Template talk:Categorybrowsebar

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This template was previously nominated for deletion. The result was keep. See Wikipedia:Templates for deletion/Log/2006 April 11#Template:Browsebar. Zzyzx11 (Talk) 06:53, 17 April 2006 (UTC)


fr:Discussion Modèle:Categorybrowsebar

root cats : teh suxx0r[edit]

If you go to the categories listed, they are not actually very good. As it stands, this bar is not very useful. For instance, it would be much better to link directly to science (which also has a list of scientific disciplines) than to Category:Science, which is a real hodge podge.

Category:Academia is not a great category. Why are mathematics and physics afforded greater precedence than other topics. The whole thing is too science-based.

Pcb21| Pete 11:52, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I don't believe the Category system should be used on the Main Page until after it becomes more comprehensive, complete and peer-reviewed than the List system. Seven categories are too few. There is nothing wrong with having several dozen top-level categories, so that people who don't have a Total Perspective Vortex view of all of knowledge can easily choose which link and path leads to the info the need. GUllman 18:48, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

OK. Can you make a better suggestion for the set of "root" categories? -- The Anome 22:34, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)
New and unreviewed pages are featured on the Main Page all the time. Why do you think the category page is such a mess? Exactly because it doesn't have much exposure, particularly the "entry point" categories. Putting this on the Main Page is a good way to speed up systematic development, while it is still in many ways more useful than a bunch of overview articles.-Eloquence*
I agree entirely. This is already useful, will stimulate the further development of the category scheme, and takes up very little Main Page real estate. -- The Anome 22:34, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

works in progess[edit]

Moved from User talk:The Anome:

There is a huge amount of work to be done correcting the current sparse categories, improving the balance of the cat heirarchy tree(s), &c. I don't see you or Eloquence working on this, yet you two are the primary advocates of changing the Main Page to channel people into using that system for navigation... The Main Page is now sophisticated enough that it is a noticeable eyesore to have a half-finished template up for weeks, out of the hope that some readers will see it, figure out what to do about it, actively find others to work with them, and improve it. (If there were active changes being made to the template, and a body of users working to find the best solution, that would be a great improvement. But right now almost no changes are being made, and I don't even see people discussing what the best solution would look like.)

When even the biggest advocates of categorization haven't found time to improve the seven categories that have now been gracing Main for days (ancheta wis seems to be the only person who has modified them significantly in the past week), what do you hope leaving the template up for a longer time will accomplish? Let us please discuss what we want this template to be, and how we want to use that space on the page, before including it in every user's daily Main Page Experience. +sj+ 22:43, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

It's very clear what the template is and what it will be - a list of the fundamental categories of Wikipedia. There's no single person responsible for categorization. It will evolve over time and exposure will help it to evolve. Before this effort our categories were the only thing that wasn't prominently exposed. The set of categories has already changed several times in the couple of days it's been online. We're talking about days here. Give it a month or two and let's see where it takes us. If you still don't see any progress, I'll be surprised.
There are still many things that are unexposed -- our review mechanisms
Look at the first generation Main Page of Wikipedia. Look at the "new articles" box. Heck, look at the entire new Main Page design (which was virtually entirely my doing). Even that met with quite some resistance initially, as everything does, with concerns such as "we can't keep it up to date" and "the articles aren't good enough." Everything evolves. Give it time.
Back then you didn't see a use for "by topic" naviagation on the main page at all... had someone else suggested the current layout you would have insisted the categories go below the Features.
I simply don't see your logic here. What it comes down to is: either we use our category system or we don't. We seem to have reached a point of no return on the question of "whether to use it", so at that point the only other question is "how to present it". Having something half-assed doesn't do anyone any good, as it will only mean that the people who actually do discover our categories get a very bad impression of Wikipedia.-Eloquence*
Unfortunately, our current category implementation has less than a full ass, independent of what content editors mark up with it.
I don't usually fall into the category of "resistance to change"; change is my favorite part of life. However, advocates for change often get excited about new ideas before they are really useful, and ignore the benefits of old systems which are taken for granted.
  • Categories can't be watched, and have no effective histories. Preventing category-heirarchy vandalism is difficult.
  • Category pages should all link to a description of how to use / modify / create them. Instead, they only link to Special:Category, which provides no help at all.
  • An alphabetized category page, despite protestations to the contrary, is not as useful for most browsing as a structured overview. Adding a short topical overview at the top of each category page is only a partial solution.
  • Categories need better metadata -- for instance, how many subelements there are in each cat, bold category-names for significant or large cats -- to make them useful for browsing as well as for categorization.
You have some good ideas for improving the category feature. Please submit them to MediaZilla so the developers can evaluate them. I like the "category weight" idea in particular, which isn't too hard to implement (could be heavy on the DB, though). However, we are using the category system. There's really no reason to hide it, exposing it will generate more interest, hence greater incentives to implement these improvements. Therefore, this should be a welcome change to you.--Eloquence*

I'm working on categories all the time. Your comments are already part of the desired reponse. It's a bottom-up thing, though. I hope to be able to do some bot activity in the future. -- The Anome 22:45, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I meant to the content of the category pages themselves, which were very confusing for browsing when they were introduced without prose overviews. +sj+

proposed rules, base categories[edit]

Some proposed rules to kick things off:

  • Root categories to take up no more than two lines on an 800x600 display.
  • No more than say 10 root categories.

-- The Anome 22:48, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I think 10 is too much. Navigation roots should be limited to 7 to 9, according to most usability studies I've read. I also think that while I don't necessarily disagree with it, many people will object to the "science-centricity" of the current set of categories.--Eloquence*

OK. Here are some basic kicking-off points:

Culture | Humanity | Mathematics | Natural science | Philosophy | Social science | Technology

(as per existing bar)

(which are missing, in my opinion) -- add them up, and that totals 11. Which is too many. -- The Anome 23:20, 3 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Say what?

How about we break it up into 2x7: fields of study, and collections of things (i.e. related-to and is-a). So then we have a logical breakup into:

Culture | Humanity | Mathematics | Natural science | Philosophy | Social science | Technology
Art | Literature | People | Places | ...

-- The Anome 23:38, 3 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I wouldn't alphabetize them, but order them from humanity and evolution to eternal logic and fact; though neither Humanity nor Logic seems to me to be a good fundamental cat. Geography, on the other hand, is both fundamental and a huge source of interest and initial content on WP.

Culture | Politics | Social science | Technology | Philosophy | Natural science | Geography | Mathematics
People | Places | Things | Ideas

With further subdivisions of people(Politics|War|Sport|Art), things(Art|Music|Lit|Tech), etc; see dmoz, yahoo, ISO, etc. for other cat schemes. +sj+ 19:02, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I suggest that it should be restricted to two lines: one line of links to no more than 9 categories, and one line of links to more sophisticated ways of browsing in various organised ways. —AlanBarrett 19:18, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I'm not against have a line of root cats, one or two of detailed leaf cats that are most-visited (sport, film, &c), and one of ways to browse. Four lines for browsing an does not seem excessive for the main page of an encyclopedia. +sj+ 19:38, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Personally, I'd be fine with 10 lines. My recommendation to restrict it to 2 lines is to appease the main page minimalists, some of whom don't even want the main page to link to the FAQ. —AlanBarrett 19:55, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)

new list[edit]

I cut the seven back to 4; many were redundant, or were subcategories of one another... not an ideal result for root cats. I think there should be at least one more in the list; see if you can find the biggest gap in the current mesh and fill it. Finally, I ordered them conceptually, not by alpha. +sj+ 19:38, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I reverted, 4 categories is way too few. Human and culture are different, as are social science. And you killed technology. The purpose of this is not to fit some arbitrary hierarchy which needlessly promotes mathematics above all else, but to help people (not just mathematicians and physicists) find stuff.

dml 21:16, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Hi dml, I actually don't like mathematics being there, either. Please find a better categorization system. I'm cutting it back to "one line on my screen". If you want more than 5, please either create a two-line system with more than one level of categories, or change the style. +sj+ 01:56, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)
(as for "Category:Human", it has many more problems than I can list here, starting with its name and its content-creep.)

Also, I like Technology; a well-developed category. But you can't have Humanity, Culture, *and* Social Science. I took out the latter, which is a small cat to begin with. And philosophy and math, which I love as subjects and appreciate as large cats, do not have many significant subcategories (unlike the other elements on that list). That said, I would like a better substitute for politics -- perhaps history? -- and note that there is a lot of promiscuity in the category community; lots of top-level cats are subcats of one another. Traditional librarians would say this is a bad thing, but I'm not sure whether that applies here... +sj+ 02:06, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)

See #Natural science --> Nature , Abstraction below for why I made that change. siroχo 04:07, Sep 7, 2004 (UTC)

font choice[edit]

small caps isn't an ideal font-variant, since it renders differently on different systems. In particular, bolding it does weird things to the first letter of each word on my Win + Mozilla. Can we find a better font, even a proportional one? That would also make it easier to fit more cats on a line on small screens. +sj+

Agreed – looks silly being a different font, imo. Can we not keep to the standard font as having numerous type-faces is quite bad? violet/riga (t) 18:08, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)
It looks a lot better in Firefox than it does in IE, but it still looks pretty awful. Personally I think there are rarely situations in which small caps in general don't look awful, must we have small caps be the first thing anybody sees? I'm inclined to say that all-caps would look better (howabout... all caps, size -2, bold, Verdana?). --Fastfission 19:16, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)
+1 AaronSw 01:57, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Not a fan of small caps either, I didn't bring it up since I thought i'd be being picky, but it seems to be a bit of a common sentiment. I'd prefer normal fonts over all caps too. siroχo 03:19, Sep 7, 2004 (UTC)

Natural science --> Nature , Abstraction[edit]

I did this for a few reasons. First off, Category:Natural sciences is not the most fundamental category. Category:Nature includes natural science, but also what the common person thinks of when they think of "nature", which isn't easily accessed from natural science. Also, changing from Natural science to nature opens up space to add Category:Abstraction. This is important because mathematics and philosophy are very fundamental to thought, and Mathematics does not belong under Natural science. In fact Logic, and the more theoretical aspects of computer science fit better stemming from abstraction as well. So even if Abstraction is qunatity wise a smaller fundamental category in wikipedia, its equally important to include in on the main page. I really think this helps accomplish the puropse of this template much better than the previous way, without taking up much more horizontal space, since thats also important to people. siroχo 03:53, Sep 7, 2004 (UTC)

Category:Abstraction is horrible, and of little use to the casual visitor --Henrygb 00:44, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I agree that its tougher for the causal visitor, I was just thinking that those who wished to include the most "fundamental" categories would prefer it. Also, its a pretty good categoriy in general, as it separates abstract knowledge and study from the more "practical" sciences and fields, and groups them under their common quest to seek knowledge as an end. But i'm certainly fine with keeping mathematics on the front page, as long as other's agree with that. siroχo 01:05, Sep 8, 2004 (UTC)

Math and philosophy[edit]

These are really too specific to be top-level categories, regardless of their abstract nature or their appeal to lots of wikipedians. Category:Abstraction isn't good for much yet, but it *is* good for grouping those kinds of cats together, and it is the kind of fundamental category we should encourage visitors to improve. +sj+ 19:43, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Oh, the new ordering of cats is from nature, becoming specific to modern humanity (you can replace 'politics' with 'history' if you like), then on to ideas and abstraction.
Abstraction is meaningless to most readers. It is in fact a description from a particular philosophy of thought, which only conveys something to people who think that way, and is therefore (a) POV and (b) likely to reduce the accessibility of Wikipedia by appearing so early. It will not help most people find what they are looking for, but will instead distract them. --Henrygb 23:46, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Good latest version, but where does maths fit?[edit]

I really like the latest version:

Nature | Culture | Politics | Humanity | Technology

but where should mathematics fit? It can clearly fit well under either "Nature" or "Culture", depending on whether or not you are a Platonist, but that states a POV. There also might be an argument for making applied mathematics a sub-category of "Technology".

The discussion for Category:Abstraction justified subsuming Category:Mathematics under it. Other discussion then showed that Category:Abstraction is a Category:Technology to help us think. Ancheta Wis 11:02, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The same arguments apply to much of philosophy, depending on whether or not you are a realist. -- The Anome 08:45, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I think we need a general, good Category:Science. The concept of Category:Human appears flawed to me, most of that stuff could be subsumed by science, culture, politics, nature (humans are part of nature).--Eloquence*
I added the links to Human into the Category:Nature page in support of the above statement, but did not shift any categories. Ancheta Wis 11:35, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)


The role of Category:Politics is a sleeper: the Scientific Method article shows that there is a political component to our knowledge, which somehow we seem to ignore, even to the POV in a political position, or even in well accepted Category:Science. How much of the acceptance of any item of knowledge is political? Ancheta Wis 11:02, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Politics is going to seem way too narrow, people are going to think about it as elections and government, not as the nature of human interaction. I am going to restore society. dml 12:59, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I prefer politics because it is narrow. The distinction between culture and society is too vague for me.--Eloquence*
Political science is a social science, so might as well use society. siroχo

Category browsebar is too broad.[edit]

I don't like the category browse bar at all. As others have complained, it's far too broad and it should just be links to the more complete and detailed category systems on other pages. Otherwise we are going to continue to argue over which categories should be squeezed into this small bar. Norm 15:18, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I rolled back the change. There are some number of reasonable categories or topics that people should be able to navigate to directly. We can debate what those are, but it is a number probably 0 < N < 9. It has already been shrunk from a major part of the main page to 1 line!, saying it should be 0 lines of topics is saying that there should be no way to browse to topics from the main page, it will require 1 extra click on the part of all users. dml 22:35, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I Agree w/ dml here. Hiding stuff an extra click beyond the front page is just enough to confound and drive away many new users, who this feature is primarily for. siroχo
The browse bar should be synced with the Wikipedia:Browse by category, or vice-versa. i.e. the top-level categories on the browse-bar should be the same top-level categories found in the full version. That's what a newbie would expect when clicking on the More categories link on the Main Page, it should "expand" the top-level categories to include their children. I don't really mind which way the sync goes, but they should match. --Lexor|Talk 00:59, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I like this idea. I've updated the browse bar to match the current category scheme. Norm 01:19, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I agree that this is in principle correct. Currently Browse by category and WikipediaTOC have 10 or so categories. Fundamental needs to be redesigned and will be meaningless to people on the front page (though harmless on the secondary pages) and Human needs a new title (I am going to try Category:Life and see how that works), but these are getting closer and closer to useful. dml 02:17, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The idea behind the Category:Life is that it is about Everyday Life, and would include a lot of pragmatic knowledge (think of the Life section of the newspaper, ex-Entertainment.)
The title of Category:Life is very bad. I recently deleted the category when it was used as a synonym for Category:Biology (many people will use it for categorization of biology-topics and hence is very ambiguous). I think that it should be either retitled as Category:Personal life or refactored into Category:Entertainment and the others. I favor the latter option as we have too many categories on the Main Page as it is, and "Life" (in the entertainment-sense) isn't exactly the kind of top-level category you would expect in an encyclopedia, e.g. you don't see it at the Britannica. --Lexor|Talk 21:08, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I moved it to Category:Personal life (which is now 2-words unfortunately), but it certainly isn't Entertainment, its more like things about how one live's life (eating, sleeping, etc.). It replaces the poorly named Category:Human dml 21:24, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Link for Browse[edit]

I am reacting to a Yahoo newcomer, who was expecting a few popular categories like a newspaper, instead of the encyclopedia viewpoint. He was actually surprised to see the depth of the items under CULTURE, for example. To help him out, since WP is not a newspaper, we could make the BROWSE: label a link to [[Help:Contents|BROWSE:]] . What say you? Aye, Nay, or other proposal. Ancheta Wis 22:26, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Even better, how about linking to Wikipedia:Browse by category, since the word is Browse? siroχo 23:30, Oct 10, 2004 (UTC)

My proposal[edit]

I seem to get yelled at every time I try to edit a template on the main page—as in “What the @$%# is ‘Regis Philbining’?!!”—so I'll post a proposal here. If there are no objections, I'll have it implemented soon. I await your input. — Tuesday Teen 14:51, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC) (formerly “El Chico”)

Maybe this thing should be protected?[edit]

This template, and all the others used on the main page, provide an easy way for vandals to flash penises, etc. at people. Wikipedia:Protection policy does list "Protecting high visibility pages such as the Main Page from vandalism." as grounds for semi-permanent protection. Noser 03:15, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Is there some status of protection that lets only logged in users make change (as opposed to only administrators)? Most of the vandals are IP addresses. dml 03:36, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)
In the current version of MediaWiki there is no such option, but there may be in future versions. However, I see no need for this template to be edited much at all, so I would favor normal protection. Feel free to list it on WP:RFP. Dan | Talk 03:52, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. Protect it. →Raul654 03:53, Nov 27, 2004 (UTC)
Please do not protect it. There's no reason why only admins should be able to edit this template. An ongoing poll at Talk:Main Page shows that more people against than in favour of protecting all templates used on the main page. —AlanBarrett 06:19, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The reason was already stated. As you can see in the history, yesterday pornagraphic imagery was placed on the front page several times. --Sketchee 16:40, Nov 27, 2004 (UTC)
See Wikipedia talk:Protection policy#Protection of templates and images used on the Main Page. —AlanBarrett 17:23, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)


Category:Religion is listed on Category:Main page but not here. I have left a note for the user responsible with a link here. Brianjd 06:01, 2004 Dec 24 (UTC)

To any admin: Since it is such a big issue on its own, shouldn't religion be one of the main categories listed? Brisvegas 05:21, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Portals link[edit]

I've created a page titled Wikipedia:Wikiportal Browse and I think it should be linked to. How about:

Culture | Geography | History | Life | Mathematics | Science | Society | Technology

Browse Wikipedia · Portals · Article overviews · Alphabetical index · Other indexes

I'd do it myself but the template is protected. Trevor MacInnis(Talk | Contribs) 01:21, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

I've added your link, and updated the template a bit, too. -- Beland 04:57, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

Can I change...[edit]

...the "Ask Wikipedia a Question" link to point to Wikipedia:Ask a question instead? --HappyCamper 04:26, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Eh... go for it Happy. Redwolf24 (talk) 05:15, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Three parallel browse pages[edit]

This menu has three basically parallel browse pages: Wikipedia:Browse, Portal:Browse, and Wikipedia:Browse by overview. Their distinguishing browse objects are categories, portals, and articles, respectively. I propose Categorybrowsebar directly reflects these distinctions in its wording. On their discussion pages, I also proposed Wikipedia:Browse be renamed to "Wikipedia:Browse by category, and Wikipedia:Browse by overview be renamed to "Wikipedia:Browse by article." Here are some possible revisions. RDF talk 05:07, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Culture | Geography | History | Life | Mathematics | Science | Society | Technology

Categories · Portals · Articles · Ask Wikipedia a Question · Alphabetical Index · Other Indexes

Culture | Geography | History | Life | Mathematics | Science | Society | Technology

Browse (Categories · Portals · Articles) · Ask Wikipedia a Question · Alphabetical Index · Other Indexes

Culture | Geography | History | Life | Mathematics | Science | Society | Technology

Browse Categories · Browse Portals · Browse Articles · Ask Wikipedia a Question · Alphabetical Index · Other Indexes

I like the last one. One minor improvement might be to alphabeticise the links on the bottom row. --HappyCamper 20:31, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

Alphabeticised version of last proposal above[edit]

Here's an apha sample (minus "Other"). RDF talk 20:45, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

Culture | Geography | History | Life | Mathematics | Science | Society | Technology

Alphabetical Index · Ask Wikipedia a Question · Browse Articles · Browse Categories · Browse Portals · Other Indexes

Looks great! I like it. Add to the template soon? --HappyCamper 21:04, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

I would if I could! Unfortunately, I can't seem to convince (or get the attention of?) anyone who actually could make the change. I'm stumped. :-) RDF talk 21:29, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
Change done. Let's see the reaction. - Trevor MacInnis(Talk | Contribs) 22:41, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
Ah-ha!!! Now I know who has the keys to the back room! Thanks! ;-) RDF talk 23:07, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
Awesome! --HappyCamper 23:51, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
Apparently, I'm the culprit for having an old version of "Ask Wikipedia a Question" on the template!!! >;-o) Could someone replace what's currently there with this? Ask Wikipedia a Question Thanks! RDF talk 19:39, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
Ask and ye shall recieve. - Trevor MacInnis(Talk | Contribs) 20:20, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
...and ye shall deliver! Thanks! :-) RDF talk 22:27, 27 September 2005 (UTC)


Please add to discussion on the usefulness of the browsebar/catbar headers, at Template talk:Browsebar#Is this bar useful?. thanks. --Quiddity 21:10, 21 March 2006 (UTC)


Is there a particular reason this template uses the former over the latter? Even Wiktionary (see, for example, at wikt:indexes) suggests that indices is the preferred and more common usage for those who speak British English and not uncommon in American English, and I think it's fair to say that indices is more common amongst native English speakers (the results of a relevant Googlefight notwithstanding). 00:06, 27 July 2006 (UTC)


{editprotected} Please add this line. Thanks. --Quiddity·(talk) 09:05, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

<noinclude>[[Category:Wikipedia content navigation templates]]</noinclude>
Done.--Commander Keane 11:14, 7 August 2006 (UTC)