Sub Categories


On CategoryCategory one can see that there are not only top-level categories, but also SubCategories.

If you want to navigate from a category to the pages which are linked to it, you should also have a possibility to navigate to the pages which are linked to the subcategories of the category at which you started.


(Doesn't work anymore now, but still could help to illustrate the problem.) Suppose I am on a page which is linked to the CategoryWiki. I want to see more pages in the same category, so I open CategoryWiki and click on the title, so that the list of pages in this category is displayed. Now the following problem arises: There is no obvious way to navigate to (or even get to know about) pages which are (only) in CategoryWikiNavigation, although this is a subcategory to CategoryWiki.

What are possible solutions?

This would make the list of pages in the CategoryWiki unnecessarily longer and would make information about the structure (which page is directly in CategoryWiki and which is in a subcategory) invisible for people looking at this list.
This is what I want to suggest.
It seems to me that this is not in the spirit of the way how categories are working so far. Categories are not a kind of registry, but a convention on tagging and querying.
This seems to me to be a very indirect and not obvious enough way to navigate to pages in subcategories and not a solution to the above mentioned problem.
-- HelmutEnckRadana

I think I see what you mean. I've just tried doing this with what CategoryCategory lists as the subcategories of CategoryWiki. (I didn't bother to remove links to CategoryWiki from pages in its subcategories, as it doesn't seem that this would ever make searching for things easier). This seems like quite a reasonable thing to do--it adds information, without being especially hard to maintain. -- MossCollum

I had a structure similar to that of a UNIX filesystem in mind, where a directory can contain files as well as subdirectories and one file or directory can be contained in more than one parent directory.

CategoryCategory and Root Super-Category

I thought of CategoryCategory more as being a meta-category than a root category. Compared to an object-system with meta-classes: the class Class, not the class Object. Compared to a filesystem: the file type 'directory', not the root directory. I'm not sure whether this is absolutely needed, but it is useful to have the possibility to see a flat alphabetically sorted list of all available categories.

I forgot to think about a root category until you mentioned it, but of course you are right - this is the place from where one would want to start navigating when browsing the category hierarchy. I think CategoryCategory wouldn't be an apt name for a root category - more suitable could be simply RootCategory? or something like CategoryTop? or CategoryAny? (personally I'd prefer the last one). -- HelmutEnckRadana

Possible Heuristics


I like the directory/subdirectory approach - a parent category can have subcategories and regular pages.

To change the viewpoint a little - does the following set of rules result in a structure similar to the one you are proposing?

  1. Keep everything as it is now, plus
  2. At the bottom of category pages, in addition to CategoryCategory, put zero, one or more references to CategoryMyParentCategory
  3. Keep CategoryCategory at the bottom of all category pages, both parent categories and subcategories.
  4. Eventually delete references to both a category and its parent category on regular pages.

Then when you press the title page of a category, you get a list of the regular pages, plus the subcategories. I think this is what Moss did with CategoryWiki, except he didn't do #4. -- StanSilver

This is exactly what I had in mind when I started this page, but since thinking about the root super-category you mentioned, I'm convinced that this is also needed. The aim would be a well designed hierarchy of categories which can be used to: To achieve this, categories which are meant for navigating to (categories which are standing for) topics probably shouldn't include more than 10 to 20 subcategories and not more than 20 to 40 regular pages (which are directly linked to the category - there could be more, which are indirectly linked to it through other regular pages). Large categories should be split into subcategories. May be the category groups on the CategoryCategory page can be a model for high-level categories.

The only criterion for deciding whether to link a page (regular or subcategory) to a specific category, should be whether its information would be searched for in that category. I could imagine cases where a page could be added to a subcategory as well as to its parent-category. May be the page should be split in such cases. -- HelmutEnckRadana

I'm very much interested in comments from those who are using (or want to use) categories to navigate through the Wiki. What do you think should be tried, what should not be tried, and even what is indifferent to you? -- HelmutEnckRadana

A quick way to get one linkage list related to CategoryWiki is to use it in the FindPage link at the bottom of every page. It yields the following:


To find even more associations, use the LikePages at the bottom of the page CategoryWiki and you will find almost 600 referenced pages. With one Click!

CategoryWikiNavigation CategoryWikiMaintenance

View edit of November 30, 2006 or FindPage with title or text search