User talk:Arp/archive2009-2011

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Pseudoscorpionida[edit]

I was wondering why you redirected Pseudoscorpionida to the obsolete synonym Pseudoscorpionides?--Kevmin (talk) 17:50, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi Kevmin, and I was wondering why Commons was still sporting Pseudoscorpionida, while it seems that it has long been reverted to Pseudoscorpiones :o)
ITIS Pseudoscorpionides (valid); Pseudoscorpionida (invalid)
Fauna Europaea
Harvey
Henderickx
Wikispecies ;o)
Cheers, Arp

Categorization[edit]

Hey there, I see you've started to do some work here. :) The golden rule of categorization is never put something in a category and it's parent category. That defeats the whole purpose of subcategories then, right? Rocket000 (talk) 22:47, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi Rocket, well ... yes ... I new this was going to come of course :o))
So, no, not right ;o)
Rules and laws have their purpose and are often fine, practical or pragmatic ways to get along and keep things moving. But they're also by principle rough generalizations that don't fit every purpose all the time. COM:OVERCAT is such a fine "rule of thumb" that makes perfect sense most of the time, but - like any rule/law - it should not comfortably sooth us into switching of the brain and follow the rule "because it's there" (I'll refrain from using a popular German quote on the subject) especially on a project that prides itself on being "free" or even a tad anarchistic ;o)
Well, I left my brain in gear (or so I would like to think ;o) and decided to "ignore all rules". So why do I think double cats can be useful? In short: improved navigation.
Example 1 (Species level gallery): When I'm browsing the taxon tree chances are that I'll end up browsing categories as the system of "pictorial browsing through gallery pages" is not yet at a level that allows for seamless walking up and down the taxon tree. So, if I get to a fairly concise genus category, such as Category:Anoplophora (at the moment of writing) and I would prefer to watch sorted, informative galleries as opposed to unsorted categories it really helps to be able to see the gallery pages of any species that do have galleries directly from the genus category, as opposed to opening all the sub-categories first in order to be able to find out if such a page does or does not exist. Also, there is no real "logic" to prevent the species gallery being categorized in the genus category as the gallery Anoplophora chinensis certainly is "category Anoplophora" as much as Category:Anoplophora chinensis would be.
So why also categorize the gallery as Category:Anoplophora chinensis? The true question should be: Why not?! If I visit any image that is categorized as Category:Anoplophora chinensis, it may or may not also be in the species gallery, so on the image/file page I may or may not find a link to the gallery, and if it's present it's probably buried in between loads of other links toward the end of the page. The category link however, I know for sure is there (or should be) and I know where it is at, so I jump to EOP and navigate to the species category to find more stuff on the species. Do you really think it is practical or logical to now not have a link to the species gallery while viewing the species category? Surely if I'm looking at the species category I will want to know that a sorted gallery also exists, right? I see no point in having to browse one level up to the genus category to find out if a species gallery exists or not (or to get to it for that matter). So why not have the link there too? Because one link at the top of the category display clutters the screen to much? Don't think so. In fact, the only reason I can come up with is COM:OVERCAT. So sod that.
Example 2 (Images showing multiple species): If I create a side-by-side of two or more species that may be used for identification purposes (such as Anoplophora glabripennis vs chinensis.jpg) or showing multiple species of a family or genus to convey an impression of the taxon as a whole (such as Acanthosomatidae sizes.jpg) then it can certainly be defended that the first higher taxon containing all the species depicted is a good place as it can be perceived to be a "generic" image of the taxon (much like images impossible to ID to species level). Also, if people are looking for images of say Acanthosomatidae they may be most happy to find such a compilation directly within the handful of images in the family category, rather than having to stumble on it between the possibly hundreds for each individual species. My personal opinion is that in such cases it would actually make sense to have the image categorized in each and every species category of the species depicted too. Again: Would one more image get "in the way" between loads of other images on the species level. I don't think so and it would actually make sense as the species are depicted on the image.
I can probably cook up some more examples, but mostly we should ask ourselves if an extra (higher/lower level) category will improve the "user experience" or destroy it. Category sizes (amount of images and pages in it) are a crucial factor here and imho I've looked at the facts, and decided that in the Anoplophora case the balance was clearly tipping to improved navigation. SO there it is :o) Cheers, Pudding4brains (talk) 00:19, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I understand some people might like this because it makes navigation easier for the way they browse. Some people also feel that have all the galleries at the family level helps them navigate as well. And it does if that's all they're interested in. When I go to any category above species level all I want to see is subcategories (and images that contain multiple species or unsubscribed species). This helps me navigate. I don't have redundant galleries (which in most cases look exactly like the category but with less media) taking up space. I don't have to scroll through them all to get to want I want. So you see, it just depends on how you navigate. It's not universally easier either way. If people didn't make so many single image no caption "galleries", and they actually had a good reason to make a whole new page, then I might not mind so much. In fact, I might even prefer them in genus categories (but not species too)... This unfortunately is one TOL area that we haven't resolved yet. People have they're preferences and no one is more right than the other, yet it only makes sense to default to the policy that has extremely strong consensus (and logic) for all other areas, right? Or do we each just do what we feel is right? Without rules, there's chaos. Rocket000 (talk) 03:45, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
When working on my Lepidoptera project, I struggled with how to go about doing the suprageneric categorization up to the family level. Sometimes it made sense to have no intermediate ranks (like when there's one image for a whole family) and sometimes it made sense to use subfamilies, tribes, even subtribes. I did it differently for each family but for various reasons, I never skipped the genus level. Even for monotypic species since I figured it's not any worse than a (soft) redirect (they're both basically empty categories telling you to go elsewhere). It doesn't screw up the statistics and you can include some extra genus info then. The problem I noticed was that in some areas it got a little tedious to navigate. Thus, I made my template autocategorize all species into a "Species of..." category. and genera into a "Genera of..." category. For example, Category:Hesperiinae. I can add categories like this whenever I want just by editing the template. I could make a dozen "Lepidoptera by family/tribe/whatever" categories if I wanted and... well the point is, there's a solution out there for your galleries; you just got to find it (or make it). Moral of the story: there's more than one way to navigate. Rocket000 (talk) 04:15, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Rocket, on a positive note, let me first say that I really like what you did with the {{taxon}} template and I also fully agree that the "Species/Genera of ..." categories are brilliant! Excellent stuff :o) Again, I'm very surprised the {{taxon}} stuff is allowed to exist today, as it clearly adds "evil" information to Commons and Commons is supposedly not in the business of providing info. Personally, I like the info it provides, especially the fact that it makes us and visitors aware of 'missing' taxa. Of course, it could easily be argued that it's totally redundant as wikispecies should provide this info and in terms of navigation it's mostly a complete double take on the categories listed below it. But I still like it and I'll happily scroll down through it any day. So cheers for that!
On topic, IMHO this discussion is mostly a waste of time and doesn't help the project to move along, so I'm not going to tear apart every sentence. Suffice to say that this is another case of unresolved POV-preferences where the people in control of some extra buttons seem to think their opinion of how to go about things is what it should be and in the end they have the means to enforce their POV, so it's not much use arguing. You don't want me to "force" my perception of comfortable browsing on your way of work, but you have no problem forcing your perception on others. This may sound a bit nasty, but it's just an objective observation.
I'm not upset and I knew it was coming. As you may have guessed I'm not very impressed with a "let's follow the rules" attitude, but would rather just look for ways to make things "better". You are right of course, in pointing out that "better" is a rather subjective concept, so let's look at "better for some, without getting (too much) in the way of others". Well, the way I see it "my" way of browsing does not get in the way (much) of your user experience as -contrary to your statement- you do not have to scroll down through any gallery links to get to the categories listed above those, right? Also, I specifically pointed out that I thought it was prudent to use the method on that particular stage of development of a relatively small taxon with few sub-taxa. So, ask yourself, in this case, did my categorization of species galleries in the genus category really get in the way of your browsing to the point that it validates removing the possibility for my preferred way of browsing? That would actually surprise me a tad.
Also, ask yourself if there would be other options to make both sides happy. One option would possibly be to first not categorize with "alphabet" headers as this really blows up the space consumed (scrolling) and it doesn't help much in terms of overview as long as there are only a few items to be categorized. I categorized this way more or less out of habit, but on small groups it really causes more clutter than that it is helpful. This goes for both the listed sub-categories and "pages"/galleries. Ideally the software should resolve this issue as it's silly to first categorize one way and manually go back in and change everything when the category grows. In turn it should be rather trivial to program the visualization layer such that alphabet headers are only displayed say from 10+ or 20+ items in the category or so.
You mentioned that having the galleries in the genus cat helps "When all people want is to navigate". Well, when people look at higher taxon categories that will be mostly what they are doing - ideally there will be little or no media there, just links. Another reason why I think that it will often be a good thing to actually provide those links.
I've got to run now, but I have a few ideas I would like to run by you. I'll be back with those tonight. Pudding4brains (talk) 12:19, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it's POV-pushing, but we're not talking about article neutrality here. This is a collaborative hobby. Eveything's a POV when it comes to the way we do things (even choosing NPOV). Of course we want things done our way. I have no problem admitting that's exactly what we're doing. It's a simple personal preference. It's not the extra buttons that make some feel we have more of a say. When there's no consensus, it's the amount of work we've done (not because that's important but the simple fact that things are our way because we made them that way) and our determination/stubbornness that wins. I'm speaking as an editor here, not an admin. I feel very strongly about not using the tools to force a view like this, so please don't accuse me of doing that. :-)
No, the four galleries did not really get in my way, but point is that some do. I'm a big fan of consistency and organization. These are the real rules. They come before any written rule. When I speak about "rules" I am usually referring to general ways we do things here, not something written on some page. The only reason people link to pages like COM:C is to appeal to authority to push their view. Otherwise it's just them speaking. Take it for what it is.
I realized after my first response, it didn't help anything. That's why I mentioned my Lep project. We should look for solutions to make everyone happy. Instead of looking at it as my way or your way, we got to look for an our way (speaking more to myself here). I would love to here your ideas and I'm actually looking for a new project to start on. Did you notice, with templates like {{species}} you can make it link to galleries instead? A list of all species galleries (including red links) at the top of a genus category would be one solution. Did you notice the different color blue links in {{taxonavigation}}? This color blue indicates it's a gallery, otherwise it's a category. I'm a category person but I still try to help gallery navigation in little ways. Rocket000 (talk) 16:15, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Another way to navigate: have decent genus level (and above) galleries, e.g. Papilio (pretend that all the links go to galleries, which some do). They're also nice to help with identification of closely related species. Rocket000 (talk) 22:18, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
There is a fine line between pushing your POV by creating things the way you like them, or by deleting/destroying things that others have created and that work for them. I still think categorizing species gallery pages in the genus category (as well as in the species category) makes perfect sense as a quick way of providing more comfortable navigation, but I'm willing to let it rest for now and explore other routes that provide similar navigation.
One of the things I wanted to run by you was indeed using the species lists to link to galleries as opposed to providing redundant double linking to the sub-categories - I hadn't noticed that you had already provided for that, so that's an option worth trying. Of course, in terms of maintenance it's not quite as easy, as it requires that one looks into worldwide taxonomy/species lists before proceeding, which is much more tedious and time consuming than just slamming the genus category on a newly created species gallery.
I've had a quick look at the templates to see if it would be easy to stick in some #ifexist statements to create a more universal approach: If a gallery of the species name exists, link to that (in bold or so), if not link to the category (resulting in red link if that doesn't exist either), but would need to fiddle with that a bit more and I'm not sure it won't cause resource or performance problems.
In terms of real estate the software could probably be more intelligent about things too and combine sub-category and gallery linking in one line if pairs of the same name exist, by maybe providing a hyperlinked bullet or trailing icon or so next to the sub-category link to also link to the existing gallery from the same name/line.
The Papilio example is much along the same lines of what I had started years ago on pages like Harmonia, be it with a slightly different concept of one species per row, thus allowing for a few images per species to display variability, sexual dimorfism and/or larval stages etc. For many purposes this would indeed be my preferred way of browsing the system as a user and the usefulness of this "pictorial browsing" is the main reason that I would personally prefer galleries over categories and would like to have them easily accessible whenever they exist. I also feel strongly about the usefulness of galleries at the species level that can provide the unsorted bulk of images in an orderly manner, like I did on Forficula_auricularia the other day (never mind the page header stuff, I mean the sorting of the images). I noticed you emptied Adalia decempunctata [1], probably because you don't see the use of single image galleries (I'm assuming), but there are plenty of images available for a worthwhile sorted gallery, so my take on it would have been to fill it better rather than deleting it. I'll upload some more Ada.dec. in due time, so I'll be reinstating that gallery ;o)
It also seems that the galleries would be the more "natural" habitat for extra taxon info such as vernacular names, synonyms etc. but I certainly like to have the info (and navi) available in the cats as well. It seems silly however to maintain two sets of similar info. Ideally this would somehow come automagically from wikispecies, but as you have stated many groups require "special treatment" when in/excluding inbetweeny taxa. Anyway, at least for commons it shouldn't be hard to device a way of sharing the same header/navi in both galleries and categories. The only real problem being that it should probably be designed in a way that mortal souls still understand what's going on, so loads of (no)includes in one of them to use that as a "template" for the other should probably not be considered foolproof :o)
Any thoughts? Cheers for now, Pudding4brains (talk) 05:23, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

>There is a fine line between pushing your POV by creating things the way you like them, or by deleting/destroying things that others have created and that work for them.
It may be a fine line perhaps, but the difference is it's a level playing field when one doesn't use the tools in that way.

>If a gallery of the species name exists, link to that (in bold or so), if not link to the category (resulting in red link if that doesn't exist either)...
Here's what {{taxonavigation}} does: When it's on a gallery, it checks to see if a gallery exists. When it does, it links to it, otherwise it checks for a category and then links to that. If neither exist, it is a red link to the gallery namespace. On a category page it does the opposite. So it prefers to keep you in the same namespace. The only exception is when the link is also the title of the page (the last name in the taxonavigation). It always tries to link to the opposite namespace (otherwise it's a self-link).

>In terms of real estate the software could probably be more intelligent about things too and combine sub-category and gallery linking in one line if pairs of the same name exist, by maybe providing a hyperlinked bullet or trailing icon or so next to the sub-category link to also link to the existing gallery from the same name/line
Good idea. I think I will work on a version on one of the taxa templates (probably {{species}} to start with) to link to both somehow.

>I noticed you emptied Adalia decempunctata [2], probably because you don't see the use of single image galleries (I'm assuming), but there are plenty of images available for a worthwhile sorted gallery, so my take on it would have been to fill it better rather than deleting it
First of all, I didn't delete anything. I redirected a page with a single image to a category that had more. A single image does not make a gallery. Not POV here, just a definition of "gallery". Besides, each image already has it's own page - the description page. Anyway, yes, I could have turn that into a decent gallery, but I didn't want to. Someone who does can whenever they want. In the meantime, let's not hide our images behind a nearly blank page. You and me know to go to the category if the gallery is lacking but does everyone? This is the main reason why the Wikipedias prefer {{commonscat}} over {{commons}}. Let's face it, the majority of our mainspace sucks. There's way too many single image pages. The gallery system could be great if we had more people that cared about them. There's only a few users I know that even try to maintain them. Most simply create them and leave. With categories like Forficula auricularia, a gallery makes complete sense and it should have one even if it's just to sort them. But it has 49 images. The category I redirected to has 12. A redirect makes the most sense until someone comes along who wants to make a real gallery. The action was not me saying this gallery should not exist. It was me saying, this gallery should exist but it doesn't yet. It's just a page with a image on it, so in the meantime...

>It also seems that the galleries would be the more "natural" habitat for extra taxon info...
Well, I think galleries should be about the images, and categories about the taxon (the group as a whole). At least for species level. Some TOL people have complained about information overload. They think the focus should be entirely on the images themselves. While I don't think we should be anti-info, I understand this to some extent. People don't go to Commons to get a taxonomy lesson. They come here for media. I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to make Commons more than just a media repository (e.g. filling the role of wikispecies too).

I thought about ways of transcluding info from a gallery/category into the other one. It's very possible but will take a lot of work to get everyone on the same page. Here's another idea: what about combining galleries and categories? You can make a gallery on the category page. IMO, this would be a better kind of redundancy. You can even use so fancy template to check the number of files in the category and compare it to the number in the gallery. If they match, a __NOGALLERY__ is inserted. Or something like that. :) Rocket000 (talk) 07:51, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi Rocket, thanks for all the thoughts, and for your time. I had noticed that the taxonavigation was pretty nifty but had overlooked some of the finer details - thanks for pointing them out; excellent work that - exactly how it should function most ideally imho - big thumbs up!
What I was looking for, was the same level of niftyness in the species/genera templates for the lower taxa too (as opposed to just for the higher taxa in taxonavigation. If you are willing to look into that you would make me very happy as I'm sure you'll understand your own programming better/faster than I will and I would prefer not to "mess with" your templates anyway so it would take creation of double/extra templates to have a go at it.
The stuff I mentioned on the "software" with linked bullets/icons and the like was actually intended for the category display modules in the mediawiki software - the way categories and pages are generically displayed, but of course having a little icon or so in the species/genera lists to switch to the other namespace if both exist might also be cool (but might also possibly clutter the presentation - not sure). I sometimes use a somewhat unobtrusive linking of a hyphen, semicolon or other separator that is in the display anyway to add such links, but that is so "secret" that most users probably would never notice the link is there ;o)
I very much like the idea - at least for testing - of having the gallery on the category page. You are certainly right that categories are the most likely entrypoints for finding anything as (imho) categories should always contain the complete set of images (unsorted alas) and galleries may or may not. I was breaking my brain for an instant about this very issue yesterday when adding the Category:Mesosa as I didn't want to create single image pages, nor categories for M. longipennis and M. curulionoides that instant, but didn't like the fact that now M. nebulosa wasn't "showing" with the other two species on the category page. It may be a solution for that to kick out the single images to their own single image cats anyway, create a Mesosa pictorial browsing page (or subpage?) and transclude (part of) that in the category (or build it directly in the category, but I'm sure some would protest(?). Ideally we might device a way to have a neat "gallery" icon or such that opens the (transcluded?) gallery onpage and has it closed by default (much like the "+" that opens the display of subsub-categories onpage.
Well, some neat things to try out and run by "the community" (possibly by just going ahead and implementing them ;o) Will try some in my own little category system soon.
Cheers, Pudding4brains (talk) 14:10, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
One more thought on the "information overload" you mentioned. I like to have information presented/collected on Commons, and especially when it's combined with linking to super/subcats etc I think it's mostly brilliant. That said I also understand people worrying about al the info taking up real estate, causing clutter and distracting from the "main" purpose of Commons.
After I quit working on Commons much has changed in terms of software support, so I'm not currently up to date with all the new possibilities for "opening" lists such as the subsubcats mentioned above. To keep everyone happy it may be a good idea to see if something can be deviced that has the display of synonyms and vernacular names "closed" by default with the option to open them as desired. Especially those two mostly add info without linking/navi. That said, I feel it couldn't hurt if at the same time all listed synonyms and/or vernacular names would be (automagically?) created as redirect pages/cats to provide for better retrievability through the standard search?? But care should be taken with synonyms of course as those are often not just dependent on the taxon name, but also on the authority :o| Anyway, just another thought about the "info" real estate mostly. Pudding4brains (talk) 14:38, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Good thoughts. I think you're too worried about people not liking your ideas. Just start implementing them and see what happens. That's the way to get things done. Sometimes people need to see a working implementation to see how better things can be. You know all the autotranslating stuff going on with text templates now? That all started when someone just started doing it. Now it's everywhere. I remember I proposed the same idea a long time ago when I realized how we could utilize the MediaWiki namespace for templates making them autotranslate the same way the interface is. It barely got any feed-back so I left it alone thinking it was too drastic of a change for me to do by myself or there may be some technical issue I wasn't thinking of (and there was/is, it all depended on a bug in {{int:}}, long story, but now since it's so prevalent the MediaWiki devs have accepted it as a feature instead (something they won't fix) even though it still causes problems with the cache and link tables). Everyone loves it; they just needed to see it in practice. The key is to pick a somewhat isolated area and do your thing. For me, doing an order of Insecta at a time is perfect. It's one of the most neglected areas and you can work in relative peace. If your interested in molluscs, that's another area that can use some attention. Although Coleoptera is my new area, it's big enough I willing to share. ;) Plus, I can only take so much of the little guys at a time. Having a partner in crime is nice too.
Regarding the real estate, I've been careful with that too. One complaint I got when rolling out my new {{VN}} and {{SN}} was that they took up too much room. The VN template used to display the names in a 3-column format like wikispecies (and to match {{SN}}). Much easy to read but with more than 9 names it was indeed too big. So I redid it without columns. {{SN}} also had the same problem, but I couldn't run all the text together like VNs (it looked terrible and was so hard to read), so I added this thing to make it display at max 3 rows (9 names). Anything more would create a scroll box (see the usage examples linked on the template page). Sometimes there's so much I want to include I need to hide some stuff by default. See Category:Celaenorrhinus. It's a commonly misspelled name so I wanted those there for search results but no one really cares about subsequent misspellings, do they? Also, the species list was a little longer then I felt comfortable showing in full with the other stuff there. The solution was collapsible tables ({{species2}} and {{clist}}, the latter for VNs, synonyms, subspecies, etc.) Hopefully these can provide some inspiration/ideas for you and, as you can tell, I love working on templates so if you ever need any help, just let me know. Cheers, Rocket000 (talk) 17:57, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Tip: Categorizing images[edit]

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Hello, Arp!

Tip: Add categories to your images

Thanks a lot for contributing to the Wikimedia Commons! Here's a tip to make your uploads more useful: Why not add some categories to describe them? This will help more people to find and use them.

Here's how:

1) If you're using the UploadWizard, you can add categories to each file when you describe it. Just click "more options" for the file and add the categories which make sense:

Uploadwizard-categories.png

2) You can also pick the file from your list of uploads, edit the file description page, and manually add the category code at the end of the page.

[[Category:Category name]]

For example, if you are uploading a diagram showing the orbits of comets, you add the following code:

[[Category:Astronomical diagrams]]
[[Category:Comets]]

This will make the diagram show up in the categories "Astronomical diagrams" and "Comets".

When picking categories, try to choose a specific category ("Astronomical diagrams") over a generic one ("Illustrations").

Thanks again for your uploads! More information about categorization can be found in Commons:Categories, and don't hesitate to leave a note on the help desk.

CategorizationBot (talk) 17:13, 10 August 2010 (UTC)


Our regular categories are still not good enough for you, huh? ;) I took care of these. Cheers, Rocket000 (talk) 01:26, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Hi Rocket,
I categorize all images. These are mostly older images and if they are not categorized it probably means that other people removed (my special) categories. I'm traveling with little opportunity for Internet access at the moment, so I'll take care of the rest when I get home. Thanks for handling the ones you did ;o) Cheers, P4b 118.96.146.187 01:47, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Tip: Categorizing images[edit]

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Hello, Arp!

Tip: Add categories to your images

Thanks a lot for contributing to the Wikimedia Commons! Here's a tip to make your uploads more useful: Why not add some categories to describe them? This will help more people to find and use them.

Here's how:

1) If you're using the UploadWizard, you can add categories to each file when you describe it. Just click "more options" for the file and add the categories which make sense:

Uploadwizard-categories.png

2) You can also pick the file from your list of uploads, edit the file description page, and manually add the category code at the end of the page.

[[Category:Category name]]

For example, if you are uploading a diagram showing the orbits of comets, you add the following code:

[[Category:Astronomical diagrams]]
[[Category:Comets]]

This will make the diagram show up in the categories "Astronomical diagrams" and "Comets".

When picking categories, try to choose a specific category ("Astronomical diagrams") over a generic one ("Illustrations").

Thanks again for your uploads! More information about categorization can be found in Commons:Categories, and don't hesitate to leave a note on the help desk.

CategorizationBot (talk) 13:11, 14 August 2010 (UTC)