Error Message on footnotes

+7 votes
255 views

The profile for Edward Browning currently displays an error notation citing 3 lines of footnotes, and when you click on the question mark you are directed to this page:  Link 2 which makes no sense to me, as I have checked several times and all the footnotes seem to have been prepared properly.

However, the link above discusses footnotes in a form without quotation marks, while I was taught to prepare them with quotation marks, in the format suggested at this Link.

Previously, I had checked, and both formats seem to work.  I can see how people would find the non-quotation format better, saving them two key strokes, but having learned with quotation marks, it doesn't feel right to leave them out, and I'd prefer to keep doing them that way -- if it doesn't matter.

Has there been a change, though, in which the quotation marks are generating an error?  And if the problem isn't the quotation marks, then what is the problem with most of the citations on this profile?

WikiTree profile: Edward Browning
in Policy and Style by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (367k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

it was the space between < & ref that was causing the error. The "answer" of what's wrong is in the "info" column, but it's hard to see without line breaks. For profiles with only 20 or so ref tags, I'll just search ref & check pairings/name usage. For profiles like yours, with more than 80, I'll copy what's in the info column and add line breaks. As noted on https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:DBE_872 ...

  • i is <ref>+</ref> pair
  • dxxxx is <ref name=xxxx>+</ref> pair
  • nxxxx is <ref name=xxxx/>
  • r is <references />

So checking the text from the info column (with line breaks), it's easy to check that each named ref only has one "d" and each "n" name has a "d", and that there aren't any "i"s or "d"s below the "r". Which leaves < ref>;<ref>; & that's the problem.

d scharf;
d colonial810;
n scharf ;
n colonial810 ;
i;
n hurley37 ;
n colonial810 ;
i;i;i;i;
n colonial810 ;
i;
n colonial810 ;
i;i;i;i;
n colonial810 ;
n colonial810 ;
n colonial810 ;
n colonial810 ;
< ref>;</ref>;
n colonial810 ;
i;
n colonial810 ;
n msa1783 ;
d msa1783;
n colonial810 ;
i;i;
n colonial810 ;
d hurley37;
d efb;
d letter;
d kelly;
d hurley;
i;
d kapple;
n kelly ;
n letter ;
i;
n letter ;
n letter ;
r

So I understood the space between < and ref -- there was one instance of that and I fixed it.  But what do all the letters mean?  d and n and r?  I use "colonial810" a lot in this profile and the error message repeats it more than a dozen times, but I have no idea what's wrong with it or how it should be fixed!

The instructions seem to be written in a mathematics or physics code, perhaps a programming language, none of which am I familiar with!
  • i is <ref>+</ref> pair
  • dxxxx is <ref name=xxxx>+</ref> pair
  • nxxxx is <ref name=xxxx/>
  • r is <references />

i means there's a footnote (paired = good; <ref> xx </ref>)

dxxx ... d= it's a named pair, with xxx the name

nxxx ... n= 2nd ref, so not a pair, but a good footnote (provided there's a matching dxxx)

r = <references />

and... the list is not the error message, it is the info block - ALL ref tags are listed. Since you have one d = colonial810 and all the rest are n = colonial810 - no error for them. You'd have a "Duplicated named inline citations" DBE if you had two d = colonial810 entries; if none, you'd have a "Missing named inline citations DBE".
what is "d=colonial810"?  or n=colonial810?  This is the language I simply don't understand.  Can it be expressed in English?  Or even French I could probably do better with!
"d" stands for "named inline citation with citation text" e.g., <ref name="colonial810"> Mike Marshall. ''Early Colonial Settlers of Southern Maryland and Virginia's Northern Neck Counties.'' [https://www.colonial-settlers-md-va.us/getperson.php?personID=I84810&tree=tree1 Profile for Edward Browning] Accessed 7/13/2019 [[Day-1904|jhd]] </ref>

"n" stands for "named inline citation without citation text" e.g., <ref name="colonial810"/>
OK, so as I understand it now, the message, in English, would be, "you have an incorrect space between < and ref.  This is causing an error and needs to be fixed."  

Everything else is garbage and can be ignored.  

Based on this I can validly respond to the error message with "It's been fixed."

Later -- ah, the error message is now gone.  Liz, thanks for posting the guts of it above, so anyone seeing this conversation will be able to tell what we were talking about!
I wouldn't call it garbage, but yes, in this case there was only the one error & it was fixed.
This has been fixed, but I will chime on regarding the quotation marks.

Quotation marks are not needed in <ref name=> tags unless there is a space in the name. Thus, <ref name=census> will work fine, as will <ref name=census1880>, but we need to include quotation marks to use <ref name="census 1880">. Also note that the quotation marks are part of the tag name; if you create <ref name="census"> you must call it out in subsequent uses with <ref name="census"/>.
Thank you -- that's very helpful.  I hope when the various help pages are re-written they will be re-written to reflect that both styles are OK as long as one is consistent.

1 Answer

+9 votes
 
Best answer
I see an extra space between the < and the ref at the beginning of this line:

Will  In Edward's Montgomery Co, MD. will < ref>  Montgomery County Wills.

B:208/VMB1:173;  9 Mar 1776 - 9 Apr 1788</ref> <ref name="colonial810"/>

This error doesn't have anything to do with quotation marks, just the syntax of <ref>  </ref>.  the suggestion will actually point you to the error, but in a big profile like this it's confusing to find it.
by Paige Kolze G2G6 Mach 2 (21.8k points)
selected by Liz Shifflett
Also, when you are looking for these errors, make sure you have the enhanced editor turned ono (button at the bottom of the edit box).  It will highlight errors with ref tags in red.  Also, the enhanced editor displays the text between <ref> and </ref> in grey, so if you see any of the text of your bio in grey (i.e. anything that isn't a source), that usually means a problem with a missing /
That's very useful to know, Paige!  I did not know the enhanced editor would do that (and have never got into the habit of using it, but I guess I should).
I use the enhanced editor often, but I did not know it highlighted errors in red. Learned something new today!

Edit: I went back to the profile I tried to correct earlier and using the enhanced editor did help me find the error which still remained even after I though I had corrected everything. Thank you, Paige!
Paige, many thanks to you for spotting where the error was.  I do use enhanced editing sometimes, but it didn't spot the problem.  But with your advice in hand, I simply entered < ref in the search box and it took me right to the problem.

Related questions

+3 votes
3 answers
129 views asked Oct 18, 2020 in WikiTree Tech by William Foster G2G6 Pilot (108k points)
+3 votes
0 answers
49 views asked Sep 23 in WikiTree Tech by Nancy Thomas G2G6 Mach 5 (50.0k points)
+6 votes
3 answers
+4 votes
0 answers
+11 votes
2 answers
+3 votes
3 answers
196 views asked Oct 12, 2020 in WikiTree Help by Nelda Spires G2G6 Pilot (362k points)
+4 votes
2 answers
+3 votes
2 answers
86 views asked Jul 14 in WikiTree Tech by Alan Salt G2G6 Mach 1 (12.0k points)

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright

...