User talk:Mike Peel

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Don't over-categorize![edit]

Hi Mike Peel, please don't over-categorize your image. For instance in your image File:Toruń at night 2011 42.jpg (and many more)

Please read Commons:Categories for further explanations! -- Ies (talk) 08:22, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi Ies. Thanks for the message. I put them in Category:Toruń as a placeholder, not a permanent location, since they ideally need to go into the other sub-categories of that category. I'll work on diffusing them into those sub-categories now. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 08:24, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Category:Preserved buses in the United Kingdom[edit]

Hi Mike. I'm not sure what your current thinking is, but based on a few recent moves I've seen you make, can I please ask you to think a bit more about what you want categories like 'SELNEC bus 7001 (VNB 101L)' to be for. If they are for images of the bus throughout its life with that identity (i.e. both in service and in preservation), they shouldn't be in the Category:Preserved buses in the United Kingdom tree (because that's only for images of preserved buses). If it's only for images of it in that preserved identitity (which is what the use of museum collection cats suggests), then please think about using a more specific naming convention, such as 'SELNEC bus 7001 in preservation (standard livery)', and then either apply that in parallel with, or underneath, the 'Preserved bus in the UK (VNB 101L), cat (the latter is the current convention I believe). Either way, I would very much like to retain the current convention of 'Preserved bus in the UK (reg)', because for all its faults, it is also extremely simple to remember, and also indexes itself naturally, without needing to resort to awkward sort indexes. For the time being I will recreate the ones I think have been moved/redirected, and copy them back onto the affected images, while leaving your creations intact as parallel instances.

As far as I can tell, this only affects (but let me know if there were more):

Ultra7 (talk) 14:53, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Actually I'm really not clear what your intent is, you seem to be doing both - you're creating cats like 'Category:Leigh Corporation bus 15 (PTC 114C)' and putting them in the preserved tree, while also using the 'preserved bus' cats in other instances. Ultra7 (talk) 14:57, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi Ultra7. There are a few more categories than that - see the subcats of Category:Collections of the Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester. Basically, my thinking is 'one bus, one category' (unless there are sufficient images to justify subcategories). I view the "Preserved buses" tree as being for buses that were preserved, not necessarily just images of the bus post-preservation. I think it's better to have more specific category names than abstract ones (i.e. giving the bus type/company name in the category name, not just the registration number). I've stopped moving categories, as there seem to be too many of them and my time is limited, but where I'm creating new categories I'm doing so according to what I would view as best practice.
I don't think it's helpful to have two categories containing the same images, so if you're insistent on copying them back then let's just go back to the original category names. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 15:01, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Right, I think I've redirected all of the categories that you duplicated back to your preferred category name - please let me know if I've missed any. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 15:11, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
We can all disagree on how to do things (and there are a number of reasons why your approach is actually worse than the current system), but it's not best practice to ignore how a category is already defined and being used by multiple users and just go your own way - you're going to get push back, as it will cause problems for others, for reasons which you probably haven't even realised yet. Category schemas have to be universal, so if you don't intend on creating a proposal at Category talk:Preserved buses in the United Kingdom to change the current system, then I see no option but to remove your categories from it, and create parallel 'preserved bus in the UK (reg)' cats for them all. At best, your categories are only suited for a branch like Category:Buses in the United Kingdom by transient identity, as no one bus can ever be defined by a single operator/fleetno/reg for its entire life, as all three can and do change for the vast majority of vehicles over their lifetime, some even while in preservation. Ultra7 (talk) 16:18, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
In all of the cases that I've seen, the buses have had a single operator / fleet number / registration number, so it does make sense to have a single category for those. Where they do have multiple IDs (and we have photos of those multiple IDs), then I'd have thought it best to create multiple subcategories inside a main category. So I still think that my approach is the better one to take. I'm happy to draft a wider proposal, if it would be useful, although I don't like regimenting things.
Creating duplicate/parallel categories is pointless, so please don't do that. If you must, then please feel free to move the categories I've created to new category names instead of duplicating them - I won't object to you doing that. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 16:27, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
BTW - try searching for a number plate of a vehicle in the 'preserved buses' category, and you'll likely find many more photos of it than are included in the 'preserved' category. That kinda implies that the current way of working isn't optimal, and isn't easy to find. However, it seems that cat-a-lot also works on search pages (which is a really cool function I didn't know about until today), so it's an easy way of finding the photos that aren't in the category and then adding them to it. From the categories that I've done this with today, I'd estimate that doing this for each vehicle would roughly quadruple the number of photos in the category structure, so there's a lot that could be gained by doing this more systematically. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 16:40, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Look Mike, I don't want to sound patronising, but take it from me, my experience in this area seems to be far greater than yours - both in terms of experience with the tools and knowledge of the topic. If I say something is easier one way or something is going to cause an issue, it's a good bet I'm right, probably because I've tried it the other way or found out the hard way. I'm well aware of just how many images have yet to be sorted (as I uploaded a fair few of them), and it's got nothing to do with any supposed impracticality in the current system. Sorting into 'Preserved bus in the UK (reg)' is about as easy a task as it gets using HotCat, the only reason it's not done is that it still takes time. The simple facts are these - placing whole life cats under Category:Preserved buses in the United Kingdom as it is currently defined, regardless of what you call them individually, will cause a fundamental breakage in the schema, even if you rolled it out to the rest of the entire tree. It would not longer be possible to perform basic searches like 'list all preserved Leyland buses in the UK', because in your proposal, there's no separation between images of a specific bus in service or preservation, it would just return images of both. That's a big problem. There are countless other issues with it too, if for example, you're proposing to start putting one identity under another as the way to deal with transitions - searches for buses with just the second identity would always return images of both. Unless or until you can come up with a proposal which addresses these issues, then there's really no option but to retain the status quo for any preserved buses you categorise, and therefore these categories will have to conform to 'Preserved bus in the (UK)' to remain in that branch. There is scope for a whole life branch, but it needs more thought than this. Ultra7 (talk) 19:42, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
And if you wanted some practical examples of what a nightmare identity changes can be (if you're proposing to deal with them via sub-catting), you need look no further than the humble Category:Bristol VR - it's not a stretch to say that most of the preserved examples of that type had been through four or five operators before retirement, and indeed many will have been rallied in preservation in at least two identities - their last, un-restored livery, and their restoration livery (which of course will usually be the first). Once you also factor in the fact that, due to their age, re-registrations to hide their age in service, and then of course re-registration back to the original in preservation, I can't even begin to figure out how you propose to create a whole life scheme that would be able to be placed underneath Category:Preserved buses in the United Kingdom, while still being searchable for example, for preserved VRs of xyz company - the results would just be flooded with irrelevant images. Ultra7 (talk) 19:57, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

I've taken your silence as acceptance of the status quo - all bus categories in the Manchester collection cat are now in 'Preserved bus in the UK (reg)' format (I'm assuming you weren't working on any other museum). Please ensure any future creations are in this format, and their contents respect the established principle that the only images in Category:Preserved buses in the United Kingdom or its sub-cats should be of buses photographed while actually in preservation, as opposed to just all images of buses that have been preserved. I cannot stress enough how much of a disaster it would have been if you had not respected this convention and just carried on implementing it the way you saw fit - you would effectively have rendered the entire category useless for anyone searching for only preserved images - you might not realise this, but Commons has images of buses in service going back many decades (similarly, we have images of buses in preservation going back decades), so for certain operators/vehicles/manufacturers, this is not as small a problem as you might have assumed. Additionally, had you not respected the naming convention, it wouldn't have been long before duplicate categories started appearing - some in your format, others in the established format (because it has been accepted and used by several users for many years now - if it hadn't, we'd hardly have reached 1,600+ already) because as you've probably already realised, there's many more that still need to be created. I appreciate there are flaws in the current system, and you're more than welcome to propose a change if you think there's a better way to do it, but given the sheer amount of images and categories that already follow this convention, it's vital that you propose it first, so we can all agree on what the changes should be if there are to be any, so that as little time as possible is wasted changing it to whatever the new system would be, and no errors are created going forward (because everybody would know what system to use). Ultra7 (talk) 13:13, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

My silence has been due to a lack of time to reply, not acceptance of your position. I'm busy with other things at the moment, but will get back to you soon. But for now, thank you for moving the categories rather than duplicating them. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 18:53, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Hi Ultra7. Sorry for not replying sooner. I'm afraid that I think your position has a number of fallacies, which I'll try to highlight by asking you some questions:
  • You say that there is a naming convention that needs to be adhered to. Where can I find the description of this convention? How can someone looking at a 'preserved' category find it?
  • In which category should photographs of the buses in service go, such that they are easily locatable from the 'preserved' categories?
  • You say that there are buses in Category:Bristol VR that have had multiple operators and registrations. From a quick look, I can't find them - I can only find 'Preserved' subcategories of subcategories by acronym. How can I find photographs of a specific Bristol VR bus in service with the different operators and in preservation?
  • You've said that a bus can have multiple registrations, but the 'preserved' categories work by registration numbers. How do you distinguish this from the issue of different operators, and how do you link the same bus over multiple registrations?
  • What happens when a photo of a bus in service is added to a 'preserved' category? How do you spot this happening?
  • How does your indexing work in the case of 'preserved' categories with registrations '123 ABC', 'ABC 123A', 'A123 ABC', 'AB51 CDE'?
My suggestion would be to keep things as simple as possible. Thinking about this (and taking on board your very good points about changing operators/registrations), I'd suggest a category structure along the lines of:
Category:Manufacturer Model (A123 ABC) (Category redirect: Category:Manufacturer Model (987 CBA) Category:A123 ABC, Category:987 CBA; defaultsort: 1984)
Category:Manufacturer Model (A123 ABC) operated by Transport for London (subcat of Category:Transport for London (Route number) with sortcode 567)
Category:Manufacturer Model (A123 ABC) operated by Northwest Buses
Category:Manufacturer Model (987 CBA) operated by Scotland Buses
Category:Manufacturer Model (987 CBA) operated by Hong Kong Buses
Category:Manufacturer Model (987 CBA) in preservation (Scotland branding)
Category:Manufacturer Model (A123 ABC) in preservation (TfL branding)
with the basic category being Category:Manufacturer Model (A123 ABC), and the subdirectories and category redirects only being created if there's enough interest (or equivalently, number of photos) to justify them). This has the advantages that:
  • It keeps the main category simple and general, such that it's suitable for all photographs of that vehicle, and it's easily expandable without being outdated
  • There could be categories for each operator that photos can be moved into when appropriate (only if the vehicle has had multiple operators - otherwise the operator can be specified by the categorisation of the main category)
  • There could be categories for each type of branding that a preserved vehicle has had (or a single category for the vehicle in preservation otherwise), which can then be included in Category:Preserved buses in the United Kingdom. As this isn't the main category, it is much less likely to get polluted by the addition of any pictures of the vehicle in service (and there's an easy recat option available if they do). It also easily lends itself to vehicles that haven't been preserved.
  • Where the category for the (first/main) registration number doesn't exist, the photos can be put (naturally) into Category:Manufacturer Model or even Category:Manufacturer, and can easily be found when a subcategory is created.
What do you think - is this something that you think could work? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:36, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

The convention isn't documented, but it's pretty obvious to anyone coming to the cat that it exists - it was chosen because it was the fastest and simplest way to sub-divide Category:Preserved buses in the United Kingdom, which was getting huge. Some people have decided since to start categorising those cats, such as by adding operator and make - that was never my intention, I never envisaged that's how they would be used, as I could see what issues it would cause, but we are where we are. The indexing is simply alphabetical - anyone wanting a more topical approach can choose one of the other branches under Category:Buses in the United Kingdom, presumably by registration or manufacturer/model. The system handles re-registration in preservation by making the newer one a sub-cat of the older, while also having both in the flat index. The system cannot handle different operators/identities beyond what already existed before it (categorising each individual image with the different identity, while also giving both the preserved reg cat), but that's because it never intended to in the first place (just like there's no equivalent system for in service buses - if we have images of the same bus in service with different operators, as we definitely do for models like the Bristol VR - please just take my word for it - it's not going to be apparent through the category tree). I did make a start trying to do this for London buses using a 'fleetnumber in xyz livery (preserved)', but it's by no means complete. The only way you could tell if someone put an in-service image into one of the preserved cats is by looking at it - that's precisely why it's a problem. All searches would assume it was preserved.

Now, on the issue of your proposed system, I'm OK with it in principle. It's not great from a naming perspective (an operator category could easily end up with lots of 'make model (reg)' cats, being a mix of in service and preserved buses), and the distinction wouldn't be obvious without a sub-division under the operator, but it would at least ensure they are in different trees at the global level. It also has the advantage of avoiding empty levels for those most common of cases where we either only have images of a bus in preservation in one identity or only have images of a bus in service with one operator, while also laying out the way a mix of images should be handled. A bigger issue is that I fear people won't even be aware that if they do end up with a mix of operators/uses, that they would then need to sub-cat them, but one hopes they could realise that by looking at the sub-cats of the 'make model (reg)' cat - i.e. if it's filed under 'operator x' they need to divide it into two sub-cats before adding images of it preserved in another operator's livery. It could do with some refinement regarding the naming, because we can and do have images of:

  1. Make model (ABC 123) in an operators standard livery working for that operator
  2. Make model (ABC 123) in an operators special livery working for that operator
  3. Make model (ABC 123) in an operators standard livery working for a different operator (on loan or sold)
  4. A bunch of other cases I've probably forgotten

And please note that 'branding' usually only refers to a minor addition to a livery - a livery is an overall paint scheme, which can be both standard, or tied to a particular use/event.

I also don't like the way you've handled re-registrations - these really shouldn't be re-directs, but separate cats. I suggest:

  • Make model (BB 1000, ex-ABC 123)
    • Make model (ABC 123)
    • Make model (BB 1000)

Also, if you weren't already aware of it, you should also give some thought as to whether or not 'make model' is going to include the body or not - see Category:Body on chassis buses in the United Kingdom (as opposed to Category:Integral buses in the United Kingdom). I guess it doesn't matter if it does or doesn't, but consistency is good.

Lastly, even if this system is adopted, I would still like to retain the 'Preserved bus in UK (reg)' categories. These would be applied as a parent cat of whichever of the above is the appropriate model cat (so they wouldn't be duplicates), and moved to a new 'preserved buses by registration branch' under Category:Preserved buses in the United Kingdom. This is for the following reasons:

  1. I don't want to stop people categorising images by reg if they don't know the make/model - and if it exists, it can be descended, and if it doesn't, that can be detected. Likewise, new creations in this system without the meta cat are easily detected
  2. As meta-cats they're always appropriate to create even if they only contain just one image, whereas I'm pretty sure you don't intend on creating sub-cats in your system if there are, for example, just two images of the same bus but in a different livery - they would presumably both stay in 'make model (reg)' (or sub), with the difference handled on the images themselves.

Hope all that made sense. Ultimately, I think the biggest issue is that any system is going to take years to roll out (especially if it relies on determining qualities not immediately visible, like make/model), and there are already thousands of images in the tree which don't even meet the current system, not comprehensively at least. But it can't be started at all if we don't know what it's supposed to be before hand. Ultra7 (talk) 16:52, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the detailed reply. I'm going to take a few days to think about it, and will get back to you at the weekend. (In the meantime: back to what I was wanting to do before this conversation started - uploading photos of preserved buses I took over last weekend!) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 18:04, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the pictures, Mike[edit]

Thanks for the nice pictures, Mike! —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 17:53, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

You're welcome. :-) Thanks for the nice talk! Mike Peel (talk) 17:55, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

File:Wikimania 2012 - Building a Visual Editor for Wikipedia.pdf[edit]

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Denniss (talk) 07:38, 22 August 2014 (UTC)