Category talk:Film actors

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Stone Cold Steve AustinEdit

Stone Cold Steve Austin is more famous as a wrestler and should be withdrawn from the list.

Suggestion for subcategorizationEdit

I would suggest catergorising the actors into era, film genre, etc...

Who is this actor?Edit Who is this actor? He really looks familiar but I have no idea what films he was in or what his name is. He was in 8 films he said.

Clean UpEdit

This category needs to be sorted into film actors by nationality. --User:Carie 20:12, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree, and everytime I see someone in this category I move it to its "by nationality" subcategory. --Vizcarra 18:59, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Please continue to add Film actor by nationality categories, but now, do not remove articles from this category. See note at the top of this page. Thanks,Lini 12:44, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

All film actors can be in this category as well as by nationalityEdit

I would like people working in this category to consider adding ALL film actors back into this category. The decision to subcategorize everyone was made before there were category TOCs. Nationality is an artificial distinction to many actors who are multi-national. I could see the utility of being able to browse through a category of all actors. You would still have the choice of browsing by nationality. -- Samuel Wantman 21:15, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

I think that's crazy. I don't see how you're supposed to browse a category with thousands of articles in it. The table of contents helps if you know the name...which you don't need a category for in the first place. What you're proposing defeats the purpose of subcategories and goes against precedent in other categories. For instance, it's possible that I'd want to browse thru all American people, not just American botanists, or Californians. But we don't keep Americans in both categories, because being in the subcategory automatically puts you in the parent category. You can always browse the subcategories, too. Categories as big as film actors was last week are simply unbrowsable, but when subcategorized, they can still be browsed, while people can also check out Category:Mexican film actors and so on, getting more information without any more effort. NickelShoe 21:57, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
As per Wikipedia:Categorization#Guidelines. It does make sense, for instance, for award-winners to be both in the subcat and the parent cat, because award-winners are a small amount of actors, and because a browser might not have any idea an actor won the particular award. But all people have nationalities, and where the nationality is a question, then we can leave it here in Category:Film actors or in multiple subcats, such as Category:American film actors and Category:Canadian film actors. Duplication here doesn't seem any more useful than duplication at other occupations, and such a large occupation makes duplication more cumbersome here. NickelShoe 22:06, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
It is not as big as you think. Most of the film actor by nationality subcategories do not have many people in it. I suspect the combined listings would be about three times bigger than the American listings. It doesn't defeat the purpose of the subcategories, they would still exist. The past precedent was because of an inability to easily browse through large categories. With a table of contents, this would not be difficult to browse through. I am not proposing getting rid of the subcategories, I just proposing to add the complete list of film actors here. I do think there is a point when large categories would be unweildy, probably when there is more than about 600 names for each letter of the alphabet. I don't think this category would be that big. I see advantages, and I don't see any disadvantages. It has never been against policy to have articles listed in categories and their grandchild subcategories. The guidelines (which I just concluded facilitating the rewrite), say that these decisions should be made to help people browse through categories. Since I am just proposing to add to what we already have, I don't see how it makes things worse, and it might make it better for some people who would like to see the complete list. For example, let's say someone is trying to remember the name of the actor and all they remember is that it started with a B (or was it a D?) The way things are now, it would be hard to find if you don't know the nationality of the actor. It would be easy if they were all here. -- Samuel Wantman 22:20, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
It seems very awkward to me to have only the people with unknown or multiple nationalities listed on this page. It should be all or none. -- Samuel Wantman 22:21, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
I think the line of unbrowsability is much lower than that, and in any case, this category was that big. I've moved hundreds of people out of it in the past few days. I know several of the subcats are pretty small--like Category:Welsh film actors. But there's a lot of nationalities, and if you don't pull out some nationalities into subcats, this category has four hundred actors per letter (because there are plenty of people not in here before I started subcatting). Well, I wasn't counting, but you're free to look at my contributions to get an idea.
I can only speak for myself, but if I can only remember what letter something possibly started with, the category is actually unuseful to me around fifty. I'm sure others can use it up to two hundred.
I suppose leaving unknown nationalities here is a little weird...I was thinking as a temporary solution until they were either in multiple subcats or somebody actually included their nationality in the article. NickelShoe 22:30, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Since you don't like browsing through more than 50 names you would not be forced to, you could browse the subcats. But many people might. It certainly helps deal with the people of unknown nationality, and in general might make for less work. The natural inclination is for editors to add people to this category. Why fight it? I can imagine that this would be a shock to you if you've just recategorized hundreds of articles. All I can say, is that I'll help you put them back. I would like to hear from others about this. And, BTW, I'd like to make the same change to film directors. Quick, can you tell me what the nationality is for Roman Polanski? -- Samuel Wantman 22:40, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
But...if I know his name, why don't I just type that in? (And it should go without saying that I'm going to hold off any recategorization up or down until there's some kind of consensus here.) NickelShoe 22:45, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
I guess I should be more explicit about my point about Roman Polanski. The point I'm making is that "by nationality" often constrains categories artificially. There is often nothing particually notable about an actor or director being from one country or another. They are, like in Polanski's case, often from one country, raised in another, got famous in a third and then moved somewhere else. My point is that while some people might find the distinctions of nationality to be notable, it often is not. Because of that, I'd prefer seeing categories populated at a higher level when possible. This would not apply to Category:People by nationality because that is the entire point of the category. Everywhere else, when nationality intersects with profession, I'd like to populate the smaller categories by nationality and larger categories by profession unless nationality is integral to the profession (like politicians). -- Samuel Wantman 23:09, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Note: This conversation has been moved to Wikipedia talk:Categorization. PLEASE RESPOND THERE.

A consensus was reached in the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Categorization. See notebox at the top of this page. Thanks, Lini 12:45, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

A consensus was reached by only a handful of people, and the discussion was so fragmented that certain views became conveniently overlooked. The JPS 13:40, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Wish I had known about the discussion why they were active. The problem is that such categorising looks redundant on the actor's page, giving it a little sloppy look. And if this issue has been resolved, then why has the too large tag not been removed as its presence seems to suggest that the problem is still open. --Bacteria 08:40, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

The "very large" tag was reworded just recently, and I've put it back to its former wording. Many articles have oodles of categories. Eventually many of them will go away if the developers get around to implementing category intersection. Then many of the subcategories will not be needed, as they will be created on the fly. -- Samuel Wantman 10:09, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't accept that a meaningful consensus can be reached by a few people in 8 days when it overwrites a much wider consensus about the way to do things. I reject this false consensus which was instantly turned into an order and will remove the hardline instructions. If you want to damage the categories in this way, I can't stop you, but please don't feel that you have a right to impose you will on others for all time. Chicheley 09:24, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
I also strongly reject Samuel Wantman's proposal to delete useful categories for reasons I have explained on my talk page. Chicheley 23:02, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

One good thing about Wikipedia is that things don't have to be "for all time", if there is enough considered opinion that they should change. The original discussion, and consensus attempt, in January, regarding the actors categorization, came about partly because of wider policy changes on categorization, now detailed on Wikipedia:Categorization/Categories and subcategories which state that it is now sometimes allowable and appropriate for articles to be both in a subcategory and in a parent category. The January discussion on actors categorization was started because there was a disagreement at that time between editors who were removing parent categories from articles and other editors who believed the parent categories should not be removed. The consensus reached was a good faith, best effort, to come up with a starting point policy that was agreeable to those involved at the time. The number of responses was low in spite of it being in a centralized location, Wikipedia talk:Categorization, so we did the best we could with the participation we had. One way to get wider attention to a question is to make a best guess, start out in a certain direction, and see what kind of response comes. Again, on Wikipedia, things don't have to be for all time. Now that more editors are aware of the January discussion and its results, and there has been more opinion expressed against it than there was at that time, there is nothing to stop someone initiating a new discussion, with the intention of either confirming, modifying, or reversing the previous consensus. The people who've commented on these talk pages in the intervening time could be invited to participate because we now know that they have interest. Wouldn't it be best for Wikipedia, to discuss it civilly, in order to see if there is now an overwhelming opinion one way or the other, or if not, to determine which is the more appropriate default? Wouldn't it be better to try to have a policy agreed on according to the best method we can arrive at (even if it may turn out to be the reverse of what you or I prefer), rather than having each editor going his/her own way? --Lini 03:54, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

We already have general guidance and I am happy with it. Chicheley 21:51, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

There seem to be 3 distinct questions to be answered regarding duplicate categorization of articles about film actors in both the appropriate <Nationality> Film actor category and in the grandparent Film actors category:

a.) Do the general guidelines read in such a way, as to clearly and straightforwardly show, according to both the letter and the spirit of the guidelines, that any exceptions to the "Article should not be in both a category and its parent" guideline, clearly could never apply to articles such as the Film actors? (For reference purposes, for others following this discussion, the general guidelines that I am aware of, and those I think that Chicheley was referring to are at: Wikipedia:Categorization and Wikipedia:Categorization/Categories and subcategories. Looking at the talk pages is also helpful; there is currently a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Categorization#Category duplication with comments by Samuel Wantman, Chicheley and others, which I would say is pretty closely related to the topic of this question.

b.) If the answer to (a) is no, then, should there be consistency about duplication of categories, or not, among all articles of people by profession? So that a discussion of whether to do this or not should be decided, not here at Film actors, but elsewhere, at Category:People by occupation, for example, by a much larger audience.

c.) If the answer to both (a) and (b) is no, then it is appropriate to discuss the question among those editors who have an interest in the categorization of the Film actors articles.

Since there is a difference of opinion about the category duplication, I think we can't get around the need to talk about it - in this case, both to figure out which level of question above actually applies here, and then to address that question in the appropriate context. Thanks, Lini 10:20, 27 July 2006 (UTC)


Apparently I did something wrong here:

  • I started categorizing film actors by nationality, but
  • I removed them from this category

I did this for about 300 entries. Then I checked the talk page and I saw that I had made a mistake. Should I really repopulate this category? I don't agree with the consensus reached in January. Six months have passed and the category hasn't been repopulated. Isn't it time to re-open the discussion so we can find a general policy? Mushroom (Talk) 01:42, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't see a good reason not to have them categorized both ways. If you want to browse through all of them you'd be able to. If you want to browse through just the actors from each nationality, you'd be able to as well. I'd also like to add actors by language, such as Category:English-language actors etc... Of these three (all, by nationality, or by language), I find the nationality categories to be the least useful. -- Samuel Wantman 01:56, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but:
  • If this is true for Category:Film actors, then why not for Category:Actors? This seems inconsistent, since we are forced to browse actors by medium or nationality, and we can't browse all of them at the same time.
  • Then why not for Category:People? And so on...
I'm not totally against both-ways categorizing, I just don't like this apparent inconsistency. If there was a fixed, clear policy on this it would be better, wouldn't it? The current situation is:
I just want to have some rules to follow (i.e. a definition of Some), so it's easier not to make this kind of mistakes.
And regarding the language... I like your idea :) Mushroom (Talk) 02:28, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for your inquiries, Mushroom! For reference purposes in this conversation... Here's a recap of the original consensus statment in January, about categorization of professions by nationality, with notes on the specific application to film actors and film directors.

Consensus statement:

  • In cases where subcategories of the type "Fooian fooers" exist, it is allowable and acceptable to have the individual fooer articles also listed on the "fooer" category page. This can be done on a case by case basis as editors/ users express the desire to be able to browse articles at the "fooer" level and as there are editors willing to work on the repopulation of the "fooer" category if necessary.
  • The object is to accomodate different preferences in browsing as expressed in the discussion on this topic.
  • The question of the effect of large categories (1000's of entries) has been raised with developers, and we are told that the nature of the category interface is such that large categories are not a drain on the server.
  • The intention is that "ancestor" categories be populated up to the topic article level and/or the "level of notability" as indicated by the identification of the individual's profession in the opening sentence of typical articles in the category. This can be addressed in specific on a case by case basis. We would refrain from automatically populating every category up the heirarchy to Category:People, for example, so as not to clutter articles with categories.

Acknowledgment at the time that wider participation in the discussion leading up to consensus would have been desirable:

Comment - There have been a relatively small number of editors involved in the discussion to this point, although it is in a central location as far as categorization is concerned. I would recommend that, after leaving the discussion open a little longer, we then proceed with the effort of making the categorization of individuals in the film, television and theatrical professions consistent. I would not be surprised, though, if the general topic was revisited in other times/places. Hopefully, though, the current discussion may be good groundwork for any future discussions. (26 January 2006)

Application to actors and directors, from 29 January 2006 (summarized):

Those who are interested in helping with the repopulation effort for the "MEDIUM(Film,Stage,Television) Actors" (or directors) categories should go ahead and begin, focusing on the film category first, but as we "touch" any articles to add in MEDIUM Actors category tags, making sure, at the same time, that the NATIONALITY Actors and Actors category tags are there also.

Following the closure of the consensus discussion on 29 January:

  • I worked on parent category repopulation and also placement of message boxes such as the one at the top of this page, from the end of January to mid-February. At that time I realized that I was spending more time on Wikipedia than I wanted to, and enjoying it less. It was a problem, for me, to tackle something so major as "fixing" the actors categories. So, since that time, I have for the most part avoided this area. I do apologize, here, for starting something and not finishing it. I don't know if other editors were doing the same type of work also, I believe User:Nareek was doing some.
  • As I encountered other editors who have an interest in categorization within the acting or directing profession (for example when my additions of parent categories were reverted :), I invited them to read the discussions on the relevant talk pages, and contribute their views.
  • Editors now have, in various places, added comments to the discussion. I don't think, as the JPS states above, that these views are being conveniently overlooked (that's not assuming good faith!), but, rather, that someone needs to objectively evaluate if there is a significantly wider group to discuss things now, and/or if new points have been raised that were not considered in the discussion in January. Someone would need to take the lead in opening a new consensus discussion and in providing as objective a way as possible to bring it to a conclusion, after a reasonable amount of time. The original discussion is now archived at Wikipedia talk:Categorization/Archive 11 and is worth taking a look at, to see what ground has already been covered.

Bottom line, Mushroom, I totally empathize with your statement that "I just want to have some rules to follow..." - that is what led me to become involved in the initial discussion, and to work to bring it to a conclusion. My opinion is that having a policy of either alternative - include in parent categories, or don't include in parent categories, regardless of my personal preference for either, is better than having no consensus and therefore inconsistency. Best wishes in continuing to work for a better Wikipedia. --Lini 11:23, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks a lot for your recap and comments, I'm glad to see that someone shares my views on this topic (that is, "any policy is better than no policy"). I hadn't seen your comments until today because, like you, I have decided to leave this area. I feel a bit guilty for not fixing my (seemingly wrong) category removals, but I'm happy to see that User:SamuelWantman has done this for me (thanks, Samuel!). I don't like uncertainty: when I edit Wikipedia, I want to be sure that I'm doing something good and constructive, that won't be reverted after some weeks or months. I don't think I'm the right person to re-start a big discussion about categorization, but I hope someone will, in the future, and when it happens I will gladly express my opinions. In the meantime, I have moved to something I can do without thinking "is this the right thing?". Mushroom (Talk) 22:22, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
You did nothing wrong and a commend you for your efforts on the 300 articles. Samuel Wantman asserts the existence of a "consensus" for his view over and over again, but it was based on a few users in just one week and it has been criticised in various places then and since. I contend that no "consensus" exists. Certainly a "consensus" for something that affects so many high profile articles, yet contradicts usual practice, needs a lot more support than Mr Wantman has found. Chicheley 21:49, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
This has been troubling me, and I'd like to speak up in behalf of Samuel Wantman. I don't see Samuel as trying to push "consensus" on anyone. What I've more observed is someone who has spent long thought on Wikipedia categorization, and has been an eloquent voice on ideas about changes to categorization policy to make Wikipedia categories more user-friendly. Now, you may not agree with his suggestions. Many aspects of possible policies on the use of categories bring both advantages and disadvantages. We're not going to find a solution that is free of disadvantages. However, regarding the January consensus, if you review the original discussion, and if you look at the edit history, for the placement of the notebox that was originally at the top of this page, regarding a consensus, and which also appeared on some other talk pages, you will find that that I was a very active participant in bringing the discussion to a conclusion, suggesting next actions as a result of that conclusion, and starting to try to give clear notification about that conclusion. If you read the recent commments here and on Wikipedia talk:Categorization, Samuel's voice deals more with explaining his theory on categorization; I'm the one defending the January consensus. My motivation then and now: Not to try to smuggle in duplicate categorization against the community's will when no one was looking - in fact, I had rather hoped the January discussion would go the other way (against duplication) - because that is the way I had been proceeding at that time, before we started talking about it. Rather, it comes down to this - one of the things I love about Wikipedia is categories; I love the satisfaction of finding something incorrectly categorized, figuring out how to make it better, and fixing it (I think if you're on this page reading this you probably can relate to that.) But, I want to do things the right way, and in cooperation with other editors, and my understanding of the way you do that on Wikipedia is - you talk about it, try to refine each other's way of thinking, try to come to an agreement, but, after a reasonable amount of time, you've got to end the discussion one way or another, and have to determine a default position if there's not an overwhelming response on either side. I will be thankful for gracious responses to this explanation. --Lini 04:17, 28 July 2006 (UTC)