FamilySearch Wiki talk:Naming a Project

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Divergence in project titles

Title Namespace Comments
FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject U.S. Census FamilySearch Wiki The word Wikiproject helpfully indicates this is a project within this wiki.
Wikiproject US Census Main The word Wikiproject helpfully indicates this is a project within this wiki.
FamilySearch Wikiproject: Danish Jurisdictions Main The colon in the title and the words preceding it may lead some users to erroneously believe that a FamilySearch Wikiproject namespace exists.
Maryland Barn Raising Tasks Main The word Tasks indicates a form of project.
North Carolina Barn Raising Main We learned from some Brits that the term Barn Raising doesn't mean anything there. Project seems better.
FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Integrating Place Standards Database with FamilySearch Wiki FamilySearch Wiki What an enormous title!
Task to Copy Research Guidance and Help Content Main The termTask indicates a form of project.

Project titles are getting too long

Note that FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Integrating Place Standards Database with FamilySearch Wiki and FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Linking to Books in the BYU Family History Archives use the same naming and namespace conventions as projects on Wikipedia (see Wikipedia:WikiProject Alternative music). Sensible conventions, but long titles! Wikipedia's product namespace is simply "Wikipedia" where ours is "FamilySearch Wiki." Such a long namespace title bloats any title incorporating that namespace.

And it may get worse: Months ago, under pressure from other managers who believe FamilySearch may have multiple wikis one day, wiki management renamed this wiki from FamilySearch Wiki to FamilySearch Research Wiki. By domino effect, that may force a change of our FamilySearch Wiki namespace to FamilySearch Research Wiki. Imagine a title FamilySearch Research Wiki:WikiProject Linking to Books in the BYU Family History Archives. Can you imagine if all the titles in the wiki's product namespace were all preceded with "FamilySearch Research Wiki:" -- wow, what long titles we'd have, Grandma! Ritcheymt 23:10, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Main or other namespace?

It seems a good idea to have project pages in a namespace other than Main. Over time, the wiki could ostensibly have a project for, say, each of the types of U.S. records. So there'd be one for U.S. Census, U.S. cemetery records, and so forth. Users searching for census articles would run into the census project page(s). Doesn't feel like a good experience. We may find at some point that project pages are spamming search engine results, at which point we might want to have projects not appear in the default search results. If all projects were in a namespace other than Main, it would be easy to exclude them from default search results. If projects were all in the Main namespace, however, excluding them from the default search would be a nightmare. So Wikipedia probably has a good reason for having projects reside in the WikiPedia namespace. Ritcheymt 23:34, 14 December 2009 (UTC) 

Argument against FamilySearch Wiki namespace

Of all the articles in the FamilySearch Wiki namespace, project pages have a greater chance of having the same keywords as regular articles -- keywords for localities and record types, for instance. Thus, project pages have a greater chance of spamming search results for users seeking regular articles. In addition, projects have the potential to far outnumber everything else in the FamilySearch Wiki namespace. So at some point down the road we found that project pages are spamming search results unlike anything else in the FamilySearch Wiki namespace, we would not have the option to just suppress project pages from the default search. It'd be all or nothing: suppress the whole FamilySearch namespace or don't. If projects were in a seperate namespace it'd be easy to suppress them -- and just them -- from search. Ritcheymt 23:39, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Create project namespace?

What if we replaced titles like FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject Linking to Books in the BYU Family History Archives to WikiProject:Linking to Books in the BYU Family History Archives or FamilySearch WikiProject:Linking to Books in the BYU Family History Archives. To do this, we'd need one of two things:

  1. A community decision to create a new namespace called "WikiProject." In this case, the use of the string "WikiProject:" in the beginning of a title would place the resulting page in the WikiProject namespace. Or...
  2. ...a community decision that we want projects to reside in the main namespace. In this case, the use of the words "WikiProject:" in the beginning of the title would not place the page in a special namespace.

G Fröberg Morris' title FamilySearch Wikiproject: Danish Articles Needing Revision captures that the page is about a project and that the project is on FamilySearch Wiki (for outsiders doing a Google search). Ritcheymt 23:10, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

If FamilySearch is thinking of having more than one Wiki, then the namespace "WikiProject" might be confused with the other Wikis. Maybe "Research WikiProject" would work, but it is long. I hope we get other ideas from the community. Franjensen 15:57, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
I can see the benefit of have a WikiProject or Project namespace. It would be helpful to understand what other FamilySearch wikis are in the pipeline and how they will effect the Research Wiki. Will they be part of the same MediaWiki installation, ie at sharing the same namespaces or will they be on a different server? Perhaps this wiki's server should be renamed Whatever is decided I have always thought that the namespace FamilySearch Wiki was too long and thought it would be useful to have an namespace alias like Project set-up. --Steve 00:24, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
The name researchwiki is not as well known as simple FamilySearch Wiki. In fact FamilySearch Wiki is used in all desktops in the Family History Library. The ONLY place where "Research" was used was somebody thought without consulting anyone in the Wiki team and went ahead to write and print this notice which is on every floor in the FHL.....
For many years the Family History Library has published various esearch publications. Keeping these publications up-to-date has been difficult with the ever-increasing amounts of data being made available.
As a result, many of these publications that have not been updated for years will not be reprinted. Some publications will only be made available until existing stock is depleted.
To better meet the needs of those working on their family histories the Family History Library has created a new source of genealogical research information called FamilySearch Research Wiki. Information from vairous publications has been moved to the free wiki site found at :

Whoever wrote that notice NEVER bothered to consult with anyone in the Wiki Team. Desktops say FamilySearch Wiki.
dsammy 16:41, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I do not like the cumbersome names of projects as we are currently using them. I would like to see them shortened as much as possible and still retain a brief idea of the content of the project -- enough to draw potential contributors to that project. I would vote for a namespace of WikiProject (second choice Project) with as short a title as possible following it. At the top of that project's page should be as brief statement of the scope and purpose of that project. Most potential contributors would be willing to click once to get to a page which describes the project in a little more detail, so they could decide whether or not they would like to contribute. I agree with the concern about confusing users of the Wiki by having the projects in the Main namespace and the potential problem of spamming the search results.Jbparker 05:30, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Perfect example of a very long namespace gone amok. Find_your_ancestors_death_records_on_Coffin_Plates_the_United_States,_Canada,_and_England_1800_-_1950
All the good reasons to keep the urls short! dsammy 16:29, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Bottom line, management team to watch every url as they are created and correct them as needed like the latest one you just saw, which could be reduced to simply "Coffin Plates".

Specific projects should always be simply WikiProject: or FSWikiProject: to avoid any potential confusion with the Wikipedia. See 16:41, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm in favor of creating a separate project namespace, and I like Sammy's suggestion of FSWikiProject. Bakerbh 20:53, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

I don't think the absence of the string FamilySearch or FS in a project title will affect people doing Google searches. They'll still be able to see that a link in the search results leads to the research wiki because of the URL. Therefore, I think we should keep it simple to make titles more intuitive to the non-wiki-initiated. I'm also leaning towards wanting to have projects in the Main namespace for now, and moving them later to a project namespace if necessary. The details of moving them en masse programmatically is at MediaWiki's Manual:Using custom namespaces. According to that article, if we kept all projects in the main namespace for now and wanted to move them into a custom namespace later, it would be easiest to do it like this: Today we'd name the article '''WikiProject: [project name]''' Note the space between the colon and the first letter of the project. The space would prevent that page from ever being included in a custom namespace. Then years later if we create a custom namespace called Wikiproject, we would then create a script to programmatically remove the space to all these titles as in this example: '''WikiProject:[project title]''' RitcheyMT 22:18, 11 March 2010 (UTC)