Why does my Watchlist turn up on daily basis large number of my Trusted List profiles but most without changes?

+9 votes
This large number of bogus Watchlist profiles (in the 100s) without apparent actual changes makes it impossible for me to use Watchlist as intended to better track profile changes.
in WikiTree Tech by Living Lambert G2G6 Mach 1 (12.7k points)

1 Answer

+2 votes
Your Watchlist consists of every profile of which you either are the profile manager or on the trusted list. They aren't "bogus" profiles. It's possible someone added you to the trusted list of a large number of profiles instead of just the one you needed. Removing yourself from the trusted list of these profiles will remove them from your watch list.

Have you tried sorting on the Edit Date to highlight which profiles you last worked with or which are in need of attention? It sorts in ascending or descending order. Just click on the title of that column to sort.

If you find you have too many to handle you can always remove yourself as profile manager letting them become orphans and leaving them available for some other person to adopt. If you plan on doing this, changing the Privacy to Open will help with the adoption. I don't believe Anonymous or Private profiles can be orphaned (at least they shouldn't be - no-one can see the content to adopt them).
by Rosemary Jones G2G6 Pilot (268k points)
I agree with you Claude. Can you suggest an alternate methodology to the designers? I'm not up on WikiTree internals to hazard a guess.
Seems to me that for Watchlist to work as intended when template link page changes are made, you have to rigorously differentiate profile changes from template link page changes. This would involve adding a "Change" tab in a template's link page (as for example, in case of a Category template link page) such as to discriminate in Watchlist not only actual/valid profile changes but also actual/valid template changes. Thus, Watchlist would strive to track any given template exactly the same way that is now done correctly for any given profile change. It is accordingly crucial that WikiTree add Change tab and associated change function algorithm for each template link page in order to not clutter Watchlist with bogus profile change alerts whenever a change is made to a template link page.

In short, tracking in Watchlist for template link page changes would thus be treated exactly the same way as is now done for profile changes.
Yes - have you contacted Chris about this? It would require a database change to add the extra field(s) I imagine. And I've no idea how flexible the DB structure is. It should be pretty fluid allowing for new fields to be added w/o having to take the DB offline to do a conversion. At least I hope it is. Additionally, from the comment made by RJ Horace, just the act of Saving the profile changes the date no matter whether there were any changes actually made. Still, it would be useful to have the date last changed actually reflect the changes.

No, I have you contacted Chris. Who is Chris? We are still trying to define the problem.

Given that there is a problem and that the problem does indeed stink, Wikitree's software programmer needs to then internally evaluate this problem including in terms of extra field(s) needed, DB structure & offline conversion constraints, and so on. 

Regarding RJ Horace profile change saving-without-actual-valid-change deficiency, why would WikiTree not extend the definition of the problem to include provision for correcting this deficiency, which is the way that Wikipedia does it.  

Sorry. Do you mean Chris Whitten? He and I have evidently not been acquainted to each other.
Should a full-blown solution not be in the cards in the short-term, WikiTree should at the very least start by simply discontinuing the practice of listing multiple bogus profiles in Watchlist based on any given template page change as this in clearly counter-productive.
Yes, I mean Chris Whitten. He's apparently the person to contact.
And no, I don't know him. Perhaps an email to support@wikitree.com (if there is such an address) would help.
A lot of people wouldn't agree that changing software is simple.  And even simple changes may have to wait their turn in a long queue - plus, they make the queue longer and delay other changes.

WikiTree is built on MediaWiki, the software written for Wikipedia.  It pushes the capabilities harder than Wikipedia.  MediaWiki isn't the best-designed software and it's being changed all the time by its writers.  Probably not a good idea for 3rd-party users to mess with its internals.

Logging a Save when nothing seems to have changed is probably a deliberate feature, because Saves are magic in MediaWiki, they make things happen behind the scenes.

In any case, templates are powerful things in general, and a template change could mean that you'd want to revisit profiles.  Software can't easily tell which changes are harmless.

There's probably an expectation that you get a template right before installing it and then mess with the live version as little as possible.

Having said that, you can probably ignore any log entry that just says "edited the data".  If anything's been changed explicitly, it will say "edited the Biography" or "edited the Father" or whatever.
Changing software is a great advantage in the sense that such changes are often infinitely easy than, for example, changing a steel bridge. This is the beauty of computer-based software.

All I know, RJ, is that generating 300 profiles in Watchlist when a change is made in my particular [http://www.wikitree.com/index.php?title=Category:Percheron_Immigration Percheron Immigration 'template'] is unmitigated nonsense.

I have a lot of similar experience editing Wikipedia articles so I'm in a good position to say that Wikipedia does not allow saving-without-valid-actual changes and there is little to be gained in trying to second-quess why that is.

A Rosemary suggests, I submit my problem via  support@wikitree.com.

Many thanks all.
Editing a category page isn't going to affect the profiles in the category.  Must be something else going on.

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