User talk:Cottrells

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Revision as of 16:38, 6 February 2013 by Jenson1 (talk | contribs) (Thank you)

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Problems with Templates and Image Maps

Hi Steve, I am currently involved with an ongoing Massachusetts Wiki Project. David Dilts suggested that I contact you. Lately I have been working on creating some clickable maps. I recently added a clickable map for Plymouth County, Massachusetts (See Template:PlyCoMAmap). In the past when I created a clickable map we added the information to a template page because there is so much wiki code associated with the image map. I added the Plymouth County map the same way I have in the past but ran into some unexpected results. I was able to finagle the template page so that it will show the map when users go to the template page. However, if they try to edit the template page, instead of seeing all the wiki code, they see a message "Error: image is invalid or non-existent." If a person was to make any modification to the page and then save, the map will disappear and it is no longer functionable. Can you tell me why we get an error message when we click on edit? Where is all the wiki data used to make the map clickable going? The map continues to works just fine. Should I be doing something different as I add more clickable maps?

In addition to what I mentioned above, when I go to the template pages we created for putting our map images on (see Template:MAPlyAbiMap), all I see is the name of the image, orientation details, and picture description. Where did our image go? The image no longer shows. The map displays on the Wiki pages we insert the template code on, but the template itself is confusing to me. Any thoughts? I will be adding roughly 300 clickable maps over the next month and want to make sure that I do it the right way. Any help you can give would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance. HarrisonJB 17:33, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Hi Jason, the problem with the imagemaps is a known issue. The workaround is to add the Magic word __NORICHEDITOR__ to the template (within noinclude tags), so that the Rich Text Editor is disabled when you edit the imagemap. I have edited {{PlyCoMAmap}} so that this is now in place. The other template was set-up by David as a way to add a caption to the image that is displayed on the page Abington, Massachusetts without subsequent edits removing it. This is another workaround to a problem caused by the Rich Text Editor. If you want to change this into an imagemap, you will also need to edit the code on the Abington, Massachusetts so that it just calls the template, stripping away the [[Image: and ]] parts of the code. --Steve (talk| contribs) 12:32, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

England Gazetteers

There still seems to be FHL contributors working on alphabetical listings from a single source conflicting with contributors who have contributed local knowledge of parishes and the record sources - Downe, Kent - Keston, Kent - Cudham, Kent as well as neighbouring parishes all have Online Parish Clerks. Some colleagues are unwilling to take the time and effort to create FamilySearch Wiki content to have gazetteer material entered and conflicting. In some counties large slabs of material exist as parish history which are in fact text from other web sites (including copyright). I have made the point in forum post that an 1848 gazetteer entry may not be useful, a later gazetter may be more informative and the Kent Online Parish Clerk site has even more information including a satellite image and might be a more informative link to include under the "maps and gazetteer" heading rather than dropping gazetteer entries for an entire county into parish history pages. This seems to be a recipe for needless discussion and conflict in every English county. Many English contributors have ceased contributing citing lack of communication from FHL contributors. We do not seem to be any "further forrarder" on this issue than earlier this year or in any of the previous years it has arisen! I think it sad that we are alienating English genealogists and AGRA members through unresolved organisational problems arising from America.If possible could you convey that it might be better to work with an Online Parish Clerk who has invested huge effort in a parish history and records rather than drop in gazetteer material as part of a mechanical process in alphabetical order; the heading gazetteer is also a clue to where such entries should be placed. DowneOPC 06:37, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

Hi Henry, this issue was discussed during the weekly Wiki Contributors Meeting on November 8, as a result of your forum post on the issue. Those attending the meeting agreed to the points that you raised. Some wondered why the change was not just made and explain in the edit summary or on the article talk page. I sence that UK based contributors are trying to engage with FHL staff about developing pages/edits, but do not receive replies to their questions. Anyhow following the meeting I moved the gazetter text from the history section to the gazetter section of the Downe, Kent article and left a message on the user talk page of the contributor. Hopefully the message will get back to the staff at the FHL to be more considerate of the information already developed on a page, before adding additional information. I agree that a multi sourced parish history is preferable to a single source gazetteer extract. Would you and other OPC/AGRA members be willing to help develop the instructions for developing English Parish articles in the WikiProject English parishes? --Steve (talk| contribs) 13:05, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, in answer to your final question I can only speak personally and will try to contribute wherever possible. I lead a group of transcribers. We have 3 parish Cooperative Indexing agreements in place with FamilySearch which await a response from them and we hope to obtain Diocesan permission to add a further parish for agreement to transcribe in 2014. The agreements are taking more than 6 months for FamilySearch to respond to once submitted with both archive and Diocesan approval and support. Wherever possible I try to describe the surviving record which I am permitted to handle in order that the viewer of a microfilm or digitised image can make sense of the images, duplicates and why entries appear out of sequence, gaps and other unique aspects of an individual register.(One Downe register has been bound in a deed which bears no relationship to the parish) As volunteers our priority is to transcribe so that writing parish histories is the latter stage of OPC page development of our site and involves a different type of research in many source materials which we include in our page creation. Any contribution to other media (print and electronic) is a lower priority. FamilySearch material forms a small part of the total parish material; the larger part is on average spread in up to 14 archives for a typical Kent parish. Another high priority is to respond to email requests for assistance in researching within a local district including the parish concerned.

I am afraid that in the professional community in England that many contributors have reported negative experiences of trying to contribute and the Americanised format (and language) of the FamilySearch wiki derivative of Wikipedia. Sadly each contributor lost is influential in influencing others. There is an effort in Wikipedia to cover all civil parishes in England and local county initiatives to list places of worship. I would comment that Wikipedia went through this process early in its development; there was an American perception that English contributors were "difficult" to involve or retain. There was likewise an English perception that if contributing became a negative experience it was better not to invest time and effort to see content removed or "put down" by a small clique appearing to dominate. Here the FHL contributors need not to alienate or appear to be more influential but to enter into discussion about use of a source to complement the existing contributions. Gazetteers (plural) are cited on all Kent Online Parish Clerk page creations which begs  the question why not link in the relevant heading to that available online source rather than paste material for one gazetteer only?

Template on a non-activated category.

The template page Template:Xyzy is on a non-activated Category page: Category:Script templates. Do we need it? Or do you want this category activitied. Sandralpond 15:28, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

Thanks Sandra, the template is needed/used and the category is appropriate. I have today set it up. --Steve (talk| contribs) 14:06, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

Thank you

Steve thanks so much for the FA change. Dawne 14:41, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

FHL template for an author search?

Hi, Steve. Is there an FHL template where a search can be done by name of the author? I want to be able to search for ward records, all of which have the beginning of "Church of Jesus Christ..." and end with the specific ward. That would make it easy to change ward by ward. Any ideas? AdkinsWH 02:59, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Hi Wilma, I have briefly looked at this issue.It may be possible to add the functionality to the {{FHL}} template, but more investigation needs to be undertaken done before I can answer and hopefully implement your request. --Steve (talk| contribs) 13:49, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, Steve! AdkinsWH 21:03, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

England Parish Histories

2012 was a good year for the Suffolk Parish pages. There have been a few instances where volunteers have sought to tear down what I have built rather than improve it. What volunteers I have come across have no interest in collaborating, rather they have an agenda of copying and pasting similar dialogue on every page. What they are copying and pasting is rather weak material. Parish History Section - I cannot accept that a short one or two sentences with a link to a gazetteer should be in anyway be considered a parish history. The approach to the Parish History Section is very simple. Enter websites, links and references in the body of the page and once a sufficient amount of material has been found, then a history can be written based on those sources from a genealogist perspective. A new wiki article should be created, England - Writing a Parish History. This short gazetteer entry currently being introduced should be moved or put in the Maps and Gazetteers Section. Pertaining to Suffolk pages I noticed recently that someone is entering those gazetteer entries again and at the same time removing the link to the Suffolk Gazetteer page. Could you use the text replace function to place a link to the Suffolk Gazetteer page in the Maps and Gazetteer section for every parish in Suffolk? Donjgen 18:36, 26 December 2012 (UTC) I'll also place a copy of this over on User talk:MannAE page.

Hi Don, I agree that there is room for improvement in the way that contributors work together and not at cross purposes to each other. I'm sure that the majority of wiki contributor have the same goal to improve the content of the wiki and I really feel that WikiProject pages can help with this by setting out long term vision for a collection of similar pages, for example Suffolk Parishes. Contributors by reviewing the project page information can then be directed to articles, like the one you suggested, so that a consistent approach is taken with developing similar pages. The Parish History section and what kind of content should be placed here is a good example of where this collaboration could achieve much good. I will look into restoring the links to the Suffolk Gazetteers page. Before I take action I will investigate how best to do this. --Steve (talk| contribs) 13:58, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Hi Steve: I could take the time to create a WikiProject - Suffolk Parishes but I have seen such anemic participation. Since I am focusing on Suffolk, I would expect participation from people in East Anglia. There needs to be a person in East Anglia that would promote participation.
What are the goals? I haven't seen clear goals. I see some people have a goal of putting a short snippet of a gazetteer in the parish history section with a link for every parish in England. I see that some have a goal of putting the same template in the census section of every parish in England. I see some people have a goal of recording all the possible online church records for parishes in specific counties in England. There are only a few that have focused on a single parish or parishes. The goals for the FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject English parishes need to be specific. This idea of going from parish to parish putting the same snippet of information is a poor goal. Any body can goggle any parish in England and get all the information they need. How are the England parish pages going to be different? How is it going to be different from genuki? After years of slow growth it should become apparent that a different approach should be taken. This lack of England participation has to tell us that FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject English parishes needs to have specific goals that will lead to more participation. WikiProject_English_parishes pages needs to be rewritten and redeveloped. People should put there focus on a specific county or district. Thats my take on what I see Donjgen 20:48, 5 January 2013 (UTC)


Steve, I'm trying to update the status of wiki projects.  I'm assuming that the England and English Parishes projects are ongoing.  Is that correct?  Percent complete? averyld 16:26, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Also, Wales and New Common Taxonomies averyld 23:10, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Hi Lynda, yes these projects are all ongoing. The England, English parishes and Wales WikiProjects are all similar in that the purpose of these projects is to improve the articles about these localities. They are very hard therefore to say how complete they are. Tasks within a project can more easily be stated as x% complete.
The WikiProject New Common Taxonomy is in my mind, more of a foundational document, setting out the top-level categories to be used for research topics. It was renamed as a WikiProject by Fran Jensen and although I agree it belongs in the FamilySearch Wiki namespace, I think it falls more into the realm of policy - meaning that it defines how the taxonomy is organised/to be used in the wiki rather than being a project in which a goal is to be achieved.
Further to our discussion yesterday, I have created the {{WikiProject status}} template. There are still some tidying up to do around this template, but you can start using them if you like. --Steve (talk| contribs) 14:12, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Steve, thanks so much for this information and the templates look great!  I hope you have a small idea of how much you are appreciated! averyld 18:36, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

For the inactive template, the page is FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProjects Seeking Contributors/Inactive. I'm not sure if doing it as a sub page is the best way to go, but that's how it is for now. averyld 18:39, 17 January 2013 (UTC)  Also, I put the template on the Alabama page and it looks like it didn't add it to the Inactive category.
Hi Lynda, the categories associated with the template {{WikiProject status}} are now being added when the template is used. I think setting up the list of inactive projects as a sub-page is the way to go. --Steve (talk| contribs) 22:04, 17 January 2013 (UTC)Thank you!  Thank you averyld 22:27, 17 January 2013 (UTC)Thank you Steve I did not understand, thank you for your helpThank you Steve, I did not understand, thank you for your help