Suggested category changes - please comment[edit source]

Note: to display category links, use a colon before the word category, e.g. [[:Category:Energy]].
I like Category:Construction, but whatever we go with we should probably keep Alternative building as a page instead of just a redirect. This page could list some definitions of Alternative building and then prominently link to the main Category. The reason is that potential visitors should be able to Google Alternative building and find us. Another possible solution would be to figure out how to add Meta tag description to pages (so we could put alternative building in as part of the description of Category:Construction or Category:building), and hope the search engines find it. --Lonny 09:30, 16 April 2007 (PDT)

Category guideline[edit source]

See also the discussion on this topic at User talk:Lonny#Photovoltaics how-to?

I think we should readdress our category policy/norms. Any thoughts on the following policy?

Categories include a brief text introduction to the category, including a link boxes to more information from wikipedia or other partners.
In the text is an automatic [[{{PAGENAME}} basics]] that links to a much more detailed page.
In the text is an section for links to more detailed pages such as [[{{PAGENAME}} calculations]]
Subcategories and articles are prominently displayed and mentioned.
It may be time to explore Semantic Mediawiki so that we could automatically generate sections such as =={{PAGENAME}} Organizations==

These are just some starting ideas... and maybe portals are a better place to focus our energy, in which case some of this applies to our portal policies. --Lonny 16:05, 22 April 2007 (PDT)

I like this suggestion. I've always been a bit troubled with having extensive content on a category page, even if I couldn't articulate my concerns. I didn't follow the Semantic link above yet, but will do so in a moment. This discussion of category code changes and mediawiki seems like a good time to mention (possibly remention?) the ability that is now present in Wikipedia category pages, where subcategories may be expanded by clicking on a plus sign. Very cool for viewing the category tree. --CurtB 16:12, 22 April 2007 (PDT)
I like the change in approach, and would like to finalize and implement this soon.
Re the Semantic Mediawiki - that sounds fantastic. I'm not sure of the details of what you're trying to do, but we definitely should explore this. --Chriswaterguy · talk 18:54, 6 May 2007 (PDT)
See an initial attempt at this approach, using {{cat}} (which probably needs a rename) at Corruption. --Chriswaterguy · talk 18:06, 8 May 2007 (PDT) Note I've now created {{topic header}}, & {{cat header}} for category pages - I think these are more promising. I've delete the more basic {{cat}}, which never ended up being used, so that name can be used for something else. --Chriswaterguy 02:48, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

How much should be in a category's edit box?[edit source]

(Some of this - which I wrote for another talk page before finding this one - is touched on above.)

There is a temptation to write a lot about a category on the category page itself.

Disadvantage for users is that it can make for a fiendishly long scroll to find the subcategories and pages that the category system is primarily designed to show. The first category I looked at had what seemed like scores of images down its right-hand side above the subcategories.

My suggestion (probably not original)[edit source]

I believe that, where practicable, the edited part of a category should show very little apart from:

  • Brief summary of subject-matter (possibly clarifying scope of category where the name doesn't define enough)
  • Link to the main article(s) expanding the topic
  • Links to closely related sister-categories or others related somehow (whether internal or in sites such as Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons)
  • Parent categories if any

The main article(s) about the subject should, naturally, be included in the category (probably with piped links so that they list near the top of the category).

Templates to save typing[edit source]

Wikipedia has standard simple templates you can add right at the top of the edit box giving an even more prominent link to the main article(s). Example: Wikipedia:Category:Education in New Zealand starts with {{catmore1|[[Education in New Zealand]]}}, which produces a neat paragraph thus:

For more information, see the article about Education in New Zealand.

I think there is a template that even seems to cleverly substitute a singular article name where the category name is plural - but I've not checked that out in detail yet. Some of the templates are still under development and may change for the better at any time.

Your template:cat is the same sort of thing but not as clever (and used much less, I presume from its documentation). Similar tricks have been mentioned earlier on this page too. They are probably a valuable part of any final "standard category page contents" policy.

See a heap of such templates at

Robin Patterson 08:52, 27 May 2007 (PDT)