Category talk:Incomplete lists

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Proposals about what should be in this category[change source]

This category currently has 951 entries. The tag that puts articles into this category ({{list-stub}}) redirects to {{Expand list}}, which says:

Place this template tag in an article, immediately before any list that is incomplete. Wikipedia is not a directory, nor an indiscriminate collection of information; lists should have a clearly defined purpose and inclusion criteria. As such, an incomplete list is any well-defined list which is missing obvious entries.

Since this category is under Category:Wikipedia article cleanup and is included in the backlog category and the article cleanup category, I'd like to see some control about what goes into it. I have two proposals:

Proposal 1: Year, decade, and century articles should not be in this category

Most of the articles in the category are year, decade, and century articles. I don't think it's helpful to have those in this category. It would be difficult to define what would make these complete, or to know if they were complete even if we did define it.

Proposal 2: Only dedicated list articles should be in this category

Some of the articles in this category contain lists, but the list is not the main part of the article. An example is Ian Nish. The section "Selected works" lists only some of his many publications. In an article like this (especially where it specifies "selected"), it is reasonable and probably desirable to list only some works. I'd like to remove articles that are not strictly list articles from the category.

Comments? --Auntof6 (talk) 08:25, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

  • I say nuke the entire category and all the articles in it. The idea of linking a year to a brief article that tells you something about what things were like at that time may have some merit in the abstract. But from looking through these articles, my sense is that this stuff is just cruft. Kauffner (talk) 09:47, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
I would go with 2. I wouldn't put every year article in it since they are timelines moreso than lists. -DJSasso (talk) 13:13, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: You don't have to pick just one -- it can be one, both, or neither. They're not mutually exclusive, they're separate proposals. --Auntof6 (talk) 06:54, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree to both Proposal 1 fixes the impossible job of defining what is complete. Proposal 2 helps keep articles simple. The tag encourages adding to what is only intended to be a partial article. --Tbennert (talk) 02:28, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

The template is intended to be used to show readers that any list is missing one or more important entries. Illinois Treasurer is an example of proper use. The names of the treasurers between 1891 and 1933, 1935 and 1967 are missing. Of course, in this case, a reader can surmise that just from looking at the dates, but in most cases there will be nothing except the templated notice to tell the reader that a list is incomplete. Like a stub template, it also invites the reader to complete the list if they have the relevant information. If we don't add these to embedded lists that are incomplete, then, in most cases, we won't have anything to tell the reader that potentially vital entries are missing.

A lot of the items in the category at the moment show improper usage. For example, it's not really properly used on Lawson Inada because that list is of "Selected works", a list that isn't required to be complete. Same goes for lists of examples. Pages with no information other than the list itself, like List of software licenses, shouldn't be stand-alone lists anyway.

I don't know about the year articles, but there are probably cases of proper use as well as improper. The stub-sorting IP seems to have gone through them adding {{list-stub}} to the pages. Osiris (talk) 06:07, 28 December 2013 (UTC)


Thanks to everyone for your comments. Osiris makes a lot of sense. I'm going to take the template off all the timeline pages (years, decades, etc.). For the others, I'll look at the specific use and decide whether to leave it.

Osiris, what would you do with articles like List of software licenses -- make a category instead of a list? (In this case, there already is a category, but I mean if there isn't.) Add the info into (or create) an article about software licenses? --Auntof6 (talk) 05:14, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

If they don't make it unbalanced, then they should probably be embedded on their corresponding main article. The sample case can easily sit on Software licence. I'll do that for that one. I haven't looked at many others. Osiris (talk) 08:32, 29 December 2013 (UTC)