What to do when others don't use categories "correctly"?

+7 votes
I helped create a way to link matching Y chromosome haplotypes (between males with the same surname) where the shared direct paternal line ancestor is unknown.  However others are now using this category system for different uses.

So if I ask them to use it the "proper" way or use their own system instead and they refuse then may I delete the category they are not using correctly from the profiles they added that category to?  Or is there something better I can do?

Thanks  and sincerely, Peter
in Policy and Style by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (605k points)

3 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer

One of the interesting things about of a volunteer environment is that things change and evolve often in directions that were never intended by the individual that started the process.  It can be very frustrating but in the end that is just the way it is.

If you write detailed instructions on the category page with examples and show the proper hierarchy it might make a difference, but not always.  You can ask managers to change categories if you provide help pages showing the preferred methods, but you can not force it.
by Philip Smith G2G6 Pilot (306k points)
selected by Living Sälgö

Hi Peter,

I agree with Philip, contact people if they aren't using the category in the way intended.  

Veronica set up some categories for DNA Circles and had similar issues: see G2G Discussion: Category for AncestryDNA Circles.  She contacted people and some of the categories were moved from Category:AncestryDNA_Circles to personal categories.

I added some Y-DNA_Haplotypes subcategories eg Category: Smith Y-STR Group 1.  Please contact me if I didn't do it correctly.


+2 votes

Please explain better...

1) Why not just add your category?

2) Have you defined "your" category system?

3) Maybe create a new naming "standard" that doesnt conflict

4) Start adding hatnotes and disambiguous pages to explain that it can be used for more things

For a description how other wikis use hatnotes see Family Search

by Living Sälgö G2G6 Pilot (275k points)
For a better explaination see the Shelton groups at


They don't have any haplotypes and this is a category for haplotypes.

I don't have a problem with him using a different category but unfortunately his is not following the guidelines for this category.


I think communication is the key success factor.... can't you set up a web meeting/chat with people involved and share screens..... as this is not simple and everyone has different backgrounds communication is important.... 

I have seen that Family Search have online project meetings that you can dial in... See

  • FamilySearch_Wiki:Community_Meetings
    Come forge solutions with other community contributors. We share best practices, ideas, tips, current issues, etc., for working on projects in the Wiki and discuss content, technical issues, workarounds, community, site design, and strategy. Important community issues are also discussed as we help move things along to decisions.

Googe webhangout is free and an excellent way to share screen plus you can also record the meeting and save it to youtube so other can see and learn....

+1 vote
Everything "public" will find its own level.  Free-space pages may be the way to go.

Even then, links on profiles are at risk.  Ideally, lists would be built at the other end, and the profile would just use a WhatLinksHere to find all the lists it appears in.  But MediaWiki comes as it comes.
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (571k points)

"find its own level" ----- you need a vision and leaders and a lot of communication. G2G is not the best tool for solving complex things is my experience. I feel we need online meetings.... today its a Kafka feeling when you don't know with whom you communicate.... Genealogy is complex....

"Free-space pages may be the way to go" its just a technique.... its the same same as templates etc...

"MediaWiki comes as it comes" I feel we don't see the possibilities with the platform plus havn't upgraded it with the latest.... FamilySearch did an upgrade last week and now support Visual Editor....

There is something called the semantic web that Wikipedia is part of and that also Wikitree should see how to join.... its based on templates and define how data is related see 
Welcome to Introduction to Linked Data and the Semantic Web

Simple example where the data added at Wikipedia in different articles using Infoboxes  are used to display all the capitals on a google map.....

We could do the same with genealogy data, genealogy sources like churchbooks or FTDNA FF results...  etc.... but we need a vision.... 


Magnus, but just love your ideas. Thanks for pointing out dbpedia throgh the spark map. Just amazing stuff.  Maybe some of your insights will come to life on WikiTree one day.

>>> Maybe some of your insights will come to life on WikiTree one day.

I think its outside Wikitree scope/ambitions.... 

Wikitree can't be everything

New development is not the fastest process inside Wikitree. Todays development model with voting in G2G and with no online meetings is not efficient for adopting new concepts. I have tried in 4 months to get acceptance for using templates for external links which is basic wiki and you are asking for problems not using templates.... today status is that if I would like to link to old Swedish Maps it will be about 50 links to different parishes (eg. Jämtland) that is excellent for doing genealogy and read the old books online ==> I should use a template. Then I can't just create a template (takes 2 minutes) I need some kind of voting inside G2G..... and last time we asked for feedback on hatnote nearly no one understood what a hatnote was.....and 13 people voted against ;-) and 1 month later its no decision taken if its ok or not (compare Family Search about using hatnotes)....  

Semantic web

I will do the training from Future learn about the Semantic WEB to learn more and also I have started to use another Wiki Family Search plus I have started to see if I can do some coding extracting information from templates.....

My feeling is that Wikitree can learn a lot by looking into what Family Search has done... they dont use the Lua module as Wikipedia do so many of the templates WIkitree just can copy/paste. Example of great stuff in Family Search land

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