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Relevant categories are being deleted en masse with HotCatEdit

I opened a discussion in MOS:TV about the deletion of 13 categories from a TV series. The series is well-known for its inclusion of LGBT characters and topics -- yet LGBT categories were deleted. Prior to this, 15 categories (including LGBT-related) were deleted from a film whose main character is a lesbian teenager and the plot revolves around her. I discovered these deletions because the articles are on my watchlist ... but how many other articles are experiencing the careless deletion of categories with the HotCat gadget? The discussion in MOS:TV is here. Pyxis Solitary (yak). L not Q. 12:59, 24 January 2022 (UTC)

@Pyxis Solitary: Coming late to this but Hotcat is generally reliable, it doesn't delete categories "by accident", the editor will have made that choice. I can't comment on that particular article or an editor's motives for editing (other than to WP:Assume good faith) but TV articles in general tend to have egregious WP:OVERCATEGORISATION. I'd be far more concerned if only 1-2 LGBT categories were being removed, but if it's in double figures then that looks like normal pruning of excess categories. I suggest you have a read of WP:DEFINING to help you concentrate on the most important categories, they're not just random metatags for anything that gets mentioned in a show. Le Deluge (talk) 21:28, 13 May 2022 (UTC)

Colons at the start of new CategoriesEdit

I often work on and often find new pages with colons at the start of otherwise perfectly good links to categories eg Dwarka Courts Complex: Revision as of 00:57, 15 February 2022 (edit)


Category:South West Delhi district Category:Courthouses in India

This leads to a minor adjustment removing the colon, and the category displays correctly. It seems that the colon is being introduced somewhere in a new page template somewhere, and if it could be removed it would save much time and effort having to remove it again. It would be great if someone could help with this. Many thanks, Berek (talk) 10:48, 17 February 2022 (UTC)

In this case, as in many others, the colons were required as long as an article is a draft. When it gets moved into article space, those colons should be removed. This happens usually quickly. It can be automated if categories in drafts are surrounded by {{Draft categories}}, but that method is not widely used. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 11:55, 17 February 2022 (UTC)
@Michael Bednarek: Shame {{Draft categories}} is not more widely used. Another problem with the leading colon is if there is a sortkey added, the category declaration is converted into piped-link syntax. This results in the display only showing the sorting key, which looks odd and confusing. Template:Draft categories does not do that. It displays the category link as intended, and as it would appear in a live article. In fact, it also provides a brief explanation in a box, which is nice.
Does Template:Draft article automatically add leading colons? If so, wouldn't it be better if it wrapped the categories with
{{Draft categories|...}}
instead? DB1729 (talk) 17:02, 24 March 2022 (UTC)

Discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Layout § Template:Improve categoriesEdit

  You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Layout § Template:Improve categories. –Novem Linguae (talk) 01:20, 18 February 2022 (UTC)

This is now an RfC about the placement of {{improve categories}} and {{uncategorized}} within WP:ORDER - unspecified, after categories but above stubs, below stubs? PamD 09:45, 28 February 2022 (UTC)

Nomination for deletion of Template:Cats2Edit

 Template:Cats2 has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the entry on the Templates for discussion page. (talk) 03:16, 3 March 2022 (UTC)

People from GibraltarEdit

I usually add biographies to a "People from <city of birth>" category. Category:People from Gibraltar was merged with Category:Gibraltarians in Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2020_May_7#Category:People_from_Gibraltar (@Rathfelder: as nominator). So I'm a bit stuck with what to do with René Neuville, the son of a French diplomat who was born and raised in Gibraltar but never described as "Gibraltarian" in terms of ethnicity or nationality. Is the existence of an "edge case" like Neuville enough to recreate the category? Or should I just leave the article out of that category tree? – Joe (talk) 11:32, 3 March 2022 (UTC)

  • Good question, but hard to answer. Gibraltar is unusual in having no geographical subdivision. Neuville didnt seem to do anything notable in Gibraltar. We dont put people in geographical categories just for a place of birth which they left as children, which I guess he did, so I wouldn't put him in a Gibraltar category. And NB the article is rather ambiguous where it says "Neuville's father was the consul general of France in Gibraltar. He entered the diplomatic service at a young age..." Clarifying that would help. Rathfelder (talk) 13:55, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
    As far as I can tell he left Gibraltar when he was an adult, when he left for his first diplomatic posting. – Joe (talk) 18:28, 3 March 2022 (UTC)


Discussion about the tree of Category:Cafés, see WikiProject Food and Drink talk page. Marcocapelle (talk) 07:01, 24 March 2022 (UTC)

History questionEdit

[1] Why is there so much variance in the number of items in this category? A. C. SantacruzPlease ping me! 17:18, 24 March 2022 (UTC)

Maybe we got rid of most of the unwanted cats five years ago and there are few left to discuss? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:57, 24 March 2022 (UTC)
Redrose64 I see, thanks! It just piqued my curiosity. A. C. SantacruzPlease ping me! 21:09, 24 March 2022 (UTC)

Sorting keysEdit

I make a lot of category sorting edits, adding and modifying sorting keys. Occasionally I am questioned (ex1, ex2) or reverted [2] [3] [4] by well-intentioned, even experienced editors, who have mistaken category sortkey syntax for piped link syntax. This is understandable and not surprising. The two functions happen to use the same markup, the pipe "|" character being the main culprit in the confusion.

I have identified three areas that are either exacerbating the problem or could be improved to help the situation:

  • Leading colons in drafts – It is common practice and important to disable category functions in drafts. Usually this is done by placing a leading colon within the category declaration like here [[:Category:Topic]]. That's fine, but the problem with this method is when there is a sortkey added. The leading colon effectively converts the category declaration into a piped-link, and the resulting display only shows the sorting key, which looks odd and confusing. For example, a draft titled Draft:List of amphibians of Argentina, we would expect it to contain the following category with the Argentina sortkey, but [[:Category:Lists of amphibians by country|Argentina]] merely produces Argentina, which would appear at the bottom of the page where the categories are located. It would not be unreasonable for an editor, especially a newer one noticing this odd behavior, to assume "|" is part of a piped link and remove it thinking it will cause the same behavior in mainspace after the suppression is lifted. They might even challenge others who try to add them after the page goes live. Note the other, less-used suppression method {{Draft categories}} performs far better. It displays the category link as intended and as it would appear in a live article. In fact, it also provides a brief explanation in a box, which is nice.
{{Draft categories|Category:Lists of amphibians by country|Argentina}} produces:
Suggested solutions – Modify the section Wikipedia:Drafts#Preparing drafts to indicate {{Draft categories}} is preferred over leading colons. Change the leading colon function to make all text between the brackets visible. Or, code a bot or something that suppresses draft categories with {{Draft categories}} and automatically converts leading colons in draft categories to the Template:Draft categories markup. Maybe another category suppression method could be used to help?
  • WP:SORTKEY – This shortcut is often used to quickly explain a sortkey to other editors. It redirects to the section Wikipedia:Categorization#Sort keys. The problem is that section itself does not do a very good job in quickly explaining how they work. If the user spends some time reading it closely, it may become clear to them, especially if they follow the link at the top to Help:Category#Sorting category pages, which is a much better explanation in my opinion.
Suggested solution – Rewrite Wikipedia:Categorization#Sort keys to at least include examples of actual words being used as sortkeys and explain how the syntax resembles that of a piped link, but has a different function. Both these important points are made at Help:Category#Sorting category pages and they are worth repeating.
  • HotCat edit summary – When adding or changing sortkeys using HotCat, the default edit summary is "(new key for Category link: "key word or character" using HotCat)". It supplies no link to a guideline or anything explaining what a "key" is. An editor unfamiliar with the function and its confusing syntax has to figure it out themselves from a dead start.
Suggested solution – Modify the HotCat edit summary to include a link to the section Help:Category#Sorting category pages or even to Wikipedia:Categorization#Sort keys if that section is sufficiently improved. I suppose this point would be more appropriately brought up at WT:HotCat, but thought I would run it by here first.

I have no idea how feasible some of this is or if posting it here will help at all, but any thoughts on all or any part of it is appreciated. DB1729 (talk) 21:41, 26 March 2022 (UTC)

Criteria for creating tracking categoriesEdit

Are there any guidelines or criteria for making tracking maintenance categories? I found how-to instructions but I did not find any should-you-actually-be-doing-this guidelines. This is about the tracking categories, which are usually of the form Category:Articles with X where X is some sort of problem to be fixed. Should there be any discussion or consensus that X is a problem before creating a tracking category for it? It seems obvious, but I didn't see it detailed anywhere. – Reidgreg (talk) 21:41, 28 March 2022 (UTC)

Discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject International relations#Lists of ambassadors categorizationEdit

  You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject International relations#Lists of ambassadors categorization. --DB1729 (talk) 03:09, 12 April 2022 (UTC)

First timeEdit

I just created my first category, Category:Ballpoint pen art. Feel free to tell me if I did anything wrong. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 13:00, 23 April 2022 (UTC)

Trees of categoriesEdit

Hi, i was trying to create new categories, I have already red the guidelines but i didn't quite grasp it fully, for example how to make a tree of categories, i use {{CatAutoTOC}} and leave it to work its magic (and i double check for results). Would you mind to take a look at my attempts see here,here, and here and share any suggestion on how to do it better? Some advices would be helpful. Cheers. --Opencross (talk) 15:04, 23 April 2022 (UTC)

@Opencross: You didn't create Category:Defunct tennis tournaments, which has existed for almost nine years. Your creation of Category:Tennis tournaments in Czech Republic will disrupt this CFR/S request; apart from that, it didn't have a WP:SORTKEY, which I have rectified. Category:Indoor hard court tennis tournaments lacked a category for indoor sports; but it is probably redundant to Category:Indoor tennis tournaments. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 18:17, 23 April 2022 (UTC)
You sort of missed greatly the point here, which was to have explained, in plain words possibly, how i did in Categories, and not "what i did" (if that was right or wrong). I was asking about the process, otherwise why would i have written here in first place, am i right?
And for sure i didn't create Category:Defunct tennis tournaments, you got this wrong or maybe i didn't explain further, i linked it to give an example of the "tree of categories" i was asking about and specifically how one of the category i created have fit into the main/upper category, which was cause of discomfort and prompted me to ask for advices.
That being said, thanks for pointing me toward "sort keys", and for your advice on main categories, i would have liked to understand what you did and how to use "default sort" i was reading about in the guidelines. Maybe another time. Opencross (talk) 19:25, 23 April 2022 (UTC)

Categorizing biographies by cause of deathEdit

Cause of death for most people is not a defining characteristic. Should cause of death be a category to add to every possible Wikipedia biography? Cause of death is not mentioned in WP:PEOPLECAT and would seem to fail WP:CATDEF? Hundreds of biographies are now having death-related categories added. For example, Category:Stroke-related deaths in Arizona was just added to Lillian Moller Gilbreth. She was noted for several things, but what she died from at age 93 isn't one of them. Why is it diffused by state? She lived in Arizona with her daughter only after she became too frail to live alone in New Jersey. Wikipedia category pages aren't the place to build up such public health data by state. That is what Wikidata is for, where one can query "people who died of stroke in Arizona", "engineers who died of stroke", "women engineers who died of stroke" and any other combination that might be of interest for some purpose. StarryGrandma (talk) 15:31, 25 April 2022 (UTC)

Strongly agree with everything you've said here. I think it might be worth mentioning something about this at WP:PEOPLECAT. It might also be helpful to add a brief note about WP:CATDEF to some of the category pages under Category:Deaths by type of illness. I tried to search the archives for discussions on this topic, since it seems like it must have come up before, but I wasn't able to find much, beyond some brief discussion at Category talk:Deaths by type of illness and here. Colin M (talk) 15:49, 25 April 2022 (UTC)
Agree. Cause of death is usually only defining if its violent or unexpected, or in some other way newsworthy. We should remove a lot of these. Rathfelder (talk) 22:40, 25 April 2022 (UTC)
Agree. The same guidance is used in documentation for {{infobox person}} about putting cause of death in the infobox: should only be included when the cause of death has significance for the subject's notability. MB 22:57, 25 April 2022 (UTC)
Agreed. I'm going to remove these when I come across them. KaraLG84 (talk) 11:59, 3 June 2022 (UTC)
Generally agree, but how does wikidata know what people died of? I thought it used categories/infoboxen for that? Furius (talk) 22:41, 3 June 2022 (UTC)
since I removed these categories from Angela Morley and Robert Moog yesterday I had a quick look. It seems to me like it probably does. Moog's record pulls his cause of death from the Ukrainian Wikipedia. Not sure exactly how.Morley's record doesn't have any cause of death listed, but I'm not sure if it did before I edited the article. I undid my edit to see if it gets added back in. I know hardly anything about Wikidata so hopefully someone else will chime in. KaraLG84 (talk) 09:18, 4 June 2022 (UTC)

User script to detect unreliable sourcesEdit

I have (with the help of others) made a small user script to detect and highlight various links to unreliable sources and predatory journals. Some of you may already be familiar with it, given it is currently the 39th most imported script on Wikipedia. The idea is that it takes something like

  • John Smith "Article of things" Accessed 2020-02-14. (John Smith "[ Article of things]" ''''. Accessed 2020-02-14.)

and turns it into something like

It will work on a variety of links, including those from {{cite web}}, {{cite journal}} and {{doi}}.

The script is mostly based on WP:RSPSOURCES, WP:NPPSG and WP:CITEWATCH and a good dose of common sense. I'm always expanding coverage and tweaking the script's logic, so general feedback and suggestions to expand coverage to other unreliable sources are always welcomed.

Do note that this is not a script to be mindlessly used, and several caveats apply. Details and instructions are available at User:Headbomb/unreliable. Questions, comments and requests can be made at User talk:Headbomb/unreliable.

- Headbomb {t · c · p · b}

This is a one time notice and can't be unsubscribed from. Delivered by: MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 16:01, 29 April 2022 (UTC)

Categories for release dates on upcoming productsEdit

I've started a thread at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Years#Year_categories_for_upcoming_products having run into some pushback on removing categories such as Category:2023 films on upcoming films at Category talk:2023 films and I couldn't find any official guidance on the matter - thoughts welcome.Le Deluge (talk) 17:16, 13 May 2022 (UTC)

How to trace parent/grandparent/etc. catsEdit

If I know a specific article "X" is within a subcat (at arbitrary depth) of a specific cat "Cat:Y", is there a way to trace the cat hierarchy ("Cat:Y contains Cat:A, which contains Cat:B, which contains X")? My specific use-case is that PETSCAN is giving unexpected pages when I request a cat-tree, and I'm trying to figure out which intermediate cat is mis-categorized. DMacks (talk) 17:35, 13 May 2022 (UTC)

Template:Expand language has an RFCEdit


Template:Expand language, has an RFC which is within the scope of this WikiProject, for possible consensus. A discussion is taking place. If you would like to participate in the discussion, you are invited to add your comments on the discussion page. Thank you. --N8wilson 21:07, 4 June 2022 (UTC)

Defaultsort for placesEdit

What's the best DEFAULTSORT (if any) for places such as La Paz and El Salvador? (Previous discussion: User talk:Fuddle#La Paz.) Certes (talk) 22:08, 4 June 2022 (UTC)


Informed opinion sought. Subject came out this week. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 08:49, 10 June 2022 (UTC)