User talk:Jdfoote1

Topics


Thanks [15 February 2012]

Hi, Thanks so much for adding the people list. It is a great addition.--Beth 18:44, 15 February 2012 (EST)


That's very kind of you, Beth. We have some other projects in the pipeline that should be pretty exciting. :)--Jdfoote1 18:56, 15 February 2012 (EST)


Nice Pickup! [9 March 2012]

Thanks for catching my astonishingly weak media-wiki formatting practice! Any comments on the Savage Transcription effort and the practices that I'm proposing would be greatly appreciated. It's an effort that's obviously beyond any individual - so the methods need to be reasonably simple so as to appeal to a wide audience. --jrm03063 11:36, 8 March 2012 (EST)


You'll have to give me a little bit more time to get my head around what the project is, and how I might be able to help. It looks very cool, and it looks like you have done some great work to get it on here!--Jdfoote1 17:04, 8 March 2012 (EST)

Thanks. The about page for the project is the place to start. While it can be looked at simply as an attempt to work with the Savage Dictionary - it's also our first attempt at a larger scale transcript. Figuring out how to do this sort of thing sanely could be of more general benefit. --jrm03063 19:45, 8 March 2012 (EST)

Featured Page Nomination [21 September 2012]

Hi Jeremy, I noticed the Featured Page nomination of John Redd. Thanks, there's good information and narrative on his Person Page. I did some minor editing and added some "section headings" to make it a little easier to read.

Thanks again, It will definitely be in the rotation as the Featured Page in a few weeks. If you see any other good pages worthy of consideration, feel free to add them, too.

Best regards,

Jim:)--Delijim 18:08, 17 September 2012 (EDT)


Oh good - I'm glad I put it in the right place - it isn't terribly clear how you're supposed to nominate pages. Your changes look great - this isn't actually a page that I've worked on, I just came across it. - Jdfoote1 21:16, 20 September 2012 (EDT)


wp angst [22 October 2012]

There's a lot of latent angst about WP in the genealogical world. I think it has more to do with a traditional "wikipedia is bad" thought process - that doesn't spend two seconds thinking about why a WR page would fundamentally be better than a WP equivalent. The answer to the second question of course, is that there really isn't any reason to believe that one is better than the other - but the discussion usually doesn't get there. Even if the discussion does get there - then folks grab at straws and make claims about differing community standards, intentions, focus (as if WP standards are weaker than those that are generally in place around here!). There's always a chance that there is information better suited to one than the other - say a will or something of that nature - but I've never seen a situation where the WP inclusion precluded doing anything anyone wanted to do with the WR page.

The thing that really gets me though - is the idea that somehow we're in a position to discount the useful content and contributions of nearly 100,000 WP pages and the contributors behind that. I mean - where are the contributors going to come from on WR that will replace that content? We've been parked at a little over 2M person pages for quite a while. That's not a hugely bad thing - I think it means we're adding content instead of bare names - but I don't see that we're so flush with contributors that we can jettison things for no better reason than genealogical arrogance.

Oh well - I guess we'll see... --jrm03063 23:41, 22 October 2012 (EDT)


Language variants of WP and WP<->WR [18 April 2013]

Wikipedia (WP) seems to generally have a good handle on when there are language variants of "the same" article present in different versions of wikipedia. But of course, these aren't really the same articles - they can have different development paths, contributors, sources, and even, present different conclusions. This leads me to a few questions:

  • Since WP doesn't lock together development of pages in different languages, the model of relating one language version of WP with another, is very much like what we have in trying to relate WR person pages with WP biographies. Is there something about the way that WP does this, that should guide us creating the same sort of logical connection between WeRelate (WR) and WP?
  • When different language versions of WP are available for the biography of a given person, is there any need to indicate more than one of the correspondences? If not, presumably, we should choose the language version most "native" for the person (presumably, Louis XIV would be preferred in French, Henry VIII in english).

???

--jrm03063 19:42, 14 April 2013 (EDT)

I think that's a good model to follow, and a good point. Just like different WP language pages have different ways of presenting the same topic, WR may want to provide a different lens into these people. In the WP interface, AFAIK, the only thing linking pages is a language link. Something similar could probably be placed at the bottom of WP pages to link to the WR person, and on WR pages to link to the WP person.
Perhaps it's worth just thinking of a way to effectively import people from the WP Biography project into WR, and thinking of a good way to link back to WP for people on WP (maybe a sidebar link, or even like a "notable person" template?) -- Jdfoote1 18:08, 18 April 2013 (EDT)

In the news [29 July 2013]

Hi Jeremy, thanks for your support for this idea. Would you be interested in contributing? I figure it would need a core group of at least three people to maintain the section. AndrewRT 18:25, 22 June 2013 (EDT)

I think I could do that - sounds like fun! -- Jdfoote1 21:03, 23 June 2013 (EDT)
Great news - thanks. I'll have a think about the roadmap we need - I guess at least one more volunteer first and then agreement for a space on the Main Page. I'd like some way of measuring site traffic - have you ever come across anything for that on WeRelate? AndrewRT 14:21, 24 June 2013 (EDT)
Hi again. The oversight committee has given their green light to this and I've created a page at WeRelate:Current_news_nominations as a starter. Would be very interested to hear what you think and please come along and add in extra stuff there! AndrewRT 18:18, 25 July 2013 (EDT)
Looks great - I think what you have on there looks good, but I'll keep my eye out for other stuff to add. -- Jdfoote1 15:39, 26 July 2013 (EDT)
Seen a few stories in the news that might be worth adding if you're interested? Indian princesses win £2.5bn inheritance - China's Bo Xilai charged with corruption AndrewRT 15:24, 29 July 2013 (EDT)

Re Template:Buckinghamshire unions of parishes [16 August 2013]

Many thanks for working on the template. I am surprised that you can use abbreviations in the "formulas" without defining the abbreviations.

As I said, I have gone back to working with the See Also box, but I do follow your explanation. There are plenty of places where a series of tables like this would be so appropriate.

Unfortunately, since I put my query forward, life with living relatives has suddenly come up the priority stakes. How much work I can put into PlacePages for WeRelate in the next while is an unknown.

Regards --Goldenoldie 17:16, 15 August 2013 (EDT)

Ah - I should have read your comments more carefully. I didn't realize that you had given up on the template idea.
As far as the abbreviations - they are actually defined in the template itself - text within {{{}}} is considered as a parameter name. Hopefully that makes sense. It's kinda fun to make these templates - let me know if there are any others that would be helpful. -- Jdfoote1 20:04, 15 August 2013 (EDT)

Giving up on the template was a matter of impatience. I wanted to get down to the nitty gritty of tackling the place pages themselves.

I should think there would be plenty of census templates possible--not necessarily for users who insist on the full 30 columns or so, but for those of us who like to provide maybe half a dozen salient facts for each member of family group. I know some of these have been built for some United States census, but British and Canadian ones would be helpful. In both cases the censuses are nationwide with no changes to the questions from area to area (except maybe Scotland 1841). Person:Elias Arnold (5) was done using "templates" built on Sticky Notes.

A lot of my genealogy files are compiled in Excel and some in Access, but getting around html code is something I have never tackled. --Goldenoldie 02:31, 16 August 2013 (EDT)


White Hall School help [25 November 2013]

Thanks for showing me how. I guess i steer clear of the Box at the top for entering names. thanks Mike M--Mm103 03:32, 25 November 2013 (UTC)



Setting up a fill-in-the-blanks table in WeRelate [9 May 2014]

Back last August you replied to a query I made in "Support" (date 15 Aug 2013) with regard to making a table that I could use repeatedly on Place pages with different information in the final column. Your link led to your User page where I can see a completed table, but cannot see how I would go about making up a similar one. Could you expand on instructions, please.

You may feel I was impolite in not responding earlier, but last August I was awaiting cataract operations and my eyesight was getting worse by the day. The situation was trying on my patience and learning something difficult was beyond me. My eyes are no longer a "preventive variable" and since then I have even managed to draw up a table (see Template:Nidderdale District Titles). The possibility of presenting Place page facts in tabular fashion in still tempting me.

I envision the table to look something like this:

Administration typePlace
Pre 1837
Hundredto be filled in
Ancient parishto be filled in
Chapelryto be filled in
Townshipto be filled in
19th century
Reg'n Dist/PLUto be filled in
Sanitary Districtto be filled in
Civil Parishto be filled in
1894-1974
District Councilto be filled in
Municipal/County Boroughto be filled in
Post 1974
Administrative Countyto be filled in
Metropolitan boroughto be filled in
District municipalityto be filled in

The question is how to replace "to be filled in" by a phrase that allows a different answer on each page on which the template appears.

This table could be a template on a place page for every hamlet, village, town, or borough in England (outside London) and--with a little tinkering--might work for Scotland and Wales as well.

Regards --Goldenoldie 09:24, 8 May 2014 (UTC)


Hi Jeremy

Just found your response of the 16 Aug 2013 in your Talk page. I may try some further experimenting later on today. It was the 3-curlyQ brackets that put me off.

(Pat) --Goldenoldie 09:30, 8 May 2014 (UTC)


I'd be happy to help out. I think that if you check out the [Template:Buckinghamshire_unions_of_parishes] that I put together before, hopefully it will make a little more sense. To *use* a template, you start with {{, then the name of the template, then the parameters, then close with }}. It looks complicated, but it's really quite simple.
To *create* a template, you just create a page like you normally would, and then include {{{variableName}}} for any locations where you would want to insert text. For example, with the table you just gave me, you could just change it to:

<table border=3>
<tr><td>Administration type<td>Place
<tr><td>''Pre 1837''<td>
<tr><td>Hundred<td>{{{Hundred}}}
<tr><td>Ancient parish<td>{{{Parish}}}
<tr><td>Chapelry<td>{{{Chapelry}}}
<tr><td>Township<td>{{{Township}}}
<tr><td>''19th century''<td>
<tr><td>Reg'n Dist/PLU<td>{{{PLU}}}
<tr><td>Sanitary District<td>{{{SD}}}
<tr><td>Civil Parish<td>{{{CP}}}
<tr><td>''1894-1974''<td>
<tr><td>District Council<td>{{{DC}}}
<tr><td>Municipal/County Borough<td>{{{CountyBorough}}}
<tr><td>''Post 1974''<td>
<tr><td>Administrative County<td>{{{County}}}
<tr><td>Metropolitan borough<td>{{{MB}}}
<tr><td>District municipality<td>{{{DM}}}
</table>

Thanks for your reply. I am dying to tackle these tables, but I have found myself bogged down in the middle of Lancashire in an area where villages keep changing from one grouping to another, and sources aren't all agreeing with each other. Very slow work. --Goldenoldie 16:13, 9 May 2014 (UTC)


active users [3 October 2014]

I wonder if you would find it of interest - is there some way to compare the number of active users currently to the number of users right before WeRelate abruptly discontinued the use of automatically inserting categories based on info on the page. I can't give you a date when they discontinued the automatic categories; but lots of folks were upset and I couldn't help but wonder. I think there are a lot of folks I used to see that have 'gone missing'. Maybe folks staying to work awhile and then leaving is to be expected but I miss the sense of community when folks disappear. --janiejac 04:09, 28 September 2014 (UTC)


I think this would definitely be interesting. Unfortunately, I only have old data (from February of last year), and I haven't been getting updated information. If/when we are able to update to a newer version of MediaWiki, then getting this sort of data would probably be easier for me. Barring that, when I have time, I may ask Dallan to provide another dump of everything.

I have also noticed that things seem to be quieting down here. It's always felt to me like the site is on the cusp of getting popular, but never really gets there. -- Jdfoote1 19:52, 28 September 2014 (UTC)


My personal opinion - the site will never become 'popular' until it is easier to use. Persistent folks have hopefully posted suggestions for making the site less clunky and/or easier to use but get discouraged when the suggestions are ignored. Bugs get fixed but suggestions are apparently very low priority. --janiejac 11:25, 29 September 2014 (UTC)


That's actually the main reason I supported a Wikimedia "merger". I know that we just don't have the developer resources to maintain the site, much less to improve it, even though there's a great community of dedicated genealogists. -- Jdfoote1 14:11, 2 October 2014 (UTC)


The reason I did not support the merger with Wikipedia is because it is not made up of a group of dedicated genealogists. I have been working on improving WR place pages both in Ontario (Canada) and in Britain. Although I always go to WP for some idea as to what might be inserted into WR, most of the time I have to add some detail that might be useful to us and drop irrelevancies.

We don't need to know if a hamlet has a convenience store or a primary school (= grade school) or even a postbox. We don't need to know if the church has a bell. We don't need to know if the place existed before the Domesday Book (which was written in AD 1086), or what the geological nature of the rock was (unless it was worthwhile to mine). But we might like to know what the ordinary person who lived in the place did for a living in the 18th and 19th centuries. It can be hard work to find that kind of info in WP.

As well, a Wikipedia description of the governance of a place deals with how it is organized now. The whole of England and Scotland had a municipal reorganization in 1974. Things were different before that date. Some new counties were invented. The words "borough" and "district" have different definitions. The civil parishes that existed before 1974 are not necessarily the same as those which exist now. But does Wikipedia mention these facts? Sometimes it does; sometimes it doesn't.

Wikipedia is written by volunteers with some guidance by a supervising committee. Volunteers provide the facts they are interested in--not necessarily the facts that a genealogist wants to know the answers to. Not only that, sometimes they get their facts wrong.

--Goldenoldie 15:57, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

I think that these are real concerns, and definitely a danger. For me, they are tempered a little bit by realizing a few things:
  1. We aren't talking about combining Wikipedia and WeRelate - it's about creating a relationship between them, where we get technical help, contributor help, etc.
  2. The goals of the projects are different - I think it's natural to expect that the information about a place in an encyclopedia is different from that which exists on a genealogy site. I think if we set expectations about what sorts of information we want, then other contributors will follow that lead.

I think that if we did join Wikimedia (which is not the same as Wikipedia), then we would be able to both improve the site, and recruit others who really are serious about genealogy. My opinion is that without some sort of injection of programming help and new users, the site is going to stagnate.

-- Jdfoote1 19:43, 3 October 2014 (UTC)