Help talk:Introduction to Categories

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Peripherals/Devices

Hi, I'm getting set to create categories for PDP-10 and PDP-11 peripherals/devices (I've been doing a lot of organization on the CPU/system/etc end of things, and have that in pretty good shape now). Which word would be better to use, if you have an opinion - 'peripherals' or 'devices'? We current do already have a Category:Peripherals, so maybe go with that? Jnc (talk) 16:05, 19 February 2018 (CET)

I tend to go with 'peripherals' in this case. Larsbrinkhoff (talk)

OK; I'll get started on that. And also, I think we should have a category for all DEC stuff - just plain 'DEC', or 'Digital Equipment Corporation'?

DEC is consistent with the other labels. Larsbrinkhoff (talk)
I'll have to ponder the DEC category name. It feels a bit 'thin', just plain 'DEC'. I don't mind the acronym 'DEC' as part of the name of sub-categories (it prevents them getting ridiculously long); but for the main category, it feels too informal. Jnc (talk) 20:28, 19 February 2018 (CET)

Other cats

BTW, I added some thoughts about cats to Help:Introduction to Categories#Current organization - does that seem like a good system? Jnc (talk) 19:44, 19 February 2018 (CET)

There's one problem with the taxonomy. Not all PDP-10 (or 11 or 8) operating systems are DEC operating system. At least not in the sense "operating systems made by DEC". Larsbrinkhoff (talk)
I'm happy to subdivide it (them, actually) into two other categories; any snappy ideas for the name(s)? I suppose we could have 'DEC Operating Systems' and 'Non-DEC Operating Systems'; each of which is further divided into, e.g., 'DEC PDP-11 Operating Systems' and 'Non-DEC PDP-11 Operating Systems'. Jnc (talk) 20:28, 19 February 2018 (CET)
That'll potentially be a lot of category pages to create! Can't a page be in both the DEC Operating Systems category, and the PDP-10 Operating Systems category? Larsbrinkhoff (talk)
Sorry, I'm not sure I'm seeing your concept; a concrete example would help. What pages (and sub-categories) would go in 'DEC Operating Systems' category, and what in the 'PDP-10 Operating Systems'? ITS would clearly be in the latter, but would it be in any others? What super-category would the 'PDP-10 Operating Systems' category be in? Jnc (talk)
TOPS-10 would be in both 'DEC OSes' and 'PDP-10 OSes'. OS/8 would be in both 'DEC OSes' and 'PDP-8 OSes'. ITS would be in just 'PDP-10 OSes'. Unix V7 would be in just 'PDP-11 OSes'. 'DEC OSes', 'PDP-8 OSes', 'PDP-10 OSes', and 'PDP-11 OSes' would all be in 'Operating Systems'.
This way, there would be N+M categories (for N manufacturers and M architectures), rather than NxM. Larsbrinkhoff (talk)
Ah, got it.
The only potential downside to that approach is that there's no easy way to find non-DEC OS's, other than going through all the per-machine OS categories - for which having a 'OS's for DEC machines' super-cat would be mildly helpful, as opposed to just putting them in 'OS's'.
Ah, how about a single 'non-DEC OS's for DEC machines' category? (Although it would need a snappier name than that - can't come up with one quickly.) So TOPS-10 would be in 'DEC OS's' and 'PDP-10 OS's', Unix V6 would be in 'non-DEC OS's' and 'PDP-11 OS's', etc.
That's only one more category, and it would help find the non-DEC OS's easily; and no PDP OS article would have more than two category tags. (I'm going to put off for now the issue of OS's like MUMPS, which started out as a private venture, and which eventully wound up as a DEC product! :-)
BTW, actually my orginal proposal was not N*M; it was Sum(2*Mi), instead of Sum(Mi), where Mi is the number of architecture for manufacturer i, out of N. But still, you're right, it would have been a lot! Twice as many as the other way... Jnc (talk) 15:04, 20 February 2018 (CET)
Now that I see the 'Non-DEC Operating Systems' Category, it does look quite strange.. on the surface of it it would cover everything that's not DEC or for DEC, i.e. most operating systems (and then a visitor would wonder why it's named that way, too.) But then it's definitely for DEC, just not made by DEC. It gets a bit confusing. Tor (talk) 09:20, 23 February 2018 (CET)
I agree, actually! Despite thinking about it for several days, I just couldn't come up with a short, snappy name that, on its face, described what the category was about! 'Non-DEC Operating Systems for DEC Machines' is a bit ponderous! If anyone can come up with a better one, I'd be happy to change it (which is why I put off going around tagging articles). I asked Lars if he had a suggestion...
In the interim, that's why I put the description in the Help: page (and the cat header), to warn people it's not what the name, strictly-speaking, implies. Jnc (talk) 14:06, 23 February 2018 (CET)
So Lars mentioned 'external', and synonyms for it... independent, outside, foreign, non-proprietary.
Of these, 'Independent DEC OSs' wouldn't be too bad - I'd be OK with switching to that. 'External DEC OSs' initially sounds like it might be the best, but it could be misunderstood as still being a product of DEC, for use outside the company (and the same applies to the others, too).
Although it still doesn't describe exactly what the category is, 'Independent' does 'on its face' clearly indicate there's something unusual (i.e. it doesn't clearly give a wrong impression), and gives a strong hint of what it really is.
The problem is that the shortest facially accurate description (i.e. without any external amplification) is 'non-DEC OSs for DEC machines', which is long and clunky. Anything shorter is going to have some lack of clarity. E.g. 'Independent DEC OSs' - what exactly is that - if you don't already know?
Anyway, whatever solution we come up with for DEC, we can use for any companies that need it - e.g. 'Independent IBM OSs'. Jnc (talk) 15:00, 23 February 2018 (CET)
And.... crickets. Oh, well! Jnc (talk) 13:57, 27 February 2018 (CET)
No use overthinking this. Full steam ahead! Larsbrinkhoff (talk)
OK. Hey, I'm from MIT - according to some people, over-thinking things is what we do! :-) Jnc (talk) 21:17, 1 March 2018 (CET)