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Source for stats: [1][2]

  • 05:26, 10 October 2010 (UTC): 4,712 subcategories
  • 11:42, 28 December 2010 (UTC): 5,195 subcategories
  • 07:30, 13 March 2011 (UTC): 5,681 subcategories
  • 11:20, 6 April 2011 (UTC): 6,287 subcategories
  • 03:16, 10 April 2011 (UTC): 6,345 subcategories
  • 09:11, 30 April 2011 (UTC): 7,004 subcategories
  • 08:03, 8 May 2011 (UTC): 7,886 subcategories
  • 00:10, 13 May 2011 (UTC): 8,064 subcategories
  • 22:07, 25 June 2011 (UTC): 8,727 subcategories
  • 15:59, 6 July 2011 (UTC): 9,080 subcategories
  • 11:07, 9 August 2011 (UTC): 9,971 subcategories
  • 8:11, 10 August 2011 (UTC): 10,000 subcategories, with ca. 89,000 images and 490 sub-subcategories
  • 11:17, 28 August 2011 (UTC): 10,521 subcategories
  • 15:08, 18 September 2011 (UTC): 11,088 subcategories, with ca. 92,616 images and 524 sub-subcategories. Distinct images used: 24322 (26.26% of all images)
  • 03:13, 15 October 2011 (UTC): 12,158 subcategories, with ca. 96,673 images and .. sub-subcategories. Distinct images used in main namespace: 25,400 (26.27% of all images)
  • 10:27, 26 November 2011 (UTC): 12,955 subcategories, with ca. 77,108 images and 533 sub-subcategories. Distinct images used in main namespace 25,903 (33.59% of all images of category). The drop from 96000 to 77000 is due to a change in the categorization of images from USNavy batch uploads.

Most frequent sources of images:

 See also: Commons:Ships by name.

Ships in QueenslandEdit

Commons:State Library of Queensland/Subjects includes a large number of ships. A good solution would probably be to add those directly to new categories "<shipname> (ship)". Sample at Commons:State Library of Queensland/Subjects/M. Maybe they should be added to Category:Ships in Queensland too. At Commons talk:State Library of Queensland/Subjects, there is a regex to convert the subjects to categories. --  Docu  at 18:30, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

That was quick, see Category:Ships in Queensland. --  Docu  at 23:13, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
See also
--  Docu  at 11:42, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Ships by decade categories for subcategories of Ships by nameEdit

DISPLAYTITLE with italicsEdit

Shall we add {{DISPLAYTITLE:}} to category descriptions? These could make appear the name of the ship in italics. Sample at Category:Abegweit (ship, 1947). --  Docu  at 11:20, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

What's the added value besides the name being in Italic ? --Foroa (talk) 11:48, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
The added value is limited to the Italics. (if we can call that "added value") --  Docu  at 11:51, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
For me no problem, when it can be done by bot. Not sure if it is of any value, but it looks not bad. --Stunteltje (talk) 12:07, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
Can be most ennoying for category renames. Should parse and extract the first part of the PAGENAME. --Foroa (talk) 12:26, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm not entirely convinced of it either, but it would make the names look more like the ones they seem to be fond of at some of the Wikipedias.
In case of a category rename, it just stops having any effect (there is some check built in if the argument of DISPLAYTITLE is an equivalent of PAGENAME).
And yes, it should be done by bot. --  Docu  at 06:16, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
Initial run:   Done --  Docu  at 03:16, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Additional run:   Done --  Docu  at 05:58, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I have created {{Italic title}} to automatically italicize a page name, excluding namespace and a part in parentheses. Unlike a manually added DISPLAYTITLE, it will continue to work after a page move. PrimeHunter (talk) 15:18, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

Double names per year of builtEdit

I found Category:Deneb (ship, 1916), but have a problem in 1994. I solved it via:

Looks like a working solution. Personally, I had thought about adding the IMO number, e.g. at Category:Mistral (ship, 1999). --  Docu  at 19:33, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
City of warf might be an easier disambiguation term to find than warf while having no language problem. --Foroa (talk) 21:15, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
OK, done it this way: Category:Deneb (ship, 1994, Hamburg) and Category:Deneb (ship, 1994, Wolgast) --Stunteltje (talk) 07:50, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I made Category:Mistral (ship, 1999, Saint-Nazaire). Any idea where the other one was built? Maybe Namur or Maasmechelen. BTW there is also IMO 9183788 built in Hamburg. --  Docu  at 20:21, 17 April 2011 (UTC) (edited)
"Namur" seems to be the answer. --  Docu  at 20:40, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Upcoming de facto ship naming conventionEdit

There is a clear growing de facto standard and consensus amongst several wikipedias for a simple ship naming standard; the ship category name should be as far as possible language independent and contain:

  • the name as painted on the ship, so that all people can categorise it properly
  • the fact that it is a ship, without knowing anything about ship types (most ship names could concern a book, a film, person, song, band, ...)
    • Exceptions are made for "xxx (tugboat, yyyy) and "xxx (submarine, yyyy)" --Foroa (talk) 16:17, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  • the year of completion if possible, the year of launch as ship otherwise, names tend to be reused often as can be seen in Category:ships by name (Contains yet only a couple of % of the roughly 500000 ship names).
  • no additional prefixes/postfixes such as MS, SS, USS, ... which are pretty much language dependent and not painted on the ship
  • in the exceptional cases (a few cases so far) where two ships have the same name and build year, it is further disambiguated with the city of building.

--Foroa (talk) 06:32, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

As fishing vessels have not painted their names but license numbers painted on the vessel (many times names only on a small nameplate somewhere) the categorising can be done according Category:Fishing vessels by license number, so adding the name only at [[Category:Ships by name|Name of the vessel]]. We have to find consensus on categorising by the pennant numbers of naval ships, as this system for fishing vessels can work for naval ships too. --Stunteltje (talk) 07:14, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

I started with this cat, maybe we should just rename that. --  Docu  at 10:31, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
  Done --  Docu  at 00:10, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Not sure if we should distinguish "MS" whether it's painted on the ship or not. Currently most ships don't use prefixes, painted on the ship or not. Obviously, "M.S." could be the initials of someone's name. In that case, I'd keep it. --  Docu  at 10:31, 3 May 2011 (UTC)


Currently, we seem to use "(ship, " for everything, but tugboats.

For submarines, shall we go with "(ship, " as well or "(submarine, " instead? --  Docu  at 22:07, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Submarine or boat, but ship is just wrong.
There is a fetish at Commons for "consistent" category names (see Category talk:Give way signs in the United Kingdom for yet another). This is wrong. There is no purpose to it, no benefit accrues from it, no need exists to justify it. The MediaWiki engine doesn't care - all it sees is membership. Readers should not be forced to use a wrong name for something (and "ship" is simply wrong here) to satisfy a narrow view of order for the sake of itself. Andy Dingley (talk) 17:06, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
I myself don't have a preference, but I see no problem working that way. I don't see it as a fetish to use a standard in categorising. Using "ships" and "tugboats" together with year of completion makes ships easier to find (even by sequence of year). That is where in my opinion categorising for is intended. Less confusion with persons, cities, countries, flowers, shells, and so on any more. --Stunteltje (talk) 20:41, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Ok, let's use it then. I think it will bring some consistency to 5 or 6 versions currently in use.
BTW road signs are more tricky than one might think (partially standardized looks and meanings across countries). --  Docu  at 07:02, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
  Submarines should be more or less standardized now [3]. --  Docu  at 15:59, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Commons:Ships by shipyardEdit

Based on categories currently in use (and CatScan), I tried to built the above list. It seems fairly stable and can be updated on demand. At Category:Ships by shipyard, I outlined how it's built. Eventually, I might add support for adding the shipyard through subcategories of Category:Vessels by ENI number.

I was wondering what you thought of it. --  Docu  at 11:07, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Is there a certain sequence? Looks unsorted and one has to find a ship with the find function of the browser. --Stunteltje (talk) 11:35, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it's currently unsorted (or sorted by some of it's input). I will try to add sorting (by name?). --  Docu  at 11:43, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Fine to me, any sequence. Prefer by name indeed. --Stunteltje (talk) 11:59, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
  Done --  Docu  at 13:45, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks !!!! Looks fine as we see where the yard is to be added. --Stunteltje (talk) 14:13, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

10'000 shipsEdit

"Ships by name"-category reaches 10,000 ships

Category:Bernisse (ship, 1953) is the 10,000th subcategory. Commons provides consistently named categories with basic information on vessels, many of which don't have Wikipedia articles yet. Several "by" subcategories of Category:Ships allow to find vessels (and images of vessels) with different criteria.

Participants aim to identify ships by name (10,000 by now), year of completion (86%), flag, type/function, IMO or ENI, country of construction (43%), etc. The 10,000 categories include ca. 89,000 images and 490 subcategories.

See: Category:Ships by name, Category:Unidentified ships

Shall we add something like the above to Commons:Community portal? It still needs editing though. Feel free to do so. I added the formatting used on that page. --  Docu  at 09:02, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Fine to me. But be prepared for discussions that might follow. No problem, everybody will experience the advantage of the naming system. Sorry for the initial mistake and thanks for the extra images. --Stunteltje (talk) 12:34, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Congratulation guys. Good work on those categories. --Jarekt (talk) 13:38, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
  Done Not sure if anybody follows that page though ;) --  Docu  at 09:10, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

As we are approaching 20000, I archived the above from Commons:Community portal. --  Docu  at 14:15, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

ISBN like links for ships (Bugzilla:30360)Edit

At Bugzilla:30360, I made a request to create a feature for ships similar to the ISBN links. Maybe someone codes it and it even gets activated on Commons. --  Docu  at 11:03, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

No interwikisEdit

At Commons:Bots/Work_requests#Categories_w.2Fo_interwikis, there is a list with subcategories w/o interwikis (ca. 60%). (detailed result)

There are more categories than I had expected. Some time ago I already tried to match many categories with identically titled articles at en_wiki. I will try to find a way to match a few of the other ones.

Pasting the results on a page at en_wiki without "Category:" gives a few pages, some of which are disambiguation pages (skipped by my bot). Removing or varying the "(ship, " part there or in other wikis might find other ones. If there are many results, I could have the bot check that. If there are suggestions which titles to try, I'd be happy to.

  • Samples: replace "(ship, ..)" with "(ship)" and try against "en_wiki".

If there are many false positives, one would need to manually double-check the result. --  Docu  at 09:46, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

BTW, JarektBot just finished adding missing interwikis to about 1600 subcategories with at least one interwiki [4] --  Docu  at 07:00, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Category formatEdit

Was there a discussion somewhere with regards to the (Ship, year) format for this category? I find it cumbersome and pointless and it looks like a serious case of pre-emptive disambiguation to me. What is wrong with just the ship name? Gatoclass (talk) 04:00, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Answer to the last remark: please have a look at Category:Columbia (ship). Speaks for itself. --Stunteltje (talk) 05:38, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Not at all. Why the need for the word "ship" in all these categories? Everyone knows they are ships already - they are in a ship parent category after all - repeating the word "ship" in every category just strikes me as totally redundant. And I'd still like to know if there was any discussion about these changes before they were made. Gatoclass (talk) 09:59, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Have a look at the top of this article under Upcoming de facto ship naming convention, en:Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ships/Archive 24 and Commons talk:Naming categories 24 December 2010 --Stunteltje (talk) 05:48, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
A convention that has no consensus and also creates more issues then it resolves. I tend to agree with Gatoclass, there is no point in disambiguation the whole category system which only a few ships that have the same name which have already been given disambiguation by year or its class.
The renaming should be taken to Commons:Categories for discussion since it is controversial, even with support from a small number of editors or look at getting a Commons community consensus for a policy/guideline for naming of boats/ships. Bidgee (talk) 11:30, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
The discussion was at Commons talk:Naming categories and even advertised at the specialised places at some Wikipedias.
I suppose we could make an exception of HMAS ships if it's an emotional thing there. --  Docu  at 11:49, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
I also came here for the same reason, wondering the rationale for community consensus on using a disambiguation name ship naming for cases when their is exactly one ship with unlikely matches (such as the bot recently doing a category redirect for Category:La Crosse Queen). Royalbroil 14:36, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
It seems to be the 7th ship of that name.
We got thousands of images of numerous ships with 2700 different names that still need to be sorted (Commons:State Library of Queensland/Reports/Ship categories). If we only list them as "(ship)" is likely that we mix several up with the same. We could wait until English Wikipedia has an article on each one to determine which name to use, but other Wikipedia's are quicker to make use of them and don't use the same conventions ([5]). --  Docu  at 17:19, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
I guesstimate that Commons has four times more ships than on en:wiki, while we are heading towards hundreds of thousands. Having a proper naming convention avoids many conflicts, errors and the hassle of renaming, which is in the interest of all concerned parties, especially in the long run. When looking into Category:Ships by name, it is surprising how little diversity the naming get. So we better go for the short pain as most existing categories will require renaming one way or another. --Foroa (talk) 06:55, 30 August 2011 (UTC
I'm not sure what point you are trying to make Foroa but there's a difference between a proper naming convention and a clumsy convention that adds redundancy. I certainly think this issue needs more discussion. For one thing, why (ship, year) and not (year ship)? For another, why on earth is this needed for military ships with a widely recognized prefix, like USS or HMS? For another still, steamboats are not ships and it is incorrect to categorize them as such. And then there is the basic objection to pre-emptive disambiguation. So there are plenty of issues here that don't seem to have been considered yet. Gatoclass (talk) 10:22, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
A very simple reason is, that e.g. US prefixes change when the particular vessel gets another job to do. So in my opinion they confuse and have no other use than to stay in line with local wikipedia's. On those Wikipedias is no problem at all with these prefixes, because - that is correct - they have a nationwide recognized prefix. Commons is for all wikipedia's the same source, where ships can be found by name (and for the specialists even by IMO number). So on Commons the best solution is to get rid of ALL prefixes, even those of the naval ships. They are language dependant, Commons definately not. Also because e.g. the naval ships haven't their names painted on the bow, but their pennant numbers. If you are not a specialist, you can find the vessel even by pennant number here on Commons, even very fast via a category. And besides, please read the former discussions first, as there the reason for this format was described. --Stunteltje (talk) 10:53, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
Your first argument doesn't seem very persuasive, ships can have many different names in the course of their career, but are usually best known by one name and likewise, one prefix. But you didn't reply to some of my other points. Steamboats, for example, are not ships, and referring to them as such is both incorrect and misleading. And again, why (ship, year) rather than (year ship)? The latter is closer to normal usage and dispenses with the comma. Gatoclass (talk) 11:03, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
I was looking for a good example: USCGC Eagle (ship, 1936), was United States Coast Guard Cutter Eagle (WIX-327), former Horst Wessel (ship, 1936). So I prefer the categories named: Category:Eagle (ship, 1936), Category:Horst Wessel (ship, 1936) and Category:Ships with pennant number 327. They are coupled in Category:IMO 6109973 The discussion about a boat or a ship is endless. Will alway be in discussion. A ship can load a boat, a boat not a ship. --Stunteltje (talk) 11:20, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
If you are already categorizing a ship under all its different names, what purpose is served by also adding (ship, year) to each category? Gatoclass (talk) 11:44, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
You created a loop now. Answer to the last remark: please have a look at Category:Columbia (ship). Speaks for itself. --Stunteltje (talk) 05:38, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

(outdent) Well yes your category does speak for itself, but not in the way you think. For one thing, this category doesn't distinguish between steamboats, steamships, sailing ships, warships or any other kind of ship, so if I'm looking for a particular type of ship with the name "Columbia", I have to search through all these different categories. Whereas if I was looking for a US warship for example, I could find it straight away under USS Columbia. Secondly, I don't think you realize how many ships take a particular name, there may be hundreds of ships named Eagle for instance, when the only way you have of distinguishing them is by (ship, year) then pretty soon you are going to find that you are ending up with long generic lists that are not much help at all, and you are going to end up having to disambiguate them further. But if the ship is listed under, for instance USCGC Eagle you are going to find it very quickly. Gatoclass (talk) 12:01, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Now we are talking. Nobody will refrain you from creating galeries by name with only one picture of each vessel, even with images with your favoured prefixes. Will be glad to assist for the Dutch ships. Foroa already gave a hint in that direction, at a discussion about disambiguation. --Stunteltje (talk) 12:33, 4 September 2011 (UTC) I added a gallery to Columbia (ship), as example. --Stunteltje (talk) 13:19, 4 September 2011 (UTC)


Docu applied HIDDENCAT on this category without previous discussion and consensus and despite the fact that topical meta categories shouldn't be hidden.

Discussion moved from User talk:ŠJů#Ships. --ŠJů (talk) 11:03, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Hi SJu, (…), please avoid changing the formatting of Category:Ships by name back and forth. It's somewhat disruptive, as it has grown quite a lot recently and the formatting shouldn't be changing without prior discussion. Feel free to open a discussion about it. --  Docu  at 00:41, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
(…) Please, dont misuse the HIDDENCAT for topical categories, and avoid your rash reverts when somebody corrected such misuse. HIDDENCAT is intended only for non-topical categories (licensing, technical maintenance etc.). Standard metacategories (by name, by year, by country etc.) are topical categories and never should be hidden. It's a well-known consensual principle - why do you mean that it should be discussed again and again for individual cases which aren't extraordinary? --ŠJů (talk) 01:02, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Even with a topical category, it's a not a misuse. Category:Ships by name is a flat, index category.
The category remains visible and the resulting subcategories are much easier cleaner presented. (…) --  Docu  at 01:13, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
The standard is that topical metacategories are not hidden and categories of something by name or by year are utterly standard topical metacategories. There is no reason to hide some topical metacategories and don't hide other ones. "HIDDENCAT" is intended to hide and separate non-topical categories, not to group or sort topical categories.
I hold the view that the "HIDDENCAT" shouldn't be applied on topical categories, especially not without discussion. You asked me to avoid changing without prior discussion, but you self made repeatedly such controversial and disruptive edits and reverts without prior discussion and clear consensus.
The real "flat categories" which are generally hidden have "(flat list)" in brackets at the end of their name and are very specific non-topical meta-meta-categories, i. e. non-topical grouping of topical metacategories. Simple meta-category of standard topic by name or by year is not such "flat category" but standard topical meta-category. (…) --ŠJů (talk) 01:49, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

End of the moved discussion.

I think we agree that:

  1. Ships by name is a flat, index category: it includes all subcategories for specific ships
  2. Ships by name should not be a hidden on its subcategories
  3. Ships by name is not a maintenance category.

The tag was briefly discussed with another active editor after it was applied and wasn't thought to be controversial since. It's part of the consistency ship categories at Commons are known for.

Practically it shouldn't hide the category, but improve the layout when displayed on subcategories. Some categories tend to have long strings of parent categories. Sample: Category:LK.271 Pilot Us (ship, 1931)

If it hides the category for you, please confirm which configuration you use (style sheet, preference settings, etc). --  Docu  at 11:17, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

If there is a bug somewhere, I would obviously like to have it fixed ASAP. Please help us with this. I'd do the necessary bugzilla report. --  Docu  at 11:21, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Please read my previous contribution. I answered all your arguments.
If you claim that this was "discussed with another active editor", you should link this discussion and invite all your oponents to join and continue it instead and before your endless reverting of all others. I see no previous discussion with "another active editor" in your original edit summary as well as the discussion page. Contrarily, I can see, that you enforced your strange and controversial opinion about hiding of categories in the long term - as apperent from this discussion with Skeezix1000 and your 6 reverts of 2 other users at Template:Category definition: ships by year built. --ŠJů (talk) 11:39, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Ships by name hadn't been edited in ages until you started undoing things yesterday. Still not sure why BTW.
Anyways, you still haven't answered by question about the visibility of the category. You still claim it's hidden, but don't provide any clues to the settings you use. It might be visible to anybody but you. --  Docu  at 11:47, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Your protracted conflicts with other users and your repeated reverts at more pages indicates that you have a long-term problem with comprehension that "hiddencat" is not intended for topical categories but only for maintenance categories. If you wish to use "hiddencat" for grouping of topical categories, try to achieve consensus for your innovative idea at Village pump or somewhere else but don't enforce it despite of current standards and despite of opinion of all others.
The question whether such hidden maintenance categories are or arent or should or shouldn't be visible for all users is quite different question. --ŠJů (talk) 12:01, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments, but they still don't answer my question.
You keep affirming they are hidden, but don't provide any details about them. They seem to be visible to all users but you.
For "ships by name" it seems to be a "protracted problem" for yourself. This lead to changing the layout of thousands of pages.
Please help us focus on the question of visibility of this crucial index category. Could you at least say "yes it's visible to me" or "no, it's hidden to me"?
In the later case, I would like to sort this bug out as soon as possible. The category should obviously be visible to all users, including SJu. Please accept my excuses if in some way or the other this didn't work for you. --  Docu  at 12:13, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Please read my previous replies again and again as long as you understand what I wrote to you. I you wish discuss whether and where hidden maintenance categories should be really hidden and whether technical settings work correct, open a new discussion about it somewhere. This discussion is about the fact that you don't respect the consensual purpose of the "magic word" HIDDENCAT and misuse it for topical categories - despite of standards, despite of opinion of others. --ŠJů (talk) 12:22, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Btw, you forget to link your previous "brief discussion" with the above mentioned "another active editor". For now, Docu is 1 user, ŠJů and Skeezix100 are 2 users, 2 is more than 1, 1 from 3 is no consensus. Have I some bug in this summary? --ŠJů (talk) 12:35, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

As far as I understand this discussion, we have 2 (two) kinds of hiding. The formal one, User:ŠJů is referring to, and the practical one, which is used at this particular category and where User:Docu is working on. I can see the last one in my browser, without any problem or making changes in my configuration. So this kind of "hiding" - just using lower case - is not conflicting with any policy, as far as I can see. --Stunteltje (talk) 12:42, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

There is no policy or consensus that would suggest that we tag these categories with HIDDENCAT, and it seems odd to do so, as it offers no benefit to the Commons user. We already went through this when Docu tried to tag the years of birth and death categories the same way, using the same logic, and after discussion it was reverted there as well. Skeezix1000 (talk) 18:06, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
The consensus among the users for this category was to use it even if recently SJu seems to have some problems with it. It's not clear though where and when this seems to be of concern. I understand that Skeezix1000 is against the use of the tag elsewhere, but this hasn't really any bearing on this category. --  Docu  at 18:16, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Stunteltje, there exist only one "magic word" HIDDENCAT, there aren't discussed two different magic words. I don't unerstand whether you call this tool "formal" or "practical" but 1=1, 1≠2. The "magic word" HIDDENCAT is intended for maintenance (non-topical) categories. The fact that categories tagged with "HIDDENCAT" are not really hidden today on Commons doesn't mean that every topical category can be tagged with it. The question discussed here isn't whether categories with "HIDDENCAT" should be visible for all and always or hidden for some of users – but whether topical categories should be tagged with "HIDDENCAT" or shouldn't, eventually whether "Ships by name" and other categories tagged by Docu with HIDDENCAT are topical categories or aren't. I assert that "Ships by name" is a standard topical meta category and standard topical meta categories shouldn't be tagged with HIDDENCAT. That's the opinion of me, that's opinion of Skeezix1000, that's the current standard of Commons and other Wikimedia projects. If you, Stunteltje or Docu, wish to use "hiddencat" for grouping of topical categories, try to achieve consensus for your innovative idea at Village pump or somewhere else. I support current standards and see no reason to make some unsystematic exception just for this one category. --ŠJů (talk) 18:54, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Be careful in mathematics, 1+1=2 is the case in decimal, e.g. not in binary. What I mean is that I saw the text "Ships by name" in the browser, even when it is somewhere or somehow a hidden category. Just in a smaller font than usual. So my view on hiding is based on this observation. I don't make a problem where there is no problem. As ex-professional standardiser for the worldwide Shell-Group of Companies I can give colleges about standardisation. Lesson one: is has to be of profit. What you try to do is pressing people to use a certain standard, where the is no other reason for than the existance of that standard. The standard you are referring to hides the name of the category. E.G. Category:Taken with Nikon D90 and DX AD-S Nikkor 18-200 mm 1:3.5-5.6 GII ED. That is not the case in this partiular category. That was the reason for my "formal" and "practical". I don't know how it works - and I have no intention to find out - but User Docu causes a smaller font for this category, that's all. And if almost everybody can read it in the browser and you can't, don't bother about standards but RTFM. --Stunteltje (talk) 19:38, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
There is a reason for systematic and not random use of system tools. The "magic word" HIDDENCAT is intended for marking non-topical categories (btw., HIDDENCAT is just one magic word also in binary). The motive as well as the result is that non-topical categories is somehow distinguished from topical categories, according to the current global and personal technical settings of Commons. That is the profit. If somebody sabotages this usage, he disrupts the whole system of grouping categories to two groups - topical and non-topical. Is it so difficult for understand? As soon as you understand this first lesson, we can advance to the lesson two – what is "topical" and what "non-topical". If you wish to use "hiddencat" for grouping of topical categories, try to achieve consensus for your innovative idea at Village pump or somewhere else. I support current standards. There is no reason which can justify that one topical meta category should be tagged with HIDDENCAT and second similar topical meta category shouldn't. That would be just senseless disorder. --ŠJů (talk) 03:27, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
Docu, you again forget to link your previous "brief discussion" with the above mentioned "another active editor". What were reasons, participiants and results of this discussion of you two? Why such confidentiality? --ŠJů (talk) 18:54, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
It doesn't really add much you can't see from the edit history of this category. The category was quite stable until you tried to edit the category description.
BTW, why did you add Skeezix to your 1+1 math before he actually commented on this category? I know he commented on Images from the Australian War Memorial, but still? --  Docu  at 21:00, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
Thus, do you admit that you executed such non-standard edit without previous discussion? Thank you for your sincerity.
The link to the Andy Dingley's discussion relates to source categories, not to topical meta categories. Source categories are really a theme for discussion: important sources are considered as topical categories, user categories generally as maintenance (technical) categories, but there exist large gray zone in-between. For example, if the uploading user is a reputable photographer. --ŠJů (talk) 09:38, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

(Indent reset). Personally, I am in between. On the one hand, ships by name, date related categories, ... are topical categories indeed. On the other hand, I see that many people add such "generic" categories, along with cats like, men, woman, music, art, painting, people, people by name, ships, animals, plants, paintings, ... to get an image "categorised" and get rid of annoying categorisation bot messages (or empty the uncategorised item categories). So the best solution would be an intermediate category level (generic or side categories or so) that don't count as a real "topic" category. As we don't have that, I have a slight preference for making generic categories hidden. --Foroa (talk) 06:35, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

In other words, I prefer to interpret hiddencat, which is not really hidden, as a secondary category, the others as main topical categories. --Foroa (talk) 06:41, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
I think, it can be a good idea to discuss creation of some third (intermediate) level (group) of categories. Its a discussion theme for meta and all wiki projects, not primarily for Commons. However, there should be discussed reasons and benefits of such solution, and adequately consider how should be the third level defined. It is possible end very easy to separate all meta categories - the new "magic word" can be cretated (defined) and included into the template {{Metacat}}. However, I consider such change as needless and the current marking o meta categories as sufficient. Anyway, there is no reason why "ships by name" should be in one group and "ships by type" or "ships by country" in a different one. All those three are standard topical meta categories.
If you propose to distinguish all too general topical categories, it would require an other (fourth) category "level". I think, some simple template would be better tool for such distinction - it is no useful to detache such categories to a separate row. The templates {{Categorise}} and {{CatDiffuse}} are adequate way how to mark such categories and attract an attention to insufficiently categorised content. Message bots can ignore such categories, if it would be useful. --ŠJů (talk) 17:03, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

What shall we do about this? It seems that there isn't much support for the removal of the tag. I think it made the categories much less readable than they were before. A possible alternate solution I could think of is to sort categories to display "Ships by name". A bot could go through all categories and apply this. Obviously, just re-adding the tag here would be easier. --  Docu  at 04:58, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Looks like my alternate proposal didn't get any support either. I'm restoring the initial solution then. --  Docu  at 04:26, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

  Comment A number of editors seem to be under the misapprehension that "hiddencat is not really hidden". HIDDENCAT categories are hidden, except to editors who specifically enable the "show hidden categories" preference option at Special:Preferences#preftab-1. The average reader/editor will not do this. That is why only maintenance categories should be hidden. If we want a sort of secondary "not so important" category type, that may be feasible to create, but HIDDENCAT is not it. Rd232 (talk) 17:02, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Hi Rd232, it's nice that you try to teach us about Wikipedia, but it really starts getting annoying. Please avoid writing about things you haven't actually tested yourself at Commons. --  Docu  at 17:18, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
Hi Docu, it's nice that you consistently assume I'm a blithering ignorant idiot whenever we cross paths, but it really is starting to get annoying. I didn't just write the above from memory, I checked from the link I gave above. If you have some actual information on how what I said is incorrect, please provide it. Rd232 (talk) 21:18, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
I didn't, but if that is what you call yourself, I don't really want to disagree with your self image. --  Docu  at 21:35, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
LOL. You just love spreading joy and being helpful, don't you? Rd232 (talk) 21:55, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
We still need to resolve this. The current situation isn't satisfactory.
Commons:Categories#Categories_marked_with_.22HIDDENCAT.22 explains how __HIDDENCAT__ works at Commons.
If there is no consensus for the alternate proposal or the current situation, we need to restore the original solution, by readding __HIDDENCAT__ to Category:ships by name. --  Docu  at 03:04, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
How the page you've linked to (which has neither guideline nor policy status, by the by) is relevant depends on whether "ships by name" is considered a "non-topical" category, which is what that page talks about. As far as I can tell, this category is and should be considered a topical category. Once again, we come back to the concept that if we want to downgrade certain types of topical category in prominence [without hiding them to the average user who hasn't changed their preferences to show hidden categories], because they're so generic, large, or otherwise less useful, then we need to create a new system to do that, and not use HIDDENCAT. It wouldn't be that hard to do, but this is not the venue to figure out whether or how. That would be COM:VP or COM:VPR. C'mon, guys, this issue is not specific to this category; why not cease arguing about this particular category and pursue a solution that will (a) make everyone happy here and (b) work across Commons in similar situations? Rd232 (talk) 22:23, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
It explains what the effect of __HIDDENCAT__ is on Commons. Clearly your comment above QUOTE A number of editors seem to be under the misapprehension that "hiddencat is not really hidden". HIDDENCAT categories are hidden, except to editors who specifically enable the "show hidden categories" preference option at Special:Preferences#preftab-1." UNQUOTE is erroneous. Is probably due to the fact that you are probably more active at Wikipedia and not specifically interesting in learning how things work or doing things at Commons. --  Docu  at 22:42, 15 October 2011 (UTC)


  1. Your claim that my quote is erroneous is incorrect. Possibly it is based on the observation that hidden categories are displayed on the category page of categories they're a member of (Bugzilla15550), though this hasn't been the issue here. They're not shown on the file description page, and AFAIK that's what we're talking about.
  2. HIDDENCAT is a feature of the en:MediaWiki software, not of Commons. It has been there since version 1.13 (2008) - en:MediaWiki version history. It works the same on all Wikimedia sites.
  3. I pointed out that the link you provided - Commons:Categories#Categories_marked_with_.22HIDDENCAT.22 - does not support what you want to do, unless you're willing to argue that this category is "non-topical". This you ignored.
  4. You also ignored my suggestion that it would be more helpful to pursue a new feature that would allow "secondary" topical categories which are separated out for all users, without being completely hidden on the file pages to the average user (who hasn't marked the Show Hidden Categories preference).

Rd232 (talk) 10:34, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Re #1: no this is not what we were talking about. --  Docu  at 03:05, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
I see no evidence of that; above someone referred to the category being displayed in a "smaller font than usual", which happens on the file description page, and the issue that arose over whether hidden categories are hidden (depending on the user's preference) only applies to the file description page. And are you are really going to just completely ignore everything else I've said? PS if you think "this is not what we were talking about" - then what are we talking about? Rd232 (talk) 10:21, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
Frankly, I think you are off topic. Please bear in mind that this is the talk page of Category:Ships by name at Commons.
I understand you deal frequently with templates at Commons or at Wikipedia, but this hasn't really any link to either. --  Docu  at 10:34, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
I have literally no idea what you're talking about. Rd232 (talk) 16:05, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
Me neither. Thanks for refraining from commenting here further. --  Docu  at 05:47, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Inclusion of subcategories not about specific shipsEdit

It seems that SJu wants to widen the scope of this category to include categories that are not about specific ships such as Category:De Zeven Provinciën (currently a parent category of four ships), Category:SMS Emden (currently a parent category to two ships named "Emden"), Category:Ships by name by type (renamed from Category:Ships by type and by name). This despite the fact the category is quite clear what should be included and there was already a lengthy discussion about the name of this flat category.

A few lists based on the current category rely on the category including only subcategories about specific ships (sample: Commons:Ships by shipyard).

Is there any consensus for such a wider scope or should these additions simply be removed? --  Docu  at 21:00, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

Looks like he remove most of those from Category:Ship names and then deleted the category description there .. --  Docu  at 21:04, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
Disambiguation is done like Category:Columbia (ship). So with the addition (ship). In the case the ships by year of completion are just under the category where they are collected I don't see the value. Added Disambig and changed names. --Stunteltje (talk) 21:22, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
I see no problem with the fact that the category "Ships by name" contains categories of ships sorted or grouped by name. The fact whether ships of identic name are grouped together as subcategories or just listed at a disambiguation page have no impact on usability of this category. Both solutions are possible, both solutions are functional. However, the category "names" should contain primarily stuff related to names (photos of name inscriptions, sounds of names etc.) and not to ships sorted by names. Just like category of people names or street names shouldn't be confused with categories of people by name or streets by name. That is enough to apply approved and usual categorization conventions, as I did. --ŠJů (talk) 04:24, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Category:Ships by name is a category for ships by name. Not a category for groups of ships. Let's keep it that way. --Stunteltje (talk) 06:09, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
SJu, can I count on you to respect that? --  Docu  at 06:22, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Ships by name is a standard meta category by name. No reason for some exceptions. Groups of ships by name or subcategories of ships by name belongs naturally into the category of ships by name. Subordinate meta categories belong at the top of the category, groups of ships by name belong naturally into the alphabetical order. Could you respect usual standards of categorization consistent with other themes? --ŠJů (talk) 09:24, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
Can you quote some guideline to support your claim? --  Docu  at 11:01, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
Most of basic standards are given primarily through real common practices, through the sense of words etc. It's easily understandable that the category of more ships of identic name (i. e. a category with ships grouped by name) has to be categorised under "Ships by name" by this name. No need to create some strange hybrid like a disambiguation with subcategories and no need to dissolve or discategorize such a category. Likewise, meta categories of categories by some criterion standardly use to be categorized at the top of the higher meta category/-ies. Also the requirement that categorization should by understandable and systematic, not haphazard and disunited, has to be derived rather from the common sense than from some written elaborate. Commons has not so detailed guidelines as wikipedias and is more counting on a good sense, judgement and goodwill. Meta categories are not specifically mentioned and treated in the Commons:Categories text but this doesn't mean that there exist no real standards how to use them. Categories "by name" are a stable and very often used type of meta category and regarding them, there is no reason and no grounds for some unsubstantiated deviations or eccentricities. --ŠJů (talk) 21:59, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
Hm, .. if you can really cite anything in support of your view, please avoid deviating from the stable and established category description. --  Docu  at 21:39, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
This is brought up again at Commons:Categories for discussion/2011/12/Category:Ships by name by type. --  Docu  at 08:24, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Ship categories with missing yearEdit

It's now at 431! Not sure how to get the remaining ones done though. --  Docu  at 15:08, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

It still seems to get further down. It's now at 377. Excellent!
BTW, there are also a few at SLQ/Ship categories that still need to be created. --  Docu  at 04:30, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Poll on the visibility of this category on subcategoriesEdit

There seems to have been some confusion if this category is/was visible when __HIDDENCAT__ was on it (see Category_talk:Ships_by_name#Hiddencat above).

To solve this, I suggest we do a short test: We restore the tag and asked users to answer the following:

Hope this will clarify it. Are there any other questions that need to be asked? --  Docu  at 05:07, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

There is no need for a poll; all these questions have been answered in that section, by me. If you don't believe me, there's nothing to stop you doing your own testing by switching skins and preferences and looking at different categories. Rd232 (talk) 12:02, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
For the sake of clarity, can you answer them here? BTW I added a 5th question as it may change presentation. --  Docu  at 20:36, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Alright. If Category:Ships by name has HIDDENCAT then
  1. if you're looking at a category which Category:Ships by name is a member of (eg Category:Ships), it will appear there. See Bugzilla15550.
  2. it makes no difference if you're logged in or not for looking at the parent category. User interface can't affect this.
  3. Ditto skin choice.
  4. Isn't that the same as 2?
  5. Language choice makes no difference either.

We've already covered how the user preference affects display of a HIDDENCAT category on a file page for a file in that category. Hope that's clear. If you have any doubts, it's only a few minutes to change your settings and test it. Rd232 (talk) 01:14, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

At least now I know why we seem to be speaking of different things. I don't think Category:Ships nor "file page for a file" have any relevancy to the discussion on this page. --  Docu  at 06:55, 2 November 2011 (UTC) (edited)
You indicated that before. I find it very hard to understand, when talking about the HIDDENCAT functionality, you can possibly be thinking about something else. Please explain! Rd232 (talk) 07:27, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Adding __HIDDENCAT__ to Category:Ships by name only affects direct members of Category:Ships by name not its parent category nor images in its subcategories. Sample:
   Category:Moby Dick (ship, 1976)
    File:Moby Dick (ship, 1976) 001.JPG.
Hope this helps. --  Docu  at 11:32, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Adding __HIDDENCAT__ to Category:Ships by name only affects direct members of Category:Ships by name not its parent category nor images in its subcategories. - true (though I don't see why you've ticked the Moby Dick category, a subcategory of Category:Ships by name in your examples). So, no, this doesn't help explain why you think we're talking about different things. I mentioned Category:Ships as an example of a parent category of Category:Ships by name, because you would expect a "hidden category" to also be hidden in the Category namespace, on category pages the hidden category is a member of. However (Bugzilla15550) this is not the case, hidden categories are not hidden* in the Category namespace, only in the File namespace, on file pages of files that are members of the hidden category. (*Technically, identified in such a way that the user interface can hide them depending on user preferences.) Does that help? Rd232 (talk) 11:59, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Currently __HIDDENCAT__ is not set, so responses wouldn't be correct yet.
QUOTE "I mentioned Category:Ships as an example of a parent category of Category:Ships by name, because you would expect a "hidden category" to also be hidden in the Category namespace, on category pages the hidden category is a member of. However (Bugzilla15550) this is not the case, hidden categories are not hidden* in the Category namespace, only in the File namespace, on file pages of files that are members of the hidden category. (*Technically, identified in such a way that the user interface can hide them depending on user preferences.)" UNQUOTE may be an interesting comment and even correct, but it doesn't have any relevance to adding or removing __HIDDENCAT__ to this category. --  Docu  at 12:08, 2 November 2011 (UTC) (edited)

? I don't understand this conversation. The thread is (I thought) about establishing the exact effect of enabling HIDDENCAT on a category, not about whether to enable it on this one. There's certainly no way that HIDDENCAT could act any differently on this category than any other. Rd232 (talk) 12:22, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

No, it's Category talk:Ships by name, the talk page of Category:Ships by name. --  Docu  at 12:23, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
You are referring to the page, but I said thread (which means this section, titled "Poll on the visibility of this category on subcategories"). Rd232 (talk) 12:50, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback on the questions. --  Docu  at 21:58, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Probably, we need to add "If yes, where can you see it? " to questions 2 and 4. --  Docu  at 21:58, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Looking at Category:Hidden categories I pick a currently-hidden category, Category:Ships with pennant number 0, which gets HIDDENCAT from {{Category definition: Ships by pennant number}}. This category is a member of Category:0 (number), where it appears without any way of telling it apart from the categories there which don't have HIDDENCAT. This will be the same logged in and out. Rd232 (talk) 22:48, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
"0 (number)" is a parent category of Category:Ships with pennant number 0, not one of the subcategories. --  Docu  at 22:59, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes. Category:Ships with pennant number 0 "is a member of Category:0 (number)" = Category:0 (number) is a parent of Category:Ships with pennant number 0. Rd232 (talk) 23:04, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
We are actually looking for the effect on subcategories, not parent categories. --  Docu  at 23:14, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
OK. I've just realised that HIDDENCAT is respected on Category pages in the same way as on File pages, i.e. categories included in a hidden category know that the category is hidden, and change the display at the bottom of the category page accordingly. That's good. The problem (Bugzilla 15550) is not with subcategories of a hidden category, but with parents. PS test case for this is Category:HMAS Stuart (D00). Rd232 (talk) 23:27, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
No, it's visible on Category:HMAS Stuart (D00) whether you are logged in or not. --  Docu  at 04:51, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Aha, yes, you're right, on the Category page it always shows hidden categories at the bottom of the page as if "Show hidden categories" were ticked. Even when it isn't, even when you're not logged in. You know, I think all this should be written down somewhere, and I don't think it is. The MediaWiki manual on HIDDENCAT doesn't cover all this. I'll do a summary there in a bit. Rd232 (talk) 08:25, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Actually, m:Help:Category#Hidden_categories (the page on Meta) covers this, albeit in a slightly tech-manual way. mw:Help:Category#Hidden_categories is lacking. Rd232 (talk) 08:51, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
For Commons, Commons:Categories#Categories_marked_with_.22HIDDENCAT.22 mentioned earlier covers it quite well.
Maybe it should be mentioned that "Ships by name" is a meta-category and, as such, shouldn't include any images. Thus, "ships by name" will always remain visible. --  Docu  at 21:41, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
You mean that Category:Ships by name can be considered as an index category ? --Foroa (talk) 06:13, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
With coverage, I had in mind the way the MediaWiki feature works at Commons, but yes, the category could be considered an index category. --  Docu  at 02:36, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
Docu, you really want to change all metacategories to be hidden (= marked with "hiddencat")? Or this one should by some exception? Please, respect the current rules and don't enforce unsystematic dissimilarities. --ŠJů (talk) 02:26, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
I just thought we finally cleared out the misunderstanding about the visibility of this category. I suppose we still need the poll then. --  Docu  at 03:08, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
As we couldn't actually locate a rule that opposes this and there isn't any consensus for the removal of the feature, I restored it. --  Docu  at 04:52, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

I restored it once more. The previous conclusion (26 November 2011) was reviewed by administrators and no observation was made.
Sju, please refrain from changing it without discussing it first. It's regrettable that you didn't even try to answer the above questions. It seems that you are the last one think anything is actually "hidden". --  Docu  at 03:46, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

The fact that you weren't sanctioned for your previous behaviour does not entitle you to Commons:Edit war against consensus. Don't. Rd232 (talk) 15:00, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
There was no consensus for SJu's edit of 27 August 2011‎. --  Docu  at 11:10, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
"was" is irrelevant, or else a clever attempt to muddy the waters. There is consensus for it now. And since there was no consensus for your original addition of HIDDENCAT in November 2010, there is a substantial amount of cheek in your position. Rd232 (talk) 12:00, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree with ŠJů, Rd232 and others. I never understood the reason why categories like Category:Ships by name or Category:People by name should be hidden. I like to reserve those for template added maintenance categories. We seem to have similar discussion at Category_talk:People_by_name#CR_before_Category:People_by_name where user:Trycatch was equally puzzled by that. --Jarekt (talk) 03:50, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
As there seems to be some confusion on how the current settings work for you, would you mind answering questions 1 to 5 above?
One of participants later conceded that he didn't actually know what category the discussion relates to. --  Docu  at 11:10, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
If you continue to edit war against consensus, you risk being blocked. I won't insult you by putting the relevant template on your talk page; you know the rules. Rd232 (talk) 11:56, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Category is now protected for a month until there is a consensus, since the edit warring is not productive. Bidgee (talk) 12:01, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Would you restore the longstanding previous situation? It's not just because one editor drawn to all sorts of controversies on Commmons stops by and undoes what others built for months, that there was no consensus. --  Docu  at 12:14, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
It will remain as is. Bidgee (talk) 12:33, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Can you explain why? Have you protected this at the request of Rd232 ? --  Docu  at 12:36, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I've stated it in the log, it has been a slow but on going edit war. No, no other editor requested the protection. Just because it isn't protected to you version doesn't mean it should be. Bidgee (talk) 12:57, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Sure, there is always someone arguing that. For the other point, I have to take your word.
The problem with the version you protected is that version makes the discussion even more complicated as participants don't seem to know how it used to look and thus can't make constructive comments.
Besides, the protection favors the version by an editor who seems to revert merely because he wasn't able to gain any support through discussion (Commons:Administrators'_noticeboard/User_problems/Archive_24#Docu_.2F_Category:Ships_by_name - notice the misleading diffs included there.). --  Docu  at 20:39, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Docu, your innovative but non-standard misuse of "HIDDENCAT" was unequivocally refused by several users and assented by none. Please, respect arguments of others and accept current time-proven principles of categorization of Commons and other wikis. Standard meta categories are differentiated by {{MetaCat}}, not by __HIDDENCAT__. The __HIDDENCAT__ is intended and used for different types of categories. --ŠJů (talk) 00:07, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
If that is so, please excuse. Would you still attempt to answer questions 1-5 above? --  Docu  at 00:31, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Adding the nameEdit

User:FAEP added:

  • Deutsch: Jede Kategorie eines Schiffes ist in dieser Kategorie in der Form [[Category:Ships by name|Name]] einzuordnen. In dieser Kategorie keine Bilder.
  • Français : Chaque bateau doit être ordonnée dans cette catégorie au format [[Category:Ships by name|Nom]]. Aucune image dans cette categorie.


  • Français : Chaque bateau doit être ordonnée dans cette catégorie au format [[Category:Ships by name|Nom]]. Aucune image dans cette categorie.

I myself think this is NOT a good idea. Doing this, one has to do extra work without any profit and second - and even more important - it conflicts with the other ships of this name as it can make a mess of the automatic secquence by year, if one doesn't check the sequence from before. But before reverting the action I give it here for a do or don't. --Stunteltje (talk) 17:05, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Actually, it was there before, he just added <code></code> to it.
In the meantime, "|Name" generally isn't needed and {{DEFAULTSORT:Name}} would be a better way to do the same. --  Docu  at 17:09, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Ideas for additional categories on imagesEdit

Solving duplicatesEdit


I'm working on the categories of the sailboats in the Category:Open 60'. I have a problem caused by the naming convention: I have to create another category Category:Hugo Boss (ship, 2007) for this boat File:BWR-Hugo-Boss.jpg. How should I solve this problem? Badzil (talk) 13:36, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

See #Double_names_per_year_of_built above. Sample Category:Mistral (ship, 1999). --  Docu  at 18:45, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

New shipsEdit

A gallery of ships newly add to this category can be found at New ships. It is based on new or renamed subcategories. It includes up to 12 images from these categories. New entries are added to the top of the page. I haven't figured out how to archive the older entries.

I'm looking into preparing a list of images newly added to one of the subcategories. --  Docu  at 07:10, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm sure that's useful for something. However, the name is inaccurate: it should be "recently added ships" or something else that indicates that the newness is not the age of the ship. Rd232 (talk) 23:07, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
If you ignore this, I may rename the gallery myself. I'd rather not have to do that. Rd232 (talk) 12:01, 13 December 2011 (UTC)


There is list of newly uploaded images at User:OgreBot/Watercraft. It includes any image added to a subcategory of Category:Watercraft. --  Docu  at 11:12, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Ship categoriesEdit

In addition to stalled discussions about pre-disambiguating the titles of ship categories (Commons:Categories for discussion/2011/04/Category:Disney Magic (ship, 1998), Commons:Categories for discussion/2011/09/Category:Ships by name), I see a new potential problem. Take Category:Disney Magic (ship, 1998), for instance. We also now have Category:IMO 9126807, which is the Magic's IMO number. So we have two categories for the same ship. Doesn't this strike anyone else as a problem? Powers (talk) 16:57, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Can't one category (e.g., "IMO 9126807") simply be made a subcategory of the other (e.g., "Disney Magic (ship, 1998)")? I suppose there might be some advantage in having both categories in that it makes media relating to specific ships easier to track down. — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:23, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
The idea of this part of the category tree is explained at Category:Ships by IMO number: "A ship can have many names during her lifetime, but keeps her the same IMO number ...". Therefore, the name categories are supposed to be subcategories of the IMO categories. See Category:IMO 5383304 for an example. --rimshottalk 19:30, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
That seems like the sensible way to do it, although the example is partly overcategorized. Common parent categories like when and where the ship was built should go on the IMO category, while categories related to variables such as function, operator and country of operation should go on the categories for each respective name. Also, needless disambiguation suffixes are an abomination and should be killed with fire. LX (talk, contribs) 14:32, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
The disambiguation suffixes "(ship, xxxx)" are not needless. There is no point in making a category without it with images of one ship, somebody adding images of another ship (or several ships), somebody noticing the problem, creating the disambiguated categories and sorting the images into the right new categories. Ships do seldom have unique names, so this will happen for most categories created without the suffix. People will still create categories without the suffix, of course, but they are much easier spotted than by going through every category for double use. --LPfi (talk) 16:52, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
There are no other ships named "Disney Magic", and there's nothing else photographable that would be called "Disney Magic", so Category:Disney Magic is perfectly sufficient as a category name. If, in the future, the current Magic is retired and a new ship is built, it would likely be called the Disney Magic II; even if not, though, we can disambiguate at that time. Powers (talk) 15:05, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm fine with categorizing that way, but then can we agree that there shouldn't, in general, be images in the IMO categories? That they are meta-categories only? Powers (talk) 15:06, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
No images in IMO categories is in-line with the system used, as only ships by name have an IMO number and images are always of a ship with a name. --Stunteltje (talk) 15:52, 10 June 2012 (UTC)


Naming of categories has to be consistent. As a basic premise, ships are categorized by three broad methods:

  • Ships by ...
  • Ships of ... (registration)
  • Ships in ... (location)

Ships by ....Edit

Suggested categorising by name:Edit

As given in the header of the category.

Category:Ships by name for Commercial shipsEdit

To make it possible to categorise ships in a meaninful and standardised system it is necessary that each ship gets her own category by name. Category names that apply to all ships and ship-like vessels, and which do not require specialized knowledge of local naming conventions. Any unexperienced user can find categories for images of a certain vessel. Commons is not a Wikipedia, has its own categorising system. Ship categorising according a certain Wikipedia is not adviced, as worldwide Wikipedias differ in approach.

Some consideration needs to be given for non-Latin alphabets. For instance File:38MoskvaoffMoroccoJan1970.jpg is the "Москва" not "Moskva" to its owners. Use of the Latin alphabet is fine (its more universal - other alphabets are specific to one language) but should be mentioned.

Prefixes/postfixes such as MS, SS, USS, RMS, ... are pretty much language dependent. Each language has its own prefix system (e.g. SS means Sailing Ship, in other languages Steam Ship) and prefixes are not painted on the ship. As Commons is for a Wikipedia in any language, we have to leave these out in category names to avoid misunderstandings.

Most ships have simple names that are reused very often for persons, books, songs, bands and movies, Greek goddesses, expressions, machines, places, animals, mountains, music tempi, professions, celestial bodies, and so on. Category names reflect not the name of the subject, but are made up for convenience. We don't have an image database for experts, but for everybody who wants to write an article on a certain Wikipedia. So we better take a good start instead of having continuously problems with mix-ups and rename procedures. End of 2010 started a new discussion in Commons talk:Naming categories about the naming of ships. The suggestion was to categorise ships on Wikipedia in Category:Ships by name as: "shipname" ("ship", "tugboat" or "submarine"). Not further devided, as one has to be expert to categorise properly by type or use.

Many ships have the same name. See example Category:Columbia_(ship). To make the neccessary difference, a year was added.

The reason not to name by "year of launching" is that these dates are very hard to find for a lot of ships, especially ancient ships. With changes in the methods of ship-building the old "keel laying" changed to "first steel cut" or "construction started" as a ceremonial start to the build process. Have a look at the difference in e.g. French, German, English and Dutch Wikipedia. The en:Category:HMS Dreadnought (1875) and de:Category:HMS Dreadnought (1879) are the same ship. On Commons, as it is a worldwide working database, it is important and accepted to use just one system for any item.

There is even a discussion possible about the launch date in situations where the official naming ceremony doesn't coincide with the date of actually going into the water? An obvious example is , which was due to be named and rolled out of the building hall on Thursday 16th December and lowered into the water on Friday 17th. As it happened, the naming went ahead on Thursday but technical problems prevented her being moved. Ambush was slated to be launched on 17 December, but a malfunction with the shiplift meant that while the official naming ceremony went ahead on that day, the vessel was not actually launched until [date if possible, if not, just 'later']." should solve most problems (see the third paragraph of for a similar example in terms of commissioning). The roll-out and the subsequent lowering of the shiplift might both be dates which are more difficult to verify.

The reason not to name by "year of naming" is, that in these days namings/christenings can happen long before or long after the ship is launched (i.e. some modern cruise ships aren't 'officially' named until just before or during their maiden trip). The official naming ceremony is likely to be the date for which a verifiable date is likely to be reported, but very hard to find for a lot of ships, especially ancient ships.

The date of completion can be found on the certificates of the ships, on contracts and publications in the media, even for old ships, not described in full on the internet. In that case the date of completion is the best choise if we want to find start dates. If the date/year of completion cannot be found, we can add the year of launch by alternative.

Also "place of built" is added when name and year for more vessels are the same). Example: Category:Bolero (ship, 2003). In very few cases, when we have two ships with the same name, built in the same year, at the same place, the "yard number". Example Category:Stena Transporter (ship, 1978, Ulsan, 649). Perhaps even better not just the number but Yard Nr.

In Commons no problem when a ship is renamed, the ship gets a new category for images with her new name. Ships built after 1948 or so have in many cases an IMO number, so the connection/coupling for all images of those ships is via the IMO number.

Category:Ships by name for fishing shipsEdit

There will always be discussion in classifying a fishing vessel boat or ship on Commons. Used is the deviation made by The United Kingdom fishing vessel list (excluding islands), containing registered and licensed vessels of over 10 metres overall length. So under 10 meter boat, over 10 meter ship. Also, when not mentioned or other countries: when she has a bun a boat, a hold a ship.

Category:Ships by name for naval shipsEdit

Unfortunately naval shiplovers here on Commons up till now want to continue the system of their local Wikipedia for their naval ships. As the content of USS naval ships is the biggest of naval ships on Commons, you'll find the English Wikipedia system here on a lot of USS naval ships. No problem at all to use different naming systems in a certain Wikipedia, but not in Commons. Ships of the Royal Dutch Navy were always known locally as "Hare Majesteit's" or "Hr.Ms." followed by the name. Since there is a king: "Zijne Majesteit's" or "Zr.Ms.". Not a way the Dutch naval ships should be categorised in Commons. We also had "French ship" categories. Category names have to be language independant as much as possible. Even for ships of English speaking countries.

Category:Ships by name for naval and fishing shipsEdit

If an image of a certain naval or fishing ship has to be categorised (and easily be found) these ships are hard to find if the name is not found on the image. Most names of naval and fishing ships have only relatively small carved or painted nameplates, hardly to find on images. Military ship names are the plain name, and do not include the pennant number. However the pennant number is painted in big letters/numbers on the hull to serve as a quick recognition marker. We have to realise that we are talking about naming categories, not naming ships. The intension is to make it as easy as possible to find images, also for military ships. So inexperienced users might look for categories with these letters/numbers and not for the name of the ship.

That is the reason why more and more of these ships are categorised: by the indication (pennant number in many cases, Russian ships have no real pennant number) or "fishing license", "shipname" ("ship", "tugboat" or "submarine", "year of completion (or first commissioning for naval ships)", "place of built") when name and year for the vessel are the same). See Category:Ships by pennant number and Category:Fishing vessels by license number.

Ships are just numbered and during a vast period only the pennant number is painted on the ship. In the case of certain ships, such as some LSTs and submarines, they never received a "name" as such, but are known by the pennant number in the absence of anything better, so the pennant is the de facto name. Furthermore pennant numbers can change without any alterations to the ship or its ownership. This is not different from ships known by name. The only problem is, that no system exist like the IMO system, where a hull always keeps the IMO number and the link between the names can be found via the IMO number. We don't have a coupling mechanism.

If the conclusion of the discussion is, that we leave out all prefixes and the pennant numbers, the category scheme can allow search-by-pennant number easily enough. To use the "Enterprise example" - it could be in categories with names like "ships with pennant number 65", "US Navy ships with hull classification code CVN" and "US Navy ships with hull classification code CVAN". The pennant information for ships that have a name too doesn't need to be in the category name to allow non-experts to use the categories. These categories allow for appropriate searching by people who are unfamiliar with the ships. Remember also, if the only thing a person knows about a photo of a ship is that it has "65" on its side, they cannot ID it from that alone, but need further information.

In service again. I wonder how to continue the discussion about ships by name. I assume we now have the pro and contra arguments and have to make the discussion wider. My idea and suggestion is to summarize both discussions on User:Stunteltje/Sandbox/Ships and in the User talk:Stunteltje/Sandbox and to continue on Category talk:Ships by name. No comment = tranfer the discussion. --Stunteltje (talk) 08:27, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Category:Ships by IMO numberEdit

(status 01-01-2011: 3645 categories) for Sea-going ships: The International Maritime Organization (IMO), formerly known as the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO), is a specialized agency of the United Nations with 169 Member States and three Associate Members. The organisation introduced in 1987 an IMO ship identification number scheme, through adoption of resolution A.600(15), as a measure aimed at enhancing "maritime safety, and pollution prevention and to facilitate the prevention of maritime fraud". It aimed at assigning a permanent number to each ship for identification purposes. That number would remain unchanged upon transfer of the ship to other flag(s) and would be inserted in the ship's certificates. When made mandatory, through SOLAS regulation XI/3 (adopted in 1994), specific criteria of passenger ships of 100 gross tonnage and upwards and all cargo ships of 300 gross tonnage and upwards were agreed. The implementation of the scheme became mandatory for all ships as of 1 January 1996. So for sea-going ships the most important category will be this Meta-category.

Category:Vessels by ENI numberEdit

(status 01-01-2011: 494 categories) for European Inland waterway vessels: The Inland Transport Comittee of the UN Economic Commission for Europe introduced in 2006 an European Number of Identification scheme. It aimed at assigning a permanent number to each ship for identification purposes. That number would remain unchanged upon transfer of the ship to other flag(s) and would be inserted in the ship's certificates. So for European barges and other European inland waterway vessels the most important category will be this Meta-category.

Unfortunately I have to go out today and will be back for the discussion tomorrow. --Stunteltje (talk) 06:46, 9 June 2012 (UTC) Back in town. --Stunteltje (talk) 13:50, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

New discussion about naming naval and fishing shipsEdit

Charlotte A. Maxwell (schooner)Edit

The Charlotte A. Maxwell was a four-masted schooner built in Camden, Maine. Lotje (talk) 13:29, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

See Category:Charlotte A Maxwell (ship, 1917) --Stunteltje (talk) 15:55, 5 December 2016 (UTC)


Does this category include ships and other vessels that have a name, or does it include all such vessels, even those without a name?

See Commons:Categories for discussion/2017/04/Category:Juno, Light Vessel 72 (ship, 1903) Andy Dingley (talk) 08:23, 13 April 2017 (UTC)

Ships by name by typeEdit

Since the creation of this category and its children, it has apparently become regular practice to put an individual ship category both into "Ships by name" and e.g. "Ferry ships by name" or "Sailing yachts by name". This contravenes our category policy on overcategorisation. So we should either remove the generic "Ships by name" where any "type by name" is also present, or we need to remove Category:Ships by name by type from "Category:Ships by name". This situation is actually similar to the issue we're having with aircraft registrations where "by type" categorisations have also caused confusion. De728631 (talk) 00:31, 26 July 2018 (UTC)

@De728631: Its not a case of over overcategorisation. This category solves the continual problem of ship identification, where names are re-used multiple times, even in the same year, its necessary to have an (overview) register of ships names.
Ships very often change their identity / type over time. Example sidewheel steamers were often converted into barges in their late working life. Liners into troop transports or hospital ships. Sailing Ships converted into into paddle steamers. Fishing boats into gunboats. Gunboats into yachts and launches. Four masts to three masts. There are also many grey areas in ship types, where a ship can fall into two or more types. Example Sailing Yachts and steam yachts. Ships can crossover into several descriptions barques, schooners, as can Clippers.
Trust this explains the need for "Ships by name". If anything this is the only mandatory cat for a ship. Wikipedia content acts as an index that makes many shipping cats redundant; including "Ships by name by type".
Aircraft are a completely different life form, and are not directly comparable. They are made in batches or in series, by type and are largely therefore anonymous. They are very often not bespoke made, or unique, or Launched. They are seldom reported on or written about as individuals. Therefore "by type" is a valid form of categorisation. Anyway I'm not an expert on Aircraft and would not presume to weigh into that area and would leave it, to its own experts.Broichmore (talk) 01:10, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Well, that's why we got Category:Ships by name (flat list) in the course of this discussion which I started since the thread here didn't gain track even after several weeks. So I think any such arguments as yours should now be made at Commons:Categories for discussion/2018/10/Category:Ships by name (flat list). De728631 (talk) 15:03, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Return to "Ships by name" page.