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Nonexistent category returned by Commons MediaWiki API
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Description

Our app allows the user to key in a string, and it queries the Commons MediaWiki API for categories beginning with that string. However, the API sometimes returns nonexistent categories when we query it.

For instance, if we query https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/api.php?action=query&list=allcategories&acprefix=badge&aclimit=25 for categories beginning with 'badge', the first result is Badge. However, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Badge does not exist and does not appear to have ever existed.

Are we doing something wrong, or is this a bug in the Commons MediaWiki API?

(This is currently being discussed at https://github.com/nicolas-raoul/apps-android-commons/issues/22 )

Event Timeline

Restricted Application added subscribers: Zppix, Poyekhali, Steinsplitter, Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptJul 11 2016, 5:41 AM
josephine_l updated the task description. (Show Details)Jul 11 2016, 5:44 AM
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Anomie closed this task as Invalid.Jul 11 2016, 1:52 PM
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The definition of "category" for list=allcategory includes anything that was ever a category on a page, even if it doesn't have any members anymore. This is independent of whether a corresponding page ever existed in the Category namespace.

See also T28411: Entries for non-existent categories with no members should be deleted from the 'category' table.