Merging into the lowest profile number vs. merging locked ancestors into best profile

+7 votes
104 views

While going through and double checking that only my hsa profiles were locked, I decided to pick a few random profiles to work on. I often get caught up on only one family line and need to spice things up a bit ;) Anyway, I checked up Eva la Zouche. I found that she matched several other profiles, but since she is an hsa, carefully checked to see if a merging process had started. It didn't look like the group had started to merge her, but at the very least another super (Kathy P) had a nicer profile for her, and it had been merged into several times. I went ahead and locked her profile, and started the merge process of mine into hers. This is where the problem popped up:

The system is set up to merge into the lower profile numbers, and as a safeguard for those who would rather not do this, you are not given the option to reverse the merge. Unfortunately, we as supers, at least, have found that merging into the lowest profile is not always the best option. In this case, because Kathy's profile for Eva had been merged into several times, I chose to merge into hers, so there were not a lot of "bounces" through profile numbers until the final profile page is reached. But, with the system automatically merging into the lowest number and with my locking Kathy's profile as the final one, I ended up with an endless circle of "you must merge into the lower profile" (which was my loner profile) clicking that and getting the message that "you cannot merge this profile because it is locked".

Now, I could unlock Kathy's profile for Eva, but because it has a few merges into it already, this would create a bit of a mess, whereas all the other Eva profiles out there have no merges, and seem like it would be more prudent to merge them into the existing merged profile, even if it is not the lower number.

Did I make all that as clear as mud? surprise

WikiTree profile: Eve Berkeley
in Genealogy Help by Abby Glann G2G6 Pilot (387k points)

1 Answer

+4 votes
 
Best answer

 

Hi Abby,
 
Good question. I'm glad you raised it and I appreciate that you're conscientious about this.
 
Like you say, the goal is for all duplicate profiles to be merged into the earliest one. The reason for this is the problem with merges going in different directions
 
So, we added the protection that forces you to always merge a younger profile into an older one. But if you've already got a bunch of intermediate merges going to something other than the oldest one, the protection defeats its own purpose.
 
It would be better in these cases to allow Supers, at least, to use their judgment and merge in a different direction. This would be a little tricky but it could be done.
 
The question is whether it's worth it, i.e. how common a problem is this?
 
Also, it's worth noting that the multiple merges problem is mitigated if:
 
A.) Some time goes by between the intermediate merges and the final one. If there are a couple weeks in between, at least Google will have followed the redirects and updated their index.
 
B.) If the merges aren't going in a lot of different directions the history isn't as hard to follow as it could be. It would still be best for the clarity of the Changes page if all the duplicates were merged into the final one. That's easiest to follow. But if all of them were merged into an intermediate profile and then that intermediate was merged into the final, that's not as bad as A being merged into B, and C being merged into D and then into B, etc.
 
by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
selected by Abby Glann
Thanks, Chris. It looks as if it will be okay to just merge these into the smallest profile I can find, then. Things sure can get sticky in those old profiles!

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