What do you do when you learn of a lower-numbered profile AFTER you've merged into a higher one?

+6 votes
Despite my best efforts (and in great part because it's a friggin' MESS in the Corn(w)e(/a)ll realm), after I merged a BUNCH of dupes into Cornell-33, I learned of Cornell-29. Don't know why he didn't show up on any of the different find lists until later.

So I really should merge 33 into 29, but won't that wreak some sort of multiple-redirect WikiHavoc?

UGH. I feel so bad.
WikiTree profile: Richard Cornell
in Genealogy Help by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (905k points)
As long as -33 isn't HSA, go ahead and merge, they seem to be sequential, not otherwise.
Cornell-33 *is* HSA (or should be) -- he's the immigrant colonial ancestor of a SLEW of CORNELLs.

CORRECTION: he's not the immigrant ancestor, but a disputed ancestor/father OF the immigrant ancestor.

1 Answer

+7 votes
Best answer
Hi Jillaine,

I feel bad that you feel bad. You shouldn't.

This isn't that big a deal. It's a big deal if it's done a lot, with no regard to the order of the merges. Doing a few isn't really a big deal, and inevitable.

The redirect problem only comes into play if there are long chains of redirects, i.e. more than three or four. In this case, it's mostly just the minor inconvenience that the change history for Cornell-29 will be a little harder to follow.

Thank you for wanting to do it right. The problems are caused by people who don't care, not by people who make little mistakes.


P.S. For others who see this, here is an explanation of the problem we are talking about: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Multiple_merges_and_redirects
by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
selected by Keith Baker
Thanks; I feel better; I've merged 33 into 29.
I'm glad I saw this Q and A, I wasn't aware of the redirects issue. After reading the explanation, my first thought as a computer scientist is why aren't redirects updated rather than chained after a merge?

For example, merging  Schmoe-3 into Schmoe-2 redirects 3 to 2 as usual, but when Schmoe-2 gets merged into Schmoe-1, 2 gets redirected to 1 again as usual, but instead of leaving 3 redirecting to 2, update 3 to redirect to 1.

Of course, I don't know how the internals of wikitree work so there might be a logical reason why my suggestion wouldn't work. Perhaps searching for all redirects to a given profile is expensive? If so, maybe instead of updating redirects at the time of merge, a batch process running periodically could seek out redirect chains and fix them later?




Great comment, Roland. I like the idea of doing a batch process and have thought about that myself. Something connected: in Mediawiki change histories are preserved. You want to preserve what happened to Schmoe-3 and what happened to Schmoe-2. So, even though a page is redirected, the page history is preserved. But I'm not sure that explains why you can't update the page redirect.
By the way, Jillaine, what's with the number in your comment? I've seen that before on one of your comments.
G2G has a minimum number of characters required in posts. (12).

"Like" only uses four of those. ;-)
Is that a not-so-subtle hint suggesting that G2G should "borrow" the Facebook like button?
or remove the minimum # of characters limit (if you have control over that...)
Easy enough ... :-)

The minimum character length for a comment is now five. As long as you put that period after your "like" you're good.

Oh how funny; it wouldn't let me do that. (Without this sentence.)

"Your submission appears to be a duplicate."
way behind the curve, but glad I read all this... I've tried to do short answers in the past (for instance, just "Thanks" to acknowledge an answer more than an up vote does) and G2G wouldn't let me. I forgot to be wordy recently and it accepted my comment - now I know why :D

Cheers, Liz

I had attached this to the explanation of lowest possible profile merges, but it should be here as well:

But I am also wondering about the redirects themselves. This must be a table or some listed entity in the back end of the database. Would it be possible to have some sort of query or script run that tested each redirect, determined if it went to an actual profile, or simply another redirect, and rewrote each to the lowest numbered profile? This could run whenever the servers were not strained.

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