Commons talk:WikiProject Tree of Life

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2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 (broken up into several subpages due to length), 2010


Angiosperms main clade uppercase or lowercase in {{Taxonavigation}} ?[edit]

Hello, User:Brya always said 'Main clades angiosperms, magnoliids, monocots, commelinids, eudicots, core eudicots, rosids, eurosids I, eurosids II, asterids, euasterids I, euasterids II should be lowercase because it is now allowed (it was not in the past for Ordo,familia...) and because APG uses lowercase'.
I verified in APGIII document, and there are only EUDICOTS and eudicots, no Eudicots.
But when I look in commons, I find both:

What do you prefer in {{Taxonavigation}}? Cheers Liné1 (talk) 22:11, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Guys, any preference ? No ? Cheers Liné1 (talk) 13:42, 21 January 2011 (UTC)


  • lowercase in {{Taxonavigation}}
    • to make it clear that this is not formal nomenclature. Hesperian 03:25, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
      • Symbol support vote.svg Support most of these taxa do in fact have formal equivalents (Eudicotyledonae etc) so it's really whether to use these ;-) (we haven't and I don't think it makes sense to start) Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 01:41, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
    • GA candidate.svg Weak support to copy APG + less change to be made. Liné1 (talk) 12:23, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
  • uppercase in {{Taxonavigation}}

Fringillidae subfamilies[edit]

"Note: The systematics of the cardueline finches are contentious. Therefore wikicommons will avoid the Fringillidae subfamilies and simply follow IOC classification 2.6 => This category should be empty"

This makes not much sense; IOC does not use subfamilies at all. Also, systematics within Carduelinae are contentious, relations between subfamilies not really that much (basically it's the question of cardueline monophyly; Fringillinae are monotypic, Euphoniinae and Drepaninae are probably monophyletic). So even though the argument has a point, this would affect "cardueline" genera (Serinus etc), not fringillid subfamilies. Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 01:41, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Species level categorization of extinct taxa[edit]

It was discussed a while ago and agreed that extinct taxa should be categorized to the genus level only. I was recently asked by user:Archaeodontosaurus about this and I think it may be time to rediscuss the topic. What are the project members opinions on categorization of extinct species? I would say that outside of a small number of Pliocene and Pleistocene species which are very well known and studied, most extinct taxa should be only categorized to the genus level. A major reason for this is the fluidity of extinct species identifications and that the species are often in flux with additions and/or lumping happening in most taxonomic papers that are published. This has resulted in a large number of the fossil specimens that are in museum collections being tagged with outdated names. Even at the genus level I find a number of images are misidentified. Opinions?--Kevmin § 20:42, 24 February 2011 (UTC) To clarify this its in regards only to extinct taxa described from the fossil record, apologies for any confusion. --Kevmin § 21:23, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

I think it depends on how extinct they are. E.g. The Yangtze River Dolphin is well known down to species level, and accordingly should have full taxinomic details. Similarly, various plants recently extinct have full taxinomic histories. These should have their descriptions to species level. Extinctions where DNA can be extracted can show to species level, e.g. Mamoths and Sabre toothed cats. I think it depends on whether they have indeed been classified to that extent. Further various species of the genus homo are well known and should be given species status. Once you get beyond that, it becomes more tricky. At a gut level, I would therefore suggest that:
If the species was fully classified before becoming extinct, it should retain its species status.- eg. the River Dolphin.
If is is already classified to species level, then this should remain. eg. the homo species.
If it is capable of more detailed classification, then it should be classified to the level it exists at already. eg mammoths.
If there is not sufficient information, then it should remain at genus level, until settled.

My own feeling is that it is easier to refine classification than to ignore it altogether. Kind regards Andrew massyn (talk) 20:39, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

I should have clarified that this was in regards only taxa described from the fossil record, rather then including recent extinctions eg after the last ice age. Im rather confused by your specification of things that are "fully classified" the problem that arises with fossil taxa is that the opinions of various researchers often differ as to how to treat fossil species (many vs few). --Kevmin § 21:23, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
Good evening everyone. I am fully aware of the problem and I agree entirely-made hunting synonyms, too many, that we find everywhere. But I especially hope that we can freely create the category that seems useful. If there is a problem we solve piecemeal. Anyway, even for the genus Homo is not complete consensus. --Archaeodontosaurus (talk) 18:41, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
I think prehistoric species should be kept within the genus cat. Recently extinct species is another matter, their taxonomic status is always more stable. FunkMonk (talk) 19:14, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
If I understand Llezs comment on Archaeodontosaurus talk page, the main reason for him creating the categories is so he can nominate images for valued image and quality image status? --Kevmin § 21:47, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

No, that's not the reason, it's a side-effect. It's also a question of practicability. As we have have genera which contain a lot of species - some more than hundred - we will get categories with a lot of pictures. These pictures are not sorted, but listed alphabetically. As not all photographers name their files in the same way, it would be very difficult, if I want to look for the pictures of a certain species. You loose the overlook. BTW: In recent species we have the same discussions about species and daily changes (I think, even more than in palaeontology). So we should instist on the genus as lowest category for the same reasons, too! But genera aren't stable at all, too. We have nearly every day a revision of a recent genus with changes. That means, genera are as variable in discussion as species. And families? The same... I think, the first relatively stable group are the orders with tousands of thousands of species. Do we really want such categories? We have good species both in palaeontology and in recent biology, we have a lot of daily change in both fields. Why to treat the one different from the other, although we have the same conditions in both (perhaps even more changes in recent species). Lets keep the good species, also per reasons of practicability, wherever they come from. --Llez (talk) 06:40, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

  • It is a very important substantive issue that affects the way we operate. It is very important to harmonize the contributions, particularly to ensure that there have not created category for synonyms. But it can not be "policing of knowledge. " Knowledge must remain free of pain dry the momentum of our work. --Archaeodontosaurus (talk) 13:32, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
It looks like there is not more imput coming in on this, so I will happily concede to the general majority for creation of Species level categories in fossil taxa. I will request that anyone who does creat the new categories please make all attempts possible to imitate the existing category structure and formatting. This means please do not just create a bare category with not information, but include the taxonavigation template, and the link templates for database entries such as The Paleobiology Database and /or World Resister of Marine Species. If you dont have the time or ability you can place a notification of categories to be fleshed out on my talk page and I will do what I can with them. Thanks!--Kevmin § 17:57, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
Okay for me. I'll have myself familiar with the syntax, but it is a useful work. In general I inform you of creation on your talk page.Thank you for Spiriferina rostrata.jpg I'll rename it when a administrator may move. Such cooperation I like very much. --Archaeodontosaurus (talk) 08:08, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm still against, but if it comes to it, one annoying thing I've noticed is the inconsistency in making categories for mono-specific genera. Sometimes the full binomial is used, and sometimes only the genus name. Then use the damn genus name. FunkMonk (talk) 19:12, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
Sorry guys, I did not understand the whole thread. Could you give us existing samples of the different possibilities ?
Best regards Liné1 (talk) 16:20, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

'geographic categories' vs 'pure endemic categories'[edit]

I am concerned by the creation of hundreds of geographic categories like Category:Flora of North-Central United States (See its content category:Flora of Michigan...).
Certain plants are present in hundreds of countries and thousands of states, do we really want to add hundred+thousand of categories to those plant categories?
On the french wikipedia we decided a long time ago to forbid such useless categories, only pure enjdemic categories are allowed.
The allowed categories must contain the word endemic in their name like fr:Catégorie:Flore endémique du Queensland (meaning Category:Flora endemic of Queensland ;-)).
Shouldn't commons do the same ?
Best regards Liné1 (talk) 12:09, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

....a clear "yes" for the 'pure endemic categories'. Orchi (talk) 13:14, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I already guessed your answer my friend. Anyone else ? Look at Category:Waltheria indica. A shame. Liné1 (talk) 14:35, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Completely agree, but when taxa are generally categorized at their level of endemism only, it is not necessary to mark the categories as such. It will only conflict with specific files sorted there (see below). Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 03:43, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I think that only categories that contain the word endemic in their name are useful. Ecozone categories would be useful but require knowledge and ability beyond the average user. Categorizing biota by political boundaries is unnatural and unhelpful, in my opinion. It may be difficult to obtain a consensus at Categories for Deletion. I remember a discussion last year.[1]
This list of prior discussions is incomplete, but provides some perspective on this matter. Please see MPF's 4 April comment at the first link below for cogent discussion of the problem with "biota of" categories. He reinforces Liné1's point above. Also, he points out that "many tropical countries have bird lists well in excess of a thousand species" making such categories not very useful.
--Walter Siegmund (talk) 16:42, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I just discovered that many of these have been created by User:CarolSpears. I am damned. Liné1 (talk) 06:05, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
National categories ARE useful and usable if a strict "area of endemism" approach is followed. Considering we have "Nature of [country]" categories rather completely done already, there is no harm done by keeping the country categories for country-endemic taxa. We'd need them anyway for the files of non-endemic taxa. E.g. if you have a fish species occurring all over Eurasia, you would place its category in "Fishes of Eurasia", but if there is a particular photo of this species taken in Sweden it would go to "Fishes of Sweden". This will help a lot in picking the correct content for Wikipedias.
That way we will keep down content in endemics-rich country categories (because if the taxon categorie is put under "[Taxon] of [country]" the files don't need to go there too) - Brazil and Indonesia particularly come to mind, but Category:Amphibians of Madagascar definitely is something to be tackled.
The tricky thing wil be the divisions. The WWF ecoregions are not bad, but they are very "botanical" (they are based on plant communities) and don't work well with other taxa.
Perhaps we could start by creating and populating the categories that are uncontroversial. I have already built a framework at Category:Birds by region which should work for most non-marine taxa (some plants, spiders etc are pantropical, but this can be added easily). Essentially, it starts with (mostly) multi-continents and breaks into progressively smaller units from there, until it reaches countries. Rather than ecoregions or similar small-scale divisions, I'd use biogeographic "regions of endemism" that are below continent but (usually) above country scale. E.g. in South America: Pantanal, Amazonia, Pampa, Andes, Atlantic Forest, Caatinga, Cerrado... (the latter three would all be in Brazil). But see Category:Animals of the Pantanal for how to deal with supernational-subcontinental categories.
Ecoregions or whatever else is to be used can be decided upon after we have sorted a lot of content in the higher-level geocategories (down to countries). Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 03:43, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
(The approach of CarolSpears was feasible back when we had little content. But nowadays, it is not going to work. But as evolution is, and considering many national boundaries follow biogeographic obstacles, I presume it is possible to have categories of workable size if higher-level taxa are also treated according to their level of endemism. E.g. Category:Birds of Hawaii is manageable and always will be because Drepanidinae and Mohoidae are placed there, but their content files are not. And this example also shows why we cannot use "endemic" in the category names. When there will be so much content of nonendemic birds photographed on the Hawaiian Islands, we'll simply create subcategories "Birds of Kaua'i" and "Birds of O'ahu" and so on to disperse, and then the Drepanidinae and Mohoidae genera/species will receive their geocategories too.
And the added benefit will be that Commons will become a sort of biogeographic encyclopedia in and by itself. I for one would find this very useful ;-) ) Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 05:24, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
So you think that Category:Waltheria indica and its 16 very easely verified geographic categories is a good thing ? Or this one with 18 cat.
How strange. Liné1 (talk) 05:54, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I guess that the mentioned species can be categorised in a higher level Biocountry category, but the problem remains how to explain that to average users and automate such regrouping. The problem remains anyway, whatever better solution we might find. --Foroa (talk) 07:26, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
To be able to regroup to a higher Biocountry category, you would need to check if the group is in all countries/states of the higher category. Which is not possible.
Again, there are a lot of species present in hundreds of countries/states without higher group. Imagine a frog present in many states of america except in 2-3 because there is too few water. What will we do?
Liné1 (talk) 08:58, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
"Biocountry" is a neologism of CarolSpears. It is unacceptable as a category name; it may have been justified back then but the "Nature of [country]" system is the one to use now as it is well established and proven to work: basically, "[Country] Biocountry" would need to be merged into "Nature of [country]", and the subcategories accordingly.Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 21:34, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I think "Category:Waltheria indica" and "Category:Hamelia patens" would get no geocategory at all, but "Category:Waltheria" would be in "Category:Pantropical plants" (the other species is a Caribbean endemic) and "Category:Hamelia" would be in "Category:Plants of the Americas".
Whereas J.M.Garg's photos of Waltheria indica would belong in "Category:Plants of India" (not "flora" because the three-kingdom system of plants, animals and rocks is... kinda obsolete...). And the Starrs' photos of W. indica would belong in "Category:Plants of Hawaii". And the H. patens photos would belong in "Category:Plants of Florida", "Category:Plants of Mexico" and (presumably) "Category:Plants of Belize" (one in each).
This is along the lines proposed by User:Slaunger in 2008, and from a biogeographic standpoint it's the only categorization that is feasible, that will not end us with images with 1000s of categories and categories with 1000s of subcategories.
Consider File:Araneus_diadematus_qtl1.jpg, this is about about as "bad" (i.e. full of categories) as it can get, and eventually we might have enough spider photos from Ahlen that "Category:Spiders of Ahlen" will replace the "Category:Ahlen" and "Category:Spiders of Germany" and "Category:Animals of North Rhine-Westphalia". ("Category:Araneus diadematus" would go into "Category:Spiders of the Holarctic". It is absent from Asia, but it is still native to both sides of the North Atlantic. So the Holarctic is the biogeographic region to which the species is endemic.)
The only part of the world that will be slightly tricky will be the area between the Wallacea and Polynesia. This is because biogeography and political science define "Oceania" very differently. Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 21:34, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Even better: Category:Aniseia martinicensis. Empty but 10 country categories. All 11 Categories created by....the same contributor. Cheers Liné1 (talk) 04:45, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Ha, I can beat that! Category:Flora of India. Be careful, this one's quite a thing! (And what's with all those images of medial marihuana from California there?) Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 13:49, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Soooooo... how about we tackle this? The first steps would be uncontroversial. For example, we could see that all "Fauna of [place]" is moved to "Animals of [place]". The Australians would object I presume, but they can simply be left aside for the time being. Their unilateralism is a problem to be tackled later, or they'll eventually adopt it themselves (they have not objected to or even themselves introduced "Fungi of Australia" which I did not dare introduce because they dissed me for proposing to change their weird category system).
While preparing the move, we can already survey the problem and remove nonendemic taxon subcategories from the "Fauna" categories.
As second step, we can start to populate Category:Animals by region, using invertebrates and fish first (which are noncontroversial too). It should work, but for fish we need to discuss suitable regionalization first (for ocean basins). But having done that, we should have a system that can be expanded for all taxa, to list any and all taxa at their level of endemism. Then we would have at most one geocategory per taxon category, while files are being handled according to the specific locality the photo etc was taken.
(NB: We cannot use "endemic" in the category names, because unlike Wikipedia, Commons has files which cannot be assigned unequivocally. E.g. the marine species of Category:Fish of South America are from offshore South America as per the source of the images, but they cannot be determined to country, and they are generally not endemic to South American waters.)
Things like how to deal with Category:Ecozones (useless for zoology) and Category:Neotropic (includes Southern Cone which by definition is not Neotropic) can be dealt with later. First, we need a proof-of-concept that a working system can be established. Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 10:57, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, Dysmorodrepanis, I really think that 'non endemic geographic categories' are a very bad idea.
So, I will let you manage the current mess.
I am already dealing with that famous contributor's other mess: taxonomy
Liné1 (talk) 11:27, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
No, I have the same opinion!
I was only pointing out that since we get files and subcategories in any "[Taxon] of [location]" category, we cannot use the word "endemic" in the category titles.
But the subcategories should all be endemic taxa only.
Check out e.g. Category:Birds of Hawaii. You will see that all the subcategories are birds endemic to Hawaii.
But you will also see a lot of photos of nonendemic taxa which where taken on Hawaii. Thus, we can't call the category "Endemic birds of Hawaii".
Because if we did, we would have to make a category "Birds of Hawaii" for files such as File:Geopelia striata Big Island Hawaii.JPG, and the "Endemic" category would only contain subcategories, no files.. But this would cause the problems we want to avoid, and thus we shouldn't do it.
In brief:
  • subcategories of "Category:[Taxon] of [location]" are only taxa endemic to [location]
  • files in "Category:[Taxon] of [location]" are only taxa not endemic to [location] but photographed or recorded there...
    • ... except those endemics which have no taxon category yet (Psittacula eques eques was endemic to Réunion, but it has no category yet, so File:P. eques.jpg is in "Birds of Réunion" until the category is made). Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 21:54, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

If that is so, we should make a template creating a small banner phrasing what you just said. Everyone must know that they are supposed to put endemic subcategories only. If you want, I could create a proposal of template. Cheers Liné1 (talk) 07:40, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

For example fr:Catégorie:Faune endémique d'Éthiopie contains a banner "Selon cette convention, cette catégorie ne doit recevoir que des taxons complètement endémiques de la zone indiquée (même si le taxon est éteint)." which can be translated in "Following this convention, this category should contain only subcategories corresponding to a taxon endemic to XXX + picture taken in XXXX".
"Following this convention" provides a link to the convention to allow contributors to find the voted text.
Cheers Liné1 (talk) 07:54, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Not sure I understand this passus "In brief:
  • subcategories of "Category:[Taxon] of [location]" are only taxa endemic to [location]
  • files in "Category:[Taxon] of [location]" are only taxa not endemic to [location] but photographed or recorded there..."
Could you give an example for the endemic subcategory name ? --Foroa (talk) 08:08, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
        • It seems like part of the problem here might be that there is not a standardized way to record where the image was taken in the metadata. If there was, then categories that relate only to where the image were taken might clearly have no purpose since that information would be available and searchable in the location metadata of the image or the GPS data of the image if more sophisticated GPS coordinates searching was available.--Davefoc (talk) 08:25, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
          • Localisation data is extracted whenever possible so that should enforce overtime a de facto standard. But this and possibly an {{endemic}} tag might lead to bots that auto-generate the endemic categories and categorisation. This could over time avoid the problem with humans having to add the right endemic area arrays. --Foroa (talk) 11:05, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
OK, another example. I have now cleaned up Category:Butterflies of Asia. You will see no files in there, because we have no photos of butterflies from an undeterminable location somewhere in Asia. If we had, they would be here.
Of course the species there are not at all a complete list of Asian butterflies. I simply took what I found already; the rest can be added by and by.
Now consider Category:Delias eucharis. This species occurs only in Asia, but it is not endemic to a particular Asian country. If it were, it would be in "Category:Butterflies of [this country]". It used to be in "Category:Butterflies of India" and "Category:Butterflies of Thailand", but with the regional category now available, these have been removed.
Then take File:Common Jezebel Delias eucharis by kadavoor.JPG. This is in "Category:Butterflies of Kerala", because it was photographed in Kerala, and we have the appropriate category. It is not in "Category:Butterflies of Asia" since we know the locality the photo was taken. And since we don't have Category:Kadavoor, it doesn't have a precise locality category yet. As soon as this category is created, it would also go there. And when we get "Category:Butterflies of Kadavoor" as a subcategory of "Category:Kadavoor" and of "Category:Butterflies of Kerala", this would replace the two (compare Category:Insects of Cologne).
For a slightly different example, consider File:Unidentified Butterfly 9357 - Doi Inthanon.jpg. This is in "Category:Butterflies of Thailand" because it was photographed there. But it is also in "Category:Animals in Doi Inthanon National Park", because we do not have a category "Butterflies of Doi Inthanon National Park" yet. But in any case, the species category (Category:Cethosia biblis) is again only in "Category:Butterflies of Asia" because it is neither native to any country outside Asia, nor endemic to any country inside Asia.
For an example explanation note, take Category:Near-cosmopolitan butterflies. I did it here because this is the most tricky category name, because species there could be completely absent from the Americas, as long as they are found in the Old World and Australia/Pacific. But I couldn't think of a better term. But in any case, Category:Vanessa cardui now has just one geocategory instead of 7, and eventually even this one category will be removed as soon as Category:Vanessa is placed in "Category:Near-cosmopolitan butterflies" (because the genus is itself found almost all over the world).
So, it's actually two simple rules: 1. categorize every taxon category at its region/country of endemism only (never more than one category), and 2. categorize every file in the most specific geocategory/geocategories that apply (these can be several - the most extreme case could be for example "Nature of [city/national park]" AND "Animals of [district]" AND "Insects of [province/state]" AND "Butterflies/Lepidoptera of [country]". But I do not think there actually are such cases (File:Swallowtail 05 06 07.jpg comes close though), and even if, this is only temporary and will improve as the more specific "[taxon] of [place]" categories are created: in the end it would ONLY be "Butterflies of [city/national park]").
In the last half-year or so I have tried this approach with a lot of birds, and it does work and it is very "clean" (the least number of categories, and the most precise categorization). Like I said, oceans are a bit tricky, but these too can be done. Following this approach, we will in the end have one geocategory at most for every file or taxon category, and still categorize everything 100% precisely! And this, I believe, is exactly what we want. Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 10:53, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Yet another interesting case: consider Limenitis arthemis.
As you can see, this species is almost endemic to North America, but one subspecies ranges into Central America. Consequently, Category:Limenitis arthemis is in Category:Butterflies of the Americas.
But Category:Limenitis arthemis arthemis and Category:Limenitis arthemis astyanax are both in Category:Butterflies of North America - they are both endemic to North America, but neither is a country-endemic.
On the other hand Category:Limenitis arthemis arizonensis has no geocategory at all, because it is found in North and Central America, and thus it would be in "Category:Butterflies of the Americas". Since the species is there already, there is no need to place the subspecies there too. (NB: the boundary between Central and North America is a bit tricky to draw and runs through Mexco. But we have worse cases - consider Turkey, or Russia, which are in Europe and Asia - and in any case I'd set the biogeographic boundary to be the same as northern limit of the Neotropics - subtropical Mexico is "North America", and tropical Mexico is "Central America") Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 11:37, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
And another example: Category:Butterflies of Australia. Australia - interesting part of the world, many endemic taxa.
You will note that all subcategories are species/genera completely endemic to Australia (I am not 100% sure about Vanessa kershawi - it is also found in New Zealand but apparently only as a vagrant, not as a resident breeding species)
You will also note that all files are species not endemic to Australia. Some of them are apparently only vagrants of Asian species. But all were photographed in Australia or painted for a faunal list of Australia, so they are indeed "butterflies of Australia".
And you will note that the category is in "by country", as well as in the "Australasia" and "Oceania" regional categories. The reason is that Australian organisms - apart from pure endemics - are usually shared with either the Wallacea (i.e. Asia), or with New Zealand and Near Polynesia (i.e. the Pacific region). Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 12:16, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

In my opinion, to keep the things simple, a good start would be to categorize only files by location (e.g country where the specimen on photo was found) and not categorize plain "Category:<species>" by location as these often consist specimens from all over the world (or range) and in subcats of "Flora of <country>" I would rather see specimens that actually are flora of this country. Where more files by the same taxon and location have accumulated, create categories like Quercus robur in Poland. 09:18, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

agree. Otherwise, wouldn't we have several 10,000 of taxa per "Nature of <country>" category? --  Docu  at 11:46, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Re: Plants & Category:Flora of... - Wikimedia has an outstanding breadth of plant categories, with the majority of species unfamiliar to most viewers. I think of it as a freestanding visual encyclopedia - beyond wikipedia sister reference - that is independently navigable/researchable without the necessity of always returning to wikipedia articles/categories to use. It is a sister project, not a dependent child one. The ideas and opinions above about animal categories are not questioned, and are supported. Re: flora categories difference, plants migrate so much more slowly than animals, even with current climate change. The plant categories are for native (but only sometimes endemic) species, not introduced or naturalized ones, if using standard flora (& en:wikipedia) criteria. Flora species categories are helped when range distribution categories are present.
For example: a wikimedia viewer researching/traveling to the Italian Alps can see an image of a plant present there, even if the current uploaded images were photographed north in the Swiss Alps (having only [cat:Genus.species] & [cat:Flora of Switzerland] i.d.), by having [cat:Flora of Italy] i.d. on the [cat:Genus.species]. This assists in understanding the ecosystem, and recognizing/identifying what is seen in situ Italia (perhaps to photograph & upload). Regarding the reference above (Dysmorodrepanis 21:34, 2 May 2011) about the Starrs' images of the plant Category:Waltheria indica growing in Hawaii, they are of an invasive species (as many of theirs taken in Hawaii are), and the [cat:Genus.species] (and perhaps Category:Invasive plant species in the United States), and not Category:Flora of Hawaii, would reflect botanists' specific use of the term flora for 'indigenous only.'
Every viewer is not proceeding (post-seeing range info @ w.pedia ) on a one at a time {commons} link to a wikimedia [cat:Flora] window. Some viewers navigate in wikimedia and link back to wikipedia only when wanting more complete information. Many plant species cat.pages have only [cat:Genus], with no 'where in the world' help for viewers. Unlike animals, cosmopolitan/pan-continental species are limited, and a range cat.clue is meaningful. Lastly, the nation/province-state flora categories are relevant for IUCN/EPA/etc. listed (often endemic) plants, their loss or protection is based on political boundary policies - not as any wiki eco-advocacy, but as an educational/visual example resource.—Look2See1 (talk) 22:30, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Your idea of giving visualization to travelers of what is's possible to find somewhere is in conflict with the main goal of categorizing images. Besides it's not clear at all that these are endemic or native categories. Also, readers who want to visualize the nature of a country are confused by loads of images in subcats that don't depict the nature of this country. The range of a species should be described in a Wikipedia article as accurately and unambiguously as needed. I don't find your idea useful nor worth messing up the logic of category system (subcats of "Nature of <country>" should consist images that depict the nature of this country). Plain species categories added into broader region categories like "Flora of Southwesters Europe" also seem kind of spammy and not so useful and again subcats of a region may consist images depicting nature of other regions that way. 09:39, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Look2See1; If your suggestion is to change the scope of Commons, that is better proposed and discussed at Commons talk:Project scope: "Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to all. It acts as a common repository for the various projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, but you do not need to belong to one of those projects to use media hosted here." If not, please explain how your proposal is consistent with the scope as written. I don't understand what you mean by "[cat:Genus.species] & [cat:Flora of Switzerland] i.d.), by having [cat:Flora of Italy] i.d. on the [cat:Genus.species]" Are you invoking the Cat Scan tool that finds 13 files?[2] Thank you, Walter Siegmund (talk) 19:34, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Look2See1; I think articles like en:List of plants of Atlantic Forest vegetation of Brazil would be useful and may serve the researcher/traveler that you posit above. I'd like to see more articles of that sort illustrated with images from Commons. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 20:11, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Walter Siegmund, thank you for the clarifying questions and responses. I have zero thoughts or suggestions to change the scope of Commons, but do want to clearly understand what it precisely is. It seems, by your clarification, thinking of it as a stand-alone visual encyclopedia project, that also supports international Wikipedias, is larger than its intended scope. Is the Project's educational scope not as a stand-alone research resource? If that is correct, my responses to your other questions and the topic are needlessly 'out of scope.'
I did create the en:List of plants of the Sierra Nevada (U.S.), to avoid over-categorization of every article on species present there, and define the range's different habitats. Needs illustration with images from Commons. The en:List of plants of Atlantic Forest vegetation of Brazil and other Brazilian ecoregion plant lists are excellent and a good idea/model to create other (illustrated) biogeography/phytogeography/political division list articles, especially if this project's scope is limited to visual support.—Look2See1 (talk) 22:26, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Uppercase vs. lowercase species sort keys[edit]

You certainly remember that we voted here for 'lowercase species sort keys' (I was the last one to vote for ;-)).
But you certainly saw that during last wikimedia upgrade, the sortkeys are now all displayed uppercase (Look in Category:Ruspolia, Category:Ruspolia hypocrateriformis is sorted under H even if it contains [[Category:Ruspolia|hypocrateriformis]]).
Should we conplain about this behavior ? Who are we to complain to ?
Cheers Liné1 (talk) 13:10, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

We'd have a better argument if we can find an example wherein entries that shouldn't be commingled are now lumped together. We might submit a bug report.--Walter Siegmund (talk) 16:56, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
There are probably few such cases; usually this should be prevented by piping (let's asume we have "Ruspolia sepals" which could go under "S" but better is piped to "*" or " " to appear before any and all species subcategories, like e.g. in Category:Lepidoptera).
But the point can be made that within COM:TOL, lowercase sort keys will always be reserved for species and should be treated as distinct, because they will constitute a group of subcategories that should appear as one continuous "block" after any and all "topical" subcategories no matter what. And this is only achieved by a) piping lowercase and b) treating lowercase pipping as distinct from uppercase piping. Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 04:41, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Orchi, could you help me find a sample of category where there are uppercase species subcategories that should not be mixed with uppercase geographic subcategories? Cheers Liné1 (talk) 06:00, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Liné1, do you mean this: (Distribution) in Category:Cyclamen or sorting like this: Category:Cyclamen persicum?. Orchi (talk)
Solvable by piping with "•" (though I'd rather use "*" to appear at the start of the list, and use "!" for the unidentifieds). But even then, maintenance would be easier if uppercase and lowercase are treated as distinct. Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 21:37, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
There seems to be a new fashion for " " sort key. Liné1 (talk) 15:02, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Comments wanted on gallery to category redirects[edit]

I have been having debate on my talkpage regarding the redirection of galleries to categories, and more view points are needed.--Kevmin § 07:53, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

From how I read it, I think having galleries with basically the same content as the category is redundant. FunkMonk (talk) 08:48, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Galleries are never redundant. Aside from showcasing the best images from a category, a gallery is handy as it allows for extended file descriptions/comments which can be updated by bots. The Valued Images project e.g., automatically labels new VI's in the galleries concerned. These actions are not possible in a category. Categories and galleries serve different purposes and have equal right of existence IMO. Hans 09:47, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Here is the list of the galleries which are in question.
All have taxonomy errors/omissions in the taxonavigation, and nearly half are incorrect/misspelled names.--Kevmin § 15:41, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Those can easily be updated/deleted/recreated as necessary... Or am I missing something? Cheers. Hans 14:25, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
Most of the galleries I see are:
  • duplication of their category
  • outdated (the contributors mainly update categories)
  • not showing the best images (just a subset)
  • not providing additional info to images
Except in botanic:
  • where species galleries separate <gallery> for the different subsp. or var.
Except for birds:
So from my point of view, the bad galleries could be transformed in redirect to their categories.
Liné1 (talk) 15:00, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Redirecting galleries to categories means they will probably not be recreated as galleries. It will just confuse new editors. Much better to leave them as galleries and add a tag saying "needs fixing" (with perhaps a few hints on what needs fixing) and a suggestion to see the category meantime. --Tony Wills (talk) 11:38, 7 May 2012 (UTC)


Is my gallery page size useful?[edit]

I thought about the question, wich kind of gallery page may be useful in higher taxon pages. The result of my thoughts is the following: My bird galleries, Examples for such gallery pages are Fringillidae, Paridae, Corvus (genus), Cyanistes.

After this diskussion I suspect, that I made up too big gallery pages. The other way round I think a gallery page like this, only containing less than 20 photos is not worth looking on it and I never would work on such in my eyes useless gallery pages.

Therefore I would like to know if my kind of gallery is OK for you or if I am the only one who likes my kind of gallery page. --Kersti (talk) 15:03, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

I must admit, I find the higher taxon galleries superfluous; navigation is easier by category, and these galleries often go unedited for long periods and miss out on the taxonomic updating from the regular IOC updates. If you are looking for 'something to do', there are still numerous species galleries (e.g. Strix aluco) lacking the very important taxonavigation template, and (even more) species galleries which only have a very poor selection of images in at all. Looking at your gallery ideas, I would add that the most important images to add to galleries are large, high-resolution photos of birds in their native environment, they should be given preference over low resolution photos and photos of captive birds. An example of a gallery bad before editing, now much better. - MPF (talk) 21:56, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Same as MPF. I don't like higher taxon galleries. They are mainly outdated (except for yours ;-)). Liné1 (talk) 14:54, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Most "higher taxon galleries" are useless as they are no galleries (no picture visible) and therefore the category does the same job as good as this page does. The galleries I make contain if possible at least one photo per species showing the bird from the side and if there are only few species eggs, nests, flight, young animals are shown too - they give the possibility to see all species of a family together on one page. Galleries are not mainly about navigating, they are mainly about looking on pictures. In a way, that someone could learn something by using the page.

In most cases I don't like species galleries, as there are not enough pictures, that they make sense. Looking on the category page is better than, as all pictures are visible there. Therefore I changed not very much species galleries (Exemtion for examle Anas platyrhynchos, Chroicocephalus ridibundus). I think they start to be useful when there are lots of subcategories, and the species with lots of subcategories in their category page usually are maintained at least a bit, so that I think, it is ok, to leave the work to others.

Kersti (talk) 13:17, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

"Therefore I changed not very much species galleries (Exemtion for examle Anas platyrhynchos, Chroicocephalus ridibundus)" - it is a good idea to add locations of photos included in galleries. This assists with understanding any regional variation. If the photos don't have a location specified, then maybe they aren't worth putting in the gallery ... - MPF (talk) 16:27, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Kersti_Nebelsiek idea 1: avoid duplication[edit]

Kersti_Nebelsiek is currently implementing a new idea to avoid duplication in speciesCategories / speciesArticles / familyArticles.
As his idea is interesting + modifies a lot the way categories/articles are created + he is modifying a lot of categories/articles, let me present it to you through an example:

Nb Modification Code
1 In Category:Acanthisitta chloris he puts the categories in <noinclude></noinclude> to transform Category:Acanthisitta chloris into a template. <noinclude>[[Category:Acanthisitta|chloris]]</noinclude>
2 In Acanthisitta chloris he includes the previous category {{:Category:Acanthisitta chloris}}
3 In Acanthisitta chloris he puts the <gallery> in <noinclude></noinclude> to transform the article in a template. <onlyinclude><gallery>...</gallery></onlyinclude>
4 In Acanthisittidae he includes Acanthisitta chloris for its species gallery. {{:Acanthisitta chloris}}

What do you think of his idea ? What will be the impacts on bots ?

This one is definitely a bad idea, and should not be used. It blocks automated image access by outside users of Commons content like the Encyclopedia of Life, and is thus contrary to the basic Commons principle of free use for all under the Creative Commons licenses. Please undo all such examples and return them to pre-existing taxonavigation formats. - MPF (talk) 10:09, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Could you explain us in detail ? Because Acanthisitta chloris still has a {{Taxonavigation}}. Liné1 (talk) 11:08, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Not embedded within the page itself (you can't see it here), only linked in through the template. As a result, the Commons images are missing from on the species' EOL page. - MPF (talk) 12:00, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
So the {{Taxonavigation}} needs to be called directly from the article for eol to work properly. What about articles using {{Coleoptera}}? Liné1 (talk) 15:08, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it does. I checked a page (Lucanus cervus) using {{Coleoptera}}, and its contents also do not appear at EOL (Lucanus cervus) - MPF (talk) 16:37, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Then eol has to change their way they access commons. - The header information in the bird gallery pages is not maintained, but the information in the category pages is maintained. I don't want to do this part of the work, and therefore the maintained header is includet in the gallery pages. Including gallery pages in the higer taxon is not used that often, as in most cases they would contain too much images. Therefore it is possible to copy and paste it in this cases every time it is changed. Kersti (talk) 09:58, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

"Then eol has to change their way they access commons" Why should they be forced to rearrange everything to suit your whims? It would be a lot easier to return the small number of your-style Commons galleries back to the pre-existing standard which is harvestable for EOL. - MPF (talk) 10:33, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
You forget about the {{Coleoptera}} and {{Lepidoptera}} articles.
Personaly I think that EOL should access speciesArticles AND speciesCategory. I don't see why they limited themself to speciesArticles. Currently they must find 5 to 10% of our images.
I will run my bot to have statistics on speciesCategories and speciesArticles. Liné1 (talk) 10:44, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

There are some problems: Te preexisting gallery pages didn't contain pictures and their header was simply wrong - there is nothing to return to, eol could make use of! And I simply will not do the work, to maintain headers which are already maintained in the category page. Sorry, I hate this kind of work and it is already too much for me, to do it once whenever I notice faults or category pages missing this information! 2. there are the {{Coleoptera}} and {{Lepidoptera}} Articles. The eol way to harvest commons is not useful at all, as they don't find most of the pictures, as nobody does the work to put them all in galleries. What is the use of a system like theirs? --Kersti (talk) 12:27, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

I asked them a while back why they didn't harvest from categories; it is not feasible, as there is no link from the category to the images contained in the category, only the other way round. - MPF (talk) 22:25, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
I understand, that this is a problem, when they work the way they do now - but I think as I can see the pictures in the gallery they simply must have a better Idea for harvesting tho find the pictures in Commons. --Kersti (talk) 12:16, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't see why they cannot list images in categories. Or maybe they can only see the first images and don't want to simulate a next. I think that they should have used wikipedia bot library. Liné1 (talk) 12:28, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

I changed only a few species galleries, as they are not my main interest. Kersti (talk) 12:39, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

  • I haven't analysed exactly what these changes are, but it sounds like ideas that have been discussed before. If the aim is to avoid maintenance of duplicate descriptions and interwiki links, then I agree that it is sensible to do so. But I think for maintainability it is best not to use the category or gallery as as pseudo template for this information - that approach means that all maintaners of the gallery/category (including bots) have to know exactly what they are doing, and not stuff up the include/noinclude sections. A much cleaner solution is to have a subpage (probably of the category) that is the template. That template is then transcluded into the category and gallery descriptions. The worst damage that maintainers can then do is accidentally not include it, instead of accidentally causing the whole gallery or category to be transcluded. I'm not sure what the effect of having interwikis in subpages would be though. --Tony Wills (talk) 00:37, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Kersti_Nebelsiek idea 2: template for langage[edit]

If you look at Category:Species name templates you will see a lot of templates.
Kersti_Nebelsiek wants to create one template per taxon in commons to have a centralized translation system for species vernaculare name.

As his idea is interesting + modifies a lot the way categories/articles are created + he is modifying a lot of categories/articles, let me present it to you through an example:

Call using {{Acanthisitta chloris}} Result
{{Acanthisitta chloris|short}} Rifleman
{{Acanthisitta chloris|medium}} Rifleman  (Acanthisitta chloris, cat.)
{{Acanthisitta chloris|medium|comment}} Rifleman  (Acanthisitta chloris, cat.)
Picture: comment
{{Acanthisitta chloris|long}}
(Note: no wikidata item is associated with this commons_talk)
{{Acanthisitta chloris|flight}} Rifleman (Acanthisitta chloris, cat.) in flight (cat.)

What do you think of his idea ? What will be the impacts on bots ?

See also: longer description here

...I think, Kersti_Nebelsiek is very busy, but I'm afraid the manual updating of these templates will be a problem. Orchi (talk) 18:19, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm also afraid that one template per species just for the vernacular name is a bit too much. Liné1 (talk) 20:25, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
An interesting idea, and it does have benefits in making Commons more user-language friendly. But it badly fails the KISS principle, making changes very difficult particularly for beginner users (but also even for long-established editors who are not computer programming geeks, like myself). Keeping pages up-to-date with e.g. any taxonomic or vernacular name changes from IOC is going to be less easy. - MPF (talk) 10:18, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Orchi, Liné1 and MPF. I wonder if it is in COM:SCOPE. It seems to me to go well beyond simply listing vernacular names within a template on the file page. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 18:29, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Commons galleries concerning higher taxa start to be interesting for People who don't have a special interest in Science itself, when the vernicular names of birds are given. Same in a image description page. For people who know a bit English, for most uses an English description page is OK, but the vernicular name has to be in their own language, as they want to know this name about the bird. It it impossible for us, to write in every description page 15 or more translations of a bird name, but it is possible, to make up a template for each bird species with 15 or more translations and add it to each image description page concerning this bird.
When you look in Category:Myiothlypis nigrocristata you see, that there an edit-link is given and therefore People will find the place to add additional translations. To maintain the translations htere is the same work as maintainig it on den Category page itself, but every new translations will be used on much more pages without additional work. --Kersti (talk) 08:13, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I agree that images should have multilingual descriptions, for animals part of that is having the animals name in different languages. But having this done in a template is not really a solution because the search function does not appear to find these translated descriptions. eg searching for "New Zealand Rockwren" (including the " quotes) does not find File:Bullers_wrens.jpg (searching without quotes does find it, but only because those words exist in other parts of the description, my point is that search does not find the description returned by the template). I also wonder if all these templates are just replicating the work done by adding common names to wikispecies entries. I think I would much prefer seeing a bot that just looked up wikispecies to update file descriptions, rather than creating a monolithic structure of templates that has to be maintained in parallel (and the two will inevitably get out of sync).
  • I also wonder how this approach fits in with the separate {{en|...}},{{de|...}} descriptions that is the standard for all other images on Commons (although many images don't have these multilingual descriptions, that is the goal). Do we intend to just have one of these CommonName templates per image description, and not have the common name mentioned in the {{en|...}},{{de|...}} descriptions, or include the template in each language description?
  • There is also a further detail that for many creatures there is more than one Common name that users will be searching for. eg for English language users the same animal often has different names in different English speaking countries. So the English language description needs to include many common names to be useful. --Tony Wills (talk) 00:24, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
First, the description ist to describe the picture. And I want to know what the animal is doing and other details I can't see in looking on the picture. This part of the description would be good enough for me, if it is in english or french, even dansk or italian I would understand good enough in many cases. Than I want to know the scientific name and the vernacular name in my own language.
The description has two purposes. One is to assist in finding the image you want when using the search function (this is where a description in your own language helps) eg Green Gurblebeast flying upside-down. Another is to tell you more about the image that may not be obvious eg Taken during Augustfeast in the winter of 1897, in the lowland forest east of Strudletown by a famous Gurblebeast expert to highlight the plight of this endangered animal.. We are not just catering for people who know more than one language, we should be striving to have the full descriptions in all languages. In many ways the vernacular names in each language are unimportant except when searching for the image - you probably already know the vernacular name as that's probably what you searched for. Not having those vernacular names as searchable text is a backward step. --Tony Wills (talk) 05:25, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Therefore the {{en|...}},{{de|...}} descriptions are to describe the details of the picture not everyone would know in looking on the picture (and to clarify the details, the scientific name has to be mentioned there again in many cases) and the template is to tell me the name of the bird in my language.
see reply above --Tony Wills (talk) 05:25, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
I think the template should only mention one common name - more are too long - additional common names may be listed on the category page of the species.
Well it doesn't matter at present because the search function doesn't find the contents of this template. But if it did, then more than one vernacullar name in a language should be catered for - people look for images using the vernacular name that they know, they do not know which of Kelp Gull, Dominican Gull, Southern Black-backed Gull that Commons has chosen to use. --Tony Wills (talk) 09:26, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
If you want to find the templates by default, simply change your preferences accordingly.
?? I don't want to find the templates at all. --Tony Wills (talk) 05:25, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
But that the search doesn't show these results is really a problem. It is not a big problem, because people will find common birds anyway, and people searching for birds, that are not common will try the scientific name too, but it is a problem.
Yes, really a big problem if it is used to replace already existing text. --Tony Wills (talk) 05:25, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
I will search for a solution as I think the templates are needet. --Kersti (talk) 09:42, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
I am not sure they are needed to the degree you think, all that info should be on the category page, that should be the first aim. --Tony Wills (talk) 05:25, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't understand the answer. The info is on the category page, when the templates are addet and in most cases there is not replaced much preexisting text by the template. Nevertheless I think search should find the bird galleries by the vernicular names too. And it is not enough, if this information is only on the category page, I would need it on the family gallery pages too. --Kersti (talk) 11:57, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Personnally, I am worried by the amount of templates (100K ?) + by the fact that it will reserve all the template name.
You certainly know that in the past we needed {{Aves}}, {{Mammalia}}... In the future they would all be used ??? Liné1 (talk) 06:43, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Du you have a better use for templates with Scientific names of birds? --Kersti (talk) 10:24, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Have you read all the comments I added above? Do you only intend to do this for birds? I think we should have a discussion on Village Pump or other widely read forums before creating so many templates. I am not sure of the system performance implications of creating so many templates (with so many they probably can not all be cached, so each time a bird page is accessed by someone a template needs to be loaded). There are perhaps better ways of doing this, and it would be best to get more experienced eyes to look at this before making such a large number of templates. --Tony Wills (talk) 12:35, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
I have read them all, but I was so angry about the way you answered, that I decided to delete what I wrote in return.
In looking on your contributions, I think you can't imagine which problems people, who are not good in english, have, when they look on commons. If a file is described in two languages, usually englisch is one of them.
A solution would be to make redirets from the foreign names to each page, but this is very much work.
--Kersti (talk) 08:47, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
I am sorry my reply made you angry :-(. You are doing a lot of work and I can understand your frustration. But that is part of my caution, this template scheme is a huge amount of work and I am far from sure that it is the best way.
I try to imagine the problems of other language users, and of course come across images with no English description and have often visited other language wikis and know what it is like to try and understand using automated translators. I do constantly advocate the need to support all languages.
The templates do work well in a limited sense. I have tried looking at images while logged out and with preferences set to other languages to see how they work. And they are certainly an improvement for where there are no appropriate language descriptions. I am not so sure about how much of an improvement they are over simply having each image having the first item in the description as the scientific name, and that wikilinked to the corresponding category. The category of course then needs to have all the translations and vernacular names.
The reason I say 'limited sense' is that the resulting translations from these templates are probably never going to come up in search results. I do not think that this is a temporary problem, but a fundamental one due to the nature of templates, and what the search routines would have to do to search the template-expanded text. As category names and gallery names are only in a single language (normally English, or Latin) those are areas that really need translations available. But if those translations are never going to be found by search functions then they are of limited use. We could "Subst:" some version of the templates, which would work well, but we would need to re-"subst:" the template each time a new translation was added (a job for a bot).
  • So don't get me wrong, I think we have the same aims. I don't think we have the same faith that this is the solution though :-) --Tony Wills (talk) 12:21, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
I think, my anger was primarily due to "pre holiday disease" - people with this disease are always in stress, get angry about minor issues and so on. ;-)
I had planned to make up some species name temlates and gallery pages before the holidays to have something to show in this dicussion and start here a diskussion about the issue now, when I am back. Unfortunately Liné1 startet it before the holidays, in a time I hadn't much time and was unnerved all the time. --Kersti (talk) 10:03, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Ok an experiment. I have made Category:Xenicus gilviventris into the template. So you keep all the info, translations/vernacular names taxo trees and interwiki links all in one place - this is the place to edit all those things at once. Then the category is used as a template to transclude this info into the gallery and potentially other places like file page descriptions (calling parameters 1= etc still would work). Only thing that doesn't work is the "edit translations" link as that only allows the file to be in template: space. Now the search facility should find the category page in any language. Comments? --Tony Wills (talk) 13:30, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Comment: Can you simplify the task for me? It is a bad idea to create hundreds of templates, it is a better idea to make use of parameters. -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 14:23, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Things can and should certainly be done to make bio-pics descriptions better and more internationalized. I had a try at it myself, for instance here. Clearly vast amount of Wikipedia/Wikisources could be tapped. However, the current Wiki software is far from ideal for the task and any immediatley implementable solution would be massive redundancy with other Wiki projets. m:Wikidata is about to bring about major changes in the way information is organised and I would suggest to wait until we can use it. I should provide a much cleaner solution to the issue at hand. It probably means waiting for a year or so but I think it is worth it (I do not much like the current unstructured way of doing things but keeping it for a while will not make that much of a difference)--Zolo (talk) 07:10, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Looks good :-). But I see that involves setting up a page under Taxon: for each. I agree that both that and the User:Kersti_Nebelsiek approach would be repeating a massive amount of material already created elsewhere. One of the main reasons I see for bothering to repeat the vernacular info on pages here is so that people searching for material, using their own language, can find something useful. If it doesn't help in searching for material then we might as well just link to the wikispecies/wikipedia material. The trouble is that with both approaches (transcluding the material) don't help when searching (transcluded material isn't found by the search function). --Tony Wills (talk) 10:36, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
== Proposal ==
  • I would really like to see the vernacular name translations included in all category and gallery pages, mainly so that they will be found when searching for images in ones own language. But the translations need to be included directly on the category/gallery page - either as straight textual content, or as parameters to a formatting template such as {{VN}}. If they are transcluded through a separate template, search will find the template, but not places where it is transcluded (eg the category/gallery page).
  • I would tend not to include the data into every image as it seems excessively repetitive and only marginally useful (it would not help the image being found by search) and the full set of vernacular names is only one click away (eg clicking on the category). I would continue to make the first line of the description the scientific name, with a link, eg:
Megalaima viridis
தமிழ்: குக்குறுவான் பறவையின் பதப்படுத்தப்பெற்ற உடலம்
English: A closeup of a taxidermied White-cheeked Barbet bird
and encourage full multilingual descriptions (that don't actually need to be translations of each other, eg the image may have different significance for different cultures).
(I also think that first line with the link to the category could be preceded by a multi-lingual template to translate the word 'category' and make it obvious that it links to further info and images.)
  • So I propose doing something like Category:Xenicus gilviventris for each category, just the vernacular names to help searching and links to wikimedia/wikispecies for more information. --Tony Wills (talk) 10:36, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
It sounds reasaonable, except that I would suggest to use a {{taxon|Megalaima viridis}} syntax rather than ''[[:Category:Megalaima viridis|Megalaima viridis]]'' even if template:Taxon does nothing else than adding italics and a link to the category. The impact on search results should be the same, and it would be a simple way to enhance machine readability. Bots should be easily able to identify "Megalaima viridis" as a taxon name. In the future, it should make it easy to take advantage of Wikidata, for automatic internationalization of the vernacular name or whatever.
Note: I suggest the name "Taxon" because it sounds like the most natural one, but it means getting rid of the current {{taxon}} first.--Zolo (talk) 12:37, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that makes sense to me. {{taxon}} could be made to return something like
Category:Megalaima viridis or
Kategorie:Megalaima viridis etc.
Or even be an alias for an existing autotranslate template eg {{Cat see also}} -
There is the same category at the bottom of the page, but it may be hidden amoungst a bunch of other categories and it may not be obvious which is that first place to look. --Tony Wills (talk) 21:39, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
I think I would prefer a simple link, as it would be easier to use everywhere without cluttering the description. For instance {{Specimen}} (used here) could call {{taxon}} if it only adds a link, but not if it adds more text.
The annoying thing with links is that we never know where they lead (category, gallery, wikipedia...), but if category pages are well done, it should not be that much of a problem as it should be easy to go from category to galleries or Wikipedia.--Zolo (talk) 07:46, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
I have retired {{Taxon}} and created a new one with only category name and introduced it in {{Specimen}} (usage). Is that okay ?--Zolo (talk) 13:16, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
So I would propose as an informal guideline: use {{Specimen}} (calline {{taxon}} when one species is clearly the main focus of the image. Use {{Taxon}} before the multilingual description otherwise. --Zolo (talk) 13:58, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Certainly not. That template messes with all optional parameters of the information template and would render all the links and templates on my 2000+ images useless (compare [3] with [4]: both licenses, attribution and categories).  B.p. 23:49, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Oops I had inadvertently removed the "other fields" parameter. It should be fixed now. Are there other problems with the template ? One of its main points is that it is easily expandable if we need any other field. --Zolo (talk) 06:16, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

While hiking from Immenhausen to Gemünden the last 3 weeks, I was thinking about the problem and now think, that a new namespace which may be called "names" will be a solution for almost all problems.

There are two kinds of internationalisation templates - Templates which give formal information like Template:VN/title used in Template:VN and Template:VNIncluded and templates wich could help to find relevant categories like Template:Hamburg, and the taxon name templates. The namespace "names" should be used for Internationationalisation templates, which should be searchable like the taxon name templates. Additional to the taxon name templates themselves, templates for big towns or countries like Template:Hamburg (Hamburg) - See Category:Multilingual tags: Locations may be changed using a template similar to Template:VNIncluded and migrated there.

  • Using the syntax {{:names:Taxon name}} it could be used as template
  • A whole namespace could easily be included in the default search preferences, therefore it would be found with the search.
  • As all these templates should have a corresponding category, it is shure, that the template name is free in this namespace.
  • In the templates a link to the corresponding category and gallery pages could be included, like it is already done now in the taxon name templates.
  • Maybe we will find a technical solution to automatical redirect all search results in this namespace to the corresponding category later

--Kersti (talk) 07:51, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

To me a "name" with pages similar to Category:Multilingual tags: Locations would certainly be better than the current situation, and it would probably be rather straightforward to have a bot populating it. However Meta:Wikidata plans to have something similar plans to take create machine-readable data for all Wikipedia articles, including a "label" that seems to be the translation of the name in as many languages as possible. This would be technically much better, more likely to be well maintained, and usable on Commons. I do not know when it will be effectively usable, but apparently sometime in late 2012. This is not very soon but not so late either. I am not sure it makes sense to create a new namespace with thousands of pages, given that it should be obsolete in a few months. --Zolo (talk) 10:29, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
The main question ist: will it show up in the search results? If yes, It would be a wonderful solution and it could be used in here and in wikispecies. --Kersti (talk) 10:39, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I think there are some plans to supplement search results with Wiki searches with Wikidata, but I do not know about the details (actually I am not sure that anyone does at this point). I think that what we want is: enter search results in native languages and find all relevant results ? To me, it would be best to get the relevant category (some would say gallery) as first result. If this is not possible to use Wikidata directly for that, we could still get similar it by running a bot to hardcode Wikidata labels into Commons category - that is if Wikidata contains <entry: Fox; label-de: Fuchs; label-en:Fox;>, it could add something like {{LangSwitch|de=Fuchs|en=Fox}} to Category:Foxes. --Zolo (talk) 11:33, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Than it schould use VN and provide an editlink to Wikidata. But as long as a bot is maintaining this automatically, it will be OK. Kersti (talk) 14:10, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Fossil categories[edit]

For some reason the convention for images of fossils have become for example "fossil Dilophosaurus"[5], instead of simply "Dilophosaurus fossils". I'm not sure what the rationale for this is, I think the latter is more well formed, and it is also much easier to replace categories with hotcat, because you don't have to write a lot of stuff before a category turns up. Any thoughts? FunkMonk (talk) 14:04, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Same problem with for example "unidentified fossils of Reptilia", instead of simply "unidentified Reptilia fossils" or some such. FunkMonk (talk) 14:06, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree, conceptually taxa or organisms can't be fossils. The rationale question is resolved by the taphonomy: Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of extinct organisms, while taxa are categories for the classification of all organisms (living and extinct), and organisms are living beings (now or in the past). Specialists often use "fossil taxon", but it is a conceptual impropriety. The extinct taxa or organisms of the past may not be fossils, they are not its own remains or traces. In other words, fossil is not a state that follows the extinction or death; making an analogy, we dont' talk about "the corpse Walt Disney" because he is dead, we talk about "the late Walt Disney". Then, for pictures of fossils should use "Dilophosaurus fossils" (as remains of Dilophosaurus) no "fossil Dilophosaurus" (as Dilophosaurus that are fossils). (Only exception may be ichnotaxa) --PePeEfe (talk) 10:53, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
I suspect the creator of the original fossil categories did not have English as his first language. Luckily, Abyssal has begun moving categories. FunkMonk (talk) 11:11, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Not necessarily, in Spanish I have the same problem, many scholars mixed concepts of fossil and taxon. Thanks to Abyssal, which will have a huge work. Regards, --PePeEfe (talk) 11:34, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

{{Category redirect}} improvments[edit]

Hello my friends,
I added a new parameter |reason= to {{Category redirect}}
This to allow contributors to explain/justify the redirect.

If you look at {{Category redirect}} you will see that I created 3 templates that uses {{Category redirect}} but provide an automatic and translated reason for the 3 main cases in biology:

The last one can be complemented by a {{Single}} on the destination page.
Of course, all these template take usual biology parameters: source, source2, ref, accessdate.
Cheers Liné1 (talk) 11:08, 17 October 2012 (UTC)


We could use help of knowledgeable people at Commons:Bots/Work_requests#Move_images_to_specific_scientific_category_from_Category:Photos_by_Jason_Hollinger_.28uncategorized.29 --Jarekt (talk) 15:42, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Collaboration with Project Noah?[edit]

Hi, I've quite often stumbled over "Project Noah" (, and always asked myself, why there is no collaboration between Wikipedia and Project Noah. Since they are trying to document/photograph as many life-forms as possible, and Wikipedia is basically doing the same, only more in written form, it seems only logical to share information. So I wrote an email to project Noah and indeed they would in general be interested to collaborate:

 Hi Simon,
 we would be excited to collaborate with Wikipedia & are happy to share data
 & photographs from Project Noah on the basis that both the photographer and are attributed.
 If you are involved with Wiki & could broker an introduction for us that
 would be appreciated.
 Kind regards
 Karen Loughrey

My question now is, if Wikipedia indeed is interested in such a collaboration (and if it's possible under the terms that Karen stated?) or is it just me thinking that's a good idea? And who would actually be the decision maker for such things here in Wikipedia? Cheers --Rockwurm (talk) 08:03, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Hi, we are here in Commons, not Wikipedia, and policies are rather different :) Commons just uploads images and their associated metadata, and it is fairly liberal in what it is willing to import. Project noah images seem nice - though it would be even better if you could get higher-resolution versions that those publically available.
I am not sure about the license though. The suggested terms of use are pretty much in line with commonly used licenses like Cc-by-3.0, but those license are irrevocable, and photographer will no longer have the right to delete their images. U am not sure Noah is in position to accept that without the written content of its users. At least, that does not really seem to fit with its terms of use: "By contributing to the site, you are granting us a non-exclusive license to use your content. Your content will always remain yours and you can delete it at any time. Back-up copies may remain in our databases for quite some time, but will not be accessible to the public." If you can see about that, we can then work out the technical details and request a batch upload. --Zolo (talk) 08:59, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick answer :)

I wrote Project Noah with the new info in mind, asking if it would be possible for them to let their users decide whether or not they want to publish their pictures under commons. Let's wait and see...--Rockwurm (talk) 14:54, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes if their images were distributed under compatible license than we could copy them here. At the same time, they can copy any of the images from here to there, as long as they retain proper license, attribution and linking (we can help there). --Jarekt (talk) 15:29, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

I received answer from Project Noah. They decided that they would not be able to provide a platform for uploads to Wikimedia. BUT they would very much like to recommend to their users to also upload their pictures on Wikimedia. And for this they are asking for a "short list of what a Project Noah user would need to do in order to submit their photo to Wikipedia and we can share that with our users. In fact, it would make for a great feature for the Project Noah blog." So my question is, is there a step-by-step guidance for uploading files to Wikimedia that I can forward to Project Noah?! Cheers,--Rockwurm (talk) 03:56, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

I think the current version of the Upload wizard is the clearest thing we have, and is the default import page for English users for some reason, it does not seem to be the case in German). Commons:Commonist may also be of use for those who wish to import many files at once, but I think new users should have a first try with the Upload wizard first.
The main pitfall is copyright issues. That should be a major problem for self-made natural life photos, but if there are questions, they can always ask at the Village Pump. --Zolo (talk) 06:22, 16 April 2013 (UTC)


Category:Asclepiadaceae has been reclassified as subfamily of Apocynaceae---[edit]

...please fix the subcats out. See en:Asclepiadoideae for info. --Pitke (talk) 20:14, 25 April 2013 (UTC)


There are four tomato-related categories which I suspect could be consolidated into two categories:

Am I right in concluding that Solanum lycopersicum var. lycopersicum and Tomatoes of the United States should be converted into redirects? 01:02, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes, merge the first two, under the first name. Pics of harvested fruit (I see there are some in the cat.) should be moved to Category:Tomatoes or subcats thereof. - MPF (talk) 19:30, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
The second two should remain separate, with plants in Category:Solanum lycopersicum in the United States, and harvested fruit in Category:Tomatoes of the United States; they should be categorised under Category:Solanum lycopersicum by country and Category:Tomatoes, respectively. Borderline cases: foliage and fruit together -> Category:Solanum lycopersicum in the United States, fruit on stems but without leaves -> Category:Tomatoes of the United States. Hope this helps! - MPF (talk) 19:30, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Done - MPF (talk) 20:34, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

11,000 unsorted biology images at Category:Uploaded by Amada44 (unsorted)[edit]

There is a treasure trove (11,000+) of unsorted but well labeled images at Category:Uploaded by Amada44 (unsorted), which appears dominated by photos of insects, plants, and vertebrates. I've been chipping away at it using Cat-a-lot, (moving images out of the unsorted category and into a genus or species category) and any additional help would be welcome. Due to the shear number of files, perhaps a bot-assisted move could be implemented, since species names are in many cases present in the file name, but I'm less knowledgeable about bot-requests. Cheers! Animalparty (talk) 18:56, 12 March 2015 (UTC)