{Discussion} Categories

Little Girl littlergirl at gmail.com
Sun Oct 12 22:42:32 UTC 2008

Hey there,

Marc Kaplan wrote:

> I have created a discussion page for suggestions and input,
> summarizing this email at: 
> https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WikiGuide/Categories/PageDiscussion

I was under the impression, from reading the archives of this mailing
list and from reading various PageDiscussion pages, that those pages
are being done away with and that the recommendation is to
communicate via this mailing list. Is that not the case?

> Regarding the "Categories", and where things should go, I think we
> want to both whittle them down, and be more organized.

I agree.

> For example, I saw articles related to the Programming Language
> "Python" set for CategoryProgramming, CategoryDocumentation,
> CategoryPython

For the record, CategoryDocumentation is being done away with (see
Use of CategoryDocumentation category here [1] and Removing Unused
Categories here [2]), although this will take some time. There were
over nine hundred pages in CategoryDocumentation before I began
working on them. Any help would be appreciated. (:

As far as CategoryPython goes, I don't think it's necessary at all.
Python is one of many programming languages, so it could quite
comfortably fit under the umbrella of CategoryProgramming without
needing further categorization.
> Here is what I did:
> I created a main article called "Python", which served as the
> parent to the related articles.  I then put all the related
> articles under "CategoryProgrammingPython" and used the internal
> Wiki Search Code to find those articles and list them on the main
> Python page.

The CategoryCategory page[3] is immutable, and doesn't show
> My thought for the categories/naming scheme should be: 
> {CategoryCode}{MainCategory}{Sub-Category or Stubs}

Interesting, but I'll present an alternate thought at the end of this
message. (:
> For Example, here is a list of currently known Categories within
> the Community Help Wiki:


> These are too many "Main" categories.

> Here is an example of how I think it should be:
> CategoryHardware should include such items as : CategoryPDA , 
> CategoryUsb.  CategoryBluetooth, etc...  This would make them 
> CategoryHardwarePDA, CategoryHardwareUSB,
> CategoryHardwareBluetooth, etc....
> CategorySoftware would include such items as
> CategoryVritualization, CategoryEmail, etc... This would make it
> CategorySoftwareVritualization and CategorySoftwareEmail.

The one difficulty this will cause is that you may cause users to
have trouble finding what they need. I know it doesn't seem like it
when you first think about it, but the more complex you make a
structure, the more difficult it is to navigate. Not everyone thinks
the same way, so a name you choose for a category might not be one
they'd ever associate with $PROGRAM or $FUNCTION. If they don't even
recognize the subcategory as one they would associate with what
they're looking for, they may never look there.

Playing devil's advocate and arguing against myself, the flip-side is
having categories that are broad and contain large numbers of pages,
which would also make it hard to find what you're looking for.
> CategoryEvolution should be removed and the articles should fall
> under CategorySoftwareEmail.

Agreed. I sent a message to that effect to this mailing list a while
> I see no reason to distinguish, via category, whether something is 
> "Commerical" or "Third-party".  This can be done by link the
> appropriate article to the appropriate "Parent" if needed.

You could also, instead, create a Commercial or Third Party tag that
can be placed on any page containing commercial or third party
software. Since commercial or third party software performs similar
functions as free and open source software, it's logical that one
would find it in the same category/categories as free and open source
software, since those are categorized by their functions.
> Now, here's a tricky one: PackageManagement.  I see no reason it
> could not be under 2 categories, such as: CategorySoftware and 
> CategoryMaintenance (something similar).

Package Management is something that comes up often when using or
discussing Linux. To new users who have not used Linux before,
package management is a new concept. As such, it's something they are
likely to look for specifically when they see it mentioned
elsewhere. You might want to keep that category. You also might want
to rename it to CategoryPackage, so that no matter how a search is
done (packages, package management, etc.) the page will be found.

> CategoryBootAndPartition, that could go under CategoryMaintenance
> as well.

My personal opinion here: I have never, in all the years I've been
using computers, seen any operating system offer me a Maintenance
heading on its main menus. I am assuming this will probably be true
for everyone else as well. Therefore it's unlikely that a person
using the wiki would do a search on maintenance or look for such a
category. Just my two cents. (:

> Another example of separation might be, instead of having 
> CategoryXWindowSystem, we might want CategoryDesktopManagers, 
> CategoryFileManagers, CategoryWindowsManagers, etc.... These would 
> include items like GNOME, K, xfce,Thundar, Nautalius,
> accordingly..... This would be a great way to categorize/organize,
> and help newbies on the differences of each and how they can work
> on customizing Ubuntu to be their own.

On this topic I feel that simplification is best. CategoryDesktop
would be a simplified category that would nicely capture all of
those, and is something the average user would be likely to look for.
> Anyway, that is my thought process.  I recommend that the
> Documentation Team create a list of "official" categories and that
> the only way this list can be added to is with the approval of the
> team and that we specifically state this is a page that lists the
> categories..  However, users can add subcategories as needed.

Please be careful if you do this, ensuring that all the necessary
and correct information is on the page before making it immutable. In
my travels throughout the wiki, I've found a few immutable pages I'd
love to edit, but can't. One example is the CategoryCategory
page[3]. The text at the top of that page is:

A category is a WikiName that exploits WikiWiki's reverse linking: if
you click on the title of a category page, you'll get a list of pages
belonging to that category. To get a list of all categories, click
the CategoryCategory title in the navigation area.

Additionally, you can add lists of all pages which are members of
that particular category to the category page using macros like this:

Here is a list of all categories known to this wiki: 

Do you see the error? I see it, but I can't fix it.

Now for my thoughts on how the categories should be done, in case
anyone is interested:

Always think of your users. They are, after all, the people who will
be using the wiki. The default software provided by Ubuntu and
Kubuntu is, as I understand it, the most commonly used software,
which is why it's offered by default. This will be of prime interest
to your users, and it will be what they often do searches on.

Take a look at Ubuntu's main menu. The default main menu in Ubuntu
is broken up into these sub-sections, with asterisks next to the
items that are not shown by default, but are available when editing
the menu:

* Debian
* Education
* Other
* Programming
  Sound & Video
* System Tools
* Universal Access

Take a look at Kubuntu's main menu. The default main menu in
Kubuntu is broken up into these sub-sections, with asterisks next to
the items that are not shown by default, but are available when
editing the menu:

* Debian
* Development
* Edutainment
* Games
* Science & Math
* Settings

If you find the items both have in common, the list would be:

* Debian
Games (and * Games)

If you find the things they have in common under different names,
the list would be:

(Ubuntu) * Programming  ---  (Kubuntu) * Development
(Ubuntu) * Education --- (Kubuntu) * Edutainment
(Ubuntu) Accessories --- (Kubuntu) Utilities

The things in Ubuntu's main menu that don't have a direct
counterpart in Kubuntu's main menu:

  Sound & Video
* System Tools
* Universal Access

The things in Kubuntu's main menu that don't have a direct
counterpart in Ubuntu's main menu:

* Science & Math
* Settings

A good approach would be to begin by figuring out a universal list
that covers both of those menus and certainly includes the items they
both have in common. This is, after all, the most frequently used
software on an Ubuntu or Kubuntu machine.

The next step is finding out what your users most often have trouble
with and need to find. A good place to start is with the information
someone in the Beginners Team gathered when doing research to find
out what the average user searches for in the forums. I have the
information as a PDF file[4]. I can't remember whether it was a page
or a PDF when I found it, and I can't find it again, so I've put the
PDF on my site temporarily in case anyone would like to look it over.

My suggestion is:
1. Get rid of most of the categories (yes, I know this is a lot of
work, but I'm willing to help, and have already begun).
2. Keep things simple when naming categories.
3. Create broad categories with lots of pages in them.
4. Make sure to have a category for each of the most commonly
searched for items.

My two cents. (:

[1] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DocumentationTeam/WikiCleanup
[2] https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WikiToDo/Tags
[3] https://help.ubuntu.com/community/CategoryCategory
Little Girl

There is no spoon.

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