On Wed, Dec 3, 2008 at 11:43 AM, Daniel Schwen <lists(a)schwen.de> wrote:
I'd like for you to be right. But switching from
the present category system
to atomic categories is not as straight forward as having a few bots run over
all existing cats.
Of course, humans would have to manually specify which new categories
each old one corresponds to, but that's a perfectly doable job for a
small group of volunteers working over the course of months. The bots
would do the much more tedious work of actually replacing them, so
each category could take substantially less than a minute of human
review. The category intersection feature would then get
incrementally more useful as the work progressed.
It will require an enormous amount of work. And so far
I have not met
willingness to change anything. Greg has shown a long time ago that fast
category intersection is doable, but the echo has been pretty much zip, nada.
There's a world of difference between showing that something is
feasible in theory, and making it a core part of the software that's
visible on every category page on every Wikimedia wiki without asking
for community consensus in advance. As soon as people actually start
using the feature, and they will if there's a box on every category
page, they'll realize that it would be way more useful if they changed
how things are categorized. As long as category intersections remain
vaporware, there's no incentive to change. A technical fait accompli
will bring about change.
Even if Commons hypothetically didn't go along with the scheme, it
would be valuable to have it in the software anyway. Plenty of wikis
could still use it, like dewiki. We need an interface and we need a
backend and we need someone to hook them together and commit them to
Subversion. People have spent too much time inventing and reinventing
and re-reinventing new and different but basically interchangeable
backends, and too little time on the other parts of the problem. If
the feature were committed to the software with a completely brainless
backend unusable on Wikimedia wikis, I predict it would be live on all
sites in less than six months.