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NOTE: This proposal supersedes Commons:License meta-tags, which was abandoned for technical reasons like bugzilla:5527.

Tag categories are categories that are used to mark and organize templates. The idea is to have an easy way to find all available tags for a given purposed (licensing, deletion, etc), and to make it easy to find out the purpose of a template. A small, well known set of categories can also be used by tools to determine which templates are license tags, deletion tags, and so forth. This page describes an experimental guideline for categorizing templates used for licenses, maintenance, etc. Comments are welcome on the talk page.

Templates should be categorized to mark a basic property of the template (like being a license tag); The category should only apply to the tag itself, not to the pages it is used on - i.e. the tag category would be used with <noinclude>. Generally, there can be any number of categories for tags, but there should be a very limited number of "well known" categories that can be used by external tools and MediaWiki extensions. Ideally, those categories should exist on several wikis, using identical category names. To keep things simple, such "well known" tag categories should not be nested (i.e. they should not have subcategories).

NOTE: some bold people may soon start to apply tag categories to templates. This should be done carefully, step by step, to give people to opportunity to comment. Suggestions are welcome on the talk page!



Generally, organizing templates in categories makes it easier to maintain an overview of what's available. This is useful for maintenance work on the commons, but also helps people from other wikis to find the templates they need.

A major advantage of having a small, well known set of tag categories is the fact that this makes it easy for external tools and MediaWiki extensions to know what a template is for. For example, the UntaggedImages images tool needs to know which templates are license tags; similarly, CommonsTicker needs to know which templates are deletion tags. For that purpose, it currently has to maintain a list of all license templates for each wiki. Every time a license template is added or removed, that list has to be changed by hand, in the software.

Using a set of well known tag categories, such a tool can simply look for images that do not have a template categorized as a license tag. That way, the tool only needs to know the category, which would very rarely change. The database query is also much simpler, and probably faster, this way.

A future use of this is a media search page currently under development, that will allow users to search for images by category, resolution, file size, etc, and also by the usage conditions imposed by the license. This would not be feasible without using tag categories as described above.

License tag categoriesEdit

More tag categoriesEdit

In addition to the set of well known categories above, it would be a good idea to organize all templates into categories. Those categories should follow the same general schema as the well known ones, but they can be changed and added without having to think about effects on Wikimedia extensions, external tools, etc.

Note: This list is far from complete. Please see Category:Commons templates for an overview of template categories.

Major categories:


Note that the tag categories should always be in <noinclude> tags, so they don't apply to the pages the tags are used on. Special care must be taken to make sure new license tags get the correct categories.