User talk:Andy Dingley

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Destructor Bridge, Bath[edit]

Hi. The replacement Destructor Bridge, Bath has been given the same name, so we need to distinguish the category somehow. I wonder about 2 new sub-cats "Destructor Bridge (1905)" and "Destructor Bridge (2017)" - note no ", Bath". Do you have a strong opinion on this? Rwendland (talk) 18:03, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

That sounds fine. Andy Dingley (talk) 20:37, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

Flat lists[edit]

Thanks for the recovery of the Van Duinen category. Could you do the same for the photographs of Willem van de Poll -a much more important photographer? Vysotsky (talk) 12:18, 17 April 2020 (UTC)

  • No, because it's a totally pointless and useless task. If you want to count the overall list, do it right and use the depth parameter on the counter tool. Andy Dingley (talk) 12:21, 17 April 2020 (UTC)
  • So I guess you made these 4,392 edits for a different reason? Vysotsky (talk) 12:25, 17 April 2020 (UTC)
Yes. Andy Dingley (talk) 12:50, 17 April 2020 (UTC)

MacKintosh Chair[edit]

I'm a new editor here, so working on my learning curve. This said--you just reverted my edit of this chair, so help me understand here. The chair's description reads, "Chair by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, from 1917."

Now, to me, that says that the chair is... by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. But the revert reads, "This isn't Mackintosh..." which appears to contradict the uploader's description.

On a second point, you argue "...and it's already in his furniture category."

Help me understand what the policy is here. To myself, it would seem that, as in Biological Categorization, it makes sense to categorize each species fairly far back on the tree, because, particularly in an encyclopedic sense, it is not possible to predict the level of a person's knowledge when they are researching a subject in so basic a source as an encyclopedia. Therefore, it would make most sense to say that a dog was both a canine and a mammal. Similarly, it makes most sense to categorize a piece of artwork by Mackintosh as both a piece of furniture associated with Mackintosh and to categorize it as related to the man himself. So--while you, as an editor, can make the assumption that the single categorization is logical... that is not true for someone who just started looking at Mackintosh and thought that Mackintosh only did stained glass.

What is the take here at Wikimedia Commons? Sicklemoon (talk) 23:04, 20 April 2020 (UTC)

P.S. Just had a look at your user page. As someone who has just started to work on WP, I can only gasp at your perserverence and patience in uploading all those photos. 100% a noble effort. --K Sicklemoon (talk) 23:09, 20 April 2020 (UTC)

There's a policy COM:OVERCAT which says "only put them in the single, most-specific, category" and also "don't put them in a parent category if they're already in sub-category". We might well put them in multiple categories which are related, such as "chair by Mackintosh" and "1900s works by Mackintosh".
That said, I don't always follow OVERCAT to the simple letter of it. Many editors here are much stricter on it. I only impose OVERCAT if (and only if) the parent category is completely implied by the sub-category. This might even be true for some items in that cat, but not all of them. If we had a more-specific "chairs" cat, I'd put chairs into it and not put them into "furniture" any more. I wouldn't put them into Mackintosh either. But if it was a photo of Mackintosh sitting on one of his chairs, then I'd put it in both – the chair implies one, Mackintosh would imply the other, and that would be something beyond what's meant by being in "chairs", even if the chair alone would be amply covered by that much. Andy Dingley (talk) 23:24, 20 April 2020 (UTC)

Okay, excellent, so there's invisible/background uber-category structure that I'm not seeing.

Now, I know this sort of comment must be diresomely repetitive from your end... but I am having an interesting time learning the navigation here, and piecing through the sensical policy elements and the ones that appear bot driven to a fault is a complex business, especially to someone who is striving for a standard of "increase knowledge" over... peacocking. Using that last word in a not entirely WP technical sense!

Thanks for your response. The work & thought is appreciated. --K Sicklemoon (talk) 13:48, 21 April 2020 (UTC)

  • You're welcome. This stuff is complex and there's a lot of it which is either undocumented, or (commonly!) documented in the simplest of terms, so that the more complex cases run outside that. Many editors, sadly, then turn to dogma and insist "policy says this!" rather than thinking about the implications and effects of how they use it. Mediawiki categorization isn't a powerful mechanism: it's mostly useful for navigation, not definition. It has something of a directed graph structure to it, which most users use as a single-rooted, single-direction branching tree. But we always have to base definitions on something else, the categorization isn't powerful enough. We can say "this category holds stuff about Mackintosh furniture, such that it's useful to a student of Mackintosh furniture" but no stronger than that – it could easily hold an image of a brochure or program for sales of furniture or exhibitions of it. We can't go so far as, "everything in here is a piece of furniture". Andy Dingley (talk) 14:31, 21 April 2020 (UTC)

Hydraulic accumulator[edit]

This was a simplified representation of the type of hydraulic accumulator used for a water pump where the design considerations are a little different. The type used on power hydraulics or for water hammer mitigation are more optimised for shock damping and so need a wider neck. The membrane-type with the rubber fixed to the equator seems to be common for small spherical accumulators, the cost of making a large equatorial seal at high pressure had made them less common in the past but I wasn't aware they were currently being produced with welded construction, it's actually quite impressive that they are welded so close to the diaphragm without damaging it (image).

It seems that more description of the designs for different applications needs to be added to the page, I'll add some descriptions of the types tomorrow, the ambiguity of "hydraulic" is a little problematic here too. And I might make a new image that shows some more features like the air valve, it's honestly a pretty hasty construction, and it might be worth showing the design of a hydraulic type too.MasterTriangle12 (talk) 12:23, 23 April 2020 (UTC)

Herculaneum is not in Pompeii ![edit]

Hi Andy. This rollback you made is a nonsense. The old Roman city of Herculaneum is not located in the old city of Pompeii! They are 20 km away from each other. I don't know why over 50% of the photos taken by Van de Poll in Herculaneum have in their name the inscription Pompeii and not Herculaneum. Obviously it is a mistake that I corrected by putting the files from Pompeii to Herculaneum. Now you make the category of the photograph of Herculaneum a sub-cat of the photos of Pompeii, i.e. you put the category of these photos of Herculaneum in the category of the photos of Pompeii. This is nonsense and it is wrong! Please correct this nonsense or I will do it. Thanks. --DenghiùComm (talk) 02:45, 27 April 2020 (UTC)

I noticed your large moves of those images from Pompeii into Herculaneum; is that just an old naming error and we can be sure now that the locations are right? We could even rename the files here? Or at least add a note to the description – otherwise we have files with one name in the other category, which will just be confusing in the future (and likely to get reverted on that basis).
My point for the sub-categorisation is that we need to preserve the "Pompeii and Herculaneum" group. Maybe this make no sense to a Roman, but to a modern tourist the two sites are usually visited together. Would you be happy with a link between them instead? Andy Dingley (talk) 10:21, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
When there are errors in the files, they must be corrected, not perpetrated in the categories, even adapting the categories to them. In the meantime, I have seen that the solution that I wanted to propose to you has already been applied, that is, to create reciprocal links with "cat see also". The problem remains with the wrong names of the files that could cause someone to move the files back to the wrong category. I am a file-mover so I can change the names of the files, so I can correct the names. You could correct the descriptions of each file. This morning I identified for each photograph the exact place that is shown, and I assigned the relative categories of houses and streets (cardo or decumanus), so it is enough that you report this information in the descriptions of each file. Is this solution good for you? Thanks. Best regards --DenghiùComm (talk) 14:15, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
  • files renaming ✓ Done DenghiùComm (talk) 15:09, 27 April 2020 (UTC)
  • correction of descriptions (only a notice) ✓ Done DenghiùComm (talk) 18:37, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

Categories for Pottery[edit]

Hi Andy! We chatted a week back or so when I mistook a Mackintosh table for... Mackintosh.

I am (marginally) more cognisant of how the categories work here on Wikimedia, and... I am trying to sort out the Pottery category tree. I am trying to move the category Shipibo-Conibo pottery‎ to be a subcategory of Pottery in Peru.

Have I done this? I'm trying to have the Shipibo-Conibo pottery not show up as a subcategory of pottery. Because that should be nested (not the right word, sorry) within the Peru category (as a parent category) automatically, right?

Thanks, Sicklemoon (talk) 15:10, 29 April 2020 (UTC) (trying to wreak order, not havoc)

Also--what's the difference between a subcategory and a subclass? Pottery is a subcategory of Ceramics, but Porcelain is a subclass. What's the significance of the distinction? Sicklemoon (talk) 15:27, 29 April 2020 (UTC)

It is a different material. Pottery is purified clay; when it is not purified it is called terracotta or pottery. Porcelain is not clay: it is made with kaolin. --DenghiùComm (talk) 19:15, 29 April 2020 (UtTC)

That was not my question, though, yes, many who have uploaded images have had that confusion so there are a number of porcelain items categorised as pottery. There is a massive amount of material, much of it not very well categorized, which makes it difficult to find things. This said, if I am putting time in to sort things, I want to have a clear understanding of how the category tree has been set up, and not do work that others will end up undoing.

It looks to me like this area hasn't had attention for awhile, so things are a bit disorderly. Pottery, as it stands, appears to be categorised as an activity, whereas ceramics is characterised as objects. But the people who have uploaded images have not attended to this distinction. And there are many items in pottery that should... be in porcelain.

Sicklemoon (talk) 13:57, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

  • Several issues there!
The MediaWiki (both Commons and the Wikipedias) syntax for categories is simple, but not well explained, and so is often not understood. There are two forms:
does two things: it places that page into the category (i.e. the page will appear on the category page) and it makes the category linked from the bottom of the page.
[[:Category:Pottery]] (there's a colon prefix there)
does just the one thing, it places an inline link to the category page onto the article page. It doesn't place the page into the category.
That's the lot. Everything is built from that.
If you want to edit a lot of categories, then investigate the editing Gadgets (from your Preferences tab) for HotCat and Cat-A-Lot. Also there's a 'Batch task' thing on the LHS column, which is powerful, although somewhat slow and complicated to use.
For Category:Shipibo-Conibo pottery, I think you've already worked this out for yourself and removed the [[Category:Pottery]] from it. There's no magic definition to the category structure, it's just done link by link, from each of the sub-categories, with that syntax.
I'm not sure what you mean by "class" rather than "category"? MediaWiki has categories, not classes. We might have "class" as a concept in ontology or taxonomy, but MediaWiki doesn't do that and what it does do isn't powerful or rigorous enough to really allow such definitions to be made or implied.
I don't know what the difference between "Pottery" and "Ceramics" is, in Commons terms, or how this was arrived at (I can see several potential structures for them, but have no idea as to which was selected). You could try going to a high-level category within this and raising a "Categories for Discussion" request - however this almost never works! The discussions are ignored, so there are only a handful of editors who join in. Usually any such discussion gets dominated by one of the same handful of names, who simply shout louder and longer until they get their way (it is a mistake to take this futile situation too seriously, or to waste too much of your time on it). Commons typically copies a structure or definition from en:WP, but then expresses it in German (the most active editors in this are German, and don't have half the English language skills they think they do), badly transliterated to pidgin-English. It barely works. If the category for discussion is too high, not enough people notice (they don't watchlist high-level categories as they're "obvious" and "stable"). If the category is too low, then few people see such a narrow corner. I suggest nominating any category you like, but then pasting the notification message onto some other related categories to broaden the exposure. Andy Dingley (talk) 23:01, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

Discussion Category:Monochrome pictures Kurpark Bad Mergentheim[edit]

Hi, you started a discussion at March 8th. There have been no more contributions in the discussion since March 9th. Everything necessary is said. It's required, to get a clear state. You initiated the discussion, it's still your turn! HubiB (talk) 18:16, 13 May 2020 (UTC)

  • That's not really how Commons DRs work. There's no time limit, thus they tend to wander on aimlessly for years. If no others, or no admins, happen to take a passing interest. Andy Dingley (talk) 19:33, 13 May 2020 (UTC)
Sorry, that's obviously an easy way to disturb and and run off, not caring about your own action leading to an unresolved state. No, that's not how Commons DRs works, it's maybe how you work without following the obligation of a user feeling responsible for his results! HubiB (talk) 18:54, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
  • This is just the way it is. I have no magic ability to summon other editors to comment or resolve it. Andy Dingley (talk) 19:34, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
Indeed, the discussion seems to be ended without further comments. This should be a reason for you to remove your "needs discussion" entry from the category to avoid this blocking like item from existing needlessly over time. Otherwise: It's you who intended to rename, I agreed. So do it! HubiB (talk) 14:22, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Commons' poor responsiveness for DRs is a problem, but it's not going to become an excuse for closing DRs how you feel anyway. If you want to get some further opinions on this, I'll ping @Themightyquill: and @Tuvalkin: who are regularly active on DRs and might have time to comment. Andy Dingley (talk) 16:27, 15 May 2020 (UTC)


Dear Andy Dingley, Today you changed Category:Gongs of the Netherlands to Gongs in the Netherlands. That seems odd, because there are 8 similar categories Gongs of [country name], and because of your reason for renaming: "They're located in the Netherlands, but they have no distinct origin, nor cultural connection there." That's simply not true. One of the gongs is used at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament. There is a Tata Steel plant in the same city, Wijk aan Zee. The other 3 photographs are depicting a modern gong, and the photos were made in the Netherlands in 1965. Do you have any evidence to link these two gongs to other countries? If not, I would like to keep both categories as separate entities, and move these 4 photographs back to the old category. Vysotsky (talk) 22:45, 20 May 2020 (UTC)

  • there are 8 similar categories That's not how MediaWiki categorization works, by pattern matching. It works by parent categories, which these categories all have in common.
You might also note that the other countries have specific national types of gong, often with specific subcategories, because they each have a long and distinct tradition of using gongs. The Netherlands do not. If we had images of the Rank Pictures gongman Bombardier Billy Wells, or of Pink Floyd's Nick Mason, then they too (famous gongs though they are) would be "gongs in the United Kingdom" rather than of. The UK has no gong tradition either. Andy Dingley (talk) 23:56, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
Informative. I am glad you're an expert on Dutch gongs. I didn't know the Netherlands had no tradition on using gongs. Thanks! Vysotsky (talk) 00:10, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
  • If you're seriously equating the musical traditions of Bali with a town crier's simple noise-maker, then there's little point in discussing this. Andy Dingley (talk) 00:28, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
I'm not equating or comparing. This is not about the quality of gong traditions. I'm quoting: "They're located in the Netherlands, but they have no distinct origin, nor cultural connection there" -which is simply not true. I just wonder why you ever started to make a difference between of and in. And I will stop banging on this gong. Vysotsky (talk) 00:43, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
  • The "of" / "in" distinction is a perennial issue. Typically for cars and the like, where there's a clear and obvious distinction between origin and present location. DAF vehicles (as a group) are car makers of the Netherlands, but a photograph of a single DAF in Warsaw is a car in Poland. If I eat haggis in Antwerp, that doesn't make it Belgian. Andy Dingley (talk) 00:49, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
That's interesting. So a gong made in the Netherlands, located in the Netherlands, would be a gong of the Netherlands? (Last time I ate haggis was in Edinburgh, 2019.) Vysotsky (talk) 01:03, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
See you're from Cymru. Love Blaenau Ffestiniog! Vysotsky (talk) 01:08, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
  • That might depend. If we associate "of" with a concept of "origin" (this is largely supported on Commons), then what does "origin" mean? And does that change with the nature of the object? Is a Volkswagen car still German if it's a Czech design, built in Spain? Do the Netherlands have vast gong factories? Turkey does, because they might not have them as part of their musical tradition, but they do have a considerable manufacturing history for hand-worked cuprous alloys (most of the world's cymbal makers are in Turkey, or have their origins in Turkey). But in this case, I know of the Netherlands neither having a musical tradition based on gongs, nor a tradition of making them, so neither would apply. Andy Dingley (talk) 01:14, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
  • Nor for that matter am I from Cymru. I'm in Cymru, not of it. Andy Dingley (talk) 01:14, 21 May 2020 (UTC)