Cleanup of Texas Categories / Reformatting

+17 votes

I have been working on some general cleanup of the Texas Categories this morning. As it stands now, we currently have 313 subcategories and 324 people/page links on the category and it is becoming harder to navigate and maintain.

I would like to propose that the Texas Project move the Texas Category to a Topical category page, wich would make maintenance and cleanup operations easier. This would include:

  1. Moving all County categories under Category: Texas Counties (category already exists but was not originally approved or currently being used as it could be);
  2. Use advanced sorting to reformat the TOC display of topical categories (e.g. Texas Notables and Texas Name Studies would be sorted under "N", instead of their current listing under "T"); and
  3. Remove all County pages from the top level category and link them to their applicable County category only.

EDITED for clarification - This is not in regards to the Project page, but the Texas Category.

in Policy and Style by Steven Harris G2G6 Pilot (775k points)
retagged by Paula J
I agree with this, especially the county categories. There are just so many that it makes finding anything else in [[Category:Texas]] a big ole scavenger hunt.
I disagree with this suggestion.  Texas Project was posted on a project page and I do not intend for it to be removed to a simple category page.  I have worked on this project many years.  The Leaders that began all of the State projects posted it to a project page.

I originally made Categories for Texas when we developed New Spain under US Southern Colonies.  At that time it was a colony.  Later Texas became the Republic of Texas, until it was made a state.  The word Texas, Texas Families, Texas Colonies began then in 2015.  

The current categories for Texas I modeled after some of the other states,  I did not dream them up.   If those of you do not like the number of counties, you should try driving across the state. This is a large state.

If there are personal categories on the list, they probably come from some one who is proud to be a Texan

Mary, just to be clear, this has no bearing on the Project page for Texas.

This post is solely in regards to maintaining the Texas Category and the display of categories on that Top Level category. Although I am proudly affiliated with both projects, this post is stemming from my work in the Categorization Project, since all categories are maintained in coordination with the Categorization Project.

Please do not take this post as an attack on how the category was initially set up, that is certainly not the case here - see my response to Edie below. As a proud Texan myself, I am looking for a way to provide a clean and easy to follow layout for other members who may not be as familiar with Texas as we are. It is through that knowledge and my pride in Texas that I stated that we should not be forced to conform to the layout that the other States may maintain.

As more examples of this already in practice, see:

I also see where the wording could be misread, so I have provided clarification that:

I would like to propose that the Texas Project move the Texas Category to a Topical category page...

Mary is the project coordinator for Texas. Since she nixes the idea, I think that should be enough unless project leaders change the hierarchy.

You are correct.

I do not want to move the project to a category page.  It was set up for Texas on a project page just like all other states are on a project page.

There sure is not a need for re-inventing the wheel

I am the Project Coordinator For Texas.   Have worked this project for several years, first when Texas colony was part of US Southern Colonies New Spain.  

I am the current Project Coordinator for Texas Project as well.. I do nix the idea of changing the Categories..  I have removed a couple of categories today as Steven seems to dislike seeing the word Texas.   I do not want to change the hierarchy and file it under something other than T for Texas..

I am actully a native Texan.
Mary, I think there is a serious lack of understanding on the intent of my post. The categories in question are not being changed or renamed. The suggestions were to place the county categories under a new level to help clear up the large listing, and use advanced sorting (pipe delimiters) to alphabetize the other categories.

The third suggestion you have already accomplished by removing the Texas category from the county free space pages.

Also, in the spirit of collaboration, please understand that one single person cannot "nix" a suggestion. While you are a project coordinator for Texas, I am a project coordinator for Categorization. If it was the ability of one person to forgo collaboration and make changes, I would not have brought the proposal to G2G.
I have added Southern Colonies and Southern Pioneers tags since they are connected projects to Texas.

5 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer
Ok, fresh set of eyes here, approaching this as a "new" visitor to Texas.  Taking a look at the Texas category page, I find it very difficult to use in its current from. First, there is a lot of text at the top, most of which would be better on either the Texas project page or a Texas resource page.  I have to scroll down a lot before I get to the subcategories. I find that unhelpful.

Due to the large number of counties in Texas, it makes it difficult to find other Texas subcategories that are not county-related. If county categories  were moved to their own subcategory, it would make it MUCH easier for me to find other Texas-related categories. Right now, these other topics are buried within the long list of counties.   Since the purpose of categories is to help people find groupings of interest and profiles related to those groupings, a county subcategory would aide in that.  

And it would be awesome to find those other categories under their appropriate alphabetical letter.  If I was looking for Artists from Texas, I would go looking for them under A, not under T, especially since I am already in the Texas main category.  

My $.02
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (934k points)
selected by Steven Harris
+8 votes
I disagree. This is not consistent with what other States have done on their project pages.  I do not think we need to hide our counties in a sub-category.  Some States have them listed on the front page, as we do, and some States have them in a box at the top of the front page, which looks nice.  I think either of those methods looks good and works well.  I know Texas has a lot of counties, but I still think we need to be consistent with what other States have done; but more importantly, when I go to a State's main page, I expect to see that listing of counties.  I don't want to have to search for it.
by Edie Kohutek G2G6 Mach 9 (99.9k points)

Okay, it looks to me that what you are saying is that you want the Counties to go under a category such as Texas Counties. Is that correct?  

That is correct, that is what I proposed.

So while it looks to you like there needs to be cleanup, I think we need to slow down a little, please, and let the members weigh in.

I agree completely, and is why I brought this to G2G. I did not make any of the changes that are being talked about now, that was all undertaken by another member.

Prior to making changes, can we take a look at the category structure for the entire project? Are you proposing the change for all states? 

The initial proposal was for Texas due to the number of counties. It could potentially be adopted by other States; however, as Ellen mentioned in the US History thread, it would seem like a disadvantage to include this change for all States (such as Hawaii, Delaware, and Rhode Island, who each have fewer than 5 counties).

I did not say I wanted the Texas Counties to go beneath another layer of categories called Texas Counties..   I had the counties listed under [[Category: Texas]] my understanding is you wanted [[Category Texas]] removed from everything.

In fact this AM I noticed you also removed [[Category: Texas]] from my grandfather, where it had been posted for 3 years.  

Mary, I believe Paula's comment was directed towards me, so I have already answered that accordingly. No one has stated that you wanted this change, and if your understanding of my post was that I wanted Category:Texas removed everything, I only suggested that it be removed form the county specific space pages - but I was looking for discussions on that, not for it to be undertaken immediately.

And yes, I did remove remove [[Category: Texas]] from quite a few profiles, as that category is classified and labeled as a Top Level category with the instructions stating:

Please do not add individual profiles. Add profiles to the narrowest category possible.

In your case, I believe that you are referencing the profile of James Richardson. In this case, the narrower categories of San Patricio County, Texas,  Nueces County, Texas,  Kenedy County, Texas and Kleberg County, Texas already existed on the profile.

I think it would be good across the board, other states I watch I need the county references to see areas nearby to search all possibilities.

Having been both born & grown in The Great State of Texas, those counties are usually familiar. The only problem I see is refer "counties" relative to the date. This definitely poses a problem in Texas.

I say "leave it be". I'm pretty new at this so my voice is little, just my opinion.
Can you expand on what you mean by "counties relative to the date" and the problem would be?
counties were merged / split for about 100 years.
The current names, links and information would not be changing. Whatever categories are setup now would be exactly the same, just under a new parent category.

So the proposal would only take the information that exists now, and move it to a new area where it is segregated from other topics (like Slavery, Texas; Texas, Artists; Texas History; etc.

I imagine it refers to the impressive number of county formations, redistrictings, and border changes that have occurred. Every state has them, of course, but ya know that everything is bigger in Texas!  wink 

County formations/borders underwent 73 significant changes between March 1836 and December 1849, with a typically east to west cline. Twelve more significant changes in 1850 alone; it wasn't until December 1850 that the state borders with Oklahoma and New Mexico were defined that made the state map so iconic (the state sold land to the U.S. in what are now Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wyoming). It was a really big state before that. After a brief respite from December 1850 until February 1852, they launched back into it and 35 more significant border changes were made in only the next six years.

So it goes. Not necessarily pertinent to discussions of category changes, but I feel M. Hilliard's pain because I regularly come across date/county name mismatches, or someone who believes two ancestors lived four counties apart when, in reality given the actual dates, they may have lived "just step over this here dry creek" close.

Edit: Late again. I spent a few minutes checking my dates, and missed the bus. Sigh....

Good clarification, Edison.  Dates of formation are something Mary Richardson, Project Coordinator, has included in the description of each county.
Thanks, you understood what I meant. ​​​​
+9 votes
Happy weekend, everyone. I am leader of Texas Project. Please give me a chance to take a look at the categories. We have had electrical storms all day so I am just now seeing this.  I’d like to not venture outside of whatever the general guidelines are for the US History Project which I am sure probably has an established category structure but I need to take a look.  

As a general rule, it is good to contact a project before changing the categories that are connected to their project. US History should have a category liaison but I am not sure. I’ll hace to get back to you once the lightening stops!!

Thanks so much for your interest in the Texas Project!!
by Paula J G2G6 Pilot (287k points)
Thanks, Paula. I can't find a liaison listed for either US History or Texas, so it'd be great if we had one!

Steven posted this hoping to hear from Texas project leadership for input and collaboration.

Stay safe from those storms!
Sorry I am so late in responding! Power on and off. I am happy to work on this with you. I may have to get back to you if this gets worse again!!
While I can, I want to point out that Texas has subprojects so we need the parent category for those.
+7 votes
One of the suggestions you have made is to sort topical categories according to the subject or project as opposed to sorting using the location.  For example, instead of sorting the name study project as Texas, Name Studies, you want to sort it as Name Studies.  My understanding is that changing the sorting process will necessitate a change in the wording of the category from Texas, Name Studies to Name Studies.  That will require an edit of each of the 254 county name studies category pages.  Not only will that change be extraordinarily time-consuming (unless we use a bot to make the changes) but that change would then cause Texas to be inconsistent with every other state AND the United States name studies categories..

One reason consistency is important is so we do not have to research formatting from location to location before adding categories to profiles.  I add categories to numerous profiles.  I try to ensure that I have the proper format for that particular category, for example the format for cemeteries is different from a category for name studies.  I use that same format regardless of location.  If we change the format for a category from state to state, it will make adding categories extremely frustrating.  I understand wanting to make things easier to find and better organized, but we do need to think about the ramifications of these changes.

If I am wrong about the sorting change necessitating a wording change, then please let me know.
by Edie Kohutek G2G6 Mach 9 (99.9k points)
Sorting will not need a name change, we would use advanced sorting.

From the Texas Artists category, changing the parent [[Category:Texas]] to [[Category:Texas|A]] places the listing under A on the Texas Category page.
+4 votes
Might make it a bit easier if you bust texas into its five regions,,,,south/gulf, piney woods, hill country, etc
by Shan Breslow G2G Crew (650 points)
Because there is no single standard for subdividing the regions of Texas, many accepted areas either overlap or seem to contradict others - so that type of division would not be practical.

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