This page contains ideas and principles for creating and linking categories. Ideas for changing it are best added to the discussion page until we have a reasonable consensus among active contributors, because changing category linkages can have wide repercussions that may reduce the wiki's usefulness in unforeseen ways.

Second level in 2005[]

At the time of writing (2005-07-18T21:33:17), our top-level category had the following "child" (ie 2nd-level) subcategories:

  • Category:Lists of People by Surname - currently contains 31 categories, starting with "Adams Surname", but there will be thousands more, and we will organise systems for easy access by initial letter
  • Category:Lists of Unlinked Individuals - people who have no relatives elsewhere in the wiki at present; groupings can be geographical to help with possible matching
  • Category:Surnames - a couple of subcategories and a few articles, not yet differentiated; we may use this differently in future; most lists or categories should be in one of the two listed above
  • Category:Templates - (not in the technical sense: just useful models for simplifying the process of creating and linking pages)

Subsequent developments[]

  • Category:Genealogy was brought in as the prime subcat, containing any cat that is included under that subject. Later, however, Category:Contents was created on top of that, matching the Wikia standard Category:Content.

In 2009, Familypedia started using Semantic MediaWiki, which will somewhat reduce the need for fine categorization, at least for people. See Familypedia:Concepts and Category:SMW help and Category:Non-SMW people articles, for example.

"Wanted categories"[]

One of the "Special:" pages on this wiki (as on any MediaWiki wiki, probably) is "Wanted categories". It lists categories that are shown on one or more other pages but that have not yet been given their own text or parent categories. Those with the greatest number of pages that want them are listed first.

Nearly every category in every wiki started life as a "wanted category"; there would have been little point creating a category with nothing to go into it. Starting life as a wanted category, initially with only one page "wanting" it, each category must then wait a little while before someone starts "actions" about it.

The existence of a wanted category can be dealt with in one of three ways.

  • One response is to delete it (by editing every page that wants it). That is not a response that intrinsically improves the wiki, and it is generally an undesirable response to what should be assumed to be a "good faith" addition of a linkage that is intended to add value to the wiki - some value immediately (by the mere appearance on the article or subcategory), and more value later when the category is created and given its own parent category or more than one.
  • The second possible response: categorize. If you can see logical ways of giving the category parent categories, please do so. Preferably existing categories, but it may be a forerunner of a whole new useful tree of categories. You may be able to categorise it better than the creator could. The creator of the "wanted" situation may have known that there was another contributor who could create parent categories more efficiently (e.g. with a bot), or may have felt that he or she had much better things to do for the wiki than immediately create parent categories for a category that initially had only one article.
  • The third response (and physically the easiest, letting you go off and add real value somewhere else) is to ignore it. Leave the wanted category entirely alone, especially if there is only one page wanting it. Very few users look at the wanted categories list, and it costs us nothing to have categories in it. If you feel that one of the other responses is needed for a particular wanted category, you could most positively approach the author and say you think that the wanted category needs to be dealt with. If there is no reply from that person, try the "categorize" response above, or invite someone else to do it.