Commons talk:Categories vs Galleries

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This page was cut/pasted from a discussion initially opened on the Village Pump.

non-TOL v. TOL; categories vs. galleries[edit]

This issue has come up time and time again, and is there any chance that we could once-and-for-all settle debate between the non-TOL side which seems to agree "everything should be categorised"; vs. the TOL side which continuously decategorises so many images? I'm sure the TOL folks means no harm, but it's a bit aggravating to see my images without any categories. --Bossi (talkgallerycontrib) 11:10, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

For those just getting caught up... see also this COM:AN discussion ++Lar: t/c 13:27, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
You cam make both: categories and galleries.--Ahonc (talk) 11:48, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
This is an old discussion (see Commons:Images on normal pages or categories:Vote) and I guess TOL group is the last holdout of the camp that preferred galleries as the "leaf nodes" of Commons categorization tree. I believe in "Categories Required / Galleries optional" approach even if gallery and category have the same name and hold the same images. I do not think we can or should force anyone to use categories but removing valid categories from an image seems to me like counter-productive behavior. --Jarekt (talk) 12:53, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree on the major point you are making that the Higher level Categories can have Galleries and/or Categories with the same name, HOWEVER, I think the argument that I am getting and a few others, is that all the images from these categories and galleries are being placed in one Category. For example I started collecting and categorizing and gallerizing Category:Botanical illustrations 162 Unidentified images remain in that main category until they can be placed in a sub category or sub gallery and should and will be removed from the main Category. If as you and User:Carol and others suggest, all botanical illustrations could go there and we would have 2-3000 images with the same ones better ordered in Cat's and Galleries. As it stands now (to use the same example) Category:Britton & Brown, Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada has 62 images showing and the Gallery of alphabetized listings has over 426 images, Britton & Brown, Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada so why would you want 488 images in the Category and 488 in the Gallery with the possibility that someone would have also placed them in the main higher Category of Bot Illust?? Simplicity is the key factor here not "where are my pictures I can't immediately see them?" They are in Galleries connected to higher level categories and so on up the Taxonomic Tree. WayneRay (talk) 14:10, 3 July 2008 (UTC)WayneRay
How many Galleries are there for B&B? I counted one which means it is a page with 426 images -- what is the difference between a Gallery with a lot of images and a Category with a lot of images? And further, I do not like the genus Category containing all of the genus images with galleries for the species. It is as if you are not representing the problem accurately here, as well as not taking the time to type the full word "Category". -- carol (talk) 23:19, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't think anyone is suggesting that we should have "2-3000 images" in a single category; of course they should be subcategorized. Why can't images appear both on gallery pages and in the category hierarchy? Powers (talk) 15:16, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Well for one reason, let's take the Category:Carex which is being worked on right now. There are 163 labelled properly, images in the main Category and 82 subcategory/gallery pages which contain the same images. One should just link on the name of the species page to find what they are looking for, not wade through all the clutter of images, all duplicated in the sub pages. Also on the gallery pages, images that have misspelled or weird names or just letters or numbers as an upload file, can have a description placed on the image, whereas no such proper naming can be done in Cat's. WayneRay () 17:07, 3 July 2008 (UTC)WayneRay
Every picture should have a category. Every picture could be in a gallery. I'm firing up the uncat bot. It will tag yesterdays uploads which dont have categories, it wont spam the uploader. Multichill (talk) 18:54, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
As for badly named images I recommend {{rename media}} rather then temporary solutions which won't help users comming directly to the image page. /Lokal_Profil 19:37, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Opinions have been divided over whether categories or galleries are the best, but the outcome of the discussion is clear and applies Commons-wide. All files must be categorised. All files may be in a gallery, but galleries should primarily showcase the best images. No project has ownership of their perceived domain, nor are they exempt from the principles that apply to the project as a whole. LX (talk, contribs) 19:43, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
As you can see here --> User_talk:CarolSpears#Carex the Category for Carex was the second time that I was told that a Category was going to be disembled, and that category was more mature when I was told that than it is now. The B&B category was the first. Both attempts to communicate were this month. Not last November, not last January, not last March. June. The B&B category was actually made by WayneRay, I was uploading those images and putting them into the species categories (which have been disembled often). I never thought to make a category for B&B, I was asked to use it. Is it typical to ask people to fill a category and then use it as an example for what is wrong with categories. How is a user to know when to answer to reasonable requests and not to? -- carol (talk) 23:19, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes. Agreed. More strongly, in fact... all files must be categorised into more than just system/license categories, they must be in at least one subject matter category. If someone wishes to remove the last subject matter category that a file/image/media item is in, they had better be adding it to some other subject matter category, or I would consider them disrupting things. This is not debatable in my view. If there are users doing this, please bring it to the community's attention. ++Lar: t/c 20:13, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Likewise, I take the view that for consistency all images should be in at least one sensible category. If some users want to put them in galleries as well, that's fine. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 20:18, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
I think we're all barking up the same tree... perhaps from a couple different angles, but still the same tree. My own view is to categorise all images and use galleries to highlight the best. I'll leave a note on Ies' talk page as well as the talk page for TOL to try and get an opposing viewpoint here, since any changes would most certainly affect them. --Bossi (talkgallerycontrib) 23:02, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Removing images from categories really screws up the prospects of decent search (even more so than the removal of applicable parent categories for images in more specific categories). With millions of images on commons we really need to put or collective feet down and stop tolerating this well meaning but highly disruptive behavior. In the past I've been told that the images needed to be removed from categories to track which have been placed in galleries.... we could simply use a template for this purpose. --Gmaxwell (talk) 23:25, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
I've watched the catting/uncatting/recatting thing with some amusement for a while now... I add categories to images when I upload them, but just take it as a given that they'll later be removed [1]. It would certainly be nice if everyone could just agree that images need categories, but I long ago gave up trying to discuss it. --SB_Johnny | PA! 10:56, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
It is lunacy to me to not place images in categories for a whole pile of reasons. Gmaxwell is completely correct. Equally maintaining galleries at any standard takes far more work than maintaining categories. However I guess without such discussion as these we would be so close to perfect we would be unbearable :) --Herby talk thyme 11:35, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, agreed :). So should I just be rolling these edits back then? This happens to the vast majority of files I upload... --SB_Johnny | talk 12:19, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
"They" seem to respect templates; I have only been studying species Gallery maker for a while now; and not all of the species remove the category from the images pages. I don't know yet if this is a different species or a variety or subspecies (perhaps a cultivar even), but I will be sure to let you know if I get the opportunity to definitely figure it out. -- carol (talk) 11:14, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Huh? --SB_Johnny | PA! 11:31, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Category:Plant Navigation Templates either that is stopping them from disembling categories or perhaps something else is. Right now, it looks like the templates. I am only an observer and occasional victim though. -- carol (talk) 11:45, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Those seem to be used for categorizing galleries. The discussion here is about categorizing files. (do you really mean to say "disembling"?) --SB_Johnny | talk 12:08, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
They empty the categories and then they claim the category is unoccupied and get it deleted. That is dismembering to me, where an image is a member of a category and when all of the members of a category are removed then the category has been dismembered. I don't care about the language, if you need to change that word to disembling, then a category can be an assembly -- but language wise, this is different area of cultural language problems, or an ensemble (I might not like that though).... -- carol (talk) 22:26, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
I stopped deleting "empty categories" a while ago for that reason (except the odd one I empty :)) --Herby talk thyme 07:19, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

(tab reset)I don't know where to put this information so it will be found easily, but I have been making templates that make the making of Categories somewhat easier. Category:Plant_Navigation_Templates is where they are to be found. Every template that is for something larger than family gets a "." in front of it (for all the work I have been doing with this, I am still not clear on how the latin works for this, for that I apologize). When I make a new template and use it, I often (not always) put a how to on the talk page of the family category. Category:Anthemideae is the closest to the way I would have liked to handle this. Category talk:Anthemideae has examples of usage and links to the template that I find to be handy. I got the genera list from UniProt, if there are mistakes there, that is where they came from.

I was able to repair possibly a hundred or so taxonomy navigation instances that had inaccurate information recently, and that was kind of cool.

It is true that a bot could generate the templates and the categories for the genera and the species, but it is not bad to do as a living being either -- I found that the mistakes made by software in forming this kind of system are different than the mistakes made by real living beings. When trying to find the correct name for the species that an image says it is, I attempt to look at the online and other Flora sites that are closest to where the plant is supposed to be native to, and when I make the species categories, it is a bit of a big deal to look up where it is native to and put them into that Flora of category. I kind of see that it might naturally happen where photographs taken of plants in a certain area will land in the category, but it would be nice if only species which are native to an area become a subcategory of that Flora of. Photographers know where they took the photographs of the plants at, people writing articles about the genus or species should probably be looking into the native locations....

I also have no idea where to discuss this! This "chat page" has only been on my watchlist since June 28, for instance.... -- carol (talk) 03:19, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Well, #Revisiting the original question is a good place to discuss how plants taken in a specific region could go in that category. That is the very reason I find it is a bad idea to add the species to the Flora of/Plnats of categories. The Flora of/Plants of categorizations should be done by the contributiors of the images on the individual image pages. -- Slaunger (talk) 22:13, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Only in species gallery and not categorized is accepted[edit]

  • What matters is that the media are properly organized. Galleries are much easier to rename than cats, they allow standard organization of the media, descriptions of locations, tagging with, e.g., Valued image seal.svg . It is easier to link to them form other Wikimedia projects. Having them both places is redundant. I do not support removal of existing categories without prior accept from involved contributors. -- Slaunger (talk) 23:10, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
    Category renames are actually pretty easy now (we have bots a-plenty). Galleries are better for linking and presentation, but not as easy to maintain and add new materials to as are the categories. I'd say that in general not every image in a category is worth putting into a gallery in any case (a lot of TOL images are actually from the USDA PLANTS database, and these tend to be of poor quality, bear watermarks, and are of questionable copyright status). Redundancy is actually not a bad thing in any case, since one system can catch where the other fails: the category system is easier to use and therefore less liable to failure, so keeping all the images categorized serves as a backup to the more elegant but harder-to-maintain galleries. Keep in mind also that it's difficult to train a bot to know what images are TOL-scope, so having the categories on the files allows better maintenance for commons overall (since the bots can then be free to just add {{uncat}} to any and all images needing categories). --SB_Johnny | talk 10:28, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
    Correct. Renaming a category is as easy as renaming a gallery (almost). A single command to SieBot, and it's done. You could also make categorizing templates and use those instead of straight up categories. Then only one edit to the template is necessary to recategorize all the image at once. Rocket000 (talk) 22:09, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
    What I am saying is that it should be accepted to only have the images in a gallery at the species level. Nomatter how many bots we have who can do cat renames it is still more tedious than renaming a gallery and it is a barrier for many users to start using a bot. For me, at least it is. The above proposal saying that all media shall be categorized will spur an enourmous amount of work. Let me just mention a genus I have worked quite a lot with Category:Saxifraga. If you look at that you will se that amajority of the species are in a gallery only. For me these images are well organized and if all media shall be categorized. that means that all the images of Saxifraga species now also need to be added a species category, which has to be created and associated with Category:Saxifraga. That is just plain stupid for an otherwise well organized genus. Concerning bot work tagging uncat. I can't really see what the problem is. Those bots should just look at "What links here", and if there is a link to a main name space gallery, it should not be tagged. Personally, I do not find it more tedious to work the the galleries. On the contrary. It is much easier to organize the media, I always link to the gallery from the description, which is further up the image page, so navigation to the gallery page is easier than for the cats. The gallery page is one more click away, but for me that one more click is outweighed by all the other advantages. Therefore I cannot see why I should be forced to categorize may plant species images, as long as I do it peacefulæly without brute forcing my conventions onto other users. When I am in a part of the category structure where I can see that categorization is the prevailing I of course use that scheme. -- Slaunger (talk) 06:52, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes that is a good example of the way the Categores should be, with unidentified or yet to be orgainized and put into galleries at the bottom of the page. And I agree that if a species category is there, there is no need for a speciaes gallery (most times). I think this is what I have been doing and saying all along (with a few mistakes) WayneRay (talk) 21:23, 6 July 2008 (UTC)WayneRay


I'm glad to see this come up again (after just spending an hour looking for some good images for a Wikibook chapter and having almost no luck at all due to missing categories), but maybe a resolution can be arrived at? Or perhaps it's already resolved? I'd like to know whether TOL images are supposed to have at least one "subject" (i.e., not license) category, and what do do when someone removes them (Ies (talk · contribs) and WayneRay (talk · contribs) have removed hundreds just in the past week or so, often with the edit comment "recat"). Is further discussion of whether this is a policy issue required? If not, should this be discussed on a noticeboard rather than on the Pump? Just curious where to go from here. --SB_Johnny | talk 16:50, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

We would definitely need buy-in from the TOL, as some of their participants do extensive work & I would hate to alienate them. I spotted that SB_Johnny & WayneRay are both in TOL, so they could be critical components in resolving this issue. Ies has made a number of edits since my note on the user's talkpage, but has yet to write here... so I am not sure whether or not Ies will join in this discussion; which would be quite unfortunate. --Bossi (talkgallerycontrib) 17:25, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
It would be good to resolve this. Frankly it is an aspect of Commons I have never understood in my time here. Galleries are great - categories are easy & make it easy for others to find things. Cheers --Herby talk thyme 17:26, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes I agree Categories are easy and sometimes if there is a significant number of images I will put them in a species Cat instead of a gallery. It's the ones that have one species photo in a higher order Category that I make a species gallery of and delete the (I think) redundant cat image in the said Category so it is cleaned up of unnecessary images since there is now a species article or species Cat of the same name. To me and others, (a few from the discussion here) if there is a main Category with one species category and one species gallery and one or more images all on the same page, it is too many and not organized.WayneRay (talk) 22:37, 5 July 2008 (UTC)WayneRay
You expect that there will never be an upload of another image of those species then? I tried to unstubbify an article at English wikipedia because no one had seen the plant for more than 100 years and I felt that all the information that could be collected about it had been and I also removed the suggestion for a photograph from the talk page. These decisions of mine were over-ridden. I also would find it very interesting to know which plant images that you only expect there to be only one image of. Very interested in that, especially with how I like to think that mis-named images are honest mistakes. -- carol (talk) 22:48, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Gadget for TOL use[edit]

One of the reasons the TOL people remove categories, I've understood, is that they can then easily see which images are yet to be organized and put in galleries. Since it's a small minority of the community doing this, could we develop a gadget for the same purpose without the need to remove categories anymore? The gadget could query the toolserver for all the images in all the galleries in the current category, and remove them from the category view, or if the 200 limit is likely to be hit soon, query for all the images in that category that are not in any sub-galleries, and recreate the image part of the category view. I remember there are some gadgets already that manage to escape the cross site Javascript restriction to access the toolserver, so that shouldn't be a problem. Would this be helpful to the TOL folks? --Para (talk) 09:09, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

That reason doesn't make sense though. If they are in a species category, all that needs to be done is to look. If they are making galleries with only the nicest of images, then they really should not be just cleaning out categories. If they are waiting for others to put them into species categories so that they can take them out, then there is something very wrong with that. I find the logic of "they can then easily see which images are yet to be organised and put in galleries" to be severely flawed and I wonder if they are able to deduce one species from another given this type of logic.... -- carol (talk) 09:36, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

It is not that simple[edit]

I would like to refer to some related recent discussions of this topic. I urge the non-bio users to browse through them. It is not that simple...

-- Slaunger (talk) 23:04, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Maybe you could summarize. I don't have time to read all those discussions, especially when this seems so straightforward to me. The only actual disadvantage I've seen to making sure every media file is properly categorized is "it makes it hard to see if a file has been sorted into a gallery". There are ways to mitigate that, such that it's far outweighed by providing two ways for someone to find files. Powers (talk) 14:37, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Ehm, no, there are many more reasons. Let me summarize
  1. Species are frequently given new accepted latin names; either because the species name (the last name) is changed or gene research shows that it actually belongs to another genus (the first name). I am not sure exactly how often this happens but out of 38 plant species I have uploaded images of, nine of these has another official name than what I can find in a 10 year old flora book. That is, about 25% has changed their names. Thus, it is preferable if it is easy to rename a plant species. This is very easy with a gallery page: You copy it to the new accepted name and replace the old one with a redirect and that't it! No need to change any categories every single image page of this species. It is argued that category renaming is not that hard using a bot. Maybe so, but it is a barrier to many users to start requesting to use a bot to do a category rename. In addition the category rename will pop up in the watchlist of all the image pages. Personally I would consider that spamming of my watchlist. The larger the gallery, the more work is saved if a rename is required.
  2. A majority of all species gallery pages are organized in sections with section headings like: "Photos", "Illustrations", and for larger species galleries perhaps with additional sections like "Flowers", "Leaves", "Roots", and so on. This provides a homogeneous, well-organized presentation not possible with categories. For both galleries and categorires a preamble can be given with species name, source, taxonavigation etc., so concerning these "boilerplate" elements there is no basic difference.
  3. A significant fraction of the images in the species galleries have short captions with, e.g., the location or country. This gives improved information content for repository users.
  4. With a species gallery it is possible to highlight featured content, like featured pictures, quality images, or valued images adding icons such as Valued image seal.svg  to the caption of individual images, see, e.g., Hyacinthoides non-scripta for an example.
  5. It is easier to link to a species gallery from other Wikimedia projects as you do not have to prepend the link with :Category.
  6. Maintaining a species gallery requires a little more work than maintaining a species category. Doing both is double work. However, there are some of the TOL people who are willing to put that extra effort into the organization. Perhaps the taxa people are slightly more structured than the average user?
See the genus Category:Saxifraga for an example of how this works.
So, as I see it, there are a lot of benefits of having galleries only for plants species provided the following is enforced
  1. The gallery should be complete; all images of the species should be in there.
  2. The species gallery should be categorized to the corresponding genus category
  3. If you also create a species category, most of the benefits of having a species gallery are lost as you end up doing all the work upon renaming. In those cases it is best not to have a species gallery at all, or to only have a gallery categorized to the species category containg a few images, e.g., featured content.
Although, I support a gallery only scheme due to its obvious advantages I also acknowledge the categorization-eager users. Therefore I am also against decategorizing image pages as part of a replacement to a gallery page, unless the user has been asked first if it is OK, and the user has accepted the move. I also acknowledge that the gallery only scheme is a little different from the schemes most other places at Commons. However I am quite baffled by the hordes of administrators insisting on always categorize. If we step back for a moment, what is the purpose? The purpose is to be able to find relevant media. This means the media has to be properly organized. The organization can be solved by either categorizarion, gallery pages or both. -- Slaunger (talk) 21:59, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
I just want to clarify that I am not advocating removing galleries completely, which appears to be the impression that you have received. I agree that galleries certainly have their qualities. My stance is that we should not be dismantling categories. Per the above summaries, it appears that the only reason against dismantling categories is that it is difficult to rename them. Am I understanding that correctly? Also, what is the impetus behind adding all the media to a gallery, rather than just the selected best for each trait? --Bossi (talkgallerycontrib) 22:08, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, if you have all the media for a species in the gallery there is no reason to have the species category, which means renaming will be easier. If you have both the gallery and the species category you are up for a larger amount of work on renaming as you need the bot request then. You say that you are not advocating for removing the galleries. I understood that already. The question is is you are willing to accept that it is OK to have only a species gallery and not a category, if this has been created peacefully in agreement with the uploaders and creators and no decategorization has happened against the will of involved users? -- Slaunger (talk) 22:14, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
The only extra work that would be required if both species galleries and categories existed would be to add {{move cat|Old taxon name|New taxon name}} to User talk:CommonsDelinker/commands. That's only about 50% extra work when renaming the gallery page, which as mentioned is quite easy. I definitly see the benefit of the species gallery pages I'm just not seeing the downside of having species categories as well. I'll admit the initial transition will take work (i.e. create categories for each gallery and categorise the images in it) but assuming this could be done with a bot there isn't much extra work involved. Once this is done the only additional workload would be to add Category:Taxon to newly uploaded images which once again isn't much extra work if you're also putting it in a gallery. As for making sure no images end up in species categories without also being put in the gallery there is a tool (forgot it's name) which can keep track of changes to categories. /Lokal_Profil 00:42, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
If a bot can do the species category generation based on existing galleries, I have no problem with that. If this is not possible, I would say it is OK to keep well-organized gallery-only species pages until a user comes by and creates the corresponding species category. I also agree that the extra work implied in having all the images in a species category and some in a gallery is overcomeable although not rewarding IMO. It is extra work, but if that is what is needed to avoid future confusion and get Community consensus, hell, then let us do that.
Thank you for explaining how to use the bot for category renaming. It would be helpful if this information was added at relevant places such that relevant stakeholders would stumble naturally upon it, like in Commons:Categories and perhaps elsewhere.
-- Slaunger (talk) 07:49, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
An elaboration on Commons:Rename a category#Bots showing how simple it is with an example would be an improvement too. -- Slaunger (talk) 07:51, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Made an edit to Commons:Rename a category#Bots. And I definitively agree that any gallery-only species pages should be kept. In my view those pages should be kept even after a species category is created. /Lokal_Profil 00:44, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
It has been suggested that if there are both, the species gallery should be linked to the Species Category and only the Species Category be linked to the higher level Category. But why would someone want to create a matching species category if only a species gallery exists? WayneRay (talk) 16:53, 11 July 2008 (UTC)WayneRay
Well, keep in mind that new images are being added all the time, and both the new upload interface and "HotCat.js" (which I just discovered a couple days ago) auto-fill to show the most specific currently available category. This means that if the species categories are present and prepared, both new uploaders and people who go through Category:Media needing categories can get the file to the most appropriate location the first time, rather than having it go to a genus category where it needs to later be moved to a species category and/or gallery. --SB_Johnny | talk 18:45, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

I completely agree with Slaunger and sorry if I have to be a bit arrogant about that, if you have no background in biology, ideally in taxonomy/evo-bio or systematics, you have simply no idea what problems we are facing when using categories. See Category:Anas platyrhynchos for the nightmarish stuff we end up with. For people who are seriously into biology, this whole thing is useless; it's a mess, there is no way to easily locate an image displaying a very specific thing you want to show people on Wikipedia, e.g. a Mallard-domestic duck hybrid drake.

A recent observation on Wikipedia is that many non-specialists browse using folk taxonomy. An idea I once had was to use both a scientific tree with the leaves as galleries ONLY and a folk-taxonomy tree (that can be made multilanguage via redirects) using categories ONLY even for leaf nodes. The rationale is that people who think in terms like "hawks" or "bugs" or "moths" (neither of which corresponds to a valid taxon) are less interested in scientific details, which on the other hand are crucial for the specialists and can only be given in gallery pages. On the other hand, aesthetic decisions are indeed easier to make when dealing with categories, where "pretty" images tend to be more conspicuous as they usually group by author (due to authors' different filenaming conventions). Whereas in galleries, images are sorted by content and it is harder to find a particularly attractive image which may not be adequately classified to taxon etc. and therefore may not be easily located.

Thus, by using not one but two trees - because Wikimedia users include both those who think in scientific and those who think in folk-taxo categories predominantly - a solution can be reached that fulfils the needs of everyone except for "theory beats expertise" purists.

The advantage over simply using categories AND gallery pages in the same tree are:

  • no redundancy, images are categorized in ONE place in either tree ONLY. I presently spend about thrice as much time trying to locate content than I would need in a tree that is ideal from a scientific perspective.
  • users with no scientific background can easily access content that they now usually cannot locate (because they do not know the scientific names)
  • via redirect-from-common name (easily to implement when we keep using the "translate" table-template), the whole "folk-taxo" tree can be internationalized. Non-English users without biological background are presently unable to easily locate almost ANY material even if the English common name is given.
  • the trees can be interlinked, thus readers with no scientific background will actually learn something about the organisms. This is a Very Good Thing I think.
  • it is probably easy to have a bot compare the images linked on a (scientific) page and those placed in a (folk-taxo) category and therefore avoid the present mess, that one cannot tell were exactly look for an image (the "Fossil" and "Extinct" categories made things much much worse on top of an already-horrible situation). OK so I can find any image I'd like to find, but it takes time better used for more constructive things. I would, with my scientific background, like to be able to know EXACTLY where an image will be located, i.e. that there is ONE AND ONLY ONE place where it has to go.
  • Major and complex taxonomic changes can be implemented with the least detriment to users. These days, even I have no idea what exactly is in Thraupidae, but as opposed to scientific taxonomy, folk taxonomy is nearly constant. There will always be those for whom Paroaria are "cardinals" although they are a kind of tanager really. And of course, the Summer "Tanager" is really a cardinal... so Category:Summer Tanager would be in Category:Tanagers while the gallery page Piranga rubra would be in Category:Piranga (bird) which would be in Category:Cardinalidae. That way, no matter how up-to-date you are with your scientific taxonomy, even if you go wrong at first (to Category:Thraupidae), the place where you can find your content is just one link-click away, and that link would be boldly stated on the top of the page.
I cannot see what is the problem that has you so worried here. -- carol (talk) 01:21, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
Is it that you think that the different wikipedias cannot be trusted to point to the correct gallery/category (either or both)? I might share this idea if it is yours also -- I recently saw an article at English wikipedia where the (over-) categorization presented more "facts" than the article did, about a poet and the article contained no information about the college that was graduated from and other facts like that while the categories did. I do not like to maintain this idea though as I would like to think that the wikipedia's are not totally destroyed for inner-cleanup of problems like this. -- carol (talk) 01:42, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
The problem I have is that I find myself more and more digging through redundant category/gallery setups and spending more and more time trying to locate the pretty specific content I need for my Wikipedia edits[*]. Commons:ToL has a logistical problem, and it's growing. 5 more years or less, and the entire thing will come crashing down on our heads if content accumulates as fast as it does and if science progresses as fast as it does.
[*] My main hobbies are cycling, partying hard, evolutionary biology and reading the latest papers on very obscure and wondrous animals from the best peer-reviewed journals of the world. Therefore, my Wikipedia edits a) are usually not even on "popular" taxa (where the mass is most serious) b) however include detailed information about evolution and systematics that usually demand media that is very very specific. Like a photo of a primitive weevil of a particular subfamily where one can see the head in profile (we did have one of these). It is obvious that the quality of illustrations used in Wikipedia articles on taxa, and these images' ability to maximise the informational value of the Wikipedia article as a whole, depend on a hardcore scientific way of organizing this content on Commons. It is also obvious that ease-of-use is highly desired and may be crucial once the resultant system exceeds a certain degree of complexity; my observation is that a) it is crucial and b) the point has been exceeded already it is of course not impossible to locate content, but you cannot expect, even in the least, to be able to go straight to a specific destination where you know the content has to be. This need not be so; this ought to be corrected. It will make our work very much easier and efficent and fun if we could go and find content in one particular place instead of having to browse for it in 2-3+ places more and more often.
And needless to say: the present system thumbs a nose at the overwhelming majority of users who are gormless about scientific classification. Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 02:40, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Finally, the assumption that what works for "cars" and "towers" and "green animals" ought to work for clades, too, is unfounded. There is a large corpus of peer-reviewed literature in the taxonomic journals that adequately demonstrates that folk and scientific taxonomies, though overlapping, cannot be mixed, and cannot be held against the same standards or desiderata.

I think Commons ought to be equally easy to use for someone from Germany who does not known that Motten (moths) are simply all Lepidoptera that are neither butterflies nor skippers nor moth-butterflies, as for an entomologist from Kenya who groks Tineidae way. Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 00:40, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

  1. Including the common names on the gallery and category pages ought to assist for searching the common name.
  2. When a good photograph is available of the type species of a genus, that image could perhaps be used on the genus gallery or category to visually assist.
  3. Don't belittle in magnitude a possible reflection of the taxonomy problems if such a system were to be followed to categorize cars different years whose models may or may not each contain different engines, etc.
  4. I recently learned of a few template things that will take a genus name and convert it to the way it is used here, an example of this that I have to work with soon is Arenaria a name shared by Plantae and Animalia (or whatever....). A template can accept the plant species name and convert the genus to subcategorize itself into the weird commons instance of the plant genus category here which is Arenaria (plant). A way to expedite the creation of templates that manage this situation would be to help to compile a list of such problem genus as this.
  5. (and finally) It is my experience that a bot moving a category to a different name is actually easier than a human moving a gallery article.
As I have pointed out many many times, everything that I have written here (with the exception of the bot moving of categories) applies equally to category or galleries. The few pixels that are used to have both are hardly "redundant". In the actual number system, the number zero exists. It is a powerful number that says that at this time none exist but that the possibility is there. An empty category is a nice place marker this way, waiting for the image when it arrives here. An empty gallery, on the other hand is kind of sad. So, perhaps they are not equal, categories and galleries but the difference between zero images of something that can be photographed (or drawn) and completely not expecting an image (Ford falcon in the genus Dianthus, is an example of a value of not even a zero) this kind of thing can be easily managed via categories and a joy of logic to actually do it and see it work. -- carol (talk) 01:03, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
Re your remarks on Pears: a) food -> pears is exactly what I would propose here. b) your remark on "the daisy family" also exactly ties in with what I would propose: put the common-name categories in a second tree. Keep species galleries under scientific name, use species categories under common name. Add a bold link on top of each to link to the other.
It would be a lot of work, but it'll be a lot of work to straighten out the present mess regardless how we straighten it out.
It would be nice if, as a trial run, such a system could be implemented for a part of the tree, so we can see how it works. This would involve moving species categories to common-name (i.e. for a while completely get rid of species categories for a part of the tree); I have built the fundament of "Tanagers" vs "Thraupidae" (a good test case where not that much content is affected) but I have not moved the cats of course. This ought to be done if there is consensus to try it out. I have no idea whether it would work as intended (though I have little grounds to believe it would not) and if it does not, to hell with it and restore the scientific-name species categories as desired.
But I think it ought to be tried. We have stuff like Category:Animals already. So why not take it from there (or rather from here) and disentangle what are essentially two half-implemented and mutually incompatible systems (meaning they cannot be merged in their fullness anyway)? A user searching for photos of "moths" will end up at a category that is almost certainly completely useless to that person. For whoever searches for "moths" in the first place obviously has little knowledge of scientific classification... are Chimabachidae, Momphidae and Tischeriidae "moths", and if yes, what sort of "moths" are they? I don't know without looking it up, and I have studied zoology.
(If you force people looking for pictures of gossamer-winged butterflies to learn lepidopteran classification first, you'll get bad karma and reincarnate as a Heterocephalus glaber. One of the males. One of the males who does not get to fool around with the queen ;-P) Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 02:40, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Thoughts on galleries/categories[edit]

I support the Commons practice of placing all images in at least one category and using galleries for sorted and/or selected media. I have tried to understand the reasons for developing a different practice for media related to living things. The most compelling are:

  • From time to time, species are re-classified. When this happens, all files in a species- or genus-level category need to be edited with the new genus or species category. It is quicker to redirect a gallery page to the new gallery name. Is this a real problem? With modern genetic typing, hopefully the need to rename will reduce!
  • The full species classification is often placed at the head of a gallery page. Is it possible to do this on a category page?
  • Many media file names are not descriptive, so automatic sorting in a category may not be informative. Galleries can have manually entered titles for each image, but that requires work to set up. I would prefer the filename be improved so that the category listing is useful.

I support using categories as the primary classification so that we have a single system across Commons. Media of uncertain species can be placed in the lowest level that is certain. Galleries can then be used to select and sort media. Finavon (talk) 21:20, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Said the recent major uploader who has no clue what the real species name is. Hundreds of misnamed galleries is an interesting idea though.... -- carol (talk) 22:30, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Category pages can contain any amount of explanatory text/images/etc., anything that can be put on a gallery page. Powers (talk) 14:38, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I disagree, Category pages does not have a way of adressing item 2, 3, and 4 in my list above. Features, which are perfectly solved by a gallery page. -- Slaunger (talk) 22:05, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I was specifically responding to Finavon's question "Is it possible to do this on a category page?" The answer to that question is indeed yes, regardless of the other advantages of a gallery page. Powers (talk) 14:30, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
I disagree, then just put that information in a gallery and link it properly. If I find a lot of text in a Category, it goes on its Talk Page. There should not be anything but the images, species galleries or species categories etc. WayneRay (talk) 21:25, 6 July 2008 (UTC)WayneRay
I take that back I was thinking of the full texts I found in some images, apologies WayneRay (talk) 13:54, 7 July 2008 (UTC)WayneRay
I am not sure I agree with that. For some of my categories, I put a locator map on the category page as well as some expository text. There is no reason to mandate that no text can go on the category page itself. If the text is expository it definitely does NOT belong on the talk page, where it will be overlooked by browsers of the categories. ++Lar: t/c 22:12, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Category pages can contain anything, but it is probably not a good idea to put too much text there. Species classification is not much text and is already present on many category pages: Category:Felis silvestris, Category:Brassica oleracea, and many other. /Ö 22:30, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes. Consider this one, which I referred to before: Category:Croton Dam (Michigan) ... I'm going to advance that has just the right amount of detail to be a useful category, it has a one sentence blurb, a locator map, and a geo coord. Of course that isn't exactly what you should give for a species category but it's the idea... ++Lar: t/c 01:28, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
It has the perfect amount. WayneRay (talk) 13:54, 7 July 2008 (UTC)WayneRay

Categorizing biota[edit]

Ies (talk · contribs) in the edit summary for his removal of the genus category for the image of a plant said, "decat: There are about 2000 images of 438 species arranged in galleries. Putting all or parts of them in category Euphorbia doesn't make any sense but only destroys order."[2] His edit was reverted. To address his point, which I think is a valid one, I created Category:Euphorbia fendleri for this species and Category:Euphorbia maculata for another of the 438 species in the genus. After doing so, it still seems redundant and unnecessary to me, but I understand that others don't agree. Moreover, I know that inconsistent guidance engenders conflict and wastes people's time, and should generally be avoided.

I don't have the interest, inclination or time to create categories for the other 438 species in this genus, but a bot could generate species categories from gallery pages and keep them consistent with the gallery pages. I can easily add species category tags to the descriptions the images I upload. I suspect that would be easy for others also. For species new to Commons, it is little additional work to create a category for the species at the same time I create the gallery page. Alternatively, the hypothetical bot could create the category from the gallery page.

It seems to me that placing each image that is identified as to species in its species category recognizes the experience and expertise of the taxonomists in our community, can be implemented in a manner that is largely transparent to them, and satisfies the criterion that all images be categorized. Also, it eliminates clutter in categories for higher taxa by placing identified images in species categories. Walter Siegmund (talk) 03:51, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

No NO No you don't understand, there is already a species gallery for Euphorbia maculata with about 6-8 images in there, your species Category has , what, one or two images. It is redundant to do that, If you looked up the gallery it is or can be better organized than a Category for the species, and you could have easily placed the image in that Gallery. So now, according to you (and others) we will have 100's of Euphoebia species categories with matching species Galleries, I say NO WayneRay (talk) 13:51, 7 July 2008 (UTC)WayneRay
I agree. It is redundant, and I don't see the point. I saw the existing galleries and I think they serve the same purpose. However, a number of editors that I respect disagree above. I thought if I did as they suggest I might understand better their viewpoint.
Please don't label me an advocate of categorizing images of biota. But, the proponents are correct in alleging that conflict often occurs when an editor removes the category of an image that has been placed on a species gallery page. However, recategorization to a subcategory engenders little conflict. I would like to make the following points about categorizing images of biota at the species level.
  • It has already occurred to some extent with little drama.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13] None of the species categorizations cited have been removed and most have remained for a year or more.
  • A major potential problem is inconsistency of the parallel species categories with the galleries. That can be avoiding by means of a bot, in principle.
  • It has little or no impact on the existing categories for the higher taxa. All the image categorization occurs at the species level (when the species can be identified).
  • If it can be made to operate fairly transparently, it is less likely to drive away expert contributors that are used to the gallery only system. I think that means that the bot needs to do more than keep the contents of the gallery and category consistent. Also, when a gallery is renamed (in accordance with a change in the taxonomy), the bot needs to move the associated category.
I'd like to offer one more suggestion. This is directed to all the participants in this discussion. Even if you are sure that your position is completely and totally correct, please offer patience, credence and respect to those that don't share your opinion. Walter Siegmund (talk) 16:57, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes and I know I do that, if in the above examples I removed an image from its species category to leave the species gallery I usually don't look at the history and contact the last known editor or original uploader, but now I will make an exerted effort to do so. The images are still there because I (or someone) hasn't gotten there yet lol I will check them out). I have been working with a couple of Users in discussion about the duplicate named species gallery/species Category and most discussions are civil and coming to resolution.

In the case of your image in Thuja plicata (for example) and also placed in Category:Thuja plicata both connected to Category:Thuja would one solution be to connect the gallery to the species category and only the species category to the higher level category. This would alleviate tension by not removing the images at all, from the identical category. Users would find it with only one extra mouse click and the main Categories would be cleaner looking except for the additional images on the page. Just a suggestion as I have been doing this with a User I am working with in Category:Birds of India Accipiter badius (for example, follow the links) and Category:Butterflies of India where he had begun putting absolutely everything in species categories with no links and new nothing of the gallery system.WayneRay (talk) 17:46, 7 July 2008 (UTC)WayneRay

Yes, if you both have a species category and gallery I think it is best if the gallery is categorized to the species category. this will make the category structure cleaner as you mention, and it will also be in line with how it is done in other parts of Commons. -- Slaunger (talk) 22:09, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

I think we should all go by your logical iand organized explanation and follow your scheme of things. WayneRay (talk) 22:24, 7 July 2008 (UTC)WayneRay

  • I think there will continue to be problems as long as biota have a system that differs from the rest of Commons. I would like to see comprehensive species categories, containing all media and with appropriate header information. That is where general editors/readers would expect to find images. The ability to select and sort are distinct benefits of galleries. Thay can have a selection of quality images, arranged in appropriate sections. Is this moving towards the scope of a wiki, rather than a media archive? Whatever the agreement to use categories, or not, should apply only to species, not to non-taxonomic categories (including the source of an illustration). Finavon (talk) 23:30, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes I agree and this may sound like i am backtracking from my point of view, but that is the organized view of things. If that is cleared up then what becomes with the photos that are still put in a species cat or gallery and duplicated in the Genus Cat? That is where I have been getting in trouble, putting them back in species galleries or species Cat's and deleting the duplicate image. YOu both are on the right track, how can we make it a policy or upload guideline? WayneRay (talk) 00:33, 8 July 2008 (UTC)WayneRay
I think the best way to go is to just move as many species-specific files to species-specific categories, rather than simply removing the categories altogether. This means that the images eventually just move out onto the smallest branches of the tree, and galleries can be created to organize or annotate those images as desired.
I get the feeling that some of this confusion stems from an earlier discussion with KP Botany, who wanted to have images in both genus and species (and perhaps family as well... I had a hard time understanding the argument at times), but aside from her, I don't think anyone else has been pushing for that. I think the issue at hand now is to keep a biota category (i.e., not just remove them once an image is placed in a gallery), but whenever possible move to a smaller and smaller category (e.g.: for some plants (e.g. Rosa) for which we have very large numbers of images, we might even want to break up into sub-specific groups).
Another thought: it should be easy enough to alter the taxonav template to auto-create both a page category and a link to that category (the link could say something like "more images may be available in [:Category:blah]"). --SB_Johnny | talk 11:44, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
The taxonomy navigation that I have been using navigates along categories. It has a spot in it for species; I haven't attempted anything lower in the taxonomy tree than that. A taxonomy navigation could also be made that navigates along galleries. It is a wiki, both can exist, just to remind everyone that the limitation is not in the software. -- carol (talk) 11:51, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Might not be as limited as you think: I'm not sure how everyone is on parsing code, but this would do it:
{{#if:{{{genus}}}|{{#if:{{{species}}}|[[Category:{{{genus}}} {{{species}}}]]|[[Category:{{{genus}}}]]}}}}
Of course, that would only work if it's agreed to put the species gallery in the species category, etc. That code could be extended up and down the tree using more pipes and ifs :). --SB_Johnny | talk 12:03, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

"Galleries and Categories are different but equal"[edit]

Despite the short discussion on my talk page, I am still confused by the intent of Carol's edits & her viewpoints on the issue. It again appears that users may be confused that this discussion is not attempting to eliminate galleries; indeed it is attempting to respect that both galleries and categories have their place. --Bossi (talkgallerycontrib) 11:49, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

I am trying to vote my conscience and what I believe. I believe that they are different and it is not a one or the other question. I am voting that there are good reasons for both to exist. Mind you, there is a vote that has the heading "galleries trump categories" which is literally a card game dialog. I could vote that all media must have categories, but right now, it seems very aggressive. -- carol (talk) 11:55, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Is this the right place to mention that while I agree with both of you, I still have the dilemma of having a single image that is already in a species gallery and a species category, appear in the higher level category as well. These are getting me in hot water because I delete the duplicate and leave or move it to the appropriate gallery or category. For example take a look at Category:Seeds or Category:Botanical illustrations I created most of the sub galleries and sub categories but some users insist that a botanical drawing or a seed be in this category as well as the appropiate sub one. This is where I believe galleries trump categories not that there should only be galleries. WayneRay (talk) 14:19, 8 July 2008 (UTC)WayneRay
Funny you should mention the botanical drawings, since I was just thinking about that the other day. It would actually be nice if these were using a paralell category so that you wouldn't have to look through the "regular" galleries and/or categories to see if there are any (I was trying to find good drawings to illustrate how one could identify a grass (Poaceae) as a grass). Obviously a category for all botanical illustrations would be beyond useless, but if suitably broken into subcategories (by family, genus, or even species if there are large numbers of illustrations per species) it really would make it easier to navigate, and would also allow "cousin" categorizations that could go by publication, name of the illustrator, etc.). --SB_Johnny | talk 14:49, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
If the image is in the species category and species gallery it does not need to be in the genus category (from any POV on this issue). It might be helpful to have by-taxa subcategories of Category:Botanical illustrations, that would also naturally be categorised in the appropriate taxon.--Nilfanion (talk) 21:14, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
WayneRay, please direct editors that object to correction of over-categorization of images to Commons:Categories#Over-categorization, to wit, "The general rule is always place an image in the most specific categories, and not in the levels above those." If that doesn't help, you should be able to obtain assistance at COM:AN. Walter Siegmund (talk) 04:42, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I've tried to clarify the headings of the poll and tone down the language. Carol might want to review to see if her position matches either.--Nilfanion (talk) 21:14, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

I like your edit, Nilfanion. I was trying not to make the headings too wordy, but I think your version keeps it pretty concise. Thanks! --Bossi (talkgallerycontrib) 02:03, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
It is early in my day (the blurry opposite of sleep deprived) and I am thinking that there is no way to keep people from desembling categories via this discussion. -- carol (talk) 03:21, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

"Category needed" templates should stay too...[edit]

Part of the point, I thought, of saying all images should be in categories even if they're on galleries is so that bots, etc., can identify batches of images to be categorized (and thus placing them in Category:Media needing categories). I don't think the template should be interpreted as mandating the uploader to categorize, but it handy to have the images in that category so other people can categorize when they have time (I've actually had some constructive fun the last two days emptying those cats of plant images, ome of which were not in galleries but now findable to those who want to make galleries). --SB_Johnny | talk 17:47, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Resolution ?[edit]

I think that many users are still not aware about the evolving categorisation habits especially with TOL, still remove categories and delete categories. And this creates conflicts as for example Special:Contributions/Denis_Barthel. A formal resolution and communications might avoid such problems (partially). --Foroa (talk) 07:55, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

They are so aggressive and filled with belief that this aggression is justified! That is the thing that I most do not understand. I am not sure of the kind of template or user notice that would work to help them to get over it or to catch up.
It is honestly, from my own experience here, really weird to find the mostly nice users all of a sudden usurped by this old thing. -- carol (talk) 08:18, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Don't be aggressive. A lot of people drive here on an automatic pilot and are using (older) rules, very often coming from the English Wikipedia. For example, the rule that one should only create a new subcategory if the category above is too full is still used (and documented) a lot. For example, if you want to create a new country, you can only create a single cat till it is too full. Fortunately, common(s) sense and community sense wins on the (very) long run. --Foroa (talk) 08:40, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I had no idea! It doesn't make sense. An example, I just made a "Villages of" category. There was only one village but I wanted to put it into the villages for the whole country and the way to do it is by the location -- at least I think that is the way to do it. I think that anyone adding a village to it will find it easier if the category exists already and all of a sudden there are two villages there. For me, I did not know it was a village -- I think they wrote it kindly enough on the category. Now that it is there, it is obvious what it is.
The rules at English wikipedia have the assumption that the second person to add something to a higher level category will know how to manage it? I have never moved around there via categories very often. Here, it is the only way to get to places, especially if you might be unsure of the spelling.... -- carol (talk) 09:27, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Let's make it simple[edit]

Reading the talk page, i got to the following conclusions for myself about how to contribute on Commons keeping a lot of freedom :

  • You are free not to add any category to any media if you don't like it
  • You are free not to link any media to any gallery if you don't like it
  • You are free to add any relevant category to any media if you like it
  • You are free to link any media to any gallery if you like it
  • You shouln't remove any category to any media without any explanation (on the media talk page or its history page/edit summary)
  • You shouln't remove any media link from any gallery without any explanation (on the gallery talk page or its history page/edit summary)

Note: about having redondant ways (category + gallery) to find a media, i like to navigate using both and i prefer two ways to check information than only one. Guérin Nicolas (messages) 11:35, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Varieties and subspecies[edit]

I don't see any reference in the discussion to another use of galleries, which is to organize subspecies and varieties, a la Opuntia littoralis. I'm not going to be happy if some ignorant person damages that page because "the subsp. piercei images are not *quality*". Stan Shebs (talk) 14:50, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

That's exactly how I would do it and images should never be removed from gallery pages, just the category page if the need arises. I am changing my ways to fit the above discussions and correct me if I have misiturpreted some of the above comments but I will be liking species galleries to the species category if there is one or straight to the higher level category if there isn't. But you ae right about the subspecies in the species gallery, no one should be changing those at all. WayneRay (talk) 15:48, 23 July 2008 (UTC)WayneRay
What would considered to be a legitimate "need" to remove an image from a category? -- carol (talk) 17:18, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
here for one or here, where the images are already in a species category or species gallery and the clutter of duplicate images would keep growing. I know it may be nice to wade through and see something you like then go back to the species category or gallery to see the rest but it is still cluuter and the higher level Category should just have the names listed. I have changed my ways though and am leaving more and more as you and others have suggested so I thank you for that. WayneRay (talk) 21:40, 23 July 2008 (UTC)WayneRay
Categorization does not "duplicate" images; could you restate your problem with a fact? Also, could you possibly learn how to make wiki-links before having strong opinions about how it should be? I had some problem with intrawiki links myself; this occurred in the first few months of attempting to work here however. So, in summary: categorization does not duplicate images and wiki-links are somewhat easy to make while stating opinions on a wikipage, a contributor who has been involved for years -- I suggest waiting a few more years or whatever it takes to figure out how the simple markup works before doing much to disrupt the logical organization of things. -- carol (talk) 22:22, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Categorization plus galleries creates overhead and redundancy, and I am all for considering this a Very Bad Thing (as does, I believe, the Commons SOP). If you are not active at ToL, odds are you simply cannot imagine the amount of organizational cruft we have grown used to see (and loathe either way). Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 00:43, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Sorry you lost me there I guess I am retarded so I will go back to Wikipedia and work on my other projects Bye all WayneRay (talk) 02:46, 24 July 2008 (UTC)WayneRay

For the innumerable pictures of Niagara Falls, certainly it's plausible to arrange the gallery in a reader-friendly way (imho WPs and other projects should do galleries, they can handle languistic and cultural norms better), but there are all too many editors who are not scientifically literate and who won't understand that a nondescript photo of a leaf stipule might be the key to a species id, or that a photo with a landscape in the background might be evidence of a range. Stan Shebs (talk) 17:06, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
See my idea above: using two trees (one for scientifically-minded editors and one for layfolk) that interlink but not intersect would solve this. (Your examples are really good. I am one of the ppl who simply have to know what species a leaf stipule belongs to, but I am also aware that 90% of the Commons users could'n care less). Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 00:45, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
I made a subspecies gallery out of a species gallery once; it was an experiment that did not work so well. I was relieved when it was found and repaired and thanked the person who did this. The one thing that I know now from the experience is that it does not work as well as I thought it would when I made the simple trial. A second thing that I know from that experience would be that communicating about making changes has been nice. -- carol (talk) 17:18, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

You wanna see something really gross?[edit]

Check out en:Cassia (genus), section "Formerly placed here". Then check out the synonymy (and homonymy) at en:Senna obtusifolia and en:Cassia fistula#Taxonomy and en:Senna spectabilis.

This is a test case: Any solution to the dispute must be able to handle this with a mimnimum of fuss.

I do not want to push any point (not even mine) with this. It is done to present an (admittedly extreme though not really uncommon) example of the mayhem any system of Commons:ToL will have to cope with. That is, any approach to solving this dispute that is unable to deal with this is not worth pondering seriously, as it will fail anyway soon enough and the whole debate will flare up again.

At present I'd estimate that 10-20% of Commons:ToL content are in some way problematic and/or require a complex way of presenting/linking and redirecting. 5-10% absolutely need explanatory notes. Very crude estimates; It's not one-third that is problematic but if I edit much I come across really really bad cases once in 10 days or so, less extreme but still bad cases every fewe days (perhaps twice a week). Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 03:11, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

(Building the redirect system between the Cassia and Senna species was the most horrible thing I ever did on Wikipedia. I have found a good paper on hawkweeds lately, but I simply annotated it in the source code... I will not do hawkweed taxonomy stuff. It is sheer madness. Point in case: having species categories prevents us from ever getting an appealing solution for the problem of Hieracium vs Category:Hieracium (Kudos whoever did the gallery!). I would merge the page's content into the category - categories can have galleries like any other page - but retaining species categories makes the genus category redundant, ugly-loking, unnecessarily cumbersome to use and a maintenance nightmare in such genera.) Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 03:30, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

I have tried to put forth your concerns before without much success, I am afraid. I think, that in order to make this understandable for the majority of Commons users (read: those not so familiar with taxonomy) involved in this discussion, it would be helpful with a very specific example of what you perceive could be the problem in the proposed always categorize scheme and how the same problem is solved in the former prevailing "species in gallery" only scheme. -- Slaunger (talk) 09:25, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
(Thank you Slaunger. The right question at the right moment. I tried to understand, but I gave up. But I tried to play the "one minute manager" ... --Foroa (talk) 10:49, 10 August 2008 (UTC) )