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Appropedia:Topic categories

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Appropedia currently uses "topic category" pages, much of the time (as described on Category:Topics). Topic information (as opposed to how-tos, projects...) is placed on the category page.

Advantages[edit]

  • Due to the different content types on Appropedia, a category page is a natural place for topic info, higher in the hierarchy, with pages in the category listed below it.

Disadvantages[edit]

  • The title "Category:..." is a bit misleading if the page contains topical info. It doesn't seem so appealing When it shows up in web searches (Google etc) - a hit titled "Category:..." doesn't look like it will be an interesting page to read.
  • Where there is a lot of topic information, the listed pages are pushed to the bottom of the page. A notice at the top is used, but then the page is getting cluttered.
  • Category:Suggested projects (and any similar tag, e.g. maintenance tags such as {{cleanup}} and tags like {{fact}}) shows tagged topic categories as subcategories, which is misleading.

* Can't move category pages, so can't preserve history. (Unless there's a workaround, e.g. using Special:Export and Special:Import?) Problem solved - see Appropedia:Moving category pages.

Alternatives[edit]

  • Use a standard template, including a category tree, at the end of every topic page (which will generally have the same name as the category - but the cat name should perhaps be an argument as well, just in case the page gets moved without the category being move. If there a way of "move-protecting" that might be an alternative, but more restrictive i.e. not preferable).
    • Note that this does not show all articles in the category. However, as categories grow and have hundreds of pages, this may not be a bad thing.
    • There could be an issue with editors adding to a "See also" section - it could get subjective as to what deserves to be listed there.

Other ways of navigating between topic and category[edit]

There are problems with the current model, and also with just discarding it. We want a new solution that gives us the best of each approach with:

  • Elegance, clarity (think of the iPod's design) and an instant impression that conveys to the user the purpose of what they're looking at.
  • Prominence to topical information for any given category.

SCA hierarchical model[edit]

I'm not sure if this is relevant, and not sure how it would apply here, but thought it was worth exploring. --Chriswaterguy · talk 06:25, 18 December 2007 (PST)

Just looking at the SCA wiki, I noticed they use a template to put links at the top of pages, to link ideas in a hierarchy: e.g. for a Social wellbeing page like this one they use a template at the top which creates these links:

< Ideas Bank, < Social wellbeing

Immediately after that they might list a page or pages which are subordinate in the hierarchy - in this case:

< Ideas Bank, < Social wellbeing, > Community involvement UK

Topic template for every category page[edit]

A box at the top center of every topic category, linking to and introducing the topic.

The box could have:

  • an optional picture, linking to the article
  • optional text - a couple of sentences introducing the topic.

Design: Attractive (wikifairies needed!) and not too deep - it shouldn't push the listed articles too far down (it's a category page, after all).

Page names: The topic page, for simplicity, would usually be the same as the topic. However, there are cases (on Appropedia as well as Wikipedia) where the title is different. There might even be cases where there's more than one relevant topic, and so two boxes could be used.