[development] Renaming "taxonomy" terminology?

Tao Starbow starbow at citris-uc.org
Wed Nov 14 19:02:39 UTC 2007

I agree with Derek on this one.  The only real problem is the 
inconsistency.  Introducing yet more terms into the mix just makes it worse.

taxonomy.module -> taxonomy.module
Categories -> Taxonomies (should just change in the menus and help text, 
terms -> terms

One small change and the inconsistency goes away.  Taxonomy is already 
working it's way into the common vocabulary of the web.

Derek Wright wrote:
> [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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