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Taxonomy or Categories in Drupal
Taxonomy in Drupal was confusing to me at first. All I wanted was a simple category system for my website. What is this Taxonomy stuff? In it's most simplistic form taxonomies are categories.
I'll quote Wikipedia:
Taxonomies, or taxonomic schemes, are composed of taxonomic units known as taxa (singular taxon), or kinds of things that are arranged frequently in a hierarchical structure, typically related by subtype-supertype relationships, also called parent-child relationships. In such a subtype-supertype relationship the subtype kind of thing has by definition the same constraints as the supertype kind of thing plus one or more additional constraints. For example, car is a subtype of vehicle. So any car is also a vehicle, but not every vehicle is a car. So, a thing needs to satisfy more constraints to be a car than to be a vehicle.
How about Drupal's explanation:
The taxonomy module allows you to classify content into categories and subcategories; it allows multiple lists of categories for classification (controlled vocabularies) and offers the possibility of creating thesauri (controlled vocabularies that indicate the relationship of terms), taxonomies (controlled vocabularies where relationships are indicated hierarchically), and free vocabularies where terms, or tags, are defined during content creation. To view and manage the terms of each vocabulary, click on the associated list terms link. To delete a vocabulary and all its terms, choose "edit vocabulary".
How's that for confusing. Let's say hypothetically I am building a website on cars. All I want is a category for car brands, such as Ford, Toyota, and Chevrolet. As I add an article on a car, I wand to categorize it under a brand. This is a simple category. Can Drupal do it with this Taxonomy stuff? Absolutely!
But first, a few basics. Taxonomy is a module. It is one of Drupal's core modules and is on by default. This means that a base install has categories on by default.
Now on to categories. Think of Taxonomy as categories and you will have jumped a major hurdle. In fact, Drupal 5 calls them categories! The module is Taxonomy, but from there Drupal calls them categories. To get to the category settings, you must go to Content Management. Under this menu you will see Categories. This is where you set up your vocabularies (category names) and terms.
So, Vocabulary is category heading. Term is the type. In my hypothetical car website, Vocabulary is auto brands. While Ford, Toyota, and Chevrolet are the terms. So if I wrote an article about the Toyota Prius, I can assign it to the category term Toyota.
Taxonomy will do a lot more, such as you can have multiple vocabularies, and you can assign vocabularies to different content types, but I'll keep this lesson to the basics. Keep it simple, and you'' be fine. Drupal rocks!