Last modified: 2006-02-26 21:19:02 UTC

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Bug 5073 - Links to non-existing categories appear blue in a page's categorisation list
Links to non-existing categories appear blue in a page's categorisation list
Status: CLOSED FIXED
Product: MediaWiki
Classification: Unclassified
Categories (Other open bugs)
unspecified
All All
: Normal major with 14 votes (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Nobody - You can work on this!
:
Depends on:
Blocks:
  Show dependency treegraph
 
Reported: 2006-02-24 09:03 UTC by Borgx
Modified: 2006-02-26 21:19 UTC (History)
1 user (show)

See Also:
Web browser: ---
Mobile Platform: ---
Assignee Huggle Beta Tester: ---


Attachments

Description Borgx 2006-02-24 09:03:05 UTC
Non existent category links is blue. People can mistyping it and still thought
it was the correct category.
Comment 1 Rob Church 2006-02-24 11:26:16 UTC
This was changed just last night...
Comment 2 Duncan Harris 2006-02-24 20:43:14 UTC
This needs to be fixed, so I've increased its severity.  Red categories are
indicative of (1) a category not existing so needs to be created (2)
misspellings.  Can we please have the old system back?
Comment 3 Brion Vibber 2006-02-24 21:00:42 UTC
Tim changed this deliberately, though I'm not sure I agree with it.

Categories *exist* by virtue of the existence of pages marked as belonging to them; 
adding a description page is not strictly required.

However it is useful as a hint that you've picked an established category to have a 
blue link.
Comment 4 Duncan Harris 2006-02-24 21:05:42 UTC
Well another problem is I create an article and put it in [[category:foo]], but
[[category:foo]] doesn't exist yet, but anyone clicking on it is just taken to a
blank page; it has no parent categories. IMHO it is essential that categories
have parents, and gives a structure to the whole thing. ~~~~
Comment 5 Daniel Kinzler 2006-02-24 23:20:05 UTC
Please change it back. Categories with no description page are generally not
useful, because every category should be categorized. Also, it's important to
give the user feedback on whether the category he provided is an established one.
Comment 6 Stefan Bauer 2006-02-25 03:09:20 UTC
I can't believe this change was done - did anyone try to imagine the consequences?

Typos or wrong spelling are a normal thing - in normal text it's just a typo, in
the case of links authors still get a feedback, but with categories there is
*no* feedback to the author, you can't even see that you were wrong. It was hard
work, to create consistent category schemes - and it is even harder work to keep
it in place. This doesn't make it easier.

Did anyone account for the additional work needed to catch the errors CAUSED by
this "feature"?
Did anyone account for the additional traffic for checking every category over
and over?
Did anyone account for the potential for invisible category vandalism (e.g.
checking WantedCategories I've even noticed some additions of invisible special
characters - at the moment perhaps incidently created by broken browsers, but
without seeing the non-existent character of a category that could be more than
harmful)?

Please disable this new behaviour as soon as possible - and let us first think
about ALL the consequences of this change and how to avoid the negative ones.
Comment 7 Jakob Voss 2006-02-25 04:26:38 UTC
This needs to be fixed. Tagging with categories is already mistakenly enough
because you have to guess the appropriate category name. You should better move
the categorization to a metadata-space with an interface to browse and select
existing categories. It's a bug, not a feature.
Comment 8 Flominator 2006-02-25 08:49:24 UTC
How do I else know, if I mistyped a category? An alternative would be to 
use CSS in order to find categories without categories.
Comment 9 Rémi Kaupp 2006-02-25 09:37:04 UTC
This change doesn't make sense. Categories are confusing enough for newbies, and
red links ought to show what they mean - that the page is blank so far. Maybe
this change makes sense from a developer's POV, but not for the end-user. Thank
you for changing it back.
Comment 10 Hégésippe 2006-02-25 12:30:58 UTC
Same opinion as many others. Please change it back.
Comment 11 Ash Crow 2006-02-25 12:57:26 UTC
How do we know, now, if a category exists ? I remember, one time, having spent
half an hour to try to understand why a year category I put in an article was
red, altough it was a recent year and category already existed (There was some
invisible symbol that managed to be typed between the category name and the
"]]".... If the link had been blue, I would not have even verified this and my
typo would have stayed here forever.

Please change it back.
Comment 12 Darkoneko 2006-02-25 13:02:30 UTC
like they say.
Comment 13 Benoit Mortgat 2006-02-25 13:59:01 UTC
Idem
Comment 14 Tim Bartel 2006-02-25 14:17:52 UTC
It seems to me, that this change isn't usefull. Please look at the reality - and
change it back to the old behaviour to ease our work, thanks.
Comment 15 Guillaume Paumier 2006-02-25 14:38:31 UTC
+1 asking to come back to older system.
Comment 16 K!roman 2006-02-25 14:40:35 UTC
Like they say, please change it back. (+1)
Comment 17 Khardan 2006-02-25 14:50:29 UTC
Undo this.
Comment 18 Xfigpower 2006-02-25 15:59:46 UTC
please, Change it back
Comment 19 Rotem Liss 2006-02-25 16:01:04 UTC
I agree, you definitely should cancel it.
Comment 20 Rob Church 2006-02-25 17:23:36 UTC
Reverted in CVS HEAD per objections and implied consent of Tim Starling.
Comment 21 Stefan Bauer 2006-02-25 21:36:33 UTC
(In reply to comment #20)
> Reverted in CVS HEAD per objections and implied consent of Tim Starling.

Links are still blue - is something more to be done?
Comment 22 yonidebest 2006-02-25 22:30:23 UTC
I like this feature... NOT!
Comment 23 kolossos 2006-02-25 23:12:54 UTC
This needs to be fixed.
Comment 24 Rob Church 2006-02-25 23:20:00 UTC
(In reply to comment #21)
> Links are still blue - is something more to be done?

It needs to be put live.
Comment 25 Andreas Praefcke 2006-02-26 08:08:20 UTC
undo ASAP, this is, I'm afraid, complete crap. A category is only sensible if it
at least contains either a categorization or a bit of describing text.
Comment 26 Angela 2006-02-26 09:07:03 UTC
A category exists as soon as you put a page into it, so there's no need for the
link to be red. It's misleading since the category *does* exist even when the
link is red.

A category is useful even without descriptive text (which is usually pointless
("category:foo is about foo") or parent categories. 

Relying on red links is no way to spot typos. You should get a proper spell
checker. If you're relying on this, how do you know if there's typos in the rest
of your text. By this reasoning, we should delete all redirects because it makes
links to non-real articles (including common typos) appear blue.

Since a category added to a page before the category description page is made
appears red *even after* the category page is later made (unless you use
&action=purge), making all links blue is a good way to fix this.
Comment 27 Filip Maljkovic [Dungodung] 2006-02-26 09:47:23 UTC
(In reply to comment #26)
> Relying on red links is no way to spot typos. You should get a proper spell
> checker. If you're relying on this, how do you know if there's typos in the rest
> of your text. By this reasoning, we should delete all redirects because it makes
> links to non-real articles (including common typos) appear blue.

Well, there's a catch. Articles can have redirects, but categories can't. This
wouldn't be such a problem if categories could be redirected. But even then, I
think that the people here are way too used to this to actually accept a new
system. I for one liked the old system. :)
Comment 28 Ash Crow 2006-02-26 11:39:23 UTC
(In reply to comment #26)
> A category exists as soon as you put a page into it, so there's no need for the
> link to be red. It's misleading since the category *does* exist even when the
> link is red.
> 

A category is not only a list of articles flying in the middle of nothing... It
needs at last a mother category, and if similar category in other langages
exist, they must be listed by interwiki links. When this is done, you can
consider that a category really exist.
Comment 29 Stefan Bauer 2006-02-26 12:17:28 UTC
(In reply to comment #26)
> A category is useful even without descriptive text (which is usually pointless
> ("category:foo is about foo") or parent categories. 

Ahh, now I see the problem - we are talking about different use of categories
(we had long discussions about this topic in the german WP):

What are we using categories for? Are we using it as a structured scheme to make
content better accessible - or do we just want an index?

With this change you are forcing the way to a pure index of key words without
structure - it's seems to me you are just making politics to force your point of
how categories should be used.
Comment 30 Andreas Praefcke 2006-02-26 16:29:35 UTC
Angela, sorry, but this is IMHO completely out of touch with how catgegories are
and should be used. I have categorized thousands of images on the Commons, I
know what I speak of. As long as it is not possible to redirect catgegories (or
even better: give one catgegory as many names as one likes to, in as many
languages one likes to, on a meta level), your "system" (which is: no system at
all) will only lead to dozens of small categories for each topic, with no one
being able to really see how many articles any wiki has to offer on the topic.
Think of: capitalization (yes, there are languages that do use that),
singular/plural, synonyms, First Name only/First Name Last Name/First Name
Initial Last Name, etc. pp. None of these problems is addressed by a "a category
exists because someone types whatever he wants" attitude. Even worse: the user
now cannot even be aware that he "missed" the category by a plural "s" or
something similar (you see: I am not speaking of typos here, so your point about
the spell checker does not apply, being opposed to the Wiki way "as simple as
possible" anyway IMHO). If you by all means dislike the colour red, then for
god's sake colour these links differently, but not in blue as if everything was
all right.
Comment 31 Brion Vibber 2006-02-26 21:19:02 UTC
Please don't anybody comment further on this bug report. It was reverted ages ago,
it's a non-issue.

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