In category display, optionally also include subcategories in alphabetic listing
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Description

Author: brian.bj.parker99

Description:
When displaying a category an alphabetical list of topics at the top-level of that category is shown, as well as a list of subcategories above. Typically, however, I want a complete alphabetical list of the articles in that category *and all subcategories*. Currently, to get that information requires manually descending into every subcategory! I suggest an optional link on each category page for "alphabetical display of articles in category and all subcategories". Technically I imagine this would be straightforward and I think would substantially improve the use of the category system for browsing.


Version: unspecified
Severity: enhancement

bzimport added a project: MediaWiki-Categories.Via ConduitNov 22 2014, 1:07 AM
bzimport added a subscriber: Unknown Object (MLST).
bzimport set Reference to bz43424.
bzimport created this task.Via LegacyDec 26 2012, 12:31 PM
Bawolff added a comment.Via ConduitDec 26 2012, 12:43 PM

Technically I imagine this would be straightforward

You would be surprised ;) This is actually kind of hard to do (efficiently) given the way categories are currently stored.


The additional problem with this is to what extent does one recurse into subcategories. Do you want all the articles in the subcategories of the subcategory as well? and so on.

bzimport added a comment.Via ConduitDec 27 2012, 7:33 AM

brian.bj.parker99 wrote:

(In reply to comment #1)


The additional problem with this is to what extent does one recurse into
subcategories. Do you want all the articles in the subcategories of the
subcategory as well? and so on.

Yes, it should list all the articles in all the subcategories, recursively. The use-case is when I, for example, want to look at *all* computing articles in alphabetical order, so I go to category "computing" and select this suggested option.
(I should have made that clear in my original suggestion.)

>Technically I imagine this would be straightforward

You would be surprised ;) This is actually kind of hard to do (efficiently)
given the way categories are currently stored.

Given the above answer, could the recursively collapsed one-level view not be precomputed (say nightly) and then quickly displayed?
(it wouldn't matter if it could be slightly out of date, although the kess the better of course).

I think it would be worth investigating, as the use case I give above is actually the most common usage of categories for me, and I do think if this option was available then the category system would be more useful, and be used more.

Thanks for you comments.

bzimport added a comment.Via ConduitDec 27 2012, 7:51 AM

brian.bj.parker99 wrote:

(In reply to comment #1)

>Technically I imagine this would be straightforward

You would be surprised ;) This is actually kind of hard to do (efficiently)
given the way categories are currently stored.


The additional problem with this is to what extent does one recurse into
subcategories. Do you want all the articles in the subcategories of the
subcategory as well? and so on.

One further point to extend my suggestion above- it would also be good if there was some form of url that could go to a specified category with this suggested recursive option enabled. If this was so then hand-constructed indexes, such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Contents/Indexes could be largely replaced by such links to the appropriate category. Also, portals could include such a link to give an (automatically generated) exhaustive index to their respective articles. So even for readers who do not use the category system, this enhancement could allow enhanced browsing for them.

SJu added a comment.Via ConduitDec 29 2013, 10:27 PM

The requiered feature would be very useful for images at Wikimedia Commons.

An example: we have a category of a town which contains 150 photographs (and none subcategories). It is very pleasant and easy to see all images from the town - but difficult to find a photo of any certain place. As soon as somebody creates a structure of subcategories by street, by building, by subject, by event etc., it become very easy to find any place but very difficult and protracted to see and compare all photos. We need a feature which will keep (enable) advantages of the simple category even when the content is still precisely structured.

See also the discussion https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Categories_for_discussion/2013/03/Category:Trams_in_Prague . What is better: to sort images of vehicles by fleet number (some categories can include only 1 or 2 images, some include tens of images) - or to sort images of trams only by type (by model) - so some categories will contain hundreds images, a certain vehicle would be unfoundable and a non-expert uploader would be not able to categorize by type (while the fleet number can read whatever)? The required feature would enable to view all images of certain model without destroying the categorization substructure unreversibly.

If the new feature will be considered,

  • view switch (simple view/deep view) should be at the category page
  • a depth should be choosable (number of levels of subcategories)
  • the feature can be arranged similarly as filter functions (display all content/display featured articles-images only/displays stubs only etc.).
SJu added a comment.Via ConduitDec 29 2013, 11:31 PM

See also Bug 59108 - Display filters and settings on category pages.

SJu added a comment.Via ConduitFeb 2 2014, 10:12 AM

The tool FastCCI - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Help:FastCCI - use a function displaying images from the category and its subcategories together. For now, this function displays only images filtered by 3 predefined filters (images tagged as the best).

AndreasPraefcke added a comment.Via ConduitMar 26 2014, 4:34 PM

This is _the_ one main failure of MediaWiki that prevents Wikimedia Commons from being useful for users that are not hardcore Wikipedians. It should be top priority, since it is way more important to finally tackle this than all the crap that Wikimedia Foundation has been founding over the last couple of years.

Aklapper added a comment.Via ConduitMar 26 2014, 7:17 PM

Expressing disagreement is fine, but please watch your language.

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