody one or more defining characteristics. In the case of category intersections (e.g. Category:Indian women journalists or Category:African-American rugby league players), there is no requirement that sources discuss the subject in terms of the full intersection of characteristics - it is sufficient that sources can be found to verify each of the defining characteristics independently (e.g. Indian and woman and journalist or African-American and rugby league player).

is a big mistake. You're going to get things like "Muslim communist criminal puppy-killing converts from Judaism" for people who have been each of those things at various times in their lives but never at once and have never been discussed in reliable sources of examples of Muslim communist criminal puppy-killing converts from Judaism but have been discussed as each separately. It invites abuse and I think you should leave it out.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 15:30, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
werent you the same editor who said slippery slope arguments are useless? In this case, the only intersection cats allowed are those deemed worthy of note - any cats that have too many intersects will be deleted. Characteristics like being a man or being african american dont come and go. The point of that text is, if an intersection is worthy of being a cat, anyone for whom the characteristics are defining should go in. Thus as i mentioned above, if you drove a bus once that doesnt make you a bus driver.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:42, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
It's not a slippery slope argument. Your paragraph says specifically that there is no requirement that sources discuss the subject in terms of the full intersection. I think that there should be such a requirement.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 17:51, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
No, it is a slippery slope, as you put forth an absurd category that would result from opening the gates. Perhaps it would be better to work with a real example - provide a category which exists today, is likely to always exist, and then a person who fits all of those criteria but should not be placed into it. Perhaps the guidance could be refined accordingly to deal with that example then. I can think of one exception already, which is religion - we usually don't categorize people by religion + something unless the religion + the something is somehow intertwined. Just because someone is Catholic doesn't mean we should put them in Catholic writers for example (unless the regularly wrote on catholic themes) - so religion seems to be a bit of a special case. But I can't think of any cases where a woman who is X would not be put in X women for example. Do you have any? I also note that this change to the guidance (e.g. sources required for each characteristic, not for the intersection per se) reflects actual practice, which implies some consensus around it.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 18:12, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
I think that's to some extent up to the definition of the individual category. For example, Category:Catholic Workers says "Notable members of, or major contributors to, the Catholic Worker Movement. Not necessarily Roman Catholics." Then of course it is this inclusion criterion which has to be backed up by sources. If there's nothing specified on the category page, I'd tend to assume that it's just a logical intersection, and then sources backing up membership in all intersected categories should be enough. — HHHIPPO 19:09, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree - perhaps we could further revise the guidance to state something like "You should also pay attention to the scope of the category as described on the category page, which may further limit the scope of entries that should placed within." That way, an individual cat like Catholic workers—which may prima facie attract anyone who is catholic and who works—can define its own scope.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 19:21, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
It actually isn't a slippery slope argument, but never mind that. The problem is not with existing categories, but with new categories that your proposed language would sanction. I can foresee two problems arising. First, hostile editors creating what amount to attack categories out of intersections of categories which already exist (take puppy-killers out of my original example if you want a real one). Second, editors obsessed with diffusing articles out of categories in a mechanistic and ignorant way creating intersection categories with no sensitivity of the nuances of the actual subjects they're dealing with merely in order to be able to empty higher level categories because of reasons that they cannot explain to anyone but their buddies and then claiming that guidelines have the force of policy so they don't need to engage in discussion about it. Furthermore, you have no evidence that it reflects practice, and you certainly can't conclude from the (assumed for sake of argument) premise that it reflects practice that there is consensus for it. If you don't believe me, why don't you create American male white former communist LGBT Soviet spy magazine editor McCarthyite Marxist converts to Quakerism and try to put Whittaker Chambers in it if you think it reflects actual practice? He even meets your requirements for religion since he claimed that he gave up homosexuality and turned to spying for the US government because he had become a Christian. — alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 19:23, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Are you familiar with Wikipedia:Overcategorization? Also I'm not sure if you've participated in many CFD discussions - trust me, narrow intersection categories get deleted with some regularity, and the examples you give above are really absurd and would be snowballed. I and others hunt these down and nominate them for elimination constantly. There is nothing we can do to prevent sprouting up of new categories, but WP:Overcategorization is regularly invoked to ice cats that aren't useful. Again, try to come up with a real example, of a cat that exists today, but where not everyone who fits the individual characteristics should be stuck in it. I'm perfectly willing to accept such things may exist, but my sense is in general, that is not the case. As for the evidence, simply look in the tree - you will see that many of these categories are more or less filled up, and when someone is doing the filling, the additions are never reverted.

If you're just saying that people will create crazy intersections, then the language I'm proposing does nothing to help or hinder that, and they will still be killed on sight by the denizens of CFD - so I'm not sure how your point is relevant - it's orthogonal actually. The criteria I'm describing above are around membership in a category, given it exists. WP:Overcategorization determines which cats should not exist at all. If you like, we could link to the relevant overcat guidance from this section. Cheers, --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 19:48, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

  • Comment. I'm wary of the proposed language presented in the box above. Currently, WP:CAT has It should be clear from verifiable information in the article why it was placed in each of its categories. That's as it should be. (My comments are made in the context of traditional encyclopedic knowledge that might be found in textbooks and taught in courses; I haven't thought about what this would mean for pop-culture topics such as pop stars and video games.) Categories shouldn't be excluded from our prohibitions against OR or synth; they should reflect the forms of categorization that exist within the field of study or intellectual discipline. We wouldn't invent Wikipedia's own system for biolological taxonomy. We shouldn't do that for humanities topics either. We aren't categorizing actual people, but rather subjects, because this is an encyclopedia, not a census. However, regarding the proposed wording, there's a difference between discuss and identify: I would not require the sources used in the article to have "discussed" the subject as a "Franco-American sackbutist", but only to have explicitly identified the subject as such. Cynwolfe (talk) 18:26, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
This may be the point of disagreement here then. My feeling is, if sources have discussed the notion of "Franco-American sackbutists", then if we have sources that say X is Franco-American, and another one that says "X is a sackbutist, and was their whole life", then I don't see that it's OR to put them in that category. It's not me that creates all of these intersection cats - I actually try to delete them - but if they *do* exist, and they *do* survive, I don't see why we wouldn't fill them with everyone who qualifies. As a reader, that's what I'd expect to see. So in other words, I agree we need sources that discuss the INTERSECTION itself, but as for who goes in, that is based on sources that verify their DEFINING characteristics, that can be put together into intersection categories. Take a look at Winona Laduke - do you really think sources have really described her as *all* of those things? I seriously doubt it. My proposed changes to the guidance are actually to map them more in line with what people do, already, today - by thousands of small acts of categorization, these are the rules they seem to follow. --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 19:51, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
But what if the sackbutist was born in America to French parents, but at the age of three moved to Berlin, where he first studied his beloved sackbut and performed throughout his career? In what meaningful sense is he a "Franco-American sackbutist"? That's simply his ancestry and place of birth, and it has nothing to do with his career as a musician. Cynwolfe (talk) 20:42, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
There are lots of real cases like this - in this case, maybe he would be better as a "German sackbutist" instead? Anyway, it's sort of an edge case - the majority of cases are much more straight forward.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 20:57, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment When Alf.laylah.wa.laylah says, "The problem is not with existing categories, but with new categories that your proposed language would sanction," I think there is a misunderstanding. The guideline seems to be about placement in categories, not creation of them. We are still constrained by WP:DEFINING. We also have this at WP:OC#EGRS: "If a substantial and encyclopedic head article (not just a list) cannot be written for such a category, then the category should not be created." That guideline would prohibit most of the "attack categories" you are talking about. And outside of EGRS categories, I tend to agree with Obi-wan that all three elements of "defunct train stations in Paris," say, need not be in any one RS to list that train station in the relevant category (assuming that it's a relevant category to have).--Carwil (talk) 19:41, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, yes, I said something similar recently about "Ancient Greek women philosophers" vs. "women accountants": there are abundant RS, including an engaging entry in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, supporting the former as a topic of scholarly consideration that would make a fine article, while "women accountants" would provide dubious scope for an article. Therefore to me the former is a useful category that is discussed as such within the relevant fields of study, and in the latter gender is a non-defining characteristic—unless, I suppose, the subject is a woman who is a recognized pioneer in opening up this occupation to women, in which case, the article content will explain that, based on RS and not on the opinion of our editors. At any rate, if you can write an article about a category, then obviously there are RS that define the subject. In your example, for instance, it seems unlikely that a train station would be identified as defunct without mentioning its location, for the very reason that you cite: it's a defining characteristic of a train station that it be in a particular place. I still don't see the logic behind permitting synth in categorization, but not permitting it in article content. I should note that I say this as someone who thinks "synth" is too stringently defined, and that if an editor wants to be a jackass about it, the synth policy could be used to dismantle almost any GA—or at least to harass its creators by picking it apart. That isn't the intention of the policy, but I've seen it be used to that effect in POV warring. I think I may agree in general with Obi-wan's efforts (I haven't been following this on a blow-by-blow basis), but I don't see what this particular wording would solve. It's true that editors create these kinds of categories, but their doing so has always been contentious, because it often seems to stem from a compulsion to categorize, and not from a meaningful intellectual-academic taxonomy. Cynwolfe (talk) 20:42, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
True - but the proper response in that case is to ice the category - not to dispute whether X or Y should be placed within it. That's the challenge I see here - people edit warring saying "such and such is not a male novelist, he's just a novelist!", instead of accepting or trying to bend consensus to delete the category itself. If the cat should not exist, kill it with fire. Otherwise, fill it up... I think readers aren't served by half-filled categories, that aren't filled up more b/c people don't have patience to track down a source for all 38 of Winona LaDuke's or Maya Angelou's categories. You find sources for the facets/characteristics, and then, yes, synthesize membership in the cat accordingly.
Let's take another real-world example: Category:American women scientists. Now, for any one of these scientists, you can find upmteen papers talking about her work as a chemist, or a biologist, or whatever, and in many cases you might find very few or zero sources whatsoever that call her out an "american woman scientist" - perhaps because she's not the first, she's not the last, and her science has little to do with her gender. Fine. But these cats have more than an academic point - they are also now used to prove a point, both about wikipedia, and about the broader world - e.g. "wikipedia has excellent coverage of women in the sciences" or "wikipedia only has 3 articles on women scientists" - so categories, especially in the wake of the recent mess, have become intensely political. As such, I think when we do have gendered categories,- or really any intersection categories, we should be maximalist rather than minimalist in our approach, as otherwise we risk further (and falsely-based) critiques of our coverage of certain topics. If there are particular examples that should be removed, that can be debated on an article-by-article basis, but the general rule should be more inclusive rather than not, provided we follow the notion of DEFINING.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 20:57, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I actually see the issue above. Does B. H. Roberts belong in Category:19th-century British novelists, because he was British by birth and wrote a 19th-century novel (Corianton was published in 1889), or does he only (as at present) belong in Category:19th-century Ameircan novelsits because he came to Utah in the 1860s, and was clearly an American resident (and probably a citizen) by 1889? Also, does Raul Labrador belong in Category:Puerto Rican Latter Day Saints since he became a Latter-day Saint in the US mainland?John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:39, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Then there is Denise Posse-Blanco Lindberg. She is currently in Category:Cuban Latter Day Saints, since she was born in Cuba to a Cuban father, and is a Latter-day Saint. However, does this really work? Should she also be in Category:Puerto Rican Latter Day Saints? What about other categories like occupation, should these just reflect her American residence? I would say yes, especially for judge categories.John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:42, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
  • My general view is this. A-with gender categories, we should in general be maximalist. Clearly Denise Posse-Blanco Lindberg belongs in Category:American women judges, she is without question an American, a woman and a judge. Now someone might say Lindberg is Cuban by birth and a judge, thus she should be in Category:Cuban judges, and maybe if we had it Category:Cuban women judges. However, I think with something like judgeship we should limit the contents to a-people who were clearly judges in that nation and b-people who were judges outside that nation but still clearly nationals of it when they were judges. A British person appointed a judge in colonial India or an American serving as a judge at the Nuremburg War Crimes tribunal, or a Nigerian appointed as a judge to work on an international court based on The Hague, are examples of that, not someone who was sort of an immigrant to the US. Posse-Blanco Lindberg being a citizen by birth makes the whole thing a bigger mess.John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:52, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Does Possi-Blanco Lindbuerg belong in the emigrants category since her article states "Lindberg has always been a United States citizen."John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:53, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
You're raising some larger points about national identity. I don't know how to address them, but they seem orthogonal to the guidance changes proposed. We could have a separate section that talks about what national cats to put someone in, in general - those same rules would apply here, as it's a question of what nationality is DEFINING. --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 02:56, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
  • In my experience the biggests problem is not with gender. I would say that 98% of wikipedia articles give the subjects gender. When adding people to Category:American male actors I made sure that the article gave the gender, not just using "actor" instead of "actress", and it worked quite well. On the other hand, I have come across lots of people in Catgory:African-American actors who the article never says was Afircan-American. I have then removed them from the cateogry for that reason and been attacked for it. I would say that the new guidelines works for Ethnicity, Sexuality and Gender. I am less sure about religion. We gneerally assume that Category:American Latter Day Saint writers is not meant to have all articles on American Latter-day Saints who are noted as writers, but on those who are noted as writing Latter-day Saint related things. Thus despite the fact that she is possibly the most famous American writer who is a Latter-day Saint, Stephanie Meyer is not in that category. So I think we should have different guidelines for religion than other things. Of course, this has always caused me to feel that the way things are set up is a bit off. Category:Jewish American writers does have the free-for-all inclusion rules, becuase Jewishness is said to be an ethnicity, but then we also have Category:American people of Jewish descent so the whole thing is messy.John Pack Lambert (talk) 03:09, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
that's why put in the draft linked above an exception for religion - it's not enough to say joe was Muslim and joe wrote poems to make him a Muslim poet - for those religion + job intersections we need more. Again, I'm just trying to more explicitly encode current practice, not impose some new way of doing things. Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 03:59, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
But whose current practice? I'm not convinced there's a consensus for this. And why encode it if it isn't consonant with our purpose as an encyclopedia? This seems like an important change in response to a highly publicized issue, and I'm concerned that it's being driven and enacted by too few editors. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:11, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
The practice of thousands of editors! Just look around, and how things are categorized - and try to find instances where there is an edit/revert war over someone being added to a cat who qualifies on all counts. By a vast majority, these category adds are uncontested and performed literally by the thousands. To verify, just go into any intersection cat, look at all of the articles within, and then try your hardest to find sources for every single article. You will come up short, but there those articles sit, uncontested. Another test is if you try to remove them (as John Pack Lambert did at one point, removing people from "African-American" cats that weren't explicitly labelled as such in the bio) - he was angrily reverted!
Or, try to add 100 articles to that intersection cat that qualify, and see how many reverts you get. Again, I've done this work, as have others, and I can tell you from experience these things are not that controversial in the main.
Another test: try to demonstrate through separate individual sources that Maya Angelou is described precisely as each of Category:20th-century women writers;Category:20th-century American writers;Category:African-American memoirists;Category:American memoirists;Category:African-American writers;Category:American activists;Category:American dramatists and playwrights;Category:African-American dramatists and playwrights;Category:American people of Sierra Leonean descent;Category:American television actresses;Category:African-American television actresses;Category:African-American women poets;Category:African-American poets;Category:American women poets;Category:American poets;Category:Grammy Award-winning artistsCategory:Lecturers;People from St. Louis;Category:People of Mende descent;Category:Rape victims;Category:Wake Forest University faculty;Category:Women writers from Arkansas;Category:Writers from Arkansas and so on? Were you able to get all of them? I'm guessing, not.
The changes I'm suggesting encode current practice, which means if someone goes and creates Category:African-American female memoirists, we don't need to go on a deep search through the reams of material written about Maya Angelou to find some obscure source that calls her exactly that - instead we say "African-American? check. Woman? Check. Memoirist? Check." - therefore, she's in the cat, and if someone wants to dispute they are always free to do so on talk and override this guidance in any case. I don't think this needs an RFC as the community is already voting with their feet and their categorization efforts - just look at the tree. And again, these changes have nothing to do with which cats can be created, and which are valid WP:OVERCAT covers that.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:24, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
I think you're mistaken when you argue that lack of edit warring implies consensus for your category scheme. Most editors who are working primarily on content as opposed to categorization don't care that much about categorization guidelines until all of a sudden some category drone does something really stupid with respect to a category and then refuses to discuss it or responds with "GUIDELINE SQUAWK CFD SQUAWK!" like a broken robot. The community is not voting with their categorization efforts. A very few people are categorizing and making categorization rules and are met mostly with indifference but sometimes with extreme revulsion. The general silence probably implies indifference more than consensus. I think an RfC is essential. — alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 16:37, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
You could make the same exact claim about almost anything (most editors are indifferent to templates, most editors are indifferent to MFD discussions, most editors are indifferent to talk-page-archiving-rules, most editors are indifferent to xxx) - I really think it's a terrible argument. The state of the wiki *is* the current steady state of consensus. The fact that there are no American politicians in Category:American politicians means there is implied consensus that this category can be diffused. Indifference means consent in the wiki world. Sidenote: your comparison to drones and robots above is not very civil.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:48, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Alf's assessment. I rarely go to the trouble of objecting to silly categories, though I mock them regularly. Occasionally I object when editors create ungrammatical Latin categories, because that kind of thing makes us look incompetent. But this is an attempt to address issues that have wider implications, and I'm not sure it doesn't just exacerbate them. Again: why encode a practice if it isn't consonant with our purpose as an encyclopedia? We don't let editors add content willy-nilly, but we're supposed to codify rampant baseless categorization? An encyclopedia categorizes subjects, not people. What's wrong with editors having to read an article, or heaven forfend actually beef up its content, in order to place it in a category? Cynwolfe (talk) 17:06, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
Why don't we get consensus here, first. This is the appropriate venue. The sandbox is there, you can edit it at will - and I've asked for exceptions to the rules already, and have been adding them (for example, on religion). What edits would you propose to put it in line with what you think should be done? And please consider Maya Angelou in your response, and how she ought to be categorized, based on what sources say- what exactly must those sources say? --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 17:33, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) How about starting from Obi-Wan's version, but adding that sources for membership in the actual intersection are needed if there is reasonable doubt about it? By reasonable doubt I mean something like person left home country before they could write, not let's see if they can dig out a citation for the sky being blue. That said, I need to think a bit more about how this applies outside biographies. Things like category intersections or properties implied from parent categories are a bit more complex e.g. in science articles (or let's call it: complex in a different way ;-). — HHHIPPO 18:12, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
But there is no consensus here, and too few editors are participating to create a meaningful consensus for something this important. The principles of subject categorization come first, and I reject the notion that any one test case can somehow generate rules to apply universally. Guidelines on categorization should be consonant with other policies on content, not with some kind of game-playing rules or "trees". I've seen nothing that dissuades me from my original two-prong view: (1) Placement in a category must be supported by the content of articles, based on RS; and (2) Category creation is not exempt from the prohibitions against OR and synth (it was noted above that if a category is valid and useful, it should be possible to write an article about it, and if you can't, then it shouldn't exist). Cynwolfe (talk) 18:02, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
Nothing I have written or said contradicts those two prongs! And test cases are useful, as they give us real world examples to try out our guidance on. I completely agree that placement MUST be supported by not only the content of articles, but more importantly, the RS behind that. However, what I don't agree with is that when selecting an intersection category, you must find a source that says the EXACT, FULL intersection in question.
For example, suppose I have three sources in front of me - one says Maya Angelou is one of the great women poets of our generation. Another says Maya Angelou is an amazing American poet. And a third says she is the #1 African-American poet of our time. Based on your argument, we would *not* be able to put her in Category:African-American women poets nor in Category:American women poets based on those three sources - we'd have to go troll and find a fourth and fifth source that says THOSE intersections SPECIFICALLY. I really don't think that is a way to improve the encyclopedia, to apply the principal of WP:SYNTH to such an extreme (every article is itself, SYNTH, as it is composed of various findings from various sources) - and if we DID change the guidance to require a source for EVERY intersection, then all of a sudden, literally millions of articles would be technically 'mis-categorized'. So I think we can easily get to the spirit of your comments, without requireing everyone to adhere to the letter. --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 18:12, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
But that's a bizarre hypothetical situation: there will be plenty of sources that deal with Angelou holistically as an "African-African woman poet", whatever a single editor may happen to have at hand. And let's pretend for a moment there aren't: that means that (to make something up) being a woman poet from Red Rock, Arkansas, is a point of trivia, not an encyclopedic form of subject categorization, and not defining. By definition, if an identity doesn't appear in any sources as such, it's non-defining. Cynwolfe (talk) 19:50, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Note: I've just changed the draft to give a note and a link out re: the determination of "defining" nationality - this means we also need to change this section to deal with some of the issues raised above - anyone want to take that on? --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:43, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

arbitrary break

from above: " By definition, if an identity doesn't appear in any sources as such, it's non-defining" - I completely agree. However the debate here is whether we can classify someone by such an intersection, given that we've decided the intersection is notable. We don't always have the number of sources we have for Maya Angelou - but let's suppose someone creates a category called "Women writers from Red Rock, Arkansas" (such categories actually recently existed, until recently, and I'm trying to kill the last one), and suppose further there are whole anthologies devoted to these writers - published in the 1990s when Red Rock was in vogue. Now we have a new writer, not yet in the anthologies, who is notable, from red Rock, and a woman, but no sources have yet called her a "women writer from Red Rock, Arkansas" (there is a source which called her a writer from Red Rock, Arkansas). Are you saying she can't be put in the cat, because the source didn't say all 3 magic words in succession? Your argument that one can always find sources isn't true - wikipedians invent all sorts of categories, where some bios in some cases have been called X, but not *all* bios that qualify will have sources to back it up. Again, if we look at the tens of thousands of bios, I guarantee you every SINGLE bio is in at least one intersection cat for which sources could not be found (that discuss the subject in terms of the INTERSECTION). Do we start a great purge? I think the alternative, and that already basically implied in the guidance and which I'm simply clarifying, is much better - find sources to confirm the determining characteristics, then let the categories flow as they may. Many many people have been asking for category intersections, and if we had those, then it's an algorithm that determines. I don't see how my proposal is any different than the algorithm people have been asking for (e.g. show me all women, african american poets from red rock born in 1980 - see Category:Singaporean poets for an example of how that might work in real life).--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 19:59, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

  • In my experience the more prevalent problem is putting people in Category:African-American actors without any mention in the article that the person is Afircan-American. Half the time I really have to wonder if the decision was based on "I watched them in a film and they looked African-American to me". That is original research. Maybe the people are African-American, maybe not. The other big problem I ran into was with Category:Hispanic and Latino American judges. This was largely based on a website that listed such. It was never entirely clear what criteria to define such the website was using, however the problem was worse. Some times the website was linked to the see also, but no mention was made to the judge being Hispanic or Latino in the article. Other categorizations I came across literally seemed to be based on reading the person's named and saying "that looks Hispanic to me". Part of my issue is that if something is important enough to be categorized by it should be mentioned in the text of the article.John Pack Lambert (talk) 19:57, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
  • When I tried removing some people from the category because there was no intext support for the categorization, some people said I should just put citations for sources. However I think we should always just plain remove unsupported categories.John Pack Lambert (talk) 20:08, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
I can see your point, but I do tend to concur with those who say "add sources" - if someone is African-American, it shouldn't be to hard to find a source calling them that - you should at least make an effort to find such sources. To Cynwolfe's points above, to me it would be sufficient to find one source saying "X is African-American", and another source saying "X is a judge". --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 20:18, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
  • note Per the discussion above, I made some of the other changes proposed in my sandbox. The discussion about DEFINING and so on from above being ongoing, I didn't make those changes. The main purpose was to reinforce use of the templates, and clarify some of the language around non-diffusing. The diff is here. --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:14, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Discussion at Category_talk:American_novelists#RFC_or_not.3F

You are invited to join the discussion at Category_talk:American_novelists#RFC_or_not.3F. Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 17:04, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Should the definition of articles within a category be referenced?

When I recently raised a question that Category:Tourism and article Tourism use different definitions (article is broader, also defining tourism as business traveling, which the category does not), I was told by an editor "Category pages do never include references; they do not explain the topic, but only state the scope of the category." I find this questionable. It is true that category pages rarely if ever contain references, but in a case where the unreferenced category definition differs from the referenced article definition, shouldn't we default to the referenced one, as the non-referenced one is ORish? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 04:33, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Another editor has revised the Category:Tourism preface to include "business purposes".[4] The preface now defines tourism more broadly than does the lead paragraph of the article. The difference is services supporting such travel (Tourism as an industry or sector). The article lead section does clearly refer to tourism broadly.
I don't believe that the quoted UNWTO definition of tourists (and tourist travel implicitly) contributes to the category preface. And I feel sure it's a mistake to give a long quotation in the category preface, a short one in the main article. A short quotation might be appropriate in the article lead if the longer one follows somewhere below, as it does not in this case.
On the general point: if the category does include such a quotation then it should identify its source. Don't add a footnote to the category page (I'm not sure about linking to a main article footnote). Do provide some version of the reference data in-line. For instance:
In its 1995 manual "Collection of Tourism Expenditure Statistics", the UN defines tourists as "... blah blah ..." (page 10, retrieved 26 March 2009).
Let me repeat, this category preface doesn't need this quotation. --P64 (talk) 19:17, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
As with list selection criteria, the description on a cat page isn't trying to provide encyclopedic facts. It's trying to tell editors what to put in the list (or cat), and to tell readers what they can realistically expect to find on that list (or cat). So, no, you don't need a source, but you probably do need to revise the description to say something more like "This category contains Wikipedia pages about tourism, including blah blah blah", rather than a direct quotation from a UN agency. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:49, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Should hidden categories be used for metrics projects?

When organizations partner with Wikipedia to develop articles they always want metrics in return. There are various bots which can generate metrics on all articles within a given category, but often organizations want to choose which articles interest them, and would like to apply their own categories to articles. It would be ideal if an organization (WikiProject, taskforce, whatever) could apply hidden categories to Wikipedia articles and then do whatever kind of metrics reports they like.

Are their guidelines to govern the use of hidden categories? Can they be used as a project likes? I work with health organizations and they would like metrics about the quality and traffic to various health articles in their fields of expertise, and I would like to tag articles to be able to give them the data that would help them recognize that Wikipedia is the world's most popular source of health information for their respective fields.

I started thinking about this when I checked guidelines for WikiProject tagging, and then I found that Sarah Stierch and the World Digital Library do this to track their Wikipedia outreach through Category talk:World Digital Library related. Under what circumstances can this model be replicated for other outreach efforts? Bring discussion to Category talk:World Digital Library related but see also prior discussion the WikiProject Council talk page. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:35, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Why couldn't they just make a list of the articles, and have the bot run based on the list? (I believe that they could also use the same list with Special:RecentChangesLinked to keep track of changes to articles of interest to them.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:55, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Reference resources

Per a request at WP:AN/RFC, this discussion is closed with the consensus being that the set of links provided in the template {{Philosophy reference resources}} should not be included on category pages. Those opposing the inclusion of this template did so based on the contents of this specific template. Further opposes did so because they though external links were unsuitable for categories. Those supporting did so based on the argument that external links, in general, are okay to add to categories and not about this specific template. There is no consensus in this discussion as to whether external links belong in category-space. -Nathan Johnson (talk) 15:05, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I have taken the time to provide a template {{Philosophy reference resources}} for providing links to credible/reliable reference resources written by academic philosophers and other scholars. Now I have an editor who is attempting to point to this policy as an excuse to remove them. I have to tell you that I am a little shocked by this. Providing credible scholarly resources is one of the most important things that Wikipedia does. Period. So if there is any interpretation of the policy that justifies this person, I would say that the priority is to amend the policy, not to remove links to reference resources. So what is the view here? We have links to other wikimedia resources, and I see this as the same thing, only much more valuable. Greg Bard (talk) 23:59, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

It's a fine thing to make in general, and it would be great on a project page, but it is not appropriate for a cat page.
Since the discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Policies about Categories is against it, I propose that we clarify this by expanding Wikipedia:Categorization#Creating category pages to include this statement:

Like WP:Disambiguation pages, category pages should not contain either citations to WP:Reliable sources or WP:External links.

WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:48, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
There is no rational reason in the world to make this limitation. I asked the American Philosophical Association if they had ever adopted a standard system for organizing subject matter into categories, and they hadn't. In the absence of that, I have been using Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, PhilPapers, and Indiana Ontology Project, three of the most reliable, and accepted sources for peer reviewed content. It only makes supreme sense to make a link between the Wikipedia category and theirs. Please see the PhilPapers category structure. Please also be advised that WikiProject Philosophy supports this, and we are currently formalizing our support in our Manual of Style, and that should be respected.Greg Bard (talk) 22:48, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
WikiProject Philosophy doesn't have a Manual of Style. The entire community has a proposal (largely written by you) at WP:Manual of Style/Philosophy. That proposal has failed to gain support since you first created it in 2010. You should probably read WP:Advice pages about WikiProjects. The community is not obligated to "respect" the advice from a couple of self-selected editors who call themselves a "WikiProject". WikiProjects are required to conform to the project-wide guidelines set by the entire community. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:53, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree with this. Editors shouldn't be able to transclude their preferred list of reference sources on external sites into categories. Bad precedent to set. Keep preferred lists of references sources in articles, portals etc, where like-minded editors can make use of them. Categories should be for navigation only. Star767 (talk) 02:27, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Again, trying to portray this as some personal thing on my part is very disingenuous. These are the four most reliable, and popular reference resources in the field of philosophy. It isn't my personal preference in the least. Everyone at WikiProject Philosophy agrees that these are good resources.Greg Bard (talk) 05:06, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
@Whatamidoing Trying to portray the MOS as a failed proposal is also very disingenuous. No formal motion to approve it was ever made until this week. So people have had a chance to give their input for a long time, and I have never heard anything negative about it until just this moment (by you alone). One could interpret that as having a consensus. It isn't any of your concern anyway, not being a member of the project. Greg Bard (talk) 05:06, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Garbage. That WP:PROPOSAL tag has been on the page since March 2010, not just since last week.
Also, the Manual of Style is my concern, and the concern of every single editor. You have not proposed a WikiProject WP:advice page. You have proposed a subpage of the community-wide Manual of Style. The status of that page is therefore the concern of the entire community, not just of a small group of editors who have decided to call themselves a WikiProject. WP:WikiProjects (read that page: "a group of editors that want to work together as a team to improve Wikipedia....WikiProjects are not rule-making organizations. WikiProjects have no special rights or privileges compared to other editors and may not impose their preferences on articles") do not get to create community-wide MOS pages and then tell other people that the contents of that guideline are nobody else's business. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:42, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree with the users above who have expressed the opinion that references should not appear in categories, whether transcluded or otherwise. Good Ol’factory (talk) 06:07, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I have posted similar to this elsewhere: What GregBard is adding to the category pages are not references. They are links to categorizations on other projects. These have been approved under this editing guideline since February, 2009. There's no prima facie reason they cannot be included. The only prima facie legitimate claim that has been made for their exclusion is that they infringe WP:NPOV. However this claim has not extended past bare assertion. What POV is being favoured? The POV of SEP? The POV of InPho, or the POV of PhilPapers? Where is the evidence that the POV of any of these sources on the matters at hand is contrary to the POV of any other reliable source? It does not make sense to say that linking to some source infringes NPOV just because the source has a POV (as every source does). For example, including a claim that the English word "water" is of Germanic origin and citing the Oxford English Dictionary does not infringe NPOV, because no reliable source contests the OED's claim. Similarly, linking to PhilPapers' categories as sister categories to Wikipedia's does not infringe NPOV, because no reliable source contests PhilPapers' categorization. If some reliable source does contest PhilPapers' categorization, then that could be a reason for thinking that NPOV is being infringed; but no one has presented any such account. The claim that NPOV is being infringed has just been made with no evidence given, or some suggestion has been that they are merely GregBard's preferred sources which he seeks to promote. This is false: All three resources are mainstream, reliable sources. The unimpeachable credentials of the chief editors and directors of these projects are easily confirmed on the various university faculty pages. If you must have it, I can collect the relevant links here for anyone who asks. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 08:11, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Where does it say that external links are acceptable? Vegaswikian (talk) 17:19, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Excuse me. Where does it say they are prohibited? The fact that categories are primarily for navigation is all well and good. But there is NO reason to prohibit this template. The links are from our category to the category of a reliable academic standard. Perhaps the Dewey Decimal system template is likewise inappropriate?! Like I stated elsewhere, I approached the American Philosophical Association for an accepted standard for philosophy categories, and they have not established one. Using these reliable sources as a basis, is supremely responsible, and I find the objections to be a very narrow view of the purpose of categories for no good reason.Greg Bard (talk) 17:40, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
It says it under "Creating category pages": "The description can also contain links to other pages, in particular to other related categories which do not appear directly as subcategories or parent categories, and to "sister categories" on other projects, such as Commons". --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 20:14, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

I suggest we all remain civil. One parallel I can see is in the economics tree: e.g. Category:Economic_history - they have apparently agreed (at some point) to use JEL classification codes, so several of the economics categories are tagged with the appropriate code. A recent move to clean this up ended with no consensus Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2012_September_11#JEL_classification_categories. The associated template was also nominated for deletion, but again without success: Wikipedia:Templates_for_discussion/Log/2012_March_2#Template:JEL_code. I think at the heart is the issue of consistency vs customizeability, and questions like

1) should all category pages look the same?

2) Should individual projects be allowed to decorate their categories in ways that are different than other parts of the wiki tree?

3) Should external links, or external classification codes, be permitted on category pages?

We should thus separate in our minds these broader questions, from the particulars of this case, which is shall we have a template with external links on a category page. To the proponents, the links are harmless, and are certainly not POV (these are indeed major and respected references sources in the english language for Philosophy, and the template is editable by all so sources could be added/deleted to that template based on community consensus). For the opponents, adding decoration such as this to cat pages is anathema, non-standard, and should be iced.

So, how do we resolve this? I wonder if we might try a consensus, which is a compromise.

The economics group seems to have come to somewhat of a middleground - they have been able to maintain more or less the links to the JEL classifications, but without making use of an external link. We could do something similar here; create a page which outlines the category structures of the various philosophy category schemes (or, ideally, just choose one and be done with it) - then provide a template which links to that internal wikipedia page, giving the user more information about other classification schemes, with then from that page the ability to jump out. This may satisfy those who don't want external links, and it may also satisfy those who want to find a way to link to another category system directly from the category pages themselves.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 18:08, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

I also note several medicine/pharma related categories are tagged with Template:ATC category, which also gives an external coding - so it seems other areas of wikipedia have come to some sort of loose consensus around allowing these external code sets in categories, although admittedly this is a different case before us.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 18:16, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
You are chiming in very reasonably Obiwan, however, I think you are missing the priority here. The Philosophy project does have a list of categories, however the just isn't any value in making a link to that at all. The template in question links our categories to PhilPapers' categories with resources. That is the purpose they serve on the PhilPapers end, and so that is the logical place to link.Greg Bard (talk) 19:26, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Understood, but I suggest you read the comments of editors who have wandered into this discussion (and elsewhere) - regardless of convenience or rigor, it seems there is a large set of interested editors who don't like the notion, no matter how well justified, of external links on a category page. Hence my suggestion for a compromise - a link to a page like Wikipedia:WikiProject_Philosophy/Working_categories but that instead outlines the external category structure(s) you care about, with some descriptions of why it is important (and, more importantly, control of that page would now be in the hands of wikipedia editors, so it would be part of the project as opposed to being "outside" of it.) For the user it means two clicks instead of one to get to the outside resources (and more maintenance on our side), but remember, you can't even put external links in the body of an article - no matter how helpful that link! So I think you're running into some white blood cells here that see external links as foreign invaders - this is an immune response - your best strategy is probably camouflage.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 19:43, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
There is no WP:External link in the ATC template or in the Economic history category. Those templates link solely to Wikipedia articles about the code systems.
Nobody seems to be objecting to organizing categories based on an external scheme. The objection is about putting URLs to somebody else's website in our categories. Our navigation system is about navigating to us, not to somebody else. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:42, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
If you read my proposal above, I suggested that we get rid of the external links, and have the links pointing to an internal-wiki page which details the alternate classification schemes - that page can then link out accordingly. --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 22:19, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
WikiProject Philosophy might also want to look at {{WPMED}}, which contains links to the relevant style and sourcing guidelines. They could link to any advice pages they care to write. None of that appears on cat pages, though, since advice to editors is not relevant to navigation. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:40, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Like Good Olfactory above, i think that references/external links do not belong on category pages; unless i've misunderstood, possible because they aren't my strength, categories are to help us navigate around articles with some relationship to each other, not to define that relationship and link elsewhere for substantiation thereof. Cheers, LindsayHello 12:47, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
I do this there is some confusion, in general about this issue. This template isn't about defining a relationship. It is about linking our categories to the PhilPapers' catgeories with resources the same way we link to mediwiki resources. To lose this template would be a great loss for no good reason.Greg Bard (talk) 19:26, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Exclusion of external links in categories. Jeepday (talk) 10:48, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support - Agree with WhatamIdoing and others. The links to "PhilPapers' categories with resources" is about informing everyone who wanders into one of the philosophy categories that PhilPapers' organizational system is the way to go: e.g. Psychoanalytic theory is in two philosophy categories, plus has two philosophy templates {{Aesthetics}} and {{Continental philosophy}} added to our page, which again adds links to bunches of philosophy related categories, pages, portal etc. - all in duplication of categories it's already placed in and pages it's already linked to. So many editors and readers from other disciplines are affected over and over. The link to the external sites of preference to philosophy is the last straw for me. A solution like ATC template will do the job you want without adding external links to other sites into categories that affect many disciplines besides philosophy. Star767 20:40, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Support exclusion What's the next step? Including detailed descriptions of the topic that the cat is about? Adding some "see also"'s? Cat's are for navigation, articles are for references, external links, and whatnot. --Randykitty (talk) 13:38, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose External links are transcluded onto over one hundred thousand (100000) category pages. This has been done since 2008, and it has been approved in this editing guideline since February 2009. It is ubiquitous, and for a good reason: It is quite useful, as it directs people to resources to which Wikipedia should be directing them. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 19:31, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Could you point out the editing guideline that allows links in categories to external references sources (those not controlled by WMF)? Also, where are these 100000 category pages that have external reference links trancluded to them (other than those philosophy adds external reference links to)? Star767 19:51, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
When, I say "this editing guideline", I mean the very one we are discussing. In the section "Creating category pages" it says [5]: "The description can also contain links to other pages, in particular to other related categories which do not appear directly as subcategories or parent categories, and to "sister categories" on other projects, such as Commons."
This page will show you 500 such pages. You may click the "next 500" link 200 times (that's what I did). That will show you 100500 category pages with at least one external link transcluded on them. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 20:09, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
But the Commons is a WMF project. It and other "sister projects" of WMF are allowed, such as "Wikiquote", "Wikisource" as you note, by the guideline. In fact, wikipedia provides special templates to link those "sister sites". But that's totally different from an external reference source on an outside site over which WMF has no control. Sister sites provide optional information, pictures, quotes etc., not as reference sources. That's why it's not considered a reliable source to use wikipedia or one of it's sister sites as a reference source in a wikipedia article. Star767 20:41, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
The Commons is a WMF project, and the price of tea in China is currently depressed. The guideline explicitly allows links to "other pages" and "other projects". Nowhere does it qualify this to "other WMF pages" and "other WMF projects". The current proposal is to disallow "WP:External links" simpliciter. Nowhere does it qualify this to "WP:External links to non-WMF sites".
Wikipedia provides special templates to link to all sorts of sites, including the Internet Movie Database Template:IMDb_title, Google Maps Template:OnGoogleMaps, and the Bible Verse Finder Template:Bibleverse. The fact that there is a template to link to a site does not seem relevant to the question of whether it can be included on a category page.
That is not why it's "not considered a reliable source to use wikipedia or one of its sister sites as a reference source in a wikipedia article". In fact, the premise is wrong: A sister site to Wikipedia can be used as a reliable source, if it is reliable for the claim being made. For example, the second reference on the Wikimedia Commons article is to Wikimedia Commons itself. The source is reliable because the source reliably establishes the claim for which it is being used as a reference, even though it is a sister site to Wikipedia.
Besides this, PhilPapers, InPho and SEP are not being used as reference sources on the category pages. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 22:25, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
As Star767 said, that is simply not an example that applies to using external links in categories. So again where is this guideline you are talking about? Vegaswikian (talk) 21:22, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
The guideline says: 'The description can also contain links to other pages, in particular to other related categories which do not appear directly as subcategories or parent categories, and to "sister categories" on other projects, such as Commons.' There are multiple claims being made: (1) The description on a category page can contain links to other pages. Well, external links to some page are 'links to other pages', so (1) clearly applies to using external links on category pages. (2) The description on a category page can contains links to other related categories which do not appear directly as subcategories or parent categories. (3) The description on a category page can contain links to "sister categories" on other projects. External links to "sister categories" on other projects are 'links to "sister categories" on other projects', so (3) clearly applies to using external links on category pages. (4) Wikimedia Commons is of one of "other projects". So clearly this guideline does apply to using external links on category pages, in two ways.--Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 22:25, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Links and external links are two different animals. So if you are mixing the two, that probably explains the problem here. Vegaswikian (talk) 23:39, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Externals links are a subset of links. They are necessarily mixed: Every time there is an external link, there is a link. So that could not explain any problem particular to here. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 23:48, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Have you read WP:EL? Vegaswikian (talk) 23:51, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 23:54, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Maybe there's a misunderstanding about words. e.g. "pages" refers to wikipedia pages, not any "pages" on the internet. Star767 23:56, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose the restriction, Comment: I Support inclusion of external links (external to wikipedia). For as long as I have edited the encyclopedia, the use of links external to wikipedia has been allowed. This includes categ. pages. There was a time when category pages served as portals. That should tell you how long ago this policy on links external to the encyclopedia has existed (at least a decade). --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 00:49, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Note to Ancheta, please strike your second "Oppose the restriction, i.e., Support inclusion of external links (external to wikipedia)." You have already formally registered the same opinion above. By the rules, it's not allowable for you to do so twice. Star767 02:00, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
sorry to disappoint Star767, it's once, as proven by the search function. Note that the second statement is a clarification, which does not mean what you fear. I have unbolded it to clarify. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 02:46, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

::Ok, I've done it for you. Not right to have two Opposes by same editor. Star767 15:01, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

I was wrong, Ancheta Wis. I've struck my comment and I apologize to you because I was an idiot! Star767 17:03, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose Just to be perfectly clear. I brought this question to this talk page myself because I believed that there would be an overwhelming understanding by the experience editors here that reference resources are important. I had faith that people would see that providing a path to them is one of the most valuable services that Wikipedia provides...SO important that IF it were, in fact, the case that this policy could be construed so as to prohibit this template, that we would all see that we should all use our common sense and either interpret it so as not to exclude it, or clarify the policy as such. So instead of letting common sense prevail, I see that the robotic and authoritarian adherence to a very narrow interpretation has made a strong showing. The idea seems to be that we can't ever let a single external link be permitted, because if we did things would get out of hand and there would be spam everywhere. This is known as the Line drawing fallacy. The problem with that thinking, is that we are perfectly able to determine what is and is not appropriate, with very little effort. For instance, the Philosophy Project has had a consensus on a very small number of online resources which are considered to be valuable, reliable, and credible. (I.e PhilPapers, SEP, InPho, and IEP). The point of the template in question is to make a link between our categories, and their categories. Now it turns out that the whole issue arose as the result of one editor who complained about that template, who is apparently a sockpuppet. So the person was just a troublemaker, and now there are people who just ate up everything this person fed them, and we are left with the result. This is my formal written request that we close this issue, and keep the template. It was labor intensive to create and promulgate for myself, and I would appreciate it if we did the right thing at this point. I will be proposing a provision in the Philosophy MOS that for any category that exists in InPho, or PhilPapers which also exists in Wikipedia, that we link to them as a collaborative effort. I had previously contacted the editors of those websites, and I would prefer it if we here at Wikipedia could pretend we had our shit together.Greg Bard (talk) 19:18, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Sorry I'm late. Support exclusion in regard links to categorization schemes; Oppose in regard links to external categories. The guideline suggesting inclusion of links to external categories, not to categorization schemes. Links to the schemes should be in Project-space or in an article about categorization of (philosophical) concepts. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:55, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Continuing to add external links to cat pages

  • Comment -- I am looking at this issue, and it appears to me to be NO CONSENSUS to exclude this particular template (3 to 3). The Philosophy project however does have a consensus on these links and categories. My recommendation would be to append to the final provision on external links the following: "except as provided in the MOS of any duly approved Wikiproject under whose scope the category exists." I think that should lay to rest any fears of external links getting out of control. Greg Bard (talk) 20:58, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
    • It looks to me like the guideline now directly says not to add external links to cat pages, which means not to include your template. So why have you been re-adding this list of external links on these pages?
      I remind you again that "the Philosophy project" does not get to have its own little consensus. The individual members of a WikiProject get exactly the same say in these discussions as any other editor in the entire project. And so far as I can tell from reading WT:PHILO, the complete list of individual members of WikiProject Philosophy who favor this template is: you. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:59, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
That line was a proposal made above and added to the guideline around two weeks ago. Four people supported it, and three people opposed it (I included). I don't think there is a consensus for inclusion of that line, so I'm not sure that it should mean that GregBard's templates should be excluded.
In fact, I question recent edits. One change is called a clarification. I had cited that part of the guideline multiple times to show how this guideline had allowed external links since February 20082009 in opposition to arguments for exclusion of GregBard's templates. Instead of arguments against my interpretation, or against inclusion of that text, the text is simply changed so that it no longer supported my view.
The hat note says that "Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus." The guideline before supported the view that GregBard's templates were allowed, now the guideline does not. Now it is supposed to be on the basis these recent edits that GregBard's templates should be removed. So I think it's clear the edits are substantive. Do you think that consensus was reached in this discussion? --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 23:25, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
I clarified that because you seemed to believe above that a WP:SISTER project includes non-wiki websites with absolutely no connection to Wikipedia. PhilPapers is not a WP:SISTER project; it's an academic database that's run by two universities. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:30, 19 May 2013 (UTC):
To be clear: I don't believe that, nor did I believe that during the above discussion.
Concerning the question as to whether you think that consensus was reached, I'm not entirely sure how to ask it again in a clearly civil way, although I do want to do so. For my part, I don't think consensus was reached, and the changes would then be properly reverted in accord with the view that "Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus." --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 21:56, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps you would like to explain the relevance of this comment you made, if we are somehow not to understand that you are quoting the non-clarified version of the guideline as saying that the inclusion of WP:External links to unrelated/non-WMF/non-WP:SISTER "projects" like the PhilPapers website was explicitly permitted (which has never been what was intended). WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:19, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
In that comment I am responding to a question which asked, "Where does [Wikipedia:Categorization] say that external links are acceptable?" I quote a section of Wikipedia:Categorization which says, "The description can also contain links to other pages, in particular to other related categories which do not appear directly as subcategories or parent categories, and to "sister categories" on other projects, such as Commons." Commons is on the domain The description to which is being referred is on These are two different second-level domains. So a link in the description to Commons would be an external link, because a link on a page on one second-level domain to a page on a different second-level domain is, I believe, normally regarded as an external link. Indeed, I believe this definition of external links is corroborated by the first line of WP:External link which calls "links to web pages outside Wikipedia" external links. So the section I quote shows where Wikipedia:Categorization allows external links. Because of this, I believe it is the case that my comment answers the question posed to me, and that is the relevance of the comment. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 06:08, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
Given the close, it is now necessary for someone to remove this template from about 50 or so cat pages. The list is here. I'll do some, but it would be great if other people could help out with implementing this decision. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:01, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Textual content (or stub) required for categories

I could not find any guidelines in Wikipedia:Category on the textual content for categories. While there are useful templates (Category:Category namespace templates), there is no requirement to use any. In other words, there are many categories without any textual content. I would like to suggest the following.

  • All categories must have some textual content. At the least, this should define the reason for having the category. Ideally, there would be a link to a main article. If the main article has a definition, I like to extract a simplified form of that definition (without references).
  • If a category does not have textual content, it should be marked with a new {{Template:Category stub}} with content similar to {{Template:Stub}} but using a new {{Template:csbox}} rather than {{Template:asbox}}.
  • There should be a cleanup activity to ensure all categories have textual content.

On a related note, while main articles should be encyclopedic and be referenced, should category content be encyclopedic? I think so. Perhaps I should start follow-on section. But categorization is often subjective ({{Template:subjective category}}) and seems to be up to individual editors. In that sense, categorization can count as original research which is problematic (see WP:NOR). I would like a one line disclaimer on (at least some) category pages.


Dpleibovitz (talk) 16:25, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

I suppose this belongs at Wikipedia talk: WikiProject Categories.
Out of time I depart on that note planning to return here or there, wherever this is pursued during the next few days. --P64 (talk) 20:56, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

While I would agree in general, I wouldn't say "all" - for example, Category:Art_exhibitions_by_country is relatively self-explanatory. But for topic categories of cats that sort people, yes in general a header should be put like cat main or category explain. As to references, inclusion in a cat should be backed up by sources in the article. The reason the subjective cat template exists is for cats around sexuality, where one's actual sexual preferences can be seen as subjective (since one can't prove objectively that X is gay or bi or straight or so where in between, so it cautions users to be careful when putting bios in such categories. But WP:DEFINING is the relevant guidance. --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 21:55, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Cat pages should contain just enough information to help editors get the right articles into the cat, and for readers to know whether they're in the right place—and no more. In many, probably most, cases, the amount of information necessary to achieve these two goals is zero. I don't believe that anyone really needs any text to figure out what belongs in Category:19th-century physicians. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:59, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
If many category names are considered self-explanatory I think it must be because there are so many subcategories defined by intersection and the practical of application of category intersection is considered trivial.
There are many aspects to explanation of categories ranging from whether and how to identify a main article to whether a substantial WikiProject should be identified by a talk page banner. Two are specific to subset categories, especially those defined by intersection as 19th-century physicians may be.
1. First, which trappings, mainly in a header or preface but also on a talk page, should be replicated for all subset categories? Which trappings should be provided only once, high in the category structure? For example of the latter, Category:Physicians might identify a main article, provide a shortcut to Portal: Medicine, and on its talk page link to {WikiProject Medicine} --while none of the subcategories do so; they may not even have talk pages.
2. Second, insofar as we do not replicate the trappings for all subset categories, should we label them as subsets, and as defined by intersection where that is true. Should the label also identify and link those higher categories with the trappings. For example the subcat label for cat 19th-century physicians would link to both cat Physicians and to wherever we explain classification of people by occupation and century. (I'm not sure the latter is any category page and not sure this subcat is strictly defined by intersection.) I suppose we should do any such labeling by a well-designed template.
P.S. I know we have some templates designed for use in a category header, which explain its place in a category structure rather than identify a main article. I don't know them all and don't know where to find them. Probably the preface for Category:Novels set in sub-Roman Britain should be handled partly by a template that identifies predecessor and successor in some chronological series. --P64 (talk) 22:58, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Making this match WP:EL

Above, we discussed an addition about external links in the context of a particular template, which was rejected (and as of this message, still needs to be removed from about 50 category pages).

The discussion was closed with no consensus either way on my proposal to add this sentence:

Like WP:Disambiguation pages, category pages should not contain either citations to WP:Reliable sources or WP:External links.

Shortly before it was closed, a proponent of the template asked where the prohibition against external links on cat pages was. I am happy to answer that question: since 2009, external links on category pages have been prohibited at WP:External links#EL18, which says that one should avoid links to:

"External links on Wikipedia navigation templates or navigation pages such as disambiguation, redirect and category pages."

Shall we make this page match the long-standing rules about external links? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:13, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Does anyone have any objections to this? This text was removed a couple of weeks ago. Is there any reason why this guideline should differ from WP:External links? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:31, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Since there have been no responses for several weeks, and since this merely repeats what's already stated at the other guidelines, I'm going to add this now. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:10, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Top sorting

Can someone elaborate on the need of two (more?) kinds of top sorting sign, like a blank and a asterisk? To me it looks messy to separate a small group of key pages into groups that are not clearly distinguished. trespassers william (talk) 00:45, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Cats and subcats

Hello there, from Portugal,

my request is the following: i operate almost exclusively in the football (soccer) field, but this can come to encompass all fields of editing. I've been said that if we have the category Category:Sportspeople from Seville , one should not have/remove Category:People from Seville.

Can't we keep both? They are athletes of course, but also living persons before that.

Thank you for your time, attentively --AL (talk) 22:09, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

The question is really whether "sportspeople" diffuses "people". My experience is, that occupations tend to diffuse on "people" categories. Thus, if you have Category:American people, there are few people there - most are diffused to lower-level categories. As such, I think "sportspeople" should diffuse "people". If you want a list of *all* people from Seville, look at the link on top of Category:American novelists, which will enumerate all of the sub-categories, you could add something similar to the top of "people from Seville". --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 22:32, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't think the word "diffuse" is being used properly here. We can speak about the contents of one category being included under the title of another category. "Category:Sportspeople from Seville" is "included" in "Category:People from Seville". I am not addressing the question as to whether one or both should be kept. Bus stop (talk) 22:44, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
When I say "diffuse", I mean "If an article is in Category:Sportspeople from Seville, it does not need to also be in Category:People from Seville, since one is a subcat of the other. We also have categories which explicitly DO NOT diffuse, such as Category:American women novelists, which caused a major brouhaha recently because some people forgot that.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 22:46, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't think we are at liberty to habitually misuse the language. Normally I don't mind mangling the English language. But when setting out policy and expecting others to appreciate the wisdom of what we are saying, we should also recognize an obligation to set out our policy and its rationale in easy-to-understand language. The word "diffuse" is habitually misused when referring to WP:Categorization. You can't say that "occupations tend to diffuse on 'people' categories" or "sportspeople diffuses people". The first thing any reader tries to figure out is what you are saying—not necessarily whether they agree with you or not. I hate being a stickler for the language. Normally it doesn't matter. Sorry for this rant. Bus stop (talk) 23:01, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Hmm. The guidance is here Wikipedia:DIFFUSE#Diffusing_large_categories, and it uses the term "diffuses" and "non-diffusing". In any case, I've seen the term used both as a verb (eg. diffuse a large category into sub-categories), and as an adjective (e.g. Category:19th-century American novelists diffuses Category:American novelists). Are you saying one or both of those isn't legit? --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 23:13, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
User:AL is asking if both "Category:Sportspeople from Seville" and "Category:People from Seville" should be kept. Obviously "Sportspeople from Seville" are included in "People from Seville". One group is included in the other. Alternatively one could say that "Category:People from Seville" breaks down into "Category:Sportspeople from Seville" and "Category:Painters from Seville". We can also say that "Category:Sportspeople from Seville" and "Category:Painters from Seville" are subcategories of "Category:People from Seville". I think the word "diffuse" is in many instances being misused in these discussions, and that probably hinders communication. Bus stop (talk) 23:56, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I understand that. My point is, in wikipedia, we use the word "diffuse" to describe what you're talking about. We also use the word non-diffusing, for categories where membership in the subcat does not imply removal from the parent. What is your definition of diffuse, and if we're using it incorrectly in some circumstances, can you explain how?--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 13:41, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
  • So, per your (highly appreciated) inputs, it's more enyclopedical to keep only one of those, namely the main one ("PEOPLE FROM..."). Is that it? Thanks again. --AL (talk) 13:32, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
My opinion is, sportspeople is a subcat of people, and it is a diffusing sub-cat, which means, if they are in "sportspeople", they dont need to be in "people" (in the same way, someone in Category:American novelists does not need to be in Category:Novelists, because Category:American novelists is a diffusing subcategory of Category:Novelists.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 13:41, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
The consensus for categorizing is a person doesn't get put in every level of a category tree. Baseball player John Smith is from Detroit Michigan in Wayne County. He does not get categorized 'People from Michigan', 'People from Wayne County, Michigan', 'People from Detroit, Michigan', and 'Sportspeople from Detroit Michigan'. He obviously qualifies for all those categories but only gets placed in one of them. The category that isn't broken down even further....William 18:05, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, William. Which category does "baseball player John Smith" get placed in? How do we determine this? Why shouldn't he be placed in all applicable categories? Bus stop (talk) 22:36, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
the answer is, it depends. William is correct, we usually try to classify in the most specific category. However, if we had Category:Baseball players from Michigan and Category:People from Ann Arbor, Michigan, then he would be placed in both - since each are more specific versions of Category:People from Michigan are are siblings. Usually people don't remain in parent categories, unless the child cats are non-diffusing.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 22:39, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Discussion of possible interest

I started a discussion here Template_talk:Distinguished subcategory about changing the language, given that non-diffusing categories can be siblings of diffusing categories, but this template doesn't really account for that. Input welcome. --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 22:19, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Help! Creating a category page

I've gone through all of the Wikipedia Category pages and I still can't find an explanation on how to create a category page. What do I do? I've been reassigning categories to articles for a couple of weeks now and I think I'm capable to create a new category where I see one is called for. (talk) 23:39, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Try here: Wikipedia:Categorization#Creating_category_pages --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 23:46, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, once again, Obi-Wan're my only hope. ;-) Newjerseyliz (talk) 17:53, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

Categorizing articles or categorizing subjects

I have noticed categories being removed from articles on the basis that the category relates to the name of the article rather than the subject of the article. More specifically the article is not about an indigenous culture's name for a subject but about the subject itself. eg the article Boomerang is about the thrown weapon, not about the Aborininal word "Boomerang" therefore the article should not be categorized under Category:Australian Aboriginal words and phrases. My immediate thought was that was being a bit pedantict as because this is not wikidictionary most articles are not about the word, and this attitude makes the category fairly irrelevant here. But then there are articles like Ama_(sailing) which is slanted to being about the word rather than the subject (part of outrigger canoes). My feeling is that unless there are articles Boomerang (word) and Boomerang (weapon) that the article Boomerang should be catergorized in both word&phrases categories and subject categories. Thoughts? --Tony Wills (talk) 22:47, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

"Boomerang" is (also) a word in English (if it wasn't it wouldn't be the appropriate title for an article about the weapon in an English language encyclopedia) and probably in many other languages so I think what you're proposing is to categorize articles by the original language of the word used as the article title. There are a number of problems that form of categorization might cause. 1. The idea that creating one article ("Foo (word)") would mean that another article ("Foo") gets removed from a category is strange. 2. If an article is renamed (e.g. an article about a plant/animal renamed between Latin name and English common name) then that would affect which category it is in. 3. A category like Category:English words and phrases contains articles about words/phrases (e.g. American (word)) - that category would be unusable if it contained every article whose title is an English word (e.g. Apple). 4. If articles are categorized by characteristics of the title then it's harder to spot that the article is not categorized by subject (i.e. not in the category it should be in). 5. Many WP articles have titles containing several words that have come from different languages. 6. Many words have a complex history (e.g. English word derived from Spanish word derived from Arabic word...). In short, categorizing an article by "original language of the word used as the article title" (or, for that matter, any other categorization based on article title rather than article subject) isn't a good way to categorize articles about things. Wiktionary already categorizes words much more precisely than WP ever would (e.g. the Wiktionary article about boomerang is currently in 6 categories). DexDor (talk) 05:50, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Order of appearance: birth and death at the beginning

I don't understand why the birth and death year categories appear at the beginning in biographical articles. For example, at Humphrey Bogart, the order is: 1899 births — 1957 deaths — 20th-century American actors. I think the most relevant thing about Bogart is that he was an actor, not that he was born in 1899. The birth and death years/day should appear at the end, not at the beginning, in my opinion. —  Ark25  (talk) 07:48, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

WP:CAT says "Normally the most essential, significant categories appear first", and WP:Categorization of people says "There is currently no consensus about the order in which these categories should be placed at the bottom of an article." I tend to put the dates first, then categories about origin (place, ethnicity), then education, then career, then achievements, then death, so that these are roughly in chronological order; and within those I group together things that are similar (e.g. related to politics or writing). Several people agreed with your preference when this came up way back at Wikipedia talk:Categorization of people/Archive 2#Order of the categories and the sections that followed on that page, but others disagreed, and it seems that no-one thought it was worthwhile to force it through to a conclusion.
They did at least stop the automated tool WP:AWB from putting categories into alphabetical order – which may be the original reason for it becoming widespread for dates to be listed first. – Fayenatic London 10:30, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
I see, thank you very much for your patience to explain it in detail! —  Ark25  (talk) 06:20, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Category:Redirects from Māori language terms and friends

Category:Redirects from Māori language terms was apparently speedied to Category:Redirects from Māori-language terms, but the discussion has finished and been archived without any of the work actually having been done. I suspect the issue is with Template:R_from_alternative_language, which is protected, but I'm lost in a world of templates and redirects and this is a very highly used cat. Stuartyeates (talk) 08:28, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

This and other categories are currently listed at WP:CFDWM. The templates were promptly revised, but the articles do not yet show the updated version. Ideally, automated processes would update the templates, but in practice this currently takes a long time. Many of the smaller cases have been implemented to date by editors making null edits on every page in the category, either manually or using WP:AWB. You can check older versions of the page to see the progress so far. – Fayenatic London 10:09, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

Interpreting WP:ENGVAR for categories

In the context of this CFD discussion, I raised the following question, which Cgingold suggested to repost here:

I wonder whether WP:ENGVAR is clear enough about Category pages. Maybe WP:ENGVAR or Wikipedia:Categorization could be improved. WP:ENGVAR does discuss the retaining existing variety for articles, but it is unclear whether it is also intended for categories. Should a category name (a) always retain its existing variety, (b) be in line with the variety of its main article, (c) in line with the majority of (the names of) its articles, (d) other? LazyStarryNights (talk) 19:48, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Naming consistency between categories and parent articles should trump retaining the category name's current English variety. postdlf (talk) 20:11, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your interest in the topic. When you refer to parent article this is the same as main article of a category? Is your statement a personal opinion (then would you be willing to elaborate) or an existing consensus (then would you be willing to reference)? LazyStarryNights (talk) 20:55, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Disambiguating single and multiple entities

Taking shops as an example, how can we distinguish, in categories, between single entities (independent shops) and multiples (retail chains, franchises, etc?)

For instance, Category:Convenience stores comprises mostly of not entirely chains, as is Category:Bookstores. Category:Butcher shops is mostly independents, but includes chains. Even Category:Independent bookshops of the United Kingdom includes Foyles, a chain. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:46, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Do we need to distinguish them in categories?
Why not construe 'stores' ambiguously, or 'shops'? If not that, make them 'sellers' ambiguously.
Compare 'publishers'. In our current lead paragraph we call Penguin Random House (created last month) a 'company' formed by the merger of two 'publishers'. But we "cat" it a publishing company, same as Penguin and Random House. Regarding Random House#Divisions and imprints, we call some of them publishers in prose, and those are in publishing company cats of course. See Knopf and Ballantine for example. I suppose we have some articles on imprints, so-called in prose, which are in publisher cats. ... Category:Fantasy book publishers includes Orbit Books. We call that one a publisher in prose altho we say it was "founded in 1974 as part of the Macdonald Futura publishing company" --unlike Knopf and Ballantine which were independent publishing companies.
--P64 (talk) 16:36, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
You've identified another issue, but it doesn't resolve the one I've raised. Your question is "do we need to..?", but a more useful question would be "is it useful to..?"; to which the answer is yes, because it would both help us with the automation of routine tasks (checking whether to tag the article as needing coordinates, for instance), and those who reuse our content, who may wish, for example, to run a query to return, say, a summary (the lede) picture of each shop, singular, in Germany with a Wikipedia article about it. Now, such things can be argued against by the fallacy of taking them to extremes, but I contend that the case in hand would be a reasonable one where the benefits if taking remedial action outweigh the effort; and that in finding a solution, we will have model applicable to other cases. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:18, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
We have other methods that are equivalent to such purification of the category structure in effect. It's useful that Cat: American illustrators (D) includes the d'Aulaire and Dillon joint biographies. Those two articles, unlike most pages in the category, do not contain template {{authority control}} or {{persondata}}. Someday they may have two persondata templates. If the hypothetical robot bears the burden of checking for the persondata templates, we retain the other use value.
It's useful that Libraries in Manhattan includes the article New York Public Library (about a library system), the article Jefferson Market Library (about one library in that system), and List of libraries in 19th-century New York City. We have templates {{coord}} and {{coord missing}} for geographical co-ordinates --and a related WikiProject, as for {authority control} and for {persondata}.
We have book series articles and book articles and some articles that cover both a series and one book, usually the first in the series (whose title may be the common name of the series, or not). We even have articles on parts of novels, such as The Fellowship of the Ring. Similarly we have some articles that cover both a book series and a fictional character (whose name may be the common name of the series, or not). Evidently Charlie and Lola is about plural fictional characters and a children's picture book series commonly named for them. Acorna is an example from fantasy novels, except the series may be formally named for the lead character.
For readers, the lead section may bear the burden of fine-tuning the classification, such as explaining the article's complex scope. It's costly to bear the same burden in the category structure. Why use the category structure for stores/shops?
P.S. We do have Category:Restaurant chains as well as List of restaurant chains. Chain store seems to be general, perhaps incompletely reflected by chains categories. It is claimed by three wikiprojects.Talk:Chain store ----P64 (talk) 20:54, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Categorization of medical and dental schools

A dispute has arisen at Georgia Regents University regarding the appropriate categorization of the school. There is a college of dental medicine and a medical school (Medical College of Georgia) which are constituent colleges of the university, but neither of those colleges has their own Wiki page. Is it, therefore, appropriate to add the "Schools of medicine in Georgia (U.S. state)" and "Dental schools in Georgia (U.S. state)" categories to the university's wiki page? I've noticed that in similar categories for this and other states, the wiki page for the constituent college is added to the category, but as mentioned, in this case there is no page for the constituent college, only the university as a whole. Your input is appreciated.-Jhortman (talk) 01:55, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Categorization of Talk pages

Early in the article is Every Wikipedia page should belong to at least one category. (However, there is no need to categorize talk pages, redirects, or user pages, though these may be placed in categories where appropriate.)

Further on we find User pages User pages are not articles, and thus do not belong in content categories such as Living people or Biologists. They can however be placed in user categories – subcategories of Category:Wikipedians, such as Category:Wikipedian biologists – which assist collaboration between users. Similarly, user subpages that are draft versions of articles should be kept out of content categories, ...

Similar text is needed for Talk pages - they do not belong in content categories, draft versions of articles should be kept out of content categories, etc. Possibly this section could be revised to Categorization of Talk and User pages. (talk) 20:33, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Categorization by place from

Is there not an agreement that if someone was born in a location, and they lived there only until they were say one, and then their family moved away and never came back, in general we would not categorize them as from the place they were born?John Pack Lambert (talk) 01:29, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

No. Vegaswikian (talk) 01:50, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
What's the magic number then? Two, three, four etc?...William 01:52, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Practice is irregular and presumably varies with editorial taste, the size of the Place, and the number of other places the person is from. --P64 (talk) 16:20, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
The person who started this discussion seems to think at least 34 years of living[6] in Scottsdale Arizona isn't good enough to qualify a person as being from that town or its state according to this edit[7]. So the number must be 35 or more....William 17:06, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes practice is irregular. However, except for the born in categorization, which I don't support in most cases, you really need to have been notable in the place. I suspect that if someone went through all of these articles, you would find a lot of issues and some resistance to changes. Vegaswikian (talk) 18:19, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Most people have always considered the place of origin categories biographical rather than integrated with a c.v., so as long as their lives had enough of a connection there it was sufficient regardless of what they did there—at least something more than "George Washington slept here" even if we don't agree how much more. As I've said in the relevant pending CFDs, however, it gets ridiculous when it's intersected with occupation, such that someone who lived in Fooville for a few years as a child and then perhaps two decades later becomes a notable sportsballer is then categorized as a "sportsperson from Fooville", when the two facts have no relationship. postdlf (talk) 18:29, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
  • So am I safe in assuming that April Steiner Bennett is not from Mesa unless someone demonstrates evidence she was more than born there. Also that Mike Lee (U.S. politician) is not from Mesa? I may have gone a bit far in the issue of ridding Scottsdale of lots of golfers, but when they only live there part of the time, I have my doubts.John Pack Lambert (talk) 19:51, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Another case is Cody Ransom who I moved to Category:People from Chandler, Arizona. He was born in Mesa, but the closest we have to a statement of where he is from is that he went to high school in Chandler. I was born in Warren, Michigan but went to Sterling Heights High School. With those to facts, the default should be to categorize me as Category:People from Sterling Heights, Michigan not Category:People from Warren, Michigan. I am not from Warren, I am from Sterling Heights. In my case my family moved when I was less than a year old. But my younger brother was also born in Warren even though we lived in Sterling Heights, because that is where the hospital was. I have another brother who was born in Detroit, but that does not mean he goes in Cateogry:People from Detroit anymore than I do. In fact, since I have a degree from Wayne State University, I really come closer to being from it. When we are dealing with cities, especially cities that are part of a greater metro-area like Chandler and Mesa, the place of birth may only reflect what hospital the person was born at and may have absolutely no relevance to where they ever lived.John Pack Lambert (talk) 19:57, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
You're as dead wrong about Ransom as you were about McCullough. Read this[8] where it says he grew up in Mesa....William 21:01, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
I think you really need to tone down your level of insulting other editors. You are missing a key point. The issue is not whether or not I was wrong, but that people should not be categorized by place of birth. So what I was wrong about one case. No one had included that information in the article, and you should have included that source and in text discussion of it in the article before returning Ransom to the Mesa category. Veriafiability is the key to Wikipedia, and that means if there is not material in the article to support a category we do not categorize. You should not be categorizing based on outside sources that you leave out of the article. Categozation should either be done directly from material already in the article, or the outside sources you are using to categorize should be added to the article as you add the category. They also need to be discussed in the text of the article, not just tacked on to an "external sources" list somewhere.John Pack Lambert (talk) 21:05, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Your mistakes are as troubling as your reasoning for the CFDs of yesterday. A person isn't from a place because he was just born there and they can't be from another place because they just reside there and don't sports there in your opinion. The second bit don't work very well with the long formed consenus that athletes aren't from the city they play for but where they live. Live- reside- same thing. I'm not the only person who reverted your wrong edits to. It was actually the fact I follow a certain golf editor's edit history that brought me into this. He undid approximately six edits of yours....William 21:22, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Sources in Wikipedia:Categozation of people in the section on place it says "The place of birth, although it may be significant from the perspective of local studies, is rarely defining from the perspective of an individual." I would think that this would indicate that we do not categorize by place of birth.John Pack Lambert (talk) 15:54, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Categorization by place guidelines

Reading the guidelines of categorization by place, it seems that occupations are to be split by nationality, not by location. So why do we have Category:Actors from New York City and hundreds of other such categories? Please read Wikipedia:Categorization of people#by place to see what I am saying.John Pack Lambert (talk) 00:53, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Category graph study

I found Wikipedia:Computer help desk/Category graph study, which seems to have useful information but is not located anywhere editors might find it. -- Jreferee (talk) 13:10, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Categorising people with uncertain birth years

Your views are invited at Wikipedia talk:People by year#Ambiguity vs accuracy. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 23:21, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Category:American female billionaires

FYI Sportfan5000 (talk) 01:29, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Sort keys - churches

There is a lot of inconsistency in the sort key used for churches. Most are sorted by the name of the church (often the church's dedication), but many UK churches are sorted by the location in which the church is situated. This does not really fit with any of the examples in WP:SORTKEY.

The argument for sorting by location is that many churches share names or dedications with other churches, so that sorting by name or dedication is not useful (i.e. makes the article harder to find). But that is not an argument that we use for other articles with disambiguators - we do not sort by disambiguator. Also, there is variation in the location disambiguator used for churches (neighbourhood vs. city vs ecclesiastical parish), so if a churches are in location order, it is necessary to guess which disambiguator has been used. And what happens if no disambiguator is used or needed?

The discussion below has been moved from User talk:Peter I. Vardy#Sorting of churches. More views welcome.--Mhockey (talk) 23:07, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

The last time this was discussed, here, there wasn't much support for the idea that churches should be sorted by location rather than name of the church. Do you know of any more recent discussion?--Mhockey (talk) 23:05, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

No I'm not aware of any discussion. Sorting churches by "Saint", etc may work for some categories, but IMO it does not work for lists only of churches. For example look at Category:Grade I listed churches, Category:Grade II listed churches and Category:Grade II* listed churches. If they were sorted in this way the great majority would be under "Saint", which IMO would not be particularly useful; sorted by location in this sort of example makes more sense to me. Even in a subcat such as Category:Grade I listed churches in Somerset, it seems to me to work better to sort on location rather than on dedication. Maybe sorting by dedication is OK in a mixed category, but IMO for a churches-only category sorting by location is much more useful. --Peter I. Vardy (talk) 12:47, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
The default sort should never be by location. The default sort should be by the name of the church fully spelled out, no abbreviations or apostrophes. Now if there is justification or some specific guidance to use a different sort in a single category then an exemption can be made and this can be done with the pipe feature on those category entries. In no case should a local preference override the general guidance in the default sort setting for any article. Also your example simply show that the normal default sort works better. In those categories, it is simply impossible to find a specific church unless you know what the location is. That is not how categories work. Vegaswikian (talk) 23:38, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Category:Conspiracy theorists

The derogatory nature of the term "conspiracy theorist" has come up often in relation to Category:Conspiracy theorists; the last deletion discussion in 2008 seemed to lean towards a renaming, though nothing was done. Since the article Conspiracy theory admits that "In recent decades the term has acquired a derogatory meaning", is it really appropriate to categorise living people in this way? I think not. I also think it somewhat less of an issue for people to be categorised in the specific subcategories, like Category:9/11 conspiracy theorists, where at least the person is ascribed a specific category of belief, and not a general or non-specific tendency towards looniness. Although it must be said that Category:9/11 conspiracy theorists is an excellent example of the confused way in which the derogatory term is applied: I'm not aware of a single person on the planet believing that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by one individual!

Anyway, is there some way to request that the main category be emptied and kept empty, and people in it categorised only in the subcategories? Or, since the last deletion discussion was in 2008, is it reasonable to have another review of whether the term should be used at all? Podiaebba (talk) 23:53, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

You can use {{container category}}, but that does not prevent someone from adding articles directly. Vegaswikian (talk) 23:58, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Category: People made notable by their deaths

Editor Lindberg G Williams Jr has been adding the above un-created category to articles. I pointed out that adding red-linked categories to articles was discouraged, and have removed them. I also suggested that the category was bound to be controversial, both in concept and execution, and suggested he discuss it here, but he seems reluctant to do so. Perhaps someone more conversant with category work could talk to him? Beyond My Ken (talk) 10:21, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Current CFD - "Baseball players from San Francisco, California," etc.

There is a current CFD underway at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2014 January 5#San Francisco, California sports players that I think should probably receive some attention. The implication is that an editor would like to replace "Sportspeople from San Francisco, California" and "Sport Foo players from California" with "Sport Foo players from San Francisco, California." The editor's position is that the "Sport from state" categories have gotten too big and that major cities should be broken out. I don't think the editor is alone in his/her opinion, but the other side also has valid points about potential overcategorization. I think it needs a wide discussion because the precedent would be pretty significant - and the real issue is the editor's belief that once categories get to a certain size they must be diffused. Lots of implication to categories of all stripes so I think the issue needs attention one way or the other to reach a quality resolution (whatever that may be). Rikster2 (talk) 17:37, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Give overcat an equal weight.

Categories in general I say is chaotic, although articles with properly maintained categories by Wikiproject exist. It is not because people cannot follow this guideline, but because 1. it is non-trivial decision on what to categorize, how narrow, how general they should be. ie. How not to categorize, if you make categories which are ill-formed, we better don't want you to do it. 2. People still don't recognize that an article is categorized by its WP:DEFINING characteristics, I have cited this many times, much more often than this page. -- (talk) 17:51, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Moving category

Hi, who can help me move or rename this category: Albums produced by James Ford? It should be named "Albums produced by James Ford (musician)", per the naming of its parent article, James Ford (musician). Mayast (talk) 15:51, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

I just nominated it for speedy renaming.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 15:56, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Ok, so now I know where to request that :) (WP:CFDS) Thanks! — Mayast (talk) 20:37, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Just use twinkle. It does the right thing. much easier :)--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 22:58, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

How much screen time is needed for an element of fiction to be defining of that work?

I figure it would be in relation to the total length of the work. Specifically I was wondering whether a giantess being in one episode of the three episode long anime OVA Jungle de Ikou! would count as Category:Giants in fiction or Category:Size change in fiction. Or whether the final fight scene in Paprika (2006 film) or Dude, Where's My Car? would similarly as although only a few minutes these scenes are at the end. I was also wondering whether the flying cars in blade runner are defining as they are frequently shown in the background and flying cars are commonly used device to show something is set in the future. Most modern day works feature cars however Category:Cars in fiction is not a category. Some works of fiction like Knight Rider are specifically about the cars though. CensoredScribe (talk) 00:37, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Basically, whatever number/percentage you suggest would require someone to watch Blade Runner (which of the multiple versions of the film?) with a stop watch to measure how much time flying cars are on the screen (one flying by? foreground? background? they're in the car?). In addition to the problems mentioned, this is original research. Unless we decide to do away with verifiability, one of our core principles, this cannot work. - SummerPhD (talk) 01:13, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
An interesting question. What, though, shall we do about elements of fiction which lurk in the background, being "defining of that work" without appearing for very long or, really, being discussed. E.g. Rosebud. Should Citizen Kane go into Category:Sleds in film? What about the monkey which Norma Desmond buries at the beginning of Sunset Blvd.? It's not even seen on screen, yet its essence permeates the whole story. Should it go into Category:Dead pet monkeys in film? What about the Maltese Falcon, which turns out not to be real in the end and is barely on screen at all? What about The Usual Suspects, where all of the screen time is taken up by characters who turn out to be imaginary, not just in relation to real reality but in relation to the reality of the film? Should it go in Category:Fictional-in-the-context-of-the-film characters in film? These are deep questions indeed. I'd suggest something around 8% if you want a serious answer to your question, but SummerPhD is right, we'd need secondary sources. We can't have Wikipedia editors timing films. They might be suspected of bootlegging and then what would happen?— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 01:32, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
questions like the above remind obiwan why he generally stays away from fictional categorization. But, yeah, like the others said, follow sources. If someone makes a list of top giant films, if your film is listed, then it's likely fair game.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 02:32, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Category:Wikipedians who refer to themselves in the third person. What percentage of their edits need to contain this rhetorical trope before it can be considered a defining characteristic? alf laylah wa laylah is asking a rhetorical question here, isn't he/she?— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 02:48, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
I have it on good authority that Alf is neither female nor male, but rather an affable alien who speaks a passable arabic and enjoys Wikipedia categorization debates. Obiwan has his sources but he's not ready to reveal them.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 03:22, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Is Category:Fools a subcategory of Category:Those who follow fools or is it the other way around? - SummerPhD (talk) 03:24, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
They're each subcategories of the other, and both contain and are contained in Category:Categories which violate the axiom of regularity, which is, naturally, a subcategory of itself. To answer your question seriously, both are contained in Category:Reasons why you might have fallen into a ditch.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 03:34, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
I don’t think it can be quantified. A common-sense approach might be to consider the likelihood of the following dialogue. A: “Did you see Blade Runner (Citizen Kane)?” B: “Was that the one with the flying cars (sled)?” For the purposes of an article, though, as others have said, we must see whether or not secondary sources describe the film in such terms. If not, then it probably shouldn’t be in that category. Another factor to consider: does the article discuss the proposed category at length—and with reason?—Odysseus1479 03:44, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Category:Diffs which make me appreciate anew how inimitable is Wikipedia.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 03:54, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
CensoredScribe, I also don't think it can be quantified and I think most of these evaluations about "defining" aspects of a subject or significant attributes of a subject involve original research. Think of it this way, in an ideal world, categories should not represent subjective opinion. It's almost impossible for articles to not reflect the perspective of the editors who work on them but, as I understand it, categories are objectively determined and the ones I assign to article should unambiguous. This is because, for the most part, there is little discussion or debate about categories except when it's proposed to delete, merge or rename entire categories, not the articles or categories they are applied to.
So, because they are not normally debated, only categories that are unambiguous should be applied like "Alumni of Penn State University", "Businesses established in 1957", "Armenian actresses", "Academy Award winners", "CBS television shows", "Comic book franchises", etc. Categories like "Darkness in fiction" or "Kingdoms in fiction" are completely vague and ambiguous, are subject to interpretation and could apply to literally thousands of articles. They are not finite and clear-cut and they are to be avoided because they are likely to be nominated for deletion. Liz Read! Talk! 17:17, 14 February 2014 (UTC)


I'd like to propose a change to the rules around WP:DEFINING. For now, we state that in order for a category to be added, it must be verifiable, neutral, and DEFINING. For defining, I believe that we regularly violate this principle, in a reasonable way, such that current consensus has gone beyond what the guidelines state (i.e. "commonly and consistently define[1] the subject as having"). Let me give you an example: Hisham Matar - he is regularly described as an American novelist, but is also described as a Libyan-American novelist - but he is rarely or never described as a Category:American novelists of Arab descent, even though that's the category he is in. He is also in the categories Category:1970 births,Category:Fellows of Girton College, Cambridge,Category:Alumni of Goldsmiths, University of London, Category:People from New York City, even though most bios and descriptions of his work don't always mention these elements. In a broader sense, there seem to be certain categories where we enforce WP:DEFINING, and certain others where we don't, and I think we should call that out. I believe basic biographic details, such as date of birth, death, alumni of X, and so on should be placed on an article regardless of whether reliable sources COMMONLY describe the subject as having those things. Ethnicity is another example - if we have an African American musician, but 99% of reliable sources call him a musician and only 1% of sources call him an African-American musician, as long as we are confident he is indeed African American, we should put him in Category:African-American musicians. The same applies for gender - even if only 1% of sources describe a poet as a fantastic female poet, and the other 99% of sources just call her a poet, she should go in the "Poet" and the appropriate "Female poets" category. I think we could thus develop a sort of "exception" to the DEFINING rule, because it would be absurd to remove a female poet from the female poets category because not enough sources mentioned this overlap between the female-ness and the poet-ness. Does that make sense? The exception, for people, would hold for gender + X, ethnicity + X, date of birth, date of death, location of burial (in some cases), where they are from (in most cases). It would not hold for religion + X, where we do want something defining - e.g. someone is not a Category:Roman_Catholic_writers just because they are Catholic and happen to write, and it would not hold for job. But for the others, there needs to be an exception where a single RS can suffice to put someone in a category, even if the vast majority of other sources don't do so. One rough test is the extent to which membership in the category is passive or active. My guess is, for most "passive" categories, e.g. categories where the person in question doesn't really have much of a choice as to their membership because it is based on characteristics about themselves over which they have little to no control, such categories should be filled up regardless of common usage in reliable sources. I just think we need to update the guidelines to match current practice.

Suggested draft for change: "For some categories, there is an exception to defining'. This does not absolve the need for reliable sourcing around any of these categories, it simply removes the requirement that RS commonly describe the subject with these categories. For biographies, this holds for the following types of categorization: Date of birth, date of death, location of burial, awards received, alumni categories, gendered categories (e.g. gender + job, gender + location), ethnicity-based categories (e.g. ethnicity + job), categories based on family relationships (e.g. children/sons/daughters of X, parents of X, spouses of X), means of death, and ethnic descent categories." --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:04, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose the proposed text as it could be interpreted as that all the types of categories listed are exempt from challenge. The proposed text also draws no distinction between "bot categories" (year-of-birth, CAT:LP etc which contain many thousands of articles) and "navigation categories" (which contain a few hundred at most); IMO we should be be making that distinction clearer, not putting them together in one list. It's unclear what "X" represents, but if it means "<person>" then that's not how we normally categorize - e.g. "Spouses of <person>" categories could easily lead to circular categorization. Wherever there's a list like that proposed here then editors will be tempted to add more items to the list (place-of-birth, place-of-death, people-from ...). Putting information about a specific type of article (e.g. biographies) into WP:DEFINING could lead to several problems - e.g. editors wanting other types of articles to be mentioned here, and minor contradictions between this page and WP:COP causing endless discussion. Some of the categories in the proposed list should (IMO) be deleted - e.g. whilst it may be appropriate to categorize a person by their ethnicity, categorizing them by multiple great-grandparents ethnicities (as can happen with ethnic descent categories) is overcategorization (it may however be appropriate to store such information in Wikidata). This list would make it harder to delete such categories. Trying to separate categories into "active" and "passive" would cause more problems than it would solve (e.g. is place of burial active or passive?). DexDor (talk) 07:29, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
The active/passive distinction was just one way of explaining why some cats can be added without dispute while others require defining. I'm not wedded to the language. {X} is a variable, meaning we have a number of categories for children of various types of people, or spouses of various types of people - and my argument would be that we should always add a given bio to such categories, even if the people in question aren't DEFINED by that. Without worrying about the language, do you understand the basic thrust of the issue? Current policy doesn't align with practice, so we need to fix it, somehow.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 18:19, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Container categories

I was just looking at Category:Container categories and the description of these categories says they should entirely contain child categories, not articles. But looking at the categories in this parent category, over 50% of them are categories that contain individual articles or files.

So, a) should these categories be no longer labeled to be "container categories" and/or b) should all of the individual articles and files attributed to categories be assigned to a further subcategory so that the original categories only contain child categories? Liz Read! Talk! 17:01, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

  • for some, they aren't really container categories. For example, Category:14th-century_Ottoman_people is not a container category. If you want to clean up that 5100-member category and remove all non-truly-container categories, please be my guest. Note that there are things which are actually container categories and intended as such, but in some cases there could be one or two articles which remain in the parent. For example, Category:19th-century_European_people should really be subdivided by country, as it is, but there is scope for one or two articles that really apply on a pan-european basis. So, in my experience we have valid container categories that could still contain a very few articles.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 19:07, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
Offhand it makes sense to me that we use the term 'container category' for cats that should contain no pages sorted under 0–9 and A–Z, only subcategories and pages sorted before (such as main articles and lists) and after (under Greek letters).
Even so, we do have Set categories whose preface says, "A set category should only contain pages that are members of the group, lists of members of the group and subcategories containing those things." Perhaps that may be improved by making space for more than lists. Anyway our instruction regarding container categories may be improved in parallel fashion if we do agree on some broad use of the term.
The administrative cat Wikipedia soft redirected categories --another one of the Wikipedia categories that should not contain articles-- has a companion subcat Wikipedia non-empty soft redirected categories, which is one of its subcats. With some assistance (I don't know where) Category:Wikipedia non-empty container categories might be established and it would be a useful aid to whatever cleanup we undertake. --P64 (talk) 21:36, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Emphasis added. Yesterday I asked the creator of cat Wikipedia non-empty soft redirected categories about that work. Today his talk page stalker User:Redrose64 explained. See User talk:Rich Farmbrough#Administrative subcategories populated automatically.
--P64 (talk) 23:58, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your thoughts, Obi-Wan Kenobi and P64. It sounds like either a) the instructions for "container categories" should be rewritten and/or b) categories that contain articles and files in addition to child categories should be removed from Category:Container categories. It doesn't make sense to have a description of what Category:Container categories should contain and then 50%+ of the categories do not fit the description...either change the description or remove the categories which don't fit the description. Liz Read! Talk! 23:48, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
sometimes things are properly intended as containers, and are simply in need of diffusion, so that's another case you'll run into, like Category:Wikipedians But yeah we should change the description to state that container cats can exceptionally have a few articles that don't fit well elsewhere.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 23:58, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
  • "The wording of "{{Container category}}" is fine for categories that are "Foo by bar", e.g. "Category:Australian people by occupation". IIRC, I opposed the merger of the "parent category" and "container category" templates, on the grounds that it was useful to distinguish categories where a few articles were expected & allowed, but was outvoted. We do still have {{category diffuse}} and I sometimes put that on category pages, removing "container category" where it is not appropriate. – Fayenatic London 12:32, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

Administrative categories

I don't understand how there are categories like Category:Articles containing potentially dated statements from July 2014 which are stated to be "Articles in this category contain statements that may become dated originating from July 2014." Why do these future categories (I saw one dated October 2014) exist so far in the future and how can there already be articles filed in a category in March 2014 when it's stated they originated in July 2014? Liz Read! Talk! 19:52, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

see {{As_of}} - it allows editors to tell people in advance that a given statement may be out of date in the future. In some cases, this can be known. For example, if an election will happen in July 2014, you can say "The election will be held in 2014 ({as of|July 2014})" and then presumably other editors can go find those statements and correct them.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 20:11, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
'originating' is a poor choice.
Instead of "may become dated originating from July 2014" it should say something like "will become out of date during or immediately following July 2014".
When should the template be used and one of the administrative categories thereby populated? At a tiny fraction of all points where one can reliably date when revision is likely to be "needed". But which few uses are the appropriate ones?
When should one carefully use tenseless or past-tense wording to reduce the "need" for revision in the regular course of events?
Offhand I know that there should be some reason to doubt timely update will occur routinely. I believe I can helpfully say more if there is interest. --P64 (talk) 22:04, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

RfC: Forever Alone?

Should categories exist which have only entry and will never have more?


Threaded Discussion

Couple things to clarify. There are two possible ways a category can have one entry: 1) a category has only one entry and certainly or almost certainly always will (Category:People named Yahoo Serious and so forth); and 2) a category has only one entry, but its reasonably possible that someday someone will write another article that fits in that category. I'm particularly concerned with the first case. Editors may differ on the second case. We don't allow categories of zero on the basis of being placeholders for future work, but maybe categories of one are different. It's not terribly important, the main question is regarding categories that will never have more than one entry.

The reason this comes up is because at Category:Songs by artist it says "Please note that all song articles should have subcategories here, regardless of how many songs the artist has recorded" with the bolding in the original, and indeed this is operative, so we have Category:Harlow Wilcox songs and so on which will never have more than one entry.

OK moving on, some things that come to mind are: From the reader's point of view, categories of one are not very useful and actually sort of misleading. If, for instance, we had James A. Garfield in Category:People assassinated by Charles J. Guiteau the reader might click on that to see who else Guiteau had shot, only to be disappointed and perhaps puzzled or frustrated by finding only the only one entry. Categories exist mainly to aid reader navigation and it's not clear how categories of one do that.

And in a purely grammatical-logic sense, "category" implies two or more (from Wiktionary: "category: A group... to which items are assigned based on similarity or defined criteria" and drilling down we get "group: A number of things..." with "a number of" then defined as "several" and so forth. IMO rhetorical logic is not important, though, although it might be to some.

On the other hand, there are maybe arguments for having one-entry categories. It is tidy if all songs are in some subcategory of Category:Songs by artist and it might aid us in our editing. For instance, if some song is not in a Category:Songs by artist subcategory, an editor might think that possibly an omission and waste time trying to find if is or not, and so forth. And if so that's a valid point. And some people just like things tidy and there's nothing wrong with that. And there might be other virtues for the reader or editors of one-entry categories that I haven't thought of. An editor made the point "The recording artist is a defining characteristic of a song [and anyway] We have plenty of single-entry categories". These are both valid points I guess.

And there's no need to be unduly prescriptive when it's not called for, to say to editors "You can't do that" if it can be avoided. Still, the point that single-entry categories might degrade the user's experience is very important even if such degradation is only minor and occasional. Readers come first. Herostratus (talk) 14:58, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

I think that songs by artist is a very specific case and not the general issue of categories being part of a series. Take the case of something like Category:Towers completed in the 20th century. When this was started there were many years with no entries and a large number only had one. However now we have something in every year and most years are well over one entry with more being added as additional articles are written. So clearly in a case like this, categories with only one entry are simply fine. Now in the songs category were we have a large number of categories with only one entry and growth is not likely or even impossible, I probably would have a hard time keeping those. Bottom like for your RFC is Oppose since it is not specific enough to support and goes against common sense application of our existing guidelines for this. Vegaswikian (talk) 18:57, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
OK, I changed the question to be about only categories that will most probably never have more than one entry. A case could be made that the creation of categories like Category:Towers completed in the 20th century should wait until there's at least two, but a case could be made that they shouldn't, for internal reasons. So it's kind of different from categories where there's only going to be one entry ever, where the arguments are different. Herostratus (talk) 19:29, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
If I'm going from the article to the category, I can see where such categorization of one doesn't appear helpful. However, as a reader, I enjoy browsing through the Songs by artist and Albums by artist categories to read up or learn about these topics by other artists I may not have much or any knowledge about. Sure, it can be somewhat random at times, but I also find it helpful to be able to go to any artist's songs or albums category in this manner. --StarcheerspeaksnewslostwarsTalk to me 09:22, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
Oh yeah, good point. Herostratus (talk) 13:50, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

I have never understood the necessity of a category that connects the subject with one member. And picking one such category at random Category:Rex Allen, Jr. songs we find one song, The Air That I Breathe where the total reference to Rex is "Rex Allen, Jr. recorded a cover version in 1983, releasing his version for the country music market." Rex's article confirms it was a single in 1983 and reached 37 in the US country charts. If the song had been a song only associated with Rex then merging the two articles would be a better alternative to a category! Having said that, after reading Starcheer's use of categories I am not as convinced as I had been. I wouldn't read WP that way but that's not to say other methods shouldn't be encouraged.--Richhoncho (talk) 20:41, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Support allowance of one-item categories in this case The situation described here is that there is a main category, Category:Songs by artist, which needs to remain empty to benefit users of the category system. Putting songs in this category would harm users. To clean this category out by making categories for a single entry is better than any other proposed alternative in this case.
Furthermore, I am anticipating that when the category structure is eventually migrated to Wikidata, this issue will become completely moot as various aspects of Wikidata will make it much less likely for people to browse categories in the way this happens on Wikipedia, and consequently people will not likely stumble upon one-entry categories unless they match a very specific request. The problem never was about the categorization - it was always about wasting people's time. For this case, the time of others is respected by having a one-entry category and there are MediaWiki developments planned for the future through Wikidata to respect that time even more. This is a serious problem and thanks for raising the issue. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:16, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
If there is an expectation that the category information will be migrated to Wikidata, will the presence or absence of one-entry categories benefit or complicate any attempted automation of this process? —Anne Delong (talk) 01:27, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

"Category:American x" vs. "Category:X in the United States"

There are currently two proposals one concerning city staff, and one concerning city officials on the issue of which form to use "American X", versus "X in the United States". Quite frankly, I thought there was already a consensus, or even a policy on this, but there appears to be some debate on the matter. Can we please get some input, so as to get the story straight?! It can't be one thing one day, and another on another day. Greg Bard (talk) 16:09, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Yes, there's a policy. See Wikipedia:Naming conventions (categories)#Political office-holders. -- Rick Block (talk) 18:01, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Kennedy categories RfC

RfC on which ethnicity categories to include for John Schlossberg, grandson of US President John F Kennedy. -- GreenC 18:03, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

IEG proposal on the category system in the English Wikipedia

I have submitted a proposal for an Individual Engagement Grant for the first phase of a project looking at the category systems in Wikimedia wikis. In this first phase I will research the nature of the English Wikipedia's category system, as the first step in designing ways to optimize category systems throughout WMF wikis. In later phases, I plan to

  • Research how readers and editors utilize the category system in the English Wikipedia.
  • Investigate the category systems in other language Wikipedias and in other WMF projects.
  • Explore the value and feasibility of using Wikidata as the basis for the category system across WMF wikis. If deemed appropriate by the community, work with the community to develop and implement this.
  • Utilize user-centered design methodologies to prototype various enhancements to the category system to improve the user experience. If deemed appropriate by the community, work with the community to develop and implement such enhancements.

If you would like to endorse this proposal, you can do so here. I would also appreciate any other feedback, pro or con, which can be posted here. Thanks! Libcub (talk) 06:10, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Should redirects be categorized?

Richhoncho has reverted me when I removed the categorization of a redirect here. I haven't found a policy which says that redirects should be placed in categories with other appropriate articles. Relying on my common sense, I don't see a reason why should these links be presented to the reader when he enters the category about Anthrax songs. Regards.--Вик Ретлхед (talk) 15:44, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

To answer the question there is Category:Redirects from songs with over 12,000 entries (one of the categories removed by Вик Ретлхед), there is also, Category:Redirect-Class song articles and a quick search of that admin category will confirm that most song redirects are also categorized by year of song and artist. besides addition to the redirects from songs.
Some editors will also add songwriters, year of single, song recordings produced by, record label, genre, even video directed by. Redirects show up in the categories in italics, so nobody is misled by the addition of a redirect to a category.
Returning to the direct we are discussing, Blood (Anthrax song), it is a song by Anthrax first released in 1990 and is a redirect.
With up to 12,000 songs categorized like this I think precedent has been established. Unless somebody wants to suggest all correctly spelt song redirects are deleted I think we must assume it is standard WP practice.--Richhoncho (talk) 16:21, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
That was not my concern. For example, Metallica has roughly 160 songs, and perhaps forty of them have a Wiki-article of their own. Every other remaining song has a redirect. It is beyond my rational reasoning why should a bunch of redirects be presented to the reader? As far as I know, categories are made for better navigation, ex. to see which other songs have articles.--Вик Ретлхед (talk) 16:58, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Then why shouldn't a song be found by defining characteristics? i.e. artist? songwriter? year of creation? Isn't that better navigation too? --Richhoncho (talk) 17:19, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Because it is not an article. If you open the link, it leads to the album which contains the song, or in other words, not what the reader is looking for. The category "Anthrax songs" should feature only the songs which have an article, not every song they've recorded and is a redirect (above 150). The bottom line is to include all the redirects or none of them. To list only a few is obviously selective and misleading.--Вик Ретлхед (talk) 18:32, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Then we are back to
1. A redirect shows as capitalized in the category so there is no confusion.
2. WP doesn't (and shouldn't) have articles, or redirects, on every song, so whether a song is missing or not is an irrelevant argument.
3. There are so many other editors doing this that a discussion on this talkpage between the two of us is not relevant.
4. Finally, and most importantly, if you want to stop a common practice then you need to take your argument elsewhere. (With apologies to John, who I am sure will log in and see this discussion in due course). --Richhoncho (talk) 18:48, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
PS. In respect of your comment, "The bottom line is to include all the redirects or none of them. To list only a few is obviously selective and misleading." - If you stopped reverting other editors all the redirects would be there. --Richhoncho (talk) 18:50, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

I think you are misinterpreting my words. I've never said that every song should have an article of its own (point 2). I haven't noticed what other editors have been doing, and frankly, I don't bother with what others work (point 3). According to the purpose of categorization: "The central goal of the category system is to provide navigational links to all Wikipedia pages"—here is my argument that the redirects aren't really pages. Furthermore, readers can "can browse and quickly find sets of pages on topics that are defined by those characteristics". I don't think any of the readers would be interested in seeing that "Blood (Anthrax song)" redirects to some other page. In my opinion, a proper category, for example "Anthrax songs", should display only the topics for which an article exists. Seeing a hundred italicized redirects is "slightly" confusing.--Вик Ретлхед (talk) 23:01, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Did you look at Wikipedia:Categorizing redirects? Vegaswikian (talk) 23:25, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Вик Ретлхед for moving the discussion without the courtesy of letting me, or John know. As far as I am concerned there is a standard practice at Wikipedia, to categorize songs (some of which I agree with and some I don't, but that's another matter). Just for an example, I note the following, Category:Song recordings produced by Andrew Wade, Category:Song recordings produced by Paul McCartney, Category:Yoko Ono songs, Category:R.E.M. songs, Category:Songs written by Bill Berry and Category:Mayday Parade songs probably contain more redirects than articles. This establishes quite categorically that it is you (as you admit above) that is out of step with community wishes. If you want to propose that there should be a new guideline/policy that prohibits the categorization of songs then here is the place, in the meanwhile as there is nothing, I, and other editors, I suspect, will continue to add categories to song redirects. If that also means reverting you then so be it.
My interpretation of Wikipedia:Categorizing redirects is that categorizing songs is covered under 1.4 Subtopic categorization. That's without mentioning again that it's been standard practice for longer than you or I have been registered editors. --Richhoncho (talk) 23:43, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for providing that link Vegaswikian. The nutshell clearly states: "Redirects aren't articles and most shouldn't be categorized as such". The most common exception is to place the redirects in categories that only contain other redirects. In this case, Blood (Anthrax song) is the only redirect in the category Anthrax (American band) songs, or to say it explicitly, its place is not there. When reverting me next time, please follow the actual policies, not your personal preference.--Вик Ретлхед (talk) 08:40, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

This is selecting the bit you like and ignoring the bits you don't like. So I will reiterate :-
  • As noted clearly above it is common practice by many editors. For you to unilaterally decide that all these other editors are wrong and you are right implies ownership of, for example, Blood (Anthrax song).
  • The relevant part of the guideline is, "Some subtopics of articles have well-known names and, over time, may expand to become separate articles. Many articles cover several topics that have been combined. This can happen following a merge of several related articles. Often there are redirects pointing to these subtopics. These redirects can be categorized. In some cases, the categories for the redirects that point to the subtopics will be different than the categories for the entire article." My bold. As Blood is not part of Anthrax (band) but is a subsection it is not wrong to categorize the redirect.
Now please either make a proposal to have the guideline amended to support your opinion, or accept the guideline is correct as is. This is the last time that I can assume good faith under the circumstances. --Richhoncho (talk) 09:20, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
  • The redirect you are categorizing is neither a well-known song (a fact supported by its modest 90 visits in the last 90 days), and over time, it has 0% chance to become an article (just my bold prediction). I will not submit any proposal for the guideline to be re-written, but I will respect it in the way it is written now. I will ask you to lose the argument on what other editors do and stick to what the policy explicitly says. I've addressed your interpretation on the "relevant" part of the guideline in the first sentence.--Вик Ретлхед (talk) 11:51, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Wrong argument. It is a redirect because it is not notable. --Richhoncho (talk) 12:22, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
So, do we agree that the song is not notable? If so, why should we place it with the other proper pages?--Вик Ретлхед (talk) 15:13, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
If you think it is not notable enough for a redirect then list for deletion at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion. I note another editor has reverted you on Blood. So now please go away, accept this discussion is over, you were wrong, you do not own any article and you are opposing the existing and continual consensus, and you failed to read the guidelines correctly. End of story. --Richhoncho (talk) 15:40, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Notability has nothing to do with whether redirects are categorised or not: it concerns whether a stand-alone article should exist or not. Redirects for non-notable songs may be categorised, per Wikipedia:Categorizing redirects#Subtopic categorization or Wikipedia:Categorizing redirects#Categorization of list entries, depending upon the nature of the target article. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:43, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

"Redirects for non-notable songs may be categorised" does not equal "Redirects for non-notable songs should be categorised". Per Wikipedia:Categorizing redirects#Subtopic categorization: "Some subtopics of articles have well-known names and, over time, may expand to become separate articles."→Neither the song is well-known nor it might become an article. Per Wikipedia:Categorizing redirects#Categorization of list entries: "Some well-organized lists have redirects pointing at their subsections."→Is this pointing to a sub-section or something similar? No, it is heading to a completely different topic. --Вик Ретлхед (talk) 16:50, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

I really don't understand what you're getting at above, save that you are Flogging a dead horse. --Richhoncho (talk) 17:03, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm little surprised that no comments from other users were posted by now. But regardless, I'm not convinced that you are doing the right move. On the contrary, I strongly believe that this case is a violation of the policy, which clearly states that redirects shouldn't be categorized. Looking for holes in the system is not the solution.--Вик Ретлхед (talk) 17:37, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
I can straightaway point out that there are two factual errors in the last post above: "no comments from other users were posted by now" - wrong - I made a comment (my first in this thread) at 15:43, 6 April 2014; and as for "clearly states that redirects shouldn't be categorized", it says nothing of the sort: just follow the two links that I gave in my post that I have just mentioned; we find "These redirects can be categorized" and "categorization of the redirects can be an alternative way of browsing entries in a long list". --Redrose64 (talk) 18:40, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Pointing to WP:Something is useful as a shortcut way to say "Here's some excellent reasons why we should such-and-such". Pointing to WP:Something is less useful if it's shorthand for "Here's a rule somebody wrote in 2004 and the law's the law, discussion over".

If something isn't working we can change it and that's the purpose of discussions like this. We are not Philadelphia lawyers but colleagues and allies trying to figure out the best way forward. So let's not get shirty about this.

To my mind it is probably useful to categorize redirects that redirect to actual sections ((that is, Article Name#Section Name). It also may be useful to categorize redirects that redirect to article where there is a whole paragraph about the entity, even if there isn't a named section (especially if {{anchor}} is used to pop the reader directly to the proper place in the article. (Sometimes the main article can be put in the category but that doesn't always work.)

But whether redirects into lists and articles where the entity is doesn't have a section and may be barely mentioned... that is something that reasonable, thoughtful people can disagree about.

What are the points on the merits? "The primary function of the category system is to allow readers to browse through article." I don't know if that's the primary function but it's an important function. Having categories that point into articles where the entity is barely mentioned probably both helps and hinders this function. On the hand, take the redirect Let's All Get Greased Up And Have Us Some Sex pointing the article Contractual Obligation (Angry Young Popes album) where the song is just listed. This is helpful to a person wanting to find out just what album the song is on (and maybe its running time and writers). It's frustrating to someone expecting more info.

There's no perfect solution or hard-and-fast rule that can solve this. Certainly if a category consists of mostly redirects (which don't point to articles where there are at least a couple-few sentences about the entity) it may well be time to make a list instead, put that in the category, and de-categorize the appropriate links.

Regarding the particular edit mentioned by the original poster, I dunno. Per WP:BRD if someone doesn't like it their right to revert and then it's on you to convince them (or others). However, if an editor wants to revert a good-faith edit that's arguably OK, it'd certainly be a kindess of he would engage on the level of "IMO this will, overall, decrease the experience of the typical reader because __________" where _______ is some reason and not just some rule or common practice. But the onus is on the original poster. Convince me why Category:Anthrax (American band) songs should contain 16 articles and one redirect to an album where the song is not discussed. Herostratus (talk) 18:54, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Hi Herostratus, many thanks for your thoughtful post. FWIW WP:BRD had nearly reached WP:3RR and it was a third party who then reverted once again, so at present the relevant article has the categories and is listed for AfD (this might become RfD in a few minutes). There is a problem of WP:Ownership too. With regard to RedRose, in his defense, I had already covered the ground, but this apparently wasn't acceptable he may have felt a link sufficient, especially as Вик Ретлхед was trying to show he was reading and understanding all put in front of him, even though this was patently untrue. However, there are those that think any categorization is good, and as we know, some think all categorization is bad. We now have a circle to be squared. That is why there was so much discussion over one item - which in the great scheme of things is an irrelevance. If consensus becomes no categorization I won't lose sleep, either we or we don't - continuous discussion, or worse, sniping from redirect to redirect, is neither helpful nor productive. --Richhoncho (talk) 18:40, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Richhoncho, I guess you're having tons of fun by saying I've claimed to own the articles. I don't know what are you trying to achieve with that vague accusation, but I rigidly deny your brave and implausible assertion. Referring to the latter part of your post, I am not one of those editors who think all categorization is bad.--Вик Ретлхед (talk) 22:32, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Why is Category:Wikipedia Start-Class vital articles in People with 297 entries?

a red link although it has almost 300 articles in it? I'm not even clear who determines this. Wikipedia:Vital articles shows only 136 articles for people, reasonable as there are only 1000 covered. And yet another thing I've yet to learn, how in the world do I remove a category from a talk page? Thanks. 11:53, 25 April 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dougweller (talkcontribs)

Do you mean Category:Wikipedia Start-Class vital articles in People? If so, looking at the first in the cat, Talk:Abu Muslim Khorasani, it's in there because it has {{Vital article|level=4|topic=People|class=Start}} - of those three parameters, only |level=4 wasn't responsible for the cat. Most categories found on talk pages are there because of the banners and other boxes before the first section. Anyway, I've created it now, so that it won't show as a redlink. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:42, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I now understand and have found that there is an expanded vital articles page. Dougweller (talk) 15:49, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

Tagging a category for verifiability of members?

I was looking at Category:Neo-noir and while it's certainly better than some categories I've looked at with regard to the listed articles (hopefully) verifiably belonging to the category, it's not great either. If it was a bit worse I might consider taking it to CFD, but I'd rather see the underlying articles be improved, or less ideally, the category pruned to exclude the articles which don't verifiably belong.

Is there a template that can be applied to the category to call attention to it, so that invested parties have a chance to review and improve the underlying articles or remove them? If not, are there less extreme options available than either going to CFD or taking it upon myself to review all of the 354 category members? Thanks for your thoughts. DonIago (talk) 13:55, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

In my opinion, tagging the category will not produce results. This is an ongoing issue with categories that require maintenance. It is difficult to do. Yea, we can create the tag, but how do we determine if anyone is following up? So I guess I agree with your suggestion but how would we make it effective? Vegaswikian (talk) 18:36, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your input. I agree that tagging the category page itself could be ineffective, but at the same time it would at least be something. I do have a thought that perhaps the category tagging could propagate to all members of that category as a way of getting more attention ("The category X, which this article belongs to, has been tagged for verifiability concerns. Please review this article to ensure that it meets the criteria to be a member of that category, and so on and so forth..."), but I'm not at all sure that that would be a good or practicable idea. DonIago (talk) 18:52, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
I know there are occasions where I would like to tag a category in an article as citation needed or some such when it is not clear that the category should be used. But I'm not aware of any way to do something like that. Vegaswikian (talk) 19:21, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
There is Template:Category unsourced, but I'm not sure how many editors use that or are even aware it exists. I would tend to consider it more expeditious to just delete the category. That said, for a category with 300+ members manual tagging would be, to put it nicely, impractical. DonIago (talk) 19:33, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
Also {{Uncited category}} --Redrose64 (talk) 21:30, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Category:Wiki Loves Earth 2014 Nepal

I found Category:Wiki Loves Earth 2014 Nepal listed in Wikipedia:Database reports/Uncategorized categories, but can't figure out how to parent it. Any ideas?

It appears to consist of a series of pro-forma lists, which I presume some sort of project is working to complete. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:01, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

Doubtless it has to do with the photo contest on Commons; the content will be lists of the natural-heritage sites that are eligible subjects. I guess it could go in Nepal geography-related lists. It should probably be named more generally, something like Natural monuments of Nepal, similarly to the lists of buildings &c. used by Wiki Loves Monuments.—Odysseus1479 01:43, 13 May 2014 (UTC)


I noticed this edit, removing all categorizes from an article into an eponymous category Category:Masada. I have the feeling this is not the way to categorize. On the other hand, I checked New York and saw that some, but not all, categories go through Category:New York. What do you say? Which categories should remain on the article page itself? Debresser (talk) 10:40, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

  • Hi Debresser and thanks for your concern. Feel free to add whatever relevant categories to the main article page. There is no clear-cut pattern on WP for this. Sometime the main article and its category share the same category names at the bottom of their pages, and at other times it's only the main category that has the sub-categories at the bottom of the page. Either way both are legit. So feel free to also add back categories to the article page if you think that will help readers navigate to related topics more easily. All the best, IZAK (talk) 10:50, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
I was referring to WP:DUPCAT and WP:EPON. Debresser (talk) 11:32, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Category pages will be movable soon

See Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive262#Category_pages_will_be_movable_soon. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 14:50, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Oooh, finally. I thank Oresto, Living God Of The Universe (or whoever's in charge -- not sure) that I have lived to see this day. Herostratus (talk) 21:15, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

comment from categorizers on Category talk:Media manipulation

Hi folks -- We have a discussion a category talk page, and it would be helpful to have some other eyeballs / participants. Category talk:Media manipulation -- Thanks, Lquilter (talk) 23:13, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Creating categories for one article

Is there any rule against creating categories that will have just one article? A user has recently started taking articles out of (for instance) Category:1963 elections in Europe and putting them in newly-created national subcategories (e.g. Category:1963 elections in Austria). The vast majority of these categories will only have one article, as no other elections took place in the country that year. Number 57 11:26, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Austrian elections pre-1980 were sometimes in category 19xx elections in Austria (1949, 1953) & sometimes in category 19xx elections in Europe (eg 1956, 1959). Hugo999 (talk) 11:42, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
It's not good practice, see WP:OC#NARROW. --Redrose64 (talk) 11:44, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
"...unless such categories are part of a large overall accepted sub-categorization scheme..." per WP:OC#SMALL. Key words "overall" and "accepted". postdlf (talk) 17:06, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

All included?

Should articles on rivers, towns etc. be all included in their base category, such as Category:Rivers of Maine and Category:Rivers of Cumberland County, Maine or just Category:Rivers of Cumberland County, Maine? It doesn't make sense to me that we should sort these further and still include them in a base category. Thoughts?--TM 14:39, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Generally once an article is included in a subcategory, that is sufficient. I guess rather then using both, the argument could be made that you don't need the subcategories. Vegaswikian (talk) 17:39, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
So it would be correct to include an article about a river in Cumberland County, Maine only in Category:Rivers in Cumberland County, Maine, not Category:Rivers in Maine and its county subcategory? User:Hmains created a category tree and has consistently fought my effort to simplify the categories and remove the state-level category when a county-level subcategory exists.--TM 11:51, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
For rivers, I would say that WP:DIFFUSE applies - if the river is categorised into Category:Rivers of Cumberland County, Maine, and that category is a member of Category:Rivers of Maine, the river shouldn't also be placed in Category:Rivers of Maine. If some of the counties in Maine don't have a "Rivers of xx County, Maine" category, the river can go directly into Category:Rivers of Maine until a subcat is created for the county.
However, similar matters have been brought up before, see this thread. --Redrose64 (talk) 12:22, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
It is highly unintuitive to only categorize rivers by county. Most readers would have no idea what counties a river passes through (and for most purposes, it is irrelevant. olderwiser 13:40, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
  • example a great example of "all included" is Category:Presidents of the United States - we want all presidents in there, even if some of them are in subcategories. "All included" is just another way of saying "All categories below should be treated as non-diffusing". There aren't any clear guidelines as to when this is or isn't a good idea. I think for rivers, it's probably fair to subdivide, unless the river crosses multiple counties - not clear on geography so not sure if that works or not.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:47, 23 May 2014 (UTC)


The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

It would be very appreciated if anyone who habituates this talk page might have a look at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive842#User effecting major category changes for biographies - satusuro 14:00, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

I swear it wasn't me who habituated this talk page, it was my little brother. BMK (talk) 19:52, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Limiting category moves

Now that the developers have added permission to move categories, we have evidence of regular users moving categories outside of process. Previous to this functionality existing in the system, regular users were not permitted to move categories. Thus, we should add some new text to this page to cover this case. In the meantime, we should probably start a formal RFC to get permissions to move categories restricted to admins, since there are very few cases I can think of where a regular user should be moving a category, and most can be covered by Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Speedy anyway.

The text I propose is as follows. Feel free to edit it directly.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 13:22, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Proposal 1

Category moves
While the mediawiki software technically permits users to move categories, categories should not be moved without discussion and consensus at either Wikipedia:Categories for discussion or Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Speedy. Any such category moves done out of process can be reverted on sight by any user. There are only a few exceptions:

  1. Administrators can summarily delete categories that meet the General criteria at Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion. (Note: Admins should not unilaterally move categories unless a consensus has been reached at CFD or if a listing at CFD/Speedy was unopposed.)
  2. Users are permitted to move categories without delay if the following criteria are met:
  1. The move is performed by, or with the on-wiki consent of, the creator
  2. The move is done within 28 days of the creation of the category
  3. The category has no other edits or members added by other users
See WP:CSD#C2. Renaming or merging, subsection E for more details.

Proposal 1 Discussion

  • support as nominator. This captures the longstanding consensus that categories should not be moved outside of CFD discussions, while giving a lightweight out to allow people to fix categories (move to a better name, or fix a typo) that they themselves have created, provided no-one else has edited them and the category hasn't been around that long. I think this strikes a proper balance. --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 13:22, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment I think you should remove #2 and replace it with "Users are permitted to move categories if the move meets one of the criteria under WP:C2." Jackmcbarn (talk) 13:45, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Hi Jack. Thanks; however, such "speedy" moves, such as to make a category more in line with the rest of the tree, are sometimes disputed. Thus, I think the only case where a user should make an undiscussed move is under subsection E, where they are the creator (or, I suppose, if the creator has given their consent). Going forward though, since it's unlikely all users will read this, the better solution is to simply limit the permissions.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 13:51, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I just wanted to note that MediaWiki now includes a move-categorypages permission (see gerrit:111096). There's been some discussion about restricting the right to certain user groups, but no consensus has been reached so far (see this AN conversation and bugzilla:65221). This may be a good opportunity to reach consensus. - Eureka Lott 14:08, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I'm aware of that. The purpose of this is just to encode in policy the long-standing consensus that users aren't supposed to move categories. A longer discussion needs to happen around whether we change this and give broader permissions to everyone, or only certain people. The developers rejected the idea of limiting this to admins in the meantime, unfortunately.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 14:11, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, but consensus was established before the feature was implemented. We have not established consensus to replace the existing consensus with the opinion of the developers. Vegaswikian (talk) 15:44, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
We never had consensus that only admins could move categories. The reason it's been longstanding that that's the case is that otherwise wasn't technically feasible. That's like saying that we have consensus that you shouldn't use edit summaries over 255 characters. Jackmcbarn (talk) 15:52, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Actually Jack this is not true at all. Users have NEVER been permitted to move categories, and as I noted before, if a user did so in the past using a redirect trick, or just creating a new category and moving all of the articles, they would have been reverted and sent to CFD, this has happened in the past.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 15:59, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Obi, you're missing the point. The only reason that users were "not permitted" to move categories when they were first used in 2004 (i.e., a couple of years before your first edits) is because it was impossible for them to do so. Nobody sat down and said, "Gee, I'd hate to have mere lowly editors move categories, so let's make sure that they can't". What actually happened was more like, "Ooops, we didn't plan for category pages to be moved at all, not even by admins". You're trying to turn "Ooops, the only way to 'move' a cat is to delete it entirely" into "there was a positive consensus to permit only admins to move cat pages", and this misrepresentation of the history just won't fly with anyone who was either around longer than you or is willing to take the time to search through the old page histories. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:27, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
frankly I don't care about 2004. I'm talking about the consensus in place as of April 2014 which was that users are not allowed to rename categories. Even without the technical ability to do a category move, a user could have affected a rename by creating a new category, moving all articles to the new category, and then attempting to delete the old category (say by tagging it as empty) When I've seen this happen, the changes have been reverted and the user was told to go to CFD. The only exceptions are when it was recently created by the user themselves and they were fixing a typo, which is an exception explicitly encoded above. The consensus around this is clear, you seem to be one of the few who doesn't get it. Such moves were disruptive before may, and continue to be disruptive.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 03:00, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support There is no point giving all users the permission to do an action that should only occur by consensus. There is no larger benefit to rolling out this permission and any time saved by users like me fixing typos in category names will be swiftly eroded by the time it takes other users to fix undiscussed category moves. That said, I am in favour of giving all users the permission if we revolutionise the WP:Categories for discussion venue to match the arrangement we have for pages at WP:Requested moves. I think anything other than those two outcomes is a negative step. SFB 17:48, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support, although I would word users #1 as "by, or with the on-wiki consent of, the creater..." - if a user nomiantes a category at CFD, and the author agrees to have it renamed, I see no reason for any user not to do it. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 19:09, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
refined as requested.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 19:13, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support BMK (talk) 23:40, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support in principle, but exception 2.1 rubs me the wrong way per WP:OWN: I categorically oppose granting special privileges to page-creators.—Odysseus1479 02:35, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
note:category creators have had the right to delete their creations within 28 days for a long time. There are also speedy criteria for deleting pages that only apply to creators. This is standard - the idea here is that the creator would know best the intent and could correct a typo or reframe their thinking, but limit in time so they don't tweak long established categories.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 04:40, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. This encodes the current consensus (which shouldn't have to be reencoded, but the WMF is Mother, the WMF is Father...) and establishes it clearly. - The Bushranger One ping only 07:28, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support We need to reinforce the process that this "fix" has undermined. Timrollpickering (talk) 20:32, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose as written. I don't want a lot of people to mess around with moving cats. Caution is warranted. However, the 'exceptions' smack of WP:OWNership and WP:BUREAUcracy (don't you dare fix an obvious spelling or capitalization error in a cat name without a discussion!). The restriction on not moving cats applies to admins, too: Obi's proposal permits them to delete cats but not to move cats, unless they undertake a formal discussion.
    At the same time, I think that the proposal misses the more important point, which is that the bigger the cat (both in terms of the number of pages listed in it and its place in the cat tree), the more caution that is needed. Who cares if you fix a punctuation or spelling error in a cat name if only a dozen articles are affected, no matter who created it or when they created it? But if you're talking about moving Category:People to Category:Persons, or if you want to move a cat that has a thousand pages listed in it, then I don't care what your claim to owning it might be: you need to discuss that move.
    Also, did anyone pay attention to "Any such category moves done out of process can be reverted on sight by any user"? So you move a category, a bot changes the cats in a thousand pages to match your new name, I call a WP:BURO violation on you and move it back, and the bot goes forth and re-edits the thousand pages again. And flooding everyone's watchlists twice with our little move-war—and maybe a third time, if the discussion agrees with the first move—is supposed to prevent disruption? Spinach. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:41, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
    • Your ignoring the fact that this is the process in effect today which actually works. You are also ignoring the fact that frequently 'obvious' changes get shot down when you have an open discussion. Given the number of articles potentially affected by these changes, discussion seems to be the wise on conservative choice to improve the change that we get it right the first time. Is there something to be gained by not following the established process? So far, there have been a number of reverts and probably some edit waring about this. Vegaswikian (talk) 22:57, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
      • What's written above is not the process in effect today. What's written above is carte blanche to move-war over moves that are done without jumping through the exact named bureaucratic hoops, without any regard at all to the damage this does to people's watchlists or the likely outcome of a CFD.
        I don't oppose limiting category moves in principle. I oppose the particular poorly written set of restrictions listed above, which focus on trivia (like preventing even admins from correcting typos: under this rule, a cat that qualifies for speedy deletion under WP:C2A because of a capitalization error may not be moved by an admin without a weeklong discussion at CFD. The admin may only "summarily delete" such cats Does that seem smart to you?) and ignore the bigger problems with category moves, like damaging the cat tree or repeatedly flooding people's watchlists. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:28, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
whatamidoing you are misunderstanding the state of things. Admins can delete cats that qualify for speedy deletion, not speedy renaming. They aren't the same criteria! Speedy deletion is for obvious BLP violations, patent nonsense, or empty categories, etc. Speedy renames are for several reasons - capitalizations, consistency, etc. and yes, our admins dutifully submit such renames to the CFD/speedy process, it's not a week long discussion it's a 48 hour listing that basically ensures at least one other set of eyes. As pointed out sometimes what may be obvious to one admin isn't so obvious, if it's contested it goes to a full discussion at CFD. I've seen, and even proposed, a number of seemingly simple fixes - eg capitalization, spelling, that were opposed and resisted and never ended up meeting consensus. The CFD process works right now, and I fear you misunderstand it hence your opposition. Finally you call it 'move war', this is not move war, this is simple BRD - reversion of undiscussed moves. I don't see editors doing this out of spite and reverting a category back to an obviously misspelled name in bad faith would be pointy, and I doubt anyone could defend themselves by saying 'but the rules!' An in any case, the same rules apply to undiscussed page moves, which can be reverted on sight by any editor. And stop worrying about watchlists or 'damaging' the category tree, what are you talking about? It's highly unlikely that someone would create a new category, add it to a thousand pages, and then decide to move it 6 months later to a name that was so wrong that someone else would decide to revert said move, leading to 1000 pages being changed on watchlists twice. A far more common outcome would be for someone to move a category, and for someone else to immediately (or shortly thereafter) revert, which wouldn't even leave time for the articles to be moved by the bot, thus no pings to the watchlists.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 03:00, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I like the fact that the history can be kept, but I don't think there was anything wrong with the process. Since even the bots had to handle the category moves, all this functionality should do is now allow the histories to remain intact - but its the bots that should perform the move following the CfD or speedy process. I suppose admins can be given this right but moving categories also involves moving all the individual pages within it, which is not handled automatically on a straight move. Whoever moves a category should be held responsible for changing the category in all the articles placed in it, too.
    • Scenario 1: I create a category with a misspelling and added a number of articles to it. I discover the misspelling almost immediately. This can taken to CfD-speedy but there's really no category history to maintain, so I should also be allowed to simply recreate the category with the correct spelling and fix the individual articles (which would have to be done anyway on a manual "move" of the category, so there is no saving of "labor" by an editor) It is just as simple to have the editor recreate the category in this case and blank the previous one ({{db-catempty}} or {{db-author}} can be applied}}).
    • Scenario 2: I come across a category that's existed for a while but has a not-so-common misspelling. No one has caught it before or it has just been left to survive as is. Other parent categories have been added or removed, descriptions changed, etc., so it has a significant history. If I've just come across this, should I simply be able to just move it? What if there are hundreds of articles within it? What if the entire category tree has the same similar mistake that I'm not paying attention to (a "drive by" move, say)? Maybe what I think is obviously incorrect is actually the way it's supposed to be. Either way, the process in place needs to be followed, and an editor shouldn't be allowed to move it on their own. Through process, the bot will handle the change and the history will stay intact upon being moved. --StarcheerspeaksnewslostwarsTalk to me 15:21, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Hi Star. Yes, one purpose of the above is actually to explicitly add permissions for users to do moves like scenario 1. Yes you could also recreate and delete and reapply, but if you had already tagged a number of articles you could just move it and then the bot would handle the rest once the redirect was in place. And I agree, on scenario 2, you need more than your set of eyes - that's what CFD/Speedy and CFD are for.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:40, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the response. I will support. Already dealing with an out-of-process mess by the move of Category:Led Zeppelin songs to Category:Led Zeppelin songs and instrumentals. I hope something gets done here because this is going to cause a lot of headaches. --StarcheerspeaksnewslostwarsTalk to me 04:33, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Fixed that Led Zeppelin one for you, Starcheer. Wow, what a perfect example of the havoc that can result from well-intentioned but ultimately non-consensus-based category moves! Good Ol’factory (talk) 10:23, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. Seems reasonable, and reflects previous consensus on the related issues. Good Ol’factory (talk) 21:58, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Category suggestion

Couldn't find where to suggest a new category, but after looking at stuff like Motorways in London, Transport in Staffordshire, and Constituent roads of European route E30, I think we need a category for Roads with a reversible lane. As seen in the article, there are many roads all around the world, as well as bridges, tunnels, etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:37, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

I think you should try Wikipedia:Article wizard/Category - it gives you a way t make a precise request for what you want, and allow users to review it. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 07:40, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Change proposals to WP:COP#N relating to WP:DEFINING

WP:COP#N is that part of the Wikipedia:Categorization of people guideline that talks about categorizing biographies along lines of notability and definingness.

Several changes to this part of the WP:COP guideline have been proposed. Input welcome!

Please discuss at Wikipedia talk:Categorization of people#Proposed language change to WP:COP#N

--Francis Schonken (talk) 06:36, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Categorization advice

I've recently started adding the Category:Fungus genera to relevant articles. As there are many 1000s of genera, this cat will soon become unwieldy, so I'd like to make it more manageable by make fungus genera categories specific for each fungus order. Should the parent cat of Category:Agaricales genera by Category:Agaricales or Category:Fungus genera? Would like some advice on how best to organize this before I start making 100s of changes. Sasata (talk) 19:11, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Biology categorization is usually based on biological taxonomy systems - I'd suggest bringing the discussion to a WikiProject about biology or similar, then if there are questions once you've developed an approach, bring them here for broader categorization advice.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 20:12, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Exceptions to the rule that members of subcategories should always fit into the supercategories they inherit

@Hyacinth and Obiwankenobi: I'm afraid I don't understand this edit summary. Under what circumstances should a page belonging in category X be allowed not to fit into the supercategories of X? Lacking any further information, I would understand this as a sign that the subcategory has not been properly categorized. Frankly, I'm baffled. Paradoctor (talk) 20:05, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Categories aren't really like mathematical sets. for example, Bibliothèque municipale de Nancy is in Category:Buildings_and_structures_in_Nancy,_France which is in Category:Buildings_and_structures_in_France_by_city which is in Category:Cities_in_France. But the Biblotheque is clearly not a city in France. This sort of inconsistency abounds here. Generally we try to keep it clean one level up, but even that isn't always possible - there are sometimes entries in the subcategory that wouldn't really perfectly fairly fit in the parent - this is the case for example all across the Category:Ireland tree, where many items have dual parenting of UK and Ireland (due to the complex nature of the politics there). Thus, it's much better to leave that flexibility in, and leave people's judgement to decide when adding a super category that supports 99% of the content is reasonable, or not.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 20:15, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

If we were to treat categorization as an exact tree-like hierarchy (like a phylogenetic tree) instead of a network of relationships, it would be impossible to have a single integrated category system because the whole universe of topics just don't relate in that way, and we'd just have a lot of confused readers who couldn't find the articles they were looking for. The purposes of grouping related articles and aiding reader navigation trump any strict classification. I've never encountered anyone honestly confused about whether the Eiffel Tower is a member state of the EU despite its placement deep down in that structure (Eiffel Tower -> Cat:Landmarks in France -> Cat:Visitor attractions in France -> Cat:Economy of France -> Cat:France -> Cat:Member states of the European Union), though there has been the occasional editor who nevertheless complains that this violates some kind of conceptual consistency that ultimately has no relevance or practical value in this context. postdlf (talk) 20:46, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

The examples you two gave are not examples of exceptions to the rule. Starting with Cities in France and Tourism in France, we have topic categories, so in both cases the articles actually belong into all their own supercategories in their own right. Could it be that, until now, you guys have not really understood the category system? ;) Paradoctor (talk) 20:59, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm in full agreement with Postdlf. We should be serving our readers first and foremost – I believe the conceptual relationship model is more intuitive than an exclusive hierarchy one . That arrangement would mean something like Category:Men would need to include all the categories in the "men by X" subcats in order to make the hierarchy work. On top of that everything from men's health, culture, given names etc would be out as the contents of those categories are not instances of men. SFB 21:02, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Did you read my above reply? What you said has no relation to what I said. If the exceptions alluded to in the guideline are the same kind as presented here, then they are no exception, and the parenthetical remark should be removed. If they are about something else, I'd like to know, because I can't come up with anything that might make sense. Paradoctor (talk) 21:21, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
"Under what circumstances should a page belonging in category X be allowed not to fit into the supercategories of X?"
There are a great many. Mediawiki categories are navigational, not defining. They just don't define exact membership criteria. It's simplistic and wrong to act as if they do.
As one of the most obvious examples, membership implied of a supercategory is associated with both the category (this category is a member of supercat) and also its members (all members of this category are implicitly transitive members of this supercategory). It's sometimes the case that the first is ordinal and clearly defined, the latter is much more vague. As a trivial example, Brunel is a Civil engineers of England, Bridges of Brunel are a sub cat of Brunel, but bridges aren't themselves civil engineers. Andy Dingley (talk) 22:07, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Seriously, I'm getting the impression I passed through a couple of mirrors back there. Category:Bridges of Isambard Kingdom Brunel is not a subcategory of the non-existant Civil engineers of England. It is a subcategory of category:Engineering, but that is correct, as that is topic category, and bridges are clearly an engineering subtopic.
Now, to make it unmistakeably clear: I am aware of the distinction between set categories, topic categories, and set-topic categories. All examples given here so far of alleged "inconsistent" categorizations are, in fact, entirely in accord with the guideline, and are not "exceptions" to the rule. Paradoctor (talk) 23:00, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Could this be resolved by changing a definite article to an indefinite, that is to say a page in cat X should belong to some parent of X? Bridges of Brunel would also be categorized under Bridges, Man-made structures, & so on, likewise Bibliothèque de Nancy under Libraries as well as Europe. It’s pretty much a given that where ‘orthogonal’ trees intersect, not all the branches will represent hierarchical relations. From another angle, geographical cats can be conceived as having a special kind of relation with the people and things they contain, and likewise personal cats with their works & activities; unfortunately the software gives us only one kind of cat to work with, so semantic & structural differences have to be established through practice.
What would be more interesting to me is an example of a (fairly low-level) cat whose members fit none of its supercategories.—Odysseus1479 23:22, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
I would settle for an example where at least one supercategory does not fit. All examples given so far (library, Eiffel tower, Brunel) do not constitute a problem. They all fit into all their supercategories. What we need is an example of a page that is correctly categorized into some category, but does not actually belong into one of the inherited categories. The problem at hand has nothing to do with hierarchies or orthogonality, and I said nothing to that effect. Paradoctor (talk) 00:08, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
I‘ve been interpreting “supercategories“ and “inheritance” to include all the nodes on the way to the root, not just the level immediately above the cat of interest—as ISTM others commenting here have done as well. If that’s not what they mean, I’m quite at a loss as to the purpose of the guideline in question to start with.—Odysseus1479 00:25, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
I interpret it the same, and though I can't speak for the others, they seem to do so, too. And yes, the purpose of the parenthetical remark is the problem. Talking of exceptions when there appear to be none is pointless. Which was my point to begin with. Paradoctor (talk) 00:47, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
I guess I'm confused. There are exceptions - i.e. there are cases where we add a super-category to a given category, yet not ALL direct members of that starting category properly belong in the super-parent. I already gave the example of Ireland, where due to the history, Northern Ireland categories are parented by both "Ireland" and "UK" categories. Thus, Category:Barristers_from_Northern_Ireland is both Category:Irish barristers and Category:British barristers - however, technically, there are "Irish barristers", who are properly described as being from Northern Ireland, but who absolutely would not identify as British Barristers. I know @BrownHairedGirl: is busy now, but perhaps she'd like to share other examples. In general, however, we try our best to have a rough subset relationship, but as soon as you go one or two levels down, the notions of subset are lost, esp when dealing with topic categories, where things get a lot woolier.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 03:05, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
This would be the kind of miscategorized category I mentioned right at the start. Just create subcategories "Barristers from Northern Ireland who do not identify as British" and "Barristers from Northern Ireland who do identify as British", put them under "Barristers from Northern Ireland", and move the "British barristers" categorization to "Barristers from Northern Ireland who do identify as British". Problem solved, right? Paradoctor (talk) 11:51, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
you asked for an exception, one has been provided. The fact that this exception can be "fixed" by splitting all Northern Ireland categories suggests that you haven't spent much time working in that tree. Sometimes we tolerate slight inaccuracies in parenting in order to save work and keep things consistent and a bit simpler. Eponymous categories also cause similar issues - the eponymous category for Paris may contain things that wouldn't fit in the parent categories in which it finds itself.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 12:49, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
"you haven't spent much time working in that tree" That's right. Maybe I should, considering how obvious the solution is. Or are there problems with the solution I provided? If so, please let me hear them.
"save work" We're all volunteers and work exactly as much as we want to. Mistakes happen, and nobody says they have to be corrected by you personally this very instant. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be recognized as such.
"keep things consistent" How do inaccuracies keep things consistent? Please remember that categorizations have to be verifiable. Categorizing a self-identified Northern Irish barrister as British is a clear violation of WP:CAT.
"Eponymous categories" Examples please? So far, all provided examples were either not exceptions at all, or could be easily fixed by proper categorization according to the guideline. Paradoctor (talk) 13:50, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
example: Category:Measurement works nicely with its eponym, which is how {{cat main}} works.
subsets of a Partially ordered set need not include its apparent exceptions. During the process here on this talk page, it would be necessary to identify its outliers and recognize there is a larger definition in play during the discussion of category. i.e. assume good faith, please --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 18:03, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
"example" Misunderstanding, my bad. I want an example of a specific page in some eponymous category that does not belong into one of the supercategories of that category.
"assume good faith" I beg your pardon? Please tell me where you think I didn't do that. Paradoctor (talk) 22:13, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
"splitting all Northern Ireland categories" I didn't suggest that. From what I understand, this problem only relates to people of Northern Ireland, as they can choose whether to identify as Northern Irish or British. Other than that, what needs doing, needs doing, I don't see a problem with that. Paradoctor (talk) 13:55, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
"notions of subset are lost" There is no reason to believe that. The subset relation is transitive, as is the subtopic relation. The Northern Ireland example rests on a categorization mistake. I still have not seen any exception to the rule. Paradoctor (talk) 12:26, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Any way of categorization we choose will need to be explainable. Surely other people have categorized objects/subjects before, have ideas/systems/principles about how to do it, and have explained them. Hyacinth (talk) 00:57, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

This discussion is not about changing categorization in any way. I've come here to find out what the parenthetical remark in "ensure that the members of the subcategory really can be expected (with possibly a few exceptions[clarification needed]) to belong to the parent also" is supposed to refer to. I pinged you because you added the {{clarify}} tag. Paradoctor (talk) 11:51, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
The idea of creating "Barristers from Northern Ireland who do identify as British" is preposterous and distracting. Let's get to the point: an example would be that Buddhism in Costa Rica (in Category:Religion in Costa Rica) should not be in Category:Religion by country, as it is an example of one religion in one country, and not all religion in a country, which is the scope of the parent. SFB 15:13, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
Religion by country is not a set category, it is a topic category. Buddhism in Costa Rica is a subtopic of Religion by Country, so it does, in fact, belong into that category. Paradoctor (talk) 22:13, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

I agree with Obiwan's example of the barristers categories, and the suggested subdivision based on how they identify would only hinder navigation. That kind of hairsplitting and effectively triple categorization is contrary to WP:OCAT and not something that should be imposed on the category system, but something to be explained in article text, which is ultimately what anyone should be looking to for a full understanding of the subject.

Another example might be U.S. cities that extend into multiple counties. The respective county categories would then be appropriate parents for the city's eponymous category, despite the fact that most articles included in it will only be physically present or otherwise relate to only one of those counties. Depending on the city, subdividing every city subcategory further by county probably won't much sense, as this would just fragment things at the city level thus making navigation difficult, with really no added benefit except to the (hypothetical) very few who might confusedly think, merely by wrongheaded inference of the category structure, that every high school in the city is somehow present in all three counties it extends into. Again, that kind of genuine category-inspired confusion is not something I've ever actually encountered, and even if someone were confused it would be easily cleared up by a) reading the articles or b) asking a question ("Hey, does Foo High School extend into three counties just because its parent city does?" "No." "Okay, thanks.") postdlf (talk) 16:22, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

WP:OCAT does not apply, none of the criteria is satisfied. And specifically how would navigation be hindered? Most of all, why should WP:V be overridden?
"multiple counties" That is again a case of miscategorization. Any such city is never a proper subtopic of any of the county categories, so it simply doesn't belong under any of them. This is different from mono-county cities, which can safely be put under their (only) county category. Just move the county categories deeper, and the problem is solved. Let me stress that: Putting county categories above a multi-county city's category is a mistake, it violates WP:CAT. Paradoctor (talk) 22:13, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
A city that extends into multiple counties poses the same categorization issue as a country that extends into multiple continents, which is why for example Category:Russia is in both Category:Countries in Europe and Category:Countries in Asia. Are you claiming that it should be in neither, thus leaving those relationships uncategorized as if Russia was not a country in any continent? Please explain. postdlf (talk) 22:41, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing this out. Russia is not in any continent, at least not in the sense of "entire territory is a part of". That leads to St. Petersburg, a European city, being in category:Asia. Actually, there is a more direct path to an even clearer version of the same mistake: category:Cities and towns in Russia puts St. Petersburg among the category:Cities in Asia, and Vladivostok (which lies east of China) is suddenly a European city. That's about as wrong as you can get.
It appears that this kind of faulty categorization has been going on for a while. Spiffy. Paradoctor (talk) 01:00, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Paradoctor, I don't recall your name participating in previous discussions at WP:CFD, nor at discussions around this guideline. that's fine, everyone is welcome, and you are asking good and provocative questions. However, suggesting that we've all been "miscategorizing" all these years and that you have simple solutions is a bit daft. Russia being in Europe and Asia is a classic example, there's no reasonable way to solve this using our current category system unless we accept this inconsistency. I've spent a great deal of time working in categories, and I've come to accept that there are, quite simply, "exceptions" to the general principle of sub cat. I don't think there are great ways around this given the complexity of our universe, so it's better to settle for "pretty much subsets" which is what we have now.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 01:13, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
"daft" Can we please keep to discussing the subject at hand?
"simple solutions" a) Where did say I had a simple solution? b) Believe it or not, simple solutions get overlooked all the time. c) If a solution works, why would you complain about its simplicity?
"there's no reasonable way to solve this using our current category system" That would be an issue if WP:CAT was actually correctly implemented. I contend that if it was, the problem should vanish. For more, please see below. Paradoctor (talk) 19:06, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
+1 on what Obiwankenobi said above. I agree that in many cases, we have to simply settle for a system where things work "pretty much", but not always precisely. From my view, accepting this is better than the alternatives. Good Ol’factory (talk) 01:33, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
-1 on your +1 Paradoctor (talk) 19:06, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I think anyone who reads this thread understands your position. This was my first comment in the thread, and I'm entitled to make a comment, and I'm not sure it's too helpful to reply to my comment with a statement that amounts to nothing more than a statement that you disagree, since that was already clear in your previous comments. Good Ol’factory (talk) 21:40, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
I think at this point we should just direct Paradoctor to go back and reread our first replies to his original post and call it a day, as our comments from the start were directed at exactly this type of rigid and impractical interpretation of our clumsy though useful category system, an interpretation that is in any event counterfactual in the specifics (Russia is, in fact, a country in both continents) and disregarding of both the plain language and clear consensus-supported intent of category names ("in" ≠ "exclusively in"). The fact that Category:Russia has been categorized as both a European and an Asian country since the category's creation ten years ago should tell you something about what is considered "miscategorization" here. So good day, sir or madam, as the case may be, and I hope you may learn something from what everyone else has said here once you've had time to reflect upon it. postdlf (talk) 01:40, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
"rigid and impractical" Considering the information at Continent#Number of continents, I wonder why a) Eurasia gets so few mentions, b) whether the insistence to categorize Russia under Europe and Asia instead is not called "rigid and impractical".
"in" I disagree.
"The fact" It's not exactly a revelation that some mistakes take longer than others to die. We have a long, venerable tradition of releasing greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Not a reason not to stop.
"sir or madam" You may address me as "Sir" or "Your Lordship", I'm not picky. Paradoctor (talk) 19:06, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

To be continued

As this discussion has branched into issues not directly about the guideline itself, I will see if I can't get some clarity about the facts involved before we continue here. Anyone interested is invited to head over to

I will extend the list as the story unfolds. Paradoctor (talk) 19:06, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

We have clarity; everyone disagreed with you. That you still consider yourself correct and everyone else wrong is really uninteresting at this point. I started a discussion about your Russia recategorization at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Russia#Recategorization of Category:Cities and towns in Russia, as that's really outside the scope of this page outside of it being a mere example in the discussion here. I strongly suggest you wait to see the outcome of this before you make any other such changes. postdlf (talk) 19:43, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Having acquired some additional detachment, I see that the situation might benefit from additional information pertaining to postdlf's inquiry about my intentions (not "intent", which has connotations I don't particularly like).
From the discussion so far, a few things became clear to me.
  1. There is a serious discrepancy between WP:CAT and its implementation. This means that at least one of them needs to be changed to reflect the other.
  2. If I'm right, the problem has been here for a long time, and very probably exists not just in the Northern Irish, Russian and American categories.
  3. If I'm right, a lot of people will have to be convinced to change their categorization habits.
  4. While I think the potential solutions to the issues at hand would be rather straightforward, and judging from the reactions so far, either I'm smarter or wronger than I thought.
  5. It is possible that, even if I'm right, there could be enough resistance to prevent fixing the problem.
Since I am not a a masochist, I won't pursue this matter if the latter should turn out to be true. For this reason, I have started with a clear-cut case. I'll decide how to go on depending on the outcome of that one. Paradoctor (talk) 10:39, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

Article categories on Draft pages

I currently run a bot task that comments out article categories from user pages per WP:USERNOCAT. I would be happy to do the same for pages in the new Draft namespace. However, I don't see anything in this guideline that states article categories should not be added to pages in the Draft namespace. Should something be added to this guideline for the Draft namespace? Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 13:37, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Would adding something like including pages in the draft namespace be sufficient? Vegaswikian (talk) 16:49, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Is there any reason to "comment out categories" rather than insert the initial colon ([[:Cat...)? Offhand I suppose it's easier for both humans and robots to perceive the latter when a page is moved to article space without category restoration. --P64 (talk) 17:25, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Unsure. Using the colon leaves the category visible in the article text, using a hidden comment hides it unless you edit the article. Vegaswikian (talk) 18:10, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
I remember reading that articles in draft namespace remain unacknowledged to the category system. Yes, confirmed, no categories. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 22:07, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
yes, only article space articles should be in article-space categories. I think commenting out is simply easier to do, and undo, than doing the whole colon trick. But if someone has already used the colons, I see no reason to change it to be commented out.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 13:13, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
@Vegaswikian: I added your suggestion to WP:USERNOCAT, but think it should eventually be expanded into its own section. Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 13:08, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
On second thought, I just went ahead and created a Draft pages section. If there are any types of categories that are acceptable on draft pages, some examples could be added to this section. Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 13:14, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
I just submitted Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/BattyBot 33 to remove article categories from pages in the Draft namespace by inserting the initial colon as P64 suggested. GoingBatty (talk) 02:05, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Categorization#Template categorization

I'd like to challenge that. Those clicking the category link who are not editing would not be inconvenienced. Those clicking the category link who are improving the encyclopedia would find this imporant to be there. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 06:01, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

If you are suggesting that templates (and possibly, by extension, other bits of wp "plumbing") be placed under Category:Articles then I oppose. There are other ways for an editor to find a template - e.g. from an article, from a template category or from a (talk page) wikiproject category. DexDor (talk)
Hmmmmm, "other ways...from an article", that's a good point, and "plumbing", good point again -- why clog the cat with non-article hairballs. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 06:43, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
There's also a couple of other reasons: If templates were allowed under Category:Articles then it'd be less easy to spot templates that aren't categorized (correctly) under Category:Wikipedia templates and we'd get more categories appearing at CFD that contain just one article (usually an eponymous bio) and a corresponding template. DexDor (talk) 19:16, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Proposed change

I'd like to propose a change to align this guideline with actual practice in categorization wrt 'defining'. This would be added to the section on defining after the italian painter example.

Proposed addition:

A category embodies one or more defining characteristics. In the case of intersection categories (e.g. Category:Indian women journalists or Category:Defunct prisons in Paris), there is no requirement that sources commonly discuss the subject in terms of the full intersection of characteristics - it is sufficient that sources can be found to verify each of the defining characteristics independently (e.g. Indian and woman and journalist or prison and in Paris and defunct)
One exception to this rule are categories that intersect religious or social/political stances with occupations - generally, we should not classify people based on the intersection of views + occupation unless that particular intersection is defining for their work. For example, a writer who was raised as a Roman catholic would not necessarily be placed in Category:Roman Catholic writers unless sources demonstrate that the intersection itself is defining for that person; similarly, a person who simply self-identifies as a feminist and who also happens to be an artist should not be added to Category:Feminist artists unless that intersection can be shown to be defining.

Thoughts? --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 15:37, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

I suggest that we strongly deprecate "multi-part categories" where the individual categories involved have no obvious direct linkage at all. This would be substantially broader than your religious exclusion by a great deal -
Categories should present sets of articles which are closely related to each element of such categories in a clearly related manner. In many cases, categories will thus be limited to a single well-defined term, allowing readers to look for articles fitting multiple categories rather than looking for a single category with multiple terms. If the article does not clearly relate the multiple terms to the subject of the article, the category ought not be used.
I think this fairly represents my opinion about the excessive compartmentalization found in too many current categories ("Nineteenth century women English writers specializing in anthropology" would be an excessively detailed category when the separate single term categories can be easily searched for.) Collect (talk) 16:03, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree that excessive intersects should be deleted, but a number of such categories have been kept by broad consensus - American women novelists being a famous example. Given that, do we really want to limit membership in that category to those who are commonly introduced as 'American women novelists' and remove all who are not introduced in that way? Some people have interpreted defining in this way. I think defining should apply to individual characteristics, but if the intersection of LGBT + politician is considered to be a separate subject of study, then all people who are both known politicians and known to be LGBT should be in that category - the same applies for ethnicity and gender. --Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 17:07, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Many of the categories are grandfathered in a sense - but that does not mean we ought not deprecate further such categories, IMO. Anyone wishing to find LGBT politicians should reasonably be expected to be able to search for "+LGBT +politician" IMO. Right now Wikipedia has a nearly astronomical number of categories and subcategories which, AFAICT, are exceedingly rarely searched for, and only clicked on "because they exist for an article", and not as a result of seeking the category out per se. Collect (talk) 18:02, 13 July 2014 (UTC) .
I'm a believer in incremental improvement. Category intersection has been discussed for 8 years and I've even done some work on it with Magnus Manske - see my user page for detail. But I think it's off topic here - pending that, which may still be a long way away, how should such intersections be populated, if it is agreed the category should be kept. We have many thousands of these categories, and while some are put up for deletion many survive. For those that do survive, should we fill them up or only fill them when the intersection itself can be proven defining for each individual bio. I note that if we do that we would remove hundreds or thousands of biographies for cats they're currently in since we wouldn't be able to demonstrate 'defining' for most individual biographies - for example the LGBT cats would be emptied of ~80% of their contents if we required that LGBT + job be defining for every single person in those categories.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 18:13, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
The problem with limiting inclusion to intersection categories to only those "known for" the intersection is that it then makes the categorization difficult to predict and further fragments the organization of articles. Every article that fits in a category according to its plain meaning should go in it. Otherwise, we are excluding articles on the basis of subjective judgments as to the intersection's importance to that subject as an intersection. Some LGBT politicans would be in a "LGBT politicians" category, others not, and there would be no clear reason for the separation apparent from the category itself. I had long ago opposed demographic (ethnicity, religion, sex) categories entirely, particularly when those traits are intersected with occupations, in favor of limiting them to lists that can be annotated to show the importance for that individual of being a Korean-American wrestler or whatever. But I lost that argument about a decade ago and consensus has repeatedly supported keeping at least some such categories, at least where the intersection could be shown to be notable or significant as a whole even if it wasn't for every literally every qualifying individual. postdlf (talk) 18:20, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
The world has changed in ten years - as has Wikipedia. We no longer proudly import EB articles from 1911 either <g>. Ten years ago, "bilateral relations of country a and country b" would likely have been kept. Now we are more discriminating. Collect (talk) 20:54, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Then get some changed results at CFD to show it. I don't think you'll succeed. postdlf (talk) 22:53, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for broadening the wording. Might

Categories use 'defining characteristics'. Complex categories require that each characteristic be sourced for members of the category. A wooden prison in France is easily in a category of "French prisons made of wood". In biographies, a mix of religious, social or political stances with occupations should be avoided unless sourced as important to that person. A person who is English, a Labour supporter, Methodist and a writer is not in "English Methodist writers who are Labour supporters" without a source for the combination.

be satisfactory? Reading Ease is finally up to 36 (up from 22) which is not great, but this sort of stuff generally is tricky to simplify too much (down almost a hundred words). Collect (talk) 15:21, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

I think you're still confusing the standard for creating and keeping a category with the standard for including an article in a category. We would not keep a conglomerate category like "English Methodist writers who are Labour supporters" unless sources show that this specific intersection is generally relevant or significant, or that it's of a kind of intersection that has been shown to be meaningful for the subject (e.g., if sources support "Scottish Methodist writers who are Labour supporters" and "Welsh Methodist writers who are Labour supporters", then "English Methodist writers who are Labour supporters" makes sense). We would then not second-guess whether a particular article belongs in that category if the individual components of the category are all verifiable for that subject. postdlf (talk) 16:00, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes. I think it's a general confusion - in what ways does DEFINING refer to whether a category should exist "at all", and in what ways does it refer to when we can place contents within? For example, we regularly divide articles by geography, even if such geographical intersections can't be proven to be defining - they are used to split the size of large categories, and are almost always accepted without issue.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:07, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
My understanding is that it refers to whether a category should exist at all. This is how it is almost always used in practice, and it is the only practical way to interpret it. A U.S. President should be in the category for lawyers if they ever practiced law or in the category for soldiers if they served in the army, even though they are "defined" as a U.S. President and likely would not have achieved notability because of that earlier career. And I see that, for example, Barack Obama, a FA, is in the appropriate lawyer categories. postdlf (talk) 16:27, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
But an actor who worked as a waiter would not be in Category:Restaurant staff. So we do tend to apply a quasi-version of the DEFINING test to occupations; in the same way, not every writer who once wrote a poem is a poet. My suggested change above, however, is different - I'm suggesting "If the person is in Category:American poets, and they come publically as gay, they can be put in Category:LGBT poets."--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 16:38, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Anent the hypothetical example given - we do not have 'Category:Presbyterian US Presidents' which is what is dealt with here. Last I checked, "lawyer" is neither a religion, nor social or political stance. Anent the "but absurd categories already exist" is pure WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS and does not affect this suggested wording. Cheers. Collect (talk) 17:01, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

(mainly a reply to Obiwan) I think there's kind of a general issue of "how much do you need to do Foo before you are a Fooer?" That's far short of reaching "defining", however. For some occupations or positions, you either are or you aren't that thing for however long you're doing it (you either are or aren't admitted to the bar and have clients, you either are or you aren't sworn in as a congressman even if you die in office the next day). For other occupations, their main activity coincides with what are merely hobbies for many people (such as painting, basketball playing, etc.), or there are different levels to the job such that some people do it as a purely part-time gig during college while for others it's a career (such as restaurant work). The latter are trickier. Though I've seen even "lawyer" given as an example for the "he's not defined as that, so don't categorize him as that" way of thinking. postdlf (talk) 17:35, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, but there are certainly business people who have law degrees, may have practiced law for a year, but we don't call them lawyers. So there is a threshhold for occupations, and WP:DEFINING is as close as we have for now, but it's a bit stringent and in practice we're a bit more flexible than DEFINING itself.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 17:45, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I think we're falling into the defining/notability trap yet again. An actor's part-time job as a waiter has little to no bearing on what defines them (their acting work). Obama's work as a lawyer has clearly defined both his life and career path. The reality on the ground is that intersections of all attributes are fine with the exceptions of those noted at Wikipedia:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality. For this proposal I do think we need to divide up the ideas of (a) when a category should exist, and (b) when an article should have a category. Defining the first element clearly helps with defining the second. I don't think the above proposals have captured current practice well. Personally, I would think it a good idea if all EGRS categories were non-diffusing of the parent category without the EGRS attribute, but I know that is not current practice (yet?). SFB 17:49, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, all EGRS categories are supposed to be non-diffusing of the parent without said attribute. I agree on Obama. It sounds like you're suggesting refining the whole DEFINING guideline? My changes above are just to say, given DEFINING, do we need each intersection to be DEFINING, or is it sufficient to have each attribute be defining. Thus, if Obama is going to be in the lawyer category, can we put him in Category:African-American lawyers, or do we need to do a separate search of sources to confirm that?--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 18:49, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Obiwan: it's not a law degree that makes you a lawyer, it's being admitted to the bar. And we would require that they actually represent clients at some point, i.e., practiced law (even if that client is the government or in house counsel to a corporation). Beyond that, it's not up to us to decide someone wasn't "really" a lawyer because they didn't do it for a long enough time. That's not a hair the categories should be splitting. At least not with professional categories, which because of the education and licensing involved if nothing else, shouldn't be treated like food service categories even if it proves only a temporary career over the course of a lifetime. postdlf (talk) 18:11, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I see your point. But Jerry_Springer for example practiced law, but isn't categorized as a lawyer. I think it is reasonable to assume there will be people who have law degrees and who practiced law but who would not ever be categorized as "lawyers". Anyway, it's getting a bit off-topic from the original proposal, which was more around the intersections, not the jobs themselves.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 18:53, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
IMO the most practical (and useful) way to decide whether to categorize someone by jobs other than what they are best known for is to consider whether that job would/could make the person pass WP:NOTABILITY. E.g. Ronald Reagan is notable as an actor (and hence belongs in both actor and politician categories), but Clint Eastwood is not notable as a grocery clerk. DexDor (talk) 19:35, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) "Is" does not imply "ought". And people who have worn a lot of hats will inevitably get a lot of categories.

On the intersections, we should look to sources covering the intersection (or that type of intersection) as an intersection before we create a category. That's how we guarantee that the category will be meaningful for at least the balance of applicable articles. Then once the category is created, then we simply need to verify each individual component of the intersection for each article subject. postdlf (talk) 19:38, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

DexDor, that's not the practice nor is that a workable standard. People are notable because sources write about them, not because they necessarily accomplish certain things. And splitting categories based on "why" people merit articles would just make categories unpredictable and incomplete. Someone who spent twenty years as a low profile lawyer, never making it into the news, but then got elected to Congress, would have the lawyer category omitted despite that being a significant part of their biography because it wasn't "why" they are notable. And no one is notable for being born in a certain year, for being alumni of a certain school, or being from a certain place; however, like occupation, these are standard categories for articles about people. postdlf (talk) 20:26, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't think lawyers need a special pass here. An actor who worked as a singing waiter for 15 years before his big break would still not be categorized as Category:Restaurant staff in most cases. Occupation is the quintessential case for WP:DEFINING, though it must be admitted the standard is lesser than what WP:DEFINING currently says - but it's not "If you had a job, you get that category".--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 21:18, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
From WP:DEFINING: "Definingness is the test that is used to determine if a category should be created for a particular attribute of a topic." It's a standard hashed out from a series of CFDs, not from category inclusion discussions on article talk pages. "In disputed cases, the categories for discussion process may be used to determine whether a particular characteristic is defining or not." Again, it's for deciding whether to create or delete entire categories. There's simply no basis for using it beyond that, as you are trying to do, to limit category inclusion beyond the plain meaning and definition of the category itself.[9] If someone who went to law school, passed the bar, and worked at a law firm for several years is not a "lawyer", then we have a fundamental disconnect here. There is no "People most known for being a[n]..." implied at the beginning of all occupation categories. It seems like you're instead trying to use a rule for resolving harder cases to decide the truly easier ones, and it's especially perplexing because as my earlier comment should show you have my basic agreement that there are some harder occupations that shouldn't be taken as literally. So we should focus on those rather than waste time by making every occupation category contentious. postdlf (talk) 21:39, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I have always taken occupation categories to be based on the DEFINING standard, regardless of what is written this is how it is used. This is what DEFINING says: "One of the central goals of the categorization system is to categorize articles by their defining characteristics." - so defining is not just about existence of categories, it also (sometimes) applies to contents. Now, I take issue with the current language, since I think there are exceptions to this, and we certainly go BEYOND only categorizing things by their defining characteristics. However, to limit category clutter, I think we should limit which verifiable occupations/jobs we actually categorize by. If someone did a job for 10 years that is NEVER mentioned in any RS about them, save their own autobiography of what happened before they became famous, and if that job is not listed in the lede of their article, that is the very definition of not-defining in my book.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 21:53, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Re "that's not the practice" response to my comment above. For occupation (I'm not talking about date-of-birth/death etc) categorizing by whether the person has achieved notability in that field is the current "rule" (see for example the text at Category:People by occupation which links to WP:Notability) and is generally followed in practice. Thus, Category:Actors is for anyone who is a notable actor (i.e. sources write about them as an actor) whether or not they are also notable for something else. Category:Flight attendants is for articles about people who achieved notability as a flight attendent, not for ex (non-notable) flight attendents who later achieved notability as model/actor/politician etc (of which there are probably hundreds). P.S. I agree that "most known for" is not the way to use these categories - e.g. if someone is notable as a sportsperson they shouldn't have that category removed from them by later becoming better known as a TV presenter. DexDor (talk) 22:06, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Obiwan: What you take it to be and what it is are not necessarily the same thing, particularly given that the sentence you quote is stated as the purpose behind subjecting category creation and retention to DEFINING, as is clear from what I quoted (not that wikilawyering this is at all constructive). And whether something is listed in the lede at any given time certainly doesn't determine what that article can or should be categorized by. If an article doesn't even mention a fact, then it should simply not be categorized by that fact. If a fact proves unverifiable for a particular subject, then the article also, obviously, should not be categorized by that fact. I think you agree with those simple statements. But an article should be categorized by any applicable and verifiable fact for which a category exists, with applicability determined by the plain meaning of the category name and the stated category description (to the extent that may attempt to add qualifiers to the category name). You seem to acknowledge that you are pushing for a narrower standard than that, rather than claiming that your preference is the standard and somehow supported by consensus. The additional criteria you are trying to impose on a wide swath of categories is and never has been supported by the names of the categories, their category description pages, or editor practice for those categories, let alone clear guideline language. Again, you're really shooting yourself in the foot over this if your real concern is the difficult categories, which can be dealt with in part through appropriate category descriptions. Otherwise you're just going to generate across the board opposition.

DexDor: Given that the container category Category:People by occupation lists "hobbies" as one of the things to categorize people by in its subcategories, I don't think you want to give too much weight to its description page, whatever the origins of that language. It certainly doesn't somehow dictate inclusion criteria for every subcategory. And as notability is a standard for including articles on Wikipedia, not for including information in articles on Wikipedia, it's not a meaningful modifier there. postdlf (talk) 22:28, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

We are a tad afield - no one is proposing that simple categories be eliminated at all. The issue is whether sexual orientation, political, social or religious attributes should be used in categorizing people where the combination of such attributes is not noted in reliable sources. At WP:BLP the discussion has already resulted in a requirement that ethnic (national), gender identity, and religious orientations must be based on self-identification and the extension here is to political beliefs as that is close in nature to the others with regard to self-identification. We ought not describe a person as a "Gnarphist" (for example) sans strong sourcing, and the best sourcing for beliefs in general is self-identification. Is there a problem in that part? Collect (talk) 22:40, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

actually there are several issues at play here.
  1. what is the test to determine whether a given, verifiable occupation category can be added to a bio. There seems some debate on this matter. On the one hand, we agree that not all actors who once worked as waiters should be in the waiters cat. On the other hand, we don't want to only categorize by the person's most famous job. The answe lies in between.
  2. given that a person is properly categorized as occupation X and happens to be African American or gay or female, and African-American X exists as a category, can we stick them in that intersection category without further research or evidence? Note: this would also apply to things like defunct prison in Paris, so it's not only about bios.
  3. Collect, you are questioning the very existence of such categories - in that case the proper forum is WP:EGRS to tighten criteria for creation, or CFD to establish that many more of these should be deleted.
Would y'all mind if we focused on #2 which is the question I started with? Note just to be clear, my proposed language which clearly needs work refers to categorization of articles in categories that already exist, not whether a given category should/could be created.Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 23:07, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
To focus on #2, the location of a physical thing is always meaningful, so I wouldn't class "X in Fooland" as the same kind of intersection category as the biographical intersections, which basically pose issues unique to that context. postdlf (talk) 23:47, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
there are intersections other than biographical which have these complexities. For example Category:Asian-American literature - should this include all authors who are asian American or only those for whom their literature is DEFINED as asian-American literature? I'm sure there are other examples in our massive tree beyond biographies and geographical intersections - the question is now much if the intersection itself must be discussed re: the subject in order for the subject to be so-classified?--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 11:05, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
But not all "intersections" are the same. Most intersected facts retain a literal meaning. Category:Bridges on the National Register of Historic Places in New York City includes articles on bridges that are on the National Register of Historic Places in New York City. Period. The meaning or scope of the individual terms does not change just because they've been joined in a phrase.

It is only sometimes that combined facts represent a term of art that is narrower than the literal meaning. This is then dealt with by an appropriate category description. If "Asian-American literature" is a term of art describing a recognized and notable genre or body of work rather than simply any literature that happens to have been written by Asian-Americans, then the category description should define what is meant by it and link to the corresponding parent article. Just like Category:Modern art is not simply for "art that is modern", but rather refers to a particular period of art history. This is made clear by the category description page, which gives a definition and links to the parent article, Modern art. I don't know that we'd ever have a category based on a term of art that was not notable such that there wasn't a parent article.

Because it's the term of art exceptions that need special, individualized treatment, there is no possible abstract rule that would appropriately determine inclusion in all such "intersection" categories nor should there be. Unless it's just the default rule: "Category names are not presumed to represent terms of art unless specified as such. Otherwise, category names should be taken by their literal and plain meaning and an article should be included so long as the fact or facts the category represents are verifiable, whether together or independently." But that's general practice now, and I'm not aware of any mass confusion on that point such that further clarification is necessary. postdlf (talk) 16:16, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose — Obi's proposition would add unneccesary complexity to the categorization guideline. It would also implicitly change the guidance of WP:DEFINING:
    • Not possible to change one guideline by discussion on the talk page of another guideline without proper notification. See also WT:OVERCAT#RfC on WP:DEFINING categorization guideline which shows a no consensus on such changes thus far.
    • Would make the guidance of WP:DEFINING unnecessarily complex
    • Obi's proposal uses the terminology defining in the first sentence, without properly referencing to the existing guideline on the topic, the result would be two *contradicting* guidelines on "defining" for categories/categorization which may confuse editors, or at least result in incoherent editing depending on which of the two guidelines a non-suspecting editor encounters first. --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:51, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Francis, this addition would be placed here, on this page, on this guideline, which already defines 'defining'. As far as I know defining is covered in two spots - here and in the overcategorization guideline. As this is the main policy page, we should fix it here first.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 10:41, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
@Obiwankenobi - you really don't get the "proper notification" thing do you? --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:48, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Re. "this guideline ... already defines 'defining'" — indeed. I created the WP:CATDEF shortcut using an anchor that was already present at the spot, and added a shortcut template there.
That being done, I see even less reason to change the content of the guideline(s) w.r.t. defining. --Francis Schonken (talk) 05:19, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Question regarding WP:DUPCAT implementation

There are 93 villages in Alberta. All are within Category:Villages in Alberta. One village, Stirling, Alberta, is listed twice – once as a page in the category, and another as a subcategory (Category:Stirling, Alberta). Is this the correct implementation of WP:DUPCAT?
If so, should all 17 cities in Alberta at Category:Cities in Alberta also be duplicated as both pages in the category and subcategories?
Note that both of the villages and cities categories are at the same level in the category tree under Category:Urban municipalities in Alberta. I'm trying to achieve consistency in among all categories.
Thanks in advance. Hwy43 (talk) 07:59, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

WP:EPON (just below WP:DUPCAT) says "Articles with an eponymous category may also be categorized in the broader categories that would be present if there were no eponymous category" so this looks OK, although I'm not sure that all the articles in Category:Stirling, Alberta really belong in that category (and hence whether that category is needed). Where some places have an eponymous category and some don't then those articles that have a corresponding eponymous category will have an extra category tag. DexDor (talk) 08:13, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
DUPCAT is not relevant to the issue that you raise; it's instead about when articles should be categorized by both a category and its subcategory. Anyway, it's not "duplication" for an article and its eponymous category to be in the same category, and category pages display articles and categories separately. The category represents the same topic as the article and so should have the same relationships. In other words, a reader should be able to browse from either Stirling, Alberta or Category:Stirling, Alberta to other villages in Alberta. A reader should also be able to see which villages in Alberta have a lot of related content, as seeing the village-specific categories in Category:Villages in Alberta will show. The primary function of categories is to group related articles so as to aid navigation. postdlf (talk) 17:50, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
The issue with having the category there is that there is a category tree "Villages in..." which should only contain villages. These eponymous categories put people, events, buildings, etc. into the category tree "Villages in..." This is an area which I believe does not have a consensus solution, but in many cases editors have successfully changed the category tree to avoid this issue. All the best: Rich Farmbrough19:51, 12 August 2014 (UTC).
Thank you DexDor, Postdlf and Rich Farmbrough. It seems then that adding Category:Cities in Alberta to the pages of Alberta's 17 cities would therefore be appropriate. Please confirm if I am interpreting this correctly. Cheers, Hwy43 (talk) 19:57, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
To the articles, yes absolutely. All the best: Rich Farmbrough19:58, 12 August 2014 (UTC).

Create a BOT to alphabetize and organize categories automatically

As someone who has been doing this manually for years, I hereby dutifully beg of anyone who is technically proficient and knows how to create and run a bot that will:

  1. Automatically sort all Categories on each article and category page alphabetically;
  2. Create a uniform system for where to place categories on each article and category page that commence with numbers, such as years of birth/death, centuries, and any category that starts with a number/numeral.

Please see the centralized discussion at Wikipedia:Bot requests/Archive 61#Create a BOT to alphabetize and organize categories automatically. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 09:02, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

Discussion re-opened at VPP

Please see Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 114#Create a BOT to alphabetize and organize categories automatically. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 22:43, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

Tech help required to improve categories

Please see Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#CatVisor and User:Paradoctor/CatVisor#Planned features if you are willing and able to assist this innovative WP project move along it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 23:09, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Why aren't attributes used instead of categories?

What is the rationale for using the current category system over using an attribute/tag system? For example, if we look at Jim Koch (who brought the beer Sam Adams to market) and Adolph Coors, we might say they are both male, and brewers. Thus we could create a "Male Brewers" category. But why not just tag both article's with "male" and "brewer" and then readers can see all the tags and then create their own category by selecting the desired attributes.Two kinds of pork (talk) 18:02, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

I'd like to also see such a system implemented, as I think it would accomplish a lot that the category system cannot but is often used for anyway (such as intersecting a multitude of different facts). Hopefully a tag system would also handle synonyms properly, so we wouldn't have endlessly picky renaming discussions over prepositions or capitalization (though disambiguation would continue to prove a problem...). But a tag system wouldn't provide the network of relationships that the category structure does, which aid navigation and browsing. So I don't think such a system would properly replace categories as we know them, but instead be complementary to it. postdlf (talk) 18:41, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree that tagging bio articles as male/female (and a few other things like LGBT) would be useful; there are continual discussions at WP:CFD over categories for "Female fooers" etc. However, IMO, it would be better to extend the existing category system (i.e. create "Category:Male people" etc and improve category intersection) than to create a totally separate system. DexDor (talk) 19:24, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Can you elaborate on this "network of relationships"? I'm not sure I understand how it is being used.Two kinds of pork (talk) 20:45, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
This has been an outstanding feature request since 2006 at Wikipedia:Category intersection. By network of relationships, I presume Postdlf is referring to following a category tree down various levels. There's nothing to say this couldn't be maintained as a feature with category intersection. SFB 09:30, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
By "network of relationships", I'm not only thinking of vertical navigation, but horizontal, like hopping from "American brewers" to "German brewers", or just grouping all related content together, like brewers being closely categorized with breweries, with beer, etc., so you can easily click from one to the other like following a web. I think the OP is proposing something different than category intersection. A "brewer" tag would just show you all the articles tagged with "brewer" (just like looking at the contents of one category), without a way to get to the breweries (as if that "brewer" category were uncategorized and thus had no connections). Unless the tags themselves are somehow integrated into a network...but then we'd just have the same thing as our current category system, wouldn't we? postdlf (talk) 14:50, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
@Postdlf: Not really, as a database call would be populating all related parents, contents and children, rather than a purely static system as we have now (although I appreciate that may be hard to conceptualise). Contents could be populated by locating all articles containing the selected attributes, children could be populated by cross-referencing shared additional attributes within that article set, parents would be populated reductions of the given attributes. Parents and children would also used a user-defined semantic tree that links together related/descending ideas (e.g. Breweries and brewers). The last part would be only part that would function as the system does now.
I think technical issues remain for this to be implemented as the sheer size of database calls on large categories would be prohibitive. SFB 20:06, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Attributes & Queries, an example

Attributes and Queries (AQ) would make life so much simpler, and more beneficial to the readers. Imagine the following scenario. People who have been charged with Arson, and people who have been convicted of Arson. 2 attributes are created (charged, convicted) and the articles are tagged accordingly. Users can filter a list by selecting the desired attributes. Those attribute combinations can be saved as a query. Those queries could be saved as "user queries" or "article (mainspace) queries", or many other levels of "query".

Let's say we wanted to find people charged with arson but not convicted, and we thought that would be interesting to readers. With the current Category system, you would have to manually find all of the articles that fit this and tag them as such. With AQ, build a query using expression based logic (charged & !convicted) and give it a name "people charged but not convicted of arson". If the query is saved in Mainspace, then the next time that article is served to a user, the category automagically appears. The overhead on the db from this would be negligent. Two kinds of pork (talk) 07:05, 17 August 2014 (UTC)


In your "defaultsort" example, why is it spelt "Dungeons And Dragons" and not "Dungeons and Dragons"? Dt Mos Ios (talk) 13:34, 16 August 2014 (UTC).

That is intentional, to show that all words in the sort key should be typed with an initial capital letter. Otherwise, words starting with lowercase "a" could be separated from words starting with uppercase "A". – Fayenatic London 14:10, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Defaultsort no longer distinguishes between capitalized letters and lower case letters. They are now treated as equivalents. "DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS", "Dungeons and Dragons", "Dungeons And Dragons", and "dungeons and dragons" will all sort the same. Good Ol’factory (talk) 10:17, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

redlinked supercategory

Should WP:CATDEF be updated to read:

An article or category should never be left with a non-existent (redlinked) category on it.

Mitch Ames (talk) 11:07, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Not quite as WP:CATDEF is part of Wikipedia:Categorization#Articles. However "A category should never be left with a non-existent (redlinked) parent category on it." could/should be added elsewhere - e.g. somewhere in Wikipedia:Categorization#Category_tree_organization. DexDor (talk) 14:12, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually you only need one blue linked category. If someone is adding new articles in an area, when do they add the new parents? At the start of the process they can be flagged as empty and deleted? Or at the end, which could take several months? Or as they use each, very disruptive in the editing process? How does this address a case where you are adding new categories that are a part of a series and may need two or three levels of parent categories? Does it fall on that one creator to add these branches? Vegaswikian (talk) 17:18, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
If the new article "needs" a new category (e.g. if there's a fooers-by-country category tree and this is the first article about a fooer from Baristan) then I would expect the article creator to either (1) place the article in those categories that do already exist (e.g. People from Baristan) or create a new category at the same time (within a few minutes) as creating the article. IMO, the "should never be left..." wording works for both articles and categories. If you think there's a good reason for redlink "categories" existing for more than a few minutes then please explain in more detail. DexDor (talk) 18:12, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Red linked categories are allowed by the current policy if they are expected to be created. To change that position without a long discussion which is well linked is wrong. Vegaswikian (talk) 20:17, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Red linked categories are allowed by the current policy if they are expected to be created.
Could you quote the exact words, and link the policy page, that says this? I can't find it. Mitch Ames (talk) 05:32, 6 September 2014 (UTC)