Help talk:Categories

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Are plural or singular names preferred for categories? My guess is plural given that most of them are, but I've seen some exceptions. --barto (talk) 13:28, 28 January 2017 (EST)

Plural when the object being categorised is plural, singular when there is only one such object. At least, that's the sort of plan. --prime mover (talk) 15:11, 28 January 2017 (EST)
One is encouraged to expose exceptions to this rule as such. — Lord_Farin (talk) 04:48, 29 January 2017 (EST)
There's Category:External Direct Product. --barto (talk) 04:56, 29 January 2017 (EST)
My thinking there may have been along the lines of: "this is a category about the concept of forming the external direct product of... etc." It will be fixed. --prime mover (talk) 05:03, 29 January 2017 (EST)
... job done. --prime mover (talk) 05:20, 29 January 2017 (EST)

How large should categories be?

Reattempting to clarify this after I got no reaction at Talk:Main Page#Policy on keeping categories small. --barto (talk) 17:01, 25 August 2017 (EDT)

The trouble with writing rules for this stuff is that in cases where the rule would not work, there would be a lot of trouble bending the natural structure out of shape in order to make it fit something arbitrary. --prime mover (talk) 17:45, 25 August 2017 (EDT)
I'll write something non-strict then just to mention it and give an idea of how it has been done till now. --barto (talk) 05:28, 26 August 2017 (EDT)
It's all been done by the pragmatic approach that if a category spreads over 2 pages it's too big. In the early days before sub-specialisation of categories (before we'd really learned how best to utilise MediaWiki) I found myself spending ages searching through a large number of proofs in Group Theory trying to find whether a specific basic result had been covered. So "small is best".
On the other hand, splitting them down too far will give the opposite problem: it will difficult to find the correct category because now they were either nested too deep to make it easy, or there are now more subcategories than can fit on one page (over 200).
So an attempt is made to find a comfortable middle ground.
(The gradual move towards putting multi-proof results into their own category may be a step in the right direction, but this itself bulks up the subcategory count, so I have in mind another template-based idea: a template called "ProofCategory" which puts a given proof page into a category ".../Proofs/(page name)" or something, so a category has just one subcategory for "proofs" which would then not bulk up the subcategory count, and simplifies the page development process. Early days yet.)
There is one big exception to this: the "Specific Numbers" category. Think about whether you may have an opinion on this. --prime mover (talk) 05:56, 26 August 2017 (EDT)