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Commons talk:Categories/Archive 3

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{{MetaCat}} template problem

Before anyone starts to complain: I have changed the link in the template to point to Commons:Categories#Categorization_tips. Non-English versions might need updating though (I don't know whether they exist). This is perhaps just an interim measure, until we can get "official" working meta-cat guidelines.

The rationale is thus: Previously, the link led to Commons:Naming_categories#Categories_by_CRITERION, but if you see the Talk page there and browse the CfD archive, you will note that the proposal has been roundly rejected and torn to pieces for its sheer unworkability. Users must not be led to believe that this "Category: a of b in x of y by z" nonsense is actual policy.

(I note that aggressive unilaterality and a certain amount of "sneakiness" are problems Commons cannot well suppress. en: for example does a much better job. Possibly, a major reason is that en: leaves more leeway to individual sub-projects, while the aim on Commons seems to be a one-size-fits-all categorization scheme. Also, discussions on en: are usually vigorous enough to resolve every problem, whereas on Commons problems are only discussed when they are close to the breaking point or already beyond.) Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 15:21, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

I reverted the meta cat change for the simple reason that the by criterion categories part has never been contested and that I had already to reject many hundreds of meta categories attempts based on that definition. Pointing it to tips does not help as it contains no meta cat definition. For some reason, people believe that if they define a cat as a metacat, it will remain clean and there will never arrive images in it. --Foroa (talk) 17:37, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Nooooo! See the discussion page there and a lot of CfD items of 2010 - the MetaCat scheme the template links to was never accepted, and by the way the discussion ran I'd rather say it was crushed, torn to shreds, burned and stomped into the ground (there were so many objections that "disputed" is too mild a word). In effect, this way people will click on "Metacat" in the tempate, expecting an explanation, and arrive at a detailed category scheme that was, however, never accepted. Users will skip over the "Naming categories" pageheader: "References or links to this page should not describe it as "policy"."
So basically, to link to "Naming categories" is at least questionable, if not a major violation of policy (a link in such a prominent place, it might be argued, implicitly suggests the link target is official policy). Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 16:42, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
The category by topic part has never been contested. So the best solution is to isolate it in a separate article. --Foroa (talk) 11:42, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
The entire proposed meta-category scheme has been rejected, and for good reason. Read the discussion please, it is unworkable.
Please be also aware of the header at Commons:Naming_categories. It uneqivocally states that this is NOT policy AND MUST NOT BE MADE LOOK OFFICIAL PERIOD. There is no mincing of words allowed here. You yourself pointed out the unofficialness of the entire scheme back in 2009. And I cannot see how the points you brought up back then have been resolved. Hence, no, we cannot link to "Naming categories" in this way. Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 10:42, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

South Sudan subcategories?

I would suggest to create Category:Maps of South Sudan – to include all maps of South Sudan without northern Sudan as well as maps that highlight the whole of South Sudan within Sudan, whereby the latter would also remain within Category:Maps of Sudan –, of course as a subcategory of Maps of Sudan until independence of South Sudan is formally declared. In the same manner, I would like to create Category:Cities and villages in South Sudan as a subcategory of Category:Cities and villages in Sudan. Does anyone object to me doing this? Béka (talk) 13:25, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

Check out Category:Korea. Sudan could probably be handled in a similar way. That "Northern Sudan" retains the old name is a crucial difference; perhaps someone has a workaround. Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 10:54, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Which way to go on a currently hidden category?

Yes check.svg Resolved

Category:PD Seattle Neighborhood Atlas, a subcategory of Category:Maps of Seattle, is currently a hidden category. I can go either way on whether that category is hidden or visible; personally, I'd just make it visible, but if people think not, no big deal. However, this crosses over in a weird way with the rule about not putting the same file in both a category and its supercategory: if Category:PD Seattle Neighborhood Atlas remains a hidden category, then these maps are not Category:Maps of Seattle or any of its non-hidden subcategories. So, should we make Category:PD Seattle Neighborhood Atlas non-hidden, or should we be attaching some other non-hidden category that reveals that these are maps of Seattle (mainly of Seattle neighborhoods)? - Jmabel ! talk 04:04, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

I can't for the life of me figure out why Category:PD Seattle Neighborhood Atlas is a hidden category in the first place. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 17:33, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Same here --Jarekt (talk) 20:41, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

OK, then I'll just unhide it, and not worry that some of the items in there (those I uploaded recently) will be redundantly in Category:Maps of Seattle. If anyone can use a bot to clean that up, great. - Jmabel ! talk 22:54, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Categorising images by year of creation

I have noticed that some images are categorised by the year the image was made. For example there are images in Category:2007 in New Zealand even though there is nothing in the image that would be related to the year of the category. That is to say the image could be taken in any year and would essentially be the same. I don't think this is a worthwhile way of categorising images. It clutters up categories. Alan Liefting (talk) 05:50, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

It's pretty subjective as to whether the images pertain to 2007 or not. Personally, I don't believe that there are many images that are "timeless" - the condition of a building, the contents of a streetscape, the farm field before it was redeveloped, the photographic methods -- these are all inherently tied to the time the image was taken. Nobody ever says categories like Category:1927 in New Zealand or Category:1957 in New Zealand are worthless, because we have enough perspective to appreciate that the images in those categories speak to the year in which they were taken - we shouldn't be blind to those same qualities in images that are (at the moment) more contemporary. In any event, I am at a loss to understand how such categories clutter up anything. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 14:56, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
@Alan Liefting, see in this respect also the discussions which took place about a year ago. I am not surprised to see who made this Category:2007 in New Zealand. Making these cats seems to be much easier than deleting them. I tried, but I failed. I would absolutely welcome a more reasonable policy in this matter though. The example I took last year (Category:1994 in Honduras) was not at all an example of streetscapes or photographic methods, but a category created due to the amazing coincidence that I happened to travel Honduras in 1994, and not in 1995 or in 1993, and decided to throw my old photocamera away after, and not before, that trip. May be the Tela-picture would be interesting if you want to compare building-conditions during the years. But I suppose the Category:Tela serves much better for that purpose. Hettie (talk) 20:26, 8 May 2011 (UTC)


Hello. I would like to ask about the Category:Ukrainophobia. Is it really necessary? It allows categorization of every single person labeled as "Anti-Ukrainian". Moreover, equivalent category doesn't exist even at EN Wiki. - Darwinek (talk) 08:03, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

That category doesn't look encyclopaedic... --Arcibel (talk) 22:45, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Is there any place on Commons, where I could nominate it for deletion? - Darwinek (talk) 12:30, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
The category has 4 interwiki links to articles. I think it is as valid as antisemitism or other prejudices. --Jarekt (talk) 14:34, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Bring it to Commons:Categories for discussion. Ww2censor (talk) 15:29, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Can you useful add the link overleaf (this site)? --Perhelion (talk) 22:31, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Archives not showing

there is a very nice link to the concept of archiving a talk page, but where are the archive links? TCO (talk) 17:51, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Fixed. --  Docu  at 11:00, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Commons:Category structure

I split out all the category structure stuff from this mess of a page to Commons:Category structure. This was reverted apparently on the basis of being "undiscussed". Well, discuss away. See also Commons:Village_pump#Commons:Category_structure. Rd232 (talk) 17:08, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

The proposal seems to have remained unsupported. I redirected Commons:Category structure back here. Otherwise we will just have another page about categories that isn't even called "Categories". The tools section seems easier to split out. --  Docu  at 05:37, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Further discussion at Commons:Village_pump/Proposals#Split_Commons:Categories, if anyone's interested. Rd232 (talk) 12:46, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
I think it's easier to discuss it here, otherwise we might loose the valuable comments on this as it happened the first time you brought this up.
Is there any issue with my proposal? --  Docu  at 01:49, 21 July 2011 (UTC) (edited)
Commented at COM:VPR. Rd232 (talk) 09:44, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I like your suggestion to split out tools and how-to sections.
It's a bit regrettable that you choose to ignore the previous discussion of your proposal. Apparently you are not used to work with feed back. --  Docu  at 06:23, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
By "previous discussion" do you mean your passing remark after reverting my initial page split? Rd232 (talk) 08:20, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
Seems odd that you forgot about the previous discussion.
Is there any specific issue you are trying to solve? Maybe you could just start a Commons:Template categorization outline. This might help you with your work at Commons. --  Docu  at 08:33, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
Oh, you meant your enormously helpful contributions at Commons:Village_pump/Archive/2011/06#Commons:Category_structure_amendment? I rebooted it at Commons:Village_pump/Archive/2011/06#Commons:Category_structure_creation. Neither thread got any substantive input on the proposal. Yes, I did try and forget that, and frankly, it's bizarre you want to bring to attention to your behaviour in that episode. Rd232 (talk) 11:38, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Art by location vs. by origin

Samran Thai Co & Paris Bagatelle at 1962 Seattle Worlds Fair.jpg

What does one do to somehow tie an image like this to the fact that the sculpture is of Thai origin? I can't really use Category:Sculptures in Thailand, because it was physically located in Seattle, Washington. But surely there ought to be some way to tie the art to its nation of origin. - Jmabel ! talk 04:36, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Easy: Category:Art of Thailand abroad + Category:Sculptures in Seattle. Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 12:29, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Category order

Hi. Are there any guidelines or advice concerning the order of the categories or is it all free style? For example, in Category:Schrotthorn which is the 'best' order of the three cats? Gun Powder Ma (talk) 19:59, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Pretty much freeform. If there is theoretically a standard, not enough people are aware of it for it to be much use. - Jmabel ! talk 20:08, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Given the lack of response from other users, it seems that there is indeed no recommended order of any kind. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 10:45, 9 November 2011 (UTC)


How would you categorize the river Category:Adige which runs through the Italian regions of Trentino-South Tyrol and Veneto?

  1. Category:Rivers of Trentino-South Tyrol and Category:Rivers of Veneto
  2. Category:Rivers of Trentino, Category:Rivers of South Tyrol and Category:Rivers of Veneto

Gun Powder Ma (talk) 09:13, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Sortkey promotion of location-specific subcats

Today I ran across some cases in which location-specific subcategories were being "promoted" via sortkeys to the top of the subcats list in non-location-related parent categories. In particular, for example, Category:Concepts in the United Kingdom was categorized using [[Category:Concepts| United Kingdom]] (note the space) so that it appeared at the top of the list of subcats in Category:Concepts. Now, I don't see any good reason to do this sort of thing, so I started removing the space at the beginning of such sortkeys (so Category:Concepts in the United Kingdom ends up sorting under "U" in Category:Concepts). I assume the way I'm doing it would be the consensus view here, but I have found many more examples where it's done the other way. I'd like an "OK" from someone who's more familiar with category sorting here at Commons before I make any more of these kinds of modifications. Thanks. - dcljr (talk) 23:54, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Sometimes this space or other symbol is used to create multiple sorted lists. For example Category:Vehicles by country uses main sort list for categories related to "Vehicles" in each country, but also uses space in front of the sortkey to create second sorted list for different types of vehicles "by country". If you are removing any such spaces please make sure you are not mixing apples and oranges. In case of Category:Concepts in the United Kingdom and Category:Concepts all other types of subcategories in Category:Concepts are for different concepts. Such category would usually have a few [[:Category:Concepts by X| X]], in front of other subcategories. However in this case there was only Category:Concepts in the United Kingdom. I would prefer the previous order. --Jarekt (talk) 02:27, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, sort keys are often used to group a number of (often meta) categories according to a certain logic that is different from the main category logic, as to avoid yet another intermediate category. An example in Category:Buildings by country where the top left categories are some sort of "side" categories". See alse discussion on User_talk:Look2See1#Odd_sorting_-_interior_cats_vs._subcats. --Foroa (talk) 06:40, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Language mix in category naming

A relevant conversation: Commons:Village pump#Language mix in category naming.--Codrin.B (talk) 20:42, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Subcategory loop

Ought subcategories form a closed loop? An editor who generally does excellent categorizations of photos has disagreed with me on this point, in Category talk:Home Life Insurance Company Building. Jim.henderson (talk) 16:47, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Category and template

Hi. What is the difference between Category and template ? For example : templates Created with and Category:Images by software used or Category:Diagrams created with. Regards --Adam majewski (talk) 10:46, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Take a look at Commons:Templates. Allan Aguilar (talk) Flag of Costa Rica.svg 19:46, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Overcat problem with Template:ComuneItaly

The template is designed to create mass overcategorization. Because it puts the category of any italian village in some parent categories of the most specific one. I've been in a discussion with one of the main authors of the template but he disagrees. Can someone independent have a look on the matter and give advise? Thanks --MB-one (talk) 17:05, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Dates in category names

Please see Commons:Village_pump#Format_of_dates_in_category_names. Rd232 (talk) 16:21, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Creating a new category

Crosslink / info: There is a question about here: Com:VP#Commons:_Categories -- ΠЄΡΉΛΙΟ 15:28, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Redundant categories

I encountered a couple of redundant categories: Category:Dorfgemeinschaftshaus, Category:Dorfgemeinschaftshäuser. Where is the place to discuss this redundancy? --dealerofsalvation 07:07, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Hi! I have just moved the content from the one to the other category. Category:Dorfgemeinschaftshäuser is preferred because of its plural form. Thank you for your support. Normally you can post such things on COM:VP. Best rRgards, High Contrast (talk) 17:05, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for doing all the work ;) I just fixed the Commons link in dewiki. --dealerofsalvation 05:14, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Designs by designer

I was thinking that we should have categories something like "Designs by designer"; meaning for example all images that feature designs by fashion designer Manish Malhotra can be included in it. I think the category is a valid one. We have Category:Paintings by painter and Category:Buildings by architect and this will be on similar lines. But i am not sure of what nomenclature should be followed here. Also i am surprised that no such category already exists (per my search). What should the name be? §§Dharmadhyaksha§§ {T/C} 07:04, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

How to find the appropriate category

I uploaded a file, I know exactly in what category it has to be placed, I'm sure this category exists, but .... it seems almost impossible to find this category. All the help pages, instruction pages, etc, etc, are of no help at all. Nijdam (talk) 09:51, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Did you find it? I looked through your uploads, and all the items already appeared to have corresponding categories. If a specific search for a category doesn't return anything useful, you can start from the top at Category:Topics and try to specify down from there. If you have exhausted all your options and knowledge, you have good grounds for creating a new category. If it's not the correct one, someone with better knowledge can rectify it, and no harm has been done. ~ Nelg (talk) 16:44, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
You can use category of wikipedia article about the same item. HTH --Adam majewski (talk) 16:50, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

"Way of Life"

Some additional input at Commons:Categories for discussion/2012/04/Category:19th-century way of life would be welcome. Thanks. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 13:19, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

View all from category

Hi...I want to list all Pictures in Category:Paintings plus all pictures in one of its sudirectories in some kind of gallery. Is this possible? Generator (talk) 08:27, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

The Mediawiki software doesn't enable it yet. Support this bug report to request for this enhancement. For now, the script FastCCI displays 3 clicable icons at every category page, which display images from the category and its subcategories. For now, this function displays only images filtered by the selected of the 3 predefined filters only (tagged quality images). It was requested to make the script more universal to display unfiletered content or contend by selectable filter/criterium. --ŠJů (talk) 10:19, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Legitimate cases of over-categorization

Belongs in cat:Dih4 cycle graphs because the top vertex shows a Dih4 cycle graph, but it would be wrong to remove its parent cat:Dih4 because this image is no cycle graph.

I sometimes stumble upon images that illustrate foo in general, and thus should be in cat:foo - but also show some detail of foo, so that they should be in cat:foo detail as well. (See image on the right.) Technically this is COM:OVERCAT, but I think it is the right thing to do. Opinions? Maybe the guideline COM:OVERCAT should define cases where this is legitimate. mate2code 14:55, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

My opinion on this is rather strict. If this image shows two different aspects of foo it should be in two different subcategories of foo but not in Cat:foo and Subcat:foo. In other words there is no „shows topic in general“, images or media always show specific aspects. --MB-one (talk) 09:01, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Mate, this does occasionally come up. COM:OVERCAT does state it is a "general rule" because occasionally there are images that arbuably belong in a parent and sub cat. Having said that, I am not in favour of trying to define cases where this would be permitted. It's already hard enough to enforce COM:OVERCAT in balck-and-white cases without additional vague text about "legitimate" violations (which people will inevitably use to drive a truck through COM:OVERCAT). Best left alone. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 15:05, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Branching and crossing of categorization threads

I've removed this section from COM:OVERCAT (I've copied it below). If there was discussion with a consensus to change OVERCAT to add this exception, then my apologies and please let me know. Otherwise, it is problematic. First, it's very difficult to understand. I'm a lawyer, I interpret dense legalese every day, yet I do not find this particularly clear. There must be a better way to describe this than referring to "a multifactorial net with multihierarchic traits". Second, I am not sure that I necessarily agree. Just to use the same example of the regional administrative office. It isn't a given that the file should be categorized directly in the subcat for the street as well as in the main parent category for the region. I would consider that COM:OVERCAT. The better solution would be to create a subcategory for regional government buildings or for the regional government. Anyway, hopefully we can sort this out. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 18:38, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

"Note that Commons category structure (as well as Wikipedia categorization) is not a simple hierarchy (like biological taxonomy) but rather a multifactorial net with multihierarchic traits. That's why one subject can be categorized into any category by one factor and into its parent category by another factor and such categorization should be not considered as overcategorization.

  • Example: a category of the Regional Office is categorized to the category of the street where the office bulding is. As regards location, the building should be not categorized directly into the category of the city or the region. However, by attribution it should be categorized into the category of the region because the office is an administrative body of the region and the building is owned by the self-governed region. Such categorization is not overcategorization even though the second category is a parent category of the first category.
  • Similarly, a category of a village which is part of a municipality can be categorized under the neighbouring village by cadastral division (because it fall under its cadastral area) and simultaneously directly to the category of the municipality (because both villages are co-equal municipal parts administratively).

Exceptionally, different categorization threads can even meet each other in the opposite direction (category A is subcategory of B by one factor and simultaneously category B is subcategory of A by another factor) and can create a quasi-cycle. However, such a solution is not preferred and should be avoided if possible."

--Skeezix1000 (talk) 18:38, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

@Skeezix1000 The fact itself that the categorization on wiki projects is not a simple hierarchy but is multifactorial (use more types of relations, not only hyponymy, not only meronymy) is established and consensual enough.

However, some users don't comprehend consequences of this basal and consensual fact. We should expect that not all uploaders (users, editors) are capable to understand all consequences of this system, though they can be capable to consume their benefits. The fact that "one subject can be categorized into any category by one factor and into its parent category by another factor and such categorization should be not considered as overcategorization" follows from the consensual categorization principles - removing of this warning from the policy can cause that people which are not capable to understand the categorization system will disrupt and destroy it under their faulty sense that they rectify "over-categorization".

Surely, as you propose, such a seeming "over-categorization" can and should be effectively reduced or avoided by such a "explaining middlecategory" which indicates - in our example - what is the reason why the building is categorized under the category of the region (because the categorization tag itself does not enable to mark and distinguish a type of categorization relation). However, we should emphasize that the fact that the file is categorized into a subcategory by one categorization criterion doesn't imply that it should be removed automatically and thoughtlessly from the parent category - it can belong to it from a different categorization reason/criterion (if the parelel subcategorization structure by such a criterion is not created yet). Wee should and need to underline that true over-categorization can be judged and stated only within one categorization criterion and type of relation.

I agree with you, such a "seeming over-categorization" should be also avoided. However, it should be treated in a different way than the "true over-categorization" and distinguished from it. The true over-categorization should be treated by simply removing from the parent category in most cases (or can be deputized by a paralel flat category - by name, by ID etc.). The "seeming over-categorization" can be treated by explaining auxiliary mezzocategories, never by removing from the parent category. However, in some cases, too many categorization levels are worse problem than the "seeming over-categorization" of one or two files. --ŠJů (talk) 19:44, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Flat categories

I propose to add a section about "flat categories" into the section about over-categorization: --ŠJů (talk) 18:47, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Flat categories

Some types of categories are meant as so-called flat categories. Such categories are not intended to be organized and to group their content into their subcategories. Most of them are hidden "technical" or maintenance categories which group files tagged with an appropriate tagging template. However, some item categories, especially categories "by name" or "by ID number" etc. (as People by name) have also less or more such a flat character. Such flat categories can be used by maintenance bots etc. Try to discuss before you create subcategories in such cases.

Question "Templates for categories"

→ Cross talk link Commons:Village_pump#Explain_what_is_the_difference_in_this_maintenance_templates User: Perhelion (Commons: = crap?) 13:00, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Return to the project page "Categories/Archive 3".