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I assume that the basic topic lists should contain all basic topics for a given area, whether wikipedia articles already exist for them or not? If this is correct, the first sentence of the parent page should be changed. --AxelBoldt


Yes, I'd say so. --LMS


Why Philosophy is grouped with 'Mathematics and Natural Science' ? It has nothing to do with them. --Taw

Actually, I think philosophy and mathematics go well together, but not with natural science. --Seb

About how many basic topics should there be in each area (I know this will vary, but approximately)? -- sodium

For biochemistry, the Stryer has an index of >5.000 items (including subitems). So, for all of biology, 1.000 wouldn't be too much, for sure? --Magnus Manske

I think we need to define the term basic. I myself would not expect to see a list of 1000 items if it purports to be basic. What is the goal? These efforts look more like "comprehensive index of most related articles" rather than "basic topics". For example, in my opinion, Music basic topics should not list every composer one can think of. That belongs in biographical listings and the Composer page. It is going to become a maintenance nightmare to keep up these redundant lists. When I get around to adding Sousaphone, I'm going to have to add it to Music basic topics, musical instrument, wind instruments, and probably another list somewhere that I can't even think of yet. That's not going to be practical. --Alan Millar

Yep. Basic topics shouldn't be comprehensive, but simply present the foundational topics needed to start exploring a given area of knowledge. --STG

Right, the point is to rack our brains (and explore sources of topics such as subject area encyclopedias and the complete list of encyclopedia topics) to fill out a relatively small subset of topics that should be covered in an area before any other topics--the "top priorities." Maybe the page should live at encyclopedia article top priorities... This will probably be, I estimate, 10% of all the topics in any given area. The point of compiling these lists is to find what gaps we need to fill--so that we can fill them! Moreover, this could be considered the first draft of a list of topics for a Wikipedia desktop encyclopedia. Basically, we want to have at least articles about all the topics that are in a general desktop encyclopedia. --LMS