Discourse uses a taxonomy of categories and topics. We have provided a small number of categories that cover the broad areas that we often discuss. In Discourse, a category is mandatory for each post.

For technical reasons, posts initiated from email go to the General category, based on the address, I am very reluctant to make an email address set for all the categories. Perhaps if a category other than General is appropriate, start the topic on the web forum interface.

If anybody feels the need for a category I have not created, feel free to suggest it. But I don’t want to have dozens and dozens.

(Offtopic … or is it?)

Decades before the Internet, science students were taught that taxonomy was a very important concept science, in technology and generally in professional life … This applied particularly to computer science. When in the 90s I started browsing the web, something I disliked was that taxonomy had been largely set aside.

If you are looking, say, for “harpsichord quill preparation techniques”, the “taxonomy” way would be to search for a first level of categories “Music”, a second “Instruments”, then “Harpsichord”, then “Maintenance”, then “Quilling”, then “Quill” and finally “Techniques”. If it is there in the web, you would get it, exactly what you need, in a few seconds.

But we all know that this is not the way the www works: you have to enter a few words in a search engine, juggle around with the quotes, and then either you have thousands of hits and have to refine and refine many times, or else you have almost no hits yet you suspect the matter is there (but you really do not know!) and keep trying … Sometimes it is easy, others unnervingly slow … It would be good if any webpage developer was forced to enter it into a taxonomy, but no generally agreed taxonomy exists for the web at large, which is a real pity.

Indeed, many persons find is “less complicated” to follow the www “mantra”:
“Forget about rules and schemes for rationally organising data, files, folders, whatever!
If you are good at ‘googling’ you will find anything with no fuss.”
Which, as we all know (experienced “googlers” included), is often not the case, especially if you start off with fuzzy or incomplete data for your search.

Countless times I have visited friends, students, customers, who just could not find a file in their computers or a past-visited webpage online. Actually, I hardly know anybody who organises rationally the files in his/her computer, or the URLs of “favourite” websites.

If your personal printed books library is rationally organised, you can find any of thousands of books on the spot. The same applies to personal computer stuff: I find that having it organised takes a minimal effort and pays off handsomely:

Back to Discourse, whether its taxonomy is good or else, I applaud the idea and I am sure it will be very helpful.