Can we implement enhancements to Pending Merges?

+14 votes

I have just completed one month as a Wikitree contributor, and I see that there are more than 100 merges requested by me pending, many from my first week.  We need better tools and processes to manage merges to minimize the frustration level and to allow  us to focus on more meaningful tasks (such as profiles).

I recommend enhancements to the Pending Merges screen:

  1. Display "merge created date" rather than "last updated date" to allow a true sense of aging
  2. Display the total number of merges  pending -- this is important to allow the user to understand whether things are improving or deteriorating relative to his/her merges
  3. Add a link  to a single clear procedure for following up with unresponsive/delinquent mangers and "trusted list"
  4. Provide a link to limit pending merges to be displayed to those over a certain age.  If the procedure says to notify managers after 30 days, we should have a link to limit merges shown to those over 30 days, etc.
  5. Use data available in the system to sort pending merges by manager and/or trusted list member.  When I started the time intensive process of notifying unresponsive managers,I became hopelessly confused because some profiles appear more than once and some managers are responsible for multiple delinquent profiles.  I envision a link to aggregate my pending merges by manager/trusted.  With such a tool, I coud send one private email to a manager with many pending merges.
  6. Provide a further link from the data created in #5 to directly notify managers/trusted consistent with the procedure in #3

I envision a process that follows a path such as the following: 

  • I access the screen for pending merges created by me
  • I select merges older than 30 days
  • I select notify delinquent managers
  • The system posts notifications on the profiles of all delinquent managers requesting acknowledgement/action
  • The system tracks whether or not the delinquent manager/trusted acknowledges
  • The system provides a list to a Wikitree supervisor of unresponsive  managers 
  • The supervisor follows up as appropriate
in WikiTree Tech by Bob Tonsmeire G2G4 (4.3k points)
retagged by Keith Hathaway
I agree with Bob. The merging system needs to be revamped. His suggestions would make a great start. Maybe we need a single supervisor to screen pending mergers to find PM's that are inactive or barely active. I have some profiles I haven't accessed since they were created, but I'm on WikiTree almost every day, and I check my e-mail regularly. I see profiles that haven't been accessed in 2 years and have multiple pending mergers.
One additional enhancement request on the pending merges page, for those of us with long lists and many new requests each week...

Provide a little mre detail in the summary lists about the two profiles for comparison, i.e. birth/death date/location, parents names. That lets us know immediately which ones need additional research or conflict resolution, and which ones can be acted on quickly.
Your "vision" is excellent - - I truly LOVE good process management and this is a lovely example.  Did medical process management for over 30 years where the "joke" (unfunny tho' it is) was that if your process was bad your patient would be dead.  Thank you for all your thought and hard work on this.  Much appreciated.

2 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer
This concept has not fallen on deaf ears... Today I noticed that this process has been expedited.

If every member would check "Merges waitng on them" , "Merges initiated by them," and "Merges on their Watch List," the automated system would not have been necessary.  Sadly, the fact as I see it, is there are just too many duplicates that have been ignored for too long...  A simple glance, will let a PM know if a merge is getting ready to go through and action must be taken.

I have no doubt that there will be merges made that will further entangle some profiles.  Yet, this can be minimized by people simply taking responsibility for their watch list..  If a proposed merge has significant problems, it needs to be put into the holding pattern as an Unmerged Match with an EXPLANATION  that will assist another user on what the problems are.
by David Wilson G2G6 Mach 9 (95.2k points)
selected by Vincent Piazza
I could not agree more that information on the profile about the why and how of the merge is even more important than it was.

The sad part is that many of the merges now going through are for unresponsive manager on one  or both sides, and doing these merges can lead to lots more merge proposals, 6 merges I did today lead to 150 new merge proposals, mostly where one manager has been MIA since 2012.
Hi Rhian,

Don't think your dedication has gone un-noticed... You are awesome d:D

I had proposed that many duplicate gedcoms be deleted by scripting.  This potential solution may have more of a downside in breaking links than the good it would accomplish.  The time required to verify gedcoms named the same were actually duplicates may have been over-whelming.

As I see it, each day WikiTree gains another step towards accomplishing the mission of a Worldwide Family Tree without duplication.


David - - I'm new in the neighborhood but I'm becoming interested in working on the orphans.  I adopted a few and have found that in many cases they are mixed up and messy.  Following what has been noted "above", might it be good to note in someway more strongly profiles that have been adopted so everyone will know they might be/probably are in a "scrub needed" mode?  The fastest way I know to gain this type of info is to check the area where the manager is noted and then check for changes.  There is nothing posted that shows the status history clearly for this type of profile.  Could we have something that noted that it has been adopted and will be worked on with the new manager having the ability to watch their adoptees and remove this identifier when the profile can move back to being a "regular" profile.  Could there also be some indicator on a manager's watchlist so these stick out a bit more?
+2 votes
I like some of your ideas, especially 5. Many aborists would love to only have 100 outstanding merges, most have 400 or more, grouping by PM cold be very useful.

Posting messages to unresponsive managers seems a pointless task, they may have changed email address to avoid requests or just set up a filter to delete wikitree email, but some have a genuine reson for being away, illness, death of a family member, their home burnt down. There has been much discussion about what is a resonable time to wait for their return. Until something better comes along the open profile request is the best option especially if you add ancestors and descendants.

I am not sure what you think the supervisor can do that is appropriate, dumping lists of unresponsive managers onto a supervisor will not achieve much, except for filling the supervisors mail box. Supervisors can do little more than users with modern profiles.
by R. G. G2G6 Pilot (213k points)


Your answer says that  "posting messages to unresponsive managers seems a pointless task..." but I understand that to be only one of three expected steps before making an "open profile request."  When I said in my original post that my suggested process would have a supervisor follow up as appropriate, I meant that an open profile request be automatically generated.  

The current process has way too much non-value add activity and, for that reason, does not seem to work.

I am not sure what non-value add activity there is with open profile requests, the system works well for me.

You propose a merge, or make a trusted list request, you have to do this after checking the profiles, this can not be automated.

You send a message to the manager, this has already been done with the first step provided that you added the reasons to the request. If they are active manager you could followup with a reminder.

You post a comment on the managers profile, this goes through a different email feed in case they have turned one off it also it is a message to other active users that you are persuing open profile requests for some of this managers profiles, they will possibly contact you to prevent duplicate open profile requests, which speeds up the process.

Everything there seems to be of value. You then check the PM's activity, you may spot a pattern like they only log on the first weekend of the month or just on one day a week, you may find they have been gone for years or that they are here every day but are trying to manage to many profiles. When making the open profile request you can add your findings to the text box for Paul to help him make a descision, you are taking an active role in making wikitree better.

WikiTree is user created, and user managed (for the most part).

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