Why is SHOUTING (all caps) allowed in data fields?

+15 votes
It would go some way toward making Wikitree appear less awkward or inelegant to have words in all caps (e.g. SHOUTING) automatically (or otherwise) corrected. Would a rating system and clean-up policy be useful in helping to eliminate this problem?
in Policy and Style by Upton Criddington G2G4 (4.1k points)
retagged by Maggie N.

3 Answers

+7 votes
Some genealogy teachers and programs used to encourage people to use all caps.  I don't know of any like that now, but when people change from application to application, then upload a GEDCOM, their old ways follow them.  Few if any people now add information to profiles using all caps unless it comes from a GEDCOM.

There are currently lots of people on Wikitree working on cleaning up profiles, and making suggestions to profile managers on how to improve profiles. The Database Errors project is working on cleaning up the data when names appear in all caps (Error 107) or in all lowercase (Error 108).  Not as much has been done with locations, as there are discussions about standardized location names.
by Vic Watt G2G6 Pilot (336k points)

My point: If you have problems to understand small letter then you have a problem...with most texts in books and internet....

  • Please focus on what is good genealogy or not in WikiTree....
  • If you think block capital is good genealogy then convince others or just use it.... WikiTree is welcoming so most things are welcomed maybe not with open arms...



>>  We are talking about capital letters in a surname ONLY, and not in the whole bio section.

Yes but what is the next step that someone thinks how banks does with SWIFT is the best standard to use and have a US approach not understanding "foreign characters"..... it's enormous irritating to see Swedish names spelled without dots.... I spend 15 minutes in SF trying to check in to a hotel and they spelled my name Sälgö as Saelgoe because something couldn't use know how to write ä then thought ae was a good substitute.....  

For me it is stupid having just capital letters in names when you have specific fields for that. I understand people don't understand databases and fields but maybe we should learn them.... if not you get problems using tools like the Database Error project that access the structured data....

As WikiTree lack fields for describing less common things people are starting to invent new ways of describing things which will just be a mess.... someone just added -(dash) between names to tell that one name was his mothers name....(it was not the persons name) reason was it would be easier to search for all people related to his mother....

>> You also missed my point that English is English not British English to me and most Brits, and 'British' English is offensive as it is our language originally. There is no such thing as British English. Yes there are variants of English, Australian English, American, and many others but English is English as she is speaked by them who resides in Blighty.

No I understand your point and I think its better to describe things as good as possible. I am right now trying to describe a persons life in wikidata see http://davidklockerehrenstrahl.blogspot.se/?view=flipcard so that people working in Museums can understand the possibilities with structured info...

Some googling I found

British English is an American invention and just because Wikipedia calls it that does not make it right as it was probably written by an American.

Note that Americans refer to English (meaning American English) and British English.; This is wrong on all levels.

Enough now! ;-) I have to go out.

>> British English is an American invention and just because Wikipedia calls it that does not make it right as it was probably written by an American.

Yes that is just one opinion.... best is if all opinions can add information or at least agree that they disagree... 

The local variant is always called English by the locals and the other variants are called with their country name before it. BTW there is also international English and that what we Dutch people call what we speak with everybody that speaks more one language.  With the people that speaks only one language we speak or Hollywood English or Oxford English.

I have no problem with calling the many variant of English by their variant name, indeed it is necessary to distinguish them from English and makes you aware of pitfalls because of differences. As someone said the English and the Americans are divided by a common language.

Calling English 'British English' is tantamount to calling Dutch 'Netherlands Dutch'. There may be variants or Dutch such as Indonesian Dutch, South African Dutch, Suriname Dutch etc which all may have variations from the mother tongue and locally would be called Dutch. But no one would even consider saying that the Netherlands spoke 'Netherlands Dutch' so why do the Americans insist on calling English 'British English'? It is not logical nor is it reasonable.

BTW Oxford English, also once known as BBC English, is acceptable to me as I speak Oxford English but we are splitting hairs when breaking down English into it's regional dialects.

Tot ziens - or is that Flanders Dutch? 

We call Dutch "Nederlands-Nederlands" or ABN or "Nederlands in Nederland". Sometimes you need something else then simply "Dutch". And the people that speak Dutch and live in the Netherlands are divided by a common language.

And if you speak the language the Americans think is English you need to call the English that is spoken in Oxford and other parts of English "British English". And there are more people speaking English as their official language outside Europe then inside Europe. And that is not case with Dutch. On the other hand the Americans think they are alone in the world.

In many ways you see this on this website. Some people think it normal to write name in caps, because that is they always do it. Or that one official lastname can change the moment they arrive in another country. Or that you can only have one first name. Lately when I add new persons in the database I get errror message, because add more then one name as a first name.

Wikitree and the world has people with different cultures and other POV. So that explains why Americans call the language spoke in England "British English". English IMHO the common language that is the second or first language of the people that live on Earth. So one time there will be "Earth English".

>>So one time there will be "Earth English"

Which no doubt will clash with Mars and Lunar English! :)

>>  have no problem with calling the many variant of English by their variant name, indeed it is necessary to distinguish them from English and makes you aware of pitfalls because of differences. 

The problem having different names and maybe sometime also different names for the same thing is that its get confused without good definitions.

Wikipedia has "solved" that by adding an extra layer Wikidata that gives different objects unique id's ==> you can for an object have different name.

As Wikitree/Wikidata is a rather academic community they are now in Wikidata trying to describe all relations and to use that by having unique wikidata objects for all the variants==>

  1. English_language is Wikidata Q1860
    1. that is a subclass of Anglo-Frisian languages Q5329170
      1. that is part of Ingvaeonic_languages Q30134
    2. it is also a Indo-European_languages Q19860
  2. British_English is Wikidata Q7979 
  3. .....

As Genealogy is even more complex because we have the dimension of time and different objects named different by different people or sources I think a genealogy site that try to be helping people doing good genealogy need also support things like this but then it gets complex and some people will have problems.... 

Moving in this direction is something called web 3.0 or the semantic web. I did the first step by connecting a profile at WikiTree with a profile in Wikidata using an external ID in Wikidata WikiTreeID see Space:WIkidata. Now Aleš has connected about +28000 people from WikiTree and also created the possibility to find differences between Wikidata and WikiTree error 551-562 and also created tools to try to match more people (best solution is to create a WikiTree template for Wikipedia referencies....)

Lesson learned is that this is an excellent way of describing things and open ups possibilities in a magic way. I have started to describe David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl Wikidata Q902649 (no WikiTree profile yet) and all places that are related to him in a blog that will be translated to Wikidata objects it feels like genealogy of the future....  example of a search in Wikidata for all paintings in museums that ha has created or people influenced by him

The live search gives me today 1731 objects returned. Same query but display the images available all this is possible because we have created objects of the people

Very complex and a little beyond my requirements! Wikipedia states "first spoken in early medieval England" and therefore as far as I am concerned English - The British mother tongue - should be Q1860 and there should be no Q7979. It is not logical to do otherwise. Unfortunately this will never happen as Wikipedia and most of the internet is controlled by Americans and thus they have the last say in everything regardless of whether it is correct or not, and usually it is incorrect and sets history the way that they want it. I have no doubt that very soon they, meaning the American government, will also be deciding the fate of the world and creating an irradiated mess unfit for human or any other habitation. If there are any survivors form THAT holocaust, and they are American, history will no doubt be written that they saved the world.

+2 votes
I see this over on some of the other genealogy sites - I haven't changed any profiles that I manage at least for surnames, but the only thing I routinely capitalize is GEDCOM.

the imported GEDCOMs also put a slash on either side of the Surname - and of course they separate the name of the person and their birth into two sections. I try to stick with Birth, Marriage, Residence, Occupation, Military Service and Death as my primary sub headings - I will also add Political Life, Religious Life and I guess if we had a pro athlete, that as weill, altho being a pro Athlete would be an occupation. I try to do all of the headings in chronological order.
by Roy Lamberton G2G6 Mach 5 (56.0k points)
edited by Roy Lamberton
+6 votes

This is an old thread, but just to make it clear: Allcaps are *not* allowed in the data fields; they are considered an error in all location fields and all name fields, and months never show up in allcaps in date fields.

by Isabelle Martin G2G6 Pilot (489k points)

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