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There seems to be a chance to spend a few weeks aruund Christmas in southern en:Mali. I guess that means southern en:Sahel, but if there's anything worth photoying I'd like to be able to identify it. Any suggestions for a good flora and insect guide?

Teun Spaans 19:07, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Preserved specimensEdit

Would images of dead specimens, such as pinned insects, be of any use? My biology instructor at my high school has thousands of local insect specimens of excellent condition and great diversity that he has personally caught, collected, and preserved. I was thinking about using the images for purposes that are nearly impossible to do with live subjects, such as illustrating polymorphism by comparing the morphs side-by-side. Any thoughts? +A.Ou 02:43, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like a great source for images! The only thing is to make sure he gives permission for the copyrights we use, and hopefully use a very good camera :). If he would be willing to take the larvae out of the vials, since pictures through the glass wouldn't come out as nicely (hopefully he's used alcohol rather than formaldehyde). --SB_Johnny|talk|books 12:14, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Specifically, what kinds of specimens are needed? +A.Ou 02:35, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Hundreds of thousands, if you're talking species. :-) For concepts, I don't think we have a list. My usual practice to is look up the concept's article in en: - if no picture, or the article doesn't exist yet, make pictures. Similarly for species, but just use the genus name, many insect genera are unrepresented by any species. Also experiment with picture-taking before uploading, I've found it hard to get depth of field, detail, and lighting to be right simultaneously. Stan Shebs 14:14, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Taxa categoriesEdit

"Images that are known with certainty to represent a particular species should appear in the species article, and not be categorized in any of the taxa categories."

What does this even mean? This seems to mean that once an organism is categorized to the species level, it is removed from categories for all other levels. So, if I am writing an article on a Wikipedia about a plant family, I will only find images in the family category that are of plants unidentified as to species level--this appears to be encouraging editors to use images unidentified as to species level, or to decide which particular species they want in the article first then only go to that species, whereas, looking at the plant family, one could see in one place, the best represented genera in photographic images, and make decisions about what sort of images should be sought, in addition to what is on Wikimedia, to enhance the article. In other words, making it like people do the science, plants in family categories, animals in order categories, enhances writing articles for the general audience, while obscurely redesigning it just keeps Wikimedia a private club without any use for the general public writing Wikipedia articles, seeking photos for projects, or whatever. So, is this a commons where I can graze my sheep or a private golf course where my membership has to be voted on? KP Botany 18:23, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

That was just my idea from six months ago, seemed logical at the time, and it reflected what people were actually doing with images in family categories. If you've got a better rule, propose away - if people like it, it will become "generally accepted" :-) Stan Shebs 20:06, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
It occurs to me that I didn't say why people were doing that. The problem is that we have two kinds of images - ones that are precisely identified and ones that are not. For various reasons, our search mechanism is not reliable - if it reports no Fooaria, you don't know if we have any or not. So we have an incentive to make a page or category for Fooaria, and to use it to accumulate images that are in Fooaria. How do you find Fooaria images in its family category Bariaceae? Well, without reliable search, you have to look at each image individually. So you have an incentive to make the category as small as possible, which means moving identified images to galleries or subcats or whatever. There are other ways to accomplish the same thing, for instance, by creating a subcategory of unidentified and/or unidentifiable images. However, a proposal for this was shot down a while back, with no alternative proposed. Not a great situation, but if people do nothing but shoot down each other's ideas, then this is what you end up with. Stan Shebs 20:22, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm still here, Stan; and doing stuff other than shoot down bad ideas ;) Hesperian 23:19, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Heh, your ears must have been burning. :-) So, with the passage of time, have any interesting organizational ideas come to mind? Stan Shebs 03:08, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
I've come somewhat around to the idea of not categorising images in galleries. Or more specifically, not categorising an image into a category when it is in a gallery that is in that category. I'm not really fussed how it gets done, so long as we don't end up with some monstrously ugly contrived "compromise" solution like the one I shot down. Hesperian 07:16, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
So, I should think to accomodate the poorly designed search function? Well, I know you aren't suggesting that. But this problem is with the search function, not with the way I and botanists categorize things. KP Botany 20:40, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, yeah, it's a workaround. But we also can't wait around indefinitely for search to get better, it may never happen, and in the meantime people do double uploads and such because they don't get told about about existing images. Stan Shebs 07:15, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

No, the problem is (in part) with the way things are orgainized on commons. The problem KP Botany refers to is very real and it makes sense to try and come up with a good solution. My solution would be something like this:

  • Have a sub-category and (or?) gallery at each taxonomic level to store media that can be determined to that exact level but no further ("unidentifiable Fooaria" or "Fooaria sp." or whatever) to group these pictures. That is: Images of which experts say they cannot be identified more clearly by just looking at the picture.
  • Leave the main categories of higher taxa open for lazy uploaders that don't want to bother with galleries or making an effort to determine the lifeform in the image with more precision and just want to add [[Category:SomeHighTaxon]] to their uploads.
    • If needed add a category "Identification requests" or "Not yet identified" or whatever to clean these up if the cat gets to crowded and no knowledgable people are around that can identify with more precision.
  • Have galleries for all higher taxa such as genus, family, or whatever that provide a visual index to the galleries/cats of the next level - such as Coccinella or Harmonia maybe, with a few good pictures to "identify" or "represent" the lower taxa. Hence, a wikipedia author could (if it existed) open the gallery for family Coccinellidae and find a few good images that "represent" the entire genus Coccinella (these images could either be determined to the species level or not, as long as they convey a clear "general idea" of the next level).

This not only provides a collection of good images "representing" every taxonomic level, but (I think) also provides great help for people who want to use commons to "find" what they have seen or photographed today (and may want to upload). Now, all you have is looking at a bunch of non-descriptive scientific names that mean absolutely nothing to most of us and you would have to open every Order, Family, Genus etc category before you get any idea of what the lifeforms in that taxon may (sort of) look like. Pudding4brains 22:43, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

They mean nothing to you and you made this suggestion? Your suggestion shows insight into how scientists classify, how people classify who aren't scientists, how the web-savvy might use, how the non-web savvy might use, how the lazy use, and how the good photographer might want to just upload. I'd say gray matter, not pudding. Is this viable? Will this cause people to throw fits. It's not precisely how I'd do it, but the way I'd do it would ignore whole categories of people that this addresses. What's missing? Usually when I see an idea I like, there's something really obvious missing from it that other folks see, but I don't. KP Botany 02:14, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
If I understand this correctly, Category:Asteraceae will be mostly empty then, only having pictures from the "lazy uploaders"? Also, one of the things implicit in some of my comments earlier is how people keep track of their work - if I have 30 minutes of spare time to review asters or some such, I need a way to indicate that I have made progress, since I may not be able to complete the task in my available time. Moving from one category to another is a very handy marker, because if a category represents unknown images, the next reviewer will find it smaller as a result of my efforts. Conversely, if the only "review" marker is on the image page, then subsequent workers will still have to look at every page to see where to start from, and it may take the full 30 minutes just clicking on images to find one that has not been reviewed. So it's useful to think about how to enable reviewers and organizers to work efficiently and incrementally. To put it another way, if someone says to me "find images needing identification in the 100,000-image Category:Asteraceae", I'll say "you'll need a stupider volunteer" :-), but if it's 100 images in Category:Unidentified Asteraceae, I'm up for that. Stan Shebs 07:12, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
@KP Botany: Though I don't fully understand the "They mean nothing to you" (?) - thanks for the support ;o) Oh, I got it ;o) - yes, indeed I'm a complete noob when it comes to lifeforms - let alone their taxonomy. Maybe that's exactly why I can clearly see that the current way commons is organized is of no help whatsover for naturenoobs
@Stan Shebs: If I understand this correctly, Category:Asteraceae will be mostly empty then Yes. Actually this is also what the ToL-people I don't agree with have been doing. The difference between their and my approach is that - in addition to adding the image to the gallery Asteraceae or applicable species-gallery or so - I would prefer to change the category marker on the image pages from Category:Asteraceae to [[Category:SomeLowerTaxon]] as opposed to just removing all categorization from the image page itself. So, following the idea outlined above a bot would probably move all images in Category:Asteraceae to Category:Asteraceae_to_be_identified or whatever and we could start cleaning that one up, little by little, by moving pictures to lower taxons, where I would most definitally choose to move them to both a lower taxon gallery and category (as outlined, possibly a category "Unidentifiable" at a lower level)
Even on a "100,000" image cat we would have to start cleaning up at some point - the method for doing this is secondary, but it would of course be efficient to do it right the first time. The problem now, me thinks, is that people who are knowledgable and could spend 30 minutes to make a start and sort out some of the best images into species galleries are probably put-off by the ongoing discussion about the method for doing this, at least for me this has been the reason for starting my own little ToL for my own images where I can comfortably do thing my way and get on with it without getting in the way of what others want. Pudding4brains 13:03, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Not just the unclassified, but representative images. Not ideal in my opinion, but I think it might be a workable and usable policy. In Legumes and Asters, one or two of the most common from each subfamily or tribe, plus unclassifieds, and a note which are which. KP Botany 23:34, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
So you want Category:Asteraceae to contain just unclassified and "representative" images, to keep from being 100,000? Who's going to get to decide what is "representative" and what isn't? On a contrarian day, I might decide that every image is representative in some way... :-) Stan Shebs 03:58, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
No, sorry. My proposal would be to have main "order" and "family" (& "genus"?) level categories basically empty of images (much the same as ToL-"maintainers" seem to prefer now), with the possible exception of newly uploaded images from lazy uploaders. The "representative" pictures would go into into a gallery at such higher taxa levels that then serves as:
(A) A visual index to the lower taxa with a limited amount of images that provide a good overview of what the lifeforms in the lower taxa "sort of kinda" look like.
(B) At the same time these pictures can be used (easily found) by wikipedia editors looking for good pictures to illustrate the higher taxa in articles about these.
Of course, it is quite possible that there are many "high quality" or "representatative" pictures for family or so, and yes there would be discussion possible on which one would be best suited for such an visual index and/or illustration in high-taxta articles. There have been other (recent) proposals to deal with image quality issues (such as having a seperate "Hig Quality Image" section in species galleries) that can easily be combined with this "Visual indexing in higher taxa galleries" idea. For one thing I would have little objection to a seperate section of "General purpose high quality images" below the section that provides the visual indexing to the lower taxa. Which pictures should/could be use for either section would indeed be open for discussion, but one point of view could be to have "telling" pictures for the indexing section and "nice" pictures for the general purpose one. For me the focus however would be on creating/enhancing the visual indexing functionality and I would happily leave "what is a high quality image"-discussions to others if they feel a need to add such sections. Pudding4brains 18:04, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
P.S. On categorization: My idea would be to have every picture in at least one category - being at the most detailed level of determination possible for that image - so preferably at species-level, but otherwise at genus-level in a subcat "undeterminable species" or at family-level in a subcat "undeterminable genus" etc. The galleries at each level could then address organizational issues such as "visual indexing" and/or "high quality images presenetation" or even special purposes such as "pictorial lifecycle" or whatever you want.
This idea of having unordered categories at species and genus level to hold al pictures that can be determined to that level as well as ordered galleries doesn't fare well with some of the self appointed maintainers here so for now I have decided to just go ahead and at least organize my my own pictures is such a way in my own little corner, hoping that at some point (not yet!) it can serve as an example/presentation of how that could look like and function (navigate etc). Pudding4brains 18:20, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Stan, right now it's completely arbitrary what's there, a function partially of the categorizing abilities of the photographer and whether or not someone categorically-inclined is interested in that species/genus/family--is that what you want, arbitrary? Is that preferable to a method? If it is, then don't let folks move mine! Let's try to avoid "lazy uploaders" and instead use "categorically challenged photographers"--just kidding. KP Botany 18:41, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to have a set of rules sufficiently precise that random non-expert wikignomes can come in and apply them as long as their energy holds out, with the result better than it was before. Although I have some preferences - for instance I like galleries better than categories for species - it's much more important that *some* set of rules be agreed upon. Stan Shebs 02:54, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, this is necessary, a set of rules, whatever it is. And, yes, for the non-expert wikignome. After all, wouldn't it be better to have lots of folks with time to take pictures taking 'em rather than spending their time on the computer? Speaking of this, where's my Amborella? Is a nicely ruffled leaf really too much to ask you to set your life on hold for long enough to obtain? KP Botany 02:48, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Heh - I haven't actually been back to CA since my first week at Mozilla, quite a change from the monthly trips of my Apple stint. Next visit will be in early April, looks like. Stan Shebs 14:39, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
taxa categories continuedEdit

I think I have an idea for this: why not have a gallery of subtaxa on the category page itself? See, for example, Category:Juniperus, which I modified to show this. The idea would be to have a "type-showing" image in the gallery part of the page (up top), and otherwise keep the gallery free of any images that can go into a subcategory, except those that are unidentified). We could go up or down any number of steps, but the goal would be to move the images down to the smallest daughter category. This would achieve most of the otherwise opposing goals we have here:

  • By having a "typical" image representing each member page (or subcategory... they would actually be the same page now), we'll be making the category searcheable by type. In the Asteraceae example, we'd have a type-showing image of the type species of each subfamily, which would lead to that subfamily's category, which would have another gallery with type-showing images of the species. The species page would then have a gallery showing selected images of the various aspects of each plant, and would also have all the images in the category below the header of the page.
  • By moving images down-category as they are ever-more precisely identified (moved from family to subfamily, genus, or species), the only images left over in the larger categories will be the unidentified ones (but there will still be images representing the subcategories in the gallery).
  • Since the galleries and the category images will all be on the same page (or at least pointed to from the upper-level gallery/categories), it won't matter what method is used for searching, since they'll always end up at a page that has both a collection of photos to demonstrate all aspect, and all the other images of the species in question.
  • The gallery part of the category will appear on every page view... e.g. the gallery will be on the top of the "next 200" page as well. This might be helpful when sorting images into the daughter categories.

I'm not sure I'm making the case clearly, but I think this system would resolve most of the concerns, as well as making these pages both searchable and browsable. (BTW, I need to make a page for the hybrids, after which the Juniperus page could be made as a redirect to the category) --SB_Johnny|talk|books 18:04, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't at all see how this would deal with the problem that keeps cropping up with my categorizing plants, namely people think that anything categorized in both a species and a family is overcategorized, which it is not, and they undo the categorization removing the image from the gallery already on the page. All you've done is add another gallery to the page. And there are still 20,000 or so species of Asteraceae (how many are there?) that could readily have a good set of five pictures each (ecosystem for endemics, plant habit, head close up, ray flower/disc flower close-up, basal versus stem leaves, bracts, involucre). Ateraceae are divided into tribes, not subfamilies, although there may be subfamilies also, tribe is the main divisor, and that gets into can any member of ToL know this information?
What you show on the Juniperus page and what you say don't seem to be the same thing. Especially without lables, but if there were NO pictures, other than a single image of the type specimen, that would be fine. But I'm not sure this is what you are saying. Can you just sandbox an example? KP Botany 02:55, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Can't really sandbox it, since it only works on a category page. There wasn't a gallery there before, there were only 2 images in the category itself. Having 5 pictures of each species in the category won't help anything, since all they would do is show up in alphabetical order anyway (not in order of species).
Sorry for saying "subfamily" rather than "tribe", I'm not a taxonomist, I'm just trying to suggest a solution. Please be civil. --SB_Johnny|talk|books 04:17, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm, mixed impression. I like having the pictures there, but a lot of times when I go to a category, it's to click through to a page whose name I know but don't want to type in, and anything more than four pictures makes me scroll down to find the list. Limiting to four pictures has a side advantage, in that it makes it concrete as to the criteria - any new one has to be better or more representative than one already there, sort of a mini-FP for the category, if you will. For a one-image-per-taxon visual index, I'd say the gallery still wins. Stan Shebs 14:59, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) OK, I'll try to explain this a bit more clearly... though simply implimenting it within Juniperus and on the main cat of Cyperaceae is probably the best way to provide an example (regardless of how we end up deciding to deal with categories, this type of gallery certainly does no harm).
  • Yes, what I'm thinking is to just have a gallery-style page on the top of each category page. For categories that have subcategories, this would be single images of either types or a representative image of each species. The only annotations will be the name of the species below the image, which will lead to the next page (down one level in the category).
  • Annotations for physiological features would be on the species page, but maybe on the genus/family/etc. ones too? That would be a nice feature as well, now that I think about it... in that case there would be 2 galleries: one for the descriptive photos, the second for the subtaxa (tribe/subfamily/genus/species/etc.).
  • As for categorizing in genus, species, and family, I just think this is a bit too much (for images). I would think that restricting the upper level categories to just what's not yet been fit into a lower category would just keep it simpler for those who want to identify unidentified images to find them. --SB_Johnny|talk|books 16:35, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
One question that comes to mind is how hard this new system is going to be for new users to assimilate? Some of the displayed content comes explicitly from the edit page whereas some is implicit from categorized images. This is not to argue that the current system is easy to understand, but instead to say that I'm not sure that the proposed system is more obvious in this respect.
I remember being agast at the apparently chaotic system of gallery pages and categories when I began adding content about 18 months ago. Stan may remember that early in my history, I tried to delete a category added by Angela. Since then, I've come to realize that the current system works reasonably well and category- and gallery-oriented people create organizational structures that complement one another without excessive conflict. The main shortcoming, in my view, is that new contributors take time to adjust to the system, as I did. Anyhow, best wishes on improving the system. I will support any change that is supported by the consensus. Wsiegmund 21:46, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
There was nothing incivil in what I said, SB Johnny.

Reset indent I still don't understand what will be different. Let's stick with Asteraceae for example, and what it has now, and what it will have under the new system. This is what it currently has:

  • An infrafamilial classification
  • With some subfamilies and their tribes as links.
  • Subcategories
  • Claims there are "9 subcategories" and lists the subfamilies "Asteroideae," "Barnadesioideae," "Carduoideae," "Cichorioideae," "Mutisioideae," "Pertyoideae," the genus "Chrysactinia," the common name of one of the Chrysanthemum species (Marguerite), and "Thistles in art" all as links and tribes as a list.
  • Pages in category "Asteraceae"
  • Claims there are "20 pages in this category" and has links to 20 species pages
  • Media in category "Asteraceae"
  • Claims there are "49 files in this category" and has 49 thumbnails, each with a page title link underneath and the number of bytes of the image.

What is proposed for it to have, the main headings that I bolded above, and the content of these? KP Botany 21:39, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Big categoriesEdit

One of the things to think about with big categories is - what are they good for when they're big? You can't usually find anything in them; the software only displays 200 at a time, so mostly what you see is the images that come first in the alphabet. To get a sense of what a big category is like in practice, take a look at Category:GFDL (photos of European buildings under Chinese file names? Who knew?). Now try to find a picture of a flower in it! A very slow process. So large categories tend not to be so useful for readers or editors, they are most suited for various kinds of automated processing tasks.

I can think of one way to make a large family category human-useful; images could be sorted by scientific name, and an index installed on the page, so you can click on "C" in Category:Asteraceae and see images starting with, say, Image:Carduncellus monspeliensium 01.JPG, or what is the first C-named taxon. It would be a lot of editing to add a sort key to each image, but it's easy to specify how to do it, could probably be mostly automated for images already in subtaxa. You'd probably want to sort unclassified images at the end or something, so randomly-named images don't "contaminate" the nicely sorted category. Stan Shebs 15:20, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree whole-heartedly... the wiki-categories were designed to handle wikipedia articles, not necessarily images, so having too many images in a category -- regardless of scientific reasons for doing so -- in practice just makes the category unmanageable and therefore useless (since they are after all a content-management tool). --SB_Johnny|talk|books 18:43, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
But, then what should we use as categories, if not the natural ones? We can't even agree on how to use categories, and now you seem to be suggesting that we make up categories. KP Botany 01:02, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, one solution is to use species as categories, rather than redundant species and higher-taxa on the image file pages. This would allow us to keep things narrowed down and be a useful tool for finding images that need further identification. --SB_Johnny|talk|books 16:03, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
I hated to do this, but I think it was necessary to show, what will be the result, if KP Botany succeeds his ideas to be accepted: I followed his example he did with Image:Salvia dorrii close.jpg, and categorised some photos of Lamiaceae additionally in Category:Lamiaceae, although they already were placed in categorised galleries or subcategories. (Of course this is a redundancy and over-categorization.) I did only letters A to C, and the appearance of this category has changed a lot. KP Botany, can you tell me, where Salvia dorrii has gone? --Franz Xaver 01:07, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, sure, you hated to do anything.... Hmmmm, let me think about this trick question, there are over 200 images, and the English alphabet goes.... Are you asking if I'm functionally literate? Good grief.
SB Johnny, your suggestion is essentially, don't have categories larger than species? In other words, categories can only be a single unit? What about if the species is one with multiple horticultural varieties and crosses? Salvia is a good example, as there are cultivars from various species that number into the thousands. Would this then not be allowed to be a category?KP Botany 00:10, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
What did you mean with "sure, you hated to do anything...."? By the way, I am asking you, as if you were a person who could not imagine that the blue links in section "Pages in category xyz" would also contain images. Regards --Franz Xaver 12:39, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
Franz, I have to say that I'm also unclear on what point you're trying to make here. Stan Shebs 15:05, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm, yes Stan, you certainly have a point. Someone might rate my categorizations to be trolling activity. However, isn't it this kind of categorization, what KP Botany wanted to have as a general rule? I was not sure, if he was fully aware, what would be the consequences of his efforts. OK, it seems clear to me, that he never would admit, if my arguments had a point. So, I cannot argue by words, but only by showing examples - like this. --Franz Xaver 23:38, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

It really appears that Commons is set up in such a way that natural categories simply cannot be used. KP Botany 00:18, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I was thinking about cultivars yesterday... I hope we'll some day have pictures of every cultivar of apple and tomato, but it sure would be a nightmare to keep on top of it! For most cases, a species cat will do the trick for now (Salvia is a genus anyway :P ). It's not a single unit, since we have multiple photos for most of the species I've seen. Those categories are then in the genus category, then the family, and so on, making the "Tree of Life.
I've been continuing the experiment with combining galleries and categories in Cupressaceae. One advantage I saw right away is that when new photos are added (they were on a couple of the species), it doesn't matter if they put it in the category or on the gallery, since they're all on the same page. Putting the species cat on the page also provides a keyword for mayflower to work from as well. It's pretty slow though, as I've also been finding duplicates (delinked and deleted one today, which takes a lot of time), fixing license tags, searching for anything that was neither in the category nor the gallery, etc. --SB_Johnny|talk|books 00:52, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
I was talking about varies species of Salvia that have hundreds of cultivars (hence, my comment, "as there are cultivars from various species that number into the thousands")--it's not just one species of Salvia with hundreds of cultivars, so it can't be simply handled with an exception, so pick any species of Salvia that has hundreds of cultivars, or look at all the cultivars of Ocimum basilicum, and example that I can think of without looking, of a species with multiple cultivars, but far fewer than many of the Salvia species that have cultivars. I don't really see what you are doing in the Category:Cupressaceae that's any different from what is being done elsewhere, or that cleans anything up in any way?
The issue, I think, is that natural categories cannot be used on Wikipedia, because they have a tendency to do things in a natural or random way, rather than being shoe-horned into ones and fives that make Wikimedia Commons usable. KP Botany 20:17, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
I assume by "Wikipedia" you mean "English Wikipedia", because for instance German Wikipedia does categorization in a completely different way. For instance, note, which is a big flat category of all the Asteraceae articles (plus they never use sci names, interesting huh?), or, a monster category of all bios for men. Stan Shebs 15:05, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Oh, no, I mean Wikimedia, not Wikipedia. Doesn't en.Wikipedia do categories the same was as de.wikipedia? Wow, Kategorie:Mann is something! German Wikipedia doesn't use scientific names? Whyever not? And what about the hundreds of thousands of plants without common names? Do they transliterate the Latin or what? KP Botany 20:36, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
The rule is this: If there is a common name, use it. If not, use the scientific name. The thought behind this is that the average readers may not know what a Bellis perennis is, but they surely know the.--BerndH 20:56, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
What about where there are multiple common names? Germany certainly has longer language histories and established ethnobotanical histories than America, so how do you decide which common name to use? That tends to be the reason defaults to scientific names, simply the great animosity among users for which common name to use--don't go near the maple pages with a common name, for example. I'm jealous that you get away with something so direct on Botany 21:54, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
In doubt, we can use an existing standard list of plant names, which also includes standards for common names. In some few cases there have been discussions, however, which until now could be solved without big animosities. If there are several common names, they will be listed in the first line of the article altogether. And, of course, redirect pages from all alternative common names and from the scientific name (and important synonyms) are created. Anyway, there are some articles with scientific names, e.g., which does not have a common name. As far as I see, in there are both articles with common name () and articles with scientific name (), and I cannot recognize a general rule. --Franz Xaver 23:38, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Is the difference between de:Kategorie:Korbblütengewächse and en:Category:Asteraceae really that big? Yes, of course, in there are fewer articles with common name, but there are some. Concerning categorization, the only difference is, that in there are three subcategories. However, in there is more than the double number of articles. So, I would have expected even a higher number of subcategories. --Franz Xaver 00:04, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
My guess is that en:'s Asteraceae hasn't had a categorizer go by that knows about the tribes, and there aren't enough articles per genus to have more than a couple subcats. So yeah, not actually a very dramatic example. :-) en: has a lot of articles under common name that predate the establishment of a preference for sci names, nobody has gotten around to moving them. Stan Shebs 14:39, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
There is a general rule for en.wikipedia, that we use scientific names except when discussing a plant whose common name has great usage in English outside of botany or horticulture or agriculture, such as sunflower, wheat, pansy--although I don't know that all three of these are under their common names. There are older holdovers, that are under their common names, and they are moved when found, but we have too few people working on botany articles in to do it thoroughly. And, yes, the issue with the Asteraceae is probably simply someone who doesn't work in the family is doing the categorization. I work with a researcher on occassion who is an well-known Asteraceae expert, so I sometimes read in the literature (his stuff), and am used to looking at these plants in terms of tribes. KP Botany 22:11, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Germany and America? Don't forget about Austria, Switzerland, England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, .... ;-) --Franz Xaver 00:30, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't think we're discussing countries, just mentioning specific examples, because the reason we have such problems with common names on, is that we have international disputes--for example the common names of maples (and some of the conifers) change at the border of Canada and the USA, plants from North America with horticultural value in the UK have varying common names, and the Brittish named a lot of American plants, that the Americans then renamed. However, in the USA in particular, we have native plants often with an English common name, an American Indian common name if they're of ethnobotanical importance to the Indians and used by the Europeans pre-20th century, and a French or Spanish common name, often all well used, again for plants used ethnobotanically pre-20th century. The Aussies don't expect us to use their common names for anything but Australian plants, although sometimes the Brittish have additional common names for Australian plants. New Zealand plants all generally have English and Maori names, and their common names can be official, whereas in the US none of the common names are official. In California plants can have 5 or 6 accepted California Indian common names, but translations of these common names into English, Spanish common names, which are often well-established and settled, and varying English common names. It's worthless using common names in English--read the maize/corn talk pages some time. KP Botany 22:11, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
So the reasons, why decided to use scientific names, are clear now. There are not so many problems in, and common names work well. So, we decided to use them. Of course, there are many local or regional names for plants in German speaking countries. However, locals names are not Standard German, but belong to regional dialects, e.g. Alemannic , Austro-Bavarian. So, these names cannot claim to be standard. As an example, Elymus repens in the dialect of Upper Austria is called "Weißwuazn", meaning "White root", and in Styria is called "Baier", which is derived from a Slavic word for spelt or wheat. Anyway, there is no discussion that the standard name has to be Gemeine Quecke. There have been some discussions in cases, where floras from Germany, Austria, or Switzerland use different standard names. This does not happen very often. --Franz Xaver 12:58, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Yup, just don't want to go there with common names in English. Still, for the birders for example, I think standardizing common names can make the organizms more accessible to the layman. But in the case of plants there would be too much animosity in picking a common name to ever make it worthwhile. KP Botany 20:45, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
The standard of using scientific names for plants on is not yet very old, i think from 2006. Before that, common english names weere used. Scientifioc names were agreed upon when there arose to much discussion on UK vs US names. I can not recall Indian names to be part of the discussion, I'd say that could have been mentioned in the article but belong primarily in the respective Indian wiki. Aside from the german wiki the Ducth wiki also uses common names, though there have been several requests to move to the botanic names. Generally there are only minor spelling differences between the Belgian and the Dutch names, and there is a semi offical list of names of wild plants in the Netherlands. Ther situation is a little bit more confusing for popular garden plants, as the nurseries often use the same name for several species. The main argument for sticking to common names is that we write for the layman, not for the scientific community. The experts know both names anyway. Teun Spaans 20:09, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

(Reset indent) The Indian common names are used by people speaking English just the same as people speaking English use words and names for things from every language on the planet, and there is never the suggestion that these words be only defined in the Swahili Wiki, the Mongolian Wiki, the Tagalog Wiki, the Latvian Wiki, the Bantu Wiki. Only North American Indian words in the English language get relegated to their own Wiki. And, yes, Indian names were mentioned because they are common in American English--and it was then suggested that they be relegated to their own Indian wikis. I think the city of Yakima should be forced to go to its respective Indian wiki right away. Also Seattle. The Oglala Aquifer should be dumped into the Sioux Wiki. Please, English is a language that uses words from other languages. There is nothing in Wikipedia that requires only specific root word source languages (what, Anglo-Saxon, Latin and Greek only allowed?) be used in Wikipedia. If English borrows from other languages and uses them, they are part of English, now, and they can be used in English Wikipedia. The layman is never restricted from reading the scientific literature, and scientific names are used by plenty of laymen already in their discussions with scientists, while scientists also can use common names for the convenience of laymen. KP Botany 04:03, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Rethink - on category and galleriesEdit

With the availability of Mayflower Commons search I think that it maybe time to stop and reconsider the whats/how/purposes for the use of categories and galleries. Gnangarra 02:13, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

The only problem with that is that mayflower runs off of keywords, so we'd have to be sure each image contains the right ones. --SB_Johnny|talk|books 01:00, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
It is an utterly trivial change to mayflower to make it allow pure category searches. I'll have Tangotango make that change next time I see him on. --Gmaxwell 23:43, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I partially agree. We will still want to present images to visitors from the wikis in an ordered way. The mayflower search, good as it is, does not seem to be a replacemnt for the {{commons}} tag. Teun Spaans 08:31, 6 March 2007 (UTC)


I've created a duplicate of Template:Taxonav that only uses one template (instead of three) at Template:Taxonavigation. If there are no objections, I'm going to ask someone with a bot (where is the right place to ask for such a thing, anyways?) to replace the old template with the new one. --Conti| 18:51, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Usually the best place to ask is on IRC... most of the bot owners can be found there. Sounds like a good idea to me, BTW. --SB_Johnny|talk|books 00:59, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Actually, if we just replaced {{Taxonav}} with what you came up with, would we need a bot? --SB_Johnny|talk|books 15:58, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Yep. Have a look at the usage sample at Template:Taxonav, you need three different templates to do the job, while you only need one when you're using Template:Taxonavigation. Just replacing the latter with the former doesn't work. --Conti| 22:25, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

I've filed a request at Commons:Bots. --Conti| 01:14, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

If this topic is still relevant: I encountered this taxobavigation template at Heracleum lanatum. Cronquist is really outdated. Could we please bury this classification? Teun Spaans 06:49, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes, Cronquist is outdated, but it is a recent classical classification.
As phylogenical classification APG II has not been spread everywhere (It will take years to update the small green tags on plants in all the botanical gardens and arboretums. Those tags always display the classical families), the classical classification is still needed.
Cheers Liné1 16:36, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Mother lode of pest imagesEdit has a huge collection of illustrations. Both artists were employees of USDA when they made them, so safe for {{PD-USGov-USDA}}. I'll work on them too, but could use help... lets try to use the same image names that are on the site so we don't duplicate efforts!. --SB_Johnny|talk|books 13:41, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

BTW: there's a link to his biography (as an enployee) on Image:Cottonaphid.jpg. --SB_Johnny|talk|books 13:47, 28 February 2007 (UTC)


The taxonomical classification of Dyrandra has been changed from genus level to the series Banksia ser. Dryandra all 93 species have been renamed from Dryandra xxxx to Banksia xxxx except where there already exists a Banksia species of the same name. Please contact if you require more information. Gnangarra 15:11, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Who did it? Where was it done? Why was it done? Please, specify a taxonomic reference to this move. In Flora of Australia from 1999 both are treated separately at rank of genus. In a reference is missing as well. --Franz Xaver 15:59, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
OK, I see, there is some information on the reasons in, but again: Have the nomenclatural changes needed for a sink of Dryandra already been executed? Are the name combinations in Banksia already available? --Franz Xaver 16:08, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Franz, all your questions are answered here. Hesperian 22:32, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! --Franz Xaver 22:59, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

unique contributionEdit

Image:IridescentShieldtail.jpg User:Shyamal managed to bring in this unique contribution. Happens to be the first photograph of the species after its description and the first one to be taken in the wild.

Teun Spaans 10:07, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Wow! Only thing that could top that would be an already-uploaded picture of a species not yet known to science. :-) Stan Shebs 14:59, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Oh, there is a candidate;-) At least, in my opinion it does not belong to those species, which according to Kew checklist until now are recorded to occur in Cambodia. I already have sent this photo to a specialist in Eastern Asian Eriocaulon and was told that determination is not possible. So, I am considering to visit this place a second time to collect herbarium specimen. --Franz Xaver 15:34, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Excellent! Yeah, I've learned the hard way about trying to id species from a photo, and with the fires that are sweeping through the Mojave more often, can't always count on anything but ashes being there when you go back - so now I take pictures of the base, closeups of leaves, undersides of everything, etc etc. Stan Shebs 14:33, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
The shieldtail is gorgeous. Thanks for posting. I can't really tell anything about the pipewort from its picture. Yes, photo id can only be done when the photographs are taking with the express intent of identifying the plant through the photographs, meaning you have to have images of everything that differentiate it from other species and make it unique. This, I've found, is a lot of work, not done in one day, but generally over a length of time. A year in some places, months in much of California. KP Botany 04:14, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

A newbies viewEdit

Ok I've been reading archives and help pages and ToL pages until my eyes hurt, here are a few probably obvious conclusions:


I note a few people advocate putting more info on article/gallery/category pages, everything from taxoboxes to info about where a species is found etc. It seems to me that this is fundamentally wrong for a mediawiki. Duplication of information more suited for wikipedia or wikispecies is just duplicating effort and making it most likely that each will be saying something different about the same thing. Commons.mediawiki is for media, we should direct people elsewhere for information (ie text is redundant here).


Related to the above is the worry some people have about not being able to reliably identify the species in an image without further info (eg better descriptions) - after agreeing with this, it suddenly occurred to me that this is of course a nonsense: If an image (picture or sound file etc) does not contain distinguishing features then it doesn't matter exactly which species/sub-species it is! What is the use of telling people this is a wonderful example of species xyz-2 when no one can tell from the image whether it is xyz-1, 2 or 3?


Thirdly - some people (and possibly ToL) advocate having different ways of dealing with categories (eg when to add/ remove cat tags and what levels should have categories) that is different from the general guidelines. Frankly this is pointless and just a make work scheme for ToL'ers as new people are at best going to find the general guidelines under help and will probably only ever stumble upon ToL guidelines after being here for a while. eg We should accept that we'll get categories created down to the species level (or below) as required etc, and images added to the most specific category and removed from redundant higher categories as per the general wikimedia guidelines.


Article/Gallery pages are useful at every level (family, genus, species etc) and should only contain selected images (eg each should contain a few good examples from the category at that level or category levels below). (Never mind the selection criteria, that is dynamic and depends on who last edited it! but the point is that it is only a selection)

Perhaps you can insert your objections to each of my conclusions under each subheading so we can deal with each separately :-) --Tony Wills 22:28, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Again, delete all categoriesEdit

So, here it is again, User:Ies is deleting plants I categorized. I realized from looking at a few pages searching for a picture the other day that the other handy thing about having the family as a category is it gives necessary information about the plant. Plants are sorted by families, and when I saw an image of a plant I didn't recognize the genus of, I simply looked at the family name, when there was one. In other words, it makes usage easy. There are plenty of good pictures that show what a plant looks like, without the image being useful to identify the plant from other similar looking plants. Taking images, as I said above, with the intent of being able to identify the plant, is not the same thing at all as taking an image of the plant to illustrate its appearance in an article. KP Botany 04:17, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

I had a similar run-in with User:Ies. I haven't edited on the commons much, so I wasn't sure what standard approach is used here, if any. I was working in Category:Peperomia, adding images and categorizing/creating species pages. Similarly, I was wondering if it is standard practice to use the taxonaviation on a species page? I had included it when creating the new pages, but Ies removed it. --Rkitko 08:31, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Ies is pretty sure he's right about everything, so discussion hasn't ever been very productive. I'd say the "no deletions" idea is workable, but it has to be made strong enough that dissenters have to go along or expect to be reverted. Stan Shebs 17:46, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Les is doing lots of work and adding images, but seems to have unique ideas about how things should be done. Perhaps some ideas can be adopted but currently has been redirecting article pages to their equivalent category pages. Now I have seen some discussion about why not put articles and galleries on category pages (which has some merit) but this isn't quite what he's doing. He also thinks that as most pages didn't have taxonavigation etc that he would cleanup those that did! :-(. I have presented a long list of how I think things are normally done to him on his talk page User_talk:Ies#Redirects. As I said above I think we should ensure our standard format isn't contrary to the commons standard (eg we should leave the most specific taxo category on images even in galleries), but we can enhance the base info provided (eg taxo and common name additions). --Tony Wills 20:02, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the merging of categories and "articles" as well (makes searching and maintenance a lot easier), but outside of my experiments on the subject, I think we need to have some discussion about it's merits before institutionalizing it. I'm a bit hesitant to make suggestions at the moment though, because "cool heads" don't seem to be prevailing. It's a catch-22: we can't really have a thoughtful discussion about this until people stop these edit wars, and we apparently can't stop the edit wars until we've agreed on some sort of solution. I really believe that coming up with a standard modus operandi for the TOL-related media on commons would be of great benefit to contributors and users alike, but I'm honestly feeling timid about expressing my opinions, because I just don't have the time or energy to get into an angry debate (heated debate would be fine, but lately it's been angry). --SB_Johnny|talk|books 21:19, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
A lot of these things have been discussed, but few of the discussions are summarised, let alone concluded. One good thing is that there is such a large number of pages covered by this project that one person going off on their own tangent probably won't make a huge impression ;-) - just very annoying if you're working on the same area! Currently I'm looking for good examples of ToL pages and categories to help me formulate my ideas on what to aim for - so anyone who has a favourite corner of ToL please point out what you consider good (leave links on my talk page) :-) --Tony Wills
SB Johnny, this is the longest disagreeing participants have spent discussing the issue, even reaching common ground and insight on extraneous issues. It's time to move forward. Let's get some summaries together as Tony suggests and see what he (and we) comes up with as examples, as I'm still confused about the one you've posted and its relationship to the current method. KP Botany 17:41, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

A suggestion I once made to pfctdayelise was to add a tab to both the category and the gallery. It could be called something like "create/update".

  • On the gallery, if there is a category with the same name, it adds all media from the category, which is not yet between <gallery> statements in the gallery, to the gallery. This could be in an existing <gallery>, or under a heading == new ==<gallery></gallery>
  • On the category, clicking on this tab lists the names of all images in the gallery with the same name, with the names of the categories behind it.

That way, both the gallery and the category can easily coexist. They can both easily and quickly be updated from the other. But she was afarid I would use it to do away with categories. I admit it could be used for it, but that is not my intention. (Even when I see no need for a category when an image is already in a gallery with the same name, but that aside).

Having these tabs would enable us to have both a gallery and a category at the species level. Images could also be in categories on the genus and family level, giving a quick overview of the species in a family. personally I think this would be most useful if a familty cat only had 1 or 2 images of every species, bu that is a detail.

Teun Spaans 15:01, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

A (northern) springtime update on (English) Wikimedia projectsEdit

As the weather turns to the warmer in the Northern Hemisphere, I wanted to remind everyone of all the wiki-projects out there having to do with plants.

On Wikiversity, there are some budding projects, including the Bloom Clock and Plant Identification. The Bloom Clock is a "research project anyone can contribute to", where contributors can record any flowers they see blooming on any particular day and in any particular region, with the eventual goal of creating a database of bloom times that will be informative both about the plants themselves and the regions they grow in. The Plant Identification project is aimed at creating learning materials for students of horticulture, botany, and agriculture by creating quizzes that make use of the vast resource of photographs on Wikimedia Commons.

On Wikibooks, A Wikimanual of Gardening has been growing be leaps and bounds, thanks in no small part to the Import tool, used to copy articles from Wikipedia. There are hundreds of pages (many needing help).

Last but not least, the Plants Wikiproject on Wikipedia is always active, with plenty of friendly and knowledgeable participants who are happy to help you identify photographs or answer questions.

So, while you might not be able to bring Wikimedia to the woodland, meadow, or garden, there are plenty of ways you can use Wikimedia to learn and teach others about the flowering plants which are so welcome a sight after a long cold winter.--SB_Johnny|talk|books 18:27, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikiproject BirdsEdit

I have started a wiki-project birds, anyone interested in participating is invited to join. Initially we need to spend a little ;-) time defining standard formatting that we might adopt. See you there :-) --Tony Wills 23:11, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Excellent initiative, Tony! Teun Spaans 14:50, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Plants/animals by regionEdit

I came across this discussion about dealing with birds categorized by country (or other region) and how much sense it makes as birds (and plants/animals) don't generally observe political boundaries. Basically on wikipeia they tried to get rid of birds_by_country type categories as some animals ended up on hundreds of categories, and replace them with birds_endemic_to_a_country. I was wondering how we should handle it here. It seems to me that having articles per country or other region with lists of birds (noting whether endemic, introduced etc) is more useful. If you want to know where a particular bird may be found you are best to go to an article (wikipedia) about that bird which can describe its range. If you want to know what birds are to be found within a particular country you are best to look at a species list rather than relying on categories. Shall we discontinue animals/plants by country type categories? --Tony Wills

I have started adding such categories for regions/places where I take a lot of pictures (not yet uploaded). I think it's a neat way of, at some point, having an overview of pictures of species found in a certain region. I'm not about to try and find/construct lists of all species in all the various regions I visit (I wouldn't know where to begin and doubt very much biologist even have adequate lists), but I _do_ know where I took my pictures and adding this as a category just adds one more way of accessing/sorting images here on commons. Imagine a highschool kids wanting to do a "report" on "nature" in their region - such categories will enable them to easily find pictures that were actually taken there. Certainly at first the categories will not provide any usable "data" on the existance of species - neither inclusive, nor exclusive but over time even that "functionality" may become somewhat useful. Also, I fail to see how the existance of such cats would be a "problem" or "get in the way"? Pudding4brains 00:35, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
There is more of the discussion. There are comprehensive lists of birds (made by ornithological groups, used by bird spotters etc) and they're, it's a fairly mechanical operation to convert them for use here. I don't know about other animals & plants. Categories of animals/plants of some region are a way to see a whole bunch of images together, but I'm not sure about its usefulness - an un-ordered jumble of pictures, which will grow very, very large for some regions. A list for a region is nice, but this is wikimedia not wikipedia so perhaps that list should be a gallery. Definitely needs some discussion :-) --Tony Wills 11:28, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
I recently proposed on the English Wikipedia's Wikiproject:Plants that the plants by region category structure should follow the, rather than making up some adhoc process ourselves. Hesperian 23:13, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
In my opinion, it is better to have these "xxx per country/region/place" as galleries instead of categories. I can give an example which I created long times ago (and just updated now): Puente del Inca#Vegetation and flora near the bridge. Advantages: (1) You can restrict the content of the page to one selected photo and at the same time make accessible all other photos by giving a link to the respective gallery/category. (2) It is easier to sort the stuff, if you decide to change the organisation of the page, e.g. when you want to change from alphabetical to systematic arrangement. (3) Photos used would not suffer an overflow of category entries. (3) It is easy to give additional information, i.e. Red list status, information, whether it is an endemic, an introduced species ... Is there any advantage of having this kind of stuff in categories? --Franz Xaver 18:56, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I think that's a good idea, but as per long standing practice a combination of gallery and category systems is appropriate.
The World Geographical Scheme sounds good, allows regions to be broken down into managable sized categories as needed. But three questions, is it widely used, is there an online version of it, and are the general public easily going to find which category to put things in (I suppose redirects of other region categories and descriptions on each category would help) ? Additionally is there an equivalent for animals? --Tony Wills 20:37, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Of course, such galleries have to be categorised in Category:Plants by region or sub-categories. Alternatively, a galleries can be created in the editable part of a category page. --Franz Xaver 21:01, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Is it widely used? Yes, but only within herbarium information systems. Then again, what else do we have to go on?
  • Is there an online version of it? The English Wikipedia article links to a PDF of the standard. If this proposal gets taken up, I'll make sure the article is expanded to list the full structure.
  • Are the general public easily going to find which category to put things in? It will require a degree of explanation on the category pages; see for example the explanatory text at the top of.
Hesperian 00:07, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Independent of this thread I have started this related discussion on COM:VP. (I only noticed this thread after I posted my question)-- Slaunger (talk) 21:48, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Removal of supercategoryEdit

Again and again.[1] KP Botany 22:34, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

What has to be done? Looks like a simple cleaning up of a family category to me. --BerndH 23:54, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
The image Image:Lupine_in_Grand_Teton_NP-NPS.jpg is on Lupinus, a gallery page. I think User:Ayacop's edit was consistent with the guidance of COM:TOL. [2] Wsiegmund 14:59, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
I think it wasn't, and since what people think seems to be the way to go, I think it should stay the way I categorized it. KP Botany 03:14, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I generally disagree with the way some people want to remove categories, but in that instance I think it is definitely the right thing to do. The general rule is to put things into the most specific category, if you put every plant belonging to the family Fabaceae (currently 1779 images) directly into that category you end up with a huge category page - which besides being difficult to find anything in, also has the side effect of pushing subcategories that should be listed on the first page, onto separate pages too.
  • That it is difficult to find Lupinus from the Fabaceae category is simply because it's not much use trying to navigate through the taxostructure unless you know the taxo tree you need to follow - that is unavoidable. If you don't know the path to follow you must use the search facilities. Am I making sense? :-)
  • I have experimented using a sort of visual index in categories to assist navigation (eg Category:Passer), but this is of course only useful if the species, genera etc have visual differences that are obvious in thumbnail sized images. --Tony Wills 09:04, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
"Images that are known with certainty to represent a particular species should appear in the species article, and not be categorized in any of the taxa categories. Images not so well-identified should be put directly in the most precise category to which they can be reliably assigned." (COM:TOL) Where does it say to put an image both in the most precise category to which it can be reliably assigned and into a more general category? In this specific case, the image appears on a genus gallery page, Lupinus, as well. Wsiegmund 17:20, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, and a gallery page is not a category. They serve different purposes. --Gmaxwell 17:32, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
To be clear, the image remained in Category:Lupinus, a subcategory of Category:Fabaceae, as well as a genus gallery page, Lupinus, after Ayacop's edit. [3] What am I missing here? I thought removing supercategories was generally accepted, not merely COM:TOL guidance. "Generally files should only be in the most specific category that exists for certain topic." (Commons:Categories) Wsiegmund 18:40, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
And I click on your categories and see that under Fabaceae, Lupinus is NOT listed as a subcategory, only these four are: Caesalpinioideae, Faboideae, Mimosoideae, Papilionoideae. I clicke on your category Lupinus and it does NOT list that it is in the category Fabaceae. So, here I am insulted up and down by people like Ayacop telling me that something is in these categories, when it's not listed anywhere. Of course, I should just use my botanical knowledge, rather than any search functions or listings on Wikimedia Commons. We should do away with languages, also, as people speak their own, after all.
Then, let's remove ALL supercategories, every single one of them. KP Botany 05:48, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Then let's do away with all plant families, orders, and even just plants, since it appears the only place to categorize a species identified to species level is on its species page. IF this is the case, what exactly are categories for, they're shoeboxes for the unidentified and should not ever be used with something identified? What is the purpose of categories, by the way? I thought they were for a search function. If this is the case, the entire function of categories is defeated by not using them. KP Botany 03:05, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Why do I get the feeling there´s a slight misunderstanding on your part? The Lupinus image is in the Category Genisteae which is in the Cat. Faboideae which is in the Cat. Fabaceae which is in the Cat. Fabales and Plantae by Family. A perfect hierarchic structure. So what is the problem? --BerndH
Maybe there is a misunderstanding on my part, because when I go to the image page, it doesn't show these categories you name. While Ayacop is busy insulting me for not knowing botany, he seems to be misunderstanding the purpose of Wikimedia Commons: it's not botany central, the images are used by layman also. So, if his sole argument, and yours is that every single species belongs to a category, but the category isn't included on the page, precisely how does the layman know what categories, especially with something so commonly used and taught as families for plants and orders for vertebrates, and etc.? KP Botany 05:43, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
(insert) Now I realize where the misunderstanding is. Let me try to explain: The image page does not contain all Categories in that hierarchic structure referred to as the "tree of life" (the levels of) Adding every possible Category would make them more and more unusable the higher you move in that structure. Imagine we would add the Category Plantae to every picture of a plant! How many pictures of plants do we have? The lowest Category-level in that structure should be enough. In that case Category:Lupinus. --BerndH 10:40, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
But isn't the lowest level of category the species itself, if there is more than one image in it? That makes the species category the only level in the category structure that an identified species should be in, in which case, what's in the categories, if the species aren't in anything but their own category? What is in the category plants for example, if every identified species is only in its own page? Does this mean that all higher categories can only contain images unidentified to the species level? KP Botany 17:30, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
A top-level or higher level category need not have any images in it. Ultimately, just like in Wikipedia, the top level categories are there to support its subcategories. If someone wanted to investigate a subject from a top-down browsing, they could do that by going to the highest category and click through the subcategories to get to the specific subject they're looking for. Top-level categories are there for the subcategories and a few "article" pages that may apply directly to that category and to no other more specific category. For example, there should be almost no media in Category:Plantae unless it applies to all plants and there is no more specific category. Category:Plantae is there specifically for the organization of subcategories and a handful of articles. The subcategories are the workhorses; the top-level categories are there to support them. I hope I communicated that well enough. --Rkitko 07:41, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
So, the idea is that NO organism identified to the species level should be in ANY other taxonomical category other than its precise species? Kingdom categories have NO identified species in them, Phyla categories have NO identified species in them, Class categories have NO identified species in them, Order categories have NO identified species in them, Family categories have NO identified spedcies in them, Tribe categories have NO identified species in them, every single organism is places ONLY in its species, never in a higher taxonomical category.
Is it possible that anyone besides me sees that not having this explicitly spelled out in many places could be confusing to everyone who has ever studied taxonomy or databases, or thinks that categories means "a collection of things sharing a common attribute?" If this is the case, it should absolutely be explicitly spelled out that organisms are ONLY categorized in their species and higher taxonomic orders are ONLY holding places for subcategories, and are not actually used as categories. This is not just like Wikipedia, plant species are categorized in their family categories. KP Botany 16:53, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Ah, I see your point. And I agree it should be stated more explicitly, though I had never considered categories on Commons or Wikipedia to have such a function. It makes complete sense to me to me to only have the media in the most specific category. And not all plant species are categorized in their family categories on Wikipedia. If they are, someone hasn't created a genus-level category yet. When they have (e.g. w:Category:Acacia), the articles are removed from the higher level taxa categories (for the most part-- w:Category:Mimosoideae still contains a few stray Acacia species that should be removed). I digress. Think of categories on Commons less as a container for all media related to the topic and more like another way to navigate to the topic. Just to clarify, do you disagree with that system? Are you proposing a change to the system or to the wording to allow newcomers to better understand the system? Cheers, Rkitko 17:22, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
(unindented to preserve SB_Johnny's sanity, and after edit conflict that makes some of this redundant) - Yup, that's pretty much what's said in Commons:Categories#Over-categorization: add things to the smallest possible category. So anything in Category:Asclepias curassavica shouldn't be in Category:Asclepias, Category:Apocynaceae, etc. Think of the categories as sets, and the category structure like a. Anything in the lower category belongs to a subset of some larger set (the next higher category), which in turn is a subset of an even larger set (one category higher), and so on until we get to Category:Plantae, Category:Eukaryota, etc. That's why it's "redundant"... all images of Asclepias curassavica are images of members of the genus Asclepias, the family Apocynaceae, and so on. So by adding category tags to images that are already (if indirectly) categorized in the category you're adding, all it does is clutter up the higher category page with images that really don't need to be there (since they already are in the category, as members of a subset). Does that help clarify things a bit? --SB_Johnny|talk|books 17:30, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure if I agree with it or not, because I don't understand other than the argument that there might be too many media on some page (which is absurd since Wikimedia doesn't have limits of how many images are a max for any precise organism, what about genetic variability?), why it is done this way. There is also the fact that it's pretty straight-forward, once I explained it to myself, but it's taken folks 4 months to explain the rather simple idea to me, because no one has explained the overall concept, because, I simply think few people understand it. And, whatever it says at categorizations I've been explicitly told multiple times it does not mean not putting an image in its species and its family. And, by the way, most images are also in their genus category explicitly on their gallery pages, so it's not done this way.
People ought to really consider the value of a system that is counterintuitive, uses only a small portion of a hierarchial system already established, is not understood by the majority of members of the community, is impossible to explain simply and directly, and is not followed by the community. Meanwhile, I'll consider it, but someone needs to explain how and why categories work, and what they're for, and not technically, but at the user end, and not for the computer geek. KP Botany 19:18, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
As you say, there is need for images in higher taxa like Fabaceae. I have seen two such kind of images:
  • schematics to show some general anatomic feature, e.g. flower diagrams, example at hand: Image:Shema cveta Fabaceae.JPG
  • images collections that cannot be sorted into one specialized taxon only (they can, but they can also serve as overview over a higher taxon, so that's a candidate for having both specialised and general tags). Example: Image:Faboideae root nodules Taub42.png
Hope this helps. --Ayacop 09:27, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Ah, of course. Those kind of images make sense in higher level taxa. I meant to include those kinds of exceptions in what I wrote above but it was rather late. Lost my train of thought for a bit there. Thanks for the examples! I, of course, agree completely. Cheers, Rkitko 17:22, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
I apologize for any insult up to now, but will you accept? It appears you are not even accepting the basics of the category tree. But imagine: if Image:NewYork.jpg had both the tags 'North America' and 'New York', then surely all Atlanta pictures and all Boston pictures could be in 'North America' too! But then, you wouldn't find your NewYork.jpg anymore...
For this reason, there is the search engine, you put in 'Lupinus' and get at once the link to Category:Lupinus. What's easier? And why should it be shorter to first search for Fabaceae and then your picture, which itself might be drowned under 1000 other Fabaceae pictures, were it not for people like me that occasionally would remove them and put them into specialized categories? --Ayacop 11:16, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Again and again this argument that natural categories should never be used on Wikimedia Commons because they contain some large number of things, these natural categories are the type of categories people use, the type of categories that are found on Wikipedias all over the world. What is this about rewriting all of taxonomy and all of cartography to avoid large categories on Commons? Then rewrite Commons completely and forbid categorization, because that is essentially what this is leading to: no categories, because nature hasn't been so kind as to provide only categories of all the same size, and that size a nice and small one to satisfy those at Commons who are aghast at having over 10 things in a category. KP Botany 19:08, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Who did tell you, that Category:Lupinus is not a natural category, that family categories are the only "natural" categories? --Franz Xaver 13:27, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Who said anyone told me that? No one said anything about either in this discussion thus far that I have seen, maybe you are discussing this somewhere else? Or something else? KP Botany 05:41, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
So, where did you find the argument that natural categories should never be used on Wikimedia Commons ...? If Category:Lupinus is a natural category, your understanding of the arguments of Ayacop is simply wrong. --Franz Xaver 07:07, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
I have no idea what you are on about, here. You might start by telling me what my understanding of Ayacop's arguments is. That might help us both. KP Botany 14:07, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
You claimed, that his arguments mean that natural categories should never be used on Wikimedia Commons ... Isn't it? --Franz Xaver 16:45, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Reset indent. What I said was, "It really appears that Commons is set up in such a way that natural categories simply cannot be used." By natural categories, I mean categorizing things on Wikipedia the way they are already categorized by the sciences. If you search this page for the quote you supplied, you only find it mentioned twice, both times by you. So, please, copy and paste what I said, instead of restating it, because you are not quite following what I am saying, and making sense out of what you are saying, seeing you misquote me, is quite difficult. I simply have no idea what you are saying, because you are talking about something I did not say, so I don't know what you mean. KP Botany 01:22, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

No, I did not misquote you. I quoted - given in italics - from your edit some few paragraphs above. (The quotation starts with the sixth word of your edit.) So, seemingly in your opinion you may be allowed to interpret arguments of other disputants in an extremely free manner, whereas on the other side quoting your statements is not OK. Isn't it odd? I don't know, if you are unwilling or unable to understand. --Franz Xaver 12:05, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Anyway, botany uses a lot of ranks to build its scientific classification: species, genus, tribe, family, order, class, phylum, as the main ranks. This is used by us to build a tree of categories. However, science provides no reason that the rank of "family" has to be privileged. --Franz Xaver 12:48, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh, good God, you asked me, "Who did tell you, that Category:Lupinus is not a natural category, that family categories are the only "natural" categories?" Did you even read what you wrote? Who said anyone told me that family categories are the only natural categories, where do I say anywhere that someone told me family categories are the only natural categories? No where. Please, read the sentence you started this exchange with, it makes no sense whatsoever, and has nothing to do with the quote you are providing. This is what is being argued, that families should not be used because they create categories that are too big. And, gee, whiz, you know, botanists sort genera primarily by family, go to IPNI and search, you can search by family, genus or species. Go to dozens of plant data bases, floras and taxonomy books, and the plants are sorted by family.
And, again, you put in quotes something I did not say. Please, start by reading what I said, then go to reading what you said, then work into asking me if I can't understand something when you haven't bothered to read what you wrote, this is WHAT YOU SAID, "Who did tell you, that Category:Lupinus is not a natural category, that family categories are the only "natural" categories?" KP Botany 02:37, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

OK folks, both ways of doing things are completely valid, so let's stop with the assertions that only one way is logical and every other one must be illogical. What we do now with categories is based on experimentation and to a large extent arbitrary decisions early on. For instance, there is *nothing* intrinsically wrong with 20,000-image categories; but there are lots of editors who find them so distasteful that they will work unceasingly day and night to shrink it down. What does one do with editors like that? Stan Shebs 21:29, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, removing supercategories seems pretty much to be in exact accordance with Commons:Categories#Over-categorization, so threatening to block users who remove them seems pretty odd. I do wonder though if this a case of a category mistake (if you'll excuse the pun), since what we're categorizing are images of Lupinus, or perhaps galleries of images of Lupinus... we're not categorizing the actual plant. If you're searching for images of Lupinus, you just use one of the search tools (commons search for pages containing the word "Lupinus", and Mayflower for image file pages containing that word). Commons is the "common store of media files" which are used on other wikimedia projects which in turn explain what the plant is (wiktionaries), tell the reader about the plant (wikipedias), describe where it fits on the tree of life (wikispecies), how to grow, cook, or otherwise do something with the plant (wikibooks), or learning tools for botany and related fields (wikiversities). The point is, we're categorizing media files, not the things that media files depict, and the goal should be to make commons easily searched by those who are going to use the files in order to educate readers (on one of the other projects), as opposed to being a teaching tool in itself. If you don't know anything about Lupinus, you can still easily find an image of it, and you can follow links on the sidebar to wikipedia articles in your own language (or even just check usage and find a wikimedia page that uses the image). Commons, like meta, is a project that serves only to assist those who contribute to the other wikimedia projects, and those projects in turn serve the readers. --SB_Johnny|talk|books 12:49, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Genisteae vs. CytiseaeEdit

I'm a bit confused here... is there some controversey over the taxonomoy in this family? The category is Genisteae, but the taxonav says Cytiseae, and the en.wikipedia article says Luppineae. If the tribes are really that much in dispute, wouldn't it be easier to just put it in Faboideae (or even Fabaceae)?--SB_Johnny|talk|books 11:55, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
According to the most up-to-date reference with respect to Fabaceae,, Lupinus is in the tribe Genisteae. I will correct that in all taxonavs unless some ... nice people decide to block me for doing maintenance. Thanks BerndH for clearing up the matter, I was away for some days. --Ayacop 17:34, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Both names, Cytiseae and Genisteae, are in use for the same taxon. As far as I know, according ICBN (art. 33.5), Cytiseae is the valid name - see e.g. this PDF, page 2 : Genisteae Adans. (1763) is invalid according to ICBN, and Genisteae (Bronn) Dumort. (1827-1829) is a younger synonym of Cytiseae Bercht. & J.Presl (1820). --Franz Xaver 10:20, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
One more link, which explains my reasons for the use of Cytiseae instead of Genisteae: [4]. In the 3rd and 4th paragraph of the introduction, you can find the information, that the book of Berchtold & J.Presl (1820) had been overlooked. So, for a long time, Genisteae had been thought to be the valid name of this taxon. However, Cytiseae Berchtold & J.Presl has priority. In the 5th paragraph of the introduction, you can find the reason, why Genisteae Adans. (1763) is invalid - has been given the inadequate rank "section" (see PDF) in the diagnosis. --Franz Xaver 10:38, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, that changes my assessment of ILDIS, too, and I hope there aren't more problems with ILDIS, as I have used them extensively for the Fabaceae category tree.
Of course, the original question if Lupinus is a sub-(sub-...)category of Fabaceae or not, is untouched by that. I just wish User:KP_Botany would stop reverting just for the sake of it. --Ayacop 11:00, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Usually you can rely on ILDIS. --Franz Xaver 12:52, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

General solution of category/article sortingEdit

After edit-conflict:

As I've been upset with categorical deletion of categories (sorry ;) from image pages in somewhat the same way as KP Botany (but not exactly the same) I do feel he has some points here - even if in this particular case I would agree that there is no problem as the dsiputed image is still listed in a more specific category.

His valid points, in my opinion are these:

  • An effort should be made to keep images in at least one ToL/Taxonomic-category. My personal opinion about that is that this should be the most "specific" available and hence that it should be alowed to create categories at the species level (or even var./ab./forma level?) that have been deleted by oversealous "maintainers" in the past. In other words: If a maintainer takes the trouble of removing a category marker from an image page (after checking that the image is in a gallery), he/she might as well change it into a more specific category as oposed to deleting it - that hardly makes for more work, just a different action.
  • I like KP Botany's idea of having a "TaxoNav"-like aide even in image pages (same as I like to have it on galleries and categories) and it really shouldn't be hard to do either. I imagine it should be fairly straightforward to create a (system of) template(s) that will allow me to add something like {{ImgTaxo|spec=Homo sapiens}} rather than [[Category:Homo sapiens]] . Of course the template will in the end also add the category to the image page, but it allows us to automaically add a taxo-navigation box with higher taxa as well. While working on the system we could start with translating the template with just the category-marker to make a start and add more/better and/or more automatic taxonavigation as we go along by just adding to the template.

So, instead of fighting about this one particular case that upset KP Botany again, could we maybe, maybe, please at some point turn this whole cat vs gal discussion into something that actually makes Commons better for the users as oposed to just frustrating the people who would like to upload and sort images but have stopped this now because of the dispute? Cheers Pudding4brains 11:16, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Certainly I've spent no time uploading images to Wikimedia Commons since this battle keeps going on and on without resolution. On the other hand, the Quercus lobata photo I shot for Commons just won me high critical acclaim, and an invitation to enter my Washingtonia filifera into a juried gallery exhibition got my photo well-placed in the exhibition--again, shot for en.Wikipedia. I would love to be uploading these photos to Commons for Wikipedia articles all over the world, and into the public domain for their usage by anyone for anything whatsoever--I don't own the plants I shoot, but damn has Mother Nature been generous in providing me with outstanding specimens, lighting, and photo opportunities, not to mention a job which takes me all over the West to shoot, and work with rare plant specialists who can field identify the wildflowers. However, another database has requested my photos, and I've agreed to provide them for scientific research, copyrighted, restricted, and all that stuff.

I really think that having this issue settled, and making Wikimedia Commons user friendly could vastly increase the quality and quantity of images available for all the Wikipedias. I want the photos available to any user, though, not just those savvy to the strange and unpredictable ins and outs of Wikimedia Commons, and I want them available via common botanical search methods, human use search methods, visual and list search methods, not solely these neo-categorizations and neo-methods narrowly created and limited by Commons users to alienate anyone who isn't an established insider of the club. KP Botany 19:00, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

just won me high critical acclaim, got my photo well-placed in the exhibition, another database has requested my photos... good for you. --BerndH 20:52, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. KP Botany 03:33, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Sad, but I understand. I just have to close my eyes when my work gets messed up, otherwise it would drive me crazy too. Stan Shebs 02:44, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, but now that I'm uploading photos I took especially for Wikipedia and putting them up with restrictions on their redistribution, it seems absurd that they can't just be put in the public domain for anybody to use as I originally intended. What a waste of a good idea Wikimedia Commons is turning out to be. KP Botany 03:33, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Of course, there's nothing that says you can't have them both places, unless the other site is requiring an exclusive license (which is very unlikely). I've noticed that people have been gradually picking up my commons photos and using them all kinds of places, probably because they show up in Google searches and they're advertised as free. Stan Shebs 04:10, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh, yes, the only thing holding back the Wikimedia Commons upload is the failure to get anything organized here so photographers like me can actually upload without spending all our time battling categories--I'm actually an artist, not a scientist, and just can't deal with this. But I made certain to spell out precisely that I would still be able to upload anything to Wikimedia Commons, into the public domain, meanwhile getting some expert confirmations. KP Botany 04:45, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Are you being serious? Stuff I upload gets moved around and re-/un-categorized all the time! I used to actually always add them to my gallery page (where I could organize them for my private enjoyment), but sort of got behind on it after a while. At least by uploading to commons (rather than a local wiki) you won't have your image moved to commons by someone else (and then it's deleted locally, and the commons version won't be on your watchlist). --SB_Johnny|talk|books 14:17, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't care if I upload stuff that gets moved around and recategorized. What I care is that there is no standardized way to categorize anything, and I cannot figure out how to categorize things because of this. Someone will come in and randomly decide to remove some part of the categorization, so, then, what, I should, in the future not use families with lupines, but I can use them with others, I should not use galleries, use galleries, use lists, don't do this, do that? What policy? What exactly should I do when I upload a picture, include categories or not? Why spend anytime redoing stuff because one user personally feels it shouldn't have a family and another feels it should? What is this about wasting time at Commons that so many people have so much of it, that it really doesn't matter? MPF, who's currently uncategorizing things, does most of my categories for images and articles on Wikipedia and Commons, and reformats my image placements in articles, and corrects my English. I like it so much, I ask him to do it, if he misses an article. But I don't want to do work that someone else is just going to undo because there is no standing policy and folks don't understand what others are saying or care what others are doing. Waste time all you want, but if I upload something, I want to do it in an organized matter, tons of pictures at a time, and not have every 1/10th of what I upload resorted in completely random and personal ways by various editors, so they're the disorganized mess that Commons is.KP Botany 02:43, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

And category battle elsewhereEdit

Same battle going on elsewhere on Wikimedia Commons with different players.[5] What a waste of a resource and people's time to not settle and make Commons a place that works. KP Botany 03:35, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Hello! This is not the same! <sigh> --Ayacop 14:04, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Of course it isn't, it's about two sides, one claiming that overcategorization means taking away higher level categories, and ours is about two sides, once claiming that overcategorization means taking away higher level categories. These are two completely different things. Now you're going to insult me, I suppose, because two groups discussing the same issues, with the same arguments appear the same to me, while to you, they are two different things. And, of course, you, as usual, have provided diffs and clear supporting arguments. KP Botany 01:25, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
You suggesting that I will insult you is an insult itself and I will block YOU if you repeat your uncivil behaviour. The difference between the Tomcat/MPF discussion and ours is that MPF tries to remove a category from an image leaving it only referenced by an article/gallery in that category. What I'm trying (and you keep reverting) is perfectly legal: removing a supercategory where the image is also in a subcategory of that.
Contrary to your claims, this is not disputed. It is written here: Commons:Categories#Over-categorization. --Ayacop 08:18, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
That's not a policy page though, not even a guideline - don't misrepresent it as being more than some editors' preference. Stan Shebs 15:36, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
As I've been told repeatedly, it's simply a preference, and it doesn't apply in this particular case. And please don't threaten to abuse administrative powers by blocking me in a dispute you are personally involved in: I will block YOU if you repeat your uncivil behaviour is an outrageous statement for an administrator. In a dispute, waiting for resolution by the community is civil, not insulting and threatening someone you disagree with is civil, and not misrepresenting things is civil. 02:27, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
This is nothing. I tell you, administrators can be much more nasty. You could easily be blocked, for example, by dragging a useless discussion on and on, just to make a point. Right now, I'm thinking of this very possibility, and I'm quite in favor of it.
But I give you a last chance for discussion here before that. You said you want that Fabaceae tag in your image because you can find your picture much more easier (you must be illiterate not to use the fine search engine, though). Have a look at Category:Fabaceae now, please! Where is your easily found picture now? My job it was to clean up this mess -- you didn't want this, so ... I reverted it! And I will put all 1700 Fabaceae back into that category, just in order to make your image drown in it all!
This shows how short-sighted your scheme is. All you wanted is probably to have your image in a prominent position for all to see, with you saying: look what fine picture, and it's the only worthy of showing when you go to Fabaceae.
My question to you is now: should I do my job? Is it such a bad job to keep Fabaceae clean? Answer now or be mute forever (my guess is you will want to wiggle out of an answer just as you tried all the time but this may be the last time as I told you above) --Ayacop 06:30, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Ayacop, don't do this example with these 1700 Fabaceae. I tried the same experiment in Category:Lamiaceae - only initials A to C. It was not a big success, did not impress him. Not worth the struggle. I decided now, not to continue dispute with him, at least for some time. If he doesn't want to understand what I was trying to tell him, there is not way to argue. --Franz Xaver 22:52, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Please, let us try to be civil and also to assume good faith. I think that everyone here is trying to improve Commons. No one puts so much time and effort into something that s/he doesn't care about.
The purpose of this page is to suggest changes to the project page. Forgive me, but I've completely lost track of what proposed changes we are discussing here. I've seen it suggested that guidance here conflicts with Commons policy. If that is true, it is important that it be corrected promptly. If not, editors following the guidance here should not be threatened with blocks.
I'm confused regarding the other discussions above. On one hand, it seems to be argued that the guidance on the project page is unclear. On the other, the argument seems to be that images should be categorized, even when they have been placed in a species gallery. Further, it has been suggested (I think) that the family category be added to all images of flora and fauna. Adding navigational aids to images has been proposed. With so many ideas, I'm not sure what we are discussing any more.
I wonder if someone would be kind enough to propose a change in the wording of the project page that would address the most important concerns discussed above? Wsiegmund 15:55, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for this, Wsiegmund. I was a bit confused, too. Take a short wikibreak and look what happens! I concur--keep discussion civil. Use Commons guidelines and policy when speaking about current practices and propose changes to the wording of the project guidelines without attacking other editors for their current practices. If we do that I'm sure we can be productive. An excellent example of a team coming together to discuss current practices, proposing changes, and for the most part coming to consensus can be found at the English Wikipedia's WikiProject Fish discussion on their naming convention, a contentious issue for the English language Wikipedia. I watched the tail end of the conversation unfold and was in awe. Surely we can be just as productive. If I understood what was being proposed, I'd be happy to join the discussion. --Rkitko 07:18, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Families are not used in the same way in the animal kingdom as they are in the plant kingdom, orders are often the important level of distinction among animals. KP Botany 17:24, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, agreed. I was simply pointing out a great example of a discussion where people worked together toward a common goal, not pointing out potential policy sources. --Rkitko 07:41, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

I add my suppurt to the words of Franz, Wsiegmund, and Rkitko. Assume Good faith, keep discussion civil, certainly dont make threats.Teun Spaans 09:32, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Adding categories to imagesEdit

I placed the following at User talk:Emijrpbot and copying it here in case others may wish to correct my understanding of the discussion here.

I notice that Emijrpbot is adding categories to images. You might wish to be aware that a number of editors who work on biota think that it is unhelpful to add genus, family or higher categories to an image, if it has been identified and appears on a species gallery page. The guidance at COM:TOL suggests not adding categories to such images. However, this is disputed at Commons_talk:WikiProject_Tree_of_Life#Again.2C_delete_all_categories. The argument of those opposing categories is that a large number of images identified by species in a genus or higher category makes it difficult to find those that need to be identified, and I think that those who do that work are deserving our support. Those favoring categories have various arguments including the view that all images on Commons should be categorized. I think that many of those objecting to categories are less troubled by the addition of the species category to an image. This is consistent with Commons:Categories. Perhaps Emijrpbot might either do that or ignore species images that appear on species gallery pages.

Walter Siegmund (talk) 15:41, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

The discussion with Emijrp was successful ( I believe) on my page. Orchi 16:12, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for the pointer to your discussion.[6] Both you and Emijrp are to be commended. Walter Siegmund (talk) 01:50, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Mass deletion of 'Gallery'/Info PagesEdit

I last night became aware that a large number of pages that come under the TOL project were deleted (mostly last month), so far I have identified the following: Accipitridae, Adonis, Aechmea, Aegithinidae, Aegothelidae, Aeshna_viridis, Agamidae, Agathis, Aglaonema, Agrate_Conturbia, Alaudidae, Alcedinidae, Amazilia_chionogaster, Amplyterus_gannascus, Anchusa, Anemone, Anhimidae, Anhingidae, Anseranatidae, Apodidae, Aramidae, Ardeidae, Ardisia, Arhopalus_rusticus, Arum, Asplenium, Atrichornithidae, Balaenicipitidae, Billbergia, Brachypteraciidae, Bromelia, Bucconidae, Bucorvidae, Bupleurum, Burhinidae, Campephagidae, Canna_x_generalis, Capitonidae, Caprimulgidae, Cardinalidae, Cariamidae, Carpinus_tschonoskii, Casuariidae, Centropidae, Centropus, Ceropegia, Certhiidae, Cerylidae, Chimaphila, Chionididae, Cinclidae, Cinclosomatidae, Cingulata, Cisticolidae, Climacteridae, Coenagrion_hastulatum, Coerebidae, Coliidae, Commelina, Conopophagidae, Coraciidae, Corcoracidae, Corydalis, Cotingidae, Cracidae, Crotalus_scutulatus, Cryphia_simulatricula, Cuculidae, Cuphea, Cycadophyta, Dendrobates_castaneoticus, Dendrobates_fantasticus, Dendrobates_histrionicus, Dendrobates_imitator, Dendrobates_lehmanni, Dendrocolaptidae, Dicaeidae, Dicruridae, Digitaria_ischaemum, Diomedeidae, Dioon, Dipsacus_strigosus, Diuris_longifolia, Dolomedes_scriptus, Dracaena, Drepanididae, Dryopteris, Dulidae, Dyckia, Echeveria_setosa, Eleutherococcus, Erythronium, Estrildidae, Euonymus, Eurostopodidae, Eurypygidae, Fagus, Falconidae, Felicia, Festuca, Folivora, Forchheim, Formicariidae, Furnariidae, Galbulidae, Gaviidae, Glareolidae, Glomeropitcairnia, Gnetum, Gymnadenia_rhellicani, Gymnadenia_widderi, Gymnadenia_x_chanousiana, Gymnadenia_x_heufleri, Halcyonidae, Hechtia, Helianthus_cucumerifolius, Heliornithidae, Heliotropium, Hemiprocnidae, Heterohyrax, Hoya, Hydrobatidae, Hydrocleys, Hypericum_monogynum, Hypocoliidae, Indicatoridae, Jacanidae, Lactuca, Lamium, Laridae, Larus, Lepomis_cyanellus, Leptosomatidae, Leptosomidae, Leucojum, Lithospermum, Litsea, Luzula, Lybiidae, Macropus_parma, Macroscelididae, Magnolia_×soulangiana, Malaconotidae, Maluridae, Mauremys_caspica, Megalaimidae, Megapodiidae, Melanocharitidae, Meliphagidae, Menuridae, Meropidae, Mesitornithidae, Microcebus, Milwaukee_County_Zoological_Gardens, Mirounga, Momotidae, Musa, Musophagidae, Naja_annulifera, Naso_lopezi, Nectariniidae, Neosittidae, Nepenthes_alata, Nidularium, Numididae, Nyctibiidae, Odontophoridae, Opisthocomidae, Orthonychidae, Osmunda, Otididae, P4b_Animalia, P4b_Arthropoda, P4b_Hemiptera, P4b_Hexapoda, P4b_Insecta, Pachycephalidae, Pachypodium, Pachyrhinosaurus, Palestine, Panurgus_calcaratus, Paradisaeidae, Paradoxornithidae, Paramythiidae, Pardalotidae, Paridae, Parietaria, Parinacota, Parulidae, Paulownia_fortunei, Pedionomidae, Pelecanidae, Pelecanoididae, Petroicidae, Peucedramidae, Phaethontidae, Phalacrocoracidae, Philepittidae, Phoeniculidae, Picathartidae, Picidae, Pilea, Pipridae, Pitcairnia, Pittidae, Pityriaseidae, Plagiothecium_curvifolium, Platanthera_montana, Platysteiridae, Pluvianellidae, Poa, Podargidae, Podiceps_andinus, Podilymbus_gigas, Pogradec, Polioptilidae, Pomatostomidae, Potentilla, Prionopidae, Procellariidae, Promeropidae, Psophiidae, Pteroclididae, Ptilogonatidae, Ptilonorhynchidae, Pulmonaria, Raphidae, Rata, Recurvirostridae, Regulidae, Restrepia_citrina, Rhabdornithidae, Rhinocryptidae, Rhynchocyon_cirnei, Rhynochetidae, Rostratulidae, Ruellia, Sagittaria, Sagittaridae, Sagittariidae, Salvia_hispanica, Satureja, Saxifraga, Scopidae, Scrophularia, Serinus, Silvicultrix_frontalis, Steatornithidae, Stercorariidae, Strasburger, Sturnidae, Styrax, Sulidae, Thalictrum, Thamnophilidae, Thamnophis_couchii, Thamnophis_cyrtopsis, Thamnophis_elegans, Thamnophis_marcianus, Thamnophis_proximus, Thamnophis_radix, Thinocoridae, Thymelicus_spec, Tichodromadidae, Timarcha_spec., Tinamidae, Tragelaphus_angasii, Trogonidae, Turnagridae, Turnera, Turnicidae, Tytonidae, Upupidae, Vangidae, Viduidae, Vireonidae, Wisteria_brachybotrys, Zosteropidae, Zupaysaurus
I am not aware that any discussion took place about these before hand. They may have been stub pages without a proper gallery, or index pages for a genus/species etc but I can't be sure because they are deleted! Are others aware of more pages going missing, I am trying to construct a complete list and will ask the deleter to re-instate them. --Tony Wills 05:03, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

  • All those have been restored, if there are others missing list them here, or put in a un-deletion request. I will try and go through the restored pages and check if any really should be deleted. --Tony Wills 10:58, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
    • I've seen a bit of this here and there while checking links from the Bloom Clock on Wikiversity, but didn't realize it was systematic. In some cases I just made redirects to categories, in some others I undeleted. In the future should I just undelete as a rule? --SB_Johnny|talk|books 14:56, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
...thanks for your attention! Greetings Orchi 19:50, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I too had noticed the odd thing missing, but because they were deleted rather than edited I didn't have a whole lot of notifications on my watchlist. I assumed they were odd pages that someone had had a deletion request and discussion, and I didn't follow them up. It looks like two criteria might have been involved, they were pages only ever edited by one person and they didn't contain any images. Both these could propably be covered by adding an example image of the family, genus etc to such pages. In the case of species for which there are no images, I suppose we don't really need a page yet :-).
  • Yes, I think that if anything gets deleted and you don't understand why, ask for an un-deletion or bring it up in one of these forums and at least we might notice a systematic problem earlier :-)
  • I only asked for pages to be restored that were no longer present - ie if the page had since been recreated (or restored) I didn't ask for the original to be restored.
--Tony Wills 21:04, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
I posted a general undeletion request [[7]], if anyone would like to comment.
BTW: you can use your watchlist to find deleted pages by selecting "display and edit complete watchlist", and looking for redlinks. --SB_Johnny|talk|books 10:57, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
It's not that there's a policy against gallery pages without images, just that a gallery page without images is a very strong indicator for a nonsense page. Since we don't have very vigorous RC patrol junk pages are often created and left unnoticed for some time. ... putting at least one image in such pages is generally a good idea. If nothing else put a template like {{ToL}} at the bottom which says This page is part of the WikiProject Tree of Life. You can help! and have an image of a leaf or tree or something.
BTW having images is a good idea generally to give the reader some context. While the ToL editor who creates the page may think it incredibly obvious what the page is about, it's important to keep in mind that readers come to the pages from varying approaches (search engines are almost like at random), and with varying knowledge. So taking the time to put an example image in is something I would generally encourage.
--Tony Wills 12:23, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree entirely with pfctdayelise on that point, and a TOL tamplate would also be an excellent idea, especially if paired with some sort of tracking mechanism for pages with and without images so that we can work on reducing the numbers of those.

Looks like speedy consensus on the RFU discussion, so if anyone notices mysterious redlinks on their watchlists, just post them here on this page and I or another admin will get to them in short order. --SB_Johnny|talk|books 21:13, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

unknown plant identification pageEdit

I was hoping to be able to make a more exciting announcement about the bloom clock's progress, but we're waiting for a mediawiki extension that will allow graphical lists (I'll make a more complete posting once that's up and running), but for now I just wanted to get some opinions on the. Part of the goal for that part of the project is to have a centralized place for people to upload images of unidentified plants, have them identified, and then upload the images to commons using the correct name, which in turn will help mayflower and mediawiki search get results more accurately. There are 2 (perhaps more later today) listed there now, and I'm hoping someone can identify those plants, and perhaps see if there's a way that the templates can be simplified (or made more complex, if there's something more that should be there).

Also just generally want to know if people think that's a good idea, since we can't technically move a plant from "purple flower.jpg" to "Lunaria annua.jpg", etc. This just seems a better use of resources. --SB_Johnny|talk|books 14:45, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

There should be the possibility to discuss characters, to ask for additional information etc. --Franz Xaver 09:32, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
Yup, that's the idea :). The template needs a bit of a rewrite, but it's a step better than just adding Category:Unidentified plants (etc.) to images, since they sort of get lost in that category. --SB_Johnny|talk|books 10:15, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Creating species categories by bot?Edit

As ToL stuff will be concerned, please notice Commons:Bots/Requests for flags/Polbot --Franz Xaver 09:38, 4 July 2007 (UTC)



after having watched this project only for a long time now I decided to participate now. I have been active here since 2004 and have been active since then especially in Lilium and Category:Carnivorous plants, though I recently "discovered" mycoheterotrophic plants, my newest focus, so currently I am working at Category:Corsia. At home I am in the de:Portal:Lebewesen of the German Wikipedia. Regards, Denis Barthel 10:06, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Welcome, Denis! Teun Spaans 06:50, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Cat for speciesEdit

So, when I can make a new category for species? It seems to me such as problem, if I am looking for species of special taxa I sould now a taxonomic tree to be able to browes in all of them.--Juan de Vojníkov 16:04, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Hi Juan, it has been decided that there is no "rule" for this so you are free to add a species level category to an image (or other media), but it will probably be removed however as the people who don't like (species) categories think they should go ahead and organize things according to their point of view anyway, even without consensus. If you change it back, you'll probably be accused of editwarring, so there is little point in trying to organize things that way unless you feel like wasting time and headaches.
Efforts to organize galleries or categories in such a way that laymen could also be assisted in finding a species they are looking for are generally also not appreciated as "commons should not provide information" (according to some). Links to other taxa, same taxa on other projects (vernacular names), or the creation of organizational pages on the species/genus or whatever level that would provide (maybe pictorial) aid in browsing the taxon trees run a fair risk of being removed/destroyed too. So, if you feel like it please do create things/pages/categories you deem worthwhile for aiding laymen in finding/retrieving images, they might even survive for while, but be prepared to see them destroyed/removed without further discussion about their usefulness. My 2ct Pudding4brains 13:49, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for this nice introduction to Commons community. It looks I will, like it. Anyway I wanted to have easy browsing options to find good pictures for wikipedias articles.--Juan de Vojníkov 17:49, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

the problem is that people keep on doing huge amounts of categorization without having any experience, and without asking anybody. many have no feeling for the cat system, and do damage to it that takes many hours to repair. i know, i started the same way ;) so, whenever you want to do some major work, check out that you don't wreck part of a greater plan. but of course, the system will evolve with time, and with more pictures coming in, nothing is put in concrete. the reason i reverted the works of User:Xhienne yesterday (took me 3+ hours) is that i fear if people see this imo misguided system, they will think that's the way it is done, and continue it. especially the spider pages were a pile of dung one or two years ago, the system at the moment seems to work out nice. any questions? -> leave me a note. --Sarefo 22:33, 17 December 2007 (UTC)


The on Wikiversity is winding down its Northern Hemisphere run for the year (most of the last plants to bloom are showing up now). Aside from reminding our subtropical and Southern Hemisphere contributors about the clock (as well as northerners who are going to be going through the years photos), I'm also looking for assistance in developing the dichotomous key aspect of the clock.

The clock was originally structured solely as a "distributed participatory research project" (ain't Wikiversity grand!), but after experimenting with the potential of DynamicPageList (which is enabled there), creating regional dichotomous keys seemed a good use for the data colected so far. Originally, the goal was to create a system of "bloom zones", similar to thes used to describe how well a given plant stands up to winter. However, regional keys can be made up as we go along, and those keys can eventually be used for the longer term goal.

The original categories simply described plants by color and general type (herbaceous, shrub, tree, or vine), which did allow the creation of very simple keys (see for examples). However, some of these keys have grown into rather long pages, so I'm starting to make categories that include leaf descriptions to break these up (simple vs. compound, alternate or opposite, etc.). Eventually I'd like to add inflorescence type, stem/branch/trunk descriptions, height and spread, and so on. Anyone able to spare some time to add these categories would be greatly appreciated. The eventual goal (many years away, I'm sure), is to have a global dichotomous key where someone can start with location and time, and then move down through to more and more specific levels to find the name of the plant that they are looking at (and then follow links to wikipedia, wikibooks, commons, etc.).

Aside from needing help with categorizing (and one warning: categorization is a rather different game when DPL is being used... redundancy is often necessary), what's needed most is data and more images. If (like me) you're an avid photographer during the growing season and go through them during the winter (to pick the best and delete the rest), you have both of these things. So long as you can remember where you took them and when, noting that you saw a particular plant flowering on a particular day in a particular region is exactly what the Bloom Clock needs.

Adding images to commons of alternately colored flowers and other images that show an aspect of the plant (even if less than perfect... a so-so image is better than none at all) will help improve the keys. For example, a picture of a white Aster novae-angliae would make look better. Having all the profile pages include a standar set of images (a floral close-up, whole plant in bloom, botanical drawing, ripe fruits, etc.) would also round it out as a dichotomous key.--SB_Johnny | PA! 16:17, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Questions, comments, grunts? --SB_Johnny | PA! 11:58, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Taxonavigation templateEdit

Orchi (talk · contribs) and other editors have been adding the {{Taxonavigation}} template to species gallery pages. Ies (talk · contribs) has been removing the template.[8][9][10] I respect both editors and don't have an opinion on this matter, but it seems unfruitful to have editors undoing the work of each other. I've found Taxonavigation to be useful, but it is a significant amount of work and duplicates the content of Wikispecies and the various versions of Wikipedia. Walter Siegmund (talk) 02:28, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

First of all, I never intended to destroy the work of Orchi (talk · contribs) or any other who added {{Taxonavigation}} templates to species gallery pages. I even support taxonavigations as long as they're firstly in accordance with an accepted taxo system and secondly don't build a rare exception in their area. You might have noticed that I added Strasburger and APG II taxonavigation templates in Category:Ruscaceae as well as each of its genus subcategories inclusively Category:Maianthemum. Moreover I unitised the headings of all species pages in this plant family from about 10 different types to only one type. Well, the heading type I used is probably not the best imaginable but I think is a good compromise between a (indeed time robbing) complex taxonavigation and a mess. To make a long story short: I'd gladly accept taxonavigation templates in species pages (in Ruscaceae and anywhere else) but then the taxonavigation should correspond to (an) accepted system(s) and the templates should be added to each species page in the family, not to few only as exceptions that only enrich the mess. --Ies 15:48, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Just I was surprised by this discussion. My knowledge of the english language unfortunately is not so perfect, to formulate my ideas and my opinion immediately. I will try to say my proposals as soon as possible. Thank you, Walter Siegmund, for searching a way of understanding to create uniformed pages in the Project Tree of Life. Perhaps contact Liné1 (talk · contribs) also. I think he is expert in taxonomy. Orchi 20:11, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Thank you Orchi for thinking about this and thanks to Ies for writing down your thoughts. I will leave a note for Liné1. Walter Siegmund (talk) 00:40, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Hello guys
  • Yes, there was a big problem on those Maianthemum pages: the name of the classification was not provided. That is why Wsiegmund did not recognize them. Don't worry I will correct them and the genus category.
For the record, I think that the removed taxonavigation was a Cronquist one. I am still investigating. I created the french page of Maianthemum to note all my return of investigation.
  • Wsiegmund could have corrected the taxonavigation instead of suppressing them. Even by transforming the taxonavigation into a APG II (which should be the reference now) taxonavigation.
  • By the way, I don't understand why german people use Strasburger classification. Only German people (I can say so I am half german myself ;-)) use this classification + it is no more a classic classification as it uses genes study + It has no additional value to APG II as it follows APG II
Cheers Liné1 07:06, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually, APG II is the accepted system in the (botany part of the) German language WP, so there's really no reason anymore to use Strasburger, as you say. --Ayacop 18:04, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

species cats againEdit

i just stumbled about several people doing massive categorization of species pictures. one of them did a huge bunch of this in the spider section: he added each pic to a cat, and sometimes put the species cat into a genus cat, this into the family cat. it looked like those russian figurines, and i really don't think this helps with navigation. keep the tree flat, unless a category is so huge that it hard to handle it. another user is doing a similar thing for example to Category:Syrphidae. is there something going on which i'm not aware of? some new decision to change the cat system? if so, where can i check it out? i *really* don't like it this way, to clog the cats with hundreds of unsorted pictures, it makes loading a page really slow and takes the fun out of navigating. but if there is a discussion on this, i'd like to participate, and hear the other side, perhaps there are reasons i'm not aware of. i do think it would be nice to be able to view all pictures of a cat at once, but i don't think this is the best way to do it. --Sarefo 22:27, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure about any policy discussions on it, but there has been a trend on commons towards smaller, finely-defined categories (which go inside the next larger one, etc.). There also a lot of excellent galleries being created for higher taxa though, and these may end up being better for "browsing" than the categories are. Unfortunately there's also a long history of hostility between different "camps" of categorizers, and I often notice my own images being categorized one way, then another, and then yet another (which is fine with me... at least people are looking at my photos and trting to do things with them) :). Personally I just try to add things to galleries (which can be organized in various ways and are a bit easier to link to from the other projects), though the categories are good for collecting all media depicting a particular thing. It might be a while before the cat system becomes stable, so if you (like me) find them frustrating to deal with, just use the galleries for now while the cat system sorts itself out. --SB_Johnny | PA! 14:22, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
  • This discussion is a never ending one, basically because TOL policy is different from commons general practice.
The TOL arguments are quite reasonable, but its a bit like pushing water uphill, pushing against the general flow. Categories and galleries are used in different ways, parallel but separate systems for finding images. People have an expectation of using categories like keywords and want to add them to every image as appropriate.
A problem with advocating that identified images be put in the species gallery only is that to be useful a gallery should be a selection of good images, with some sorting/ordering and titles to assist people. Generally galleries on commons do not contain every image (eg there may be near duplicates or un-interesting pictures that there is no point in displaying in a gallery but are kept for other reasons). In many areas covered by the TOL project, there are few images for each species and all end up in the gallery, but this is not true in all cases, and won't be true as the project grows and we have more than enough images of each species. As an example I think it is reasonable that all images of the house sparrow can be found in Category:Passer domesticus and a gallery is constructed to present them in useful ways (currently I think this particular gallery is over crowded). Images can be added and removed from the category pool to the display pages, the galleries.
So I see two separate maintenance tasks, one is to find and categorize new images so that they are all available in one place, the second is to present these images so selection of a useful ones can be made for some other project.
Methodologies that reply on people putting their newly uploaded images into categories, just so that you can find them and put them into a gallery (and then delete the category as a note to yourself that it has been processed) are just asking for continual conflict.
Am I totally mis-guided ;-) --Tony Wills 00:46, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Heh, yes, it's an eternal conundrum all right :). My (possibly mis-guided) thoughts are as follows:
  1. categories should be used to categorize all media related to any given taxa. and galleries should be used to exhibit the "best" (as in highest quality and most useful) media. Of course, there will be disagreements about what's "best", and we have at least one ToL-related contributor who objects fervently to having categories placed on his images, but it's a worthy goal if you ask me.
  2. my general aproach (as in me, SB_Johnny) is to only upload files on commons if it's clear that either (a) there are no files of the type I'm loading relating to the subject my file illustrates, or (b) my file is superior to the files already available regarding that topic. But that's just me, of course :).
I think the categorizing people are doing a great job, as are the gallery-making people. But it's a long, slow process that involves random people becoming interested in random organisms making good decisions. It's going to look awkward sometimes, but it will eventually lead to the results we all want. And yes, I realize I'm being profoundly unhelpful, but I hope I'm atleast providing comfort to the frustrated. --SB_Johnny | PA! 01:44, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Same topic here. What do you think of this user's edits ? He has uncategorized a lot of images. Can someone check/revert what he did and possibly talk to him ? Thanks ! PurpleHz 22:35, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
He is already aware of other's opinions on this matter, I have added an extra message. In such cases I don't get too worried as he is classifying images by putting them on species gallery pages and many of the categories he is removing are above the species level, so the image needed a more specific category anyway (IMHO :-), the new, more specific, categories can easily be added back by a bot when the revolution comes ;-). As he says there is plenty of other work to get on with, so in the meantime I'd leave him too it :-) --Tony Wills 11:59, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

It seems there are about equal numbers of people categorizing and uncategorizing my plant images. As long as the images don't get completely orphaned by the churn, I watch in bemusement. :-) Stan Shebs 16:03, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Heh :). Yeah, I am treated to the same show... kinda fun revisiting my old uploads as they appear on my watchlist (one was added to "Animal sex" this morning). It does seem like a lot of wasted effort though (since all of these edits are presumably considered productive and good by the people making them). The only thing that bothers me about it is when one or more categorizers become hostile about it (I'm moderating a user dispute about this elsewhere at the moment, so I know all too well how heated things can get). It would be nice to have a consistent system if only to ensure that efforts can be collaborative, as opposed to at odds :). --SB_Johnny | PA! 16:37, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

the help page on categories mentions that the decision was to leave both systems, but i saw somewhere that the TOL system is different, so maybe there should be a guideline for TOL cat/galleries, and a link to there, even if there the policy is to leave both systems too, there seems to be some confusion. the problem with having both systems is that it's like developing two versions of the same program in parallel. you always have to worry about doubles, or pictures being lost in the process. as long as people don't start deleting the galleries, i guess i'll have to live with cats needing more time to load because of a hundred pictures that imo are better kept in galleries. about not so good pictures, if they are not deleted, they could be linked from other pictures, if they are the original from which a better version was made (eg. crops). btw, i think what people that crowd the cats really need is a keyword system. right now, there must be a zillion pictures in Category:Blue. if a keyword system were implemented, categories would not have to be dumps any more. oh, one more thing why i don't like cat dumping: new pictures often are catted by inexperienced users. normally, i would immediately see them in Category:Spiders, Category:Spider or Category:Araneae, but when these are chock full of pictures, they will in effect be lost in the system. --Sarefo 13:33, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

My argument has always been that the TOL avocation of a different system is the problem. The TOL project does not have ownership of any particular group of images, and so to advocate that other people should behave differently when editing 'their' images is a non-starter. Of course they can argue that their system is better for all images, but they have not won that one yet :-). Some branches of the category tree do not conform to the rules suggested for categorization, eg Category:GFDL which is hardly a useful way to display images. Perhaps we need 'non displaying' categories (which would effectively just be keywords). The taxonavigation templates added to galleries and categories and some images, could be described as a private TOL keyword system. Personally I would advocate new uploaders should put their energy into giving their images good descriptions, then people with experience of the category system can categorize them in useful places. --Tony Wills 21:14, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Finding images in the species Category but not in the species GalleryEdit

The catscan tool can make it easy to see which images in the species category are already listed on the species gallery page. Just use catscan to search for all images in a species category eg House Sparrows. In this example the output is a page of images with a "Used in: Passer domesticus" line if it is in the gallery, along with the list of categories. This may be an aid to those trying to maintain galleries without resorting to removing images from categories as they go. --Tony Wills 12:14, 20 December 2007 (UTC)