Wikipedia talk:Contents

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This is not the page to ask for help.
Emblem-important.svg This page is just for discussion of the Wikipedia:Contents page itself. It is semi-protected, and changes should be requested at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Contents.

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February 5, 2008Peer reviewReviewed

Link order

I have now edited Portal:Contents/Topics layout and reordered the bar containing

Reference: Overview • Lists • Outlines • Portals • Categories • Glossaries • Indices

to match the top navbar link order and the current section order:

Reference: Overview • Outlines • Lists • Portals • Glossaries • Categories • Indices

This applies to e.g. Portal:Contents/Reference. Iceblock (talk) 17:22, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Requested move 9 October 2019

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: Moved After a month of discussion, there is consensus that this page should be moved. Editors were divided on whether to move the page to Help: or to Wikipedia: namespaces. While a number of editors expressed a preference for the Help: namespace, no consensus title emerged; the original proposal was to move to Wikipedia:Contents, but Help:Contents already exists so simply swapping the namespace would not work. Given the multiple options and clear consensus to move, I (with some help) have moved the pages to the Wikipedia: namespace which was the original and most clear proposal. Any editor may start an RM at any time to try and achieve consensus for a name in the Help: namespace. (closed by non-admin page mover) Wug·a·po·des​ 05:13, 13 November 2019 (UTC)


Portal:ContentsWikipedia:Contents – By Portal:Contents read the portal, its subpages and Portal:Featured content.

In fact Portal:Contents has never been considered a portal. Ignored by the policy related to portals (WP:PORTAL, WP:POG, WP:P/I and WP:WPPORT) and having a totally different layout.

Portal:Contents was not initially created as a portal but moved to the portal space [1], I did not find discussions that endorsed this movement.

The discussion raised is not the simple move, but whether Portal:Contents will be worked as a portal (linked in articles, treated by WP: PORTAL and the possibility of creating similar new portals).

Previous discussions

It's my understanding that the "Portal:" space is primarily for readers for navigation, while the "Wikipedia:" space is for editors, for Wikipedia's meta/discussion/policies/guidelines. In this sense, the portal space is much more applicable for these pages, written for reader exploration of Wikipedia's contents. ɱ (talk) 17:33, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
@:What about the "Help:" space.Guilherme Burn (talk) 21:24, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
Support. Portals offer thematic "slices" of Wikipedia. This page talks about the entire contents of Wikipedia and different ways of exploring it. This is, basically, a Reader's Guide to Wikipedia. It belongs either in "Wikipedia:" or, even better, in "Help:". — UnladenSwallow (talk) 18:20, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
"Help:" It is a very interesting option.Guilherme Burn (talk) 18:39, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
Support. This page is a high-level outline, not anything resembling a "Portal". — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:34, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
  • How about Help:Explore or Help:Browse ? (both are currently redlinks) DexDor (talk) 20:50, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support move as proposed, although I am not so sure about a move to the Help: namespace. bd2412 T 01:31, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support as proposed. Wikipedia space seems like a better fit than Help space. PC78 (talk) 12:57, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support move to help, oppose move to wikipedia. This isn't really a portal, but the project namespace should only be for administrative pages, and not someone actual readers get sent to. ~~ OxonAlex - talk 16:49, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support move to help, oppose move to Wikipedia. (per User:OxonAlex).BUT Help:Contents is our main help page (with thousands views a day) so we would need to move that or name the article content page to something that User:DexDor mentioned above or something like Help:Encyclopedia content.--Moxy 🍁 17:00, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose move to Help, Neutral on move to Wikipedia. This isn't a Help page, it's about surfacing encyclopedic content. There are other examples of pages in the WP namespace used for listing content, e.g. Wikipedia:Featured articles, Wikipedia:Unusual articles, but I'm not aware of any similar usage of the Help namespace and it feels confusing to readers to locate it there. Or we could just keep it in Portal, even if it doesn't match the majority of the other Portals in form it serves the same role of surfacing encyclopedia content. the wub "?!" 17:51, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Neutral/Weak Support - The Help space seems more appropriate. Mark Schierbecker (talk) 06:48, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support move to either Wikipedia or Help namespace (plus any subsequent necessary rewording). I e. Simplify things for readers by having the portal namespace just contain portals. DexDor (talk) 12:02, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The argument that that these page aren't portals is misplaced. Per my comment below, these pages are actually better portals than most portal pages, and point the way ahead for portals.
Note that the nominators' core claim is that these pages are ignored by the policy related to p policy related to portals (WP:PORTAL, WP:POG, WP:P/I and WP:WPPORT. This claim is false. None of those pages is either a guideline or a policy. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 01:15, 20 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is more "death to portals" activism by a small group of people who can't get what they want other than by forumshopping us all to death. This should be closed as an improper RM, being an end-run around an ongoing RfC. After the larger discussion about "the future of portals and what they are/should be" is resolved, then maybe revisit this particular question. The wiki-political move being made here is that there is principled and solid opposition to just nuking portal-space since some of what it contains is of genuine value and broad appeal, so the idea is to yank those pages out and make portal-space look like it has nothing but micro-topical, special-interest content. (In reality, portal-space was mostly intended for major/sweeping encyclopedic categories; if anything should go, it's micro-topical portals, not the big and broad overview ones!)  — AReaderOutThatawayt/c 08:35, 22 October 2019 (UTC)
The proposed change would result in a more logical arrangement of pages. That may make some discussions less messy which would be a good thing. DexDor (talk) 11:58, 26 October 2019 (UTC)

Survey on destination namespace

Looking through the discussion, there is a clear consensus to move this away from the Portal namespace, but there is currently no consensus on the destination namespace; I'm relisting with a survey to see if there is a way to break the deadlock. Pinging people who have already contributed to this discussion: @, Guilherme Burn, UnladenSwallow, Arthur Rubin, DexDor, BD2412, PC78, OxonAlex, Moxy, The wub, and Mark Schierbecker. Sceptre (talk) 20:07, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

I believe the move can be realized as proposed and the cited names in the "Help:" space reserved per redirects for future discussions.Guilherme Burn (talk) 20:15, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I have no strong preference. bd2412 T 21:08, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
  • It should be renamed to Content:Wikipedia, and the rest of the portal space follow suit, towards a knock on effect which will solute the controversy. ~ R.T.G 00:04, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
There is also "Glossary:" space needed, i.e. Category:Wikipedia glossaries ~ R.T.G 23:24, 5 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Lean toward Wikipedia:Contents, although Content:Wikipedia has something to say for it, if it were a real namespace. It's not really [[Help:]], as it's more where to find things, rather than advice. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 10:15, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I still think Wikipedia space is the better fit: Help:Contents already exists and provides an overview of help topics, so what we don't have is a solid proposal of where this page would fit in Help space. Creating a new "Content" namespace is an interesting idea, but I think it's beyond the purview of this discussion. PC78 (talk) 17:49, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I can see the argument for a new namespace named "Contents" or "Index" or similar and almost suggested that myself. It would be for assisting readers' navigation and browsing of article content, maybe also incorporating some of the existing Portal and Outline pages, and akin to Britannica's Propædia. However that would obviously require a wider discussion. For now I continue to oppose moving this page to the Help: namespace, but would not oppose a move to Wikipedia:Contents. the wub "?!" 17:09, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment. P:Contents does indeed have a very different layout to most portals. But has a massively better layout than most portals, which are basically crude magazines with a daft structure which displays a few sets of articles chosen on an undisclosed basis, and daftly displays them one at a time with a refresh required to take another lucky dip from the set. That's a huge usability fail, and its pointless now that the Wikimedia software offers logged-out readers a built-in preview of every link.

    There is much better style of portal on de.wp, which is more like a mega-navbox. Several examples have been copied across to en.wp by Bermicourt, e.g. Portal:Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The fact that the Portal:Contents more closely resembles Portal:Mecklenburg-Vorpommern than other portals is mark in favour of Portal:Contents, not reason to move it out of portal=space. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 01:08, 20 October 2019 (UTC)

P:Contents describes/lists different types of (reader-facing) wp pages (portals, outlines, timelines, indices etc). That's very different to what actual portals (either enwp or dewp style) do (mainly showcasing articles about the portal's topic). DexDor (talk) 19:44, 20 October 2019 (UTC)
Incidentally, the style of Bermicourt's portals (with visible lists) may be better than many portals (purge-for-another-random-selection) and they look nice, but take a look at, for example, Portal:Thuringia - the "Current Events" section is about an event that "will" take place this June (and the linked article makes no mention of that event), "News in Thuringia" takes one to a page titled "Portal:Other", "What happened in October" is a redlink to "Portal:Thuringia/October", the only Event listed was in 2007 ... I.e. it's not getting enough maintenance (if the portal is expected to be a "showcase"). DexDor (talk) 19:44, 20 October 2019 (UTC)
Portal:Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is an excellent example of an Outline, rather than any of the attempts to describe what a Portal should be. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 01:27, 23 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I think it should be something in the "Help:" namespace, e.g. "Help:How to browse Wikipedia", "Help:Guide to Wikipedia", "Help:Exploring Wikipedia" ("Help:Contents" is already taken by the main help page—as it should be). This page doesn't feature content, as some people are claiming; it describes different ways to access content: outlines, third-party classification systems, various article lists (vital articles, list of lists of lists, etc.), timelines, glossaries, bibliographies, categories, topic indices. It is a manual on how to read Wikipedia in other ways than searching-and-following-links. Therefore, it should be part of the help system. — UnladenSwallow (talk) 08:39, 26 October 2019 (UTC)
  • 1st choice: "Help" (per UnladenSwallow's and OxenAkex's comments above). 2nd choice: Wikipedia (per my reply to BHG above). DexDor (talk) 11:58, 26 October 2019 (UTC)
  • FWIW, in its current form (minus the "portalish" formatting and portal-related templates), I believe Wikipedia:Contents is the best choice (or maybe Wikipedia:Finding content or Wikipedia:Finding information would be better — in any case, the "Wikipedia" namespace), by analogy with Wikipedia:About and Wikipedia:Contact us (both also linked to from the sidebar), and Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia and Wikipedia:Reader's index to Wikipedia (both not), and because it's "not a portal". Although, that being said, I'm not sure why a notice wasn't placed at Portal talk:Featured content, seeing as how the original poster said, "By Portal:Contents read the portal, its subpages and Portal:Featured content." I don't see how any decision reached here could possibly apply to that other "portal" since "they" were not invited to join in the discussion here. - dcljr (talk) 10:21, 28 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Support move to Help: Störm (talk) 09:37, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
  • Summary of opinions so far:
    • Wikipedia:Contents, supported by Guilherme Burn, Arthur Rubin, PC78, the wub, dcljr
    • Help:something, supported by UnladenSwallow, DexDor, Störm, Mark Schierbecker, Moxy, OxonAlex
    • Opposed to moving, AReaderOutThataway, BrownHairedGirl
  • The help namespace is edging forward, but you will need to decide on a specific target. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:58, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
    I am not opposed to moving to the Help: space, Help:Explore seems good..Guilherme Burn (talk) 16:34, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
    Help:Explore has now been mentioned a couple of times. Unless people oppose this or start rallying around a different target, I suggest we move it there — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:31, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
👍--Moxy 🍁 23:35, 5 November 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

This page is not very good

To write the content page, should require study of works like this.
  • It is poorly written.
  • It is instantly deflective of what it is supposed to be.
  • Before content, classification systems are listed, as though mentioning the fact categorisation has been studied in the past will appear to be a tree or even listing of content.
  • After that, before content is directly mentioned, is the section "Reference collections". Noting categories of lists is not the same as a categorical content lsiting.
  • Then, after a bare suggestion of content itself, is the section "Special format collections". This refers readers to other books, literally. All this stuff would be great in the "See also" section.
  • It's not far to the bottom, so I scroll down anyway, and there is apparently some content listings, elsewhere of course, but, in spirit, part of this page. I say to myself, wait a minute, should this not be at the top of the page? So, instead of checking the listings, I scroll back to the top to look at the top of the page. And it is not empty...
  • At the top, a fraction of subpages from the bottom, are listed as part of a... minimised portals bar.
  • A good starting place may be with encyclopaedias of the past, which have made trees of the knowledge within, such as illustrated by the Chambers Cyclopaedia on the right (thank you User:Llywrch). What is in that picture blows this page out of the water for comparison. (I so hate war analogies but I'm struggling here)
  • This is not the contents page itself, as the title suggests.
  • This is not a main space page. We are supposed to research and construct this page with original research and discussion.
  • This page currently begins with: "There are a couple of ways to look things..." ... up in Wikipedia. It's impractical. It's a very important page.
  • I've been through the archives. Relevant discussion has been mostly to the subpages, and in that respect shallow. Rarely if at all have content listing styles been referenced beyond the Dewey system, which is barely relevant at all to what this page seeks to be. My impression from the archives is that originally, editors were totally against the idea of lists of lists being used as a content listing, yet here we are. I suppose I'll ping you all because, while it might appear I simply haven't been able to attract the attention of the above discussion, the archives show, most of them aren't actually interested in this. Those who are include:@Ancheta Wis, The Transhumanist, RichardF, Cirt, OlEnglish, Moxy, Kumioko, Trovatore, Jowa fan, Dmcq, Ozob, Gandalf61, Kiefer.Wolfowitz, Gregbard, Mschamberlain, Jdlrobson, Edokter, Beland, AfroThundr, Cesdeva, Wumbolo, Nosebagbear, John Gohde, Erich gasboy, TwoMightyGods, Fram, Aervanath, Elekhh, Sj, Brent Gulanowski, TimNelson, NetEsq, DanKeshet, Larry Sanger, Simon J Kissane, and OprgaG:@AstroNomer, Sjc, Kpjas, StefanRybo, AxelBoldt, Zanimum, Beland, Conan, Brettz9, N2lect2el, Oleg Alexandrov, The Tipster, Nexus Seven, DGG, Rfrisbie, Carcharoth, and Palaeovia:
  • A good place to start onwiki is to go to the contents bar at the top of the page and see what the subpages are made of. This page is the only part of that set which has no real structure, but this page should have the greatest structure to this purpose.
  • Deweys has only 3 levels and is based on groups of ten. Great for a library shelf scheme, but far too mechanical for this page. Chambers (illustrated) has up to 6 levels. It was considered the new standard for a long time. This site is enormous and defines all of the standards it does not set. This page can be part of that. It's been asked for loads of times, but the discussions have been sporadic with no attempt to connect them. Well here you all are. ~ R.T.G 15:58, 21 October 2019 (UTC)

Fixed double redirects, but...

@Wugapodes and El C: After the move of Portal:Contents (and its subpages) to Wikipedia:Contents (and subpages), several double redirects were causing Wikipedia:Contents/Overviews to be broken (showing transcluded redirect messages rather than the intended content). I have just fixed those double redirects. (There may be other double redirects I have not noticed.)

The reason this was happening was that the pages named "Portal:Contents/Overviews/*" were all moved to "Portal:Contents/Overview/*" back in 2011, following the reasoning that the "overview of health and fitness", for example, should be called "Portal:Contents/Overview/Health and fitness" rather than "Portal:Contents/Overviews/Health and fitness". This ignored the fact that "Portal:Contents/Overviews/Health and fitness" (and the like) was a subpage of "Portal:Contents/Overviews", which was not moved.

I would make a formal proposal to move those "Overview" subpages back to "Wikipedia:Contents/Overviews/*" (which will require moving them over redirects, and will cause other double redirects that will need to be fixed), but I don't have time to write that up right now. Someone else can, though (in a new section). - dcljr (talk) 10:58, 13 November 2019 (UTC)

Oh, and Category:Contents portal should probably be renamed (its subpages recategorized) now that this is not in portalspace anymore. Also, I've changed all the mentions of "Portal:Contents" (in visible page text) that I noticed in the immediate subpages of Wikipedia:Contents. I'm sure there are other instances around that should be changed. - dcljr (talk) 11:06, 13 November 2019 (UTC)
@Dcljr: I've tagged the category for speedy renaming. Following Category:Wikipedia outlines I suggested Category:Wikipedia contents. Wug·a·po·des​ 17:51, 13 November 2019 (UTC)
Somehow in the move of Category:Contents portal to Category:Wikipedia contents, the category got almost completely depopulated. I have just readded the topmost subpages (Wikipedia:Contents/Overviews, etc.) to the category. Do we want to place all the deeper-level subpages there, as well (e.g., Wikipedia:Contents/Overview/Reference, etc.)? I think that's how it was before. - dcljr (talk) 00:43, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
Oh, heh… at least some of the pages are still in Category:Contents portal. I saw a bot edit that made me assume that the move was already completed. - dcljr (talk) 02:05, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
OK, now it's completed. I see that it (for the most part) only contains the immediate subpages of Wikipedia:Contents, including the pages split by type (Wikipedia:Contents/Overviews, Wikipedia:Contents/Outlines, etc.) and those split by topic (Wikipedia:Contents/Reference, Wikipedia:Contents/Culture and the arts, etc.). I guess that's how it was before. There's over 200 deeper subpages. Do we want to categorize those into a subcategory of Category:Wikipedia contents? - dcljr (talk) 04:03, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Categories by parameter

Editors here may be interested to contribute to a discussion about meta-categories "by something" at Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2019_November_6#Categories_by_parameter. – Fayenatic London 08:10, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

  • SUPPORT. Yes, please follow suggestion above, and comment there. @Fayenatic london: has made some highly important points there!!! we need to keep our category structure in good order!!! --Sm8900 (talk) 14:30, 15 November 2019 (UTC)