Wikinews:Water cooler/assistance/archives/2014/September

Category for war in Ukraine

I was looking to create a category for this years situation between Ukraine and Russia, including the annexation of Crimea. Looking at the corresponding Wikipedia pages several names come to mind, but not sure if any really fit. Would be grateful for any input. Possibilities I've thought of so far:

  • Category:War in Donbass - Specific, and would have at least 3 articles, but does not include Crimea.
  • Category:2014 pro-Russian Unrest - Not sure if this would really encompass the armed conflict.
  • Category:2014 Ukrainian conflict - Could be used to cover Crimea as well as Donbass conflict, but would not cover public unrest.

Or should the public protests, Crimean annexation, and War in Donbass each be given separate categories linking to each other to give a sense of continuation? --CSJJ104 (talk) 12:25, 3 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Take a look at the DPL extension we use; and, at the 'more-comprehensive' categorisation employed on Wikinews. That might help clarify how to approach the problem. --Brian McNeil / talk 19:35, 3 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry, DPL? Is there a page on how to name categories. Can't seem to find one. --CSJJ104 (talk) 09:50, 4 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
From what I know, there's no written rule on category naming. In general, each article gets at least two basic categories: category for the place and a broad topic category, e.g., "Politics and conflicts." Categories are usually made when there's, as a rule of thumb, three articles or more on a related topic. "DPL" refers to the DynamicPageList extension employed on Wikinews that automagically makes a list by date of articles, for example, the latest news section on the main page. —Mikemoral♪♫ 10:23, 4 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
An old draft, some of it very out-of-date (should likely be marked historical), but parts still of some interest: WN:Categories and topic pages. --Pi zero (talk) 10:50, 4 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  • Things to keep in mind:
  • The purpose of a category is to enable finding articles in our archives on a subject. This is how inclusion in a category should be decided for an article —if you were looking for articles related to that topic, would you want this article be one of the ones you find— and it should also figure in the choice of what categories to have. This figures into several of my later points.
  • We should have three published articles that would belong in a category before actually creating the category. The number three is a best-practice that used to be five or six at one time, some years ago; but as a practical matter it's rarely useful to have a category with fewer than three articles. There are occasional exceptions, often the result of thinking there were enough and then discovering after creation that there weren't three yet after all; but serious infractions are likely to be formally nominated for deletion. See also below about intersections and place categories. We've discussed possible ways to make matched sets of geographical categories —such as all the states in a country, or all of NASA's Space Shuttle missions— useful when there are few, or even no, articles in some of them, but we haven't yet worked out what infrastructure would make that idea work.
  • It is generally desirable, when creating a category, that it be associated with a keyword, or set of keywords, that are likely to occur in any article on that topic and are likely to be wikilinked. This set of keywords will prevent the category from being forgotten on later articles (through the mediating influence of {{w}}). I recall stumbling from time to time over some categories we've got that routinely fail to get populated properly because they lack natural keywords and we forget those categories exist — but I can't prove this atm, because, predictably, I can't remember what those categories are.
  • Intersection categories are usually not a good idea. The purpose of DPLs is to create lists of articles that belong to the intersection of two or more (up to six) categories. See also {{intersection link}}.
  • If a category is about some extended event (such as a war) in an area, and the area doesn't have a place category yet, it may be appropriate to consider creating the place category first. After creating the place category, the extended event may often turn out to be better handled as an intersection of categories.
  • Neutrality in category naming requires care. We do not have a category called "Terrorism" because judging what is or isn't terrorism is a POV disaster waiting to happen, although we have several related categories that work because they don't have that problem. Calling something a war sometimes has the same problem. We puzzled over what to do about gun control and right-to-bear-arms, since they seemed to belong in a single category but both of those names are biasing; ultimately we created Category:Gun politics.
We should probably assemble all this stuff on a page somewhere. --Pi zero (talk) 11:28, 4 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Note that should probably be worked in somehow if making this a more permanent set of guidelines: The larger historical requirement of five or six articles for a category was used to avoid proliferation of categories when categories were much harder to manage. The introduction of {{w}} has radically altered that balance, so that managing categories is now much easier, provided there are suitable keywords for each category. Hence the smaller bound of three, below which there's a problem of whether it's useful to have the category even with suitable keywords. --Pi zero (talk) 11:38, 4 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Having just seen this, I fear the category, Category:War in Donbass, I just created may need to be renamed. --CSJJ104 (talk) 11:36, 4 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Once we've decided what to do with it, it'll be easy to do since there aren't a lot of articles involved, as long as we have you as the creator agreeing with the action (so we don't need to resort to a formal vote). --Pi zero (talk) 11:47, 4 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Category military annexation of Crimea

Further to my comments above, I'm looking to create 'Category:Russia's annexation of Crimea'. My reasoning is that such an article could be linked from Category:War in Donbass, giving readers a fuller history of events. I have identified the following articles from Category:Crimea which would be covered by this, all are archived, and thus needing an admin to edit them, can anyone help?

I believe it would be better to look very closely at events, and have a good long think about categorisation here. Is there even a "war" in Donbass? Has anyone (not that they ever do these days) declared war on anyone else? Does it better-fit as a civil war? Assuming someone (for Wikipedia's purposes) has labelled it as a war, where do their loyalties lie? (not the Wikipedians, but the sources they rely on to call the situation a war).
The constant players in the situation are Russia and Ukraine, and the topic - unfortunately - all 'Politics and conficts'. Some of the talk page, and Water Cooler, arguments that've gone one around categorising past conflicts would probably be a breath of fresh air around here. Those used to go on for a while, being resolved when someone came up with a more-inclusive category out of left-field.
The logic you're working to here, forgive the simplification:
  • Those with some clue about events know Crimea is pivotal.
  • By searching articles on Crimea, they find something relevant.
  • Their relevant article should be in a more-encompassing category which contains the full coverage.
Thus, it's a category that covers all those under the existing category (annexation of Crimera would not), plus the above articles you've listed. Category:2014 Ukraine-Russia conflict might just be a better starting point. History strongly suggests this will rumble on beyond 2014, and there are probably events back in 2013 that should fall under the rather-large umbrella this suggested category is trying to define. That's why I'm throwing this in here; plus, the existing category would then be a sub-categry of the new one; as-opposed to a 'related' category which might have little, or no, overlap.
Just to stress, this is suggested as an alternate starting point. I'd welcome a well-thought-out counter-argument if you don't see merit in this approach; or, perhaps it might prompt a completely different suggestion. --Brian McNeil / talk 06:52, 5 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with the thoughts on creating a larger category, although for those who already know something about events. I had been thinking of the reader who was not aware about the connection with Crimea, but is interested in events at present.
My thoughts had been to create a category with a header saying something along the lines of, "the conflict in Donbass follows on from the Russian annexation of Crimea", letting interested readers know not only where they can find more articles related to the development of events in Ukraine, but also how these events are linked. As I've already said, a larger category containing the two subcategories would be good for readers already familiar with events, but for those who aren't it could be confusing if disparate articles with no (to them) immediately apparent connection are all listed together.
Possibly this subject isn't a great example, another one might be a line explaining how the present conflict in Libya is connected to the 2011 Libyan Civil War, (still not great, but there could potentially be confusion).
As for the name, War in Donbass, potentially, Category:Donbass Insurgency, or Category:Donbass Separatist Movement? I had considered a name along the similar lines to the suggestion of 2014 Ukraine-Russia conflict, but not sure that would be NPOV as there is still dispute as to how involved Russia are in the conflict.--CSJJ104 (talk) 09:54, 5 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
An observation: We have a Category:Israel/Palestine Conflict. No timeframe in the category name. I suppose that could cause a problem for us if the current conflict were to end and another, unrelated conflict were to begin, which might happen in, say, another few millennia. --Pi zero (talk) 12:42, 5 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  • <chuckes>. That was kinda one of my original points about having a year in the category title for a dispute that's probably going to rumble over into next year, varying from hot conflict to a cold one. The three articles (previously five) rule is intended to apply enough retrospective to be a rough first-pass; one where you expect more reports on the same subject going forward. There already is conflict between Russian and Ukraine, even if Russia would only say it is a 'diplomatic conflict'. A category covering that sits as a direct child of Category:Politics and conflicts, Category:Russia, and Category:Ukraine. The Crimean aspects also sit in Category:Crimea, although anything prior to the conflict would not sit in Category:Russia — unless Wikinews had been running since before the breakup of the USSR.
We don't try to put articles into the lowest-possible category and expect a drill-down be carried out to find stuff. This is one reason why we don't have nice things use Portals. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:24, 5 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
This reminds me of a problem I've been mulling over for a while — partly technical, and partly organizational.
On English Wikibooks, we have a subject hierarchy of books. This is a tree. But at an individual book, you only specify one or two subjects. The book is automagically added to all the ancestors of those named subjects. The magic is something I wrote, which only works because on Wikibooks, the subjects for a book were already specified using a template, {{Subjects}}, which I was therefore able to co-opt to do a bunch of extra stuff. For each subject there's a category of the same name, which contains only books that explicitly name that subject; and then there's a second category, whose name adds a suffix to that, that is automatically populated with all books in that subject or any of its descendants. This makes it possible to set up a DPL for, say, all books that have to do with both geography and mathematics.
It seems we couldn't use that technical solution here, even if we wanted to, because we add categories directly rather than using a template. But if we could, I'm not entirely sure just how we would want to use it. It would be nice not to have to explicitly put an article about Hoboken, New Jersey into Category:North America. But on the other hand, would it open us up to another whole set of subjective judgements about when to list an article under a category? We'd have to ask, after all, whether what happened in Hoboken stays in Hoboken, or affects all of New Jersey, or all of the United States, or all of North America. And once one starts with that, perhaps we'd want to take articles that peripherally mention a place or topic, and add them to the "shadow" category for that place even though they don't go in the primary category for it. Which would seem to greatly multiply the number of category-inclusion decisions for an article. There should be some way to cut this Gordian knot, but so far I haven't figured it out. --Pi zero (talk) 14:22, 5 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Not wishing to sound impatient, but would there be any objection to renaming Category:War in Donbass to Category:Donbass Insurgency? --CSJJ104 (talk) 13:13, 15 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Some thoughts.
  • Should this category be purely about events in the Donbass region, or about the larger current conflict between Ukraine and Russia? The overall situation started with Crimea, and won't necessarily end with Donbass.
  • If we do want it to be strictly about Donbass, "Donbass insurgency" (I'd keep the "i" lower-case, myself) feels better to me that "War in Donbass".
  • What keywords might we use for redirects to the category, that would tend to keep it populated (via {{w}})? It's remarkable how easy it is to miss populating a category if it doesn't have a redirect that's likely to be linked. --Pi zero (talk) 14:01, 15 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
--Pi zero (talk) 14:01, 15 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]