For some reason, i'm not getting any mail from commons-l. I just found
this reply to my proposal (Why not treat every page as a category?) in
the archive and would like to answer it in the hope that the list will
work now. (full quote, because this mail also goes to wikitech-l, as it
is a request for a software feature)
Delphine (notafish) wrote:
> OK, I think I get the idea now.
> However, it still leaves open the discussion of multilingualism. If we
> want to allow for every language to put in their categories, or do a
> redirect, display will still be in whatever language has been
> considered default, and not of any use to non-default language
> On another note, while this may work for images, the display of other
> media files will be rendered very complicated if those files are not
> self-comprehensive, ie. if they're not named accoding to their
> content, in a language everybody understands.
> How do you plan to address that ?
Multi-Language-Support was not on my mind when I wrote that proposal.
But thinking about it, I belive by adding a few more feature we would be
able to cope with this, too. As I already wrote on , i would suggest
1) It was much discussed that it would be good to show the link-title
which is placed after the "|" in the category link in the category
listing/as the thumbnail label, in order to have meaningful names in
categories, especially for images. Also, as of 1.4 people can choose
their preferred interface languag. We could combine those two features
with the concept of named parameters [[...|foo=bar|...]] as used with
Allow a category-link to look like this:
giving a default label and labels for specific languages. Then, when
building the category listing, use the label corresponding to the users
interface language, if it is given. If not, use the default label. The
label should be used for sorting, and should be shown as the link
text/thumbnail label respectively.
2) Maybe one could even use the same concept to implement localized
image labels: [[Image:Foobar.png|The Foo bar|de=Der Fuh-Balken|jp=...]]
- that should not be too hard.
3) The one think still missing would be localizing the name of the
page/category. Maybe an #ALIAS [[category:xyz]] directive could be added
for categories (or the categorisation-aspect of pages, as by my original
proposal): If #ALIAS [[Foo]] is placed in category/article Bar, plages
and images added to cat Foo and to cat Bar would end up in the same
"pool". The Pages for Foo and Bar would have different textual content
and titles, but would list the exact same articles, images and
subcategories. Subcategories would need some more thought, though,
because in the german cat I want to have the german names of the
Dolphin already said on  there that he likes my first idea. what do
And especially to the developers - how hard would it be to do that?
I just send the following mail to the wikitech-l list. As it mainly
concerns the commons, i'll repost it here:
As you may now, there is some discussion about wether to use page to
form galleries on the commons, or to use the new
thumbnails-in-categories feature of 1.4 to do that. Both have their pros
and cons, and no real solution has yet been found for this question (see
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/COM:VP for some discussion).
I would like to propose to simply do away with the difference between
pages and categories (see
by treating every page as a category. That is, IMHO it would be best to
drop the "Category:" namespace and list articles and images the contain
a category link like [[category:Foo]] directly at the bottom of page
"Foo". This way, pages can be used as a structured article or as an
unstructured category, as need be. The category-ish list at the bottom
could also serve as a todo-list of stuff that need to be integrated into
a structured page.
This would resolve the problem that categories aren't readily found by a
simple search, and that there often is a category and a page for the
same topic, containin different but overlapping sets of images, which
would need to be kept in sync manually. This is annoying when looking
for images about a specific topic.
I would like to make all pages categories for the commons - maybe the
same thing would be a good idea for the wikipedias, too, but i'm not yet
sure about this.
I had a conversation about his with Jamesday on IRC the other day, i'll
try to summary some of the concerns and my answers below.
Q: List-Articles would still be needed, because categories can only show
articles that exist.
A: We could still do that, either by simply not using the
category-aspect of the respective page, or be keeping the missing things
at the top and the existing ones in the category-ish listing.
Q: Replication is a good thing, so users have a choice of how to ciew a
A: Keeping the different views in sync is tedious and unrealistic. We
already have a lot of images on the commons that can't be found because
they are on no page and in no category. In cases where both exist, they
are nearly never in sync, and they often do not link to each other. The
entire structure is very inconsistent, and the distinction between pages
and categories only makes things worse.
Q: Galleries can not represent internal structure.
A: In cases where internal structure is needed, just don't use the
category-aspect of the page, or use it as a todo-list.
A feature that allows for structure in categories is a different
matter: maybe we could have sections in categories, using a syntax like
[[Category:Foo#section-name]] or something. Or we could have a switch
the shows sub-categories "inlined". Also, it would be extremely useful
to show the link-text after the "|" in the category link (now only used
for sorting) as the image-label in categories. But this does not really
touch my idea.
Q: Categories can be very lagre. This would hinder the loading / viewing
of the respective Articles.
A: In most cases, large categories (just like large pages) should be
split into subcategories - that would resolve this isse in most cases.
Bot some categories are large by nature, especially ones that are
used for tagging images with copyright-information, etc. Those
categories do not have a meaningfull article associated with them, they
are simply very long lists, and it does not matter in which namespace
Keep in mind that categories are simply pages that are filled in a
diferent way and have no internal structure. With regards to the
commons, there is no "logical" difference: they both consitute galleries.
In a nutshell: I can see only advantages to showing things in category
"Foo" at the bottom of page "Foo". The distinction between articles and
categories seems artificial and unneccessary, at least for the commons.
I was thinking about submitting this as a feature request - but i'm not
sure if this would be the right way to go, as this is not only a little
software feature, but a request for a structural change, too. So i'd
like to discuss it here first - and maybe on some of the other mailing
lists? I'm not sure which one would be most appropriate.