Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Indexes

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Finding and categorizing indexes[edit]

There are alphabetical indexes all over Wikipedia. They need to be added to the Category:Indexes and subcategories.

The Transhumanist 19:16, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Of course, now you mean Category:Indexes of articles and subcategories, right? :-P --Gimme danger (talk) 02:55, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Index of World War II articles[edit]

These indexes were filled automatically with AWB. Bad mistake, since it apparently took everything in a category tree, even if sub-sub-subcategories were largely unrelated to the topic. As an example, it looks like every article which is in a subcategory of category:Paris is included in these indexes, even if they are completely, utterly unrelated to World War II. I have cleaned up the list A and L (removing a thousand or more articles in each case), but it is an annoying job. I am 100% certain that I have removeda lot of articles which do have a link to World War II, but it is better to start again and include articles manually (or at the most only articles directly included in a WWI category, not in a subcategory). I hope that no other indexes have been created in the same way, otherwise I suggest that you list them and check them thoroughly. Fram (talk) 12:12, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't remember how I created them - it was probably an experiment. I even forgot I created them, and was surprised to see my name as the first entry!
Thank you for cleaning them up. Keep up the good work. The Transhumanist 16:29, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Duplicative?[edit]

I'm not getting how indexes have significant advantages over categories. Both are just alphabetical lists of articles by topic. The only difference seems to be flatness (lack of subcategories)... --Cybercobra (talk) 02:26, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Duplicative? Hell yes.
Redundant? Almost entirely.
WTF?
The advantages of complementary redundancy are covered in WP:CLN.
In a nutshell...
Indexes are easier to build, easier to maintain, and easier to browse. Indexes are faster to build, faster to maintain, and faster to browse. Indexes are also supported by redlinks and edit histories, so disappearing links and disappearing articles can be easily spotted. Each index is centralized, with changes being made at the index itself, improving communication with respect to them.
The Transhumanist 20:26, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

List of 3-D films (Index of?)[edit]

I was looking at the page List of 3-D films and feel tempted to make this into a sort-able table (see my talk comments on that page), but this is a non-trivial undertaking because of the large numbers of films listed there ... so I am not about to undertake this process unless there is some consensus on this.

I also note that on this and related pages, "3D" "3-D" are used interchangeably. However, as I noted on the related talk pages, there seems to be much more legitimacy to "3-D" and propose that a global edit to find all instances of "3D" and replace with "3-D" ensuring of course that no grammar or other errors are inadvertently introduced.

Finally, on this project page, I see the admonition to find "hidden" "Index of" pages. So this leads me to suspect that the List of 3-D films should really be renamed Index of 3-D films.

I am sure that there are other issues that arise from members who were previously unaware of the existence of this page.

Finally, with the imminent emergence of next generation 3-D film and television technology, this and related 3-D pages will become increasingly prominent and important in the coming months and years. Enquire (talk) 07:23, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Converting to a table would definitely be helpful, to separate the details, and to allow sorting by each detail-type.
Leave it at the current title though. Indexes are for plain alphabetical lists, like Index of Brazil-related articles, and (most of the) other articles in Category:WikiProject Index articles. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:31, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
If it's sortable, then it's not purely alphabetical, and thus not an index. --Cybercobra (talk) 22:39, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Index creation[edit]

I'm putting together a new WikiProject and I saw that some projects have a consolidated Index of articles (a useful thing) but I could not find a tool or a template to do that very basic job. I have a doubt here: please do not tell me that Wikipedia would be crazy enough to create and maintain those indexes by hand because I won't believe you... --Alainr345 (talk) 21:51, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Bots are probably used. It's a relatively simple type of bot task. --Cybercobra (talk) 22:13, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
What he said. I believe they usually set a bot to create a list based on the contents of one or more categories (either article-based categories, or talkpage-banner wikiproject categories). So the articles themselves still need to be manually marked in some way ;) -- Quiddity (talk) 05:42, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
OK guys I understand all of that; my question is: WHICH bot do I look for EXACTLY (I could not find one and I certainly won't write one either) ??? --AlainR345WikiTechnoGeek 19:46, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
You ask at Wikipedia:Bot requests ;) (And please consider making your signature a bit simpler/shorter (in both height and code-length), thanks!) -- Quiddity (talk) 19:58, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Relevant AfD[edit]

Index of Gibraltar-related articles is currently at AfD if anyone is interested. --Cybercobra (talk) 02:22, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

RfC to remove notable performers from list who don't yet have articles[edit]

There is an RfC to remove dozens of entries from the only list of male performers in gay porn films because the articles for the performers don't yet exist. More eyes would be appreciated. -- Banjeboi 21:41, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

List of The Adventures of Tintin characters[edit]

There is an RfC here about a proposed merge of certain individual character articles into List of The Adventures of Tintin characters. Any constructive comments would be appreciated. Neelix (talk) 13:54, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Observation[edit]

Observation: It seems to me that the project page here needs to explain in some fashion what the distinction is between an index article and a Category page. It would seem that they serve the same purpose and, looking at a couple of the index pages this project manages, I am not seeing a real difference other than a little formatting. More to the point, why should editors be expected to both add category X to their article AND add their article to the index for X?

--Mcorazao (talk) 20:37, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

The project was started quite recently, primarily as a way to track the existing indexes (and to provide a spot for hypothetical future discussions, like this one :). I don't think there are many people watchlisting this page, or participating in any kind of 'project' per se. It's more of a holding-ground, currently. The indexes themselves existed way before the projectpage was started.
The project merely banner-tagged the handful of pages that share certain characteristics (unannotated alphabetical listings), but that are often used and compiled in different ways. Eg a bot updates the articles in List of mathematics articles (0-9) daily, and I believe some editors use the pages partially for the [Special:RecentChangesLinked] functionality ("Related changes" in toolbox). One key difference from categories, is that redlinks can be included in these indices.
They're quite like the category:lists of lists, in their peripheral existence. HTH. -- Quiddity (talk) 01:23, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

Wiki-wide standard for list inclusion?[edit]

I'm hoping by asking here I've found a good central location to ask: Is there a standard on Wikipedia for inclusion on list pages? Some pages are tightly controlled allowing only entries with Wiki articles, yet some are full of redlinks or non-linked entries. I was about to once again remove a name from a list for being non-notable (if it were notable, it would have an article) yet I don't see where I can justify the removal without some solid guidelines? Have I just not found them, or do they need to be created? Thanks. --| Uncle Milty | talk | 13:25, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

The short answer is "opinions vary" ;)
At WP:CLN, one of the advantages of "lists", is the option to include redlinks. However, articles that consist primarily of redlinks, or where spam is a continual problem, are frequently purged of that content. It's mostly decided on a case-by-case basis, by whomever is around each article and contributing to its discussions and maintenance efforts.
For further discussion, this is the wrong talkpage. You should ask at Wikipedia talk:Lists. See also Template:List navbox for further links. HTH. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:48, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Ah, thanks. It occurred to me after I asked that there is a difference between indexes and lists, but I still got good info from the question. I'll follow your links. --| Uncle Milty | talk | 20:52, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

List of languages by name[edit]

FYI, List of languages by name and related articles have been prodded for deletion on 30 May, see Category:Proposed deletion as of 30 May 2010

76.66.193.224 (talk) 04:52, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

What about categories OF lists?[edit]

Do you all work strictly with individual pages? Because there are a lot of categories of list pages, e.g., Category:Lists of writers. Should I categorize that whole category under the Index Category? Or should I tag only the individual articles in the category? Thanks, Aristophanes68 (talk) 02:22, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Not the whole category. Add index cat tags only to the lists that are alphabetical indexes. The others are structured lists. The Transhumanist 06:52, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Why?[edit]

Why is an alphabetical list of articles related to a given field, offering no information about any of the articles except the link itself, preferable to a category? (For the sake of argument, we can pretend that the alphabetical list is actually complete and well-maintained, although that doesn't seem to describe any of the ones I've ever seen.)

And, hell, while I'm asking, does anyone associated with this project understand that a list of terms related to a field, some of which terms have articles and some don't, is not the same thing as an index of articles related to a field? I'm really not trying to be a jerk, but I'm totally baffled about the motivation for creating these lists and then insisting that they're something different than what they are, although if they actually were what they're claimed to be, they would still be less useful than the categories that we already have. Propaniac (talk) 14:39, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

To quote Orlady: "Lists have the potential to be expanded to become more substantial articles. For example, in their present form List of cities in Delaware and List of cities in Idaho likely would be considered to be "purely navigational" lists, but the potential exists for them to be expanded to look more like List of municipalities in Tennessee." And there are more reasons...
A list in article space is preferable to a category because it shows up in searches. You can work directly on its wikicode. You can control presentation precisely via page formatting. You can control link presentation using pipes. You can include section links. Pictures. References. You can tell when an item has been removed because there is a record of it. You can include duplicate links, with pipes to cover synonyms. You can include planned articles (red links). And lists are much easier to work with than categories. You can build a list 5 times faster than a category, because lists are centralized. Building a list of 500 items is as easy as typing them out on the same page. To build a category with 500 items, you have to edit 500 different pages. Index articles can be more comprehensive than categories because you can include more on a single page. Categories are chopped up in two ways: 1) they are presented only 200 items at a time, and 2) they are split up into subcategories. Gathering all the topics for a particular subject is time consuming and tedious when doing so from categories, because the subject may be split up into 50 or more categories.
A list of terms which have link delimiter brackets around them is a list of article links. Blue or red, they are article links. Blue means they exist now. Red means they will exist in the future. Redlinks are unambiguous and mean only one thing: no article by that name exists yet. If they aren't likely to exist in the future, they are not notable enough, and shouldn't be in the list in the first place. Red links are nice in that they identify search strings you can use on Google to find out more. Missing links don't.
My biggest beef with categories is that they generally aren't complete or well-maintained. Welcome to the club.
The Transhumanist 09:52, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Your reply seems mainly to be justifying why lists themselves can be useful, which isn't what I'm asking for. As far as I can tell, the purpose of this WikiProject is to create pages that are nothing but lists of links, related to some field, in alphabetical order -- which is what a category does. Your description of the problems with creating a category vs. creating an index seems to be based on the single situation of creating one category with hundreds of pages, or one list linking to hundreds of pages. I agree, in that case creating a list would probably be easier (although there are several automated tools that would make a category pretty easy). But maintaining a category -- by just tagging new articles as they are created -- is certainly easier than maintaining a list -- by creating the article, then finding the index related to that topic (an index that an extremely small percentage of Wikipedians would even think might exist) and editing the index to include the link to the article you just created. (Are you actually even creating these indices nowadays, anyway? It's one of the two stated purposes of this project, but the list of tasks says nothing about creating them, nor about the methodology of doing so, so I'm still assuming the practice is to find a list of terms somewhere, dump it into a page and wikilink them all to see what turns blue.)
The idea that a "planned article" -- in other words, an article that doesn't exist -- can be referred to as an "article" is just weird. (As is your weird resistance to referring to the title of an article as a "topic.") Who is planning to write these articles? It doesn't seem like you are. Can I make up any potential article title (avoiding the word "topic") and add it to an index? Propaniac (talk) 13:56, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
That's not why the project was created. For some reason people create indexes. WP:CLN applies. There are a lot of indexes on Wikipedia. About 2500, if I remember right. They're not standardized, and they're mixed in with other lists. That's why this project was created.
The reasons I gave above justify an index. When you search for a subject, the index page comes up in the search results (pages with the subject in the title, have a high priority in the search engine algorithm). Categories do not (unless you are on Google). An index is a good starting point for a glossary on the subject - bullets and em-dashes are easy to add, because you have access to the wikicode (in categories you have to cut and paste 200 links at a time, and the subcats, and then you have to wikify them - they're a pain in the ass).
By the way, a category does not create a page that is a list of links related to a field in alphabetical order -- it creates many such pages, some with only a small number of entries. The way categories chop up a subject require many more clicks to navigate. On slow connections, those links are painful. The fewer the links in navigation, the better. Scrolling a large page is much preferable.
Formatting is also an issue for indexes. The best indexes have pictures. But the aspect of formatting important to indexes is link formatting. In cats, you can't have duplicate links, which are important for covering synonyms. In and index, you can hide the parentheses in titles. And when the title doesn't precisely match the topic you wish to list, you can use a pipe. Also, you can include section links in indexes.
Even with the automated tools, working on categories is painfully slow. Renaming them is a nightmare.
Links are Wikipedia contructs - intended to link to articles. Red links say "we don't have an article on this yet, please click on me and create one." They aren't out of place on article lists, as the focus is still on articles (including article creation).
Lists with lots of redlinks in them shouldn't be in article space. They're called article creation guides. So if you are going to do a link dump to see how many of a list of terms turn blue, its best done in project space or user space.
And if an index has a handful of redlinks in it, the page is still for the most part an index of articles. If it has more than that, it shouldn't be in article space anyways.
The Transhumanist    18:54, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
I was going to ask you, as a specific example, about Index of dance articles and why that list of sixty apparently random articles is superior in any way to Category:Dance. But instead I found one that you created: Index of oral health and dental articles (although you initially created it under the title "List of oral health and dental topics"?). It's certainly a better resource for its field than the dance one, but why would it be more useful to anyone than Category:Dentistry? And have there really been no oral health or dental articles added or deleted from Wikipedia since last September (when Xylophagia was added to the index)? Propaniac (talk) 14:29, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Quick notes:
  1. As I said above at #Observation, this project was primarily created simply to track and collect the existing indexes, not to foster the development of more (necessarily).
  2. See major discussion about this at
HTH. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:05, 15 September 2010 (UTC)


Category:Dentistry only has 122 articles in it. The index you mentioned has almost 900. In order to get the same benefit of browsing the 900, you'd have to repeat the operation at least several times in categories. Take "Related changes" for instance. Why do it 10 times when you can do it once for the whole set? The Transhumanist 00:59, 16 September 2010 (UTC)


Article indexes have several uses beyond or supplemental to the category system. First, the topics on a subject are all on one page, rather than split up into a myriad of subcategory pages. For those users who which to browse all the titles on a subject, this option is much faster than browsing a Wikipedia category tree. Browsing an index is useful for familiarizing oneself with the terms and topics in a particular field quickly, which aids in memorization later (if you've seen a word several times, it's easier to learn it later when you read about it).

Indexes are an alternate search tool. If you are looking for a topic you can't remember the name of, but would recognize it if you saw it, indexes provide a faster way to find it.

Indexes and categories are synergistic. Being faster to build (due to many tools and methods available to gather terms and links) indexes are a useful place to store article titles that are not in the category tree yet. Also, indexes may include terms that aren't articles yet (redlinks), which makes it a good place to go to find new bluelinks to add to the category tree.

Indexes are allowed to be more comprehensive, and may include multiple links to the same article. In this way, using pipes, they support synonyms. Indexes support section links, which take a user directly to Wikipedia's coverage of a topic, even when that topic doesn't have an article of its own.

Indexes are a type of article, and are allowed to have links placed in context, which allows editors to make indexes available when and where they are needed.

Indexes assist in tracking articles and links. It is easier to use recent changes on an index than on a subject split into many subcategories in the category tree. If you are looking for an article, but that article has been deleted or moved since the last time you read it, it will still show up in the index. Deleted articles show up as redlinks, which are not displayed in categories. If a link is removed from a category page, there is no record of it. Changes to indexes are logged so you can look and see if anything has been removed.

Indexes show up in search results, categories don't.

Indexes have potential to grow into something even better than what they are now. Who knows what features or tools or uses future editors will develop for indexes. But they can't improve a system of pages if the pages aren't there. It's important not to fall prey to all or nothing reasoning. Building upon what others have done before you is a foundational principle of Wikipedia and all wikis. Deletionism kills wiki-innovation. The Transhumanist 20:18, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

For one example of what an analytical index can do, see the Editor's index to Wikipedia. It groups a large (nearly comprehensive) set of links to internal help pages for Wikipedia editors. It also includes links to external pages and tools, to some Bugzilla entries, etc. (This extra linking would not be a feature of index pages in article space.) Some useful features of the Editor's index:
  • Cross references ("see" and "see also" entries).
  • Shortcuts (to allow easy linking to particular headings in the index, e.g. WP:EIW#Index). These are handy for example when answering question on the Help desk, especially if a question is vague or open-ended and the most general answer is to link to a comprehensive list of documents.
  • Searchability in the browser with Ctrl-F.
  • Annotations - entries can contain a one-sentence summary of the linked-to content. Descriptions can include synonyms, thus making fatter search targets.
  • The index is flat in the sense of being all on one page, but entries can be nested as well to provide some hierarchy and grouping of terms.
  • Links can be to specific sections on a large page, in contrast to categories which work on the granularity of whole pages. This allows for more flexibility for grouping chunks of content together, without risk of over-categorization. This feature would probably be less useful for index pages in article space, which would generally link to articles rather than sections.
The Editor's index does a lot of things that would be difficult to do with categories. --Teratornis (talk) 06:28, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

AfD[edit]

Please see:Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of English words of Chinese origin Kitfoxxe (talk) 15:35, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Indexes of species names[edit]

Hi. There's a discussion on "specific epithets" over at Talk:Tristis which might interest editors with an interest in indexes. SP-KP (talk) 19:07, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Merger Proposal for indexes of Florida Cities and Towns and Villages[edit]

I am proposing to merge List of cities in Florida and List of towns and villages in Florida; get in the conversation while it is 'hot'. Frank0051 (talk) 17:53, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Proposal to change a section title[edit]

There's a proposal to adjust one of the main section titles used in "Wikipedia's contents", which will also affect the order in which the section titles are presented. See Portal talk:Contents#Proposal for main section title adjustment. The Transhumanist 02:32, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

What is the use of index pages????[edit]

What is in fact the use of the "Index"-articles? Most articles I find are full of links to disambiguation pages and often totally incomplete. Are categories not proper replacements for them? If I see articles like Index of World War II articles (T) I get the idea that removal is the best option for this type of articles... (My POV: project disambiguation, section removal of links to disambiguation pages) Night of the Big Wind talk 23:18, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Rapid perusal of a subject's articles, via scrolling and with tools such as LINKY and ScrapBook. Indexes also support use of "Related changes" on the entire subject at once. Using categories for Linky, ScrapBook, or "Related changes" may take many iterations. Indexes are also companions to the outline articles, providing an alternate way to view the links contained in those hierarchical lists. Categories by comparison often entail a major clickfest just to view all of the relevant categories. Changes to indexes can be tracked on "View edit history", but that doesn't work on categories – in categories, entries simply disappear. See also WP:CLN. The Transhumanist 22:18, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
The it would be a great idea if someone takes look at Articles With Multiple Dablinks because the indexes are rather prominent there. If you guys want to use the indexes okay, but don't leave it to another project to carry out the necessary maintenance. So please, can you lads and lasses give this some thought (and effort)? Night of the Big Wind talk 14:45, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Support of dabprefixes[edit]

Need some support for using the alphabetical index template {{dabprefixes}} on dab pages. See User talk:Eekerz#Dabprefixes for more info. Thanks! —Eekerz (t) 09:06, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Nomination for deletion of Template:Satop[edit]

Ambox warning pn.svgTemplate:Satop has been nominated for deletion. Among other things, Template:Satop links an article to its relevant outline, index, and portals. You may wish to comment at the template's entry on the Templates for discussion page.  Buaidh  01:31, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

List of charities in the People's Republic of China[edit]

Could I get a second opinion from a list expert on my edit here [1] (justified here [2])? I did some radical cutting, so if I'm in the wrong (and there's always a good chance), it's best for all that I be swiftly overturned. Cheers, Khazar2 (talk) 06:44, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Nomination for deletion of Template:Sar[edit]

Ambox warning pn.svgTemplate:Sar has been nominated for deletion. Among other things, Template:Sar creates a link to the index of an article in its see also section. You may wish to comment at the template's entry on the Templates for discussion page.  Buaidh  21:40, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

RfC on indexes[edit]

See Category talk:Indexes of topics#RfC on indexes, and respond there. —Quiddity (talk) 23:33, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

My first article[edit]

My first article, March (surname), was a disambiguation page, back in March 2009. Is it an index? If so, how should it be added to this project? If not, please explain to me. --DThomsen8 (talk) 11:52, 28 June 2013 (UTC)