Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Categories

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WikiProject Categories
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WikiProject collaboration notice from the Portals WikiProject[edit]

The reason I am contacting you is because there are one or more portals that fall under this subject, and the Portals WikiProject is currently undertaking a major drive to automate portals that may affect them.

Portals are being redesigned.

The new design features are being applied to existing portals.

At present, we are gearing up for a maintenance pass of portals in which the introduction section will be upgraded to no longer need a subpage. In place of static copied and pasted excerpts will be self-updating excerpts displayed through selective transclusion, using the template {{Transclude lead excerpt}}.

The discussion about this can be found here.

Maintainers of specific portals are encouraged to sign up as project members here, noting the portals they maintain, so that those portals are skipped by the maintenance pass. Currently, we are interested in upgrading neglected and abandoned portals. There will be opportunity for maintained portals to opt-in later, or the portal maintainers can handle upgrading (the portals they maintain) personally at any time.


On April 8th, 2018, an RfC ("Request for comment") proposal was made to eliminate all portals and the portal namespace. On April 17th, the Portals WikiProject was rebooted to handle the revitalization of the portal system. On May 12th, the RfC was closed with the result to keep portals, by a margin of about 2 to 1 in favor of keeping portals.

There's an article in the current edition of the Signpost interviewing project members about the RfC and the Portals WikiProject.

Since the reboot, the Portals WikiProject has been busy building tools and components to upgrade portals.

So far, 84 editors have joined.

If you would like to keep abreast of what is happening with portals, see the newsletter archive.

If you have any questions about what is happening with portals or the Portals WikiProject, please post them on the WikiProject's talk page.

Thank you.    — The Transhumanist   07:28, 30 May 2018 (UTC)

Category breadcrumbs[edit]

I notice that Japanese Wikipedia has a very nice breadcrumb trail at the top of each category page. For example, Google Translate shows the breadcrumbs for Category:スポーツ競技 (Sports competition) as Main category > Culture > Entertainment > Sports > Sports competition. This would be a very nice feature for English Wikipedia as well.

To some degree, this would run afoul of the very messy categorization in English Wikipedia I describe in several discussions (see Special:Contributions/RVS). There are many extremely deep as well as cyclic categorization link chains, unfortunately.

However, it's probably sufficient to deal with this by simply showing just the previous 4 or so links. Probably this is what is done in Japanese Wikipedia, and/or perhaps there is not as much of a problem with messy categorization links there. RVS (talk) 20:18, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

This is ja:Template:Pathnav and its subtemplate ja:Template:Pathnav/link. It's not automatic; each successive parent category is manually named, to a maximum of ten. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:37, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Ah, too bad it's not automatic. Otherwise it's easy for that to get out of sync. I suppose since the categories are not a tree, an automatic version would sometimes have to choose among multiple parents. But that would still seem to be a step forward compared to manual. Still, I suppose it's possible that it's really not manual, that the Japanese version might have a bot that keeps these in sync? RVS (talk) 00:03, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
I think it would require some sort of manual curation. Which parent do you follow up the tree (or down the banyan)? How far do you go? Plucking Category:American singers out of the air and repeatedly following the first listed category took me via Humans, Fossils and Earth to Biology, at which point I entered a loop. I know that Category:Fossils should be omitted as irrelevant, but that's a difficult judgement for software to make. Certes (talk) 09:44, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

Millennium categories[edit]

(older discussion, copied from personal talk page, seems to become relevant again according to this discussion of today and this discussion of a few days ago) Marcocapelle (talk) 20:44, 20 July 2018 (UTC)

@Peterkingiron and Excelse: I sympathise with your doubts about the millennium categories but also feel that at least some distant and poorly populated millennium categories should stay, e.g. Category:Populated places established in the 5th millennium BC. And this may also differ by continent because Category:1st millennium in North America will be more useful to keep than Category:1st millennium in Europe. But then I wonder how and where we should draw the lines. I don't have an answer right now, just sharing some thoughts. Marcocapelle (talk) 21:48, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

  • I would not object to categories such as those, but only for cases where certainty as to date is impossible even within 100 years. In general there have not been enough centuries to require anything higher, such as millennium categories. Peterkingiron (talk) 21:48, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Surely millennium categories are more appropriate than century categories for prehistoric archaeological cultures, where the dates are fuzzy (like Longshan culture and Baodun culture), or states from traditional folk-history, whose very existence is disputed (like the Xia dynasty). Kanguole 12:38, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
  • My comment was largely echoing the problem and that we have to investigate if other related categories are that much accurate or not and this CFD can become an example. The categories that you named are going to stay though. Excelse (talk) 11:11, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
-- end of previous discussion
  • I've notified Wikipedia:WikiProject Years about this discussion. Marcocapelle (talk) 20:49, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm still a bit hesitant about this discussion. If we are going to selectively delete millennium categories, it will not be too straightforward at what point we would start deleting. We should also consider that there may be separate needs per continent or even by region. For example in the Americas, south of the Sahara and in northern and eastern Europe we will probably need millennia at least including the 1st millennium AD, while we could refrain from millennia in a way earlier stage in e.g. Egypt and Mesopotamia. Marcocapelle (talk) 20:58, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
  • The millenial categories which seem entirely superfluous are those which relate to organisations or products which did not exist until the industrial revolution, or later, so there are less than four centuries to be included. Rathfelder (talk) 19:33, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
One of the problems are templates like {{EstcatCenturyType}} which require a millennium input in order to create WP:REDNOT categories like Category:Museums established in the 3rd millennium. Could probably abolish that altogether, at least make it optional. One answer might be to adapt WP:SMALLCAT to say that date categories should have scope for more than 12 entries - ie years should not be catted in decades, and decades not in centuries and centuries not in millennia (plus there's often a dis/establishment pair).Le Deluge (talk) 22:40, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
  • What about a rule that says, "Do not create a millennium category where 3 or more "by century" categories exist and they contain all the articles that would otherwise be contained in a "by millennium" category"? Laurel Lodged (talk) 21:38, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
    • A rather incomprehensible rule. Millennium categories are supposed to be parents to century categories, allowing readers to locate articles relevant to any given millennium. Ideally they should themselves contain no articles or very few articles. Dimadick (talk) 23:33, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm unhappy about templates which populate the categories. They are very inflexible.
  • Have a look at Category:Companies by millennium of establishment. Categorisation by century still only produces 3 subcategories in total for most. Rathfelder (talk) 19:42, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
    • Most of these categories are less than 2-years old, and the category tree is still expanding. Dimadick (talk) 20:06, 25 July 2018 (UTC)


Feel free to join this discussion: Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_International_relations#Category:Expatriates. Marcocapelle (talk) 06:23, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

Category:xxxx-related lists[edit]

There is an extensive set of categories named according to this pattern, which seem to have been added without any thought of supplying a sort key. Consequently, they end up using the default sortkey, the article title, so the articles mostly appear in the 'xxxx-related lists' category index unhelpfully under 'L' for 'List of ...'. (See, for example, Category:Texas-related lists, where only one of the items under 'L' actually belongs there.) I've no idea how to even find all the categories of this type, nor the easiest way to fix the sort keys. I'm just doing this manually as I come across them, but it really needs a planned approach. Any suggestions? Colonies Chris (talk) 12:13, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

Here's a rough list: [1]. AWB could sort them out if we can specify a rule such as: insert the article title before the ]], replacing "List of " by "|". Alternatively, we could add a DEEFAULTSORT, but that could have a wider effect. Certes (talk) 12:53, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. Would it be possible to further refine the search to (a) only articles that are named "List of ..." and (b) only where the category doesn't already have a sort key, and (c) to bypass articles where DEFAULTSORT (if present) has a value different from the article title? That should cut down the numbers a bit. Colonies Chris (talk) 16:15, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
(a) I don't think so (intitle: doesn't do what it's told to), but User:The Transhumanist/SearchSuite will do that for you. (b) I hope I've already done that, by requiring ]] immediately after the category name without an intervening |code. (c) I hope I've already filtered out articles with any DEFAULTSORT at all (thereby failing to find articles with a rather pointless DEFAULTSORT|List of Foo). If you can see any lists which filters (b) and (c) fail to remove, let me know their titles and I'll look at why they're appearing. Certes (talk) 17:10, 10 August 2018 (UTC)
One more question; I've got this search up and running in AWB, so the next step is the text replacement. I know how to set up a find-and-replace regex in AWB, but how would I insert the article title before the ]], replacing "List of " by "|" ? How can a regex pick up the title and manipulate it in this way? Colonies Chris (talk) 10:18, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
I think it's best to manipulate the title before. JWB (and, I assume, AWB) has a handy feature where you can specify a page name as Foo|Bar, causing it to edit page Foo with special variable $x set to "Bar". (Normally $x is just the page name.) So you could edit List of These|These and List of Those|Those, changing ]] to |$x]] in each case. An alternative (but something of a hack) is to change ]] to |Distinctive string $x]] using the full page name, then in a separate regex change "Distinctive string List of " to blank. Certes (talk) 10:44, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the help. I've used the AWB filter to select only "List of ..." tities from the search results, and I've set up a pair of regexes, the first to change [[Category:xxxx-related lists]] to [[Category:xxxx-related lists|%%title%%]] and a second one to change [[Category:xxxx-related lists|List of yyyy]] to [[Category:xxxx-related lists|yyyy]]. That does most of the job and any further tweaks I'll do by hand. Colonies Chris (talk) 11:37, 12 August 2018 (UTC)


There has been almost obstructive feedback on requests on this category tree branch below, as seen on Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Speedy#Opposed_requests. Could we have a general discussion about it here? My view is that "Catholicism" is rather redundant in at least several of the below instances, and in any case "Catholic Church" would be more relevant over the board. If this is not a suitable way to address the issue, please let me know and please help me how to do it. Chicbyaccident (talk) 11:50, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

  • It is not helpful starting a discussion with 'almost obstructive'. CFD/S is meant for entirely obvious renames only and rejection at that platform just means it is not entirely obvious. Better avoid CFD/S entirely for cases like this and just calmly post these nominations here right away. Marcocapelle (talk) 12:11, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
OK. Chicbyaccident (talk) 13:00, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
@Chicbyaccident: I moved this discussion to this other platform, since it is not an actual nomination suitable for CFD. Marcocapelle (talk) 13:05, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
Is there an actual proposal here? Laurel Lodged (talk) 19:12, 15 October 2018 (UTC)

Discussion on the use of Portal links in categories[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

You are invited to participate in the ongoing discussion over at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals § Discussion on having links to portals, where the portal is about the topic the category is about. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 14:17, 8 September 2018 (UTC)

Bot Request to Cleanup Category:Featured articles needing translation from <language>[edit]

A bot request has been recently created to clean up articles that no longer have FA status on their host Wikipedia page from Category:Featured articles needing translation from <language>. Any comments would be appreciated. Kadane (talk) 18:28, 8 September 2018 (UTC)

Ordering items on a category page[edit]

I was wondering if there is any category equivalent to MOS:ORDER, which specifies the standard ordering of items within articles. There are a number of different elements that can go into a category page, for example:

  • navigation bar (especially for years)
  • main article for this category...
  • notices about maintenance categories, hidden categories, container categories etc.
  • commons category
  • portal link(s)
  • this category is for...
  • parent categories

...and probably many more that I've forgotten or don't know about. The ordering of some of these elements can affect the appearance of the category page (sometimes subtly, sometimes not so subtly) so I thought I'd check to see if there is a standard ordering. Many thanks. --Jameboy (talk) 09:37, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

Generally, follow MOS:ORDER unless you have a reason not to. Is there some object that is commonly found on a cat page, but which is not covered by MOS:ORDER? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:26, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
No, @Jameboy: is right, MOS:ORDER doesn't really work for categories ("navigation should be at the bottom of the page") etc. My general rule is "whatever looks neatest", although there doesn't really seem to be any good arrangement for eg a Project articles category with all the trimings. In general that means a bit of an "inverted triangle" to the overall look. There's one order for commons/portal/navseasoncats that looks dreadful, all spread out, whereas there's another where all the floats work together and it's much tidier - but other navboxes need a different order because they are aligned differently. So FWIW, I generally use something like :
  • notices about maintenance categories, hidden categories, container categories etc. (the pagewide coloured boxes)
  • portal link(s)
  • commons category
  • navigation bar (especially for years)
  • main article for this category...
  • this category is for...
  • TOC (but only if there's >400 articles)
  • parent categories
but don't take that as gospel. Le Deluge (talk) 10:34, 4 October 2018 (UTC)
That's useful thanks. I didn't even have a rule of thumb before. Now I can at least use the above as a starting point, with the understanding that it isn't an exact science and tweaks may be needed. --Jameboy (talk) 16:03, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
Looks good to me. Laurel Lodged (talk) 14:49, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

Category:American people of African descent[edit]

Let’s settle this once and for all: the top of its page says “Note: 'African Americans' are citizens of the United States of Black African ethnicity or ethnic descent — they are listed at Category:African-American people.” That in itself distinguishes who is actually African-American and the white people in the category with trace amounts of African ancestry (which, some of you argue, could apply to every human on the planet since humanity originated in Africa). What I’m getting at here is this; why is Johnny Depp, a white man, whose page says found he has a very distant African ancestor (from 400 years ago) or Ty Burrell, a white man, whose great-great-great-great-grandmother (do the math...) was an African woman, in the same category as actual black Americans such as Forest Whitaker or Eartha Kitt? It doesn’t make sense. It’s too ambiguous. Therefore in my opinion this category should be reserved for the Johnny Depps and ”African Americans' are citizens of the United States of Black African ethnicity or ethnic descent — they are listed at Category:African-American people.” should be in the respective African-American categories as they are. In my view, anyone who has at least one parent that is African-American they should be in the African-American categories, not this extremely vague category.Trillfendi (talk) 02:15, 2 October 2018 (UTC)

Trillfendi, there was a very long RfC at Wikipedia talk:Categorization/Ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality#RfC on categorizing biracial people where the consensus was you need a reliable source to include people in Category:African-American people if only one parent is African-American. So many people were moved out of that category and moved into the broader Category:American people of African descent instead. We probably need to update the category descriptions to match that. StAnselm (talk) 18:35, 2 October 2018 (UTC)
Trillfendi seems to take issues with matters like this one, where she wanted to place Wentworth Miller in Category:African-American male actors as opposed to Category:American people of African descent, arguing that the latter category is "for people with only very distant or remote African ancestry." Trillfendi was reverted by MarnetteD. Further discussion took place on MarnetteD's talk page. As seen here, I responded to Trillfendi at Category talk:American people of African descent. The close for the aforementioned RfC spoke of self-identification in addition to sources, cases where sources conflict, and that there was no consensus to update the guideline to align with the RfC sentiment. Also, before that RfC, many people were already in Category:American people of African descent on the basis that they are biracial or multiracial (even though African American people as a whole are also a mixed group). Trillfendi has a point that trying to distinguish between these two categories can be trivial. Pinging Alanscottwalker, who might want to weigh in on this. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 07:18, 4 October 2018 (UTC)

Template:WikiProject Categories[edit]

Template:WikiProject Categories is currently transcluded just 3,312 times, yet surely every category is technically within the scope of WikiProject Categories. Should we be looking to roll out this template to every Category Talk page, e.g. via a bot, or is that not its intended use? --Jameboy (talk) 15:58, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

There is a parallel at Wikipedia:WikiProject Templates/Template:WikiProject Templates which should be placed "on the talk page of relevant Wikipedia, Help or Category pages, but generally not on the talk pages of templates". Exchanging category for template, we might say that Template:WikiProject Categories should be placed on the talk page of relevant Wikipedia, Help or Template pages, but generally not on the talk pages of categories". --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:27, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
That makes sense now. I've updated Template:WikiProject Categories/doc accordingly. Perhaps we should agree a guideline as to which types of categories can be tagged with the template before setting about removing any inappropriate transclusions from category talk pages. --Jameboy (talk) 00:15, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
The only category talk pages that should be tagged with the template are things like Category talk:Wikipedia categorization by topic. All the categories for articles and wikipedians could/should be untagged. DexDor (talk) 20:15, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

Years and decades in continent categories: High and Late Middle Ages[edit]

I am considering a CfD nomination to upmerge years and decades in continent categories to global years and decades categories for the period 1000-1499, very similar to this earlier nomination about the period 500-999.


Generally speaking, most years in the period of 1000-1499 have a European subcategory, way fewer years have an Asian subcategory (even less with establishments and disestablishments) and only in exceptional cases there is a North American subcategory. Since this is going to be a massively huge nomination I prefer to play a bit safe and would be eager to know if there might be any objections against a nomination like this that I possibly oversee. Most specifically if there is anything that applies to the period 1000-1499 that didn't apply to the period 500-999. Feel free to comment. Marcocapelle (talk) 20:06, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

@Tim!, Laurel Lodged, BrownHairedGirl, Nihonjoe, and Peterkingiron: pinging participants and closer of previous discussion. Marcocapelle (talk) 20:06, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
WikiProject History and WikiProject Years have been notified. Marcocapelle (talk) 20:12, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Object. Thanks for the ping, @Marcocapelle. As discussed at your recent nomination of Irish categories, I have reversed my view of these mergers, and will oppose this one if it is proposed.
This is not the place to debate to debate the merits, but in summary my objection is that the benefits to navigation of these mergers have been vastly overstimated, while the downsides of requiring multi-categorusation of each page have been way under-estimated.
In this case, the High and Late Middle ages are a well-dpocumented era in European history, so there is plenty of scope for expansion. I have les knwoledge of Asian history, so can't comment on that yet. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 03:03, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
I agree with BrownHairedGirl, and include the Asian categories in that agreement. I see little benefit in the mergers, and a fair number of downsides. Please ping if you reply to my comments as I don't watch this page. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 16:15, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose this nomination would not really achieve anything other than hindering navigation. Tim! (talk) 16:33, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose in part -- I still support the principle of eliminating a lot of these small categories, but this nom is not the way to start. This is going to need a long process. At this distant period, I do not think a Europe/Asia split is useful, so that I would support merging all the 1000 items into Category:1000 (except est/disest, which should be single subcategories) and upmerging 1000 om fooland to 1000s in fooland and Category:1000. When that is done we can see whether there is enough in 1000s in fooland to merit keeping it or merging to 11th century in fooland. Please provide statistics on the number of articles likely to be in the target after merger. Having to click through 4-5 layers of single item categories to find the single article at the bottom is not an aid to navigation. Peterkingiron (talk) 16:56, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Pre the Modern Era, the notion of continents was hazy and fluid. Laurel Lodged (talk) 14:54, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

Intersection of descent and occupation[edit]

After the closure of Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2018_October_29#Category:Canadian_journalists_of_Chinese_descent we might nominate all subcategories in the tree of Category:People by country of descent and occupation for upmerging to their respective parent categories. However, there is no way that all of them can be manually upmerged, that would be way too much work. Does someone have a clever idea how to solve that problem? Marcocapelle (talk) 12:26, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

@Good Olfactory, Bearcat, Simonm223, Fayenatic london, and Peterkingiron: pinging closer, nominator and contributors to the discussion. Marcocapelle (talk) 12:26, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
There is a section at WP:CFDWM to list categories for multiple merges.
When I implement merges to multiple targets, I usually use WP:Cat-a-lot to add the first target (and middle target if any), and then use Cydebot via WP:CFDW as normal to merge to the last target.
Armbrust can also do multiple merges with his bot. – Fayenatic London 15:08, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
I would suggest that the normal test should apply: if there are at least five articles to populate the intersection category we can keep it. Otherwise it should be upmerged both to the ethnic and occupational categories. Peterkingiron (talk) 16:43, 11 November 2018 (UTC)