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Forums: Index > Help desk > Are there plans for further modifications of the info templates?


I've just come to this site, after being unhappy with many other genealogical websites and programs - I think that a wiki offers the right combination of structured information, narrative information, and collaboration. This is the firsts wiki I've participated in, and have been learning how to get the most out of the info templates. There are a few places where I've come up against a dead end, and wonder whether there are either current workarounds or plans to extend the templates.

  1. It's frustrating having to type the same information into, say, Birth state and Birth place. Is there a way for the latter (which appears to be used only for displaying in the infobox) be populated automatically from information entered into the more atomic entries (which appear to be needed for linking the person into categories)? I tried using Get to create cross references within the info page, but that generated an error.
  2. Can Marriage be made to act more like Birth and Death (e.g., have Marriage place instead of Marriage, and the ability to use the separator key in the Show template?
  3. Information about second marriages seems not to be picked up by the 'Married in...' templates. Also, there seems to be much less atomic information about second marriages than first marriages.
  4. Is there a way to Get just a date or just a place for, say, a birth (other than piecing together Gets of the atomic elements)?

Bruce Kendall 06:24, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

My thoughts: I think the info templates will continue to evolve. In particular, I agree that generally marriages have been second-class compared to births and deaths.

Another point you have already noticed: you can add any fields you like to the info template, they will just not be used by the standard templates: I often use "Immigration" instead of "Emigration", because I have access to arrival records. Similarly I use "Familysearch afn2" etc for additional AFNs referring to the same person.

I am afraid "Birth place" for display is quite useful: you can add street name and number, house name etc. I also often have to add extra <br>s to stop the field width upsetting the width of the infobox. I would not like this field to have rigid formatting: that is the trade-off for redundant information.

I recently created "Get birth date" and "Get death date" to assemble the dates from the components. We can have other templates like that if someone wants to use them (but as you have found, you get circular references if you try to use them to populate other fields of the "info" template).

The later marriages have the same components as the first marriage: look at someone like Ellen Levingston (1833-1911) (though that page needs some work: the date template changed since it was created), but the Info categories template does not pick them up. Just notice that the field names may not be what you expected.

Thurstan 07:04, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

On second thoughts, I am sure that "Marriage state2" should be "Marriage2 state" etc. I am sure I found this documented somewhere at the time, but I can't find it now. Thurstan 07:37, 1 January 2009 (UTC)


A good place now for examining individual parameters is Genealogy:Info pages/Parameters with its talk page for suggesting improvements. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:46, 27 April 2009 (UTC)


Definitely the data model of events like marriage will be upgraded. There may be something a little bigger than that coming up in the next month or so. Here's a preview.
I have requested that the semantic media wiki extensions be added to genealogy wikia. If no bugs are uncovered with them, the implementation of info pages will employ them. All templates and info page properties will remain the same, but the way they work will be far far more flexible. For example, AMK will be happy to hear that family trees will have no more limits on sizes. Also, we will be able to perform queries such as Search for surname Swanson in Virginia between 1700 and 1789. For those interested in what the wikitext syntax looks like, take a look at this partial demo of an Abraham Lincoln info page. Be sure and see my user page on that wiki for a demo of how the get's work. This will be so simple to use, it looks like I will be out of a job. No more template arcane tricks! No more double flushing! Anyone who has been following the theoretical essays on info pages knows that they were intended as a transitional scheme until we got semantic web capabilities. Quite frankly, I never believed it would be this soon. I am very pleasantly surprised that they got what appears to be a stable version of this completed.
People should keep on doing what they are doing in the meantime. If we do decide to transition over, articles won't require any changes, and they and the templates will just go on working exactly as they did before. Some templates that assume the current structure of info pages will definitely be affected but I'd be happy to convert those. Anyway, after the extensions get installed (who knows when) I'd like to look a little into the abyss before we talk about leaping... I want to run a bunch of tests. I suppose it is possible there is something that will block this- like maybe it can't handle 100,000's of articles, or maybe it is unstable and loses data. I have run into a few limitations, but nothing serious yet. -~ Phlox 08:40, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
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