On 2013-05-09 3:21 PM, "Luke Welling WMF" <lwelling(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
Without deliberately making it an even longer term plan, as I think it is
great idea, another long goal solution to the same
problem would be (as
Flow gets Wikipedians into the idea of tagging) that categories get
replaced by tags. That way they lose much of their
therefore some of their controversy.
Categories are hard for Wikipedia because compromise is not possible.
Consensus can be reached on a subtly different compromise version of the
wording of a sentence or paragraph, but there is no compromise on
categories. A category either exists or does not. A page either goes in
With tags, a biography could relatively uncontroversially be tagged as
"Novelist, Woman, Best Selling, American, Blonde Haired, Enjoys Spicy
even if nearly everybody agrees that half the tags
while true are entirely
unimportant and not relevant to the subject's area of notability. Whether
some tags like race and appearance should exist at all may still generate
debate, but if they are only ever available modifiers and not hard
categories their offense would be softened.
For some subjects, entirely uncontroversial tags could be extracted from
It would be content shakeup and therefore perhaps politically difficult,
but it would take a lot of the technical challenge out of joins, even
permitting joins (automatically or manually) with tags translated into
equivalent versions in other languages.
All possible combinations of tag derived categories would then "exist",
it would just be a matter of debate as to whether
there is a justification
to add a link from a page to "Biography+Novelist+Enjoys Spicy Food" or if
that is a meaningless category. If reverted, the one person interested in
that exact category could still always visit it, it's just that other
would not be directed to it unless they probe talk
Nobody has ever been able to explain to me the technical difference between
tag and category. (Other than being able to query intersections, which is
wanted for cats anyhow)
Just change mediawiki:pagecategories to "tags" and change some social
conventions - boom you have tags.