Wikibooks:Bookshelves/Generation 2

This page is DocumentMode space to collect notes and material to redesign the bookshelves. There is also a talk page.

Situation edit

Possible goals:

  • Put every book on a bookshelf.
  • Update unmaintained bookshelves.
  • Find and rescue obscure bookshelves (Wikibooks:Biology bookshelf, Wikibooks:Physics bookshelf).
  • Add more goals to this list.


  • Keep one linear list of bookshelves, as we have now.
  • Group bookshelves into departments.
    • The Main Page has these; we could also add them to Template:Bookshelves.
  • Reduce the number of bookshelves (leaving many books on one page).
    • This is possible by creating very long bookshelves, potentially of 100 books or more, divided into sections to keep everything manageable.

Departments edit

Recently the Main Page adopted departments. However there might be other ways to group bookshelves into departments.

One idea is to limit the Wikibooks:Annotated texts bookshelf to annotated texts that include the source texts.

Centralised development stages edit

If you store the development stage [[:Template:Guide to X11/Development]] in Template:Guide to X11/Development, then you can use Template:Book link to make a link:

-> Template:Book link

Thus, the correct stage of the book can appear on the bookshelf, department, Wikibooks:Alphabetical Classification, and user pages. Further, as the Wikibooks:Card Catalog Office implements new systems like Dewey and LOC classification, the stages can also be used there.

As a limitation, there is no way to make {{book link}} use {{stage}} in lieu of {{stage short}}, if the development template contains stage short.

Wiktionary:Index to templates states that "Templates calling other templates is strongly discouraged." However, "Template:Book link" calls "Template:Book/Development", which in turn calls "Template:Stage short".

Changing the stage edit

The following wiki markup, at the bottom of the front book page, provides some utilities including a button to change the stage.

{| {{prettywidetable}}
 | {{subst:index}}
 | {{shelf|Humanities}} ||

One can also adapt it to work at a different page:

{| {{prettywidetable}}
 | {{subst:index|book=Overcoming Procrastination}}
 | {{shelf|Humanities}} ||

That produces:

Page index

Template:Bookshelves at 04:09, 31 March 2006 (UTC) edit

This version simply uses a single list of bookshelves, so related bookshelves are not grouped together.

Proposed design 1 edit

This redesign (based on the Main Page departments) is not finished; thus it is not yet saved to the template. Feel free to edit or fork this design.


Natural Science department: Computer Science | Engineering | Health Science | Mathematics | Other Natural Science

Computing department: Computer and Video Games | Computer Software | Computer Science | Information Technology | Programming Languages | Domain-specific Languages

Social Science department: Business | Economics | Humanities | Languages | Law | Other Social Science

Arts department: Annotated texts | Games | Other Art

Miscellaneous department: Education | How-to | Study Guides | Other Miscellaneous

FIXME - What belongs in this box?

Comments: edit

Proposed Design 2 edit


Arts and Culture department: Art | Customs and Etiquette | Education | Folklore | Languages | Social Science

How to department: Construction and Manufacturing | Skill Learning | Life Skills

Humanities department: | General Humanities | History | Linguistics | Literature | Philosophy | Religion

Mathematics and Natural Science department: General Natural Science | Agriculture and Animal Science | Biology | Chemistry | Computer Science | Health Science | Mathematics | Medicine | Physics

Miscellaneous department: Annotated texts | Study Guides | Travel Guides | Unclassified Wikibooks

Recreation department: Computer and Video Games | Traditional Games | Athletics and Physical Education

Society department: Business | Economics | Government | Law | Politics

Technology department: Computer Software | Engineering | Information Technology | Programming Languages | Domain-specific Languages

Comments: edit
  • Perhaps put "Computer Science" in Technology? It's not a "w:natural science," since computers are artificial/man-made.
  • Computing and videogames and traditional games would be better in Arts and Culture, I think.
  • Maybe separate "athletics and physical education" into a subcategory of Sports on "Traditional games" and "physical education" on "Education?"
  • Based on their template sizes, "Programming languages" and "Domain-specific languages" look like they would go well together. (Ignore this if there is a set reason why they're separate.)
  • A lot of thought should be put behind the organization of w:social sciences (see "major fields") and w:humanities. The humanities and the society departments may be better combined into one department Business, Economics, Government, and Politics may also do better as sections of a larger shelf.
  • Combine health science and medicine?
  • Combine literature and annotated texts?
  • A travel guides shelf seems unnecessary for only two books.
My suggestions would get rid of two departments. They seem to combine the general structure of proposal one with the naming in proposal two.--Hagindaz 21:09, 12 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Note that Computer Science, in a pure sense, is a variation of mathematics. Indeed, most Computer Science departments in major universities were essentially appendages to the mathematics departments, or were started with primarily mathematics PhDs as there were no Computer Science PhDs at the time. For this reason it really deserves to belong with the other mathematics disciplines... at least things that go into the theoretical aspects of finite state machine concepts and mathematically proving algorithms like big O notation and similar ideas. There really is science in Computer Science, even though most of it is engineering. I'm certainly willing to consider other opinions on this topic, however. General mathematics, Computer Science, Statistics, Finite Mathematics, Game Theory, Graph Theory, and other related topics really should belong together in some sort of broad category. Note Game Theory is not how to play games, but mathematical analysis of games and theories on how to make up games and how to improve them for several different goals and objectives. I don't see a reason for a separate Mathematics department yet, but that is something that may happen in the future if there can be several independent mathematical bookshelves that are eventually started.
The separate bookshelves for Programming Languages and Domain-specific languages is part of an even larger breakup of the Information Technology bookshelf that started over a year ago. This was by far the largest single bookshelf on Wikibooks, and it was getting very difficult to find anything. Please read the huge discussion on Wikibooks talk:Information technology bookshelf and there was some other talk pages involved as well. Most of the current Computer department is from that bookshelf.
The travel guide shelf is set up mainly because there is no other real place to put these books. A debate over having these kinds of books on Wikibooks is reasonable, and I anticipate that if you have a full bookshelf dedicated to these book that many more will be written. This is one area that I see some huge growth developing from. I'm not proposing a whole department for these books either. So much has been shunted off to Wikitravel that it is no wonder there aren't more travel books.
Combining general literature guides like Introduction to Shakespeare and general annotated texts might be a very good idea. I support that idea.
As far as the recreation department, this was to have an area that is primarily focused for content that many Wikibooks users have an interest in. And to keep everything that is "fun" together. There are enough athletics guides now that I think a separate athletics bookshelf can and should be created. This is also looking to the future where it is anticipated that departments will take on a much larger role within Wikibooks, and all of these categories seem to fit together under common philosophies and attitudes, as well as expertise that can be shared in common between all of these types of books. As far as a pure Physical Education textbook, it would go equally well with other athletics, education, or even health. In this regard I think permitting a book to be on multiple bookshelves is not necessarily a bad thing, and several books are listed multiple times even now on multiple bookshelves because they are interdisciplinary. I think it is within reason I could put together at least a dozen Wikibooks on a separate athletics bookshelf right now. Again, I think this is a situation where once you have it all together in a neat package, many more will be created. I also anticipate that other bookshelves will be created in this area, with particularly the Video games bookshelf being perhaps broken up into several bookshelves as well.
The general philosophy I had over this layout is to anticipate the future growth of Wikibooks, based on other web content. I was using both the current structure of Wikibooks, but also letting the organizational structure of the Open Directory Project have a bit of influence here as well. The structure on that project has perhaps the most intensive ontological review of any classification scheme that I have ever seen, including other classification schemes like the Dewey Decimal system and the Library of Congress system. I kid you not, the best of the best in the world have gone in and classified the ODP in at least the top categories, and they are pretty balanced top categories at that. It is from this that I am trying to anticipate what Wikibooks will be like in the future when non-geeks start arriving here in mass... or perhaps they are here now. I guess you are most opposed to the Recreation and Humanities departments as ones to be eliminated. My contention is that they are going to break off anyway in the future in one way or another. It is not easy to try and come up with the very top-level categories of any classification system. --Rob Horning 00:58, 13 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Ah, I see. My main concern was balance, but, unlike you, I didn't factor in future growth in my analysis. I trust that you have that well planned for. My only concerns now are why medicine isn't part of health science and why social science is part of arts & culture, when, by my understanding, it includes both Politics and Economics, which are part of a society department. --Hagindaz 01:32, 13 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I'm trying to also think about substantial areas currently covered under the DCC (dewey decimal system) and the LOC major categories. I think this organization deals with just about all 100 and 10 level breakdowns of the DCC, or two-letter codes of the LOC scheme. I just added an agriculture bookshelf to deal with things like Beekeeping and Caring for Guinea Pigs. This would also include things like Gardening that would not otherwise be involved with Biology as a discipline.
This brings up the other issue that categories of this nature can be listed in a couple of places. In this case, the ag bookshelf under both science and as how-to books. Computer Science perhaps should be listed under both Science and Technology. We can be a little flexible here, and are not confined to physical bookshelves that have to be arranged in a strict hierarchy because of physical limitations of having to occupy a location in 3-D space. Proposal 1 did cover this somewhat, but I failed to add it in here. --Rob Horning 03:19, 13 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Proposed design 3 edit


Humanities and Arts: Visual Arts • Performing ArtsLiterature1History • Philosophy* and Religion* • Miscellaneous Humanities and Arts2

Applied Sciences: Engineering • Health Science • Technology5Business and ManagementEducation • Miscellaneous Applied Sciences6

Natural Sciences: BiologyChemistryPhysicsMiscellaneous Natural Sciences3

Social and Behavioural Sciences: Business and ManagementEconomicsLawHistoryLanguagesEducation • Behavioural Sciences7Miscellaneous Social Sciences8

Miscellaneous Sciences: MathematicsComputer science • Interdisciplinary Fields4

Miscellaneous: Study Guides • Vocational Education / Career Training / Skills Guides • Games and Athletics • Miscellaneous

Computing: Computer SoftwareComputer ScienceInformation TechnologyProgramming LanguagesDomain-specific Languages

  • 1 - Sections: annotated texts, mythology, philogy, methods and topics, national literature, folklore
  • 2 - Sections: writing and rhetoric, area studies/cultural studies, music, gender studies
  • 3 - Sections: ecology, earth sciences, astronomy, and environmental sciences
  • 4 - Sections: cognitive sciences, information science, sociology subfields, management subfields, management science, books on w:Category:Interdisciplinary fields
  • 5 - Sections: electronics, computing technology, materials science, microtechnology, nanotechnology, military technology, biotechnology, aerospace, space technology
  • 6 - Sections: agriculture, architecture, design, ergonomics, family and consumer science, forestry, journalism and mass communications, military science
  • 7 - Sections: psychology*, anthropology*, general
  • 8 - Sections: political science, linguistics, sociology*, human geography, communications
  • * - These sections will eventually be given their own bookshelves.