Forum:Removing redundant categories

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Forums: Yew Grove > Removing redundant categories
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This thread was archived on 12 October 2012 by Thebrains222.

If you look at many of the categories found in an article, you'll notice many categories are redundant to another, more specific category. Looking through the categories of the first three random articles I selected, this is what I noticed:

  • For Hazelmere's island, the category "Locations" is redundant to "Quest Locations". We already know that the island is a location from the latter category; there is no need to mention this twice.
  • For Rune hasta, "Items" (ignoring the hidden category) is redundant to "Weapon slot items".
  • For Vanguard helm, "Items" (again ignoring the hidden category) is redundant to "Untradeable items" and "Head slot items".

Adding pages to two separate, redundant categories just spams one of the categories with unnecessary pages, and these pages can usually be found in one of its subcategories anyway. Smithing (talk | contribs) 00:54, October 1, 2012 (UTC)


Oppose — Items, untradeable items, and < > slot items are all categories that come from templates so it'd be annoying to change all that, I see no problem with those sorts of redundancies. MolMan 00:56, October 1, 2012 (UTC)

Oppose - Because most of the categorisation is done by templates. And because if I go to Category:Locations I expect to see all locations, not just those that have no more specific category. (And yes, while the subcategories appear, I don't want to crawl through the subcategory pages that are slow to load.)

 a proofreader ▸ 

01:04, October 1, 2012 (UTC)

Categories are a way for people to quickly find pages on a topic they are looking for. However, it is not likely a list of ~400 pages (as there are in Category:Locations) is going to be useful when there are subcategories that feature a more feasible amount of pages titles to look at. Smithing (talk | contribs) 02:46, October 1, 2012 (UTC)
Categories can also be useful to bots. For example, say a bot needs to edit pages categorised by a template, which under your proposal would only be subcategorised. Now the bot needs to get categories recursively. Human editors can also be assisted by the outer category to make lists of pages to edit, e.g., infoboxes contained therein (or click to create tabs, and then flush all of the edited pages away by right-clicking the category's tab and selecting Close Other Tabs). With outer categories it also becomes possible to do category intersection (on a DPL page I forgot the name of), for example "Items" and "Locations". Now, if you have articles that are in the intersection of both categories, you'll want to have a long look at those articles because an item can't be a location and vice-versa.
My reasoning is now thus: If you don't use the outer category, that's fine; readers are going to be quick to jump to subcategories. However, don't overlook the other uses for these outer categories.  a proofreader ▸  21:19, October 1, 2012 (UTC)

Comment 1: Quest Locations is a subcategory of Locations so Locations should be removed anyway. 2 & 3: That'd require some major reworking with how the infobox item template works in conjunction with worn equipment. Not sure how we'd go about that. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 01:09, October 1, 2012 (UTC)

Comment: Even if, for example, the "Items" category was removed from templates, it wouldn't cause that much of a problem. As of September 2012, the category already contains ~ 12k pages, and it is very unlikely a list of that many pages is going to be useful. Removing this category may only affect a small number of pages (124 at the time of this post) that belong only to the "Items" category. Smithing (talk | contribs) 02:46, October 1, 2012 (UTC)

Oppose - I don't consider it to be redundant to have categories split in this way. In fact I've always found it annoying when you go to a category and find a bunch of subcategories but no direct way of seeing all the articles that should be contaned within it. I also think it's an assumption to say that the current format isn't useful. At least with the current system if, for example, you wanted information relating to all items it would be easy to do so. --Henneyj 21:09, October 1, 2012 (UTC)

The current format can also cause frustration (and this is supported by sources). In the case of long category lists, at least one source seems to suggest that they are problematic.

List is a simple and useful graphical user interface (GUI) component for organizing linearly structured information when it contains only a few elements. However long lists are difficult to use because only a small part of the list is shown each time, to gain an overview or select elements from a long list the user usually needs to scroll the list many times... For example, in an alphabetically ordered list of all countries, how can one choose such three countries as Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Since the list is long, which contains 266 countries and areas, and also these three countries separate apart from each other in the list, selecting three of them needs more interaction. This navigation problem becomes more serious as the list gets longer.

Human Interface and the Management of Information, Hongzhi Song et al., p. 535 [emphasis added]

Another source also lists addition problems with long lists.

[L]ists—even web pages—if they become too long, they will force users to pan, possibly missing what they were looking for or getting lost in the information. Another serious issue with long lists is that they generally make the browser slower, which again will frustrate the user.

Beginning iPhone and iPad Web Apps, Chris Apers and Daniel Paterson, p. 106

I can also think of one additional benefit of removing pages from a category if they are already found in one of its subcategories. If there were several pages that don't belong to a subcategory, but belong to the main category, these pages can get lost within thousands of other pages. However, if redundant categories were removed, the main category would only include articles which don't belong within one of its subcategories, and these pages would be easier to locate (thus, improving navigation). Smithing (talk | contribs) 01:39, October 2, 2012 (UTC)

Weak oppose - I just don't think it is a major impediment for readers as they have the option of using the smaller subcategories as well as the fact that subcategories are displayed first on all category pages. It could potentially be useful to be able to view the entire superset. 222 talk 01:35, October 2, 2012 (UTC)

Oppose - Unhelpful. Ronan Talk 16:30, October 3, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - It was my understanding that parent categories, or even those that had a sub-category of the category on the page had the higher level category removed unless it was an unusual circumstance, e.g. hidden category, temporary category, etc. Is this not the case? cqm 07:48,5/10/2012 (UTC) (UTC)

Oppose - Seems like a lot of work for such a small issue, and not very helpful anyway. User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 13:28, October 5, 2012 (UTC)

Closed - No consensus to modify category structure. 222 talk 09:01, October 12, 2012 (UTC)