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Categories help users to find information by grouping pages with the same or related content. The following guidelines include detailed information on categorization of openSUSE wiki articles.

Audience and conventions

This article is intended for people that want to learn how to create, edit and maintain articles in this wiki, for casual wiki editors that need fast help around wiki format we have Reference card .

The openSUSE wiki is using MediaWiki software, the same that is running Wikipedia. This article is based on detailed technical instructions on Wikipedia article Help:Category. Our main concern is to explain conventions used in this wiki, so we will not repeat all written there, but only bare minimum needed.

Category pages

They consist of 2 parts, manually created top part that is similar to any editable article in the wiki and automatically created bottom part where MediaWiki software lists all articles and categories tagged to belong there.

The top part is optional, but wanted. The bare minimum is to have explanation what should be, and what not, categorized in that category. The categories in Special:Categories that are presented with red links are those without explanation.

How to categorize an article

  • To add a page to a category, simply add a link [[Category:name of category]] to the bottom of the page, where "name of category" is name for your category.
  • When topic of the article belongs to several categories, then add a link to each category at the bottom of the page. We prefer one category per line, which creates list that is easy to read.
  • As the wiki grows, categories themselves can be incorporated into other categories creating category tree. In this case, one will be a sub-category of another.
    • Example, to add Category:Football as a sub-category to the Category:Sport, edit Category:Footbal and add link [[Category:Sport]] there the same way as in any other article. Now Category:Football is subcategory of Category:Sport.

Things to be noted

  • Articles should not have any categories with non-existent (red linked) explanation what that category is about. The course of action is:
    • check spelling
    • check is there existing category with a name that differs in in a letter case, plural vs. singular, and similar minor differences that can make MediaWiki consider that different category. See Help:Style#Title.
    • create the category explanation (most easily by clicking on the red link),
    • change a category link in the article to point to the category which does exist,
  • If not sure of an article's category, leave a short note on the message board with link to article that has to be categorized and the Wiki team will determine the appropriate categories.

New categories

If a suitable category does not exist, you should create one. However, look carefully because a category may already exist which is very similar to one needed. If so, the existing category should be used. Browse existing categories to find out is there one that can be used.

New category names should be well planned. To help create names which won't have to be changed later, see these helpful guidelines Wikipedia naming conventions. Changing category name later means a visit to each article that is listed in that category and change link, which can take hours.

In case that you have no time to do all research then use one of catch-it-all categories, like Packaging, Build Service, Distribution, Software and similar, usually one word categories. That will allow people to find articles.

A description of the category on the category page is wanted -- what it should and should not contain.

Categorization using templates

There are templates which place pages containing those templates into specific categories. These templates are generally used for certain kinds of project categories, including stub and maintenance categories.

It is not advisable to use this method for the categorization of the articles until and unless there is an actual requirement, thus making the things more complex, as:

  • It becomes difficult to tell looking at the page source if a page is in a category or not.
  • Changes to category structures, moving, renaming, merging and splitting also become harder.

If not sure how to handle this contact the Wiki team.


When to use

Every article should belong to at least one category. The categories to be included, which serve as classifications, should be the significant (useful) topics to which the subject of the article most closely belongs to as a member, and where users are most likely to look if they can't remember the name of the thing they are trying to look up. For example:

Article: Banners
Useful category: Category:Artwork
Not useful: Category:Banners ( Artwork) for openSUSE

The second name is not useful because it is almost impossible to guess it.

Why to use

  • Categories allow easy navigation between connected subject areas in the wiki. This helps readers find articles on particular topics even if they don't know which articles exist or what they are called.
  • Categories are for defining characteristics, and should be specific, neutral, inclusive and follow certain conventions.
  • We use MediaWiki extensions CategoryTree and DynamicPageList that make presentation of categories on regular pages very easy, which allows to create lists of articles that are automatically updated. This will help us to skip a lot of manual work to update manually created indexes, which was one reasons for navigational problems in the past.

Mentioned extensions (tools) work only if there are categories to show, so it is very important to have each article properly categorized. The recommendation is to use at least one of top level categories listed on Special:UncategorizedCategories and let experienced wiki editors create new categories.


Sub-categorization generally helps navigation within a large category. Often, large categories are be broken down into smaller, more specific subcategories. When making one category a subcategory of another, ensure that the members of the first really can be expected (with possibly a few exceptions) to belong to the second also. If two categories are closely related but are not in a subset relation, then a link to one can be included in the other's category description.

Are Subcategories encouraged

Yes , subcategories are very much required to aid navigation within a large category with many articles.

Remember- that subcategories will often belong in two or more parent categories. When making one category a subcategory of another, ensure that the members of the first really can be expected (exceptions ignored) to belong to the second also. If two categories are closely related but are not in a subset relation, then a link to one can be included in the other's category description.


Although it is possible to attempt to redirect categories by adding a line such as #REDIRECT [[:Category:Artwork]] to a category, it is not generally recommended because of limitations in the mediawiki software. Categories "redirected" in this way do not prevent the addition of articles to the redirected category. Articles added to the "redirected" category do not show up as in the target category.

How you can help?

Since categorization helps users find the content they need, we need help in categorizing articles. If you'd like to help in this effort, you can find plenty of work by visiting these pages:

Before performing any major action that affects a lot of pages consult the Wiki team first.

See also

External links

To do

  • List catch-it-all categories. Those are general categories that should be used for temporary categorization, before wiki maintenance in collaboration with topic experts find appropriate place.