Modifying the category system

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Modifying the category system

This is my first post here so ... hello and a big thank you to the  
everyone involved in the development of mediawiki.

I am thinking of significantly modifying the way categories are  
handled on my mediawiki site and i'm looking for advice, insights,  
warnings etc about my plan.

There are two things i'm trying to achieve:

1) Create a category manager for articles that would allow users with  
no understanding of wikitext to easily update an article's  
categories. I would continue to use the categorylinks table as it  
exists. But i would have a link on each article page to a custom  
Special page that allowed users to add/remove categories for that  
article. I would disable the parsing of category links on article  
pages so that my custom Special page was  the only way for users to  
update categories.

2) Create numeric categories that can have units associated with them  
and can be sorted and manipulated as integers. These categories would  
need to have both a name and a value. The name would exist in the  
current categorylinks table just like any other category. However, i  
would build new tables to hold the values and units for these numeric  
categories. Examples: Volume: 12 oz, Storage capacity 128 mb.

It seems like i *should* be ok as long as i ...
a) don't modify the structure of the categorylinks table
b) rely on the built in functions of mediawiki to add and remove  
items from the table
c) create a special page to manage categories (rather than messing  
with the internals of mediawiki)

I say this knowing fairly little about mediawiki. So please tell me  
if i'm missing something very important here.

A few questions ...
Has anyone here made similar changes to the category system?
Can anyone know point me towards any documentation that would help me  

Are there any current plans to redesign the way categories are  
managed in a future version of mediawiki? Will categories continue to  
be managed through the wiki text of the articles themselves for the  
forseeable future?


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