Get our free book (in Spanish or English) on rainwater now - To Catch the Rain.

User:Curtbeckmann/Topic table

From Appropedia
Jump to: navigation, search

General notes for topic categorization

  1. Policy question: Do meta-topic moderators own categorization within their metatopics? Do subcategory moderators "own" categorization decisions (hierarchy, naming, etc) in their subcategories? I would argue that, following the establishment of some basic policies around this topic categorization, that, yes, the moderators should be the arbiters of the policies.
  2. I would like to identify the primary drivers of topic categorization. This list is a brief start, not in order.
    • Article management. That is, it serves the site administrators in keeping the site clean and effective. In this regard, topic categorization helps to for navigation, creating of links, assigning moderator boundaries, etc.
    • Visitor navigation. Folks can enter a topic, get redirected to a category, which will point them at a collection of articles. Should also have some text content that explains what fits into the category, what the main subtopics are, may have a link to Wikipedia, and may have more "see also" type links.
    • In a sense, Topic category pages serve as "disambiguation" pages, since a single topic may be covered by many articles.
  3. The above items (when the list is complete) should help us to establish some topic categorization policies. We have started on a topic category naming policy (now where did I put that?). I would also like to see a topic category creation policy. That is, we should create a policy when:
    • We have too many articles in a category and we need to break the category into subcategories
    • We have a subcategory that "half-fits" into two parent categories. Splitting the category would help.
    • We need to split a category for management reasons, i.e. separate moderators (this seems weak, but if a category gets big might make sense)
    • We believe that a subcategory will ultimately include numerous how-to or project articles, or other articles, and we want to create an empty or near-empty subcategory in order to create a structure as a launching pad for content creation and promotion.
      • I think this is legitimate and yet should be used sparingly (CurtB)
      • If we agree on sparing use, then it would imply that most (all?) of the redlink categories in the table will not be created as category pages. We could keep the labels of yet-to-be-created subcategories as a text marker of a future category (which might help rationalize the category structure?). Potentially we could put format those titles differently, like italicize or whatever.
      • Upon further reflection, it seems like the non-existent subcategories could fall into several buckets:
        • Targeted, meaning we want to get aggressive about building out this category. Presumably, targeted subcategories come into existence instantly, though they may have few (zero?) articles for a while. I would think that, depending on the community activity level, we might, at any given time, have 1 targeted subcategory per metatopic.
        • Desired, meaning that we would appreciate contributions in the space, but are not yet aggressively pursuing these
        • Anticipated... But this section seems like a slight. I guess I don't see a distinction between Anticipated and Desired, unless "Desired" just means "soon to be targeted". That would suggest a limited number of "desired" subcategories.
  4. I propose using superscripts (footnotes) to identify the moderators / experts for categories.


Notes for Water section[3]

Garden box • Planter box


Hydraulic ram • Solar • Rope • Hand


Flood control Swales
Rooftop catchment • Stormwater catchment


Wastewater treatment
Primary • Secondary • Tertiary • Physical • Chemical • Biological • Constructed lagoons • Community scale

Water conservation

Composting toilets

Water delivery (instead of transport?)

Water jugs • Aqueducts and plumbing

Water purification

Desalination Solar desalination
Distillation Solar distillation
Filtration Slow sand filtration

Water quality[6]
Water storage

Storage tanks Ferrocement • Plastic • Wood

Water supply[8]

Rural water supply[9] • Wells

Food and drink

Notes for Food section[10][11]

Biodynamic farming?
Companion planting • Crop rotation • Crop drying • Crop storage
Seed saving • Specific crops and climates
Soil preparation Composting • Fertilization • Grading • Plowing
Uncommon Tropical Crops[14]

Animal husbandry

Animal health • Chicken tractor • Beekeeping • Fish farming Livestock

Food preserving[15]

Canning • Dehydrating Solar
Refrigeration • Storing

Food preparation[16]

Category:Cooking Cookers • Ovens • Solar
Macrobiotics[17] • Raw


Biointensive • Organic • Double digging


Pit • Lean to • Attached • Freestanding • Hoophouses

Nutrition and diet

100 mile diet • Omnivorism • Vegetarianism

Pest control

Public health or Health or Health and safety

Refs for public health section[18][19][20][21][22][23]


Health care by region
Health paradigms

Homeopathy • Aleopathy • Herbalism[25]

Human dignity in public health

Hand washing[26]Washing[27]

Medical storage

Food refrigeration • Vaccine refrigeration

Pest control

Mosquito control

Public safety

Ambulance • Earthquake preparedness
Fire response • Tsunami alert


Composting toilets[30][31] Bucket • Double vaulted
Humanure • Pit latrines[32]Septic tanks

Waste management[33]

Culture and community

Notes on "C and C" section[34][35][36][37]

Accounting practices • Microfinance
Sustainable accounting • Triple bottom line


Banking or Finance[40][41]

Community organizing

Building partnerships
Collaborative meeting toolsCooperatives

Culture and development[42]
Decision making techniques[43]

Pugh diagrams • Delphi method

Decision making structures

Consensus • Democratic • Hand clasp
Majority rule • Minority rule • Unanimity

Effective lobbying
Environmental justice
Gender and development

Equal rights for womenMale contraception
Separate facilities

Intentional communities

Communes • Ecovillages

Legal systems[44]

Justice • Rule of law

Social artistry


Notes for ICT section[45][46][47]

Laptops • Servers


Curricullum development • Computer based education
Education paradigms Piaget • Montessori
International programs • Intereducation
Service Learning • School construction
Teaching materials Copyleft materials
Teacher training


Blogs *• Email • Instant messaging

Short wave radio

Open source • Shareware



Refs for Energy section[49][50][51]

Electrical energy[52]

BatteriesElectric lighting[53]Fuel cells[54]
Grid intertieMicrocapicitors
Human power[55] Pedal power
Solar pumping • Solar vaccine refrigeration
Wave power • Wind power


Cooking[56] Solar[57]
Hydronic radiant heating[58]
Insulation Strawbale • Fiber board • Fiberglass
Passive solar design • Refrigeration
Solar hotwater[59] • Thermal mass • Thermodynamics


Biodiesel[61] • Biogas • Ethanol • Hydrogen

(Legacy categories)
Renewable energy

Materials and construction

Materials and construction refs[62]

Reduce • ReuseRecycling • Rethink

Alternative building or Construction[64]

Bamboo • Cordwood • Earthquake safety • Earthship[65] • Ferrocement • Living roof • Papercrete • Strawbale • Tires
Earthen construction
Adobe • Bajareche • Cobb • Earth bags • Earthen oven • Earthen plaster • Living roof • Rammed earth • Stone and brick • Wattle and daub

Alternative materials

Bioplastic • Hemp • Lechugilla • Smartwood


Vermiculture • Pit • Spinning barrel

Material science

Fluid dynamics • Solid dynamics • Solid statics

Natural capital


Notes on Transportation section[69][70][71][72]
Air transport
Animal transport[73]
Automobiles and Trucks

Multi-person vehicles Buses
Single person vehicles[74]


Bicycle parking • Bicycle towing
Critical mass bike rides • Electric bicycles
Recumbent • Rickshaw

Mass transit[77]
Rail transport

Roads and bridges[78]
Rope and cable transport[79]
Water-borne transport


Appropriate technology
International development

Principals of development[81]

Natural capital
Poverty Reduction

Sustainable development

Triple bottom line

Where to put these?

Land use[83]



  1. begin WATER refs
  2. Moderator: Chris!
  3. Should moderators define categories in their areas?
  4. Should we add "snowmelt" to this? Or separate? Change to precipitation?
  5. I opted to place Wastewater treatment under Sanitation. Discuss
  6. Water quality part of purification and sanitation? Health?
  7. How is a Cistern different from a storage tank?
  8. Wells moved to "water supply" from storage
  9. Regional categories or articles beneath this
  10. begin FOOD AND DRINK refs
  11. "Food and drink" has 126 articles, Food has 5! I choose "Food and drink" for practical reasons! Plus it's also an okay name
  12. What about soil preparation? Too sandy? Too clayey? Grading? Plowing? Put that above Fertilization
  13. Are agricultural blights the same as pests? Rot? Aphids? Locusts? What about weeds?
  14. existing category, noncompliant capitalization, 3 members
  15. Former name, Preserving and storing food, 5 members
  16. Food processing category exists. Transfer to preparation? Subcategory of preparation?
  17. Does Macrobiotics belong in nutrition/diet?
  18. begin HEALTH AND SAFETY refs
  19. "Health and safety"? Where to put various safety items? Under community? Note that "Health" already exists and has 13 members. Public health exists and has 8 members.
  20. I'm concerned about the value and liability of "treatment" articles. I would suggest a conservative policy in the treatment area, or huge disclaimers. Both, really.
    • I'm not sure how conservative you are thinking, but I'd like to major on the prominent disclaimer and restrict editing as little as possible. --Singkong2005 · talk 03:56, 15 January 2007 (PST)
  21. What to include? Cysts, bacteria, virus, but not broken bones, sprains, cuts, concussions, malnutrition, exposure, heat stroke, dehydration?
    • Some are obviously development-related, like malaria... but I wouldn't be inclined to categorize diseases by pathogen type (Cysts, Bacterias, Viruses) - not at this stage, anyway. We're focusing on the technology and practice of treatment on prevention, not on the biology of the pathogen.
    • I guess the aim here is to suggest likely topics, rather than define limits? To be honest, I'm actually not sure why we need this table at all, as opposed to just relying on the category structure (which would also save a lot of work, and avoid getting out of date)...
    If we end up having pages on appropriate technology casts for broken limbs, and suitable transport for people in a delicate condition (with broken bones or internal injuries) in rough, poor situations, then we we might think about having a category for those topics. --Singkong2005 · talk 03:56, 15 January 2007 (PST)
  22. Prevention and treatment are called out separately. What else is there? Description, diagnosis, prevalence, perhaps?
  23. I dropped specific diseases under "diseases, and implicitly raised "prevention and treatement" within each category to be included with categories as, say, Cysts.
  24. Bacteria is already plural right? And yet, my gut says adding the "s" is okay
  25. I wouldn't be making a fuss if someone added pages on these topics, but are they really part of Appropedia's focus? (Did Chris leave this?)
  26. Moved from Sanitation as agreed with Chris
  27. existing category(2)
  28. What is this? Is there a better label? Does it fit under something else?
  29. How is "wastewater treatment" distinct from Sanitation? Bigger? Smaller? Same?
  30. Need to change the name of the current category name by adding an "S".
  31. IMHO, the subcategories (bucket, double-vaulted) don't add value, can be added later. This is a recurring theme and needs to be addressed as a policy. Do we create empty or single-article categories and hope they grow? Meanwhile live with bunches of empty or near-empty categories, which seems annoying and seems to exaggerate gaps. Alternatively, we are forced to regularly create and expand categories, which has its own set of issues...
  32. Merged "improved pit latrines" into
  33. Is this solid was management, different from, say, wastewater treatment and sanitation?
  34. begin CULTURE AND COMMUNITY refs
  35. Category:Community exists with 51 members!
  36. Category:Corruption belongs here (1 article) and Poverty (1)
  37. "Culture and development" has 8 articles. Need to figure out where they fit
  38. New proposal:Active citizenry? Maybe that's different from Activism?
  39. Economics?
  40. Although I had originally suggested Banking as a category, commerce is a better meta term, and the category exists (1 member). For example, there are a variety of manufacturing articles that would seem to be supportive of sustainable development; they could fit under commerce along with banking. Another discussion might be licensing, permits, cap-and-trade, etc. Not all are applicable to 3rd world
  41. Finance already exists also. Seems broader than banking, so perhaps drop banking?
  42. Not sure where to put this.
  43. Do we have techniques and structures reversed?
  44. I don't know if this is the top category? Maybe "Governance"?
  45. begin ICT refs
  46. Now leaning toward "Education and Communication"
  47. where would satellite go? web connection?Email?
  48. If we have a category for repeaters, seems like computers deserve a slot
  49. begin ENERGY refs
  50. there's some inconsistency here. A mix between sources of energy and forms of energy. Sources may be: human, animal, wind, water, solar, etc. Forms might be mechanical, thermal, electrical, light, etc. We have human and wind under electrical, but windmills can be used for, yep, mills, or for pumping, with no electricity involved. Solution? A more complete subcategorization by energy form, or by source, or possibly both
  51. "Power and energy" was the former name. 6 members
  52. We have "electricity" as an existing category...what to do?
  53. Highlights the categorization problem. Need a "lighting" section
  54. Use the broader term, most are hydrogen anyway
  55. Subcategories may not be needed
  56. Replaced "cookstoves" (new) and "Cookers" (4) with "Cooking". Inclusive of stoves and ovens, and consistent with policy, existing "Solar cooking" category, "heating" (not heaters) and "refrigeration" (not "refrigerators")
  57. We have conflicting original category names. "Cookers" but "Solar cooking" (1)
  58. This can also be done in the lower part of walls, right?
  59. Even if, technically, there are thermal and nonthermal version of solar hotwater, Chris and I agree that "solar thermal" is overly pedantic and not natural. In any case, choose the larger label that can include both thermal and non-thermal solar hotwater
  60. Category:Biofuel already exists...
  61. IMHO, these subcategories shouldn't exist for a while...Just bundle the small number of articles under the "Fuel" or "Biofuel" category.
  63. Inconsistent subcategory names...may be okay?
  64. The category "Construction" also already exists, and presumably the two categories need to be merged. Given the name of the meta-category, would Construction be the better choice? Yes, IMHO. Earthquake safety may not just fit under alternative.
  65. Huh?
  66. Bioremediation seems more like agriculture
  67. I have some trouble with this category being here. To me, this belongs in User resources. Reasoning: Supplies are not just materials, but more complex things like computers, switches, pumps, motors, solar panels. Also, "Services" (well drilling, cement delivery, translation, towing) seem closely related (potentially the same providers in some cases)
  68. Surveying seems related to Land Use...Community? Transportation with land use in community?
  69. begin TRANSPORTATION refs
  70. Distinguish between human focus and freight?
  71. Lots of oddball possibilities, seems almost like you need some kind of "alternative" category for things like Hovercraft
  72. Where would tractors belong? Here, or agriculture? Are they a tool? Where are tools categorized?!?
  73. Is this legitimate? Seems like?
  74. Is this skateboards and Segways? Is this meant to include motorcycles /scooters /mopeds? They carry about 4 people in many parts of the world. Should we say 2 wheels, 2 axles, multiaxle? These don't seem natural... Perhaps we need to capture some article titles and see where the potential content takes us.
  75. Consider "Human powered" section, to include bicycling, skating, rollerblading, skateboarding, skiing, walking etc?
  76. Do hybrids and plug-in hybrids go here?
  77. This was not brought forward. If it was intentionally dropped, then remove this...
  78. Is it fair to merge these?
  79. Two tech briefs at Practical Action on Ropeways
  80. (Yamaplos)
  81. 1 member
  82. Where to put clothing? This seems similar to shelter in terms of human need. Buildings are not really essential...The larger term might be shelter, including buildings and clothing. But what about non-shelter structures like antenna towers and greenhouses, etc? Okay, so maybe clothing, as protection, belongs in "Health and safety"...along with Laundry...
  83. Where to put Land use? Options like, construction, transportation, community all seem to make sense. My personal bias is toward community, since it feels like a "city planning" question. But perhaps Transportation is also :-)
  84. Only 1 member in RANT
  85. existing category name is singular ("tool")
  86. Interesting. Tools are not an inherent human need, but a means to an end. Getting more philosophical, all technologies are tools, and so the whole site is about tools, but many tools are highly specialized. So the more general tools fall into the "tool" bucket. One could argue that Tools is a meta-topic, and that ICT belongs under tools. If we were to pursue that method (fine by me), then Education might belong under Community. I would also be fine with that.
  87. Currently, Knots is a subcategory of How_to