[development] Renaming "taxonomy" terminology? (was Re: Early Drupal 6 review from Chris Messina)

matt at mattfarina.com matt at mattfarina.com
Wed Nov 14 18:56:08 UTC 2007

[2 cents]
I think it's to late in the game to make a large naming change.

It not only affects how long it will take us to get drupal 6 out the  
door and established naming conventions but also drupal.org logistics.  
There are over 90 contrib modules classified as taxonomy and it would  
take a lot of work to explain this change to anyone not following  
core, which is a lot of people.

+1 to Dereks suggestion.
[/2 cents]

Quoting Derek Wright <drupal at dwwright.net>:

> [Am I the only one who thinks it's worth forking this monster thread
> into appropriately named subthreads to cover the various parallel
> conversations going on?]
> On Nov 14, 2007, at 10:09 AM, Larry Garfield wrote:
>> That's again coming back to a very blog-centric view of taxonomy.    
>> Half the things I use taxonomy module for are not really   
>> "categories". If you enable free tagging, you're then talking about  
>>  "tags", not really "categories".  Category carries a lot of mental  
>>  weight that is very limiting.
> Right.  -1 to renaming "term" to "category".  -1 to renaming it to
> "tag", either, since that's just as limiting.  I see nothing wrong with
> "term" -- it's simple enough for everyone to grasp, generic enough to
> be accurate for the various use cases, and is already burned into the
> consciousness of the existing Drupal community.  Plus, there are a
> boatload of URLs, RSS feeds, etc that contain "term" in them --
> changing it in the UI but not the URL or menu would be a huge step
> backwards, and there will be massive link rot to contend with if we
> change the URLs.
> On the other hand, even bigger -1 for renaming "vocabulary" to
> "category", since in many cases, each term is a _category_ of the nodes
> that have it.  Look at the project node vocabulary on d.o: each term
> ("Images", "Mail", "Vies", etc) is a category of modules that are
> related to that term.  Calling this whole vocabulary a "category" is
> totally misleading and confusing -- it's a set of categories.
> For a very non-"tag" and non-"category" usage of taxonomy, look at the
> "Drupal core compatibility" term on release nodes on d.o.  "5.x" vs.
> "6.x" is *sort* of like a category, but not really.  It's really part
> of the version string, it's a classification of releases based on core
> compatibility.  I can't really wrap my head around thinking of this as
> a "category", and it's certainly not just a "tag"...
> Finally, I agree with the last few comments in this thread that the
> biggest usability problem was the (IMHO foolish) decision to say
> "taxonomy is too scary, let's inconsistently refer to it as
> 'categories' in some places in the UI".  That right there is the root
> of most of our trouble.  Renaming the menu item back to just "taxonomy"
> and removing places in the UI (other than help texts) that use this
> ambiguous terminology would be a big win.  I'd say "step forward", but
> it'd be a correction to our current regression. ;)
> -Derek (dww)
> p.s. If we end up renaming "taxonomy" to "classification", it *must* be
> in D7, since it's totally evil to have the menu paths, UI elements,
> module name, and function names all disagree.  It'll be a huge task to
> port everything to hook_classification_*, and that *needs* to be D7,
> not D6.

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