Multiple categories - one post?

Tangential thought from: Badges? We want our stinkin badge!:

I agonized on this one. I wanted to put it in both the Basecamp and Meta categories, but the forum (as configured) allows only 1 main category per post.

Is this is restriction of the forum software or a configurable option?

If configurable, should be advocate to allow multiple categories?

Looking forward to your thoughts …

I personally do not see any good reason to allow more than 2, and think 99% of the time 1 category will do just fine.

In the Discourse system topics are assigned a category, rather than “hard” sub-forum like in other systems (ie, phpBB for example.) I think it was a better way to do things. It is very clunky in the other systems when moving topic threads from one forum to another. In Discourse it’s simple,… reassign the category property, and the topic lists in the assigned category.

And BTW, this is a question better asked at Discourse Meta.


Steve, we also have the tag system. Would putting “badge” and “basecamp” tags on your post be an alternate means to the same end ?

[quote=“DanRathbun, post:2, topic:27930”]
And BTW, this is a question better asked at Discourse Meta.
[/quote](Emphasis in the above by me, not in the original)

Is it? Although I’m not familiar with Discourse beyond my use here, I see a binary set of circumstances: Either Discourse allows only 1 category/post or Discourse allows multiple categories/post - configurable by administrators - and our administrators have chose to limit the number to 1. In the latter case, there exists a choice for our forum administrators: How many categories/post shall we allow?

Since I participate here, it seemed reasonable to me to ask here first.

On the post which prompted me to create this topic, I ended up doing just that. I put it in category “Basecamp” with tags “meta” and “badge”. I’m thinking people few will likely find it through a search - and frankly, the topic was specialized enough that people aren’t likely to find it accidently.

So that leaves people who (like myself) at least glance at ALL posts and people who browse around. It’s this latter group that might, occasionally, benefit if a post could be associated with multiple categories.

I created this topic because, for my first time, I had to agonize over which Category to use - and had nearly equally valid arguments for both categories. I chose to put it into “Basecamp” since it is precisely the forum members who attended Basecamp who will benefit when the Forum administrators get around to bestowing the promised badge.

In the greater scheme of things, I can’t claim that the ability to create a single post associated with more than one category is a “must have” change. It’s more a tangential thought of mine along the lines of “Gee, wouldn’t it be nice if …” For that reason, I’m not likely to join the Discourse forum in order to ask there. It’s just that my mind frequently follows tangential (and admittedly sometimes trivial) thoughts and I can’t stop thinking about them until I’ve done something active - in this case my original post in this thread!

Fine. I have no problem with a thread here. (We are both enjoying this “geeky” discussion, are we not?) I used the word “better” not “rather”.

You need not be a member at Discourse Meta in order to search and browse there. A simple search such as this:
https://meta.discourse.org/search?q=categories%20multiple
reveals that it has been “discussed to death”, and that Jeff Atwood (a co-founder of StackOverflow) lastly said in one of the more recent threads asking this question, that:

and then he locked the topic. (Meaning discussion over, the decision is made. Discourse is his baby, and when he feels the decision is made, he also feels anymore discussion is worthless noise, so he often posts these thread closing kind of statements, then locks the topic.)

He has a lot of experience dealing with tags and categories at StackOverflow.


I myself do not feel the necessity for a thread linked to multiple categories. (Ie to me categorization goes along the lines of classification, which is usually hierarchical. Tagging on the other hand seems more like association to me. It is a modifier used for filtering.)


Re your post: I myself would have put the post in the “Meta” category, with a “basecamp” tag, as it is basically about a forum function. Then in the Basecamp category thread I would have put a notice at the end of the “BaseCamp 2016” announcement thread, (or did a “Reply in New Topic” from that thread,) so that there was some cross-linkage.

But, then no one will lose any sleep because it’s in this rather than that category.