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Forums: Helping Hand > Sort categories for individuals

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This started as a discussion on my talk page but I thought it would be better to move it here.

I would prefer to see that we sort individuals by first name, not by last name, because:

  • It's more natural in this day and age (personal opinion)
  • Most people know characters by first name (Bruenor, or Regis, but they might not necessarily know the last names)
  • Category lists look odd when there's loads of article names that appear to be out of order (it takes a while for people to realise they're categorised by last name, since they have to be listed by first name in category lists, regardless of sorting)
  • It is going to be a massive amount of work to change over everything on the wiki
  • It's more complicated to sort by last name, because we need to tell new editors to put category sort keys in the relevant places, and it's just a hassle we could do without, I think.

Other opinions and views welcome, of course!

17:47, April 26, 2012 (UTC) Fw190a8


FW, I'm pretty much on the fence on this one... mainly, I'd like to know the rule, so, like Cronje, I can enforce it rigorously :) BadCat did demonstrate using DEFAULTSORT does work, see Thoyana Jorgadaul... and none of the categories need to be changed! On the other hand, I agree most people know the characters by first names. As an editor, I cannot stand to see the name in the category section, such as Category:Dwarves:Battlehammer, Bruenor or even worst Category:Inhabitants of neutral good alignment:Battlehammer, Bruenor. So if we put a stop to this, that would be very cool!
Darkwynters 22:37, April 26, 2012 (UTC)


I came from the Star Trek Memory Beta wikia, which uses the FamilyName, GivenName method of sorting. That works well with the semi-military setting and way of referring to characters by family name (Kirk, Picard) used in the source material. Just about every encyclopaedia and wiki uses this method, including the Star Wars Wookieepedia, the Doctor Who Wiki, and Wikipedia itself. Some wikias have the DefaultSort template as a shortcut on the editing page.

It's useful to help cluster family and clan members together. For example, on the Category:Drow page, all the Do'Urdens sit together like one big happy family. If you look for one, you can easily find the rest. The Battlehammers, meanwhile, are semi-scattered around Category:Dwarves.

That said, I do agree it can look very strange on characters/creatures who have only one name (dragons, etc) and people known only by a first name or nickname or by a patronymic ("son of", "mac", "sar", "el"/"al"), so inevitably you get a "Margaret" next to a "Marshall, Bob". The system is also probably less relevant in a fantasy setting like Forgotten Realms where we call everyone by a given name anyway (and people keep getting names like Drizzt Do'Urden wrong).

I guess I'm on the fence too. But it is neater to fit to a common, widely used standard, and would lean towards

Of course, whatever happens with GivenName FamilyName characters, the opposite will need to be done with FamilyName GivenName characters, say those in Kara-Tur. And there are still many pages with category sorting already in use (long before I got here), one was or another, so making it uniform across the wiki will be a lot of work either way.

BadCatMan 08:53, April 29, 2012 (UTC)
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