Category talk:Home Life Insurance Company Building

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Closed loop[edit]

Though it doesn't talk about Commons, I figure en:WP:SUBCAT is relevant here. Jim.henderson (talk) 18:17, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

I don't think so, en.wiki's policy are specfic to it. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:31, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
This is not a great structure, having these two buildings subcategorized in each other's categories, and is frankly very confusing to users that aren't familiar with the buildings. I don't think that this notion of two items on the same hierarchical level, linking to each other, is a particularly good categorization practice. The much better approach would be to create one parent category for the two-building complex/NYC landmark, with two separate subcats for each of the two historic buildings that together make up the complex. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 18:52, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Or use See Also links among sisters. Anyway, should Commons:Categories get an addition to make it agree with en on this point? Jim.henderson (talk) 00:47, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
See also links would be OK. I'm not myself particularly concerned about the beauty of the hierarchy, but about usefullness for the user. Can someone please explain what actual downside there is to the so-called "circular" links? Does it in some way harm the database? Are there consequences for it that I'm not seeing? I'd really like to know, because non-practical reasons for not doing something don't particularly carry much weight for me, when they provide useful functionality. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:49, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
The downside is that it doesn't make a lot of sense. It's bad categorization, because the relation between the two buildings isn't obvious - is one part of the other, or the other part of the first one? From a practical perspective, it isn't helpful for the user. The suggestion that it provides "useful functionality" is really, really subjective. But more importantly, maintaining proper category hierarchies is important. The category trees don't work well when they are full of subjective exceptions. And why the need for closed-loop categorization when clearer solutions are available? --Skeezix1000 (talk) 02:16, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
That's not a downside, that's an opinion. I disagree, it makes perfect sense, as people can easily navigate from one to the other, since they're connected. What do you mean by "the category trees don't work well"? Do they somehow mess up the servers? Is their some practical objection which is not an aesthetic one? So far, I haven't heard one. The categorization doesn't exist in order to satisfy some Platonic ideal, it's meant to be used, and this "loop" is useful -- things do not always satisfy neat hierarchical niceties, they can point to each other. I still need to hear some practical objection. Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:27, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
I have explained the practicalities several times now. For categorization to work, there needs to be consistency and a standard approach -- this is not just some need for "hierarchical niceties". And, in this particular case, the closed loop does not much sense -- neither building is subordinate to one another, and it's the complex, not each building, that was designated a NYC landmark. There are easier ways of maintaining easy navigability between the two subcats without creating unusual category structures. Do you have a better solution that does not involve a closed loop? --Skeezix1000 (talk) 13:42, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
I still have no notion what you mean by categorization "does not work" with this set-up. Clearly, it offends your sensibilities, but no one has been able to point out anything practical that it does, like cause some code not to work somewhere along the line. I spent the early part of my life as a library aide, so I understand categorization and category trees, but I can't seem to get you to understand the concept of two items at the same hierarchical level which point to each other, and which don't require you to back up a level to go back down again to get to the other. I've already said that "see also" links would be OK with me, but I'm confounded that this concept is being totally rejected without any good reason being given for doing so except aesthetic ones. It's totally exasperating: "You can't do that", "Why?", "Because that's not the way it's done" "Will it hurt something?" "It's just not done." I'm more than willing to accept that people don't like it and don't want it, and if someone could offer some practical reason not to do it, I'd drop the idea like a hot potato - I have no interest in doing something harmful to the project, but I'm loathe to do so without a clear and cogent explanation of in what way it is harmful to do it. Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:14, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

This discussion is getting us nowhere. I've replaced the dreaded "closed loop" with "cat see also" links. Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:19, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Good move. I have been trying such constructs to link brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, and it just confuses the user: when clicking on the + sign in the category it expands for ever. Jumping from the one to the other, especially since the pictures are the same or similar, is very confusing. I am not aware of tools that have a problem with that (Catscan seems to lock when the required depth is too high), but over the long run, I think that we should have tools that can flag loops.
I have been thinking that Life could be a parent of the Postal, but then we will have overcat nitpickers.
Anyway, my experience shows that such problems tend to disappear because users correct it naturally so if one tries to maintain the previous situation, it will eventually be changed (many times) by the users. --Foroa (talk) 07:12, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Right. While seeking a suitable illustration for an article a year or two ago I became very confused and eventually figured out that I was in a loop, so I broke the loop. A tight, direct loop is not so difficult to understand after seeing a few of them but even an experienced cat tree crawler can be flummoxed awhile by categories that go up another level and then loop back. Ever since, I've been breaking loops whenever encountered, as a matter of course, on the assumption that the category builder made a minor slip. As for offended sensibilities or a rigorous fit to a Platonic ideal, maybe that's nice too but the main reason for using this feature of Wikimedia in a strictly hierarchical manner is clarity for the inexperienced. Where equality is a good idea and a new parent cat is not, the lateral See Also becomes the way to insert a bit of local ladder structure among sister branches. Jim.henderson (talk) 12:24, 25 February 2012 (UTC)