Could maintenance categories be approved for use with Stickers?

+2 votes

This is the WikiTree Help page for Stickers


The purpose of a Profile Sticker is to highlight an important fact about a person or honor an important achievement.

Profile Stickers support and decorate the biography. They are not intended to serve a unique functional purpose.


Profile Stickers can do categorization, so that any profile with the sticker will be placed in a certain category or categories, but this is not necessary.

My Question

Categories were approved but not specifically the following maintenance categories (Although categories would include them). Could specific approval be granted that they can be used with Stickers please?

Maintenance categories   

(Edit: Added s to sticker)
(Edit: Removed these two because they are project specific for use with project boxes)

in Policy and Style by Louis Heyman G2G6 Mach 7 (76.5k points)
edited by Louis Heyman

4 Answers

+8 votes

My answer is "no." Maintenance categories can be added manually. As defined, a sticker is not to serve a unique function. Maintenance is a function.

by Natalie Trott G2G6 Pilot (971k points)
Thank you, your reason being exactly why we are asking permission.
I agree with you, Natalie, so long as we are talking about maintenance categories.  Some projects do use stickers with project-related categories for profiles of interest to a project but not PPP and not project-managed.  I believe that is a good and proper use of categories with stickers and hope it is continued to be allowed.
Agreed. If templates and categories and research note boxes and stickers all did all the same things, we'd just need a single "decorator". Frankly I'm not a fan of stickers, but I've probably just been permanently scarred by MySpace.
"Permanently scarred by MySpace." hahaha. Oh, the glittery stickers!

Chet made an interesting comment

"Some projects do use stickers with project-related categories for profiles of interest to a project but not PPP and not project-managed.  I believe that is a good and proper use of categories with stickers and hope it is continued to be allowed."

My question is Are there already approval for the use by projects of stickers in this way?:

Yes, there are some in use; it's not widely used, but it is used.

It's kind of a moot point now, since they are already being used with stickers (I was not aware of it.)  

If you wish to have a new sticker created for your purposes, you still need to follow the process. ( If you already have a sticker in mind, a parameter will need to be added to it. I believe Aleš Trtnik can help with that.

Thank you Natalie for confirming. I just wanted to establish that we would not need to do everything over in a year or two's time just because we didn't take the time to ask a question here in G2G. Regarding the procedure with the sticker, thank you, we will take it up as prescribed with Aleš Trtnik. We do have an existing sticker. It just needs to be adapted with only already approved categories. That would reduce the risk of future deletions or renamings.

Thank you Natalie for giving your time and patience.

You're welcome. Good luck with the sticker!
+4 votes

I would also say no. If those maintenance categories were added then the sticker would need to be edited when they no longer apply. Having maintenance categories added alone and seperate from the sticker makes it easier and less error prone to remove them when the problem has been corrected.

by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
Thank you Dale. What about a country or project specific sticker? Do you think that your answer would include those stickers as well?

All stickers add categories and project or locations are already allowed, but your question asks to allow maintenance categories and adding them would cause more work later than adding them would solve. You want to allow stickers to be used for something they were never intended to be used for. Adding the maintenance categories is easy and does not require a sticker.

Dale we use categories with Project boxes and they do not cause more work. How could using categories with a project or country sticker cause more work? They are both templates The one image just looks different than the other.

Louis, your question is about maintenance categories as is my answer, if you add those to a sticker for say the Notables Project and the problem is solved then you would have to remove the sticker and add a different one. If the profile has the Notables Sticker and you add a maintenance category outside the sticker then when the problem is solved you only need to remove the category from the profile and the sticker remains. The rules also limit how many stickers should be used, "There should be no more than five Profile Stickers on one profile. Three is better." so by your use there could be many more than should be used. I find using the categories much easier than stickers and think the current way is the best.

Sorry Dale but your perception of how maintenance categories work is completely wrong. You just change a word or two in the template on the profile. Have you actually worked with maintenance templates like we do with project boxes?
I answered everything you asked about my answer but I have not and will not change my mind about this. Further exchanges about my answer will serve no good purpose so accept that my answer is essentially the same as the only other one given to your question and move on.
Your input is really valued Dale. Thank you.
+3 votes

Unless we have a restriction on the use of Maintenance categories, I see no reason that they can't or shouldn't be used as parameters within the Stickers templates.

The Style Guide indicates it (using categories as sticker parameters) can be done; in other words, the process is approved.

Removing the parameter from the Sticker template is no more difficult or time consuming than removing a separate category.

In my opinion, it is simply a matter of personal preference by the member who edits the profile. Use a sticker template and a maintenance category separately, or combine them into one; either way, you have placed the same information on the profile.

Just remember to place the Sticker in the Biography!!

edit: added underlined text


by Lindy Jones G2G6 Pilot (228k points)
Hi Lindy. Thank you. That is just a little bonus on the side. Now you can add the sticker when the profile is created and it will be in the Bio section. You do not have to go back and edit just to add a category.

The big difference is if the category is eventually renamed or deleted. EditBot can delete the category, with a couple of exceptions. If the category is created via the template in use, whether it is a profile box, sticker, or research note box, it must be manually found by a categorization project member and deleted in the profile. Hopefully, the profile is open! (IF it's not, we have to wait for the PM to delete the category in the template.)

My comments are from the point of view of an individual manager manually editing profiles.

If the easy removal of the maintenance category by EditBot is inherent to the maintenance categories' purpose, that policy should be stated on the various maintenance category pages.
+4 votes

Louis - I'm still not sure I understand what you want to be able to do, and although you say "we", I see no mention of a project. I agree with Dale that using multiple stickers to add multiple maintenance categories is not a good idea. However, it looks like maybe you're working with the Cape of Good Hope project and the list of categories you give (without a project name) are an interim level between a Cape of Good Hope maintenance category of that name and the parent Category:Maintenance Categories.

So, with that information, I think that there are two different questions here. One about Maintenance Category Hierarchy, and the other about how to easily add maintenance categories without using a project box.

Maintenance Category Hierarchy

I think that the category hierarchy of having the various "Category:xx Project Needs xx" each nested under "Category:Needs xx" should be reviewed by the Categorization Project. Most projects have all of their maintenance categories collected under one project category, which is under Category:Maintenance Categories (Cape of Good Hope is one). However, I can see the appeal of the Needs hierarchy - especially for projects that share research bases, such as Dutch Roots, Cape of Good Hope, and New Netherland Settlers projects -.but I think that the question of cross-project standardization needs to be addressed. WikiTree has a lot of projects, and from what I've seen, most have a unique set of maintenance categories. Magna Carta project, for example, has defined 8 needs= parameters that are fairly broad (see [this page]; details are given in the profile the category is added to. These broad maintenance categories serve the needs of the project, as I suspect the extremely narrow ones you list serve the needs of the projects that use them. WikiTree has been moving toward standardization for a while now & I can see where all projects would be required to have the same maintenance categories if this hierarchy were established (I'd adjust, but I wouldn't be particularly happy). Not sure what a good alternative would be? Maybe by location? Or maybe just add each project's Needs Marriage Record category on the other's (if the reason for Category:Needs Marriage Record is to group together categories containing people with similar research needs - not just that they all need a marriage record, but that the same set of research skills/specialty might be needed to find the marriage record for all of them.) Another thought: I don't think that people profiles should be added to the interim categories (between the project category/ies & Category:Maintenance Categories) - [Needs Marriage Record] has about 50. Is there a reason the people profiles are there instead of under the the appropriate project-level category?

Adding Multiple Maintenance Categories

Are you looking to add the same project maintenance categories to profiles that the project does not manage as you do using the |needs= variables with the project box for project-managed profiles? If so, I think you need to talk to Aleš about that. The Magna Carta Project had that problem last year and Aleš solved it for us with the {{Magna Carta Project}} sticker.

Others have noted that stickers are not intended to serve a functional purpose, that they are intended to highlight something interesting on the person's profile page. The project's sticker notes a Magna Carta connection and is placed by text explaining what that connection might be. So the sticker serves both to highlight and add a category - which is allowed for all stickers - we just have [a lot!] of extra coding that allows a project maintenance category to be generated using a |needs= variable.

Sorry for the long post & hope the questions it tries to answer are what you were asking!

Cheers, Liz

by Liz Shifflett G2G6 Pilot (529k points)

The categories are a sample from this page. It is the high level category from which I just copied the above. Those categories were discussed and are the approved project maintenance categories that were established when the "needs" system replaced the "to do" system. Your thinking that they should be revised is very dangerous considering the thousands of profiles they are already added to with project boxes. 

I did not give a project name on purpose because the issue does not relate to one specific project nor should it be relevant here.

Dale quite obviously did not grasp the extent of how the needs system works as such we cannot blame him for trying to explain something he never worked with. It is definitely only one sticker at a time to which multiple categories are added and can be stacked i.e. {{/country/|birth|death|marriage}} etc. The whole idea behind the maintenance system is to make the workflow fluent and easy. That is why it was adopted for the whole of WikiTree from the original To Do system.

As I already said in my reply to Natalie, we will discuss it with Aleš. 

I hope this clarifies your concerns. Thank you for your answer Liz.

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