Category, Group, Tag Descriptions as Topics

Category descriptions are topics. Group and Tag descriptions are not.

This feature wants to achieve two things:

  1. Make Category, Group, and Tag descriptions topics, so that all composer features can be used when describing one of these entry points to the community and conversation.

  2. Use the specificity of this description topic pattern to enable theme-component views of Categories, Groups, and Tags descriptions where they can appear, e.g., above the topic list (and be minimized).

Category description

The category description is a topic. But we lack the capacity to display the first post of this description topic on the category page itself. When we link to feature we are another click away from its description: About the feature category.

With the category description at hand, the topic list view can be a lot more welcoming and useful to browse according to an up-to-date, full description of the category.

It could be useful as well to enable the category description (or part of it) to be visible to people with no access, e.g., when they are curious about a category but do not know whether they should join it or not. Group descriptions may be used instead at this point, especially for the “Join/Request” membership groups. In this case, it would be useful to be able to link #some-group-accessible-category to popup the (public part of) category description, or group description, instead of no link, where a member would reach the category itself. (That is a feature in itself.)

Group description

Currently the group description is what comes closest to a category description, and is useful as such, to inform readers about the group’s specificity (e.g., gives access to this and that categories — see the last paragraph in the previous section) and give access to other parts of the forum (including topics, categories, tags, or other groups).

Tag description

Currently, tag descriptions do not support Markdown, hence they cannot be used to link to an explanation topic, categories, nor groups. If they had a topic attached, instead, tag descriptions could be quoted into documentation topics, and so on.

What do you think? Am I missing some existing theme-component that can do it?

This is a follow-up to Workspace Views.


It depends on how you link to the category. When you use the link to the category the description is shown.

Maybe you could also use something like Category Banners.

I think that is possible with Category Previews

This is not what I meant. When you use feature in a sentence, it links to the category’s topic list. It could link to the category description topic instead, or the topic list could have it embedded.

Thank you for this pointer. I didn’t know about it!

But then something like “Have a look at the theme-component category” wouldn’t work. Usually the category description shows as a pinned topic at the top. So when you click feature you will esaily find it.

Maybe you unpinned the description (manually or because Automatically unpin topics when I reach the bottom. in your profile settings is active).

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Indeed, when a pinned topic is unpinned, there’s no easy way to find it back.

You can use search: #category in:pinned

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We have a theme component aimed at solving this:

We have just enabled it here on Meta, so you can check how it looks like when you visit a category like feature or ux.


Yes but no: I want the category description in place of the category banner. Why use two different things?

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It’s the same thing, it’s using the description from the category topic, and showing it as a banner. See:

the category banner)

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Not it’s not! This theme component is not using the whole first post of category description as a cooked post.


OK, I see what you mean, but it’s by design. It’s the same description that is shown via both the category Oneboxes and the pinned category topic in the topic list, so it’s consistent across all places.

Maybe an iterative improvement to it would be having a link to the original topic if the first paragraph is not the entire cooked post.


It could work a bit like the quote: expanding upon clicking quote details button, so that the first paragraph would always be there as a reminder, and useful category links would be available right away on demand.

Once the category description is unpinned, and there are lots of topics, it’s hard to find if you don’t know the in:pinned search option.

I have another similar idea for Topics: the first post could be accessible from anywhere in the topic, which would make it more potent as a consolidation tool (and to comment on published pages)… But I’m getting ahead of myself.

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If it works better for you, you can change the default of the unpinning behaviour with automatically unpin topics or default topics automatic unpin.