Pages for "couple plus children"Edit

Recent discussions have hinted at the desirability of having a page for a couple instead of an individual, so that the children need to be listed only once. No problem if each individual had no other partner, but probably a problem if one did.

Looking at part of a gedcom recently, I was again struck by the thought that we could have categories for families, corresponding with the unit in a gedcom. Category name to be the parents' names, probably with the father first for ease of recognition. Each "child" page and each of the parents' pages to be in the category, if they have separate pages (eg alone or with another partner). Software might be able to create pages for the children automatically as soon as they are listed on a standard "family category" page.

Worth talking about?

Do we make that category a subcategory of each category into which either parent comes? Adoptive families could be included in the mix.

Robin Patterson 05:40, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

next material moved from Watercooler - ( Robin Patterson 06:34, 26 September 2006 (UTC))

Listing the categoriesEdit

The special page listing categories needs a better system for sorting through the categories. Currently you can look at them in alphabetical order, 500 at a time. That's feasible given that there are less than 5000 entries, and around 3500 categories. However, Some of the categories are for specific years, (eg., births in 1905). if people actually used that system (ie, designated a category for YOB in each person article) and rigorously created other appropriate categories (e.g, surnames), we could end up with tens of thousands of categories. Going through the list 500 at a time would be too tedious to make this a usable page. What's needed is either a) a grouping by initial letter, as in (go here for all categories beginning with "D"), b) a search capability on the special page, or (preferably) c) both. Adding something like that would be worth doing, but requires Admin privileges.Bill 16:10, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Bill, see Special:Prefixindex. It should do what you need, for categories, or any other pages. A caveat is that there is no 500 at a time, you get all of them on one page, which could take a bit to load. But you can limit the prefix to more than one letter to narrow the search. D vs Dr. — MrDolomite | Talk 14:27, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
MrDolomite is an asset to the site!! Going beyond that solution, however, I wonder what purposes people would have for going through the categories in alpha order. If one wants to see all categories with names containing "Wigton", for example, a simple search on "Wigton" should find them. (Putting "Category:" in front ought to find all the categories that start with "Wigton" and nothing else, but at present it doesn't find anything! So for that one the Special:Prefixindex solution is ideal.) Incidentally, after saying "Next 500" you can tweak the numbers in the address bar to jump about a bit. Robin Patterson 07:13, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
There are lots of alternative ways to sift through the pages. You could search, but there's no search function in place on the page. You could categorize them alphabetically, using the Special:Prefixindex as suggested by Mr. Dolomite, but you'd need to insert that on the page. You could expand the number of records being displayed at any given time, though that wouldn't really solve the problem. There are probably other schemes out there that could work. The problem is that there is currently no organization on those pages at all other than a simple alphabetical list. If those pages are to be useful, then that problem needs to be addressed. That's something I may be able to attend to in the near future, probably following up on MrDolomite's suggestion. However, I did find a useful approach that would index a page's contents, so that you could display certain portions, say "all items beginning with the letter G"; Unfortunately, to implement that or other scheme on the category pages, would require admin status. Bill 11:57, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Gee, I've never been called an asset, usually just...nevermind :) I'm a programmer by trade, and, according to MrDolomite's Laws of Programming, all programmers are lazy. Not in a bad way, more in the always looking for a shortcut way. That aside, you are right, categorization can be a trainwreck if it isn't laid out with some plan and design. Two additional tools which can help would be m:MWB which is a PC tool which makes repetitive edits, including find/replaces go much easier. The other is m:DynamicPageList which is a MediaWiki extension installed on all wikia sites. See Special:Version. This allows category intersections to be created on the fly. For instance if there was a category for Category:Born in Italy and another for Category:Born in 1492, it is very easy to create a page, or a section of a page, which lists "People born in Italy in 1492" and that is updated as soon as the articles' categories are updated. See w:c:scratchpad:Nordcarn for a page with sections made in DPL and w:c:scratchpad:EternalLandsWiki for more examples in the main navbox. — MrDolomite | Talk 15:18, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

That's what we want - all of Wikia should have it. By the way, categories "start" at Category:Browse. Robin Patterson 07:45, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
There is now (added in March) an alphabetical "Table of Contents" box on Category:Surnames, with a prominent second link to Help:Surname categories, which lists the trick and links to a page that makes the process even easier: Help:Surname categories grouped by initial letters. Robin Patterson 02:10, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
However, most lookups will now be quick enough since we installed the "Two initial letter" Template:LargeCategoryTOC. Robin Patterson 13:29, 14 July 2008 (UTC)


Discussions about specific groups of categories may be easier to conduct and to categorise (for finding) if on a forum. One fairly general one is named simply Forum:Categories, and there are others more specific. Use them and create more as desired! Robin Patterson 13:29, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Topic articlesEdit

I start by quoting two paragraphs from Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Categorization_and_subcategories (inserting the category numbers):

"When an article is the topic article for a category, it should be placed in that category. However, the article and the category do not have to be categorized the same way. The article belongs in categories populated with similar articles. The category should be put into categories populated with similar subcategories. For example, see Wikipedia:George W. Bush" (which today is in thirty-five categories) "and Wikipedia:Category:George W. Bush" (which today is in just three categories: "Categories named after American politicians • Bush family • Presidents of the United States").
"If, however, the topic article and the similarly named category come to be placed in the same parent category, the fact that the article is a member of this subcategory is not a reason for it to be excluded from the parent category. Here, the double listing tells users that there is an article about the topic, and there are also more articles to be found in the subcategory of the same name. It makes it easier to find main topic articles (by eliminating the need to go to the subcategory). It also creates a complete listing of articles at the higher level category. ..."

Despite not seeing logic in, or completely understanding, all of the above, particularly the second half of the first paragraph, I'm convinced by the above that there is probably little harm in having both a category and its topic article in any parent category and there may be some good ("makes it easier to find main topic articles"). But I feel sure that a category should be in every other category that its topic article is in. The alternative is leapfrogging, which I find confusing and likely to lead to omissions.

What brought this up was the suggestion that a county article should be in a category for its year of establishment whereas its category should not. I disagree that its category should not.

I see a possible difference between that and the "Bush" example above: in Wikipedia, few people have their own categories (and at present even fewer have them here), whereas here and in WP every county has its own category. That may make sense of the statement "The category should be put into categories populated with similar subcategories". Still, only the first of the three Bush category categories could not apply to the article. The other two - "• Bush family • Presidents of the United States" - also contain the article, and I can see nothing to distinguish them from most of the article's categories, which I would have put the category in as well (or instead). Part of the difference could be database history: the Bush article was first written in 2001 (, long before categories were invented (in 2004) and was already in eleven categories ( several months later before the Bush category was created ( So it could be just inertia that sees the Bush category in very few categories. A few have been added and later removed; see, for example,, where the edit summary was "remove category tags that apply to the article George W. Bush, not to this category". That logic would cut most existing category ties: if you regarded "Category:Ohio" as merely a category, not a representation of the state itself, you could not put it in "Category:United States".

Any category that can be populated with county articles can just as well, in my opinion, be populated with county subcategories.

I am creating a brief forum item on this (in line with my suggestion in the previous section): Forum:Category in same categories as its main article or in more or fewer?

Robin Patterson 03:11, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.