Commons talk:WikiProject Tree of Life/Archive 2009/1

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Common names[edit]

Hi what do you guys think about creating pages of common names and then redirecting them to the scientific name. I think its a good idea. For e.g. Assume that I upload "Nectarinia violacea". I feel desperately clever because I know the scientific name and I can catogorise it and its a lovely picture and generally I feel good about myself. However, the poor schmuck who is trying to find an orange breasted sunbird is never going to find it. Sometimes common names do refer to different species, but this can be overcome by disambiguation. Your thoughts? Andrew massyn (talk) 13:06, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

I once proposed to use "common name" categories for this purpose, for precisely that reason, and scrap scientific-name categories for species, making pages instead. Dunno what became of that, whether anyone actually thought about that.
Because some poor schmuck looking for an orange breasted sunbird will probably care more about grabbing the prettiest picture (which works best in categories) rather than about getting content sorted by detailed information such as age/sex/location, subspecies and whatnot (which does not work at all with categories).
I still think that this would make sense, and I observe that the "tree" has become more and more tangled, and unusable if you need to locate a particular kind of content. Most of the cat/page tree of ToL is doubly redundant, and increasing parts are triply redundant. People who do not understand an evolutionary tree are putting all kinds of stupid categories all over the place too, often by bot or script, so it cannot be easily fixed for sheer bulk. Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 02:06, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
The description of the category should contain the common name. This way the category shows up in the search. Multichill (talk) 11:50, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
Espero que en todas las lenguas.--Curtis Clark (talk) 03:06, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
idem. Hesperian 04:58, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

What are suitable categories for species?[edit]

The following moved here from my talk page, as it is better suited to wider discussion here - MPF (talk) 13:59, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

What's with the removal of bird categories, like all the category:birds of [country] categories? If you don't think they should be included why aren't you proposing the categories for deletion? Or do you think every individual photo should be included instead of the whole category? That approach seems a bit redundant to me and a gallery is more suited for showing pictures. Richard001 (talk) 06:18, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm not really sure what the policy is on these, which is why I've not (yet) listed them for deletion. But the two things that are conspicuous, first that the 'well-managed' species (those with a Taxonavigation box and IUCN link, etc.) generally don't have any list of country categories, and second, that the way they have been added is highly haphazard. The logic is to see what it would look like if it were complete; widespread species (e.g. Falco peregrinus) would end up with a list of 100 or more categories appended, and conversely, many tropical countries have bird lists well in excess of a thousand species, so the relevant 'birds of country' category would be unmanageable. The inevitable conclusion is that it isn't a good way of doing things, which is why I tend to remove them when I run across them. Probably it would be a good idea to nominate them for deletion, though two at least (Cat:Birds of Pakistan and Cat:Birds of India) appear to have devotees who would just recreate them. A far better method is to have national species lists on the various wikipedias (which mostly exist already), rather than duplicating effort at commons. Any thoughts yourself? - MPF (talk) 08:57, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
We should certainly have galleries of birds by country, and I don't really see any harm in having categories too. It would be good if we had some sort of active biology forum where we could discuss this sort of thing though. Richard001 (talk) 21:08, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
A gallery of birds by country would be unmanageably large. Even a fairly small country like Britain has 583 species recorded; Colombia has 1895 bird species. For other groups (plants, insects, etc.), the numbers are even larger, often hugely so. This applies to categories, too, which are limited to 200 per page. Additionally, having a species in a category for each country it occurs in becomes unmanageable for widespread species (about 190 countries for e.g. Falco peregrinus); it is better to have none, than to be randomly selective (or worse, politically selective or pressure-group selective, as is the existing case) about which ones are included. - MPF (talk) 13:59, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
For specialized discussions of this sort, Commons talk:WikiProject Tree of Life is a good forum. It isn't particularly active, but that has the advantage that a discussion is not immediately buried. It would do any harm to notify interested parties, e.g., Stan Shebbs. A while back, someone, perhaps CarolSpears, suggested categorizing biota by en:Ecozone, but that went nowhere, probably because it would require a fairly high ability threshold to succeed. But perhaps it should be discussed. Also, if we are going to do this, it should be decided if it is native, native+naturalized or native+naturalized+introduced by geographic location. Walter Siegmund (talk) 01:06, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
That did not go no where, it was poorly managed by a small and seemingly purposefully uninformed group of people who merged some categories without looking at the referenced information that was provided or talking to the people who were interested and all accomplished in a second little commons thing independent of the first one, see Commons talk:Category scheme flora. Users who prefer embarrassing messes over undoing wrongs.... -- carol (talk) 23:33, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
The more I think about this, the more I think it is really outside of Commons scope; see that second paragraph in the red-lined box immediately below as you edit!: "Are you in the right place? Please note that according to our scope, Commons is not an encyclopedia or literary work, but a collection of media that can be used for those kinds of works, such as the wikis of the Wikimedia Foundation. If you are wishing to create or edit content on a topic in an encyclopedic manner, please go to Wikipedia instead." The place for things like this is in the wikipedias, as e.g. here - MPF (talk) 08:51, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
Images categorized into areas of scientific interest is outside of the scope here? MPF, I suggest that you might be considered to be a person who is more interested in keeping the commons from being the best and most reliable image server available and I wonder if your place is here.... -- carol (talk) 23:33, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

What about the 'by colour' categories? I notice you removed the 'brown birds' categories too. Problems with sorting things by colour are that many things have more than one colour, some colours being so minor in extent as not to warrant mention. Also, colours are not rigidly defined but tend to blend into each other, e.g. red into orange into yellow. So there are obvious problems with such a classification (though hardly endemic to colour). But then you can't really say that people can refer to Wikipedia because it doesn't have such categories, so if they're deleted from here then they're gone. Richard001 (talk) 08:03, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

I'd agree there, sorting things by colour is a bit of a nonsense, and not useful at all. - MPF (talk) 13:59, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Could you clarify how the 'you can look up birds by country on Wikipedia' argument only applies to taxa by location, and not just anything Wikipedia happens to have analogous categories for? Richard001 (talk) 08:03, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Not sure I fully understand what you're asking here. - MPF (talk) 13:59, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

By the way, I don't see how the warning box applies in this case. We're not creating encyclopedic content about the bird species, we're just categorizing them. Richard001 (talk) 08:03, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Also, what about when Wikipedia doesn't have the depth of focus we do here, e.g. I might upload lots of photos of insects from New Zealand and classify them into lower taxa, but Wikipedia may not have corresponding articles on those species and thus the corresponding categories won't be there. Richard001 (talk) 10:53, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

The purpose of commons is to supply illustrations that people can use in creating corresponding articles (and lists and classifications) on the various wikipedias. Also, I'd suspect there are far more species with articles and no illustration (at least in en:wikipedia), than there are illustrations with no article for them to go in. And wikipedias are far better suited to having lists where as-yet unwritten taxa can appear as red links, than commons is. MPF (talk) 13:59, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Biota by ecozone[edit]

Biota by en:ecozone has the advantage of being scientifically relevant and useful for illustrating national park and other similar articles. I don't think the average Commons contributor can be expected to categorize biota by ecozone. That may be an advantage; naive contributers would be less likely to introduce errors than biota by country. A fundamental flaw is that I suspect only a small fraction of species have been assigned to ecozones by a reliable source. Doesn't that make it unworkable? Biota by country seems much less useful to me, but sources exist, e.g., the USDA PLANTS Database is a source for flora by US state or county. Thanks CarolSpears for the link to the related Commons_talk:Category_scheme_flora discussion. Walter Siegmund (talk) 21:18, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

I guess it has already been said, but country classifications are also useful for those who want to know what exists in their own country or one they're visiting. Some countries are also very similar to ecozones (e.g. New Zealand), though others certainly are not. The two systems are not mutually exclusive anyway, am I right? Richard001 (talk) 03:38, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Unless I'm very much mistaken, I don't think the purpose of Commons is to serve those "who want to know what exists in their own country or one they're visiting". What we should be asking is "what sort of organization will help those writing articles in our sister projects". If you are writing a country article, biota by country may be helpful. But generally biota by ecozone would be more useful. I'm dubious that either scheme will ever be complete or accurate enough to be usable for any purpose whatever, but I would be happy if it proves otherwise. My impression is that categorization by country is haphazard and slapdash, for the most part. For example, are naturalized and/or introduced biota always/never included or is it left to the whim of the contributor? Walter Siegmund (talk) 04:58, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Richard001, I see you added en:Category:Hymenoptera of New Zealand to en:European honey bee.[1] May I ask why you added only New Zealand, to which the species is not native, and not the hundred or so other countries where it is kept by beekeepers? If you had done so, how would this benefit our readers? These are the same questions that I ask when I see such categories added to Commons; perhaps I've missed an important point. Walter Siegmund (talk) 13:52, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Red links on the project page[edit]

This WikiProject talk page here is just barely active enough to be of any use; should we really be having red links to eight potential subprojects? I'm doubtful that it's even useful to keep the subprojects we have on birds, insects, mammals and plants; some might be better merged (e.g. animals to cover three of them, or all merged into this one). Richard001 (talk) 03:34, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Support to merge 'em. Rocket000 (talk) 01:16, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Template order and crappy galleries[edit]

I've been using a series of templates on taxon categories. These would be: {{taxonavigation}}, {{VN}}, {{synonyms}}, and one of {{species}}, {{genera}}, or {{taxa}}. And occasionally I'll throw in a {{ws}}. CarolSpears and a few others have been using this combination as well. What I'd like to do here is set some guidelines for the layout of category pages. Here's my proposal for the order of templates (actually it was just the way carol started doing it and I followed):

  1. {{VN}} - makes sense to put what the organism is best know as at the top
  2. {{synonyms}} - should be between the VNs and the taxonavigation templates
  3. {{taxonavigation}} - right in the middle
  4. {{species}}, {{genera}}, or {{taxa}} - kinda like the continuation of {{taxonavigation}} (if there's more than one system used, these can be multiple of these in between each {{taxonavigation}}.
  5. {{ws}} and other link templates ({{ITIS}}, {{WRMS}}, etc.)

Here's some random examples: Category:Araceae, Category:Vitaceae, Category:Ptilodon capucina. I want to keep {{VN}} and {{synonyms}} out of galleries too unless there is no category at that level. What's the best way to go about communicating this arrangement to others working on the tree? Posting here good enough? Anyone oppose this layout? Rocket000 (talk) 01:15, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

The order I see most is taxonavigation first, then any synonyms, then VNs last; when I've hit anything different, I usually swap them to that order. Seems more sensible to me than putting relatively low importance VNs first. I'd also strongly recommend that (certainly for plants, and increasingly for birds at least as well) that we ditch links to ITIS altogether, as it is so often out of date and incomplete, and is very biased in its point of view. I find it a very poor reference, there are far better ones in existence. - MPF (talk) 09:48, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Interesting opinions about the order of appearance. Could you show a logic for this? The thought process that supports the order in which they appear? -- carol (talk) 18:46, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Also (arising from the bad example visible in Category:Vitaceae) - can those who make templates please change them so that auto-generated category placement is the same as in normally generated categories. Note how Cissus and Leea (which have auto-cats) appear indexed under space, not in alphabetical order with the other genera which don't have auto-cats. Remember too that commons, like all wikis, is supposed to be open for everyone to edit, not just to those with a post-doctoral in computing sciences who know how to work those templates. - MPF (talk) 10:12, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
In the mid-1980s it was a requirement for the biologists working in this field for the USGov (DOI) to have some skill with computers beyond simple use and what could be shared with a typewriter. Template making is not the kind of thing that make even bachelors degrees in computers. The creation of the templates should make it easier to write software which makes it easier for "anyone to edit" the commons wiki, however. -- carol (talk) 18:46, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
All the same, they're still an extra layer of digging to have to find out how to get into. Not the sort of thing that will encourage new editors to get started. - MPF (talk) 21:57, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
There are some occasions when it is good to look at the qualities of the people who are being discouraged and those who would be more encouraged upon the discouragement of them. -- Dr CyCoe (talk) 23:04, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't see what you're trying to suggest there. The ability to understand computer syntax is a very different ability to the ability to e.g. identify plants, animals, etc., and many people may not have both abilities. And with the number of unidentified and misidentified photos on commons, I'd say anyone with the latter ability is more to be valued here than anyone with the former ability. - MPF (talk) 23:47, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Any idea when the rest of the categories on the other images/gallery and category pages will be alphabetized? -- carol (talk) 18:46, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
And while on the topic of categories, there are a fearfully large number of species categories ([[Category:Genus species]]) placed in genus categories wrongly capitalised as [[Category:Genus|Species]] instead of the correct [[Category:Genus|species]]. Seems I'm spending ¾ of my commons time correcting this error (e.g. [2]), some assistance would be appreciated! - MPF (talk) 10:12, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Finally - the prime purpose of categories and galleries is to show the images. Any text at the top of the page should be as compact as possible, both in the finished page and in the edit box, so that an absolute minimum of scrolling down to see the pics is needed. Several of the currently used templates use up far too many short lines of text which would be far better combined into a smaller number of lines of text spread right across the width of the page. The VN templates are the worst in this aspect. - MPF (talk) 10:12, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Ok, you're the second person who's complained about the size of {{VN}}, so I'm going to make it compact by default (vs. having to do |compact=yes), although I think it looks better when there's only a few names. It matches {{synonyms}} (which can't really be compacted that way, only put in a collapsible table). [Edit: I'll have to postpone this until I figure out a way to prevent it from showing the separator bullet at the end. There's no way without requiring the languages to be in a specific order, which isn't ideal either.]
The only taxon-specific template I made that auto-categorizes is {{Lepidoptera}} (as seen in Category:Ptilodon capucina, which I think is easier to use than even {{taxonavigation}} and always gets the category/sort key right), so I can't speak for the plant ones.
I fix those capitalization errors whenever I encounter them, but I haven't notice that many (currently working in Lepidoptera). If it's really that bad, maybe I can get my bot to do it. It's been awhile since I've wrote anything, but this should be simple enough. Rocket000 (talk) 17:03, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
That would be nice! It's rife in birds and plants (or at least, was; I reckon I've dealt with well over a thousand in the last few weeks) - MPF (talk) 21:57, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Also, to bring up a old subject, we should really start redirecting galleries without any text (only images without captions) to categories of the same name. If the page contains absolutely nothing besides images, there's no reason to keep it along side the category that does the same thing but updates automatically. (Don't get me wrong, even headings and specific order would count as something for keeping the gallery.) I see many galleries that contain one maybe two images and nothing else. They share the name of a category that has 10 times as much and I bet many people when coming from a Wikipedia only get as far as the crappy gallery. All these are doing are hiding our content. People could always recreate the galleries if they feel they have something to add besides what a category is capable of. Does this sound agreeable or am I crazy? Rocket000 (talk) 01:15, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

I'd say it is worth keeping the species galleries; if there is no text at all, add some. Sorting the pics into a useful order, adding brief notes on the location of pics, age/sex/life-stage/whatever of the individual in the photo, native/wild or cultivated/zoo specimen/museum specimen, etc., are all worth adding where they are available from the photo descriptions or can be identified from the pics, so that numerous pics can be compared together in their context. This is all stuff that can't be shown in categories, and is relevant to commons as opposed to belonging in a wikipedia where galleries are discouraged. - MPF (talk) 09:48, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Then I'll just forget this little idea. :) Thanks for your comments. Rocket000 (talk) 17:03, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
From this users point of view, I cannot express the disappointment that is encountered when clicking through from a fairly mature and populated category into a gallery which contains one image. A look at the source often reveals <gallery>Image:Imagename.jpg</gallery>.
Sifting through the enormous expression of opinion and the instigation of decrees that are all "pro-gallery" here, one of the "reasons" often cited for the opinion is "ease of maintenance". When does the maintenance start? Is it appropriate to expect that the users with the positive expression and votes of these opinions and decrees will begin to demonstrate how this ease of maintenance is translated into actual maintenance? And how soon? as some of these disappointing galleries have been around for years.... -- Dr CyCoe (talk) 20:46, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Exactly. I don't think very highly of having a gallery for every species, so I don't plan to do any work on them (so that "if there is no text at all, add some" isn't going to happen with me). Many times we only have one image of species. What exactly is the logic behind creating a page with it when you have the description page and the category? For the future? Many pages I see have been untouched for years. How hard is pasting <gallery>Image:Imagename.jpg</gallery> on a page? There's nothing there worth saving. Rocket000 (talk) 22:57, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

I put Vernacular names first so that the search would find them. I think that search results are limited to the first 50 words. I think it is very rare that a person who is searching for Borage would find the word "Plantae" useful in the results.

I would really like to know the logic for putting taxonomy first and if that is not available (perhaps due to its non-existence) any changes that were made to be reverted. Good Faith is an assumption that requires proof (high school level problem solving, please do not shy away from the exercise). -- carol (talk) 18:46, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Never heard of a 50-word limit on searching before; seems highly improbable to me. - MPF (talk) 21:57, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Tested this by searching for Kyhmyjoutsen (Finnish for Cygnus olor), and it found Category:Cygnus olor without trouble, despite the word being far more than 50th place in the page - MPF (talk) 22:11, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
MediaWiki searches the entire page, not sure about other search engines. Rocket000 (talk) 22:39, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
The results list that displays in the search page shows 20 characters. -- Dr CyCoe (talk) 23:00, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Which means what? That doesn't change the fact that it searches the whole page. Rocket000 (talk) 23:08, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
The words which are presented to the human being at the end of the interface, that is what it means. Putting the vernacular words first (maybe) allows those common names to make an appearance in the search results so that human eyes can see them and be more able to make a decision about which latin named plant category/gallery they need to select. As it stands, a search for "borage" presents mostly images first, galleries to old paintings and well after the tenth result is Category:Boraginaceae with "|en=borage family" in those 20 characters. There is no {{VN}} on Category:Borago but if there was and it was put under the taxonomy template, which words would display in the search results page? -- Dr CyCoe (talk) 23:20, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Strange. I just tried the same search for 'borage', and got just 3 hits, in order, Borago officinalis, The Botanical Magazine, Volume 7, and Category:Boraginaceae. Since the first one is the one that would be wanted, I don't see there's any problem. - MPF (talk) 23:47, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
And looking at the Borago officinalis page just now, it must have picked up 'borage' from the en:Borage interwiki link, as the VN list there doesn't include English. Yet the interwiki link is right near the end of the page but is still results in it being the first item on the search results. - MPF (talk) 00:01, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Huh? It shows the 20 characters around the word you search for (just like Google). It could be at the top or the bottom. You'll get the same results. Rocket000 (talk) 03:30, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
I was agreeing with you, just pointing out that the search works fine ;-) MPF (talk) 12:27, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
I know. I was talking to Dr CyCoe. ;-) Rocket000 (talk) 14:12, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Any random person who is looking at the category page; what are the chances that this person is interested in taxonomy before common names? I am still interested to know the logic for moving the taxonomy navigation to be the first on whatever page? When I was first seeing and using these templates, I actually went through a thought process for their ordering on the pages they appear on and with the maker of them. I will be glad to share these thoughts after the logic for moving them (if one exists) is shared and suggesting their move be shared here. -- carol (talk) 01:14, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
One thing to keep in mind is that many of the "crappy" galleries long predate the use of any categories below the genus level. I find the galleries most useful for varieties/subspecies - as I've improved my ID skills, I've been able to classify more of my pics more precisely. Location notes are useful as well, for species that vary across their range. I agree that one-image galleries in a category of ten images are bad - either redirect, or maybe get a bot to fill them out (it would be awesome if the bot could guess at a caption from the info template...) Stan Shebs (talk) 13:18, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Bots could make galleries based on the category it's in. There's even a script that does it the other way right now, but I'm not sure about the bots doing the descriptions. It's possible, but that description= line is unreliable. It could be a paragraph, empty, source information instead, etc. Who knows what people put there? The "human review" of the gallery would probably take as much effort as creating it yourself. There's also a script that pulls captions from across all Wikipedia.. but who wants 20 descriptions for each image? With that many translations you break the gallery. Rocket000 (talk) 18:03, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
I think {{VN}} and {{synonyms}} are useful and add value to gallery pages. I don't object to the deletion of gallery pages that contain no content other than the gallery tags and image list. Walter Siegmund (talk) 18:44, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
I still think any gallery can be 'rescued', it just needs a little bit of work by someone familiar with the topic, e.g. [3]. Sooner or later, it will get done. Even if it is later rather than sooner, I don't think it matters too much. - MPF (talk) 12:27, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

My short opinion and proposal (in simple english):

A: The head of the pages should begin with {{VN}} - in the meantime compact.

1. With respect and as offer to all Wikipedia friends without a language, which writes in latin letters.
2. VNs are usable for all themes in Commons and not only for botany and zoology. (corporate identity) Orchi (talk) 20:52, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree. --Slaunger (talk) 21:55, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
I still think the taxonav should go at the top, as scientific names, unlike vernacular ones, are universal; the taxonav also includes the page title, and is also far more likely to be complete and comprehensive than the VN. - MPF (talk) 12:27, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

B: As second the taxonomy group with Taxinavigation, synonyms, wikipecies or infos about "Itis" etc. Orchi (talk) 20:52, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree. --Slaunger (talk) 21:55, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

C: The synonyms (and perhaps others) should be presented with {{Collapsed}} (infos for specialists only) Orchi (talk) 20:52, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree about the ordering. Not sure about the collapsed and for specialists only. My limited experience with using a not so new flora book about the Flora of Greenland revealed that a significant fraction of the latin names, were not the official names (any longer), but could be found as synonyms instead. So, as a non-specialist I would certainly say that the synonyms section can be very relevant to display open by default. ...Which reminds me: Synonyms should really be created as redirects, right? But should a synonym species name redirect to the species gallery (which would be logical but most often not the most informative option) or to the species category (which has opposite qualities)? --Slaunger (talk) 21:55, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm not a specialist, but those synonyms are more helpful than the common names to me. They help me not only find stuff here, but all over the web where those synonyms may be used. I have done much googling and synonyms sometimes return better results than common names. It has the multilingual+literature benefit. And yes, we should be at least redirecting gallery pages. Category redirects are nowhere near as bad as they were, now that HotCat.js resolves the name on saves. So I create them if there's evidence the name was ever used here. Rocket000 (talk) 23:06, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Agree on the importance of synonyms - MPF (talk) 12:27, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
That the User instance who is able to make the templates is relaying an experience that I had (I am new to taxonomic classification) and this is what is making the synonyms to be important to long standing members of the the ToL is somewhat important to me. Many of the synonyms are impressively un-inimportant. Any single individual who is researching these things would know that and have that opinion. There also seems to be more publishing activity at the extremes of edibility -- at least in those species which are not cultivated in mass or in gardening. Another knowledge that experience gives. I would really enjoy the discussions here if it could be the sharing of opinions among people with experience researching these things online. The same technology that makes it easy to express an opinion also makes it easy to have the experience to make an educated opinion. -- carol (talk) 20:36, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't think anyone is suggesting that all published synonyms should be included; for some species that can run into the hundreds. But there are plenty of taxa where the name has changed recently enough for the older incorrect name to be as familiar as, or even more widely familiar, than the current correct name. It can take a frighteningly long time for scientific research results to be adopted in the wider world; e.g. the nursery industry often takes 30 years or so to adopt name changes of plants. Such synonyms should certainly be included. - MPF (talk) 21:48, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

D: Most important: The correct VN, taxinavigation, synonyms must be in galleries, so long, as the pictures in categories can not senseful and useful can be checked by wachting lists. BTW the interwiki links from the national WPs go to articles mostly.

I agree with User:MPF, that in Commons the pictures should be seen as soon as possible. (Here is not Wikispecies)

I will try to create a sample of these ideas. Orchi (talk) 20:52, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Here my first attempt and proposal of configuration a page for Species and Genera. The taxonomy is not correct. It is copied by the family. Pulsatilla vulgaris and Category:Pulsatilla vulgaris. A further proposal: To make a break in the pages above and below "Familia". So are the pages with the pictures or media files not "overtaxonomised" at the first sight. Orchi (talk) 19:52, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Interesting idea. My suggestion would be to swap the order, with the Familia - Genus - Species line first, then the VN, then the Taxonomy drop-down box. Also I think the Taxonomy drop-down box is really only worth having for genus and higher ranks, for individual species it is much less important. One additional minor point; the {{genus|Aconitella|Aconitum|Actaea|Adonis|Anemone|...}} should have spaces in so as to allow line breaks in long genera lists: {{genus| Aconitella| Aconitum| Actaea| Adonis| Anemone| ...}} - MPF (talk) 21:48, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Very nice work, Orchi, on Pulsatilla vulgaris. In my opinion, it is an exemplar of a well-thought-out, useful, and complete gallery page. In the past, I think you have suggested including only Family/Genus/Species in taxonavigation on gallery pages for ease of maintenance and to reduce clutter, but correct me if I'm wrong. I find the {{synonyms}} tag useful, e.g., Packera paupercula. It helps me find where to add newly photographed species. CarolSpears has suggested that, "search results present the first 30 to 50 characters that are on a gallery or category page, so putting the non-taxonomy first would help [non-botanists find images]".[4] I don't have an opinion on order; I'll happily follow the consensus. Walter Siegmund (talk) 00:02, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
My idea about how the search works here was flawed, I learned this while reading the exchange above with Dr CyCoe. I still am in favor of putting the {{VN}} first because more people/human readers will recognize the vernacular name than care for the taxonomy (which is very much for specialists). But I have not thought much about what makes a good gallery, I have only had to manage the disappointment when I see a gallery that is just <gallery>File:Imagename.ext</gallery>. A disappointment in voting, a disappointment in self-proclaimed experts and a disappointment about how ease of maintenance does not seem to encourage maintenance of all except a few galleries. I am not good enough at identification of plant species to know a mis-identified plant in a plant gallery, but I have seen galleries of experimental aircraft that contained a photograph of an experimental car with a similar name and I know that just being a gallery here does not always equal reliable contents.
So in summary 1)I am not good enough at plant identification to know if a gallery contains only the species of the title or not. 2)My opinions are of the ordering of the templates for the Categories and not the Gallery -- let me know when the opinions about Categories are to be counted. 3)My observation is that ease of maintenance does not equal maintenance where most galleries are concerned here. -- carol (talk) 01:07, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Whatever the word "overtaxonomised" means, putting the order as {{VN}}, {{synonyms}} and {{taxonomy}} or {{VN}}, {{taxonomy}} then {{synonyms}} is putting the least expert stuff first. My experience as just a person with just a little experience with the scientific naming of things (I decided on a little rule that was this: usually the most medicinal of the plants gets called offinialis and learned a great deal about the plants that were local to me and what they could do.) I had a photograph of a plant that I just loved to see each springtime and I only knew this as "Big Merry Bells". I still don't remember what the scientific name of that plant is. Since then, I am a less typical user since I have been researching plant classification and writing articles.
I suggest to express no judgments here about what the basic acceptance among the scientists is about what good taxonomy is or not. Vernacular names are more important to more people. Synonyms can be extremely useless -- however, all of the experts here should have that understanding due to the experience which is forming the opinions (or they should not be expressing them). -- carol (talk) 20:36, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Interesting work with that gallery. I think I'll work on making a similar template.. just for galleries. I have this idea where we can transclude the category page (with <onlyinclude>s) inside a collapsed table on the gallery. This way we don't duplicate information and you only need to update the category to update both. Rocket000 (talk) 03:44, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Should we italicize titles?[edit]

We can do this for species and genera titles if we want. See en:Template:Italictitle and it's talk page. It only works if you have javascript on, but it's relatively easy to do (that template's complicated because it knows what not to italicize like things in parentheses). Just an idea. Rocket000 (talk) 19:15, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't like java and have it disabled on my computer because of the large number of websites that use it to set off malware, pop-up adverts, and other such junk that I want to avoid. I'd say no to this. - MPF (talk) 21:57, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm . . . guess I do have it working after all, I must be thinking of something else! Just looked on en:wiki and en:Diprotodon has an italic title. Bit surprised to see there's only 3 articles using it though. All the same, I'm not really sure how important or necessary it is, non-italic page titles has never bothered me. - MPF (talk) 22:31, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
(ec) Not Java, JavaScript. The web's pretty broken without it. It's the same way collapsible tables work, and people don't have a problem with that. Go to that page and see if the title is italicized or not. Anyway, if you did have it turned off, you won't notice a thing. Rocket000 (talk) 22:33, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I see. :) Rocket000 (talk) 22:33, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Does this serve any purpose?[edit]

A lot of photo pages have this mysterious line in: <!--{{ImageUpload|basic}}-->, with variants such as |full, and with or without <!-- --> invisibility tags. Does it serve any purpose other than to clutter up the edit page? Can they be got rid of when editing pages for other purposes? - MPF (talk) 15:17, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, you can remove those. I usually do. It serves absolutely no purpose anymore. It was a way to track uploads to help diagnose bugs while the current upload form was in development. It's not needed anymore, but for some reason they commented it out instead of removing it. Rocket000 (talk) 17:29, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Vernacular name box formatting[edit]

I find four different sorts in use:

1

{{Translation table|inline=o|hidetitle=o|width=100% |da=Navn |de=Name |en=Name |fr=Nom |ru=Имя }}

Which is tedious to type out but gives a neat, very compact box:

Internationalization
Dansk: Navn
 ·
Deutsch: Name
 ·
English: Name
 ·
Français : Nom
 ·
Русский: Имя
 ·
2

{{VN |da=Navn |de=Name |en=Name |fr=Nom |ru=Имя }}

Which gives a box which is even neater, but less compact because of the column spacing:

  • EnglishName
  • dansk: Navn
  • Deutsch: Name
  • français: Nom
  • русский: Имя
(Note: no wikidata item is associated with this commons_talk)
3

{{da|Navn}}{{de|Name}}{{en|Name}}{{fr|Nom}}{{ru|Имя}}

Which gives a vertical list which occupies too much space:

Dansk: Navn
Deutsch: Name
English: Name
Français : Nom
Русский: Имя
4

*{{da|Navn}} *{{de|Name}} *{{en|Name}} *{{fr|Nom}} *{{ru|Имя}}

Which gives an even worse vertical list occupying far too much space:

  • Dansk: Navn
  • Deutsch: Name
  • English: Name
  • Français : Nom
  • Русский: Имя

Can anyone set up a robot to convert all the variants into the first sort? Or perhaps better, a combination of the first and second, with the compact non-columnar formatting of the first, but with the bold of the second.

Can I also make a plea to editors NOT to put carriage returns and unused language codes in. It is a right pain in the neck when one has to scroll half way to the Antipodes to get through this list at the top of a page when editing, all just to include one name:

{{VN
|ar=
|ms=
|id=
|bg=
|ca=
|cs=
|cy=
|da=
|de=
|et=
|el=
|en=Name
|es=
|eo=
|fa=
|fr=
|hsb=
|ko=
|is=
|it=
|he=
|ka=
|la=
|lv=
|lt=
|hu=
|nl=
|ja=
|no=
|nn=
|pl=
|pt=
|ro=
|ru=
|qu=
|se=
|sk=
|sl=
|sr=
|fi=
|sv=
|te=
|vi=
|tr=
|uk=
|wa=
|zh=
}}

when exactly the same finished result can be accomplished equally well with

{{VN |en=Name }}

Or, if it is felt necessary to leave the empty ones in for future additions, then please at least like this, with spaces not carriage returns:

{{VN |ar= |ms= |id= |bg= |ca= |cs= |cy= |da= |de= |et= |el= |en=Name |es= |eo= |fa= |fr= |hsb= |ko= |is= |it= |he= |ka= |la= |lv= |lt= |hu= |nl= |ja= |no= |nn= |pl= |pt= |ro= |ru= |qu= |se= |sk= |sl= |sr= |fi= |sv= |te= |vi= |tr= |uk= |wa= |zh= }}

though it is pretty pointless to leave in so many language titles when the vast majority of them won't have any vernacular name for the species.

</rant>! - MPF (talk) 15:56, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Those are good points. I think it is somewhat useful to list major unused languages in m:interwiki sorting order to make it easy for others to add common names. The following format may be satisfactory for many purposes. The language list contains the 15 largest Wikis, used here as a proxy for the likelihood of the existence of a vernacular name. For important, notable, and/or widely distributed biota the longer list may be used. {{VN |da= |de= |en= |es= |fr= |it= |nl= |ja= |no= |pl= |pt= |ru= |fi= |sv= |zh= }} Walter Siegmund (talk) 16:49, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
When you say "interwiki sorting order" what exactly are you referring to? Commons seems completely undecided in the order it uses. We use all there "interwiki sorting orders". By code, by language name, and by first letter where variations are sorted differently than by name.. The VN template auto-sorts it by language name so the order you put it in doesn't matter, but I wish we can decide to stick to one order. Rocket000 (talk) 17:50, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
I think, but do not know, that most users would expect to see their VN listed by order of alphabet, based on local language. I haven't seen by order of alphabet, based on language code, but I haven't looked very hard. While easy for the editor, otherwise I think it less obvious for the reader. I share your desire for consistency. Thanks for making the template order-independent. Thereby, the rendered order will be consistent on pages using the template. Walter Siegmund (talk) 18:37, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

{{VN}} is now compact. Now to get rid of that extra bullet... Rocket000 (talk) 17:37, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure that the extra bullet isn't a feature that suggests to the reader that the list is extensible. Walter Siegmund (talk) 18:37, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Ok, it's a feature then! :-) By the way, that's kinda how we solved the problem with /lang pages. We simply added the +/- edit link at the end. Rocket000 (talk) 19:47, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Many thanks! The VN one looks perfect now. - MPF (talk) 20:58, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

For adding VNs, it might be worth having a selection of copy-n-paste-in versions suitable for different types of species; a rare California endemic will have an English name and possibly a Spanish name, but likely no others (except any surviving Native American language names), so one could have {{VN |en= |es= }}; an northeastern Asian species could get by with {{VN |ko= |ja= |zh= }} or at most {{VN |en= |ko= |ja= |ru= |zh= }}, a north African species will need {{VN |ar= |en= |es= |fr= }}, while a widespread European species will need {{VN |bg= |ca= |cs= |cy= |da= |de= |et= |el= |en= |es= |eo= |fr= |hsb= |is= |it= |lv= |lt= |hu= |nl= |no= |nn= |pl= |pt= |ro= |ru= |sk= |sl= |sr= |fi= |sv= |uk= |wa= }}, and so on. On "interwiki sorting order", my preference is by local language name, so e.g. Japanese (ja; Nihongo) comes just after Dutch (nl; Nederlands), Finnish (fi; Suomi) is next before Swedish (sv; Svensk), and so on. - MPF (talk) 20:58, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Concerning the interwiki sorting order, I see the point in MPFs proposal, but is it always so that you can sort the the languages by the local language name in a manner which is independent of the local language itself. 1. Does all local languages have an unambiguous equivalent latin alphabet form which allows this kind of sorting? 2. Is the natural sorting order really independent of the local language itself? Say, hypothetically, that in "Betanistan" their local "Betalphet" is such that words beginning with B comes before A. That would imply that there is no unambiguous sorting order as in that country Betanistan should appear before Alphastan. Of course Betanistan does not exists, but I would not be surprised if there were such deviations from a fixed sorting rule. (and i guess we do not even want to think about localization dependent sorting order !?!) The sorting bt language code, is, however unambiguous. Therefore, I would go for that sorting order even though it may appear confusing sometimes - simply because it is unambiguous. --Slaunger (talk) 21:29, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Concerning the default display of the {{VN}} template. Would it be very terrible if it only showed the parameters which were actually used? In that way it would only have the length needed. Since the display order is coded into the template, new language codes could simply be added to the end. And if that is found confusing by editors, a maintenance bot could overhaul the VN templates from time to time to alphabetize the language codes used as parameters in the template. Users adding new language codes would typically be very much aware of the language code for the language for which they are about to add a local vernacular name so I do not see a particular point in having it prefilled, except that you save two-three keys typing. There is not even a point in showing all the language codes supported by the template as I would very fast be outdated as support for new language codes are added to the template. --Slaunger (talk) 21:29, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
It does this already, see the source for:
  • EnglishName
(Note: no wikidata item is associated with this commons_talk)
Sorry, I failed to express myself clearly. I do realize it only shows the VN names for the parameter names, which have an actual value. What I meant is why not only have the template in edit form with the language parameters actually used. That is
{{VN|en=Name}}
which also gives
  • EnglishName
(Note: no wikidata item is associated with this commons_talk)
The point is that you get to the point in the image page much faster instead of having a lot of unused language parameter names prefilled. The list will almost never be complete anyhow as more languages are added in the template implementation. If I were to add the Danish name, I would do this
{{VN|en=Name|da=Navn}}
to get
  • EnglishName
  • dansk: Navn
(Note: no wikidata item is associated with this commons_talk)
which is a matter of pressing End, left arrow, left arrow, da= and then the parameter value - or six keys to navigate to and add the new parameter name. If, on the other hand I used the prefilled VN template, I would press 8x arrow down, End, and then the parameter value, that is nine keys to navigate to the the parameter value, which is three keys more than in the short edit view form. This demonstrates, that it is easier to add a new language to a template which do not have a lot of prefilled language codes in the edit view. In addition it is also easier to navigate to the following parts of the page in edit view. Having all the language codes prefilled is a little overwhelming for me. --Slaunger (talk) 22:19, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Try using your mousepointer on the scrollbar and then the mousepointer right at "|da=". Or click in the window anywhere and use the browsers seach to find "da=". You are an experienced editor here and know that the commons is not just an en.wikipedia extension. Do you have a better way to let an unexperienced editor who knows a non-English vernacular name to know that the template allows that language?
Wow you have a mouse!?! Kidding aside it is a minor issue. Many editors prefer to only use the keyboard when possible, others don't. Even when I was an entirely inexperienced editor here I knew that my local Danish Wiki was called "da.wikipedia.org", so I would immediately have known that I should use "da" if I wanted to add a Danish vernacular name. Of course just because I do not see that as a problem, it may be that other users do. I am just presenting an observation that prefilled language parameter names in the template is not always an advantage from an editors point of view. By all means if a majority of users thinks they should be prefilled, by all means keep them prefilled. I have no problem with following a community decision regarding this. Do you? --Slaunger (talk) 23:26, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
People had been using the translation template in that long form. Allow me to humbly suggest not to interrupt productive editing with ease of editing requirements from users who might not edit any longer after getting their way. -- carol (talk) 22:45, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
In the past I have most often found the translation tables in short form. The short form worked well for me, which is why I also support that idea for the VN template. I just tried to look back in my contributions to when I first started adding vernacular names in translation tables back in the Summer of 2007 and there the first five encounters I had did not have unused names in the translation table. [5][6][7][8][9]. That may not be representative of how it is now, but that is the reason why I do not see it as a self-evident fact that having prefilled language parameter names there is a good thing. I may be wrong, but I think I am entitled to express an opinion about it, even though I have not been active in this area lately. The hostility I sense in your comments certainly does not motivate me to get back to doing some actual work in this area though. --Slaunger (talk) 23:26, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
If you are referring to my break from editing here, I am sorry if my break makes my opinions and observations here unworthy to be included. --Slaunger (talk) 23:26, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
MPF is being (excessively, in my opinion) demanding about the formatting for editing. -- carol (talk) 21:57, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
It is my opinion to leave the codes in, I don't care about if they are spread out or without the line breaks. I pasted from a translation table which was actually being used by people who were productively editing!!! (as opposed to non-productively complaining and not willing to even attempt to learn how things are done, just expressing complaints and undoing the work of others). It didn't offend me to have to scroll some, that is what I noticed as I edited. Also, I like the idea of the inclusion of several language codes, if for no other reason than to let the infrequent editor know that it is not a completely english.wikipedia centric wiki here.... -- carol (talk) 22:04, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and by the way, isn't there about 10,000 easy to maintain plant galleries which are in need of maintenance before complaining about the way the templates appear in the edit window for the categories? -- carol (talk) 22:06, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Why are we talking about the template code? Who cares how you use it? The important part is the end result. Personally, I don't copy'n'paste any pre-filled templates. I do the line breaks only because I assumed it made reading it easier. But now that I know there's other people out there that have no trouble {{reading|something|like|this}}, I will stop with the line breaks. Saves me time and I like compacted code anyway. (I assumed this because of the way {{taxonavigation}} is used. And how {{translation table}} is used.) But if someone doesn't do it that way, I'll deal with it. That's just being an editor rather than a reader. I also have no idea how to alphabetize languages without constantly referring to some reference. I'm not going to do that. I don't expect others to do that either. That's why the template does it for you. Rocket000 (talk) 23:35, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

I think my main point was not to prefill it at all with language codes in when introduced on a category and/or gallery page. In the examples above 40-50 language codes are displayed, whereas your (nice) template actually supports use of more than 300 language codes as far as estimated from a quick glance. As has been pointed out by MPF, the list of relevant language codes depend very much on the regional distribution of the species, and I think it would be unmanageable to make different kinds of prefills depending on what page you are on, Thus it seems impossible to make a qualified guess at which language codes would be most relevant to include by default which is why I suggest adding them as they are needed on each page. I do not find that en-centric at all. Whether there are line breaks or not is not so important IMO. Often there will not be that many VNs, and then I guess linebreaks will be fine as well, but not with more than 40 empty language parameters.
After studying the interwiki sorting order on meta more as well as the underlying polls I fully support keeping the current displayed sort order in the template - it seems very sensible. --Slaunger (talk) 22:03, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, after having to scroll down here past that huge example a couple times, I see why were talking about it. It kinda gets in the way if that's not what you're editing. And trust me, I can add a whole lot more languages to {{VN}} if I thought we needed them. I'm sure there's already some in there that will go unused, but that's better than making people figure out how to add a language themselves. (Well, {{VN}}'s code isn't bad compared to {{On Wikipedia}}. ← That's the price of removing that "extra bullet" :) Rocket000 (talk) 02:42, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Distribution maps: copyright status?[edit]

Something that's been worrying me a little bit for some time. We have a lot of distribution maps (many at Category:Animal habitat maps, Category:Flora range maps, also many more not placed in these categories). Most of these are re-drawn from similar maps in books or (more rarely) websites; only a few of them from free license publications (e.g. USDA publications). Does such re-drawing constitute a breach of the copyright of the person who made the original maps in the books, or not? If yes, we are going to have to delete a substantial proportion of the maps we have (and having made many myself, I'm as guilty as anyone). If no, then obviously they can all be kept. But we can't just say they "are too important a resource to get rid of"; if they are breaches of copyright, they must go, however annoying that is. As far as I can see what's at question is whether the distribution of an organism is copyrightable; if it isn't, then all the maps should be tagged {{PD-ineligible}}, if it is, then delete the ones that weren't originally under a free license. Comments, particularly from anyone with copyright law experience, please! If anyone knows of a better Commons talk page than this one to raise this issue, please do copy this post across (and link it from here!). - MPF (talk) 22:30, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

The thing to keep in mind with maps (any kind) is that ideas are not copyrighted. Expressions of them are. This means that one expression may be fully copyrighted while another is public domain. For example, there are many maps of the world that are copyrighted, but of course we have free versions of them too. They show exactly the same thing (same borders, same countries, same oceans, etc.) but in different ways. That "in different ways" part is where the originality/creativity comes in and that is the part that attracts copyright. Not the facts or ideas behind it. So these maps are fine unless they actually use any part of non-free maps directly (not simply as reference). Rocket000 (talk) 02:15, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

What Rocket000 said. The geographic facts underlying a map cannot be copyrighted, but the creative decisions on how to represent them certainly can be. These include such stylistic issues as icons; line thickness, style and colour; fill colours; text typeface, size and colour; border style and positioning. It also includes more fundamental issues such as the chosen map projection, and what features to include or omit.

The key to all this is the process, rather than the result. If you make all these stylistic decisions yourself, and end up with a map that looks much the same as a copyrighted map, simply because the underlying geography is the same and the stylistic decisions that you made were similar, then that is just fine. That is precisely what has happened here versus here. The distribution information is the same, but I've expressed mine as a closed curve whereas they've used a set of points. The decision to plot them on an IBRA map was obvious in this context; but I've used the most recent version of IBRA whereas they use an older version. I've made my own decision on colours, and ended up with different colours for background and IBRA boundaries, but the same colour for distribution. And so on. In short, these two maps contain the same geographical information, expressed in similar style, but the stylistic elements are nonetheless the results of independent creative processes, so there is no copyright issue.

Hesperian 02:38, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the clarification! I'd been worried that the clause in copyrights saying 'no reproduction by any means' might apply - MPF (talk) 09:44, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Gallery-to-category redirect proposal[edit]

I keep running into more and more of these single image galleries. It's frustrating. I've been following some links back here from enwiki and arriving on pages that have nothing but a single image. I go to the category and see tons of images, including better quality ones, and sometimes even more info (common names, references, etc.) than the gallery. I know most people would do the same and find these images, but I also know some people ("the readers") will not. And many times these galleries aren't even in the correct category because they're categorized at some higher level where finding more of the species isn't likely. So this is my proposal...

Criteria for redirecting species "galleries" to their category

All four conditions must be met:

  1. The gallery contains a very small* number of images.
  2. There are no captions at all.
  3. The redirect will go to a category of the same rank (same name or synonym).
  4. All other information is present on the destination category page.

* This is relative to the size of the category however it's usually around three or less.

I've made it even stricter than I think it should be because I know some people here have this weird unexplainable bias for galleries. If you oppose, please do not say something like "instead of redirecting them, you should improve them" because a) I won't b) I don't think every species needs a gallery c) galleries makes way more sense at the genus level d) there's nothing really to improve e) I'm not a specialist so I doubt I can add much anyway f) anyone can still create a real gallery if they'd like g) there's nothing worth saving (plus there's always the history because I'm not deleting them). Rocket000 (talk) 01:56, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

  • Support. I long ago redirected all the Banksia species galleries to their corresponding categories. And not because of any bias against galleries. The fact is I couldn't be arsed making good solid galleries for each species, so a redirect to the categories was the most helpful thing I could do in the short term. It was always my intention to create galleries as time went on, and still is, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. This should, I think, be our modus operandi: every gallery should initially be a redirect to a category; and that redirect should only be replaced by a gallery when we have sufficient material in the category that it actually needs to be organised, and someone is willing to do that job properly. Hesperian 02:45, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Can see your point, but not sure I agree with the redirection - a bad gallery is more of an invitation to improve, than a redirect. Can you give some examples of bad galleries, and I'll see how easily they can be dealt with. - MPF (talk) 10:19, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I'll make you a small list, but let me wait until I run across them instead of spending time searching for some good examples. I'm sure it won't take long. ;) Rocket000 (talk) 15:25, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
A list of good examples of bad galleries. Should not take long if you don't mixup good and bad. --Foroa (talk) 15:39, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Almost forgot (sorry they're all in the same area, but that's where I've been working): Abisara fylla, Papilio fuscus, Papilio podalirius (synonym anyway), Papilio thoas, Papilio palamedes, Agapeta hamana (I picked this one because the image are in the same order), Meritastis. Rocket000 (talk) 20:25, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! I'm not too well up on butterflies so haven't tried anything yet other than the obvious merger of Papilio podalirius to Iphiclides podalirius. The latter looks to be a reasonable gallery, sorted by life stage (adult, larvae), though lacking any other captions. - MPF (talk) 21:45, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Hello, MPF,one question of a man with this "this weird unexplainable bias for galleries": Did you find the wrong classified picture File:Regulus ignicapillus juv.jpg in the wrong category or by your watching list in the wrong gallery after my error? Greetings. Orchi (talk) 11:17, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, can't remember how I happened on it! It was more by chance than design, but I think I'd hit the gallery rather than the category - MPF (talk) 12:24, 14 April 2009 (UTC) (addenum) yes, definitely the gallery, as there's several pics in the category which I've not seen before, including one wrongly identified, which I'll deal with right away ;-) MPF (talk) 12:31, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
My problem is, that I see no change to find and check new uploaded pictures in Species categories. Orchi (talk) 13:56, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
That's something I've often found very annoying, not being able to check for 'new arrivals' in large categories like Category:Unidentified plants for pics that I've not previously looked at and might be able to identify. - MPF (talk) 14:38, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
P.S. Just by change I saw this pic. File:Orchis morio L?.jpg or else this pic. would be offered als Orchis morio, I suppose, for a long time. Can everybody give me a tip to get information, when , for example, a new pic. in an orchid species category is uploaded? Orchi (talk) 14:34, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I don't feel for destroying galleries to favor categories (using disputable rules); some TOL people spendt already a great deal of energy on it. A bad gallery has more chances to be improved than a redirect (that most people will not notice). Moreover, the more a category get populated (such as category:Iris (Iridaceae), category:Linum and category:Cannabis) the more the real need for overseeable galleries such as Phylloscopus collybita will emerge. If no gallery exist, I would favor an automatic gallery creation containing a redirect (and for all the synonyms).--Foroa (talk) 14:22, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
And spot the misidentified plant in category:Linum!! . . . a field of Centaurea (it'll be gone from that cat soon ;-) Actually, there shouldn't really be that many files in the genus categories, they should either be pushed down to their species category, or if not identifiable to a species, then put in Category:Unidentified Linum (, etc). - MPF (talk) 14:38, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Categories are living material too. Most popular species will always attract more pictures (and misplacements). If some people find the courage and experience to do some moves or merges of species, as requested in for example Category:Requested merges, categories can be filled in no time. I think ihat in the end, the categories will contain much more than needed, so galleries will keep it overseeable. --Foroa (talk) 14:55, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
@Foroa: The rules are only to set some ground rules. I'm not going to out hunting for galleries to redirect. I don't think it takes much energy to throw <gallery>File:Imagename.jpg</gallery> on a page. I would delete pages like that if this was any other topic. An image on a page is not a gallery. Every image already has it's own page. Rocket000 (talk) 15:22, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
@Rocket000: I have no problem if you do that like you would like to, I would have a problem if it becomes a "community rule". I recovered just too many galleries that have been destroyed for no good reason (and too many have been deleted through the emptying - speedy delete steps). --Foroa (talk) 15:39, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
I understand. Maybe having this be some kind of official thing would actually be bad, now that I think about it. Some users might think because these rules exist there must never be any 1-2 image galleries and they should always be redirected, which is definitely not what I intended this to be. I wouldn't want this to be the reason for redirection ("it's policy"), I only wanted to clarify what those reasons may be and if people agree with those reasons. I guess it's not something that should a "rule". Rocket000 (talk) 03:16, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
I feel that we understand the problem, but this does not solve the problem. Would a more constructive, better (but more difficult) solution for single or dual image galleries not consist in a bot that reintegrates the header (taxonomy templates) of the category and add the files in the category (when there are not too many) in that gallery. That should be more stimulating, but feasibility might be a problem. (I think that Multichill has a bot procedure that creates a gallery from a category) --Foroa (talk) 05:33, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Sure we can probably get a bot to make of galleries, but isn't that already accomplished with categories. Just putting images in gallery tags looks the same as categories. It's the captions and organization that make a gallery, and I doubt bots would be any good at that (I've seen the work they do around here ;). Rocket000 (talk) 16:20, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I see no use in galleries at all, so I support any measure that would decrease their number. FunkMonk (talk) 10:39, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Ignorance isn't a virtue ;-). Categories are a hold all that contain all the files relevant to a topic, including duplicates, superseded, and poor images. Galleries are meant to be a useful selection of images, broken into sub-headings and with descriptions to make it easy to find the files you want. --Tony Wills (talk) 11:27, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Well to me, the benefits of that are so minor as to be redundant, especially now where you get thumbnails from every search. But I can see how it would work for taxa with a very high amount of media attached to them, so the bad stuff can be weeded out, but that doesn't apply to most. Deciding what should be in a gallery is subjective anyway. FunkMonk (talk) 11:34, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
I think problem isn't galleries, but galleries that were created without purpose. People create them just so we have a page on a topic. There's a ton of wasted time on creating 1 or 2 image "galleries" instead making something that's useful. For example, the gallery Papilio has a purpose, whereas Papilio homerus (what 95% of galleries look like) does not. That's exactly what categories do, but galleries are a much less efficient way. Rocket000 (talk) 17:47, 3 September 2009 (UTC)