Commons talk:Categories

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This is the talk page for discussing improvements to Commons:Categories.

Proposal for naval ship categories[edit]

Naval ships often have a prefix in their name, as long as they have a militairy commander. E.G.: Hr.Ms. De Ruyter, HMS Endurance, USS Bainbridge, ARA Spiro and so on. Often is the name of the category in Wikimedia Commons followed by their pennant number. No problem at all, when the user can read the article of the ship in their Wikipedia by language. But not-specialist users, looking for images of the vessel, find more ships with the same name.

My suggestion is to start the name of the category with the pennant number, followed by the name and the year of first commisioning. Only if naval ships don't have a prefix: the name with "ship" and the year of first commisioning between brackets, as all other ships have the year of completion.
with a DEFAULTSORT to Shipname (ship, year of first commisioning) to integrate her with the other ships in Category:Ships by name (flat list)

Advantage: It places the ship immediately in her time. What not-specialist users see in publications or in a harbour is the pennant number, in large characters painted on the ship. Categorising this way can finding images of the ship make easyer.--Stunteltje (talk) 07:45, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

Do you have a suggestion for linking ships that change name? I think Category:F802 Hr.Ms. Van Speijk (ship, 1965) and Category:KRI Slamet Riyadi are the same ship. There are also the Dutch ships that get renamed between Hr.Ms and Zr.Ms. --ghouston (talk) 10:40, 30 June 2020 (UTC)
Not-naval ships are linked via the Imo number. Navel ships don't have such a link. They just have their own category by name. --Stunteltje (talk) 16:27, 30 June 2020 (UTC)
I made the category for the current name the parent, and linked it with the Wikidata item, and made the category for the previous name a subcategory. --ghouston (talk) 03:17, 1 July 2020 (UTC)
Hrm. The current naming convention for USS, HMS, etc. ships matches many other websites. Changing it would be a bit unexpected for most/all users, especially U.S. ships which are basically always referred to starting with "USS" (and I think British ships with "HMS", Australian with HMAS, etc.). They would also stop matching the wikipedia names (which templates like {{USS}} and {{HMS}} assume). Many countries do not use such prefixes, and our naming probably tries to follow "normal" usage for a navy, which can admittedly be inconsistent patterns, but may make the most sense overall. Also for non-naval ships, the year is the year of completion. It can be a bit harder to identify that for military ships, as some are not commissioned immediately upon being built (especially true of very old ships). I'm pretty sure I've seen a number of naval ships not use the year of commissioning, though I would imagine most of the time it would be the same. Secondly, if you are changing the DEFAULTSORT, then it doesn't matter as much (as a finding aid) what the actual name of the category is, since categories will be sorted by that. I don't think it has all that big an advantage, really. We have Category:Ships by pennant number, which can be helpful when trying to find a ship by those numbers. Also, you would need to name it "DD-246 USS Bainbridge", even though the visible number is just 246, which wouldn't be as much help as a finding aid (the U.S. can have the same numbers but with different ship types; kind of odd to have the number but not the type). Another point is that sort of naming convention is used with fishing ships (putting the license number first), and you'd probably get military ships mixed up in those search results. Lastly, some countries (e.g. Russia) seem to change those numbers quite frequently. They seem to re-number all their vessels at once, and can also re-use the same numbers on different ships (of the same class even) when they do, meaning those numbers really aren't associated with a ship for a long time. So they are not a cure-all as an identification aid (speaking from some recent experience), though they surely help. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:25, 1 July 2020 (UTC)
As for related non-IMO and non-ENI ships, I thought I remember reading guidance somewhere to have the most recent ship name be the parent category, with older names as subcats. Not always a great solution, but it somewhat works. But I can't find where I saw that.
I tend to agree that naval ship naming is inconsistent for many countries. I would not mind putting the build year in the DEFAULTSORT, though it would have to include "(ship, <year>)" if you really wanted those to order correctly with non-naval ships. But I don't really see enough advantage in this change to support it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:25, 1 July 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the comment. But please realise that lokal Wikipedia's have their own way of categorising articles. No problem at all. In the Dutch Wikipedia naval ships are named, starting with Zr.Ms. But Commons is for international use, where users have to find images as easy as possible. The find function of Commons delivers - when a user looks for a number starting with a character - gives fishing ships only in very few cases. Not-specialist users don't know the type of the vessels and not the right characters in the prefix. Many USS naval ships don't have the type in the prefix. For the a Bainbridge the proposed system results in:
  • Bainbridge (ship, 1908)‎
  • USS Bainbridge (1842)‎
  • 1 USS Bainbridge (1901)‎
  • 246 USS Bainbridge (1920)
  • 25 USS Bainbridge (1961)‎
  • 96 USS Bainbridge (2004)
The DEFAULTSORT is intended to find the ship by name in Category:Ships by name (flat list). The USS Bainbridge via Bainbridge (ship, year of first commissioning)‎. For ships that change their prefix in the name, new categories have to be made, as the prefix is in the name for naval ships. --Stunteltje (talk) 07:14, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
That does looks rather odd, frankly. And that only helps searching by number -- it makes searching by name in the same manner no longer work. If you know the name but not the number, currently you can type in "uss Bainbridge" and see all ships with that name, but that would no longer work if the names start with the prefixes. Sure seems to me most non-specialist users would search by the ship name, when they are looking for pictures of ships. And while you can use "intitle:xxx" in the search box, you can do that too with the numbers ("intitle:246 bainbridge"). For countries like Russia which reshuffle those numbers relatively frequently, we would need to rename all the categories too (and documentation on those number changes is often hard/impossible to come by so you would need to be able to name the category when you don't know the number). It may make identifying ships in a photo a bit easier, but I think it would harm a lot of other use cases, such has finding photos of a ship when you know the name. I don't think the identification case is important enough to change the category name -- I typically search in the Ships by pennant number categories if I'm trying to figure out a ship by its number. Each navy might have certain conventions or practices which may make some different naming styles make sense -- not sure we really have to standardize. If we do though, I would absolutely not put the prefix number first. In the U.S. case, it seems really odd without the ship type which is part of that identifier -- it's not immediately clear what it is. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:13, 4 July 2020 (UTC)
I assumed that not-specialist users just see an image of a naval ship somewhere and in that case only a pennant number is visible. If they read an article, in most cases the name of the vessel is used. I was not aware of "you can use "intitle:xxx" in the search box", did not find that instruction before. I was a professional standardiser in my working life, I prefer standardising in an encyclopedia. I did the suggestion for USS ships because in many cases ships have more functions in due time and more abbriviations in the pennant number. In my opinion that asks more categories for the same ship. Also for Russian ships. Unfortunately we cannot use an IMO-number to couple these categories, as we can do for civil ships with different names. --Stunteltje (talk) 19:47, 4 July 2020 (UTC)
Sometimes you can only read the name in a photo, and want to figure out which one, as well. I think more people use the search box because they want to find pictures of a particular ship, too, and I think this naming scheme would hurt those usages. It's not a naming style that most people would expect, so I suspect it could cause more issues than it solves. For those of us trying to categorize and identify ships it could help a bit, but I think there are enough other avenues for power-categorizers -- I typically just search in the ships by pennant number categories for those, and/or the intitle: stuff (or other things documented in Help:Searching like "incategory:").
If we were going to standardize naval ship titles, I suppose we could follow the naming rules in Category:Ships more closely, with perhaps the exception of using a prefix if that is common practice for a navy like USS or HMS, and omitting the pennant numbers completely. So maybe "USS Bainbridge (ship, 2005)". But I'm not sure that is worth it. Build years and commissioning years are not always the same (especially with age of sail ships, which could sit uncommissioned for a while after completion, and be decommissioned/recommissioned many times). I may prefer to just standardize on a scheme for each navy, though that may take someone more versed in that navy to pick a good pattern. For example, Category:Naval ships of Brazil has different styles depending on which ship type or class category you go into. That seems suboptimal to me, but I don't know enough about their navy to know how their ships are most typically referred to.
As for IMO numbers... some recent naval ships might have them (see Category:IMO 9752060), but yeah it's not common yet. They don't get renamed all that often these days, but it does happen. Similar problems happen with old ships which never got an IMO number but got renamed a lot. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:35, 4 July 2020 (UTC)
IMO categories seem the worst of all to me, because they are cryptic. The main category for a ship can be its current/last name, and where it's worth having separate categories for former names, they can be subcategories. Perhaps last name is not as useful when they ship was only renamed once, shortly before being taken out of service. --ghouston (talk) 02:47, 5 July 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, categories full of IMO numbers aren't terribly useful to dig through. Plus, they only start with digits 5 through 9, and modern ships all start with 9, meaning they aren't broken down in any helpful way inside a category. Logically it makes complete sense to have "built at XXX shipyard" type categories at the IMO level, since it applies to all the names the ship has (and doing it by name can sort of inflate the apparent production of a shipyard if ships happened to be renamed a lot). Random practice seems to have those categories, plus "ships scrapped at", at the IMO level, but "ships built in <year>" and "ships scrapped in <year>" at the name level, for whatever reason. I've been reluctant to move anything more up to the IMO level for the reasons you mention, though. It's highly unsatisfying to see a list of numbers to make that a meaningful search. If there was an "expand all one level" that would help, but I don't know of anything like that. You can't index them either.
The "most recent name" can be problematic for situations like you mention -- a ship is well known for one thing, then gets sold for a year at the end of its life with a different name. And ships are often renamed / reflagged just for the trip to the breakers. The "most famous name" is another way, but sometimes ships have signifiant career segments with different names. Another issue is that a subcat then becomes "members" of any categories the parent cat was. Say a warship gets converted to a cargo ship after a war, and has a significant career in the latter capacity (there were many examples of WWII ships that happened to) -- if the warship name is a subcat, then it's (by virtue of the parent cat) a member of various "cargo ship" categories, and if done the other way around, the cargo ship is a member of "navy of XXX country" categories. The IMO/ENI categories solve those issues, but then create the ones you mention. I really don't know the best way to go, honestly. Usually though naval ships don't have those issues anymore, but sometimes can be sold to other navies and have significant second careers under a different name. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:14, 5 July 2020 (UTC)
Ships changing usage completely may be rare, but it does happen, e.g., en:Yas_(yacht). Although when the change is that large, it's seems like basically a new ship that recycles some ship parts. --ghouston (talk) 02:17, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
A single name is needed in any case for the Wikidata labels, and I doubt that many would want to use an IMO number. I think using the same name for the main Commons category and the English Wikidata label would be logical: why come up with two naming conventions when one is enough. Likewise, the English Wikipedia article names. --ghouston (talk) 04:34, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
@Ghouston, if you cannot bear the heat, stay out of the kitchen. The IMO and ENI categories have the function to couple schipnames. Nobody wil start looking for an IMO number by going through the pages in the category. I categorised thausands and thausands of ships and it is a very important tool for that work. Not to discuss here, we discuss shipnames. Please realise that Wikimedia Commons is not an extension of the English Wikipedia, but for international use. E.G. The English Wikipedia uses the year of launching, in Commons the year of completion or first commissioning. Many captured and or bought ships into the navy have no known launch or build dates, so it's convenient. --Stunteltje (talk) 06:46, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
Wikidata now has a way to have the main item be linked to the Commons IMO category, and subitems for specific ship names. The title of the main item can be whatever -- doesn't need to be an IMO, but that can always be edited to be the "most recognizable" or "latest" or whatever. Typically it is a ship name though, not the number. Ships changing function do happen actually, especially with cargo ships. Those per-ship-name categories also have things like "Ships registered in Monrovia", or recently I've seen things like "blue and white ships", and those change much more frequently. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:33, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
Re, Your proposal: to start the name of the category with the pennant number, followed by the name and the year of first commissioning. Only if naval ships don't have a prefix: the name with "ship" and the year of first commissioning between brackets, as all other ships have the year of completion.
It may be no surprise to you that I disagree.
Firstly start the name of the category with the pennant number, these numbers on a naval ship can change multiple times throughout it's lifetime. In the old days that's why they were on flags, so they could change. Later they were painted on hulls, and could be overpainted. Most ships have changed their number once and some multiple times. Example HMAS Derwent F22/DE22/DE49. There is no need for overcomplicating names with pennant numbers. This would be a duplication of Category:Ships by pennant number. Ships names change too, so this proposal is only going to over complicate an already complicated subject. Also Pennant numbers are not always sequential, either for the vessel or for the period. They mean nothing to the casual reader. They're confusing, even in WW1 the RN changed numbers to confuse the enemy!!! Year dates give an immediate fix on (period) recognition, and that's the major importance here.
Secondly You propose follow the name and the year of first commissioning. Your confusing ships with boats and barges. Ships have launch dates. There is a proliferation of build dates to choose from. A sign of a non-notable ships is they have no launch date. Non notable ships are notable only by exception, I.E. disaster. Commissioning dates are more difficult to ascertain on the web. Launch is unique, just like a human birthday. The main reference bodies for ships, Example : the National Maritime Museum and more importantly the en:wikipedia use launch dates. The en:wikipedia site is the goto website for initial reading on a ship or any other watercraft. That will become only more true as it swallows up every competing shipping site around it. Commons is a secondary source for deep research by comparison. I feel we should be compatible with English Wikipedia, after all we use its disambiguation pages in order to recognise one ship from another. We should be debating this topic and how we do things at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ships where this kind of issue can be aired by the widest amount of expert witness and opinion; including ours.
Thirdly, your overall schema for catalog naming is difficult on the eyes and brain. These pennant numbers are awful, they only look good and mean anything to retired USN seaman to wear on their navy ball caps, where very often the number identifies a particular generation of crew. Again, pennant numbers may be useful for identification on the sea during radio silence, but for casual human understanding their useless. They really do nothing for ready identification here.
The other major problem we have is our labelling any type of watercraft a ship, a real problem when it's a yacht (ignoring steam-yachts for now), of which we have huge amounts of unidentifiable clutter.
We need to keep the system simpler not over complicate it.
Lastly you mention Ships by name (flat list) a catalog made useles by making it a hidden one, despite informed protest and without consensus. See current discussion here referring back to [this]. Broichmore (talk) 15:28, 15 December 2020 (UTC)

Proposal to add user categories as an exemption for OVERCAT[edit]

Hello, I've a discussion with User:Elkost about what he believes is a violation of OVERCAT and I believe is my good right as Commons user and image uploader. User categories are hidden and are so not visible to most viewers of Commons, these categories are there as a tool to administrate the stuff Commoners have on Commons. More precisely, I have the following 3 categories in an image: "Images by User:Poco a poco", "Images by User:Poco a poco taken in 2018" and "Images of Spain by User:Poco a poco", and I would like to keep it like that (many other photographers do the same) without having to leave it to the odds that the category "Images by User:Poco a poco" is removed by other users who believe that the removal is the right thing to with per OVERCAT. I use the "mother" category "Images by User:Poco a poco" for example to track the amount of pictures I've uploaded to the project, to add the figure in userboxes or to run stats with tools like Glamorous or Unused Images.

My concrete proposal is to add an additional note to the section "Exception for images with more categorized subjects" like this "Also user categories are exempted as those are not visible to most viewers and project users should have no restriction for their use". Any other opinions on that? Poco a poco (talk) 10:02, 31 May 2020 (UTC)

  • I think what you are asking is reasonable. 2 remarks:
    • The verb is "administer" not "administrate".
    • As for the simple number of your uploads, you could also do something like what I do at User:Jmabel/top uploads (which, when transcluded, shows only the number). - Jmabel ! talk 16:21, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
Thank you Jmabel for your answer and your remark. I sometimes (after have agreed it upon the author) upload variants of existing images to improve them or to show and issue, but those are derivative works of images from other Commoners, so not really my images. The same apply to others who upload derivative works of my images, so a clear rule is not really possible. That's why I do appreciate the flexibility of user categories (paying the price os some administrative work).
I just added that note to the policy as it seems that, looking at older threads, not many people will participate here Poco a poco (talk) 11:15, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
+1 -- King of ♥ 12:56, 2 June 2020 (UTC)

Systematical OVERCAT violations[edit]

Hello, I hope to get an advice though I have no clue if anyone is still watching this page at all.

My question is simple: There is a certain user who permanently violates COM:OVERCAT, both in files' and in the category namespace.

Any attempts of mine to fix, revert, and/or talk to them ended up in an unbelievable aggression from their side, so that it is useless to explain, why there should not be redundant categories.

On Administrators' noticeboards, it is useless to report the user, as hardly an admin shows any interest for category-related topics.

So in short, my question: what to do? If you say "just ignore", then maybe we should abolish all rules such as COM:OVERCAT, because it has no point anymore in maintaining it?

Thanks in advance. --A.Savin 21:05, 1 July 2020 (UTC)

Sorry if the question may sound dismissive, but did you detect any concrete harmful consequence of the categorisation you describe, or is yours merely a general concern?
Sometimes, when I see some parts of our rules about categories appear to go unenforced in certain areas of Commons, I suspect users let it be because that portion of the category tree is perceived to work sufficiently fine for those who use it. Nemo 21:30, 1 July 2020 (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't get your question. The situation is, that we have here a clear guideline named COM:OVERCAT which -- I suppose -- was thought to avoid an overflow of generic categories such as Category:Forests and to increase usability of more specific categories too. And now there is a user who is violating this rule en masse, and any attempts to explain the rule have failed.
So, if you wish, my question is: why do we still have these guidelines, if it is no longer possible to enforce them? All users are equal, but certain ones are more equal than the others? Thanks. --A.Savin 22:02, 1 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Examples? Otherwise this comes over as just whining, and more about an editor you dislike than about content.
OVERCAT is a very simplistic policy, justified on a narrow basis. In many cases it's entirely right to ignore it.
The basis for OVERCAT is that if membership of one category entirely implies another category, then there is no need to state the second category. That is a stronger requirement than merely being a member of the first category. As Mediawiki categories are far from rigorously defining, there are many, many cases where their members are not all implicitly members of a supercategory, simply because the two categories are related. Andy Dingley (talk) 08:52, 5 July 2020 (UTC)
The first priority for me -- believe it or not -- is the quality of the content, so yeah, if an editor does poor edits en masse to damage the content, there is no reason for me to like this user. Apart from that, we are not on Admin's noticeboard and that's why I abstained from calling them by name and provide difflinks and the like. And I don't feel like doing it, as long as I have the impression that no one here is really willing to help me. --A.Savin 12:08, 5 July 2020 (UTC)
@A.Savin: What is your opinion on the categorisation of this file File:Reform Banquet Wellington 1849.JPG buried away in 1849 in Wellington, and this one File:Wellington Harbour by Caroline Abraham.jpg? Broichmore (talk) 17:04, 15 December 2020 (UTC)
The categories seems okay; if I knew what building that is, I would add its category as well. --A.Savin 18:08, 15 December 2020 (UTC)
@A.Savin: That building is a part of the History of Wellington. How is this file to be found and used if it is buried away in a category of 1, in any one of 148 Wellington by year categories? What is the purpose in taking files and hiding them from view like this? Is this a case of the act of filing being an end in itself?
Meanwhile, now I have been lucky enough to find it. I have filed it where it's supposed to be in "Theaters in Wellington" Broichmore (talk) 20:54, 15 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Maybe some users simply do not understand our "simple" system. Since yesterday a user has not been able to come to terms with that system, although I gave the info in various revert summaries and using the words "simple" and "easy". If I had any button, I would send a "strong" warning to users like that. BTW I do not use our templates like "last warning" because if later they continue and nobody does anything, these templates do not serve anything other than ridiculing the applier. (Maybe we should make those last warning templates another admin privilege.) See here. Thanks. E4024 (talk) 17:45, 15 December 2020 (UTC)
I had put several warnings on their talk page, not to mention all other comments; this resulted in an ANU against me and two admin colleagues having badly bullied me there (with one of them even having blocked me, which fortunately has been recognized as abuse and ended up in their desysop). --A.Savin 18:08, 15 December 2020 (UTC)
Umh! I mostly do categorization work and did not search that much. I simply thought a newbie confusing our categorization system with social media tagging. Then this is not that innocent as I thought... --E4024 (talk) 18:15, 15 December 2020 (UTC)
Nowhere close to a newbie. It's much more like a mix of total helplessness with total discussion's resistance. --A.Savin 18:31, 15 December 2020 (UTC)
@A.Savin: I see you've not answered my last question.
Perhaps the problem is over diffusion of subject matter by making too many categories. When there are under 100 images in a category there is no justification for diffusing them out of sight into yet more sub categories. The human eye knows the difference between a coin, a monument, an image of a battle.
Perhaps it would be better to sponsor the notion that 100 or more images are required before splitting further down into two or more categories?
We are obsessively hiding images away by making too many small categories, like 1841 in Foo when we only have a few Foo images, or devaluing important images illustrating battles or ancient things by carelessly throwing them into an art catalog.
Take Category:Carl Locher an artist of limited vision with 9 categories (Using a dubious schema) covering less than 100 images, where multiple clicks (at least 18) are required to get any kind of overview. Some images are 4 clicks away from parent category. Broichmore (talk) 17:21, 17 December 2020 (UTC)
The issue here is "respecting our categorization", making cats smaller or larger is something to talk about and decide. We (people who categorize) "suffer" when people go out of the scheme. There is no problem in opening discussions about "detail" cats and "eliminating" (removing/deleting) them. I am a supporter of that. With 10 images inside or with 1001 images inside we do not need cats like "nude or partially nude women smiling while making pee (soles apparent)" or "nude or partially nude women smiling while making pee (soles covered)". When you have the cats, you have to obey them. Cheers. --E4024 (talk) 18:06, 17 December 2020 (UTC)
@E4024: I admit I'm not a perfect user but I have over 460,000 edits on the Commons and I've created hundreds and hundreds of categories all over the world, including Category:Çukurhisar that I see you just used, so I'm not clueless but not sophisticated technically.
A.Savin is the only admin who has threatened to block me. He has given me 6 block warnings this year (the only ones I've ever received and I've been editing here since 2015) and a Final warning, for violating COM:OVERCAT I guess. (He doesn't explain to me.) He said I reminded him of a certain banned user(?). The admins said my edits weren't "vandalism" and decided A.Savin was too involved to block me.
A.Savin has deleted all my posts on his page that were attempts at discussion. Now on December 30, 2020 he has twice threatened me with blocks again. I'll add that he's done many things I've had to fix, change or recreate, so I'm not the only one who makes mistakes. Krok6kola (talk) 21:53, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
You may like my work or not, but please stop spreading obvious lies and slander Krok6kola. In these last three sentences, not a single claim is true. a) "A.Savin has deleted all my posts on his page that were attempts at discussion" -> this is a lie, you can find all these threads in the 2020 archive. Archiving old discussion is normal and not the same as deletion (not to mention that even deleting them w/o archiving is not prohibited on Commons). b) "Now on December 30, 2020 he has twice threatened me with blocks again" -> this is a lie, because I didn't threaten you even once. All I did was placing a warning on your talk page (which by the way was after this, this, this and this), but who says this means that I was going to block you after that, instead of, for example, complaining at COM:ANU, which hopefully I have every right to do? And c) "[A.Savin] done many things I've had to fix, change or recreate" -> this is again a lie, because there really were not "many" such things, if at all. In about 95% of the cases, it's exactly the other way around -- I have to fix the mess you are producing. And from time to time this happens every single day in a period. So, again -- stop deeming me and fellow users stupid, stop spreading lies. --A.Savin 22:19, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
A.Savin e.g.
  • [1] (Undo revision 423177730 by Krok6kola(talk) --here we go again, COM:OVERCAT?)12:12, June 1, 2020 (I had to redo this because of A.Savin (A))
    *[2] (attempt to discuss by me a category I had to create for wrongfully categorized files by A.Savin (A)) 16:22, June 3, 2020
    *[3] Me to A.Savin (A) (You have combined two different mosque categories with different Pakistan cultural heritage numbers. Why didn't you notify me that you were wiping out the category I was working on and substituting yours?) So I had to untangle the files and recreate the mosque category. 20:22, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
    *[4] "This is your last warning. The next time you vandalize a page, you will be blocked from editing Commons. A.Savin (A) 20:46, 6 June 2020 (UTC)"
    Dispite on May 9, 2020 an admin told A.Savin my edits were not vandalism.
    *After A.Savin was found too involved to block me per admins, he wiped out all messages on his page [5] (Blanked the page) and the posts on them. A.Savin09:29, June 9, 2020.
    A.Savin (A), are you referring to me above when you ask what to do about a user?: "There is a certain user who permanently violates COM:OVERCAT, both in files' and in the category namespace etc ...? And "Nowhere close to a newbie. It's much more like a mix of total helplessness with total discussion's resistance." And "Any attempts of mine to fix, revert, and/or talk to them ended up in an unbelievable aggression from their side, so that it is useless to explain, why there should not be redundant categories." I'm the only user you have threatened this way. What's the deal? (Yes, I created Category:Demonstrations and protests against the Gaza flotilla raid held in Belfast per advice to do so from the Village Pump. And yes I made categories for all the parades in Belfast. And yes I made Category:Beaches of Karachi and others you complain about.) Krok6kola (talk) 02:59, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
@Krok6kola: As long as you fail to provide relevant difflinks or any other evidence for your above three claims ("A. Savin deleted all posts by Krok6kola from his talk page without putting them to an archive" + "A.Savin has twice threatened to block Krok6kola in December 2020" + "A.Savin systematically makes poor edits that Krok6kola has to fix afterards"), all your other justifications are null and void, and you are a liar. --A.Savin 08:26, 8 January 2021 (UTC)

Although I know what COM:OVERCAT says, it is only experience that teaches if admins don't explain or discuss with me what I am doing wrong. Please understand that I am open to any explanations and criticisms on my talk page. Thank you, Krok6kola (talk) 21:58, 7 January 2021 (UTC)

I'd agree that a demonstration or protest is not necessarily a "parade". The "parade" category should be added to individual photos as relevant, not to Category:Demonstrations and protests in Belfast. Even if it happens that all photos in the category at a given time might be parades, it is not inherent in the category.
However, @A.Savin: this doesn't come even close to "vandalism" and, yes, I would say any accusation by an admin that an experienced user here is "vandalizing" constitutes a threat to block that user. If you are overreacting (in my view) to this extent perhaps you should recuse yourself from giving warnings like this to experienced users with whom you are in dispute and instead should bring it to COM:AN/U to see if other admins agree with your assessment. I do the latter at times on a lot less basis than this.
In any case, that particular matter had nothing to do with OVERCAT, so let me get back to OVERCAT. There are times when it is entirely appropriate to include both a category and its immediate parent (and the argument is even stronger when they are at a few removes). For example, a building might be in its architect's category, but if we had a picture of the architect in front of the building we would certainly want both categories, and I think there is a strong consensus to that effect (strong enough that it probably should be overt at COM:OVERCAT. Slightly less clear, but I would certainly use both categories: if I have a picture that looks straight up an arterial street in a city, and we have categories for both that street and for a building in the foreground, I'm going to use both of those categories even if the street category is parent to the building category. - Jmabel ! talk 01:27, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
@Jmabel: See Category:Parades in Belfast For more info, see Category:Parades in Northern Ireland. Sorry I didn't see your post before my last post above. Thank you, Krok6kola (talk) 04:42, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
@Jmabel: Probably you will be surprised, but I'm very well aware of this kind of OVERCAT exemption, and in my own uploads you'll also find a couple of examples (such as this one). And now please do me a favor and show me a single one difflink, where you would say that I had reverted a meaningful (over-)categorization by Kalbbes/Krok6kola. --A.Savin 12:19, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
As I've said before, I'm not wading into the details of who is right or wrong about a particular image. What I'm saying is mainly: don't use your admin privileges when you are in an honest content dispute. Bring it to AN or AN/U as if you were not an admin yourself, and let someone else handle the admin role. Accusations of "vandalism" over what is, at worst, possibly edit-warring are completely unwarranted, and the fact that you would make that accusation suggests to me that you are too emotionally involved in this to be playing an admin role. I've been there, probably on average every 3-4 months. Occasionally the other admins even decided I was wrong, which is fine, my inability to judge objectively once I'm embroiled in a dispute is exactly why I wanted someone else to handle the matter. - Jmabel ! talk 22:13, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
[Via edit conflict] See, for example, Commons:Administrators' noticeboard/User problems/Archive 86#User:Verdy p and User:Jmabel. And, ultimately, the original category issue was not solved to my satisfaction, and I think the current Castilian "Comarcas" rather than Catalan "Comarques" is inappropriate for Catalonia, but you know what? At this point, I'm not the person to fix that. - Jmabel ! talk 22:23, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
As far as I know, using Template:Test2 is allowed both for admins and for non-admins. But the discussion here is not about this template. Could you please answer my previous comment? Thanks. --A.Savin 22:18, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
Anyone can use a vandalism template for actual vandalism. Are you sticking to your claim that Krok6kola is a vandal, not someone who may have been mistaken but was acting in good faith?
Which previous comment do you feel I failed to answer? - Jmabel ! talk 22:23, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
OK, so your statement is that I am not allowed to use template "Vandalism is not appreciated", but instead am allowed to use template "Mistaken edits done in good faith are not appreciated". Thanks for the idea, I'll think about that.
But seriously, I am deeply disappointed about your current attitude. It's getting more and more obvious that you are not neutral and not judging based on contentual evaluation. Because you still do not have the answer to the question, whose edits actually were poor. Who systematically does over-categorization and refuses all possible arguments and discussions. You are definitely advocating the wrong one. Not the one for whom the quality of Commons' content has the highest value above all, but the one who does not give a shit about anything on Commons except his own edit-count. I'd like to add that, of course, you are perfectly free anytime to say "I have neither time nor desire to look into your edits / your history / whatever". OK, but then you should be really neutral, or simply keep silent and find better things to do, for example taking and uploading pictures. Actually, basic etiquette for a sysop, especially a long-term one... --A.Savin 22:51, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
So now my etiquette is bad? As a fellow admin, I've been trying to suggest what I think you could do better without my becoming party to the dispute in question. You are simultaneously asserting that your judgment remains steady even when someone disagrees with you, and going on the attack over what I think is reasonably mild criticism, gently (though publicly) given. But feel more than free to take your complaint about my "etiquette" to AN/U, and I'll promise not to even comment in the discussion, as long as you agree to link the present section. And, no, I do not need to examine the content of this dispute further than I casually have to say that Krok6kola's edits were not vandalism, and that you should refrain from calling similar edits vandalism in the future, or threatening to block a genuine contributor over a dispute to which you are a party. And if you think you didn't do the latter, fine, but I'm telling you that any accusation of vandalism against a long-time user looks from the outside like escalation toward a block. - Jmabel ! talk 23:02, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
And I'm done. I didn't come here to have a fight, I came here to try, apparently unsuccessfully, to defuse one. - Jmabel ! talk 23:03, 8 January 2021 (UTC)

category was not attached[edit]

Over time I have created a few categories. A couple of times I've been told, "Your category was not attached to the category database." Why? I don't know what that means. The category works -- when you search for it it's there and images that use it are there. -- Jim Evans (talk) 14:19, 29 December 2020 (UTC)

Example(s)? I suspect those comments may have referred to categories that you created and which were themselves uncategorized, i.e. not part of another category. Such categories can not be found, unless one knows their name. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 00:45, 30 December 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply. Sounds logical. When I need a category, I give it an appropriate name (IMO) and simply save it as a category. I wouldn't know how to "associate" it with another category. For example, if I have a picture of Alfort Dam and need a category for it, I search for Category:Alfort Dam. If the search doesn't find one it offers for me to create the category. I do, and that's it!. -- Jim Evans (talk) 03:24, 30 December 2020 (UTC)
A less theoretical name would be more helpful in providing further help; I have no idea and can't find anything meaningful for "Alfort Dam". // Maybe reading Commons:Categories#Categorizing pages will help. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 01:23, 31 December 2020 (UTC)

better no cats than super cats?[edit]

Maybe I've been doing this wrong—for perhaps over 10 000 files.

I've been "uncatting" files: e.g.

Category:All media needing categories as of 2019‎ (currently 145 223 F)
Category:All media needing categories as of 2020‎ (currently 183 275 F)
Category:All media needing categories as of 2021‎ (currently 3518 F)

and almost always putting them into very general categories, e.g. Category:People, Category:Women, or Category:Trees.

I do this because:

1. I think it's better to start somewhere—very general being better than nothing.

2. When in doubt, go to the higher cat. For example, I see a pic of a tree. Is it a pine, spruce, yew, or juniper? Lest I mis-categorize, I put it into something like Category:Pinales.

3. I have some intention of more specifically categorizing files I supercatted earlier.

However, I might be missing some points something in doing this.

Take your section:

This does not mean that an image only belongs in one category; it just means that images should not be in redundant or non-specific categories. For instance, an image of a Polar Bear being rescued from an iceberg by a helicopter should be in Category:Ursus maritimus, Category:Icebergs and Category:Rescue helicopters. It should not, however, be in Category:Ursidae, Category:Sea ice or Category:Aircraft.

Category:Ursidae has 36 sub-cats, and those in turn have about 190.

I doubt Wikicommons expects me to go through all 226 of such and maybe many more sub-sub-cats.


While I might, after several, or a few 10s, of minutes find, say Category:Ursus maritimus, Andöyane, Liefdefjorden, for which an image fits perfectly, maybe there's features of the image I'm neglecting that could fit into a few of the the +36 subcats, or their sub-sub cats, or sub-sub-sub cats. Hence I might put it Category:Ursidae for a while. Indeed I might overcat and use both cats.

Is this wrong and if so, why?

or maybe I should just suck it up and spend a few hours checking out all the sub-cats, sub-sub-cats, sub-sub-sub-cats, etc. to get every possible relevant cat for the image even though I'm not an expert and I have little interest in spending such time.

What say you all?

DMBFFF (talk) 07:08, 7 January 2021 (UTC)

I'm afraid you're correct: giving very general cats looks like a simple solution but is actually wrong in many cases. It is at best vague, as you rightly say; at worst, misleading. No cats is better than wrong cats. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:28, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
I agree that no cats is better than wrong cats, but I don't think that was the question. I think the questions was whether no cats is better than cats that aren't as specific as they could be. For example, is it better to leave something uncategorized if all you can tell about an image is that it's an automobile -- not what kind, or where it is, or the color, or the make, just that it's an automobile. I would think that people who are interested in automobiles could find it under the automobile category and improve the categorization from there. --Auntof6 (talk) 09:50, 7 January 2021 (UTC)

Exactly my point, Auntof6; and that's happened. I know little about cars. What if I see an image of car that's black, green, and white, but I recognize nothing else about it?

Do I:

1. put it in Category:Black, green, white automobiles. It currently has one file and sub-cat; and to those wanting to make articles or like about cars, be it WP or elsewhere, my sub-sub-catting would help little, and might even hinder the process if the car is notable.

2. put it in Category:Automobiles in apparent violation of WC policy, but a Commonist who's also a grease monkey/motorhead/mechanic-going-on-for-decades/call-them-what-you-will, maybe someone like Marisa Tomei's character Mona Lisa Vito in w:My Cousin Vinnie, who could in seconds tell make, model, year, and other characteristics, and might put into such categories, making the image far more useful.

3. risk violating WC policy even more by putting it in both categories, and thus overcat, because while it might be months before an expert comes along, go to Category:Automobiles, see a few 10s of images of automobiles he/she'd would find easy to put into great subcats, while at the same time I already have it in a sub-sub-cat, and doing my little bit.


4. leave the uncatted image be, and wait for the expert to go to the uncat categories and look for images of automobiles in the 10 000s, maybe 100 000s, of other images, in files that might not have the words "car" or "automobile" in them, maybe not seeing a car in a cat page of 200 images—maybe 20 of such pages to see 20 cars—or not—i.e. not bother with such a process at all—and let that image stay unused, perhaps for years.

At the risk of singling out Chiswick Chap, which is not my intention as he edited files I edited and greatly improved them, I'm ignorant about yoga. Let's say in a few days of mad-catting of several hundred images, I come across several of people doing yoga poses, or what I think is yoga—it could be something else—not everyone sitting in the lotus position or something like it is doing yoga.

Do I:

1. put into Category:Yoga, and risk ticking off a 1%er (i.e. someone who has given a fair amount of time to WC and disproportionately help make it the great wiki it is)?

2. spend an hour, likely more, reading about yoga so I get, IMO, hip enough about it to try to put into sub-cats and risk mis-catting?—and do similar with every image I'd otherwise put into general categories?


3. leave well enough alone and let the yoga expert go through 100s, maybe 1000s files, in Category:People, or again 10 000, or maybe 100 000s files in uncat cats, looking for people doing yoga—as if they haven't better and/or more fun uses of their time.

and for Chaswick, I reiterate Auntof6's point, I put in general cats to indeed avoid mis-catting.

I know this could lead to cats being cluttered up, though I figure better this than leaving them in the uncat cats, and my intention is to go back to files I catted.

Files I put into general cats months or longer earlier, if they haven't already been put into better cats by others, I'll sub-cat, even if such might be somewhat lame. e.g. Category:People into, say, Category:Men with moustaches.

Files I've overcatted months or longer earlier, if they haven't already been put into better cats by others, I'll remove the general cat. e.g. a file I might have put into Category:Women, Category:Smiling women looking at viewer, Category:Women with long black hair, and Category:Chin on hand, I'll take out of Category:Women—or maybe just nominate it (and others) for deletion because WC, despite doing alright with over 65 million files, has too many images of women, including in cats that seem more for fetishist interests—Category:Smiling nude women with long black hair, bare feet apparent, reading books (though conceivably someone might use such an image on a fetish site in an article about female literacy, but I digress).

What objections are there to me continuing such process: again keeping in mind that this account of mine in slightly over 3 years has catted fewer than 20 000 files—i.e. I can manage them manually in a similar amount of time.

DMBFFF (talk) 18:12, 7 January 2021 (UTC)

Ideally of course they would go into the most specific cats possible. Some cats are not supposed to have images, but that really means that someone should figure out a more appropriate subcat and move it there. Putting it up higher might mean more work for someone else, but at least it's moving a file in the right direction. This is a collaborative project, so putting images into generic cats, for other more knowledgeable people on that subject to further move around, seems fine to me. If someone is doing the work to move files out of being uncategorized, that seems like a good thing which there shouldn't be many roadblocks for -- should not be necessary for them to be an expert on most topics. If there are categories like Category:Unidentified trees that might work just as well (or better) than just Trees, though. Obviously it's a much more helpful edit the more specific you can get, but to me something is better than nothing. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:25, 7 January 2021 (UTC)
  • IMHO, the point here is not the addition of categorisation (as a means of describing what content represents), but rather the loss of useful workflow categorisation (categories that describe the state of content).
Your edit does two things, not just one. It adds "People" or "Cars" - but it also removes "items in need of further work". The first is a negligible improvement, as the targets are so broad and so numerously filled as to add little. But mostly it removes the item from worklists, such as "items needing catgeorization". That leaves them in limbo: having neither a useful categorisation, nor obviously highlighted as needing to have one added.
If you added the items to "Unidentified steam locomotives" etc. (we have many such categories, where a non-expert can recognise the broad group, but it needs a subject expert to go further) then that would be fr more useful. Adding them to "Cars" is neither useful as is, nor indicative of needing further work. It's particularly useful to go to the more detailed "workflow" categories, because that puts them under the spotlight for the right subject experts.
I can't object to you adding "Cars", although I think it's largely pointless. I would encourage you to use "Cars needing further categorisation" (or similar) instead. Please don't remove workflow cats at all, unless they're no longer needed. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:08, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
While the Unidentified categories are fine, many of these top-level cats are marked with {{Categorise}}, which puts them into Category:Categories requiring permanent diffusion, which sort of makes them work queues themselves -- i.e. the files are not meant to stay there, but need to move more. Category:Automobiles is not marked that way, but there are clearly people looking for files there and moving them on, since there is only one file directly in that category at the moment while there are hundreds in Category:Unidentified automobiles. So adding them to Automobiles would seem to get them noticed by people who can more appropriately categorize them, instead of being stuck in uncategorized -- the combination of the two editors would seem to get them effectively moved from uncategorized into proper places, the end goal. If there are top-level cats with hundreds/thousands of files (i.e. they are not moving further), perhaps a bit more research could be done to get them at least a level or two lower. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:13, 9 January 2021 (UTC)
I more often encounter images with {{Check categories}} than things like Category:All media needing categories as of 2019‎. If I can only add very general categories, I leave {{Check categories}} in place. - Jmabel ! talk 15:31, 9 January 2021 (UTC)

To: Carl Lindberg, Good idea—I will likely do this far more often.    :)

To: Jmabel,
I checked Category:All media needing categories as of 2020.
When I clicked it, it said "The following 200 files are in this category, out of 172,746 total."
I went to "Au" for automobiles, and I found this: File:Audi A4 B8.5 2.0 TFSI.jpg.

Let's say I was so ignorant, I didn't know what "Audi" meant.
I suppose putting it into Category:Unidentified automobiles, Category:Red automobiles, and Category:Sydney (maybe someone who knows about the city would recognize the place that car is in) might improve things than just leaving it alone. DMBFFF (talk) 17:58, 17 January 2021 (UTC)

Audio by gender and language[edit]

Should recorded words go into a category like Category:Male Luxembourgish pronunciation‎ or just into Category:Male pronunciation and Category:Luxembourgish pronunciation ? Please respond here: Category talk:Male pronunciation Troll Control (talk) 15:56, 21 March 2021 (UTC)


Should I/we add the few images in [Category:Electron_microscope_images_of_SARS-CoV-2] that have a scale to Category:Scale? Namely,

20200227severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2(Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)1.jpg
20200227severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2(Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)2.jpg
SARS CoV-2 ANLIS - Malbrán.jpg

Just 3 of ~ 110. -- 22:58, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

Category:Tones and I[edit]

I have problems with the infobox at this category, here. How does one edit the infobox or is it generated elsewhere?


  1. Birth year
  2. D.O.B
  3. Middle name

The English language version of Tones and I does not provide any of this as there are no reliable sources for the information. The information breaches WP:BLPPRIVACY and should be removed immediately.Shaidar cuebiyar (talk) 05:43, 30 April 2021 (UTC)

Complex category[edit]

Hi. If category has many subcategories, like Category:Julia sets, is it possible to expand all subcategories to see all images on the ona page(s) without subcategories ? TIA --Adam majewski (talk) 07:27, 16 May 2021 (UTC)