error 872 multiple tags from multiple sources to one piece of info

+6 votes

I appear to have hundreds (if not thousands) of profiles that now have an error 872. I believe some maybe due to the tag having too many characters, so I am working through each profile, shortening every one (but I have millions to go through), but I am guessing nearly all my profiles have the issue of <ref>+</ref> pair.

For example, I have up to five different census refs for a birth place, so I will have xxxxx<ref name="1851 census"</ref><ref name="1851 census"</ref><ref name="1871 census"</ref> etc.

or other facts that have multiple sources <ref>"xxx"</ref><ref>"yyy"</ref>

Is this what is causing the issue? and what is the solution?

in WikiTree Tech by Michelle Wilkes G2G6 Pilot (146k points)

3 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer

I am not sure if you typed this wrong in your question or if this is in your profiles. 

<ref name="1851 census"</ref>  should be 

1st time - <ref name="1851 census"> census citation </ref>

2nd time using that same citation, it would be <ref name="1851 census"/>  same name as above, but with slash inside and no ending 'ref'

Help Page for Suggestion 872

To make it a little easier on yourself, you only need quotes around the ref name when you are using a space or start with a number, so if you start using C1851, as an example, that will make it easier.  C standing for census and no quotes are needed

I have found about 15 or 20 different  problems that have caused this new Suggestion, mainly syntax issues, like the slash is in the wrong position, extra spacing around the = sign.

Hope this helps.

by Linda Peterson G2G6 Pilot (654k points)
selected by Michelle Wilkes
The other thing to do is to look at the Info Box in the Suggestion.  Where you see <ref>, <ref name>, or </ref> that indicates 'where' the problem is.  It can be caused by something just prior to that, but it is in that area.  All of your 'ref names' are shown in that info box in the order they are used, so you can use those to help figure out where the problem is.
On Bremner-474, there is a </ref> in the Info box, just after one use of 1881 Scotland Census and before another one. I think that one is pointing to

ref name="Scotland Statutory Birth register of Elizabeth Mary Harthill BREMNER"

So, yes, that is more than 64 characters, which Ales added to that Help Page last week.  I had asked him about a Suggestion last week because it was a long name, so he added that information.  The ref name doesn't have to be long, just something so you can use it, so that could be shortened to 'BirthElizabeth' since you have them for other children.
If it is a long name and you want to keep it, you can mark it as False Suggestion with the comment that it is a long name, since the code works as it. Just going forward, I would try to make them shorter so it doesn't generate that suggestion.
Yes, I had written the question wrong - spent too much time looking at <ref> and </ref> and <ref name ="xxx"/> this morning!

it would be <ref name="1851 census"/><ref name="1861 census"/><ref name="1871 census"/> etc

so I have found it is mainly long names in between eg. the "xxx". I hadn't realised that long names were an issue, but am now going back through double checking, and amending the longer ones. I'll aim to do a few a day from the error list and make sure any new ones are shorter.

Interesting, I am noticing a few other things as I'm sifting through my old profiles, many that I created early on when I was just learning wiki in-line referencing!
Thanks.. I am also thinking the actual problem code is the one before or after what is showing in the suggestion box - which is what had been confusing me, so I'm correcting what I think is wrong, then if there are still issues in the same profile, is should be thrown up again in the future!

The other issue I have noticed is when I have copy and pasted something from one profile to another and inadvertently pasted across a <ref name="xxx"/> without the full reference. But they were easy to spot.

I checked one of your many suggestions and indeed the length of the name is the problem. Name of the reference is not needed, unless you want to use that reference on multiple facts. And in those cases, you need to retype that reference, which is not easy if the name is that long. 

For instance on profile you have

<ref name="St. John, Duxford, Cambridgeshire, England Bishop's Transcripts Baptism Register entry of Elizabeth WALLIS">...</ref>

that is not used with another fact. If it would be you would have to use it exactly like 

<ref name="St. John, Duxford, Cambridgeshire, England Bishop's Transcripts Baptism Register entry of Elizabeth WALLIS"/>

which is just asking for a typo.
If you are not reusing the references, just skip the name completely.
Since the 'ref name' is only seen In Edit mode, it doesn't have to be long or complete since it is only a shortcut being used again, when needed.  The length isn't a problem, no need to shorten it, but for Ales to check it, he just had to put some length for the name. Probably easier to Mark it false so you don't cause a different suggestion if you cut one name down and not the reuse of it.  Make sure to use the Preview to ensure that all the sources are shown correctly if you change something.
One can start the name with numbers without needing to quote the name.  Embedded spaces do require quoting.  An all numeric name is not allowed - with or without quotes.
Is it true that the ref name must be at least nine characters? When I was told this, I went from, for example, <ref name=C1851> and <ref name=FAG> to <ref name=Census1851>  and <ref name=findagrave>

Which causes the least number of problems?
No. ref name can be a single character. but It is better to use a few.

The minimum length is for the content of the inline reference. That means the part between the ref tags.

<ref>This text must be longer</ref>

I use Cyyyy for ref name with no problem and I used to use that for ref name for Grave, but I use Grave for name now, just as a better abbreviation.  

You might be confused with Suggestion 864 Almost Empty Tag.  That Suggestion was because the 'wording' between the 'ref' was shorter than 9 letters of actual citation.

+4 votes
I had problems when I began the ref with a number, i.e. <ref name="1851 census"/>  Those problems went away when I reversed the order, i.e. <ref name="census1851"/>
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (402k points)

I think <ref name="1851 census"/> is actually fine, as I have used precisely that format many thousands of times and I have zero suggestions. There was probably a different issue that you happened to fix at the same time, so it was coincidence that it went away when you reversed the order.

You can also fix that by putting another non-numeric character first, as in <ref name=":1851 census"/> 

+4 votes
quote> <ref name="1851 census"</ref><ref name="1851 census"</ref>

I think the source names prefer to be without any spaces.

Also one cannot have 2 different sources with the same given name. You have to give the sources different names. So if you have a census from and the same census from FamilySearch, you could use ...

<ref name="1851anc"</ref> <ref name="1851FS"</ref>

If you are just citing the 1851 census ONCE you can just use <ref> source </ref>. You only have to use something like <ref name=1851C> when you are referring to the SAME census source multiple times in the bio.
by N Gauthier G2G6 Pilot (228k points)

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