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Jumble of subcategories and/or articles[]

Here are the current subcategories of Category:Resided in the United States, relatively early in the expected life of this wiki:

   * Families of the United States (16)
   * Resided in Virginia (4)


   * Resided in California (2)


   * Resided in Georgia (U.S. state)


   * Resided in Iowa (4)


   * Resided in Maryland (3)
   * Resided in Michigan (4)
   * Resided in Minnesota (1)
   * Resided in Mississippi (1)
   * Resided in Missouri (3)
   * Moore in the United States (1)


   * Resided in Ohio (6)


   * Resided in Pennsylvania (6)


   * Walker in the United States (1)

I think I put Virginia up in the asterisk group because I could see that we would be getting lots more like "Walker in the United States" (because some contributors see much value in writing "surname in place" articles, which someone then fairly logically categorises) and that we would want the states to be fairly easily visible, not mixed in with thousands of surnames.

I suggest that the other states (and territories) should go with Virginia by having piped links, e.g. "Category:Resided in the United States|*Ohio".

That will swamp "Families" and any other very general articles. I can foresee that someone may think of including "Presidents of the United States" in here; and there must be others. If that becomes a problem (or straight away if we want to anticipate a problem), we can put them on a higher plane with pipe-space-name instead of pipe-asterisk-name.

A growing number of other categories in the wiki will have the same sort of problem, with the same sort of solution if there are only three groups of subcategories and/or groups of articles. Two directions of solution if there are more than three groups:

  1. something else as an alternative to spaces and asterisks;
  2. the biggest class can be put at the bottom by piping with lower-case initial letter.

Places being less numerous should get the pipes so as to list earlier.

Any such distinguishing methods need guidance notes at the top of relevant categories so that people who categorise manually have some chance of seeing and understanding the recommended methods before too much work has to be redone.

Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:49, 17 December 2008 (UTC)