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Contributions Changed

Hi Steve
I was just over at some of the pages that I developed in Suffolk. I took 24 pages in Hoxne Hundred and see now that Djbrewer (this person has no user page so I know nothing about them) has decided to add his or her flavor to them. I spent hours and days of editing and rewritng them to get them to that point and to see that is disheartening. I personally consider it unprofessional rude and insulting. I'm surely not going to take my time to develope pages to see them being altered like that. There are 500 parishes in Suffolk, all I was working on was 25 of them. This is the second time this has happened where someone alphabetically goes through parishes and makes changes without any regard for what is there. It don't make sense for me to go through and undo time and time again what I create on pages. I'll come back next month and see what is going on. Donjgen 02:38, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Hi Don, I sympathise with you, seeing your contributions effectively ignored. I hope to attend the Contributors Meeting webinar this evening and I will raise this issue. I have a feeling that the contributor in question is a volunteer at the Family History Library and has been assigned a task and is following it without considering the effects. Please know that your contribution are valued and I hope to resolve this inconsiderate removal of your welcome additions. --Steve (talk| contribs) 16:22, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Hi Steve, I see the problem is not with the volunteers. There basically doing what there being told to do. The Family History Library is following a unwritten rule book that uses volunteers that have no user page to identify themselves and do not participate in the contributors England Parish pages. They alphabetically go down a list of parishes making changes. The few parish pages I created did not look like all the others so they make it conform. I created those pages to be expanded upon not to be torn down. The volunteers are not independent enough to think outside of what they have been told.
As a result I was not aware that the two online National Gazetteers are approved for introductory comments. I use county gazetteers that are online. I also see that a draft census template is being put on every page. I created alternate census templates that are just ignored. It appears that it is ignored because I am not part of the club.
Maybe its not a good idea that I don't add anything more until the unwritten rule book becomes transparent. Donjgen 23:26, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Hi Don, I don't think there are "approved" and "non-approved" sources. Surely if multiple sources are available each have their merit. My personal opinion is that short excerpts are given from the sources available, with external links to the whole text, if it is available online, or quoting a ISBN, WorldCat and/or other references to help others find a copy of the source.
I agree it would aid in collaboration if the plans that staff and volunteers from the FHL are working to were added to the wiki. The signs are there that a co-ordinated effort is being worked on, but this is not shared beyond the FHL. I'm going to be attending the Contributors Meeting later and will raise this issue. --Steve (talk| contribs) 12:54, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Hi Steve, I got the impression from the volunteer when I inquired as to why he changed the some of the pages I developed. A lot of excuses and one of them is directions from the Library Staff. The material and source that I had there was replaced with such inferior material. This discussion needs to continue on the England Project page. The 'Vision of Britain' is a good gazetteer but is is not Parish History material for the most part. Many parishes are very small and have only a few sentences in the gazetteer. It really don't make sense to take a few sentences and reduce it down to a few more sentences and call that the parish history excerpt. It looks like systematically this is what is being done to every parish. There is a Gazetteer section on every page that one would think is where gazetteer entries would go. I'll post my thoughts on that over on the England Project pages. Donjgen 06:13, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Hi Don, hopefully I will soon be able to talk with those who are directing the work of the Library staff and volunteers, with a view to understand their goals and help them understand that there are other contributors willing to help. What we need is to align our efforts so that we don't work at cross purposes. Thank you for comments. --Steve (talk| contribs) 12:20, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Policy changes

Since it appears Steve is considering this issue seriously and may consider policy changes I feel comments by other contributors are appropriate.
I don't believe that there is even an issue here. This appears to be a simple example of BRD, which stands for: be < bold > and make the changes that you believe are necessary - if anyone else disagrees with the change < revert > it - and if the person making the change feels strongly about then it is time to < discuss>. I believe Familysearches version of this is at FamilySearch Wiki:Guiding Principles-Bold. To ask permission of previous editors before making changes will bring this wiki to a screeching halt.
In addition, since this was originally an issue about content on a page, it should have been brought up on that page's talk page. I'm really shocked to see Donjgen calling other wiki users "unprofessional and rude" on their talk page and again on an administrator's talk page simply for making a change he disagreed with. Calling other contributors "unprofessional and rude" on their talk page and again "unprofessional rude and insulting" on an administrators talk page is disruptive and violates FamilySearch Wiki's Talk page guidelines:Behavior that is unacceptable. Perhaps he was just upset, but that is no excuse. Furthermore, giving the other contributor only 23 minutes to respond before taking the complaint to an administrator is at best unreasonable. Lotje2 01:00, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes I would not want to see a situation where contributors didn't want to make any change without consulting other previous contributor. We must remember to assume good faith. However it is also worth explaining edits using the edit summary (which many contributors do not) or even better, and of great help to explain major changes, to use the talk page of the article. I do think in the example Don has encountered that contributors are following a "script" and changing page to conform to a FHL basic guideline, without taking into account a page that has been developed beyond the basic form they have in mind. Hopefully we can get the people involved on all sides to talk through the issues and find a way to work together to improve the wiki. --Steve (talk| contribs) 12:54, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Templates on the Spanish wiki

I have recently created several templates for the Spanish wiki. Users on the Spanish wiki can now create navigational templates as well as flag pages for deletion-(now fixed) and merging. I also created a translation template that allows users to flag a page and point to the page on the English or other language wikis. I was wondering if you think it would be a good idea to add the ability to point to the page on other language wikis to the {{Translation needed}} template as well. Also, I created the translation templates with the format parameter 1 = page name and parameter 2 = country code, but I'm wondering if that should be reversed. Either way I think the format should be the same for all translation templates. The problem with country code first is that it makes the country code required all the time unless parameters are named and does not allow for a simple default. At least that is my understanding. H-langs has the opposite format. Let me know what you think. Lotje2 01:48, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Hi Lotje2, if you haven't already I would suggest contacting Charles Smith who has been working on the other language wikis. I'm sure he would welcome the contact.
Can you explain, with an example, your suggestion for the {{Translation needed}} on that template's talk page. I'm not sure I completely understand what you would like to achieve, regardless of how it is implemented - what do you envision? I think you would like to add a link from say the English wiki for a given article to a different language wiki for the article that has been translated. Or have I misunderstood.
I can see that you created the template {{ill-2}}. Looking at this it seems to have the first unamed parameter as language code, second parameter (optional) page name. Is this the template to which you are referring?
With unamed parameters you can set a default by using the code {{{1|default}}}
{{H-langs}} is different in that it uses named parameters for each language code with the page name/title as the value.
--Steve (talk| contribs) 13:19, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
Hi Steve, yes I see what you mean about {{H-langs}} being different. Nevertheless, since it uses the format - language code first, then page name - I think we should probably use that format to keep the templates similar and easy for users to remember, unless you can think of a compelling reason to put the language code second. I should probably change the order of the parameters on the two templates I created on the Spanish wiki so they are similar to H-langs.
The templates I was referring to at the beginning of my comments were the two I created on the Spanish wiki. You will see one of them if you click on the link in the example template I placed on the talk page for the {{Translation needed}} template.
You may have misunderstood. I was not talking about creating a link in the article itself to a translated article, but a link to the requested article which may not exist yet in the {{Translation needed}} template so that anyone answering the request will know where to put it. Things can often be translated several ways and someone may have a location in mind when making the request especially if they have already created red links or if the other language wiki has specific guidelines for naming.
Yes {{ill-2}} is the other template I was referring to.
Some standard images for the templates on the Spanish wiki would be nice if anyone has time. Lotje2 07:22, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining that, of course you were referring to the templates created in the other language wikis -doh! I like you suggestion for {{Translation needed}} and have added my comment to the talk page. As for getting some of the standard images uploaded to the language wikis, Charles Smith has been uploading images to these wikis. I see you have posted to his talk page about fixing a template. I'm sure that if you ask him to upload a list of images needed, that Charles will get that done. --Steve (talk| contribs) 13:08, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Meesden, Hertfordshire

Steve, as I started reading over the page on Meesden, Hertfordshire. I am not sure if there is still a problem. Please Could you get me a little me insight to what has happened and you feelings. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jenson1 (talk | contribs) 17:46, 2 July 2012

Hi Rorie, I had a look at the article Meesden, Hertfordshire. I could not see a problem with this article, nor is there anything on the article talk page. I see that I did make some changes to this page in January, March and May of this year. Each time I did, it was part of a process to replace some boilerplate text with a template or something more consistent with other articles. I'm not sure why you thought there was a problem! --Steve (talk| contribs) 12:52, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Arabic message

I'm a bit concerned about something that has shown up today on Help:Creating a new WikiProject written in Arabic. Do you know what we should do about it? Murphynw 23:11, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Hi Nathan, I looked at the page in question. I can see that you now resolved the issue. I would have done what you did. --Steve (talk| contribs) 12:23, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Records questions

Does anyone monitor this Category:Questions about Record Collections? It takes weeks or months for users to add the {{Records question}} template in the first place

Question.png A question for the FamilySearch Historical Records project
Note to helpers: Once you have offered help, please replace this template with {{Helpme-helped}}.
Genealogy montage reasonably small.jpg

and even then it appears the questions simply sit in this category unanswered. I don't think users expect to pose questions on the talk pages with the expectation that they will be answered months later or possibly never. Does the category need to be added to a list of maintenance tasks? -- Lotje2 20:11, 15 July 2012 (UTC) 
This template is fairly new (created in January 2012) and I don't think the category is being monitored as well as it might. Most of the wiki support team are volunteers and have a range of tasks that they deal with. This specific template was created as many question were specific to the record collections and not general questions that the wiki support team could answer. However they could help monitoring the number outstanding and prompt the records team that many are still unanswered. --Steve (talk| contribs) 12:29, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Linking question

Hi Steve! Quick it possible to force the wiki to open a new tab or new window when you click on a link? I'm thinking specifically of clicking on a FHLC or Historical Records collections link without losing the wiki page. Thanks! BatsonDL 19:41, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes it is possible to include code to have links open in a new window/tab. Is there a consensus within FamilySearch that this should happen for links to collections?
The default setting for how the wiki handles external links (ie those with the external.png image) is defined in the Setting $wgExternalLinkTarget. If you wanted all external links to open in new windows/tabs an engineer would need to change this setting. However, whatever that setting is, you could add code to specific links so that it behaves as you define. --Steve (talk| contribs) 12:38, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
No, there is no consensus or talk about changing all FamilySearch links. (Although I wish there was.) We are making some cemetery charts on Pennsylvania county pages linking to cemetery websites.  And it is so nice for the person to click off to another page then easily get back to the chart for the next link. We wanted to make it consistant down the line with the link as well as the external links. We would use that code for the specific links only. Are there instructions somewhere? Thanks! BatsonDL 21:20, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Hide/show link on navboxes

Hi Steve, I have the Navbox template (renamed Plantilla:Navegación) working on the Spanish wiki, but the hide/show link is missing. Do you know why? Am I missing a sub-template? Lotje2 06:18, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Hi, you are not missing a sub-template, but the JavaScript coding needed for collapsible tables that can be found in MediaWiki:Common.js and documented in Manual:Collapsible elements. --Steve (talk| contribs) 12:47, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Hi Steve. Thanks for all your help. I went to add the JavaScript coding on the Spanish wiki. but I don't have the access level required to do so. I could ask Charles, but I'm not sure he has the ability to either. What should I do? Lotje2 23:23, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Hi, I think you right. I don't think Charles has the rights to update the MediaWiki:Common.js. A user needs administrator rights to edit pages in the MediaWiki namespace. There are only 7 such users listed Especial:ListaUsuarios. I suggest you post something on their talk pages or on the MediaWiki Discusión:Common.js talk page itself referring to the code used in the English version of the wiki. --Steve (talk| contribs) 15:39, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Poor Law Template issue


Thanks for cleaning up the England Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc. page and the changes I made to the Poor Law template. I do notice a problem with the template, though. At the bottom of the England Poorhouse, Poor Law, etc. page, the template renders a box, but the "Poor Law" links in the title and the "Records of the Poor" link just below the title aren't links. When looking at the template page itself, it renders correctly, and when the template is invoked on various other pages, it works correctly, but on this page and a few other pages, the template renders a box with those two links inactivated. I can't see what's wrong. Can you figure it out? Alan 16:09, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Hi Alan, the way the template is working is how it is intended to work. When the template is added to a given page, if that page is linked to from the template, rather than a link showing the words are bolded. Look at the template on the Pre-1834 page or one of the county pages, for example Dorset Poor Law Unions. You will notice that on those pages the links to the same page are no longer links but bold text. --Steve (talk| contribs) 15:45, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Tables and templates (Replication)

Can tables be "saved" to be used like a template? Could a table be saved as a template? Need some guidance on this, and told you will know the answer. Donchallis 21:24, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Hi Don, yes tables can be used in Templates. Is that what you mean, when you say "like a template"? Anything that can be put on a regular page, can be used in a template. Templates can be used to repeat the same information in many places, so that when the template is edited all the places it has been used are updated in one go.
If you explain more about what you want to achieve, I'm sure that I will be able to help you create what is needed to do this. --Steve (talk| contribs) 12:10, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

I have a table that I want to have the table and headings with user data cells:

Donchallis 13:33, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Hi Don, I have looked at the table in the article Professional Genealogists Who Specialize in Ohio Research. If I understand your request, you would like to set-up a template that creates the framework for the table including the headers, but leaving the other cells blank ready for new data. On that basis I have created the template {{Professional Genealogists Table}} which you can add to an article by using the code {{subst:Professional Genealogists Table}}. This will copy the wikicode for the table into the article in question. I have added documentation to the template to explain how this can be used, but please ask more questions of me here if I've not understood what you have asked of me. --Steve (talk| contribs) 15:56, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Wiki Project User boxes

Hi Steve, I haven't been on the wiki for a while and I seem to be having trouble finding the England and England Parishes project pages. The search engine does not work. I think it may be a good idea to create a user boxes for the County Talk pages or other pages. I put the existing ones I found on Talk:Suffolk. Instead of saying Userbox for WikiProject England perhaps it should say Participate in WikiProject England The bottom part of the User Box may be worded differently as well. Donjgen 02:06, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi Don, I have removed the userboxes that you placed on the Talk:Suffolk page and replaced them with the project template {{WikiProject England}} which is designed to be used to mark articles within the scope of the FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject England. Does this solve the problem you and others may be having? I have added this template on some of the main topic pages for England (see Category:WikiProject England articles), but it could and should be added to the talk pages of all the English County pages. --Steve (talk| contribs) 16:18, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi Steve, I think it might be useful to create a small box to put on the on county pages. I noticed on the England page that there are some small boxes along the left edge. It could be put there as well. Also for the England Parish WikiProject page as well. Donjgen 21:45, 2 August 2012 (UTC)


Hi Steve,

I hope I didn't cause you any headache with those cats. I had hoped you would have contacted me first before making any more changes. I suspected you might want to revert them, but wasn't sure. I did them all at the same time to make it easy to revert them using my edit history. Normally I would have left the cats alone, but I wanted to add the country cats to the records collections cats as I saw many of the individual pages were being added to the country cats.I wanted to do that before every country had hundreds of pages that would have to be recategorized. Have you got everything the way you want it or do you want my help to put things a certain way. -- Lotje2 06:55, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

No problem. I did leave a message on the Category talk:United Kingdom FamilySearch Historical Records, which I see you have replied to. I did not think it was so important to leave a message on your user talk page if that is what you expected. I think adding the country categories to these FamilySearch Historical Records categories was a good idea. However I think it is important to have both "British Isles" and "United Kingdom" as sub-categories to "European". Yes the "United Kingdom" is within the "British Isles", but the British Isles is not a country itself and the majority of the other sub-categories within "European" are for countries. A case could be made to have "England", "Scotland" and "Wales" also added as sub-cats of "European", but I think having both "British Isles" and "United Kingdom" mitigates this need. --Steve (talk| contribs) 12:54, 2 August 2012 (UTC)


Hi Steve,

Love your work in the Wiki. About the Talk:Durham discussion. I do agree with all you state and after waiting several months for someone to voice something; I have moved this page to show agreement, however with out other voices I can see your problem with making changes. I have seen that once something is done then the voices sometimes are brought out. I will assist you if this is your belief that this will help in the organization of the English pages. Sandralpond 12:31, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks Sandra, I appreciate your support. For now I will continue to wait. --Steve (talk| contribs) 17:21, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

PD-self template problems

Hi Steve,

Any idea why this image is appearing as part of the PD-self template? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Murphynw (talk | contribs) 16:04, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Hi Nathan, I found that the problem was being caused by an edit to the redirect Template:Image other by Lidursteler who had added an image. I have undone the edit and the problem is fixed. --Steve (talk| contribs) 17:09, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Image upload form

Steve, in our contributor meeting last week, we discussed the upload form for images. I'm going to do a sample of one with changes that were suggested. We're wondering if you know if we could have a drop down box on it for the CC licenses, like the one the page that we use to upload the images, from Special pages? averyld 20:46, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi Lynda, the list of licenses that is available from the Special:Upload page come from the MediaWiki:Licenses page. From what I understand the Special:EmailFile form was created by FamilySearch engineers. To add the list of licenses to this page would require a rewrite of this page by the FamilySearch engineers. In saying that I can't see any reason why this form could not be rewritten to include a drop down box using the MediaWiki:Licenses page so when that is updated the list of available options is also updated. --Steve (talk| contribs) 17:19, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks.  We've been given permission to come up with a better page for this and we'll ask the engineers to include that.  We weren't sure how that had been done.averyld 20:34, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Unexplained indenting on page

Hi, Steve, there is some unexplained indenting on our Experimental County page, starting with the Births area. It is just fine until the second span of years (1856-1897) which is indented and should not be -- and everything from that point on is indented further than intended. To me it looks like we have been careful to close indents. Do you see something I cannot because I am too close. Or is there a little blip in the program -- or could it be affected by the CSS? Do you have any ideas? The problem also occurs on pages where we are starting to adapt to the specific counties. Thanks, Steve, AdkinsWH 20:56, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi Wilma, I'm not sure exactly why, but this behaviour was being caused by indenting the {{tip}} template in the Before 1856 sub-section. I have removed the colon which was infront of the template and the following paragraphs are now line up as expected. --Steve (talk| contribs) 21:17, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Steve. You are a genius! Wilma
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