Talk:List of applications

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Classification troubles

Can "CD/DVD Burning Tools" be considered part of "Multimedia"? Should "Screen Capture" section be part of "Utilities" or "Multimedia"? --AlexanderR 21:10, 16 January 2012 (EST)

Eh I'm afraid we'll just have to establish a convention: I'd say Burning tools in Multimedia and Screen Capture in Utilities? Let's wait for more opinions. -- Kynikos 07:53, 17 January 2012 (EST)
As I see, CD/DVD Burning Tools are already a part of Multimedia. Screen Capture, I think, must be in Utilities.
And there's another question from russian users. OCR software isn't a reader or viewer, so it must be before or after 1.9 Note taking organizers with corresponding number 1.9 or 1.10
UPD. Also, there's a good idea to add in this section some (or all) progs from Optical Character Recognition -- Kycok (talk) 05:32, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Um... "Utilities" is practically a default category for applications that don't fit anywhere else: since "Screen capture" is kind of related to "Multimedia", it would probably be better to leave it there (thus changing the opinion I expressed above, I think I'm allowed, after more than 2 years :P ).
I'm quite neutral about moving "OCR software" in the tree: it is related to "Scans", but maybe not so closely. I'm also neutral about merging Optical Character Recognition there: actually that article doesn't contain anything except for a short list of applications, so it could indeed be merged.
Anyone with a stronger position on the topic? -- Kynikos (talk) 14:12, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
So, I've made corresponding changes in Documents section. Also I've merged Pdf and DjVu, because many progs in Pdf works with DjVu. I've deleted tool fbdjvu, because, as I see, it's merged with fbpdf.
Let's talk if there's another opinions about my changes -- Kycok (talk) 09:59, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Well done, except you forgot to redirect Optical Character Recognition, fixed now :) -- Kynikos (talk) 12:53, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

I have submitted a AUR package for sendanywhereAUR, a cross-platform p2p file sharing utility (similar to Pushbullet, but with standalone software client). I am not sure under which section I should include it. It is definitely not FTP based or bittorrent based. Should it go under Downloaders or Communications; also, shall I start a new subsection, maybe called p2p file sharing/pushing? Jadelord (talk) 11:17, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

I've just created List_of_applications/Internet#Other_P2P_networks, I think that's the best place for the moment. — Kynikos (talk) 03:11, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

Link subpages instead of transcluding them

Just wondering if it would be better to completely split the article up into separate articles, rather than transcluding everything back in as templates. Perhaps just include links and a brief summary of each category in the top-level page, maybe something along the lines of:

This page has various categories of programs and points to lists of programs in those categories. It is a useful starting point for finding a program for a specific application. [Introduce console versus graphical.]

Internet including network configuration, and clients or browsers for web sites, FTP, file sharing, chat and email messaging, web feeds, and microblogging

Multimedia including viewers, players and editors for raster, vector, 3D, CAD, audio and video, GUI capture, systems for accessing audio devices, audio CD rippers, and e-book programs.

Utilities, which covers package management, file managers including space usage, compression and merge tools, optical disc burning, clipboards, GUI taskbars.

Documents: readers for printable files like PDFs, office suites, word processors, spreadsheets, text search, OCR

Security: firewalls; file, network and log monitoring, scanning and analysis; backup

Games: native and emulators

Science: calculators, visualisation, design, programming environments and other tools for maths, chemistry, biology, astronomy, electronics and physics

Other: note taking and scheduling; translation; desktop environments and window managers; terminals; OS monitors; text editors

See also [other general lists of programs]

Smaller individual pages would be nicer, because often I’m only interested in programs for a specific application, such as (in the past) Science#Electronics, and Multimedia#GUI players (audio). Even using the TOC, I think currently it’s too easy to get lost or overwhelmed. Vadmium 00:18, 26 January 2012 (EST).

I think the main problem here is that if I'm looking for a particular subcategory I have to guess under which main category it can be, while currently, with the comprehensive ToC, that task is easier. Possible compromise: maintain a "manual" Table of Contents in the top-level page, with links to the various subpages/subsections. Let's hear more opinions. -- Kynikos 07:53, 26 January 2012 (EST)
The page is gigantic and loads very slowly on my internet connection, so I think splitting into subpages is a good idea. Maybe the page length could also be reduced by only having the top 5 most used/useful apps for each category. I am hesitate about that suggestion as I have also found some more obscure but very useful things on this page, but it has gotten to be so unwieldy to navigate now. We could also have the "alternative to" website under a "see also" section as well as links to other external linux package lists.Meskarune (talk) 20:34, 12 August 2018 (UTC)

See also visibility

Does somebody have any idea on how to improve the visibility of the See also section? -- Kynikos 07:13, 23 January 2012 (EST)

Its probably not in good style, but could we add an article overview, and have an article summary section containing the see also links?--Leocp1 16:59, 23 January 2012 (EST)
@Leocp1 What links are you talking about? Wiki links already should be covered by Template:Article_summary_wiki), among others I'd prefer to see only important ones (like links to software home page, documentation, own wiki etc) included included in the template. --AlexanderR 19:11, 23 January 2012 (EST)
I've written a summary in the subsection below and added some other ideas: currently I think solution 4 may be the tidiest and best looking, otherwise I'd try solution 1 as a second choice. Please add your opinions there so we can make a better decision.
@AlexanderR We're talking about the See also links at the bottom of the article, not the links specific to each application, which should stay in the proper App template and/or the related wiki article (I'm not sure if that's what you meant).
-- Kynikos 07:38, 24 January 2012 (EST)
Who in the world uses this links at all? Wikipedia does not have any links at the bottom of articles except proofs of written or ones in categories templates. We do not provide proofs.. Or do we? And it would be great to see statistics of clicks on such links... --AlexanderR 08:01, 24 January 2012 (EST)
Not sure if I'm on the same page as you, but many Wikipedia articles have 'External links' section at the bottom, below the references and above the 'Related articles' part. Have a look at e.g. article. It has 'See also', 'References' and 'External links' sections. -- Karol 08:43, 24 January 2012 (EST)

Ideas so far

  1. Move all see-also links to article summary --Leocp1 16:59, 23 January 2012 (EST)
    • PROS:
      • Currently style compliant (but see related con) -- Kynikos 07:38, 24 January 2012 (EST)
    • CONS:
      • There's little room for long URLs and/or descriptions, unless we want to see ugly line wrapping. -- Kynikos 07:38, 24 January 2012 (EST)
      • It's possible that in the future the style for article summaries will be reformed not to allow external links anymore, requiring them to be in See also sections only. -- Kynikos 07:38, 24 January 2012 (EST)
  2. Move only important see-also links to article summary --AlexanderR 19:11, 23 January 2012 (EST)
    • PROS:
      • Same as 1.
      • No problems with line wrapping. --AlexanderR 23:48, 3 February 2012 (EST)
      • In many articles links to site/Wikipedia/etc. are already located in random places in text. Placing them all into single template at the top will hardly make "See also" section less visible than now. --AlexanderR 23:48, 3 February 2012 (EST)
    • CONS:
      • Same as 1.
      • The See also section will be even more "buried" at the bottom of the article, becoming practically useless. -- Kynikos 07:38, 24 January 2012 (EST)
  3. Find a new name instead of "See also", move the section at the top, as the first section (and change its layout, e.g. use 2 columns?). -- Kynikos 07:38, 24 January 2012 (EST)
    • PROS:
      • Links are immediately accessible and there's room for long URLs and descriptions. -- Kynikos 07:38, 24 January 2012 (EST)
    • CONS:
      • Incosistent with the other articles, may look ugly. -- Kynikos 07:38, 24 January 2012 (EST)
  4. Link to #See also from the introduction, with a sentence that enhances its visibility. -- Kynikos 07:38, 24 January 2012 (EST)
    • PROS:
      • Style compliant. -- Kynikos 07:38, 24 January 2012 (EST)
      • The main content of the article is still shown first. -- Kynikos 07:38, 24 January 2012 (EST)
    • CONS:
      • Links are not evident at a glance unlike the solutions above. -- Kynikos 07:38, 24 January 2012 (EST)

Order of things?

Is there any special order to these lists?

For instance, under "Internet" it would seem more intuitive to begin with "Network Managers", then "Browsers", then a section for "Downloaders". and so on. Idomeneo1 (talk) 00:51, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

"Intuitive" is subjective, I'd just simply use alphabetical order, although I know it's not used anywhere at the moment... -- Kynikos (talk) 21:07, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Call it chronological? i.e. an order in which people (especially beginners) would think of setting things up - network, browser, communication, downloads, media etc.
The problem with alphabetical lists is that even if we decide on "correct" terms for things, some people will, i.e., look for 'console', and others for 'terminal'.
Idomeneo1 (talk) 14:10, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Eheh a similar objection could be made for the "chronological" order, which, as I said, is subjective, e.g. some people may want to install messaging apps before p2p or vice versa. Maybe what you really mean is a "dependency" order, i.e. if in a group of sections there's one that lists applications (e.g. network managers) that may be necessary for applications in other groups to work, then put it at the top. I can agree with that, also because other sections like the various "Other" should instead better be kept at the bottom. All the in-between sections, though, should be sorted alphabetically: the problem of synonyms would affect any kind of odering we may choose, and in general it affects all kinds of word lists (e.g. dictionaries), so users are used to dealing with it.
If you're willing to do the reordering, please do it in several little edits, not a single big one.
-- Kynikos (talk) 07:13, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, having "Other" at the end is exactly the kind of order I mean.
Idomeneo1 (talk) 15:25, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

List dead projects or not?

Kino is dead, it doesn't even have a maintainer in the AUR. Is it OK to remove dead-but-still-working applications from the list in the wiki? -- Karol (talk) 14:16, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

I wouldn't really know what's best to do, but if the application is confirmed to be still working, keeping it in the list should be the default action until somebody proves that listing it is counterproductive in some way. Of course a note about the EOL should be added if restored. -- Kynikos (talk) 15:50, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

The aterm project website has been directing people to use urxvt instead since 2008. I've noticed quite a few projects in the maintainer-doesn't-even-advise-using-it category on this page and I don't see what purpose they serve. Ryne Everett (talk) 02:26, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Well, the apps whose upstream maintainers explicitly discourage using them can indeed be removed, possibly making sure that any indicated alternative is already present in this list, adding it otherwise. Just note that, taking your post literally, "not advising to" is different from "discouraging to" (the aterm case falls indeed in the latter case) :) Please state the reason for removing applications from the list using the edit summary. -- Kynikos (talk) 02:32, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
I propose a deprecation warning, especially in the security subpage. there are numerous projects listed, that might still work, but are not developed anymore. this renders them insecure, as malware recognition needs to keep up with developement. This concerns rkhunter, chkrootkit and also the currently unlisted unhide. Fordprefect (talk) 12:35, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
I think it's too soon to talk on warnings like that when there's hundreds of dead AUR packages on the list... -- Alad (talk) 15:41, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
Well, for packages meant to improve security concerning malware, frequent updates are no bonus, but crucial. a simple note would help users distinguish more and less active projects. Fordprefect (talk) 17:17, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
At least rkhunter is still in the official repos, and John Horne, the current main developer is still answering posts in the mailing list. — Kynikos (talk) 01:12, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

What is Xpra, really?

Where should Xpra go? Technically, remote desktop may be applicable, but it's not limited to remote stuff. You can run it locally on another X display.

Technically, all Xpra is is some persistent X sessions that you can attach to and detach from at any time. It's not really a remote desktop thing. Dillebidum (talk) 17:27, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

Does it have to go anywhere? -- Lahwaacz (talk) 18:09, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
Technically, yes. This is the list of applications, so why not? Xpra is a "screen for X". That way, the least vague thing to do would be to split terminal multiplexers into a multiplexers category and there would be two subcategories: terminal and X11. Xpra would, obviously be in X11. I say least vague, since screen is a multiplexer, yet Xpra isn't. The only thing it has in common with screen is the persistent sessions. Dillebidum (talk) 20:37, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
It's just a list of applications, not list of all applications. The point is that there might be other, more appropriate places on the wiki, e.g. improving Allow a program to continue after logoff. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 21:10, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

Scope of the page

It seems that this page is becoming a bloated index for all possible "lists" on the wiki, or maybe even the whole wiki itself. There are other pages to help users find what they are looking for, e.g. Table of contents, General recommendations and of course the full-text search. Therefore I think that the List of applications should be a comprehensible list of the most common categories of application software and not a comprehensive list of everything. I believe that the index pages can have separate targets and cooperate with each other to provide a complete picture instead of overlapping and hindering readability by linking to each other.

I propose the following:

-- Lahwaacz (talk) 14:44, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

I've undone most of the structural changes to List of applications (starting with [1]) due to their one-sided nature. A radical restructure of one of the most popular wiki articles requires a consensus that isn't (yet) reached here. -- Alad (talk) 14:38, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
About Display managers et al., perhaps we should just have a general header such as "Graphical user interface" and link to General recommendations#Graphical user interface. The idea is that the sections in question contain little more than single wiki links and as such add TOC entries to little benefit. As touched upon in #Merge sections to category pages, a comprehensive TOC is already served by Table of Contents and there's no need for this page to compete. We could remind users of this by placing a link to Table of contents somewhere at the top.
Other sections such as List_of_applications/Other#Window_tilers could further be moved to their respective articles (here Window manager) to have all information in one place.
If this approach works out, we could use it to reduce List of applications/Other and List of applications/Utilities in size and merge the articles accordingly, as a compromise until a better approach is agreed upon in #Merge sections to category pages. -- Alad (talk) 14:48, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
I think that "Graphical user interface" is too general, it might attract items or crosslinks to other sections for anything with a GUI. We might call it "Custom desktop environment" or something like that to group List_of_applications#Taskbars_.2F_panels_.2F_docks, List_of_applications#Application_launchers, List_of_applications#Wallpaper_setters, List_of_applications#Virtual_desktop_pagers, List_of_applications#Logout_dialogue and probably also List_of_applications#Screen_lockers. It could contain links to General recommendations, Window manager etc. but I wouldn't merge them anywhere until the recategorization discussed in #Merge sections to category pages is finished. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 15:15, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
See [2], [3].
I've kept List of applications/Other#Window managers, List of applications/Other#Window tilers and List_of_applications/Other#Taskbars_.2F_panels_.2F_docks (latter could use a simpler name?) under the same List of applications#Desktop environments header because they're equally a part of a Desktop environment just like e.g. an application launcher is. We can always remove those items later on a restructure. -- Alad (talk) 18:10, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
Some more candidates:
So yes, I've also taken on the hard task of properly classifying entries in the "Other" categories. Though I would say completing this will make discussing proper alternatives easier. -- Alad (talk) 17:41, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

Merge sections to category pages

Warning: extreme brainstorming, join at your own risk.

I agree with Lahwaacz about the fact that this page is becoming bloated and overlapping with the other index pages. However I also think that the very existence of this article (and its subsections) encourages Idomeneo1's approach, and honestly I don't think it's Simple anymore to understand what to keep here and what not, what to interlink where and what not etc., any solution still looks a bit arbitrary to me.

I was thinking, perhaps we could kill this page completely and merge the various sections in the appropriate Category pages, taking the chance to improve the Category tree, possibly also creating empty categories if needed, which would function as placeholders in that case, or each Category could still contain a main section and some subsections. I think that our current Table of contents already has some resemblance with the ToC of this article, so that scope overlapping/duplication may be the root cause of the parent discussion. Categories can also have multiple parents, which would address the current problem of having to interlink sections of this article with each other. Another advantage is that users would get more used to look into the Category page of an article, not only to find related articles, but now also to find related software that may not have wiki articles. Another advantage is that when creating an article about a piece of software it's already clear where to categorize it.

Disadvantages: we lose the ability to see all the applications in the same page. (and...?)

Last thing, I think that this idea would look the best if the app lists were changed to tables, as we discussed a long time ago in Talk:List of games and now I tried in User:Kynikos/App. Template:App can be changed to create a table row very easily, but I'd also like to discuss restructuring it as shown at the bottom of User:Kynikos/App#Terminal emulators, which IMO gives info less redundantly.

Enough :) — Kynikos (talk) 18:12, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

Currently we have a rule that if category A has a subcategory B, pages in B cannot be categorized also in A. I'd imagine that the application lists/tables would follow similar rule to avoid duplication, so we'd also lose the ability to see all applications in category A on the same page. Depending on how the actual categorization would look like, this might be important disadvantage - consider e.g. the subsections of List_of_applications#File_sharing.
-- Lahwaacz (talk) 21:33, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
Personally I don't think that viewing the whole List of applications#File sharing section in the same page is so useful; seeing its section structure in the ToC is useful, but that would be preserved in the automated category tree. As I wrote, we could allow subsections in Category pages, for example to keep non-specific distinctions like console/graphical or client/server. We could also instruct to read section headings in Category pages and show them in the generated ToC (perhaps only under Category:Applications). Finally, it wouldn't be a violation of the DRY principle if we also generated pages that collate the contents of some Categories and their descendants, of course protecting them from manual editing. — Kynikos (talk) 05:56, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
On second thought, Category:Applications currently has only 2 levels of subcategories so I think the problem mentioned above does not apply. If more levels appear in the future, I'd imagine it would be for a reason and even then it might not be so terrible. The parent tables or their captions might even contain a link to the subcategory tables to make them more visible instead of duplicating them. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 18:25, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
On third thought, we might even start with splitting up this very page, i.e. do #Link subpages instead of transcluding them + an autogenerated ToC list of sections on all subpages. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 18:33, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm still in favor of #Link subpages instead of transcluding them, it works as an improvement and a compromise for me. — Kynikos (talk) 15:31, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
I was actually thinking that for applications which have a wiki page, browsing Category:Applications instead of this page should give basically the same results (maybe some small subsections are squashed together, but that's not a problem). To make things simple(r), we might just say that topics which have most pages outside of Category:Applications don't belong here and should be linked externally. Usually such topics have an introduction page, such as Server, Xorg or Desktop environments. There would be a huge problem with "Utilities" and "Security" though. Also this approach would probably not cut the bloat enough.
-- Lahwaacz (talk) 21:33, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
As I said, I think that trying to find a clear rule to define what belongs in this page or not is too hard, there are too many blurred cases, as also seen in the parent discussion. IMHO the bloat problem of this article can't be reduced to only some sections in List of applications/Workspace: I like your "I think that the List of applications should be a comprehensible list of the most common categories of application software and not a comprehensive list of everything", but to me "List of applications" practically does sound like "List of everything", which is why I say that the problem is the whole article itself. — Kynikos (talk) 15:19, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
Well think that we can cut it in halves: I don't see many problems with List of applications/Internet, List of applications/Multimedia, List of applications/Documents and List of applications/Science - they are all with individual sections or even list entries, but the overall scope is clear. On the other hand, most of the "applications" listed on the remaining pages, List of applications/Workspace, List of applications/Utilities, List of applications/Security and List of applications/Other, fall simply under "Utilities". From what the current page looks like, I think it's roughly like "Desktop utilities", "System administration utilities", "Security utilities" and (shrugs) "Other utilities", but there are many overlaps so it's probably not very useful to make this differentiation and it would be better to call them just "Utilities". Btw. I think that the category tree has generally the same problem with arbitrary decisions: somehow I don't see a common idea behind Category:Command shells under Category:Applications and Category:Desktop environments under Category:System administration. So that's the problem - do you see a way out? -- Lahwaacz (talk) 19:29, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
Let's use the branch above about the destiny of this article.
About the categories, as you say the problem is similar, I don't think there's much to do other than solve case by case: I'm in favor of moving Category:Command shells and also Category:Status monitoring and notification and Category:Terminal emulators under Category:System administration. Another thing that I'd do is rename Category:Networking to Category:Network administration, and move only to Category:Applications what doesn't fit there anymore, in particular Category:Internet applications, Category:Telephony and voice and probably also Category:Remote desktop, plus possibly recategorize some articles which are currently directly under Category:Networking. At that stage I would also consider renaming Category:System administration to Category:Host administration to remark the ideal complementarity of the two *_administration categories.
Kynikos (talk) 15:31, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
The category tree / table of contents lists wiki pages, not apps - an app would have to have a special wiki page just to be mentioned, and even then, there is old cruft in the wiki pages as well. And that is much harder to clean up than a list.
I definitely agree the categories need improvement.
--Idomeneo1 (talk) 00:09, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Probably I didn't explain it very clearly, but my idea would be to merge the various lists here (turned into tables) in the editable part of Category pages, e.g. Category:Getting and installing Arch, so applications wouldn't need a wiki page to be mentioned there. — Kynikos (talk) 08:49, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
I like tables, especially sortable ones, though I'm not sure how they simplify things.
An option could be to break the lists down into smaller sections, which could then be included in their respective wiki pages, as well as in a master list-of-apps page.
An issue I see with the current Table of Contents is that it is entirely manually structured - no headings. How is a category tree "automated"? Does this automation preserve included lists/tables/cross-links?
--Idomeneo1 (talk) 00:00, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
Tables in this case more than simplifying would reduce bloat, since many entries would be reduced to one line (at least on wide screens), and the various fields (name, description, website, packages) would be neatly and rationally separated, making it much easier to scan for the needed info. Tables are also a more standard and often preferred way to list and compare applications e.g. on Wikipedia.
About breaking the lists further and merging them into specific wiki pages, I'd be in favor if you want to discuss specific cases. However what is merged into other articles can't be duplicated in a "master list-of-apps page".
Table of contents is completely generated by a bot, there's no manual structuring. I'm not sure what you mean with your question about preserving included lists etc.
Kynikos (talk) 15:00, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
Your User:Kynikos/App trial is a great approach, but I'm unconvinced tables being a good format for this information. If you look at the sections, each table has different column widths (for a reason, but not neat). There are too many other variances: the current template app allows for short or longer descriptions, a single bot comment may shift column width for a whole table, etc. Worst: Even on a wide screen (which can't be a precondition in my view) table data would always break URLs, which is neither readable nor a neat, positive presentation. --Indigo (talk) 21:07, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
Just clarifying that my plan was to eventually switch to the format at the bottom of User:Kynikos/App#Terminal_emulators, which doesn't display urls explicitly. Other modifications in the 3-column table solution that I see as advantages would be to resolve the current Template:App's redundancy of always requiring to show the app's packages even when there is a dedicated article which already lists them. However I acknowledge that the idea of using tables isn't attracting much positive feedback, so ok, I'll keep it for the future generations ^^ — Kynikos (talk) 16:12, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. Not displaying URLs would help, yes. Still I don't believe we would be able to make column width look neat across sections. Nested tables (for neatness) are not an option re maintainability. I see your point about showing duplication with the packages, but particularly in this list it can also be quite helpful to click through to content of alternative packages directly. It's not that a dedicated article would have immediate info on that. --Indigo (talk) 21:23, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
What I was suggesting was to break these lists up further into smaller "include" pages, such as Browsers, Window managers, File managers, etc etc, on separate, single "include" pages that could be simply "included" on the respective wiki pages, as well as the category pages, as well as the list of apps. This would provide simplicity, visibility, and coherence, so a whole bunch of app lists don't need to be maintained separately.
--Idomeneo1 (talk) 23:56, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
Hmmm every time that you added, split or removed an included page you'd have to remember to update all the articles that include it, and also you wouldn't be able to include section headings because their levels would have to adapt to the host articles, so it wouldn't be very easy to maintain. — Kynikos (talk) 15:31, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
That would be true of any new wiki pages. The idea is to break the lists up into logical units that could be included on multiple pages and categories. Then, when you update the actual lists, such as fixing/removing broken links, you would only need to do it once, instead of editing multiple pages for every list edit.
--Idomeneo1 (talk) 01:33, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
I think to a large extent the app list in this article is it's own meta information, and that diminishes the more we break it down into smaller (&detached) units. When I try to apply your idea to e.g. List of applications#Screen lockers (same goes for "file manager", "browsers" examples to me), it's hard to picture where we would want to include that list but easy to imagine it can be helpful to link to from, say, a window manager article. Even if that "screen locker" unit would list 100% applicable packages for window manager A and B, is it really that helpful to include the full list in A and B? Likewise I don't see how that section can be broken down into more units, such attempt is bound to be very arbitrary in every case. Not simple. What would be a practical example of an include unit with two targets? --Indigo (talk) 22:30, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
I have to disagree. Categories pose an important way to navigate wiki articles. Placing long lists of applications (that mostly don't have wiki articles) at the top of category pages would mean that you often have to scroll down category pages to reach their index and thus preventing you from quickly navigating the wiki by categories. –Larivact (talk) 09:19, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Larivact points. On main topic, I favour splitting existing list pages in separate articles like Web browser, Screen locker etc. This would give us more space to have sufficiently detailed explanation what each type of software is and does and would make more sense in context of topic-based wiki. As for respective categories we can have The main article for this category is Web browser. disclaimer like on wikipedia. -- Svito (talk) 17:42, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
I concur, I created #Merge sections to dedicated articles and Template:Cat main. On a side note I don't think we need to explain what each type of software is, linking the respective Wikipedia article should suffice.--Larivact (talk) 15:29, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
[The following related post was copied here from Talk:Bottle#Archive. -- Kynikos (talk) 16:45, 27 April 2018 (UTC)]
In general I think it's a bit unfair and counterintuitive though that the better documentation a piece of software has (or the better it works in general), the lesser visibility (and search references) it gets in our wiki (the software runs fine out of the box (good!) => no need for installation/configuration/troubleshooting sections => no wiki article; the software needs distro-specific guidance to be set up (less good / bad) => need for installation/configuration/troubleshooting sections => wiki article allowed). This may also be related to Talk:List_of_applications#Merge sections to category pages, i.e. our Categories could link all current/popular options and point to the upstream docs, and possibly also to our articles for Arch-specific adaptations.
-- Kynikos (talk) 16:27, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
The purpose of the ArchWiki is to provide information, not SEO. If we list all current/popular options on category pages we obstruct the navigability of our information (see my point above).--Larivact (talk) 19:21, 10 May 2018 (UTC)

Merge sections to dedicated articles

Svito proposed to split up List of applications into separate articles like Web browser, Screen locker etc.

I think that's the best approach because of the following advantages:

  • no two co-existing categorization systems like we currently have (List of applications and MediaWiki categories), instead just MediaWiki categories
  • articles can easily be linked and found via search
  • it does not obstruct navigating the wiki by categories like #Merge sections to category pages does

As this approach would make categories more important, I think we should firstly implement Mediawiki talk:Common.css#Move categories under h1.

--Larivact (talk) 15:25, 11 May 2018 (UTC)

#Merge sections to category pages would have required to reproduce a tree of categories under Category:Applications similar to the ToC of this article. I don't mind this solution, but would you still create the additional categories, which in several cases would of course only contain the respective List page, or would you for example put all the split list articles from List of applications#Multimedia under the same Category:Multimedia? -- Kynikos (talk) 15:45, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
Latter would make sense as having category for just one article would be odd. I would still keep this page to have list of links to all lists of applications. -- Svito (talk) 17:18, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
Opposite for me, I support the category-tree way, at the cost of having one- (this proposal) or zero-article (#Merge sections to category pages) categories.
If this page ends up still being required to show the tree of application lists which reside under common categories, then splitting loses much of its point in my view.
-- Kynikos (talk) 10:32, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

Replace with external interface

On second thought I am not convinced of #Merge sections to dedicated articles either. MediaWiki is just unsuited for a well-categorized list of applications. Especially since applications can be in multiple categories. A real radical alternative would be to outsource & convert the List of applications to text files in a Git repository. A text file would have the name of the package and could look like this:

description=Feature-rich email client from Mozilla written in GTK+.
tags=email client,news aggregator,usenet client,irc client,xmpp client,twitter client

These files could then be converted to a static HTML site or queried via a hypothetical command-line interface.

--Larivact (talk) 16:46, 20 May 2018 (UTC)

I would not dismiss original subject of how and where we want to display application lists on the wiki. You touch on entirely different topic that is browsing application lists outside the wiki, for which existing web interfaces could be improved for. It is inevitable that we would want to use upstream metadata from packages themselves and periodically generate application lists without editor intervention. I strongly believe we can take baby steps and reuse existing standards as much as possible:
  • Merge sections to dedicated articles, leave links to all of them here
  • Transform all lists into tables, fill in all metadata
  • Explore if we can use AppStream for our metadata, if not - contribute to AppStream spec so we can
  • Push our metadata to upstream projects using AppStream, so we don't have to maintain it
  • Write scripts to periodically generate specific application tables on pages
  • Add AppStream support to existing web interfaces
  • Have a root beer with City-busz
Before any of it let's agree to split this discussion first(again)
-- Svito (talk) 20:41, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
I think you missed my point, I proposed to outsource the list of applications from MediaWiki. It's not an entirely different topic, it's an entirely different solution to our categorization problem.
The main feature and biggest problem of the List of applications is categorization, upstream metadata won't help us with this because advanced categorization needs to be done centrally.
I regard AppStream as irrelevant as it doesn't deal with advanced categorization like the List of applications does.
--Larivact (talk) 16:11, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
Defining category structure is not AppStream job and neither of Desktop Menu Specification. It is completely up to the software if and how to display and organize those and there is no restrictions on number of categories software can belong to. -- Svito (talk) 20:04, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
I did miss your point. Can you be more specific what that would mean for fate of this article, its content and existing category structure? -- Svito (talk) 16:51, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
The List of applications would no longer be on the ArchWiki but a different website, perhaps It would still link to the ArchWiki. The metadata from which the website gets generated could be on GitHub or, perhaps a better idea, in a single page on the ArchWiki. The existing content & categorization would need to be converted by a script (with some human intervention required to map sections to tags and merge apps present in multiple categories).--Larivact (talk) 17:42, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
Then AppStream would be more than suitable for this. See GenericComponent for example, relying on Desktop Menu Specification for valid Category definitions. Contributing missing category definitions should not be a problem provided we will have multiple examples in our wiki needing them, especially because we as Arch Linux community have always worked upstream rather than downstream. In the end this benefits not just Arch Linux, but everyone who already uses AppStream and upstream projects. Many applications already support the spec with existing categories, and ArchLinux already supports AppStream for official repositories with archlinux-appstream-data. Finding a way to use AppStream with AUR would be a next step.
If we to terminate this article and to use GitHub or dedicated page to maintain our metadata, this would still require people to create pull requests or wiki accounts just to add their software to the list and we would still be manually adding and removing software when it goes in or out of repositories or AUR. If we to use AppStream for metadata and contribute it to upstream projects, projects using it would automatically appear in our generated lists as they enter the repo or AUR, but also software center applications across all distributions. Of course we would still need to contribute our metadata to new projects without it.
I understand your reluctance to not deal with any existing solution, I like your idea, but I hate any prospect of downstream metadata, damned it be.
-- Svito (talk) 19:34, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
While the List of applications tries to meticulously categorize the whole software world, the Desktop Menu Specification strives get you a nice little GUI menu of your installed applications. These are two completely different motives. The Desktop Menu Specification lacks so many categories that it is utterly unsuitable for the List of applications. And they will not accept our categories as they do not make sense for a desktop menu. Like I said advanced categorization needs to be done centrally.
--Larivact (talk) 05:08, 22 May 2018 (UTC)
You seem to be mistaken Main categories with Additional categories, which I link description of from previous page here just for convenience: can be used to provide more fine grained information about the application. They are just "tags" in conventional sense, but better yet explicitly defined as a standard. We are exactly ones in position to add more Additional categories to the spec, as application developers can't really have a say in it individually, nor they have any real incentive (yet) to bother adding them. -- Svito (talk) 09:17, 22 May 2018 (UTC)
Outsourcing the metadata to upstream would mean that we could no longer effectively maintain or control it. This would reduce its quality and objectiveness.--Larivact (talk) 11:26, 22 May 2018 (UTC)
I created draft with tentative additional categories I will be working on, but I changed my mind on idea of using it to generate tables on the wiki, which you just proven to me is terrible idea. I completely agree we don't need this article if we to have better means of finding software and its alternatives. I will try to improve existing specs for metadata we would like exposed by applications, but in the meanwhile I'm not opposed to your solution as well. Sorry for my stormy language before. -- Svito (talk) 13:24, 22 May 2018 (UTC)
Usually console applications don't have AppStream metadata, nor desktop file. The categories of Desktop Menu Specification don't give us the details and flexibility what we need, and upstream give sometimes inaccurate details that we need to fix from an objective view.
Personally I like the simplicity what MediaWiki provides, and I don't see much benefit from using a custom metadata system. Of course if anyone create and setup a better interface for listing and comparing applications, we can consider to remove application lists from Arch Wiki.--City-busz (talk) 14:03, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

TeX is general purpose and markup

TeX is not specific to scientific documents. Its most common use is in mathematics, which is not necessarily 'scientific'. But it is also used in the humanities (e.g. in philosophy, linguistics), business schools (to my surprise), for writing novels, for cookbooks and for drawing ducks, cats and witches. Putting it under 'Scientific Documents' is misleading. Fair enough to point out that it is more common in mathematics and the sciences, if you insist (this is probably true, though I don't have stats), but the suggestion that this is its (sole) function is just wrong.

It is primarily a document mark-up language, but is oddly not mentioned in the section on text mark-up at all. This is particularly weird since some of the tools there (e.g. pandoc) are commonly used in conjunction with TeX, as well as other formats.

I would suggest either merging it with the mark-up section or, probably better, put a link there and change the title to just 'TeX Documents'.

--cfr (talk) 23:59, 21 October 2017 (UTC)

I renamed Scientific documents to TeX software.--Larivact (talk) 07:36, 25 May 2018 (UTC)

List of screenshot tools

There is a suitable page dedicated to the topic, so the content should be in one place. It's not like that every list of applications present on the wiki must be unconditionally on this page. —This unsigned comment is by Lahwaacz (talk) 17:38, 10 May 2018‎. Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

I would prefer to keep the list of screenshot tools on List of applications/Multimedia page rather than moving it back to the Taking a screenshot page. Screencast tools are also listed on that page, which is a similar topic. I think we should keep software lists in one page until a decision happen to split them into multiple articles/categories as described in #Merge sections to category pages. --City-busz (talk) 17:53, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
If there's a dedicated article the App list belongs there, or do you also want to move the App lists of Desktop environment, Window manager, Display manager to List of applications? But I agree that screenshot tools and screencast tools belong together, which is why I propose to move both to Screen capture.--Larivact (talk) 05:46, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
Desktop environment, Window manager, Display manager: these are not simply desktop applications, and require specific configuration, so it's reasonable to put them into separated articles. There is no specific configuration needed for screenshot and screencast tools, these are individual applications, therefore I would prefer to keep them together with other multimedia applications. Or if it's preferred to put these list into separated articles, then we should split the list completely, and create individual articles for raster graphics editors, for vector graphics editors and so on.--City-busz (talk) 10:22, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
If there was nothing else but the list on the Screen capture page, I would agree with you that it's better to keep the list in List of applications. But that's not the case, similarly to Clipboard#List_of_clipboard_managers and likely many other pages I can't think of right now. Splitting the List of applications completely is a different topic since there would be only the lists on the newly created pages. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 14:24, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
I created ‎#Merge sections to dedicated articles for that different topic.--Larivact (talk) 15:33, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
I moved the screenshot and screencast tools to Screen capture.--Larivact (talk) 18:20, 26 July 2018 (UTC)

Section changes on /Documents

User:City-busz restructured List of applications/Documents (See the old ToC for reference).

A Productivity section has been added, I don't see the point of it as it is extremely ambiguous.

The Texts and notes main section seems to be very arbitrary (why are Barcode generators and readers under there?).

Furthermore I don't get why Emacs text editors and Vi text editors are no longer under Text editors.

Lastly I think that text editors are so important that they deserve a top level section somewhere at the top of the article (like they previously had).

--Larivact (talk) 18:11, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

I don't see the point of a Productivity section either. It is ambiguous since you can be productive programming, drawing or reading.
Text editors should definitely be a top level section, with Emacs text editors and Vi text editors as sub sections.
--Jonascj (talk) 21:22, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
I created the Productivity section for the purpose to categorize Wikipedia:Productivity software usually included in office suites to procedure text-based documents (word processors, spreadsheet, presentation, database software as well as typesetting systems, which have similar purpose to word processors). These are usually falls under the Office section by the Desktop Menu Specification.
The Texts and notes section contains everything that related to reading and writing simple text files, including text tools. Barcode generators and readers are some kind of text tools: encode and decode text data to/from a barcode. These are usually falls under the Utility + TextEditor / TextTools category by the Desktop Menu Specification.
--City-busz (talk) 22:37, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
Now I made some changes: I splitted Texts and notes section into Text, Notes and Text tools; and moved Text section to the top of the article.
--City-busz (talk) 23:07, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
  1. Section names need to be concrete. Productivity, Text and Text tools are way too broad.
  2. Sections should be about one thing, do not create artificial super-sections like Text and notes or Scanning and OCR.
The Desktop Menu spec is irrelevant in regard to section naming. I fixed the ambiguous / artificial sections. I split Productivity into Office and Markup languages and made Text editors top level again. I think the remaining Text tools should be moved to other articles as they are not document-specific (I added move templates).
--Larivact (talk) 07:28, 15 June 2018 (UTC)
I would like to keep Barcode generators and readers within this article, since these applications are simply text encoders/decoders. You can store even long text in a QR code. Reading a barcode is a similar process to OCR. I can't see any other categories that fit better for these applications. --City-busz (talk) 10:47, 15 June 2018 (UTC)
Fair enough.--Larivact (talk) 11:33, 15 June 2018 (UTC)

Grouping web browser content together

We currently have three different places about web browsers: List of applications#Web browsers, Browser plugins and Firefox/Privacy#Extensions (listing mostly cross-browser extensions). I therefore propose to group that content together by:

--Larivact (talk) 06:05, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

I don't think that it would be a good direction. Most of Browser plugins are no longer used or dead, and cannot be used in latest web browsers. So I would do the following instead:
--City-busz (talk) 19:01, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
10/13 extensions listed under Firefox/Privacy#Extensions were also available for Chrome. I went ahead and created Browser extensions as listing cross-browser extensions in a Firefox article doesn't make any sense. App templates also don't make sense for software which isn't packaged. I don't think Browser plugins could be properly split up. --Larivact (talk) 19:31, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
Then I think it would better to leave these three pages (List of applications/Internet#Web browsers, Browser extensions, Browser plugins) as is, without grouping them together. Web browsers are too divergent topic, many of them doesn't support extensions/plugins at all, and Browser plugins will disappear soon anyway. --City-busz (talk) 22:21, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
Well argued, you convinced me. --Larivact (talk) 07:08, 27 July 2018 (UTC)