Template talk:MetaCat

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Size of this box[edit]

I suggest this box be shortened from top to bottom. All the text could be in one paragraph instead of two. The languages could be put in a collapsed section. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:35, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

The box has been shortened. See Template talk:MetaCat/en. --Timeshifter (talk) 08:48, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Documentation and better method[edit]

Please see this discussion:

--Timeshifter (talk) 22:34, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Version of summer 2010[edit]

Parameter "flat=yes" not documented. Causes self categorisation. --Foroa (talk) 17:27, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

It's logical in this case. A category meant to contain all "by xxx" should contain itself if it is also a "by xxx" category. It's not documented (yet) on purpose. Rocket000 (talk) 19:14, 12 August 2010 (UTC)


Suggestion: Include {{CatAZ}} when more than 200 items in category (and potentially {{LargeCategoryTOC}} when more than 5000 items). --Foroa (talk) 15:38, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Good idea, but two issues I see with that: 1) Some of these already have a TOC template, so this would duplicate it. 2) TOCs should preferably be directly above the category list; if there's any description or navigation template (like one of these) or anything else, it should be below that I think. Rocket000 (talk) 01:14, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
Not a real problem I guess, most cats with navigation are well organised and compact. I prefer to have them on a sub-optimal place than having to insert them manually and see them popping up where they are not needed at all. --Foroa (talk) 06:22, 24 August 2010 (UTC)


Is there a way to change the sortkey? As a sample on Category:Self-portraits, the subcategory Category:Self-portraits by country appears as the first one despite probably being the last criterion to use.  Docu  at 11:08, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

It is a good idea to have all of the tens of thousands meta-categories always located at the top left part of the parent category list. So even when the cat is too populated, they are always visible on the first page. It is not a good idea to have meta categories undersnowed in long subcategory lists. --Foroa (talk) 12:13, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure if it's that helpful to create a meta-cat for every type of subcategory, just to make it easier to sort them.  Docu  at 16:52, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
This is only done if {{by country category|parent category}} is used and is done for backwards compatibility. {{metacat|country}}, which should eventually replace {{by country category}}, does not add a parent topical category (only parent meta categories) and thus does not add a sortkey. If you convert it like so, then you can change the sortkey. The reasons for having {{metacat}} not categorize into a topical category is explained on Template:By country category. However, I agree that "by xxx" categories should have consistent locations in their topic categories. Rocket000 (talk) 18:46, 8 September 2010 (UTC)


I think this template could be made more useful by generalizing its autocategorization function. Currently it autocategorizes all categories tagged by this template into a common metacategory Category:Meta categories and into some other flat metacategories depending on the sorting criterion Category:Categories by CRITERION (flat list). However, it could have an extended functionality if, additionally, it autocategorizes into metacategories depending not only on the sorting criterion but also on the topics (template parameters named topic, topic2 and topic3). Thus, categories of the form Category:TOPIC in TOPIC2 by CRITERION could be autocategorized into the metacategory (if existing) Category:Categories of TOPIC2 by CRITERION|TOPIC. For example, Category:Agriculture in the United States by state could be autocategorized into the metacategory Category:Categories of the United States by state. --Albert Villanova del Moral (talk) 10:02, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Definition of a metacat?[edit]

What is a metacat? Is it:

  1. A category that can only contain other categories, not media directly.
  2. A category that can only contain other categories, not media directly, and where those sub-categories are related by a single differentiating factor, chosen from a small list of possibilities, such as "by country" or "by year"?

Andy Dingley (talk) 09:04, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Definitely #2, except that I don't think there's a specific list they're limited to, certainly not a small one. Commons:List of meta category criteria has a list of most of the ones that are in use, but I don't believe we're limited to those if we think of something new that's appropriate. Both that page and Commons:Naming_categories#Categories_by_CRITERION specify that metacats groups things by a specific criterion and have "by something" in the name.
There's a separate template, {{CatCat}}, that can be used for categories that should contain only other categories, but which aren't actually metacats. Categories that use that template are in Category:Categories requiring permanent diffusion to zero. I suspect {{CatCat}} is overused, though. I see it sometimes on categories where it would be nice if everything were in subcategories, but there's no good enough reason that they have to be (IMO).
Make sense? --Auntof6 (talk) 09:46, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
When you're auto-removing {{Metacat}} (under #2), how about instead replacing it with {{CatCat}} ? Andy Dingley (talk) 18:27, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Using mbox instead of cmbox[edit]

Template {{cmbox}} seems to be deprecated. Please replace it by {{mbox}}.

Thanks in advance. --abián 18:28, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Metacats that don't include a criterion parameter[edit]

Fairly often, I see categories that use this template without specifying a criterion parameter. I think it would be useful to add those categories into a tracking category. That way, we could find them and add a parameter. I believe this could be done by adding a "then" condition to the "{{#if:{{{1|}}}" statement in this template, and creating the new category. Perhaps the new category could be called something like "Metacategories missing a criterion parameter". Thoughts? I will mention this discussion at the village pump. --Auntof6 (talk) 17:40, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Sounds like a great idea. It would be useful to have the special category. Would they also stay in Category:Meta categories ? - Themightyquill (talk) 05:41, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
I think they should stay in that cat as well, because they're still metacats. --Auntof6 (talk) 06:54, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

In case this is approved, I've tested a change that would accomplish this. It's in Template:MetaCat/sandbox. I used a different category name than suggested above, but the category name can easily be changed. --Auntof6 (talk) 05:15, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

{{editprotected}} Since there have been no objections, would an admin be willing to make this change? I did publicize it at the village pump. --Auntof6 (talk) 20:25, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

@Auntof6: How can there be meta cats w/o criterion? Parameter #1 is required. Strange.... Let's give it a try. :✓  Changes made , your turn café --Hedwig in Washington (mail?) 22:10, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, Hedwig. I defined the category and cleared everything that was in it (not as much as I expected). I'm watching the category, so I should see if anything else appears in it. Later I'll update the template doc with info about the change. --Auntof6 (talk) 00:10, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Thx for cleaning up! --Hedwig in Washington (mail?) 00:12, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

Proposal: Track metacategories that aren't sorted into flat categories[edit]

I believe we have a lot of metacategories that don't get sorted into flat categories by the logic in Template:ByCat. I propose creating a category to hold those metacategories. That would let us look at them and decide if we want to add them to ByCat, either to existing options or as new options. A possible name for the new category could be Category:Metacategories not sorted into flat categories. We could use this category to look for the following:

  • Metacategories where the metacat criterion was misspelled.
  • Metacategories that use a variation of something the {{ByCat}} already sorts, so that we could add the variations. For example, Category:Categories by year (flat list) is assigned to metacategories that use a sort criterion of any of the following: year, construction year, planting year, year of closure, year of completion, year of destruction, year of disestablishment, year of establishment, year of photographing, year of photography, year of registration. If there was a metacategory that specified "year of announcement", that metacategory wouldn't be sorted into a flat category.
  • Metacategories that use a less closely-related criterion that could be added to an existing one. For example, we have some "by league" categories that could be added to Category:Categories by organization (flat list).
  • Metacategories that use sort criteria unrelated to any that {{ByCat}} currently sorts. I don't think we should necessarily include all criteria in flat categories, but I'm sure there are a lot that we would want to include.

I made and tested a change to Template:MetaCat that would do what I have in mind. The change is in Template:MetaCat/sandbox.

Your thoughts? --Auntof6 (talk) 03:42, 16 March 2017 (UTC)