User talk:Pfctdayelise/Principles

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The way I feel it there are some very good thoughts in it. Subconsciously I think had distiguished the same type of users:

  • Visitors (=Browser), sent here through, e.g., a {{commons|galleryname}} statement in one of the wikis
  • Wikipedians (=Contributors) who upload their stuff here because the wikis encourage them.
  • Wikimedians (=Wikimedia Editor), who take a broader interest in commons than there own stuff.

I am not sure that the difference between "Wikimedia Editor" and "Contributor" is a very large one. I guess that most wikipedians who come to look here for stuff, will also contribute stuff. But this is a personal guess, which may be wide of the mark, and conceptually they are different, so I think we must keep them apart.

It would be interesting to have an idea about how much people in each group we have. I agree with the analysis that

The conclusion that The Commons must be organised for the ease of use of the Browser is a disputable one, it depends on what we see as the purpose of commons: Does commons exist as a central repository for wikipedia media, or is it also an aim in itself? If the latter, the conclusion is right.

Another remark: Implication: Methods of working with categories should be improved massively. Many limitations currently, including invariable sort key, 200 item limit, inability to "watch" a category/be informed of new additions. should be expanded with: "move category". On the Ducth wiki there is a bot script for it, no doubt his also exists on other wikis, and it should be possible to integrate this in the wiki software.

TeunSpaans 21:56, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

You agree with the analysis that...? :)
As for The Commons must be organised for the ease of use of the Browser, I realise this could be disputed. But I think organising for the ease of the Browser is only a little bit more difficult that organising for the ease of the Wikimedia Editor. The Browser may be an editor or not. Anything we do to benefit the Browser, will benefit the Wikimedia Editor, will it not?
--pfctdayelise (说什么?) 22:59, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps it is better to elaborate a bit, as short texts easily create misunderstandings.
One thought that occured to me today, is that there probably are users which are a bit of a contributor and a bit of a Community Member. I mean I noticed some very large upload series, such as MKL and the Yorck project. As I didnt delve into the their histories, I am not sure of this.
If we organize commons for the Browsers, the organization of images in galleries is a logical implication, as galleries have the ability to sort images and provide captions. See for example Po river, Boxer and Gustave Dore. Galleries lack these. For presentation of images to browsers, galleries are to be preferred. All the stuff we collect is intended for the Browsers, so we must provide them with an optimal vistor experience.
However, categories are a good way to navigate between the galleries. To maintain these categories, we need better category facilities. Especially with the small group of community members, we need these extra functionalities.
You say: The ability to require the addition of a category, or else one-step add-a-file-to-a-gallery, should be enacted.. To facilitate contributors, it would be great if, based on the provided description or file name, the upload function would present a list of existing galleries where the image could be added to. Commonist already has a facility to add a category to an image, it could be expanded with a gallery to which it could automatically be added under a heading "new".
There may be another type of users... those who coach community members.
There was another thing which I wanted to remark, but at the moment it eludes me.
TeunSpaans 20:36, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, OK. There is another consideration: the limit of our manpower, or the labour effort of the Community Mmembers. We can't assume this is infinite, or even enough, because it's clearly not. So there is a tradeoff between maximally easiest to use presentation (galleries for all topics, all fully annotated and translated), and minimally easiest to maintain (...which, I guess, is categories). Given the choice between an unmaintained category and an unmaintained gallery, I would take my chances with the category. A gallery is only useful as long it has some level of active maintenance, IMO.
Also, for topics with a small number of files, like < 50 or maybe even more, I would say there is not much difference in ease of use between a gallery and category. (ie, category is harder, but not hard enough to really matter.)
What you described with adding an image to a gallery at Special:Upload, sounds something like how I imagine a hybrid category/gallery system would work... that we all voted for... to implemented sometime... sometime... :) --pfctdayelise (说什么?) 05:30, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
I read the vote about galleries / categories, but didnt really understand what was meant with the merged system, I suppose it is more or less akin to what you mean with a hybrid system.
Yes, most people find categories less work to maintain. It is less work to maintain in its initial creation. It would be less extra work if the upload utility continued with the presentation of a series of gallery names which could be opened with 1 click.
Even where it is more work, and even when the numbers are small, I prefer Po river above category:Po river. It simply looks nicer, which makes for a better visitor experience. Better visitor experiences will invite people to come back more often, which will increase the likely that they will join our community. Potentially we could outgrow flickr and yahoo, when people really start discovering us, independant of the wikipedias. Which would be a good thing for all wikis, as wikipedians would have choice from more media. And not only wikipedians, of course. I prefer quality over quantity. A good layout is part of quality.
I trust that with time, more people will 'grow' from Contributor to Community Mmeber, solving the capacity issue. It takes time for people to start feeling a bond with commons.
Another thing that is high on my wishlist is a bot that automatically compares galleries and categories with the same name, and adds the differences to both. There is no intelligence needed for adding them to the category, but the bot could only add them to a "new images" section in the gallery.
TeunSpaans 06:06, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
Hm, I have a very different idea to you about what the benefits of a gallery is... but I knew this already. :)
Isn't it a better system where the user can do whichever they prefer? While we maintain 2 access systems, that only seems reasonable.
Access is an important question that is probably limiting how fast we grow at the moment, because it is so hard to find anything at the moment. (for a Browser)
If we compare to flickr, the main system they use is tags. Tags are similar to categories, but they don't have the heirarchical structure. I also don't know how they solve synonymy...I think they don't worry about it, actually. But the layout is so much nicer. I mean our search engine returns text. I only this week realised how stupid that is for the Commons. Flickr also allows ratings (well they have some 'most interesting' tag - seems like a good, quick quality evaluation).
I mean the place with the most information is still a library... but most people will turn to Google first. Why? Because the access method is so much simpler. Not just that it's on the internet, either, I don't think. But... meh. Commons needs a lot of improvements to catch on like flickr, even for people browsing, not talking about getting them to contribute, too.
You are right that the longer (and more often) a user is a Contributor, the more likely they will become a Community Member, but I think the percentage is much, much lower than other Wikimedia projects. And it is probably precisely because of the other Wikimedia projects -- most users view Commons as auxiliary to their efforts, not the main point itself. So all wikis suffer a lack of Community Members, once they reach a certain stage, but I think we do especially so. pfctdayelise (说什么?) 06:23, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
All right, here is an objection: I don't care for the Browsers. From my point of view, the commons are a deposit and service for Wikimedia projects - first and foremost Wikipedia. I need a simple structure to organize media files for storage and retrieval. And I find this structure in categories. They are not perfect, but most of them are working. If someone else wishes to build galleries, that's fine. But there simply is no substitute to a hierarchical top-down-structure (interspersed with horizontal webbings) like categories. --h-stt !? 12:55, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
H-stt: Small clarification: I agree that categories have a fantastic top-down structure, there fore I prefer categories for all levels except the lowest level which contains the images. I hope this doesn't spark a new round in this debate. TeunSpaans 07:26, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
This is not a simple categories vs galleries thing, and I am not trying to draw any conclusions like that. The fact is that what benefits Browsers (and I included Wikimedia Editors as one of the main types) also benefits all other users. Ease of accessibility is good for everyone. The people who argue for galleries are also Wikimedia editors. pfctdayelise (说什么?) 13:28, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
I think you missed the scope of my comment. I don't care for those users, you called the Browsers. I strongly believe, the Commons should be optimized for storage and retrieval, not for presentation. --h-stt !? 17:57, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
the Commons should be optimized for storage and retrieval - if thats is all you want to day, simply upload your media. It is stored. There is a search function which works reasonably well, and you can download it or use it from one of the wikis. If storage and retrieval is all you want, no categories or galleries are needed. TeunSpaans 16:46, 20 November 2006 (UTC)


Within "Wikimedians" should be the "Wikisourcians" who would love to feel confident about uploading images from source works to Commons and not have to worry about them being deleted or modified or renamed, thereby hindering their efforts to create digital replications of old books and other works. Permission to protect such images would be fantastic; until then there are going to be nagging doubts, since some on Commons, without thinking or using CheckUsage, update CIA World Factbook images and replace book pages with cropped and rotated versions. --Spangineeren ws (háblame) 01:46, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

I think "Wikisourcians" should merely feel confident about reverting such changes... it is common that people think they're helping, but they're not really. :) Anything that is not an improvement can be reverted without hesitation, right? pfctdayelise (说什么?) 07:30, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that's true, but it's an extra thing to monitor—CommonsTicker makes it easier than it would be otherwise, but it's still harder than just having everything on a watchlist in the primary account... maybe with SUL we'll get integrated watchlists? That'd be awesome. --Spangineeren ws (háblame) 08:08, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Do such images have a template advising the user to make a copy if the image rather than altering it directly? A template explaining the situation might help lowering the odds. TeunSpaans 07:36, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
I recently created {{original}} for that purpose, but applying it to all the images that need it will take some time. We'll find out if it helps as time goes on. --Spangineeren ws (háblame) 08:08, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, it seems to me most of the Wikisource images, like book scans, most people who stumble across them will probably pick themselves up as if it never happened. :) I mean they are kind of unexciting, and there's a I don't know who would be inspired to (for example) rotate hundreds of images if they weren't already involved with Wikisource. Updating maps, I know can be a problem where people think they are being "helpful" - we had it with flags already - but hopefully it doesn't happen too often... I think Wikisourcians should be patient but firm in explaining the importance of maintaining the historical record, or however else you want to put it. :) --pfctdayelise (说什么?) 09:10, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

new version[edit]


I have taken the liberty to partially rewrite your ideas. Feel free to roll back my change if you dont like it.

TeunSpaans 18:00, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

a tab showing the list of images, together with the number of categories they are listed in. - would you find this useful? I feel certain I could ask Magnus to code this up in a day or two. pfctdayelise (说什么?) 00:39, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
The reverse is much more useful to me. I added this to balance things - I can imagine that category proponents would like to know which images just have a GFDL-tag, but no contents tag. To me, it is much more useful to have a tag on a category which creates or updates a gallery with the same name. If the gallery already exists, new images are added in a section == new media ==<gallery></gallery>. If Magnus could code that in a day or two, it would be great. TeunSpaans 05:59, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
You want to use galleries as categories, yet again.
"The reverse" already exists, it is CatScan. pfctdayelise (说什么?) 07:29, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
You want to use galleries as categories, yet again. I do not understand this remark. I try to find a workable way to stay here and to be productive here. At the moment I am no longer active organizing, it is a complete waste of time for me. I would wish commons was a more reliable partner for its customers, the browsers. TeunSpaans 08:07, 25 November 2006 (UTC)


If a category has a tab "update/create from gallery" (see user page for details) and the gallery has a tab "update create from category", the galleries and categories can co-exist peacefully together, one can qucikly be created from the other and vice versa.

TeunSpaans 08:30, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Fantastic idea. I fully support this. Siebrand 12:46, 23 December 2006 (UTC)