Sometimes a delete button seems so much more appropriate...

+8 votes
Okay, granted this is something of a rant. Sorry. Sort of.

I spend the bulk of my time here merging profiles and cleaning up the resulting narrative, adding sources, etc..

In the process, I am encountering so many instances of dupes that don't have much if any information; it would be SO much easier to hit a DELETE key than go through the merge process.  Especially when I'm looking at a profile page where someone is married to five instances of the same person.

I get why you're encouraging merging-- you don't have to explain it to me (again ;-) It's just that there are enough times when deletion is so clearly the better way to go...

Back to merging the seven husbands of Sarah Doolittle...
in The Tree House by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (934k points)
recategorized by Keith Hathaway
Are you all talking about deleting other peoples files?   I check for my own merge possibilities and have found some are close, but not the same. I'd rather it be myself that made the determination to merge.   I thought this place was to build the tree.  I'm hoping that people come along and help with the dates, places and unknowns.  I did not use a gedcom, adding one at a time to recheck each person.  There have been other places that argued incessantly about this same subject.  It was not pleasant.
Sheri, no, I'm not talking about deleting other people's files. A number of us are actively doing just what you're hoping for -- helping with dates, places, and unknowns as well as merging the tons of duplicate pages that resulted from early mass uploads of GEDCOMs. The latter has been very frustrating because so many of  the early uploaded GEDCOMs contained very little information. My rant for wanting to delete these "useless" pages was spurred by that frustration. Since having that rant, I have calmed down and continue to merge useless pages into less useless pages, adding sources and biographical data as I can.

1 Answer

+5 votes
Best answer
I feel your pain, Jillain, I've gone through maybe 20 siblilngs, all with the same five first names. Seems like every family is this way. William Brewster (Mayflower) must have had 10 or fifteen children ascribed to him, The Mayflower Group only admits to five, and one of them unnamed. I left those five with him, and moved all the others off to various mothers, none of whom the Mayflower Group agrees to be his wife.

If only everyone was careful about who they associate with whom, it would be so much easier.


And I have deleted people, if a mother is listed as Sarah Unknown, there's no point in trying to merge her with someone unless birth and death days are exact.
by Tom Bredehoft G2G6 Pilot (214k points)
selected by Keith Baker
So there IS a way to delete someone??? Inquiring minds want to know!!! (I bet you have to be an admin...)
The profile isn't deleted, its disassociated. its still there, just not  connected. I mispoke.
There IS a way to delete profiles.

You don't have to be admin to use it, either. It's just rarely the right thing to do, which is why you don't hear of it much. :)
Right, deletion bad.

Since you're wiki-savvy, Jillaine, you'll appreciate the reason: Deletion destroys everything. It destroys the history of what happened. It leaves dead-ends.

Merging leaves a trail to follow, and proper redirects.
But if there's no spouse, parents or children, just an orphan, then is it okay to use Special:Delete THEN?
If you're deleting within a few hours of creating a profile, it may not do any harm. Otherwise you'll always be leaving empty spaces in the database. There will be a Schmoe-X that leads nowhere.

Uh oh. empty spaces in the database. can't have that. 



A couple empty spaces is no big deal. But we'd have a lot if we encouraged deletion.

Deletion is anti-wiki. On a wiki you should always be moving forward, making improvements. You shouldn't be erasing mistakes, you should be fixing them.
One could argue that uploading near-empty, unsourced GEDCOMs is anti-wiki, too. (This is not a problem unique to WikiTree...)

Don't worry; I'll avoid Special:Delete.
There is a recurring theme here trying to balance making it easy for people to bring content into Wiki.  My feeling is that no GEDCOM should ever be imported where every person doesn't have at least a birth and death year.  If you don't have that information please manually add it to the tree with as much information as you do have but don't make it easy to import.

On another note I've seen some discussions about new utilities on WikiTree.  How about one that is missing dates and the profile owner hasn't logged in since 2010?

Ok back to tracking the 9 million Harrisons in the world that may or may not be related to a president.

Agreeding with Ed -

Empty GEDCOM files:  Easy to 'buy', put into a tree, and easy to upload to W/T.

But they take forever to correct, which is why we need to encourage caution and limited usage.

One opinion, anyway...

@KeithBaker: LIKE

I hate to make this another negative comments so I'm going to spin this as positive as possible.  When you sucessfully upload your GEDCOM it is not necessary to upload it twice for good measure.



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