Star Trek Expanded Universe
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ForumsHailing Frequencies → Categories (Reply | Watch)

The categories are getting to be (in fact already are) quite a mess. People are arbitrarily adding categories right and left for any ol' little thing. Some might be appropriate, but after combing through the chaos for the last week or so, I'm seeing what chaos it is... and some just keep adding to it. A lot of these extraneous categories really aren't necessary. For instance: Locations. We get one "Category:(fill in the blank) locations"... then someone else sees that, thinks 'Hey...!' and adds their "Category:(fill in the blank) locations"... then another... then another... Eventually a page has a glut of "locations" categories, and it just looks chaotic. The same principle applies in many other cases. That might be okay for certain pages, where a place-name is specific to one or two continuities, but all...? I think folks need to start looking at what they're doing, and envisioning things down the road. Jrofeta and I are trying to clean this mess up, and y'all aren't making it easy....

Categories should follow the pattern of the category tree: One category branching into another (with "Lists" at the top). The "KISS" (keep it simple) rule applies: The simpler, the better. (Think cohesion.) "General use" articles (Spock, Janeway, Voyager, canon/common noun articles, etc.) should stay free of continuity-specific categories, as these are "general" and not "owned" by any one fan continuity. In other words, putting your category down might give the impression you think you own it, when we all know that's not the case. (Plus it keeps others from trying to "balance" it by adding their cats. to said articles, and starting the problem again.)

So, let's start getting some consensus and input on creation of new categories (especially from admins and members of STEU Project:Categories), and lay down some rules to keep this mess from growing again. (Thoughts and comments welcome.) Sasoriza AdmTlk 21:39, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Do you mean a system similar to what they have at MA (Memoryalpha:Memory Alpha:Category suggestions)? - JayLR 08:02, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Pretty much. We don't have to do it exactly like they do it, blow for blow (some of our category patterns are already established here), but it's a good model of approach. Sasoriza AdmTlk 16:49, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Recent category adjustments[]

I've recently started to sort through the wanted categories and I'm shifting articles all over the place to remove some of these and in many cases just removing the red categories from an article. Creating categories for the various individuals from a species (eg. Category:Tamarians) and source categories (Category:The Recruited). Leaving the Category: ship class starships for last. My aim is to depopulate that list.

I'm also moving articles out of a cat if they are located in a subcat of that category. So Canberra for instance was in Category:Earth, Category:Cities, Category:Earth cities - no point it being in the first two as they are super-cats (am I using that right?) of Category:Earth cities. Done the same for Category:Planets and I've been doing the same for Category:Starfleet personnel for a while now, it stops the cluttering of this categories with needless repetition. – JayLR 07:27, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Just noticed the state of Category:People, I'll be moving most of those ship/station personnel cats as well. Probably into Category:Starfleet personnel and other relevant sub-categories. – JayLR 07:32, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Which brings to mind (this may be what you meant, or partly so)... There's a tendency with Category:Starfleet personnel to add someone to that category as well as century-specific subcats; for example, Hawku's characters (not that I'm picking on Hawku). "Joe Character" may be listed under Category:Starfleet personnel (24th century) in addition to the above cat. Putting said character under only Category:Starfleet personnel (24th century), which is under Category:Starfleet personnel, simplifies things and reduces the clutter on the latter. Seems a good model of approach in that area. This can be done for personnel of any century. Sasoriza AdmTlk 09:22, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Yep, that was what I meant. Just recently noticed we have a Category:Starfleet officers - I think we can get rid of that given each officer's rank has its own category. – JayLR 14:16, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Rules for categories[]

At the moment we have a clean slate in the terms of wanted categories, so I think it is a good time to come up with set rules for categories as put forward by Sasoriza several months ago. I'll put forward a few of my suggestions for discussion. Others are more then welcome to do the same, you don't need to be an admin to help shape policy.

  • Category: ship name personnel - I think we should put a halt to these categories, with the exception of main ships for a series . You don't need to have a category for every single ship a character has served on, this would just produce a lot of 1 item categories. Also some articles list all the ranks a character has achieved in their service from cadet to Captain, I think we should only have the most recent or for characters, with the exception for characters shared over continuities (that brings up the issue of what exactly should be in the sidebar for canon characters).
  • Category: series name starships/locations/etc - Again we put a halt to the creation of these. Really the only necessary subcat for a series category is a category for episodes, so to list it under the super-cat of Category:Episodes. We could set a minimum limit for the break up of a series category, so for example maybe 150 articles in the category and then you can put forward the suggestion of subdividing up that category so to reduce clutter in the series category. As for the ones we already have we can either just keep them or if we do set a limit and a series doesn't meet that we depreciate the sub-category, which is an easy task.
  • Category: starship class starships - In this case, these categories should only be created if there are individual ships to populate the article, a ship-class article is not sufficient. Really there is little need to categorise them in this category as most have templates dealing with starships of the class and the {{ship list by class category}} that is added as part of the description for the category includes a link to the class article. Personally I have don't have a problem if the category only has the one example of a ship of the class, much like the individuals of a particular species categories only having one example.
  • Don't include a category that doesn't exist - This is heavily based on creating a system similar to MA, but if you create an article and you add categories to it and one of them is red then when you save the page you remove that category. If you think we should have that category, they you go through some sort of system of suggesting the category, where for example you need two supporting votes (more then the no. of objections) to get the category approved. A system like this would need to be formulated by the community and agreed on of course. This way we don't have red linked categories and the creation of new categories is somewhat controlled. The only exceptions in my view would be categories for individuals of a species (Category:Vulcans) and starships of a particular class (Category:Akira class starships).

Okay, those are my suggestions, now I want to hear what other people think about not only my suggestions but the entire issue on categories. – JayLR 15:09, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

^ That sounds good to me. I like that you're taking the categories into a more organized direction. What do you think of articles being categorized into the main series' category? I did that with (Category:Star Trek: Phoenix-X). Do you think that sort of thing causes clutter? --Hawku 22:07, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Do you mean categorising an article with Category:Star Trek: Phoenix-X and a sub-category, such as Category:Star Trek: Phoenix-X (characters)? – JayLR 03:24, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Yeah. I pretty much categorized all Phoenix-X articles within the main series category, plus a second or third sub-category. --Hawku 05:11, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
If the subcategory you are adding has Star Trek: Phoenix-X in the name then you really don't need to also have Category:Star Trek: Phoenix-X listed in the article, since the sub-category makes it clear that it is part of Star Trek: Phoenix-X. That would mean that any articles that don't fall under one of the subcats would be more prominent in Category:Star Trek: Phoenix-X. – JayLR 08:05, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
^Cool. I think I'll start making these kinds of changes to the Phoenix-X Categories, even though the rules aren't in place yet. --Hawku 19:16, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Good to have Hawku's input on this, but what about other people (Sasoriza? Usscantibrian? Santa?). – JayLR 16:31, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Everything suggested above was exactly how I approached it long ago, and hoped others would catch on & see the pattern. That about sums it, really. Sasoriza AdmTlk 22:25, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Changes to how things are categorised[]

Some might have noticed some odd things going on with what I'm doing to how some pages are categorised. To stop the above from happening there is going to be a new restriction on what can be tagged with a series category. That restriction is that only articles dealing with subjects unique to that series should be tagged with the category.

Also going to be working on putting together an official policy article concerning categories, so expect the stuff from this page to appear there. –JayLR 06:54, July 4, 2011 (UTC)

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