Forums: Index > Watercooler > Time and Space category naming

Per the discussion in Forum:Births in (location)/Deaths in (Location), I have extended the Genealogy:By location category scheme to include both time and space. It is named Genealogy:By Time & Space category scheme. It makes the time categories symmetric with place categories, thereby making category names easier for newcomers to predict.

  • EG: 1991 births becomes Born in 1991.
  • EG: Ohio births becomes Born in Ohio.

No one need do anything different in the meantime. Continue to categorize as you have. There is no need to start recategorizing anything. PhloxBot will handle this during an overnight run.

There may be some objections to this recategorization, and so this change will not occur for two weeks. If there is strong concensus that there is no need to wait, then of course the transition can be moved. up.

Categories affected will have a warning notice placed on them, directing interested parties to the talk pages of the two schemes noted above.

~ Phlox 00:00, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

category:Ohio births versus category:Born in Ohio[]

The conversation up to Phlox 15:52, 18 November 2007 was copied from Kborland since it is relevant to this thread.

Since there appears to be little controversy about this rename of categories, I was thinking we'd just move over quickly rather than put up warning messages then wait for two weeks, then do the rename/move.

You have been using these cats- is this rename ok with you? If you have some misgivings, I have no problem waiting. I only have a problem if the wait is pointless. So what say you? Pull the trigger or should I cool my jets? ~ Phlox 23:47, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I personally like Ohio births, but only because it seems to be more consistent with other states. However, I think the most important thing is that there are not 2 categories designed for the same purpose. By the way, my hope is that eventually, this will turn into a birth index, cross-linked with year and county, so that there will be, for example, some day categories like 1856 Harrison County, Ohio births.Kborland 23:55, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
It will be consistent, because all states, counties, countries- every placename category include Time categories will be moved over at the same time. The goal is consistency and predictability in naming.
As for the creation of multiple criteria categories, we can certainly automatically generate them now. There is not too much use until we fill up the namespace with lots and lots of genealogy files- something that will happen over the next month or so- maybe somewhere around 100K folks will get uploaded.
Long term, the nice thing would be to put up a database interface to the data. This will be possible for all field encoded data (the bulk uploads shall be encoded that way). Then you'll be able to do everything you can do in the familysearch query interfaces, as well as a few more. But in the meantime, we can certainly hack up pseudo queries by cross referencing place with time. ~ Phlox 00:04, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Sounds like we're on the same page. My only fear with the database entry system is that there'll end up being a lot of redundency due to the naming conventions of the people, i.e. I could be Kevin Borland (1975-?) to someone who knows me well, Kevin Borland (aft1970-?) in someone else's tree, or Kevin Borland (?-?). It'll be a tough task constantly keeping track of potential merge candidates, unless that's built into the system somehow. I agree completely about the births. I think when there are a lot more pages, these categories will be extremely useful.Kborland 00:10, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia has 10 million pages including redirects. Somehow they manage to identify topics that are about the same thing that are named differently and merge them. It works because everyone is an editor and can identify such problems. In our case, our number of pages will dwarf that of wikipedia in the first decade. It is not uncommon for individuals running their own genealogy site that have 1 million individuals, so our destiny is to be fairly large. We are using unique identifiers (AFN)s, and will use our own GUIDs to keep things straight. In case you haven't seen them, this is the kind of stuff that info pages type articles do. Possibly we can use some probablistic code to flag likely identicals, but again, this is way down the road. So long as we have the crucial data encoded in a controlled way, we will be in position for such later tools.
When we crack 100 million individuals, we are really going to need them, but by that time I figure there will be some more comrades in arms that know how to handle some of the artillery I have been using.

Anyway, sounds like you are ok with an immediate mass category rename to conform to the proposed pattern. Is that correct? ~ Phlox 01:37, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
That is correct. There might be a small technical problem with your merge, however. I noticed that there are some templates out there that automatically create these inconsistent categories. Those templates need to be identified and fixed too. Also, somebody who know how to do it needs to merge 1816 births and Births in 1816, etc. Kborland 01:44, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
The only templates that auto generate or reference these that I am aware of are my info templates like Template:info categories or Template:Navbox county2-en. After the first pass moving over the manually cat'd articles, I'll look at the stragglers and convert the templates generating them. Not fun work, but it's like building a house- small irregularities with the foundation create huge errors later on. ~ Phlox 15:52, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Phased Transition of Time cats[]

Doing the time cats first. As the conversion is going on, please alert me to any errors so that I can halt the bots and make appropriate corrections.

Everyone seems ok with an immediate move and so after the bot is finished with the county creations, the first phase of the time/space category move will begin. During this period, people can use the old category names, however the category will look like Category:1966 deaths after the third pass, so the old directory structure will no longer be available. After this, I will announce the move is complete and the bot will regularly sweep articles in the redirected categories over to the new category. This will be necessary for any wikipedia articles or images manually imported.


  1. Move all articles over to new cats. If any text is on the cat page, it is copied verbatim.
  2. Correct the text and category names on the new cats
  3. After a few days allowing international inspectors to check out the move, the old cats have their contents replaced with the catalog redirect notice as in Category:1966 deaths
  4. A final pass is made moving any article that used the old cat names during the transition to the new cat name

~ Phlox 07:20, 19 November 2007 (UTC)