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Submissions/FastCCI: Taming the Commons Category Tree

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2014.

Submission no. 5019
Title of the submission
FastCCI: Taming the Commons Category Tree
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Daniel Schwen
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Displaying "assessed" (FP/QI/VI) images in and below the current category.
A category bread crumb trail displayed on an image page.
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)
Wikimedia Commons main instrument for sorting images are its categories. Categorization follows a set of rules which are not always regarded as uncontroversial in the community. Commons category rules mandate categories to be as specific as possible and forbid "over-categorization". This results in a category tree with long and slim branches where content is ideally diffused all the way to the tips of the branches, with less specific higher level categories gradually being emptied. A consequence of this policy is that categories often conflate multiple different concepts, such as Category:Automobiles in Los Angeles (type of object and location), which would be better represented using a system of tags.
A common complaint is therefore that Commons categories hide content from view.
Enter FastCCI (Fast Commons Category Inspection)! To the end-user FastCCI is a gadget that shows up on category pages as a two-part button. The left part is a default action that finds and shows all "good" [1] images in and below the current category. All sub-categories are fully traversed, no matter how deep down the images are hidden! This functionality alone should dramatically increase the discoverability of quality content on Commons, and should reduce the need of creating and maintaining redundant parallel category hierarchies (such as Category:Featured pictures of automobiles).
FastCCI takes this concept one step further by allowing arbitrary intersection and not operations on categories, such as for example images in Category:Wyoming and Category:Bison.
The talk will explore the basic concepts of Commons Categories and how they impact the user. I will compare the concepts of Categories and Tags and how FastCCI can be a bridge between the two. Lastly I will present the gadget and give a behind the scenes look how it utilizes the resources on Wikimedia Labs and how the frontend and backend communicate to give a seamless user experience.
  1. "Good" in this context means awarded by one of the three main quality assessment projects on commons: FP, QI, and VI
Technology, Interface & Infrastructure
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Video of presentation (at youtube)
Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. B25es (talk) 16:56, 4 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Johnbod (talk) 12:57, 17 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Matthias Süßen (talk) 19:34, 19 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Poco a poco (talk) 21:05, 19 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  5. MichaelMaggs (talk) 10:31, 21 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Rillke (talk) 14:02, 21 March 2014 (UTC) (if you promise to focus on the backend)[reply]
  7. Slashme (talk) 08:58, 22 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  8. --MF-Warburg (talk) 21:08, 29 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  9. DerHexer (talk) 10:00, 2 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  10. Quiddity (talk) 19:39, 12 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  11. the wub "?!" 23:35, 13 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 02:27, 2 August 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Add your username here.