[Foundation-l] Red category link is unhelpful

Brianna Laugher brianna.laugher at gmail.com
Sun Apr 1 07:01:29 UTC 2007

On 01/04/07, Virgil Ierubino <virgil.ierubino at gmail.com> wrote:
> Seen as category pages work even if they DO contain no text, treating them
> in the same way as a nonexistent article is unhelpful (especially to newer
> users who only think they see a broken link).

Not true. Maybe the mechanism is not perfect, but a red category link
alerts the user that "something is wrong". The something may be
misspelling, alias problems (Hotdogs vs Hot-dogs vs Hot-Dogs vs Hotdog
vs...), or simply that the category doesn't exist yet and needs to be
created (not by giving it text, but crucially by giving it a parent

The problem is not so much for that user but for subsequent ones, who
come and want to find items on Hotdogs, and have no way of knowing
that they must check many variants to find all the available material.

The category system is for sure not perfect, but the red link is
definitely better than making them all blue. Wikis that rely on
category structures for navigation and sorting of items (eg...
Commons) also rely on this red link 'alert'.

Something more flexible might be if there was a $wgAllCategoriesBlue
or something that could be configured for each wiki, but a wholesale
change would not be appropriate.


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