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Suggestion to improve collaboration and document quality of record in Family Tree

This suggestion comes from some recent efforts I have been involved with to straighten out and recover some records in Family Tree. The records were pretty much destroyed by over merging/combining and just incorrect linking etc. When I finally got one of the family's “cleaned up”, I began thinking about – How do I keep this family together without someone messing it up again? Many users of Family Tree complain about incorrect merges and other activities that tend to mix records up so they are not a true representation of the relationships and family that really existed. In my case, I had an independent source of information from living descendants who created the information in the late 1800's so I was quite confident of who was in the family and where and when they were born/christened. Obviously that was a great help in making choices of what I wanted keep and what needed to be removed.

Over the years we have had suggestions of allowing users to lock records that they believe are correct. Other strategies have been suggested where there is a user responsible for each family and changes could not be made without agreement of the responsible party. Some have suggested that each user could undergo certification before being allowed to make changes in Family Tree. Others insist that much of the problem is associated with GEDCOM uploads. None of the above strategies has been implemented and the current collaboration tools have in my opinion proved to be quite unsuccessful in promoting the desire result. Most of us just rely on using the Watch List to keep track of a large number of records where we feel we have personal interest. When a change is made to someone in our list we go and verify when we believe it is valid or not, and then take appropriate action. I believe for most users that is about the limit of what is presently done for most records.

I would like to suggest that on the person page an additional link similar to Sources would be added with a title something like “Record Quality”. Similar to Sources it would have a number associated with the link. The number would indicate the number of users who have commented on the quality of the record. By clicking on the link it would open an additional window where all of the comments by other users could be viewed. Each user who commented would have a separate area to add comments on the Quality of the record, issues with the record such as “not sure these parents are correct” etc. The individual comments could be modified only the original submitter ie No one could edit or delete comments by another user but they could update their own as more information/sources are discovered or added to the record. Any comment would have a date attached that would be the most recent edit of that comment. This would provide an indication of how recent the user had reviewed the record.

The benefits of having this type of information available would accomplish several positive collaboration aspects.
1. It would allow all persons who have an interest in the record to clearly document their interest and indicate what concerns or issues that have about the record. This allows other users to see individuals easily with whom they may want to collaborate.
2. It would provide novice users a place to quickly learn what issues other users have with the record before blindly attempting to make changes. It would allow them a way to review and understand how others view specific records and how research can be moved forward.
3. By reviewing all comments, users could quickly understand what others believe about the quality of the record and where others believe additional research efforts needed to be undertaken. This might assist in reducing the amount of time spent on duplicate research.
4. It would provide a location for individuals to enter the status of research and when they return to the record at a future time, they could more easily begin where they had left of.

I do not suggest that this would resolve all issues that occur because of mistakes being made by other users but I think it could be an improvement over what we have today and there is the possibility that it might lead to more collaboration which I believe most experienced users believe is essential if we are going to really get correct records in the system.

I believe as a group we might be able to amplify on my suggestion to arrive at something worth FamilySearch considering. I have only provided a rudimentary thought. Other extensions could actually include some sort of grading system maybe as simple as a 1 to 10 scale and the average of all voting provided.
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  • I’m frustrated.......
    1
    This is becoming a SERIOUS issue. As the FamilySearch FamilyTree program becomes more complex, the objective of :one person, one name, one place" etc. becomes more and more difficult to justify without SOME method to distinguish novices from experienced researchers.

    This must be addressed soon.

    "FREE" FamilySearch may have to have some level of competence provided in Registration.

    Those of us who are Consultants of many years simply cannot have "novices" come it and revamp a tree to their own, often incomplete and inaccurate, thoughts, ideas and information.

    Its NOT getting better, bosses. It is turning people away from FamilySearch, free or not.
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  • Interesting thoughts - not quite certain yet how viable they might be but worth considering.
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    Those who do not agree some action must be taken must either have a very small watch list and/or be working on relatively few branches of the tree.

    I strongly agree with Cousin David's comments that the issue is really serious. However, I don't know whether the suggestions put forward by gasmodels wound necessarily achieve a great improvement in the situation. Already we have the Collaboration section and opportunity to add reason statements and sources to back up the identity / history of the IDs we add or are following. However, in spite of my Discussions items and clearly visible reason statements against Vitals, etc., users still go ahead and make merges of individuals with little in common but their names. Even these don't always match and I find my WRIGHTSON relatives have even been merged with individuals named WRIGHT.

    For a long time I have highlighted the part the current "Possible Duplicate" algorithm is playing in the problem of incorrect merges. Even after I have "unmerged" two IDs the same suggestion of them being possible duplicates immediately appears on the respective person pages. If I do not refresh the pages and check for this straightaway (marking "not a match") the strong possibility is that another user will repeat the merge that has been undone!

    I was very hopeful for the new merging feature being of great use in limiting the number of incorrect merges being made. However, within a week I found a careless user had merged several individuals named Thomas Wrightson (one actually being a Thomas Wright) IDs, even though they clearly showed different birthplaces sitting opposite each other on the first page. When I contacted the user regarding undoing these merges she merely responded, "How would I do that?"

    Unfortunately, I feel gasmodels' suggestions will still only be of help to the more responsible and experienced users. So many others seem to be so intent on "helping" the FamilySearch "goal" of having one ID for every individual that a thorough check of persons of some "similar" identity becomes very much a secondary issue for them.

    There have been suggestions regarding training, making more records "read-only" and now those in this post of gasmodels, which I am not dismissing and believe are worthy of consideration.

    To see how serious the problem really is, I would suggest users greatly expand their watch lists. In the last few months I have doubled the size of mine and can't help thinking about all those errors that would have remained uncorrected had I not been watching these IDs. Even more importantly, how many I am STILL missing. I can't keep a watch on every ID I have worked on, so often think of the potentially wasted hours I have spent adding carefully researched detail that someone has now probably completely undone.

    As I have said elsewhere, far worse than there being so many genuinely duplicate IDs on Family Tree is the fact that genuinely separate individuals have disappeared, becoming part of a "composite" ID - having the vitals of multiple persons who just (usually) happen to have the same name and lived at the same period of time (though not necessarily even in the same country).

    Whatever the solution, ignoring this serious problem will not make it go away.
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  • 2
    While it is true that "ignoring this serious problem will not make it go away," FamilySearch is likely to do nothing about the situation and will continue to leave the solution up to us. Such is the reasoning behind the open-edit nature of the tree. Petitions or whatever will unlikely change the policy, nor, to be honest, I cannot see any valid reason to change the current policy.

    I have posted a number of times what I have found effective, but I also do not have extensive Church background in my lines and as such, the changes that I have run across are minor compared to some of the nightmares that have been posted by others on this forum. They were easily addressed and fixed with no adverse responses from the other users.

    Some of the problems deal with bad hints and persons who believe the hint(s) to be valid. Those (sources) are easily detached and after waiting a few moments for the hint to reappear, I dismiss it with reason.

    What I do see as something that is needed is a means by which a user has continually made changes, even after notification via email, that are incorrect for the person. This "I know my information is correct" mentality is something that must be addressed and that can only be done by FamilySearch personnel when all else has failed for the user whose family was adversely impacted.

    The internal messaging system is ideal for working with this issue. That message series that is involved in attempting to get things resolved can be examined by a support group that is put together to deal with these problems. If need be, they can put a user's account "on hold" until they come to realize that they do not own the data they are placing in the tree and that it needs to be fully checked to make sure:
    a) their change actually applies to the person to which they make the change
    b) their change needs to be fully sourced for its accuracy
    c) they need to recognize the rights of other relatives to the person whom they believe is their relative and that conflicts in sources and data need to be resolved between the two of them.
    d) finally, a recognition that many histories contain errors and some are outright fraudulent in nature.

    As I wrote, I have not run into anyone who has consistently made claims about the changes they are posting as being correct when it is not supported by sources. I do not hesitate to use the adage that "Genealogy without sources is mythology." I have seldom had to use that.

    For those who do not want to chase down my posting on what I have found to be effective, here it is and you are free to use it and even repost it:
    Introducing FamilySearch Family Tree

    FamilySearch FamilyTree is a single tree that is a collaborative effort, built around an open-edit model, allowing any person, including yourself to add to and make changes on any person who lived throughout history, including all of our deceased relatives.

    There is no "my tree" in FamilySearch FamilyTree — it is a tree for all mankind. If you have found errors, you need to know why those errors are there. It could be that someone incorrectly combined another person's record with your relative. It could be that someone found a source that they thought applied to your relative, but it did not. It could be that someone just knew that their information was correct and entered that.

    There are sites that support independent trees and building them. FamilySearch is not one of those sites.

    If you are unfamiliar with how to work with the massive tree (now containing over 1.2 Billion persons), The Family History Guide (http://thefhguide.com/) is an approved training resource. It not only contains procedures for working with the site and the massive tree, but also exercises for you to use.

    As to the incorrect information -- Those who make changes usually believe they are related to the person for which they are making changes. Their changes may be valid, invalid, or contain errors and may lack support from primary and secondary source material. Or the changes may be based on misinformation, or information that was copied from an unreliable source.

    The desire to belong to an elite group of people, such as Mayflower Descendants, the Daughters of the American Revolution, or the Sons of the American Revolution has likewise produced some inventive genealogies.

    Not all participants who add to and make changes to existing material have the same level of knowledge and experience. Novices or Newbies often try their best to be useful, but they can and will make mistakes (even us old-timers can make mistakes), some of which are going to cause concern. Others are convinced that their information is factual, despite not having primary or secondary sources that validate their information.

    While this can be frustrating, remember that everyone has been at one time or another in their lives, or is now, a novice or newbie. I remember what it was like for me, now over fifty years ago.

    To minimize the changes others make to the tree, there are several things that I have found to be largely effective, given the nature that many inappropriate changes are being made by people who are new to FamilySearch FamilyTree, or do not work with the tree on any kind of regular basis.

    1. I make sure every deceased person I work with in the tree is fully sourced with citations that can be used to locate original records, not only with sources from FamilySearch Historical Records, but also from other sites as well as material that may not be available online. I also add whatever stories exist about that person and provide sources for those stories. The more information I can include, the less likely someone will come along and make changes.

    I make sure that every conclusion (fact) that is in a person's record actually applies to that person and I have included my reasoning why that conclusion is the right one. There is no room for speculation, which is not fact. If I am unsure about some aspect of a person's life, I put that information on the person's page in notes, discussions, or even as a story, especially if an old well-worn family tradition is involved.

    2. Every time someone makes a change or merge that I feel is incorrect, I use the FamilySearch message system to leave them a kindly written message that contains two or more of the following elements:

    -- Thanks for their interest in making the person's record as accurate as possible.
    -- The person or family involved and my relationship.
    -- My thoughts and sources with respect to the changes they made.
    -- The corrections I made to their incorrect changes and why I did it.
    -- Request that before they make changes that they study the record, including the sources that are attached, any notes and stories that may be included in memories.
    -- Remind them (if they have not provided a source or a reason) that sources are crucial to establishing conclusions and facts, and that a person's reasoning is needed to let others know what research and thinking was done to reach those conclusions.
    -- What I did to correct what I perceived to be incorrect material.
    -- Thank them in closing for their interest in making the record as complete as possible.

    3. I am prepared to not receive a response from the person. They have the choice to respond or not respond. Many times, they respond, indicating that they are beginners.

    4. I am well aware that not everyone works with FSFT every day or extensively, so there are many different levels of knowledge and experience being applied. I try to help others understand things like the differences between primary and secondary sources and that published family and locality histories often contain errors and are not sourced. I let them know that unsourced material needs to be treated as hints, not as facts. If a faulty record may have been involved, I let them know about the problems.

    By taking an active part in working with a few of my relatives, I have found that bad changes either stop, or slow considerably (no method is entirely effective). To track what changes do take place, especially with critical persons in the tree, I put them on my watch list.

    The most gratifying part about taking an active role, I receive thanks from those who made changes, especially since I go into great detail about what I know of the person and their immediate family, the area, and the families who were neighbors to our common relatives.
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  • Some good thoughts here, and this has been a concern since the design of FSFT. It was not known how long this open-edit model would live. But it seems way better than the old nFS model which was tipping over, under a fraction of the user and data load we have today. There could be a better model, maybe a tweaked model...

    I wonder if the Discussions feature is a good starting point? It seems to have attributes of your suggestion. The problem is it is buried in the UI and users don't see it.

    The LifeSketch is another mechanism people use. It's like a pinboard, but that isn't necessarily seen either and is not really it's original intent.

    Finally none of the partner products and some FS tools surface the Discussion or LifeSketch so none of those users ever see that info.

    There have been previous threads about calculating or voting accuracy of the data. That's tough because algorithms don't know the details of a Person in 1700's in a place with no records, vs one with lots of attached records, which are wrong. Then add in the complication of evaluating relationship quality. Voting just measures niche thinking. And does my vote still count after someone changes some data? ...

    Your watch list is your only warning today, but that is dependent on you specifying those people, and really is reactive - bottom of the cliff - after the damage is done. And the changelog is great, but again reactive, requiring us to go clean up the mess.

    We want the tree to grow, to include all mankind, and to increase quality. To do that we need new users to provide info that the tree does not have. Plus there's the desire for people to document themselves, to pass that on to future generations. Sometimes those contributions are family folklore, or falsehoods, to make cover the aspects of life we sometimes wish to hide.

    I know I'm not providing a solution here, I'm just trying to scope the problem and the goal. So maybe we need to focus on how to make the software more proactive, prevent the damage from occurring, approach?
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  • Perhaps FS needs to look at the other collaborative trees that are out there for solutions or ideas. The two major ones I know of are WikiTree and Geni. I use the former; I've tried the latter, but the constant MyHeritage paywalls and other problems have caused me to mostly give up on it.

    WikiTree's basic answer to the whole collaboration-versus-control conundrum is the idea of the Profile Manager. This is often the person who entered the profile in the first place, but it can be anyone interested in that profile. The PM has control over the privacy settings, which in turn control the degree of access that other WT users have. Of course, like any solution, the PM concept introduces a whole new set of problems, necessitating an Unresponsive Manager procedure and other measures. I'm not sure that some of these details would scale up too well to a site the size of FS.

    The problem with any sort of "voting" page -- or any extra page requiring user input, really -- is that people would just ignore it. As it is, the Discussions and Notes are generally empty, and even if there's something there, it's ignored wholesale by 99% of users. (I'm kind of leery of using anything on the Collaboration tab myself, because I can never remember which is which in terms of permanence/editability.)

    I think one solution that would kill two birds with one stone would be to fix the whole changelog reason versus conclusion logic conflation problem. Instead of the one reason box that's sometimes labeled as one and sometimes as the other, have an optional note field associated with every conclusion ("Reason this information is correct"), and a separate text field associated with every change ("Reason I made this change"). The conclusion-logic box should correlate with the Note field of the GEDCOM standard, i.e. it should be passed to partner sites and apps with that label.

    (The conclusion-logic box needs to be strictly optional, because most of the time, simply tagging the conclusion with a source citation serves the same purpose of explaining where the information came from. The note box would be for the cases where it's not that simple.)

    It should go without saying that the conclusion-logic text would need to be displayed in the merge process, and ideally would need a specific decision from the user about keep/discard (i.e. there should be no default unless both boxes are blank).

    Of course, my idea suffers from the same user buy-in problem as Gasmodel's proposal. People would just ignore it most of the time. On a "contested" profile, there would be motivation to use it, but that status is most often discovered at the bottom of the cliff, as Joe put it.
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  • 1
    I have never had problems with novices---usually I can just point them to the discussions filled with sources.

    I have only had problems with a "bad actor."

    Someone who has an agenda of intentional destruction of the genealogical record for whatever reason.

    FS has nothing in place to help us with the "bad actor."

    (We are at the mercy of the "bad actor.")
    • Yeah, my solution will not work with the bad actor, but it is effective in dealing with everyone else.

      I guess we are relatively lucky that there are few bad actors when it comes to the massive tree. Those that do exist tend to be retaliatory in nature, from what I've read in the discussions about these folks. Any claim that is made against them is immediately turned against the person who lodged the initial complaint.

      In one instance, I got involved, but only because I determined that the person's profile was also a relative of mine. That's a very rare situation and I think I accomplished what was needed (at least I hope so, if my memory is correct).

      Aside from assigning someone in FamilySearch that has the ability to put accounts on hold, I'm not sure anything can be done, short of following the WikiTree methodology that Juli described. As she said, that profile manager position opens up its own can of worms. Given the scope of users I would give it a chance of being a good solution at less than 50 percent. Largely because there are a lot of users who simply do not have the experience needed to deal with conflict issues. The other issue is of course, the absent manager -- who may have died or lost interest in working with the tree.

      And, when it comes to this sort of thing, while I like the idea, there are certain profiles that really need more than one person watching it -- Pieter Claesen (Wyckoff) is a good example. And, there are at least two of us who are watching it and taking swift action when it comes to someone entering something that should not have been entered. It didn't help that Gustave Anjou was involved and is largely the source of the problems with his bogus genealogy.

      I think that what has to happen is that FamilySearch put into place an easy means to report the "bad actor" that also allows for authoritative FamilySearch communication with those who are determined that their information is correct, despite having no sources. In a way, it should be a little like the position held by the FamilySearch Moderator in this forum. Someone to call for a cooling off-period and, if necessary, the means to lock an account.

      There are other possibilities, to be sure, but I'm not sure that any of them are any better (or worse, for that matter) than those that have already been brought up.

      Thanks again, to Joe Martel, who has contributed to this discussion.
    • Oh, and by the way, I think that those who heavily depend upon the watch list would have even bigger problems as profile managers with many profiles they are responsible for. I know, even with as few people that I have currently in the system, I would never have time to do research...
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  • 2
    As Joe touched on, the first part of what gasmodels described is very much like the existing Discussions. And we know how effective they have been! Also, I doubt very much that it has anything to do with them being hidden under the Collaboration tab. If they were on the main page, I suspect that they would still not be used much, and when they were, it would not be for collaboration.

    I think part of the challenge here, is that any "new feature" that is added will just make things more confusing to a lot of people. One reason that a lot of documentations are not read here is that many people want an easy solution. We've had folks come to the forum and actually admit that they never read any of the notes, discussions, life sketches, sources, or even memories.

    Another thing is that all of this requires a lot of communication by computer. A person not only has to read a lot of details (many pertinent ones of which a person might not even know how to find, such as Reason statements stretched across multiple change history log events), they also have to be be fairly quick in TYPING. We have so many members under the age of 18 that work on here and I've watched as they struggle just to type in a reason that they are changing something. It is so painfully slow for them that they want to achieve it with only one to three words.

    I know that I sound like a broken record, but things are being made too complicated. There should NOT be sections and tools on the site that only experienced users want to use. It needs to be much simpler so that even the novices must use the same areas that experienced folks do. If you have to document something, there should be a specific place to put it where EVERYONE will look because there is not any other places where it would exist. Why would someone put something in a Note describing why a vital has been given a certain value when a change history reason field that is posted so prominently below each vital (at least, those on the main details page) appears to be the "Correct" way to do that? Not to mention the Discussion "things" that are also being used as Notes...

    Things need to work the same across the whole site. We tag sources to vitals such as birth events as evidence for that event. Many times that tag is all that is necessary. But what about relationships? those are vitals too. Why are they handled in a TOTALLY DIFFERENT fashion?

    Anyway, that is just a long way of saying that a lot of the proposed solutions here need to be effective with far less experienced, slow at typing, maybe not too interested in deep details, and maybe senile individuals. Our leadership wants all of those types of members on the site as well, so my suspicion is that limiting those folks in access in any way is very unlikely to happen. I suspect that real solutions are ultimately going to come by:

    • Simplifying things in the User Interface so that it is more intuitive to folks across the board, and

    • Get to a basic structure that doesn't have to have major re-structuring every 3 months. That way training classes can be consistent across the world.
    • view 10 more comments
    • And, then there are those who assist and teach others how to research family history who appreciate how "way overboard" theoretical comments can be used in adapting that information to better explain and instruct.
    • Cousin David,

      Not sure if the comment was direct toward me, but yea, I certainly admit that at least I have probably gone "way overboard" on analyses here :-)

      However, I do feel that it is important that folks here understand that the comments I've made in this particular topic are not really "theoretical". I have been totally immersed in all of these items for most of my career. I've used all of these principles almost daily. I know that they work and can produce significant improvements for any product development, and especially those containing software.That is one of the reasons I get so passionate about these things.
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  • Werelate has everything where you are forced to look at it.
    Sources are on each vital. You click on the number of the source and it takes you to the source at the bottom of the page.
    Lifesketch section.
    Source section.

    See example image below.
    Link to page: https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:...

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    • Jeff Wiseman, I thought that you might be onto something with that ZERO source mention!

      I returned about a year ago to FSFT after a several year hiatus owing to more important concerns, only to find a completely different FS. That the sources I had submitted identifying and ratifying the families I had submitted for ordinance work had for the most part completely disappeared and most had ZERO sources. In the process I essentially have almost re-created the whole of the 5 or 6 family generations I had previously submitted. I am still at a loss as to how the sources disappeared. While there has been a number of merges, the biggest task, has been having to find and attach once again all the sources. Well, at least the FS Historical Records is a virtual courthouse and archive and doesn't have the costs of the original research! : )
    • Adrian Bruce,

      The Imperial War Museum comment is quite interesting. Finances do have a way of limiting things! : ) If I ever get back to England, might check it out! It's probably closed at the moment.

      IMO, I don't think FS implemented such a feature for vitals as ZERO sources. That somehow, it has turned out that way and FS has not quite yet figured out how best to address and solve the issue. As I say, JMO!
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  • Reading this topic brought me this strange Déjà vu feeling.

    I also noticed that this month starts my sixth year as a Forum participant. I began with a suggestion from FS Support to post here. " After several emails of inaccuracies and lack of sources for verification and in response to my FH Support emails, it was suggested posting my comments and suggestions here, as "we cannot process your suggestions and need you to do one more thing to get those suggestions to the right people;"

    After five years, I'm also experiencing: "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" (The more it changes, the more it stays the same.)

    It was in that initial post, that I "met" our 'user advocate' Joe Martel - and truly appreciate his continuing "advocacy" for us, the users. Thank you, Joe.

    Ron Tanner also weighed in: "BTW we don't need to be reminded that Family Tree is an open-edit tree - we designed it that way. Thanks."
    https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea...

    In this topic 'gasmodels' refers to the need for "collaboration" and "quality" - items mentioned in the formative WhitePaper The Case for Moving to "OUR TREE" https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea... (along with reducing duplication, and SOURCES. (It also mention "locking" records)

    So, may I suggest we opt for one of the topics suggestions and swap Life Sketch with Collaboration and rename it RESEARCH NOTES, and provide the ability to link the page to multiple members of a family as most research becomes family, rather than individual.

    I would further suggest that FamilySearch adopts a clearly defined goal or purpose, which, hopefully would include some reference to QUALITY (aka "Records Worthy of all Acceptation') and prominently display that for all to see - AND work toward that goal (as opposed to quantity - tens of millions of this, and millions of that).

    Currently, in addition to the White Paper, I find this other documentation about 'purposes':
    https://www.familysearch.org/en/about
    https://www.familysearch.org/help/sal...

    Then, after declaring the goal of FSTree is QUALITY, not quantity, set into practice items to meet that GOAL - such as education (Promote the FHGuide); requiring SOURCES; reporting MERGE completions. The "My Contributions" tool on the FS app demonstrates the capability FS has to individualize statistics - include merges as an item, suggest an 'appropriate' ratio for persons added vs Sources. (five, ten sources for every addition?) If the app can compute it for an individual, it certainly should be able to compute an average, and use the stats, to promote the desired outcome.
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  • Thanks for the discussion but 'm not sure where the FSFT requirement  quote of “any vital must be evidenced by zero or more sources” originates. This does not match the original requirements which are generalized below:


    1. Ability to support one’s (User's) Conclusion by attaching a Source that may reference a record.
    2. A Source can be added (Attached) to an ancestor, or hung off Vital, Non-Vital fields (yet to be implemented) through a SourceReference.
    3. A Source may exist, unattached to a person or relationship
    4. A Source can be tied (Tagged) to multiple Conclusion fields through one SourceReference. A conclusion field may be (Tagged) to multiple Sources via the corresponding multiple SourceReferences

    The diagram presented above is generally close but doesn't illustrate the nuance of conclusion field types vs. value, nor the concept of referencing multiplicity.

    In summary a source is a great way to support a conclusion but Sources aren't required, and in fact, different users would contend some Sources (like oral genealogies, living memory) don't pass their quality threshold - yet that may be the only proof of a conclusion.

    And we all would love to have a full (quantity) tree with perfect quality. Something in between is the compromise we have to live with in reality and lack of evidence across time and locale. That being said, I do like to hear approaches to achieve both. Thanks
    • view 3 more comments
    • "since all my verbose contributions to this topic have probably been putting people to sleep or driving them away" :-)

      I would similarly apologise to anyone tired of my discussions on these and similar matters - my excuse is that this is a Community and some of us do like this sort of thing in the vague hope that we might come up with something helpful that illuminates things for us all.
    • There are often excellent points made in some very long and verbose posts. I don't mind them and sometimes find some real gems of wisdom.
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  • Also, when nFS was replaced by FSFT, part of the migration was to bring over all the Sources (few were created by Users in nFS). This migration still took weeks and I'm not aware of any situations where FS lost Source in migration or features, like Merge. The only way to lose a Source was for a User to cause it to be lost. If there are example where  Sources were  lost please post them. Thanks
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  • Thank you. Your patience through much of this extensive, esoteric and complex discussion is appreciated.
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  • Ah. I should forebear; however, there is the classic “operator error”. Having said that, we’re back to the inexperienced user and an increasingly complex system.

    I was able to teach my mother how to use her flip-phone but was unwilling to risk
    my life on a computer or SmartPhone.
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  • I couldn't decide which subthread this best goes with, so here it is separately.

    In Jeff Wiseman's excellent discussions (with pictures!) above, he notes that the current implementation on FS is "zero or more sources". As has been said, this is a practical/pragmatic design choice, and it is not unique to FS. However, I think it's possible to re-interpret the current implementation such that all conclusions do actually have at least an implied proof: "personal belief of userXYZ on [date]", or for vitals that have had multiple contributors, none of whom attached a source citation, "personal beliefs of user123 on [date], user456 on [date], and user789 on [date]".

    It should perhaps be emphasized that the use of the word "proof" here is the mathematical one: "the logical argument supporting a statement". It is not the colloquial meaning of "a statement providing absolute certainty that something is true".
    • view 6 more comments
    • "I would argue that there is an essential reason for allowing an empty proof: otherwise, you end up with a chicken-and-egg problem ... "

      That would be my concern. Though it is, I suspect, very much a (pragmatic) Design reason rather than a (rigourous?) Requirements reason.

      Certainly, the way I work in FSFT, I've already done all the "proof" work in my desktop system generally using Ancestry or FindMyPast. When I come to reproduce the work in FSFT, things sometimes go awry because of the different indexes that FS have compared to the ones that I used and I end up entering some of a family manually with no sources, copying from my desktop. Only then can I fire up a useful enquiry from FSFT to find the source indexes - there just doesn't seem enough data to make a successful query otherwise.
    • Actually, I was arguing that there was NOT an essential requirement for providing an empty proof. That would be a design consideration to allow it for flexibility. Yes, we need to allow for different workflows, but to me, the concept of entering a value before you have any clue whatsoever about it origins in the essential structure of things would normally be impossible.

      You might think that if a person were to pick a date and place straight out of the air without any reason whatsoever, it could be used in their work flow as an initial "Guess" to be a placeholder until further evidence can found. But nobody EVER does that! They will ALWAYS have some kind of a reason to enter that value as a starting point, REGARDLESS of whether they document it or not. To allow the capability of entering a value with no logic or other evidence simply generates issues. What happens when the person comes back 2 years later and looks at that vital and can't remember why in the world they ever put that value in there.

      And then there is the more frustrating one in a shared tree, where hundreds of other descendants of the person who has that undocumented vital come across it and can't figure out what it means. They will go chasing down location or date related rabbit holes and wasting a whole lot of time just to later figure out that that conclusion belonged to a spouse and had accidentally been recorded in the wrong person's profile.

      I understand what you're saying about the chicken-and-egg issue. But of course it depends on how clever the designers are. In the models above, notice that I named the entity "Vital" and not "Conclusions". The conclusion is the value of a Vital entity. When a Vital is first created it has a null value--or rather a conclusion of "Unknown". Firstly, with no sources and related derivation logic assigned to the Vital, the conclusion of "Unknown" is perfectly correct because that is EXACTLY the conclusion that you would come to when you have no sources/evidence. Secondly, it could be implemented the very way it is with the sources being tagged to the Vital rather than its conclusion. This eliminates the chicken-and-egg problem.

      And that exact same way of handling evidence (i.e., sources) can be applied to the derivation logic documents. in FSFT, this would be fairly easy by just allowing Notes to be handled in a similar way as Sources are at present (i.e., Tag them to vitals)

      The fact is that the natural progression of things is from evidence with it's connected logic and analysis, to conclusion is ALWAYS how it works. Its a fact of life. You can't avoid it. Even if someone doesn't actually document their evidence or reasoning because it might seem really lame, trivial, or they are just too lazy to put it down, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. That is a natural part of the problem domain for the tool. It is based on natural fact. That is why it is in the essential model.

      So let people be as sloppy as they want in their own private trees. But in a shared environment there must be some social self-control and a willingness to abide by the rules that enable EVERYONE to benefit
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  • 1
    Well, all of your comments may be verbose, extensive, esoteric, and complex, but I sure am enjoying them! Thank you all!!
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  • Comparing these two pages,

    https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:...

    https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Cooke-3...

    Werelate is a better system because when you click on the number next to a vital, it takes you to a Source for that vital, such as birth. You can see and find 1, 2, 3 etc. sources for a birth.

    Meanwhile, the page on Wikitree, if you click on the arrow next to each Source, it takes you to the text above which the Source is a Source of. Werelate is just a bit better design.

    And then if you want to compare with Familytree:

    https://www.familysearch.org/tree/per...

    What jumps out at me after looking at both Werelate and Wikitree is the Notes section...

    ...43 Notes...

    ...you would have to click 43 times!

    ...is anyone out there going to click 43 times to read each Note?

    (Makes me think the Notes section on FS can go.)
    • view 3 more comments
    • The FSFT user interface would look tidier if they could be shifted to be, in some fashion, subsidiary to the Vital in question
      So here is yet ANOTHER reason that we should have the ability to tag Notes to the vitals in exactly the same way that sources are tagged to vitals. You would simply add the tagged notes to this screen:



      This has another added benefit in that when you change the content of a vital and you have documented your derivation logic in a note, When you fill out the inappropriately named "Reason This Information Is Correct" box (it should be called the "Reason this CHANGE is being made" box) you can easily reference the note that the complete derivation logic is located in. This way you don't get the reason for changing the vital mixed up with the Derivation logic or "Proof" for the vital's value. These are two totally different things. Now you won't have to go digging through the change history logs to find the total derivation logic for a given vital. It's attached direct to that vital in the form of a note the same way the the sources which feed the derivation logic are attached. They are all there together and not strewn through the change log in pieces.
    • Regarding the "Edit war", since neither of them provide any kind of justification or other evidence for the change that they have made (over and over and over), my contention is that NEITHER of them is legitimate. They are both mythology. Even if they were found in a fortune cookie, having that fact documented would be better than EITHER of the changes that were made. That way anyone else in this SHARED tree would at least have a clue of what they are up against.
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  • Let me again suggest FamilySearch opt for swapping Life Sketch with Collaboration and replace it with RESEARCH NOTES. Make it a continuing list of user's research notes, explanations, conclusions, etc. and restrict them from deletion, but allow continuing comments and discussion.

    Then provide the ability to link the page to multiple members of a family as most research becomes family, rather than individual.

    RESEARCH NOTES would then be at the top of the PID page to reflect the importance of a continuing collection of HOW the vital information was found, analyzed, deciphered and decided.
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  • A couple of thoughts here... I like the idea of renaming Collaboration as Research (or Research Notes), but only as a tab. Discussions is or should be a true collaborative system that can include research notes, but doesn't necessarily do so.

    In a way the way this Feedback (Get Satisfaction) forum is put together is along those lines and would be suitable for a FS discussion thread:

    Each discussion thread becomes a FS discussion heading/initial entry and the title (heading) is in bold)
    - A reply is equivalent to a FS discussion entry to an existing discussion
    - A comment is equivalent to a FS note attached to an entry, or alternately, a initial entry. Comments can be deleted, but not replies or initial entries, except by the user who made the comment or initial entry.

    Unlike the GetSat threads, a note could stand by itself and the Research tab would appear like this
    Heading and initial entry (deleted only by the user who created it)
    * Note entry (deleted by anyone)
    * Discussion entry (deleted only by the user who entered it)
    ** Note entry (deleted by anyone)

    Heading and initial entry

    Note entry
    In addition, the Research tab would contain a count of threads.

    On tagging back to entries in the profile, all elements (whether a discussion thread, a discussion entry, or a note entry) can be set up to be tagged. I do not see this as automatic, but something that is like the watch list -- the tag star is empty if not set up but filled if tagging has been enabled for that thread or entry. Once enabled and used, tagging cannot be disabled. If not used, tagging can be disabled by anyone.

    Also, tagging can be enabled back to sources.

    And as far as sources go, sources that are not tagged back to the profile or research entries, should be marked in some manner.
    • view 8 more comments
    • No, I will check for those, but normally they are not duplicates. Note though that many citations may be pointing to the same source image. Some people consider those "duplicates" but they definitely are not!

      Consider a family of 2 parents and 8 children on the same 1910 Census. Now also consider that there wasn't quite enough room at the bottom of the census page to list all of the children, and so 3 or 4 of them were placed on the next page. When that source (i.e., the census) gets indexed, Each name is individually indexed and points to a different place in the census, some on one page and some on the other. When you "attach" a source such as a Census to (say) the father in the tree, what you are actually doing is creating a citation unique to that specific father's indexed data and attaching that CITATION to the father's record. When you do the same for the mother, the citation that you create and add to her record is totally unique to HER. So even though both citations ultimately lead you to the same Census, they are different citations since they point to different people in different places in the Census.

      That is why you cannot copy the citation off of the father's source list and paste it into the mother's source list if the citation is to an index file for a source. Because then you would have a source reference (i.e., a citation) made specifically for the father in the mother's source list (not what you wanted or expected).

      It gets even more complicated when more than one company indexes the data on the same document image. Now you have two index files owned by two different companies but if you attach the father's data reference for each of them, they will look similar and point to the same place in the same document image but they are two DISTINCT sources. They are NOT duplicate sources, they are physically different and exist under different licenses.

      And if you DON'T attach them all to the correct person records, someone else will pick them up and attach them to some incorrect record which confuses the hints engine.

      So even if they look very much alike, they are almost always NOT duplicates

      Note that in the case of unindexed sources, it works differently. When you attach an unindexed image to a person record, the source citation created just points to the ENTIRE Image. In this case the CAN copy past the citation to other person records of folks that are also in that image. However, it is now YOUR responsibility to fill out the citation details to identify where the person is in the cited record.
    • Thanks for your reply. I've had mixed results with duplicate records, some with the same data reference and some not. But, I still would like to know if there is really a need for 15 marriage records for the same couple? : ) No need to respond to that!
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  • These are great considerations.
    One of the reasons they moved Notes to Collaboration was because most the Notes were discussion in nature, not really backing up conclusions.

    If you find Notes that fit the desire here to tag to a conclusion I'd love to see them - PID and few words of the Note title. If there are lots, we could start a new thread - something like - "Examples of Notes that are good evidence and reasoning" 
    • view 3 more comments
    • ATP, you may want to move this to a different thread.
      But the Gedcom data here comes from a Person that added a couple years ago and subsequently merged, keeping that data. 
    • Tom,

      Exactly! Would it not be far better to have one of the Notes in that person's Notes list (which is currently inappropriately listed and thereby hidden under a tab named "Collaboration") with the simple title of "BIRTH" tagged to that very edit Birth window that you gave as an example right next to all of the sources that it is using for its basis?

      And now in the "Reason for Making this Change" box (Oops, that is the "Reason This Information is Correct" box who's title really is associated with the value derivation and NOT the justification for the change) you only need to indicate the reason for change which will be saved with the change event. The Reason could say something like "The previous value of XXX is very unlikely. This change was made based on the conclusion documented in the Note 1 "BIRTH" tagged to this vital".

      Now the Reason box only contains the reason the the change was made and the BIRTH Note contains ALL of the derivation logic for why the value of the Birth is considered correct.

      And when the Reason for change box disappears the next time a change is made, that is totally correct and appropriate, because ANY subsequent change is going to have a totally different reason for why it is done. You don't have to try and retain previously entered data in order to keep the Reason field "complete" (which many people don't do anyway when all they did was change something to a standardized form)

      And when someone wants to see the reason a particulate value is in the BIRTH vital, they simply look at the Note titled "BIRTH" that is tagged to the vital instead of scanning who knows how many change history events to try and piece together the total, current reason that the VALUE of the Birth record is "Correct" (i.e., the derivation that the BIRTH conclusion is taken from)

      And when you need to transport your derivation logic to any other genealogical software, or transported be GEDCOM, there is no problem because all systems support the us of notes for a given person record.

      And when you need to scan through the change history to determine why some strange evolution on a vital occurred, you won't have to go through pages and pages and pages of change history log files due to the Reason fields on each change being so BLOATED with information that is talking about the final value of the vital instead of why the changes were being made.

      A change history log is only for recording change events. Things that happen once at a point in time. a Note containing the derivation logic for a vital's value is the result of a summary of many change event reasons. What's more, the Note has it's own change history. The individual change reasons as they are implemented are attributes of the change event--they do NOT have their own change history!

      And if you REALLY want to have the full derivation logic associated with the reason each time that you made a change, I suppose that you could always copy paste the note into the reason for change field. But then you run into the problem with the bloated change history files again.

      We are deviating too much from the natural basic structure of these entities which is making them more complicated and people find it hard to understand why they are there.
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  • Joe,

    On the subject of Notes on a PID, could you gives us any idea of what percentage of the 1.2 Billion "People" in the FSTree actually have NO Notes - or NO Discussions - and/or NO sources.

    Now that we see the FS app is able to tell each individual user how many sources, memories and persons they have individually added to the Tree, it would seem that 'gross' info would be easily available????

    This might demonstrate what IS, or is NOT, being used. Then one could see where helpful decision might be made.

    Collaboration is/was a great idea, but in my experience it appears NOT to be meeting its potential - to assist in making FSTree more reliable and accurate. Collaborative research can likely assist in finding SOURCES for a PID. (the key to verifiable reliability of the information.)

    Just for kicks, here's a random family of 25 individuals (two families) 23 had sources (90%), anaverage of 6 ea., 7 had notes (28%) & 2 had memories (8%). The Notes might meet the " fit the desire here to tag to a conclusion" - but are quite 'weak.' eg: 'I find no evidence of this person in this family, etc.'
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  • I’m wondering?
    If NOTES section does not exist of Wikitree & Werelate...why does NOTES section need to exist on Familysearch?

    (Vitals section on all 3 sites.
    Obvious Vitals section on Wikitree, Werelate, Familysearch.

    Source section on all 3 sites.
    Obvious Source section on Wikitree, Werelate, Familysearch.

    Write-in-section on all 3 sites.
    Obvious write-in-section on Wikitree, Werelate, Familysearch.

    Collaboration section on all 3 sites:
    Wikitree-Comments appear on the same page.
    Werelate-Talk section on same page/different tab like Wikipedia & FamilysearchWiki.
    Familysearch-Discussion section on same page/different tab.)
    • view 28 more comments
    • They ARE opposites, and the ability to compartmentalize individual notes is a distinct advantage that FS has over the other two sites.

      If you were to copy the content of all 43 of the notes in FS and put them all into the one common text area on each of the other two sites, it would totally get in the way of using that page. You would have to scroll up and down to get to the references and vitals, etc. And all this because you are FORCING everyone to see EVERYTHING at once!

      The single "use it for everything" text block in those records is overly simplistic, and when needed for more complex genealogical proofs, biographies, research notes, etc., etc., it becomes horrendous to try and maintain. Furthermore, if you are searching for a specific piece of information in it, it is awkward when it gets to be 4 pages long.
    • The 43 NOTES on FS are un-usable in their present form. No one will ever click on them and read them.

      So I propose NOTES be imported into the Source section where they can be examined and if they are Sources they will stay, and if not, the info can be placed in Vitals/Events or wherever they belong.

      The purpose of this thread is to discuss rating of sources for the purpose of stopping the wrong merges. Wrong merges happens on FS. Wikitree & Werelate do not have a big wrong merges problem because they have Prominent Warnings:

      Werelate for Pieter Claessen:
      https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:...
      "Refuted father."
      Wikitree:
      https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Claesz-4
      "disputed parents." "!"

      I suggest to stop wrong merges BOTH 1) rating system for Sources and 2) Prominent Warning placed somewhere everyone will see, whether accessing FS from Ancestry or from a phone or directly on the website. Such as:
      "Refuted Parents"
      "Disproven Parents"
      "Refuted Parent or Parents !"
      "Commonly mistaken for another person !"

      Today I detached fake parents and wrote a custom fact. "Do not attach so and so as parents because baptism gives real parents such and such." The baptism is already attached--it's not enough. We need warnings.

      Pieter Claessen has info on his FS page explaining about Anjou fraud--it's not enough. We need warnings.
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  • Joe wrote
    Notes were in PAF, so I'm guessing they exist in Ancestral Quest too.
    Yes, they do. They can be marked private but in most cases they are public in nature.

    The AQ - FSFT interface allows various types of material to be applied to notes in AQ including Memory "Stories" entries, the "Life Sketch" and of course, "Notes". Likewise, Memory "Images" can also be exchanged between AQ and FSFT.
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  • JOE,
    Re comment above referencing: https://www.familysearch.org/tree/per...

    These attached 42 notes were basically a good example of what you were looking for, I think.

    In their current state they are NOT that usable but consolidating them (AND making them "taggable') would be a good starting example of what a 'Research Notes' page might look like - and work. In their current state, they are not very usable.

    (This note may have gotten lost as a 'buried comment above.)
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  • FYI: There were millions and millions of Notes that were ported to from nFS to FT back in 2012. I'm guessing there would be some multiplier more today, probably about 5-10x. So there are lots of notes out there. If we got rid of Notes would we need to migrate them to another object, because there would be many unhappy users if that information were lost.
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  • Thanks, Joe. I was thinking document quality in posting it here.
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  • Ok, I suppose that I should leave well enough alone, but I wanted to share the following :-)

    I was recently perusing through the GEDCOM X standard (that supposedly FS is implementing) and I came across the formal definition for the "Conclusion" Data Type. Notice that in addition to the optional list of citations (ie. SourceReferences), it also includes an optional list of Notes about the conclusion!

    In fact it ALSO provides for a reference to a specific Analysis Document (Proof Statement?) supporting the Conclusion.

    In our current FSFT, we already have the list of "SourceReferences" for many (but not all) vital conclusions in the form of tagging to the vitals.

    In our current FSFT, we do have general Notes, but those associated with a specific conclusion (such as a vital) can not yet be listed for that conclusion. I.e., there is no way to list them like we can the SourceReferences via tagging.

    And also in our current FSFT, we do not have the ability to reference an Analysis document containing the detailed proof for a conclusion. I believe that that is something that FS has planned for the future. However, most people have long been using the Notes for this purpose. Again, if FS simply provided for the Notes to be tagged to conclusions in the same way that they are supporting the list of sources for conclusions, a single Note could now ALSO be used as the analytical proof document for the conclusion as well.

    This is just another view on how adding the ability to tag NOTEs to vitals in the same way that sources are already handled is a good implementation of the inherent structures that need to be supported.

    And when this is done, it would be compliant with the new GEDCOM X standard structure!

    And lastly, regarding the "Quality level" that gasmodels was discussing in his original post to support the confidence level on a given conclusion...it is ALSO accommodated for in the new standard. So it appears that many aspects of the natural essential model for a genealogist's workflow is already incorporated in the new GEDCOM X standard. It just remains to be implemented and used :-)

    • view 1 more comment
    • I believe the reason this implementation would be good is that it implements components of the natural problem domain that currently are not being implemented, or are being attempted in a very deviant way relative to the essential model.

      Regarding your concern:
      notes probably have to be such that only the submitter could edit/delete them. If they were left open edit those users who convert one record to someone else could trash all the arguments and conclusions associated with any of the vital pieces of information
      Since the "conclusions" are really just the values assigned to the vitals, this problem already exists as a unique problem in its own right!

      Using something like Discussions instead of notes in order to write protect the contents will do nothing to prevent values assigned to all vitals, relationships, and sources attached there from being randomly changed and destroyed by persons on the system that don't know what they are doing. in order to avoid that you would need to write protect EVERYTHING which takes us back to the "My Tree" vs. "Shared Tree" concepts.

      This is about having data structures in the system that are sufficiently correct so that essential capabilities are provided. So I would advocate just sticking with the shared tree concept, and implementing the mitigations needed to avoid the destructive behavior of unknowing or uncaring patrons.

      I would, of course, mandate that notes are another item that is tracked in the change history logs--especially for recovery purposes. I would also suggest that tagging or untagging of items also be visible in the change history logs since a note or source attachment to a vital is significant. If someone detaches it, they have destroyed related information to the vitals.

      Of course, those mitigations are a totally different can of worms and have been difficult to deal with. Ref: GEDCOM files.
    • BTW, I didn't pursue it further but in the GEDCOM X conceptual model for Conclusions that I attached above, the Analysis document resolves to an instance of
      http://gedcomx.org/v1/Document

      which I suspect is a generic document structure. I suspect that having ownership control on the document itself could provide some protection against mass destruction since such a document might involve a tremendous amount of research and documentation, making it a significant artifact.
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  • I've been working on a rating system for sources to identify record quality, but a bit different than gasmodels' idea, which I plant to put in a separate thread.
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  • 2
    Look at the Vitals section of Werelate for Pieter Claessen:

    https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:...

    Notice they have in red so that no one can help but notice the warning: "Refuted father."

    There's a number next to it, when you click the number, it takes you to Source for that at the bottom of the page.

    I really like that warning.

    Compare to Wikitree:

    https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Claesz-4

    Notice they have a big yellow box with an exclamation point that is a giant warning about "disputed parents."

    In the Comments someone wrote that they used the "disputed parents template."

    I really like that warning too.

    (Doesn't take you directly to a source like Werelate, but I assume there is something in the Source section of Wikitree.)

    I had started a thread requesting a Warning section and it's "under consideration" but I think an ability to add an "official FS warning/disputed/refuted something or other" like either Werelate or Wikitree would be a very good addition along with a rating system for Source quality--and both together would really help cut down the bad merges on Familytree.
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    • Maybe Joe can comment on this?
    • I hope we haven't given up on the warning. Just yesterday I had to explain an Anjou-like fraud by message. It would be so much simpler for people to see a warning when visiting the person, or see a warning while attempting to add parents "refuted parents are" or while making a wrong merge "often confused with another person."
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    Wow, talk about taking this discussion thread to a new level. I really appreciate the comments and thoughts. I had a private (message) discussion with m on the idea of a rating system for quality and what he has suggested is a very good idea.

    Hopefully, FS is taking all of this in and will implement some of this in the near future for the massive tree.
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  • Rather than post a comment to a reply above where it could get lost, I decided to add a reply here:

    Right now, the change log needs some work. Besides the problem of grouping changes by record type (all residence entries, for instance, appear when residence is used to filter the log), there is also the problem that if something is added to a discussion (or changes made to a note), there is no change log entry.

    The full profile change log needs to cover all changes, no matter where they appear.

    I have long asked for a change log for ordinances, but that need is slowly fading into the past. There is still a need, but not nearly as much as several years ago when a number of changes were made to the ordinance information.
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  • Just a few thoughts on this.

    I REALLY like the idea of unified person records and relationships in a single place here. I also like immediate links to sources so that the truth can be verified by any and everybody.

    The "wiki" concept has its pitfalls, but I must also say that I trust Wikipedia to give me good if not the best information on any topic I choose to research.

    I DO agree that accuracy is paramount. On, the other hand, none of us is getting out of here alive, and as I am transitioning I doubt I will be worrying about someone else messing up my work on FamilySearch.

    If you have unique family records, by all means share them. But recognize they are not NECESSARILY totally accurate, either.

    Maybe the best solution is the one employed by other social media platforms: simply report problems to "the authorities."

    Just my opinions, of course.

    I admire your passionate interest!
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  • Yes, I'm still reading these. This is an excellent discussion. A couple points:

    The 42 notes - I checked a few and most were ported from the Notes that existed in nFS. It took a long time to migrate, like sometime in 2013. You can also guess they were migrated because they have the name273482 type of attribution. I agree that there should be a UI to "expand all" like we do in other places so you don't have to click each.

    When FSFT was designed there was talk of having a Note on a conclusion, but it was hugely complex and would have taken 10x more time to port. They erred on the side of getting it done sooner, plus most those nFS notes seemed low quality anyway. So moving FT Notes to FT Sources wouldn't be the best.

    nFS sources also came over in migration but there were order of magnitude less Sources in nFS - users never spent the time to create them. 

    Warning sections. I'd like to see more thought about this. Today the Person's LifeSketch is your billboard, used for warnings. If you were to embed those everywhere then you would end up with the "Disputes" of nFS. It was a UI disaster. So we would need to refine that model and make it so it doesn't become a noisy page of red. THis is a huge additional complexity to the UI and then the next step is to have "my value" - i.e. the assertion model of nFS which had to be replaced - but the open-edit single conclusion model of FT. The werelate and wikitree idea is interesting but the UI is not coherent nor pretty (see below)

    Also realize, as is pointed out above, that this crowd is very detailed oriented and not the masses of users that visit, and do little contribution. Remember the 90-9-1 participation rule. You are probably the 1 that are doing 90%+ of the hard work. But part of attracting new users and retaining the casual user is to have "beautiful" pages - not dense page with a millions things on them (yes, don't shoot me - just conveying the real-world aspect of UI for the masses). 

    I'm not sure if this crowd is in agreement yet. I could use a roll-up summary. I still like the idea of a Note on the conclusion value, even though there's pushback on that. And the warning thing is interesting to work out. Thanks!
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    • Notes: on NM lines, some have no Notes, some have few Notes. The Notes are mainly : RFN (same person) often twice, age number but no book title or page number and author but no book title (same person), and defunct website that was replaced by a newer website already in the Sources section (same person). Very rarely is it something that is currently useful to someone.
    • Regarding starting a new thread to get an official answer to the "where can FS put a warning":

      On this thread I have asked twice and Joe has said he has missed what locations, so then I list the locations and number them, but the question hasn't been answered yet. So rather than making a new thread just to ask a 3rd time, it seems logical to me to just simply ask again on this thread.
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  • m, I use Ancestral Quest and once I have linked an individual to FamilySearch, I can manually synchronize my Ancestral Quest information with the information in the profile that exists in Family Tree. The screen becomes a main work area and I can do just about anything with this person's information stored either within your database or on FamilySearch. All references to "you and your" refer to me as the user. For example, I can:

    • View and compare details of your local data and information stored on FamilySearch.

    • Upload specific information from your database to FamilySearch and/or download specific information from FamilySearch to your own database.

    • View detailed information about facts submitted to FamilySearch, including contributors, Sources and Change History.

    • Review and synchronize sources between the person in your file and the person in FamilySearch

    • Review and synchronize notes and stories between the person in your file and the person in FamilySearch

    • Review and synchronize scrapbook (memories) between the person in your file and the person in FamilySearch

    • Synchronize the Parents and Siblings of this Individual on FamilySearch.

    • Synchronize the Spouses and Children of this Individual on FamilySearch.

    • Unlink the individual in your database from the individual on FamilySearch.

    • View the record of this person in Family Tree using your default browser.

    • Search for more duplicate individuals on the FamilySearch system.

    • Participate in Discussions about the person using the FamilySearch Discussion board.

    • View the history of changes to this person in Family Tree, and when appropriate undo changes to the record in Family Tree

    • Delete the FamilySearch person, if you were the one who added the record to FamilySearch.

    As I mentioned before, Roots Magic and Legacy will have similar capabilities, but I do not know how extensive those two programs are in regard to manually synchronizing the local database record with the FamilySearch.
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  • I think I was starting to understand.

    You would like a "warning" (whatever the word is)
    1. seen when visiting the person page
    2. seen while attempting to add parents "refuted parents are----"
    3. seen while making a wrong merge "often confused with another person named ---"
    4. seen while viewing the name/marriage/parents fields
    5. It can't be hidden or dismissed
    6. must have attribution (contributor and date)
    7. (I took out "..."  because there is not way to design and code for that.)
    My questions:
    1. it would be freeform text where user can whatever text they want like "refuted parents are..."?
    2. There is only one warning on a Person, not multiple?
    3. It is editable/deleteable by any user, with appropriate attribution and changelog?
    4. I thought I was getting it until I saw this "I just created yet another proof on another page to disprove a myth. A warning could save so much work, you can't imagine." Would your proof be the text in the Warning? This seems to conflate the aspect of Notes/Reasons that most this thread is about with a Warning intent. This also starts getting into the gray area with Sources as well.
    5. That warning would show up for any of the actions that involve that Person? So Adding a child would show the warnings of both parents? How about the siblings? Doing a Merge could show 10's of Warnings that are on each member in the Merge Screen?
    6. #4 "while viewing name/marriage/parent fields" is confusing to me. In each of the edit dialogs for those or on the main view page?
    7. In the Cooke example each Person could have a warning. Maybe an affordance could be used to signify a Warning exists and open that up in an overlay? Otherwise showing each warning is going to clutter that page.
    I tried mocking these up and it seems like you have to be able to collapse and have an affordance
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  • When adding to the family, or Editing relationships each family member could have a Warning so need a way to designate that and to activate an overlay? Or show them all open, somewhere?
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  • For Merge, you would need more room at the top? And what about for each family member below?
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  • Person's Family Member layout screen with warnings and do overlay when activating an affordance?
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