Last modified on 18 September 2014, at 19:14

Commons talk:User-specific galleries, templates and categories policy

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Previous discussionsEdit

User-specific templates in the template namespace?Edit

Possible points of contention:

  • Should user-specific templates be allowed to exist in the template namespace? (IMO it's neater if they're in the user namespace, but it's not hugely important)
  • ... (I think the rest is pretty straightforward)

Are the examples about the user templates clear? If not, please try and rewrite them so they are, if you understand what I'm getting at at least ;) --pfctdayelise (说什么?) 08:39, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

NotifiationEdit

Please clarify that notification may be requested but not required. A.J. 09:47, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

User-specific sub-categoriesEdit

I'd like to comment the sentence: Users should not create subcategories that combine topic/subject focus with this user-specific element, e.g. "Category:Photos of London by User:Example".

IMHO, the most important is that the user category tree is completeley isolated from the main category tree (and maybe from other user category trees). Personally, I wouldn't mind if a user created a sub-category like "Category:Photos by User:Example/Photos of London", which would be a subcategory of "Category:Photos by User:Example", as long as this category is not a subcategory of "Category:London" in the main tree.

Hence my proposition: I'd prefer there to be one (imposed) top-level user-category specific to each user, something like "Category:User:Example", which would be a subcategory of "Category:User galleries". The only requirement would be that any user-specific category of User:Example be of the form "Category:User:Example/my_subcategory" and belong only to the "Category:User:Example" category tree. — Xavier, 11:27, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

If it won't lead to a ridiculously full category list ... - David Gerard 12:10, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
I like the idea by Xavier. The user must have a top level category and can have whatever categories and system they want underneath it, but none of the user categories can be in the "main" tree. Maybe something short like "No user categories shall ever be in the main tree." would suffice. MECUtalk 13:08, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Xavier, your idea is no problem to me. I just don't want the situation that you go to Category:London, and you find some pictures, and then some more: Category:Photos of London by User A, Category:Photos of London by User B, Category:Photos of London by User C... all those photos should be directly in Category:London. cheers --pfctdayelise (说什么?) 00:41, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
When I read the statement that you quoted, Xavier, I was surprised; it seemed somewhat unreasonable. Since everybody here seems to agree that user subcategories are fine, I'm going to change the proposed policy wording. Nyttend 17:15, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Examples of the problems?Edit

What are examples of the problem that led to this proposal? - David Gerard 12:10, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Only that people keep asking if we have a policy on this, and rather than keep summarising this, we could just give them this link.
The custom template thing is an actual problem, the rest is really just niceties. pfctdayelise (说什么?) 12:59, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
I support this, I think it could be tagged as a guideline immediately, and then in awhile with some tweaking of some words be a policy. MECUtalk 13:08, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
In my opinion, categories like [[Category:USER]] should not be allowed. It establishes a confusion between mainspace galleries and user galleries. Dantadd 13:09, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Support. What if User:Ronaldo had created Category:Ronaldo for his own use ? Another problem with user categories in general, is that they encumber the description page. What if thousands of users create categories like "Pictures User:Example likes", "Cities User:Example wants to visit" or "Gorgeous girls according to User:Example" ? We would have plenty of useless category lines on each picture page. This is a real problem IMHO. Maybe user-categorisation should be limited to the files users upload. I personaly think user categories should be forbidden, in favor of galleries. — Xavier, 14:06, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
BTW, is there a way, like <noinclude> in templates, to hide categories (here user-specific categories) from the category list in the file description page ? The category would still be taken into account when you browse the user category tree but it would not burden the "official" category list at the bottom of the page. — Xavier, 14:20, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
User galleries should of course only be used for stuff like "Category:Taken by me" or "Category:Uploaded by me". -- Bryan (talk to me) 16:26, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Xavier, if it's a "real problem", can you show some examples? :) I haven't noticed people are silly enough to create categories like you say ("Cities User:Example wants to visit"). If anyone creates something like that, we don't need this policy to reject it. I feel confident any category like that can be rejected quickly whether this policy exists or not. I don't really care if we put a "naming convention" on user-specific categories, but it seems not very important to me, and there will be a LOT of renaming necessary to do, for relatively little gain. --pfctdayelise (说什么?) 00:38, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Oops, I didn't use the right words, sorry for that. Despite what my comments may look, I'm not criticizing. What I actually meant is that such an abuse is a true problem in theory, but of course a potential one in reallity. I have not much experience on Commons and until now, I've noticed that user categories are quite rare and I haven't seen any user put a file (s)he has not uploaded in one of his/her user-categories. However, I've seen such a behaviour for user-galleries (which don't hurt) and since the nuance between user-galleries and user-categories is thin, users may inadvertently tag a file with a category like "My favorite pictures". Maybe I fail to see some important side effects, but I still think something should be added to these guidelines, stating that only the uploader and the author (if different) of a file can put it in one (and only one ?) of their user-categories. — Xavier, 12:30, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Hi Xavier, at the risk of violating w:WP:BEANS, I put a note to the effect of what you said. :) --pfctdayelise (说什么?) 14:49, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Templates in the user namespaceEdit

I don't see why user templates should not be in the template namespace. It is not like we are running out of room. Kjetil r 14:22, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

It's not a matter of room. This is a means to distinguish between official license templates and user created ones. For example, can you tell at the first sight whether {{GFDLF}} is a Commons template or a user-created one ? And since it is written in a language you don't speak, could you tell easily if it contains some restrictions incompatible with Commons criteria ? If instead it was written {{User:example/GFDLF}}, you would pay close attention to it. Moreover, templates in userspace can easily be spotted by robots. — Xavier, 14:48, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Invariant sections / disclaimers?Edit

See Image:Ulf Isak Leirstein 2006-05-15.jpg. I was told on IRC last night that my template, in which the “Distribution” part is meant as friendly advice to reusers, could in fact add invariant sections or disclaimers to the GFDL. Should sections like that be avoided (or prohibited) in personal templates? (Note that I have the standard license templates further down). Kjetil r 14:29, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

...
It looks pretty much fine to me, maybe it could be slightly reworded to make it more clear it's a recommendation. I think anything we can do to give re-users "friendly advice" about how to correctly obey the license terms is a big plus. --pfctdayelise (说什么?) 00:27, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

substing custom templates that contain standard templatesEdit

What is the reasoning behind requiring custom templates that contain standard licensing templates to be substed? The relevant templates are still displayed, and images placed in the relevant categories whether the template is substed or not?

Note I'm not necessarily objecting to this, but I'm curious as to the reasoning. If this is adopted, will a bot be able to do retrospectively apply this to, e.g. the several thousand images that use my {{User:Thryduulf/cc-by-sa-all}}? Thryduulf 18:40, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

The reason is that if it's not substed, the license terms or conditions can be changed without that being obvious from the image page history or the license template history. Subst:ing such templates is good for transparency.
If this becomes policy it shouldn't create an overnight rush to implement it. I think we can easily get a bot to do the work, and take requests from users who have templates like yours. --pfctdayelise (说什么?) 00:25, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand the need to substitute, and never have. There is no one but myself who has all of my thousands of images watchlisted, so how is anyone going to detect changes? It seems that inconvienencing people just so bots can run more efficiently is crazy. Write the bot to handle templates, and you'll be fine, it's really quite trivial especially with the Wikimedia software features for resolving templates. If I had a single template the contained licensing information for all my images, you would only need to watchlist one page to monitor changes made to licensing. Legally speaking with regards to changing licensing, a license applies only when a new copy is made, so changes can and should be allowed, unless we are strictly not allowing authors to control their works at all once they are published here (which may have additional legal consequences if we do that). If a user wants to change and use a different copyleft license instead, I see no reason why we should not allow this change (e.g., changing a CC-by-1.0 license to a CC-by-2.5 or GFDL). If they want to use a non-free license, then I say respect their wishes and delete their images, rather than forcing them to leave it here. We already delete images on request by authors for other reasons. If we are not allowing changes to licensing, then substiting is irrelevant: we should then require that the edit summaries of upload pages include licensing information, then it will be invariant. If they do make changes to templates and it changes the license, this really makes no difference as long as it is still a free license. The previous history is irrelevant for any Wikimedia usage, since the files can still be used without change. There change does not affect copies made by other users for non-wikimedia projects, since they can't revoke previous copies. Authors can only control future copies. -- Ram-Man 19:18, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Ram-Man, we don't typically allow Wikimedia users to revoke their licenses. Of course we accept additional licenses, and I suppose there is no problem moving to a less restrictive one either (eg CC-BY-SA -> CC-BY). The problem is the other way, usually people who want to revoke all free content licenses altogether.
Is there a problem with just having the license separate to the userinfo template? that seems the easiest solution to me. pfctdayelise (说什么?) 14:27, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Separating licensing from user info is a great idea, and it's what I and a lot of other users do. My only issue was requiring substitution of templates. As for revoking licenses, I'm not sure it has ever been made clear whether or not a user has control over their own work. If it was their own webpage a user could change a license at any time and the people copying would have to comply. Since the Commons is a place where a user has some control over their work, due to it being a Wiki, do we give them that same freedom to control their work? If someone copies the file, then the license cannot be revoked, but at this point a copy has not been made yet, since it is the original uploaded by the author. Since the author has some perceived level of control, do they have the legal right to change a license? Afterall, Wikimedia is just a host, which is why it gets DMCA protection from copyright infringment. Is Wikimedia also a publisher? If we exert that level of control (as a publisher) over author's works, do we (Wikimedia) become liable to the copyright issues that surround someone who makes a copy? I don't have enough grasp of legal precedent to know if this distinction makes any difference, I'm only bringing it up. Letting an author control their own work and allow licensing changes eliminates any concern whatsoever about being a publisher, but it may be too much concern, I really don't know. -- Ram-Man 14:43, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm ambivalent about the subst'ing idea. I expect to tweak my template a couple times in the future, and it seems overmuch to require a bot pass for each one of those. Since the concern about the template is that it can be edited in undesirable ways, perhaps control/monitor it more closely? Protection is a little heavy-handed, though if admins are responsive it can work, or simply get multiple people to watchlist each template. Stan Shebs 14:16, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Stan, if you keep your personal template separate from any licensing template, than you don't need to subst it and you can "tweak" it as you like. pfctdayelise (说什么?) 14:27, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Sure, but one of the selling points of the template was to encapsulate the licenses, for instance to simplify adding a new version of CC. Or suppose I decide to make everything PD? I'm changing the licensing, but it's in the direction of greater freedom, seems like something to encourage. Stan Shebs 14:49, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

When you don't subst templates with Template:Information we're going to have a bad machine readability. I don't care, where the templates are put, but they have to be substed. --Flominator 11:06, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

SupportEdit

Looks good, imho. Samulili 15:03, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Think it looks good too. The only other thing I can think of is a comment recommending that personalised categories are called something like "Images by USER" rather then just "USER" to avoid confusion when usernames resemble proper category names or potential future category names. Apart from that is there anything stoping it from becoming a proper guideline/policy? /Lokal_Profil 20:56, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
I think this is mature to be a policy. What you mentioned about user categories seems to be fixed on the actual page, too. Samulili 10:13, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

CategorisationEdit

I think categorisation into content categories(i.e. not user gallery categories) should not be done by user templates. An example. Such categorisation through template parameters were also discussed at User talk:Siebrand. /130.237.205.46 11:43, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Agree. The main problem isn't necessarily machine readability but the fact that one cannot easily move the image into another category or a subcategory./ Lokal_Profil 15:49, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Custom Information templatesEdit

User license templates are already covered, but what about other templates that all images are supposed to use, such as {{Information}}? Examples of such user templates can be found here and here. Shouldn't this be discouraged as well, to keep the wikitext consistent and readable for all tools that rely on it being in the same format with all images? --Para 10:41, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

I think templates like the one you mentioned are relevant here too. I definitely agree, for maximum machine readability, templates like those ones should only be used if they are subst:ed, and they subst: into the standard {{Information}}. pfctdayelise (说什么?) 11:03, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree, too. Samulili 10:49, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

subst:ed of a user-specific license templateEdit

I changed "user-specific template must be subst:ed" back to "user-specific template should be subst:ed" (last version by Pfctdayelise). Deletion requests citing the newer wording were making some people very unhappy.

It seems to me that it is important to have broad support for the must wording before nominating images for deletion based on that wording. Walter Siegmund (talk) 18:02, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

That was not all you changed. In any case, here follows a structure for determining the level of support for the must wording.   — Jeff G. (talk|contribs) 21:02, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
To me it seems like we should understand that "must" does not mean we any one should act impolitely when the other party doesn't and when a policy is new or non-obvious. We must be able to enforce "must" in a polite way. Samulili 14:48, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Proposal: wording 'Such templates must exist as user subpages rather than in the template namespace, e.g. "User:Example/Template" or "User:Example/Info".'Edit

I'm sorry I made this change and another change (see the next subsection) without discussing here first. Walter Siegmund reverted my two changes in this edit. Of course, the bolding would not be in the actual policy, I only used it here for emphasis.   — Jeff G. (talk|contribs) 21:02, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support for obvious reasons.   — Jeff G. (talk|contribs) 21:02, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support I have no problem with this. However, some users (like me not too long ago) simply don't know how to do this, so there should be a how-to section. Also, we should provide an easy way for the people who already have template namespace templates to transfer over to user namespace templates and change it on all their images. --Digon3 talk 22:09, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Proposal: wording 'user-specific template must be subst:ed'Edit

I'm sorry I made this change and another change (see the previous subsection) without discussing here first. Walter Siegmund reverted my two changes in this edit. Of course, the bolding would not be in the actual policy, I only used it here for emphasis. I find support for this change in the following previous posts:

  • My preference would be to disallow it, and convert all images licnesed with user specific templates to all the licenses the templates have had at various points, using non user specific license templates. Thoughts? ++Lar: t/c 18:43, 28 January 2007 (UTC)[1]
  • I think that a tag like {{PD-author|MyName}} should be enough. When it comes to license there should be some standards and it's important to avoid "customization". Dantadd 20:59, 28 January 2007 (UTC) [2]
  • Unsubst'd it is VERY hard to tell when exactly the license on an image changed, as there is nothing in that image's history to tell you that. That's the main issue. Extra info is certianly nice, but could be included via a template that didn't incorporate the license itself. ++Lar: t/c 04:45, 29 January 2007 (UTC)[3]
  • Watching every personal template seems impractical, we don't even know which ones are which. I'm concerned about how hard it is to tell for an image, looking at solely the image and its history, to realise there has been a license change. The history shows nothing, you have to check the history of the template... IF you realise the image is using a template and not the standard license. That you don't change licenses doesn' mean you can't. Two of the example templates I gave have had license changes. This is a bad practice in my view, it makes things harder for other users. Again, if youw ant to add things to the image description that are custom, great. But I'm coming round to thinking that unsubst-d custom templates are just a bad idea with no redeeming good features that outweigh the convenienve of future users who have to know how something is or was licensed. Perhaps I'm missing a feature? Perhaps you're not following me? I do want to see if I am all wet here. ++Lar: t/c 14:05, 29 January 2007 (UTC)[4]
  • I for one entirely agree with you. The whole point of Commons is that content should be freely available, and for that they need to be clearly labelled with accurate licensing information. What if a newspaper wants to grab an image to illustrate a news story? Why should the news desk have to trawl through the template history to see if thay can legally use it in the way they need to? Ideally, once a licence has been applied it should be locked, and unavailable to modify or remove, though additional licences could be added. Genuine mistakes can be dealt with by deletion of the content, and re-uploading. But I think that's not possible with the software we have now; if so, it would be nice to hear that the developers are working on it ;) --MichaelMaggs 16:33, 29 January 2007 (UTC)[5]
  • Hi, people. I'll stop using the {{ebrenccreated}} template and I'm going to replace (in the files I think...) that template for {{Cc-by-sa-2.5|Joan M. Borràs ([[:ca:Usuari:Ebrenc|ebrenc]])}}, for example. → ebrenc Blason 66.svg sí? Red star.svg 16:42, 29 January 2007 (UTC)[6] (by Ebrenc (talk · contribs) using her signature from Wikipedia Català)
  • I think, at the very least, standard licensing templates must be present for bot-readability. It's very important that license-checking and such can be automated, and if someone is using a personalized licensing template that basically boils down to "dual-licensed under GFDL and CC-by-sa-2.5", but is not robotically parseable because it is a custom template, that is a bad idea. At the very minimum, if something is licensed under a certain license, it should have the default template for that license (which should also automatically put it into a relevant category). If people want to use additional personalized licensing, they should do so in a usersubspace template which includes that information as well as standardized license templates and is then substituted onto the pages of their image uploads. --Cyde 17:26, 29 January 2007 (UTC) [7]
  • I strongly agree with Cyde's comment above. To make it more clear, for machine readability we really should demand that a standard template be directly included in the page itself (via subst or direct insertion), not nested in via a transclusion. This is needed because it is unreasonable to expect someone working from a dump to perform the wikitext parsing needed to make sense of anything using transclusion. As far as personal templates go, I think they can be useful and shouldn't be discouraged unless someone gets obnoxious with them.. but they can not replace the standard licensing templates. --Gmaxwell 17:37, 29 January 2007 (UTC)[8]
  • Why don't we just ask people to subst: personal templates? That seems like a perfect solution - no extra work for people who use them (well, 5 letters to type!) and then the licenses for each image are totally transparent. pfctdayelise (说什么?) 01:43, 30 January 2007 (UTC)[9]

It is important for the stability of Commons that any changes in licensing for files from less restrictive to more restrictive be trackable on those files' description pages' histories. Otherwise, changes like [10], [11] FIX THIS LIST will keep happening.   — Jeff G. (talk|contribs) 21:02, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Stability? The commons is hardly going to suffer if we don't know that changes are made. If someone, like a newspaper, decides to use a picture, they must make appropriate licensing information available in the republication, and they should make a copy of the original image and its licensing page for their records. To do any differently is legally reckless, as even if the licensing never changes, the image could be deleted. None of the changes that you mention matter, as they are all compatible licenses with Wikimedia. As I said before, if Wikimedia wants to take the legal liability in forbidding the control of the copyrighted work by the author (e.g. through license changes), then we should have a software facility whereby the license is selected and permanently stored outside the content of the image description page. As it stands now, authors may have a reasonable legal expectation of being able to edit and change their license. Afterall, this is the media repository that anyone can edit. Uploads by authors have not yet undergone a copy by which the license takes effect. Wikimedia is acting as a service for the copyright holder, not as a copyright stakeholder itself. -- Ram-Man 22:20, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support for obvious reasons.   — Jeff G. (talk|contribs) 21:02, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I'm concerned that over-zealous enforcement of the strong wording that is proposed may (has, in fact) lead to conflict and may drive away good contributors.[12] Also, it is burdensome on those who have contributed many images to modify user-specific templates on all those pages, although I think that problem could be mitigated by use of a bot. I am mindful of the userbox imbroglio of January 2006 on enwiki that engendered anger and mistrust. In that case, the goal was good, but it was initially implemented in a manner that caused feelings of anger and ill-will that linger to this day. In the present matter, the work of Siebrand with Lviatour serves as an exemplary model, I think.[13] Lviatour seems satisfied with the result.[14] the preceding unsigned comment was added by Wsiegmund (talk • contribs) 16:45, 20 August 2007
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I've stated my opposition to this whole thing in posts above (some which have never been responded to):
    1) As a user with thousands of photos, I prefer to use everything in a license template because then I can make changes that affect all the images without hassle. For example, suppose I were to change a license from CC-by-2.5 to CC-by-sa-3.0, I would want to do that from one location if possible. As mentioned above, there is no reason that I can see why we can or should legally prevent someone from changing a license, so long as they are the uploader and the only copyright holder. If a user wants to change to an incompatible license, we should delete their pictures.
    2) It is totally ridiculous that we should have to cater to bots instead of users. The bots should have to cater around the users. This is needless instruction creep. A bot can look at the included licensing categories or in the worst case parse for certain licensing strings. There is NO REASON that it has to look for a specific template, other than laziness. The burden should be placed on bot writers, not users. A less restrictive policy would be to require category inclusion of the appropriate license(s), which happens regardless of template substitution. Custom templates should be allowed because they do not limit machine readability, so long as a standard license template is used, thus providing the appropriate machine readable categories. I've also mentioned this before: the Wikimedia software has built-in support for completely resolving templates. A bot can easily use that feature to generate a page containing no templates at all or a page with one-level substitution. One bot writer's inconvenience is fine compared to the large number of users being annoyed.
    3) The issue of not knowing when a license changes because of lack of history is not important either. The only time it could matter is if a copy or derivative is made, but in that case the previous licensing information should be copied as well. If the original changes, the copy/derivative does not change. Licensing should never rely on the original being present, as media must be distributable on its own, otherwise it couldn't be singly copied for use on the Wikipedias. If you really wanted to know if a license changed, have a bot patrol the recent changes. It could monitor both image pages and templates for licensing changes. As it stands now, if I change a license on a page that has substituted templates, no one notices, since no one is watching thousands of my images (except for me). -- Ram-Man 21:50, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Ram-Man said it best. Also, we will lose some of our top photographers (Fir0002) if this change happens. --Digon3 talk 21:44, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Although I think that the personalised templates should always be substed creating deletion requests for this is just plain wrong. Now most likely Fir0002 won't consider any discussion about changes to his templates whereas before the deletion request I'm sure a solution coul have been easily worked out.
In most cases all that one needs to do is split any template up into two templates, the text part and the license part. This can even be done so that there isn't any graphical change in the template. Then the only difference for the uploader is that they have to write subst: in front of the template in new uploads and that they will require bot assistance for any mass relicensing (all affected images can still be found through the text-template), which for you would not entitle much extra work. The main point is that this is not an attack on the credibility of the users using personalised licenses, most of you know how licenses can and cannot be changed and wouldn't add restrictions to your license. The reason for doing this is to prevent the users who don't understand and the easiest way to do this is by not making any exceptions. License changes or dual-licensing is not something which tends to happen (after all there is only so much freedom you can add to a free license) if a simple bot request is necessary then that is the middle step where any problematic licens change could easily be spoted by a third person.
So instead of deletion requests which will only upset people talk to the template owners, suggest an alternative coding of the template, explain that they can still edit the text and still find all the images through the text-template and most importantly offer to do the repetitive (bot) work for them. /Lokal_Profil 10:42, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Unless someone gives me a bot that can reliably mass-update all my uploads, perhaps by bracketing the subst-ed block. Stan Shebs 14:48, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I totally agree with Ram-Man. --LucaG 19:04, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support--Mbz1 13:08, 23 August 2007 (UTC)Mbz1
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support because I strongly oppose to Ram-Man's point number one. The problem is even graver if someone changes their license from CC-BY to, say, GFDL. Samulili 15:43, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Why? Why does it matter? The licenses are all compatible with Wikimedia projects, so all I see is that some users just want, but I do not see a need to know. -- Ram-Man 00:00, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Per Ram-Man and others. This is a silly small minded policy which to me at least has no merit. --Fir0002 www 06:21, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose per Ram-Man. Substing has too many disadvantages. -- aka 10:55, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Is this so much text over a single word, should or must? :)Edit

Bots can and should, of course, do all the necessary work in terms of updating images. No one (I hope) is suggesting that users should do it.

This is a problem. We start with an open wiki, nothing structured, everything on the image page is just in a "blob". We self-impose standards, with the hope that one day we can move to structured data and that will make it easier.

"Catering to bots instead of users": while it is useful for bots, it is useful for humans too. For all the tools that we currently use to extend Commons - like Gallery RSS feed, for example - they all at the moment have to pick their own individual way through the blob. Having standards makes the blob easier to navigate. It also makes it easier for humans, for example if we can say "to find who the author is to be attributed, look at the author field on the image page", well that only works if everyone uses the same template.

This is not quite as trivial as "just catering to bots", if we are to be anything more than a random collection of stuff that people haphazardly organise and annotate (or don't) as they please. cheers --pfctdayelise (说什么?) 15:46, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

My issues go beyond a debate over the two words, as should be obvious. The rules are intrusive and I don't see why I, as a large contributor, should have to be bothered with these silly rules. I've considered moving all my pictures to English Wikipedia only, so I can avoid these dumb rules, but I actually care about all the projects. Not all users might see it that way. Even so, I still fail to understand how a licensing concern has anything to do with your last statement. Knowing or not knowing the license has very little to do with whether or not we have a "random collection of stuff". I also fail to see how this could ever be useful for me. A bot should process the needed information without any interaction with the user. As for your example, if you want to require the use of the {{Information}} template, then the rules should say that, not the nonsense it currently says. Then it's easy: delete or process any image that doesn't contain the template. But even so, a bot cannot parse the author field and actually determine who the author is, nor can it just look at the page for standard templates. For example, this image is very complicated. A bot would fail to appreciate that this image is not available under a public domain license, even though I followed all of these rules. The only accurate way to find who to attribute as the author is to have a human read the page description, and no bot or set of rules can change that. -- Ram-Man 00:00, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Although I disagree with you on the substing-issue I must admit that you kind of have a point here. Let's start by pushing {{Information}} as the one and only way to describe content, age and author of a picture (maybe not a painting, though). Do you agree that at least that one should be included as {{information and not nested for optimal machine readability? --Flominator 16:47, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I'll say that using the Information template is a great idea, but I'm still hesitant to restrict users by making it a requirement. Still, it is better than this current over-zealous attempt. Obviously we disagree on the substituting issue, so we won't agree on the nesting issue, since a machine can resolve nesting and perform substitution easily enough. -- Ram-Man 04:25, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
With regard to that image, I fail to see how Chris_huh's licensing of {{PD-self}} for "copyrightable modifications" benefits anyone or the community more than licensing of {{self|GFDL-1.2}} (which would result in a cleaner page more easily readable by machine).   — Jeff G. (talk|contribs|Administrator nom) 17:50, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Modifications are copyrightable (assuming they are non-trivial) and have legal protection independent of the copyright on the original work. In the case of the image, Chris_huh has legal right to control his changes, at least in a limited fashion. He can't release the resulting image under anything but the GFDL, but the resulting image isn't what is at question here. Since I am the original author of the work, he and I are the only ones that have any copyright claim to this image. Because he has released the rights to his changes (through PD-self), I could conceivably relicense the modified work however I see fit, even though he modified it. Retaining this note allows this to happen. I could add new licenses because of this declaration. The notice also has another legal ramification that is more easily understood by another example. If I were writing a book and I wrote all the text myself, but I paid to license some images to put in the book, then when the book is published, I will claim copyright. But what do I own the copyright to? Only the text. The images are still copyrighted by the original author. The important point here is that the modifications (my text) are not copyrightable by the author of the images. In the case of this image, if it were possible to separate his changes from my work, then those changes would be released of copyright. An author has a legal right to control his modifications. Perhaps a more simple example is needed. Imagine that he took my original image and added a big red "X" over top of the image. Now suppose that another user came along and wanted to use the "X" in his own work. He could remove all instance of my copyrighted material and use only the resulting "X". I would have no claim to the "X", and thus the second user could use the X as a public domain image. -- Ram-Man 04:20, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Hidden user categories. OK?Edit

I was thinking of adding a user category to all my images, and I was thinking to make that a hidden category such that it does not spam the list of categories on the individual image page. I would use this category to mostly link to from my user page and also to use the {{PAGESINCAT}} magic word to keep track of the number of uploaded images as well as FPs, QIs and VIs (the latter based on hidden subcategories). Would that be acceptable use of __HIDDENCAT__? -- Slaunger (talk) 21:01, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Of course. Most user categories use {{user category}}, which automatically makes it hidden and places it in Category:User categories (or your own personal subcategory by using something like {{user category|cat=Files by User:Slaunger}}). Rocket000(talk) 22:42, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Ah, OK. It all makes sense. I had missed that being hidden is incorporated in {{user category}} already. Thanks. -- ~~
I believe all user categories should be hidden, as strictly speaking they're not at all part of the logical categorization scheme (for that matter, I personally think that user categories shouldn't be used at all, and other tools to know what belongs to whom should be employed instead). Would it be bad form to change this for other users? It's really not nice to see "File uploaded by Foo" among categories in the rendered page. --LjL (talk) 14:36, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I do not thnk it would be bad from to make such user-specific categories hidden when you encounter them. However, I would at the same time drop a note on Foos talk page telling why you have done so referring to this policy as it may not be self-evident for all users that this makes sense. --Slaunger (talk) 15:20, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I am one of those users who do not find this self-evident, and the discussion here doesn't help much (and I can't find anything about it in the policy). I can't see any point in hiding the user-cats. I find it a good thing to easily be able to follow the user cat to find more images by the same photographer. I also don't see the reason for the discouragement to make user subcategories. /Dcastor (talk) 22:09, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
They're hidden because they have nothing to do with what the subject of the media is. They don't help "readers" find media. Most editors see the hidden categories. They're not as hidden as that word would imply. Rocket000 (talk) 07:59, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and when users create categories for not just their work, but their uploads and whatever plus a category for the camera, category for the editing software, category for this, category for that, etc. It's category overload and makes them a lot less useful. Non-hidden categories should be about the content. That's it. We don't even show most of the "featured" or "quality" image categories anymore. It got to be too much. Rocket000 (talk) 08:04, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
If I want to find diagram drawn by the same author (because I like the style, for example) but uploaded by different people under different categories, there is no easy way to do so. If author (or user) category where easily found, I would be able to do so. Your assertion is based on the fact that every reader is looking for images about a subject, but the truth is that no one knows how Commons could be used by people. There exists people that do not always search for images illustrating subjects (in fact, I'm one of them), and who would benefit from an easy access to author categories.
Moreover, for me it is not obvious at which point we would have a "category overload". If I'm searching for "similar" pictures, I just read the list of categories, even if it is quite long. The problem is not that there may be too much categories, but that they are poorly displayed. We have plenty of space, instead of displaying categories on a single line, using a table would be a simpler way to look cleaner.
IMHO, a good compromise would be to separate two blocks of contents: one for the "subject" categories, and the other for what is actually hidden.
Hidding content is way too much harsh, don't we have learn something from the success of our projects? Wikipedia, transparency, access to knowledge, anyone? NoJhan (talk) 14:05, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Two blocks of categories is exactly what you see when you switch hidden categories on in your preferences settings. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 15:17, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Why isn't it shown for everybody, then? NoJhan (talk) 15:34, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
You're right about no one knowing how Commons could be used by people, but we can't please everyone's needs with categories. Maybe some people want to browse all images matching a certain size. Or all files made with a particular piece of software. Or all CC-BY-SA-2.0 files. Or files uploaded in 2004. Etc. All of that stuff is meta data and not about the content, same goes for author/uploader. It's like saying Wikipedia articles show be categorized by who wrote them because if you like one article you'll want to find other by that author (unfair analogy perhaps but you get what I mean). If you want to see all the files a particular editor has uploaded use http://toolserver.org/~daniel/WikiSense/Gallery.php. Rocket000 (talk) 20:24, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
I am one of those editors (and an uploader of over a thousand images) who strongly dislikes having the user category hidden. Why is my addition to Commons something that literally is "hidden"??? I may not be on par with world-renowned photographers - but I did create these works, and that is a relevant element of their categorisation. It is not overcatting. Ingolfson (talk) 04:57, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
And on an above matter, someone said:
"I believe all user categories should be hidden, as strictly speaking they're not at all part of the logical categorization"
So you are proposing that Category:Ansel Adams be deleted? The majority of that cat contains works of his. Sure, he was never a user of Commons (obviously). But since I use my user category to mark my created images, they serve exactly the same function as the majority of the "Ansel Adams" category uses. Ingolfson (talk) 09:29, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Category:Ansel Adams is not a user category. It is a creator gallery of a notable artist, which makes it a content category. User categories are treated as source categories, that also should be hidden. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 09:32, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
We need a notability guideline. For unhidden, i.e. content categories and for creator templates (there's a couple users that have one). Rocket000 (talk) 09:35, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
It is not a "gallery", it is a category. Further, how does notability enter here (how does notability enter at all - Commons works on usability of a file, and whether or not it can legally be on here - not notability, which is a Wikipedia concept) - I was referring to the user who claimed that categorising by author is irrelevant to the Commons category scheme. The majority of the Ansel Adams category is not ABOUT Ansel Adams (which according to that user would be okay - it collects images BY him). Thus, according to that user, the category (or most of the contents categorisation) is irrelevant. Which only highlights my point. Ingolfson (talk) 09:37, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
I didn't say "gallery". Categories are more important on Commons if you were referring to galleries as being our "main"space. Anyway, the reason notable creators have them unhidden is because people may be wishing to illustrate an article or something on them so it's the best way to search. They kinda are the topic then even if they aren't the subject of the works. Categorizing by non-notable creator isn't very useful for educational purposes. Just look at their contribs gallery if you want to see what else they've done. It's not a content-oriented categorization. It's like Featured pictures, which is also hidden. Rocket000 (talk) 09:35, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
[I didn't say "gallery".] - Pieter did, I was referring to him. I do see some of your points, now that you took the time to explain them. I may still disagree with them (see also my notes on your page), but at least with "Featured" you have a bit of a precedent. Ingolfson (talk) 09:50, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
I still seriously think that only maintenance category should be hidden. Here, as Nojhan previously explained, we don't know what the end user (the one using commons) will search. It's difficult to say that searching for the same images/drawing a given user made is non topical data, because one could search for them exclusively. The problem is that hiding is only done with a media-wiki keyword, and if we wants to hide depending the data of a topic, we should have either several keywords linked with an user preference, either another solution involving categorization and a javascript. Esby (talk) 10:52, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
I can still not see any reason to keep user cats hidden (nor featured cats, for that matter). I see a few users here arguing for hiding them, but I fail to see any convincing arguments. I also see several users questioning the practice. Can there really be said to exist a consensus for it? (On a side note: user cats are not the same as the upload galleries. The latter are unstructured and contains uploads, which are rather uninteresting, while the former can be divided into sub-cats and show production – at least that's how I use mine.) /Dcastor (talk) 19:25, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Policy or guideline?Edit

The pagename clearly suggests that this page is a policy, but it has a {{guideline}} tag on the page. I think it would be great if this would be more clear. --The Evil IP address (talk) 16:28, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

User:Name vs Real NameEdit

Hi, I was wondering for my user category, Could I use my real name insted of User:Lcawte? I am fine with giving out my real name and I think I know all the risks/advantages to it... --Lcawte (talk) 17:22, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Sure! It is a matter of preferences, and there is nothing wrong about it. Diti the penguin 17:59, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
In Commons talk:User categories this is proposed to be changed, to "greatly reduce confusion". I have not noticed any such confusion, though. --LPfi (talk) 11:58, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

User templates used in the Author fieldEdit

On many files, the user custom template is used in the Author field (see for example File:Belfort-Pano-1.jpg). This completely breaks the StockPhoto tool, which relies on it for attribution purposes.

Maybe we should add to this policy that user templates must be used outside of {{Information}} and that a proper attribution line must be given somehow (with the Author field, {{Credit line}} or the CC templates Attribution parameter, I think users have more that enough possibilities).

Jean-Fred (talk) 20:16, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

I'll more or less oppose to that. Users are allowed to choose how they are to be attributed. Technical issues should not result in policing how users should have their attribution... Anyway, what is the stockphoto tool? url? Esby (talk) 22:26, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
Er, I am referring to MediaWiki:Stockphoto.js which has been enabled for all anonymous users for several months now... It is the tool that displays big icons to download/share/etc. the file.
I do not usderstand the grounds of your oppose, esby. « Users are allowed to choose how they are to be attributed. » Yes precisely. And this is about users being kind enough to provide this information in a way that is machine-readable, so that attribution tools work. As I said, users have AFAIK three ways to do so (Author field, {{Credit line}}, CC templates parameter), they should have to use at least one, period. Custom templates are bonuses, if they want one, then yeah let them have one. But it should not interfere with the standard ways.
Jean-Fred (talk) 17:02, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Could you describe how the tool is 'completely broken': I see nothing unusual after loading it and testing it on a few photographs.
Back on the subject, I don't like seeing policy that could lead to users leaving the project. Right now, we allow users to have a custom template to credit them. We also have some users claiming we must hide users categories because they might be non topical. We deals with images and with the authors of those images, the authors being wikipedians or not. There should be no difference on Commons for classifying it. We are Commons, not wikipedias. Also, don't forget that external sites usually reuse the attribution field but not necessarily other fields... Esby (talk) 18:10, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Notability and the naming of user categoriesEdit

I think we should consider the notability concerning the naming of user categories. In the following I am assuming that the person behind a user is not notable as an artist:

✓OK
  • Category:User:UserName
  • Category:Files by User:UserName
  • Category:Photographs by User:UserName
  • Category:Diagrams by User:UserName
  • Category:Quality images by User:UserName
  • Category:Quality images by UserName
  • Category:Files by UserName
  • Category:Photographs by RealName
  • Category:Diagrams by RealName
  • Category:Quality images by RealName
X mark.svg Not OK
  • Category:UserName (note: without “User:”)
  • Category:RealName
  • Category:UserNameVariant
  • Category:UserName (year)
  • Category:RealName (type)
  • Category:Any description without mentioning the user name (added on March 8)

IMO it would be a gain if we refrained from naming user categories in a similar as normal categories. --Leyo 12:53, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

I'd rather keep Category:User:Multichill. Someone else created a Category:RealName about me, what is wrong with that? What would we gain by disallowing that? Multichill (talk) 20:41, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
OK, I moved this type of category from unsure to ok.
IMO the subcategories of Category:User categories are currently quite messy. A reader should be able to tell from the category name, if it's normal content or a user-specific category. As I would prefer not to show up anyone I do not give examples, but there are enough in Category:User categories. --Leyo 22:38, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
The distinction shown by Leyo is OK to me. If any category does not fit, please nominate it for deletion. Regards, Yann (talk) 06:07, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
I think that it would be best to first state in COM:USER#Categories which kind of naming is allowed. --Leyo 12:54, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree that the naming patterns under "Ok" are better, but am opposed to disallowing the others. And if that will be the outcome of this, users with vast categories must be offered bot help to make the changes. /Dcastor (talk) 15:37, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Do you understand my arguments? Have you tried to imagine the perspective of a reader (≠ user)?
Yes, help with changing for re-categorizing would of course be provided. --Leyo 13:32, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Agree to the propose of Leyo. But we should be careful by renaming existent categories. Because there will be many external links that we couldn't fix I think existing categories shouldn't be renamed. Bestandsschutz as it will named in German. --Quedel (talk) 15:35, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
We don't do this for content categories. So, why should we do it for user categories? Except for the user, they are less relevant than content categories. --Leyo 17:22, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

I think that every category name containing User:UserName should be ok as name of a user category. --Kersti (talk) 10:04, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Like this:

  • Category:some text User:UserName some text
  • Category:User:UserName some text
  • Category:some text User:UserName

Language of the text doesn't matter, as I think, that Users should have the right to name their categories in their native language. User:UserName is clear enough to mark a usercategory as such. --Kersti (talk) 19:11, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Why discourage structure?Edit

Current text under "Categories" states: "Users may create subcategories that combine topic/subject focus with this user-specific element, e.g. "Category:Photos of London by User:Example", although this is discouraged." Why is this discouraged? It is a good way to structure one's images. My categories are useful to myself, and I link to them when others ask me if I have more pictures on a subject. /Dcastor (talk) 15:41, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

I think that the user name should better not be the last thing to mention in user categories. I prefer names such as e.g. Category:Files by User:AVRS/2011 in Russia. --Leyo 16:09, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree on that being a good idea when naming them, but what I am objecting to is the discouragement of the mere existence of such categories. /Dcastor (talk) 16:21, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I think it's simply to make user categories by a specific user easier to find? Maybe? There's nothing stopping one from creating several categories under Category:User categories which are completely unrelated to each other --moogsi (blah) 22:16, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't see how that would be an easier way to find them. I have two top-level user categories, one for sound (almost empty) and one for pictures. The pic cat contains several subcats (with subcats) to make it easier to handle. It must be better to keep these as subcats rather than placing over 75 categories directly in category:User categories. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dcastor (talk • contribs)
Since we have Category:User categories (flat list), Category:User categories should not have more than one category for each user. --Leyo 13:20, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Since noone has really defended the current wording so far, I'm changing it. /Dcastor (talk) 07:58, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

My change has now been undone by user:Foroa. Would you please care to explain why? /Dcastor (talk) 17:42, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
Of course; the expression "should use template" is there for many years years, there is no consensus to make that optional. --Foroa (talk) 18:00, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
You failed to read this talk thread as well as the provided edit link. Please try again and stay with the subject. /Dcastor (talk) 18:04, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

As there is still noone defending the "old" wording, I now change it again after providing reasonable time for respons here. /Dcastor (talk) 20:06, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

I have no problem with a few user subcategories, but in my opinion, 79 subcategories with its own particular naming style becomes too wieldy and will create maintenance problems and all sorts of noise. If all users start to do that, we will quickly have hundreds of thousands of user categories, so I would certainly leave the text "Category:Photos of London by User:Example", although this is discouraged." as has been removerd by Dcastor. --Foroa (talk) 06:19, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
{{User category}} has to be used by all user categories. --Leyo 09:42, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
The user cats not being part of the topical category tree means there is no need for them to follow any specific naming styles. I really don't understand the point about noise. How do my user cats create noise? Or maintenance problems (to anyone but myself)? They make it easier for me to find my contributions and to tell someone else where they are to be found. Why should that be discouraged? A specific image doesn't get a load of user cats, it's just getting a more detailed one. And what's the problem with hundreds of thousands of user cats, with at least a few pics in each (I personally don't create them for less than 4 pictures)? /Dcastor (talk) 12:45, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Is there anything stopping User-specific categories appearing in the main category tree?Edit

This is mainly a concern about the wording:

Users are welcome to create user-specific categories, e.g. "Category:Photos by User:Example". Such categories must be categorised under Category:User categories. This can be done by adding {{user category}} to the category page.

This doesn't explicitly say that User categories can't be categorized anywhere else. I suggest it should read "User categories must be categorised only under Category:User categories." or words to that effect. Which is what I think we want to happen, unless I have misunderstood the intent of the policy. --moogsi (blah) 22:26, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree. --Leyo 12:58, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Be careful. I reading first I understand this: If someone have Categore:User:ABC and he wants to make subcategories like Categorie:User:ABC/2013 he isn't allowed to take this second category in his main-category if above get rules. So it could be better to write must be categorised only within or under Category... --Quedel (talk) 13:05, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
That's a good point, it is slightly unclear. How about "User categories must be categorized under Category:User categories, and nowhere else in the category tree." --moogsi (blah) 13:57, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm assuming the issue is with "only" and not "under" - if a category is within another category it is also necessarily under it --moogsi (blah) 20:57, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
One would need to explain why user categories must be hidden first before changing the policy? Don't object me with 'notability', we are on Commons, not on Wikipedia, so tracking files created or edited by a given user should be visible to all users, not hidden... Esby (talk) 11:34, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't suggest that user categories be compulsorily hidden. It currently states that it can be done by using {{user category}} (which hides the category), not that it must. That's a different issue. --moogsi (blah) 00:01, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Basically, hidden categories are never hidden. Over time, they became topical and non-topical categories. --Foroa (talk) 07:49, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Categories generated by user templatesEdit

User templates should never generate categories other than user categories. For maintenance and rename reasons. --Foroa (talk) 18:11, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Seems reasonable. Do you have examples, where this is not the case? --Leyo 20:48, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
There are many, especially for linking to cameras, books and the earlier photo scavenger campaigns ({{WSTM}}). I don't have immediately a user example, but in Category:PD-Art (PD-old-100), one can see how unfiltered parameters can lead to all sorts of weird categories (I have given up correcting them all manually). One could add that such templates will be substituted when they don't follow the rules. --Foroa (talk) 05:14, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

User category for derivative files created by other users?Edit

Is it allowed to create a user category for files uploaded by other users but based on my uploads (Category:Derivatives of files by User:MKFI)? For example, File:Multitech Microprofessor II Tietokonemuseo (cropped).JPG is uploaded by User:Ubcule, but it is a crop from File:Multitech Microprofessor II Tietokonemuseo.JPG photographed and uploaded by me. I already have a user category Category:Files by User:MKFI for images that I have photographed myself. MKFI (talk) 16:28, 24 July 2013 (UTC)