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Talk about various WikiPedia CategorySchemes here.
As an example I've put WikiPedia pages into NuPedia's category scheme on the CategorySchemes page. A short history of this, then. The Nupedia category scheme is really intended to be a way to organize review groups, not necessarily subject areas (i.e., it's intended to organize people, not content); but, as it turns out, it is also not a bad way to organize subject areas as well.

I devised the category scheme very roughly according to the way universities divide up academic departments. I tried, above all, to be exhaustive; if there is some area of human knowledge that cannot be placed in this category scheme, I'd like to know. The supercategories ("FoundationalDisciplines," "NaturalSciences," etc.) are all reasonably coherent concepts, and in most cases it's clear enough that a category definitely belongs in one supercategory rather than another.

On the whole, I think that as a category scheme it is a lot more coherent than, say, the DeweyDecimalSystem? or the LibraryOfCongressClassificationScheme?. But of course others may differ. Feel free to devise your own category scheme and place it on the CategorySchemes page! -- LarrySanger

I'm sorry, but the current organizational scheme that's been used on the homepage just makes me cringe every time I look at it. It seems as if there's no sense - that they're merely random points into the database. I tried to provide a simple three-grouping system to help at least organize it a little, but it appears to have been reverted out. There are few clues as to how to fit new topics into the organizational scheme... How can you tell if some technical topic belongs in TechnologY rather than ScienCe? ArtsAndEntertainment? is an extremely broad subject area; CountriesOfTheWorld extremely specific... -- BryceSorryAndConfusedHarrington

Science includes the principles behind things, but technology includes their uses. A lot of topics will straddle the two, but for a top-level classification I don't think there's a problem. I do agree, though, that there are way to many top-level nodes. Off the top of my head, I would propose a different system:

Understanding the way the world works - PhiloSophy, MathematicsAndStatistics, NaturalSciences Understanding what's actually in it - BiologicalSciences? (?), HiStory?, GeoGraphy? Making stuff for practical use - TechnologY Making stuff for its own ends - ArtsAndEntertainment?

The point of having a computerized encyclopedia is not to face some of the traditionnal dilemma of the Editor-In-Chief: meeting the deadline, having a fixed list of articles, publishing a fixed work, having only one table of contents.

I think that apart from quite rational CategorySchemes we should encourage many apparently non-sensical categorizations and make them available through a variant of the CategorySchemes and/or of the PatentNonsense page, like this one:

  1. Things written by BryceHarrington
  2. Things having kept a wEiRDcAPITALIZATion? in wikiwiki
  3. Things whose name is badly spelt by most
  4. Things whose shape or color has a cute name in shwahili
  5. Birds that cannot fly
  6. Subjects alluded to in more than two of the above categories
  7. People not wanting to be classified as things
  8. Objects not wanting to be called by any other name
  9. Objects that can be thrown at someone you despise
  10. Savoir-vivre manuals
  11. Mirrors, Queens and Rabbits
  12. Miscelleaneous and Dinosaurs


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Last edited February 19, 2001 4:44 am by OprgaG (diff)