EditBot does not collaborate! Can it be blocked?

+13 votes
I am really tired of EditBot changing my profiles. I hope there is a way to block that bot, because bots don't collaborate. EditBot is taking all the fun out of Wikitree. I am on the Categorization project too,  EditBot keeps changing the category Sundhausen to Sundhouse  My ancestors were born in Sundhausen, before it became part of France, and should not be categorized at Sundhouse. Thank you!.

WikiTree profile: Apollonia Sigwalt
in WikiTree Tech by Sharon Centanne G2G6 Pilot (153k points)
Some of them have the category [[Category:Sundhousen, Bas-Rhin]] which is mixing German language and French language in one category.

EditBot is programmed by input from humans and only after some other human decides that something needs to be changed.I'm sorry you don't like EditBot's work, at least in this case, but EditBot has saved me quite a lot of time when correcting category errors. Before EditBot, we couldn't delete or correct categories so easily!
Please fix edit bot so that it has to collaborate. Thank you!
I think the point is, edit bot is fine. You just need to make sure you've done the categories correctly. In this case, it's very good that it's correcting a bad category. Instead of just leaving it broken, now you're motivated to fix it.

2 Answers

+20 votes
Best answer

The key to resolving issues on WikiTree is understanding what the fundamental problem is. The issue here, Sharon, is that the category which you are using does not exist at this point. 

If you follow the category link that you made (note that it is a red link on Apollonia's profile), you arrive at a page which states:

This page does not exist.

Unfortunately EditBot isn't giving you much explanatory feedback here. However, the reason why it changes the category is because the category does not exist yet. The bot is simply changing it to the next closest category in existence. EditBot's primary work is fixing errors related to categorization

The key to solving this recurring issue is, rather than complaining about EditBot, to instead request that the category be made. This is explained in the adding new categories section of the Categorization help page. Folks here in G2G will be able to help you with that. 

With a little patience, I hope that should end your woes with EditBot's actions. Automated actions are a bit frustrating, since we don't we feel that there isn't a human to "work things out" with. So I hope that this makes for happier times on WikiTree for you. 

by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (127k points)
selected by Juha Soini
Wanted categories are slowly coming down in numbers, but there are still over 700 of them. There is a whole mixture of categories in it, some are incorrectly named, some are from templates which have the wrong category, some are correctly named, but were not assigned a parent. What takes so long to get through these is the time it takes to assess the category, to research it a bit, and then finally to decide what to do with it.
If I want I new category, I know how to make one  Don't always have the time Sundhausen should be in Amt Wolfishiem if I remember correctly. The records I use are in German until 1792, so I prefer the German categories which make the records easier to search for,
EditBot has no interest in brand new categories.  But if a category doesn't exist because it's already been "renamed", ie deleted, then EditBot will watch for any new members being added to it later.

After a rename, it's not desirable to add new members to the old name, because that splits the list, and is liable to end with two pages carrying the same (or even conflicting) information about the same place.

Better just to add members to the existing list with the new name while arguing about the name.  There are no right answers with category names anyway, but they're never carved in stone.

First, about creating "wanted" or "red" categories. There are currently about 750 wanted categories; it used to be more, over 1000 wanted categories. Off the top of my head there were four of five Categorization project members listed as volunteers to work on those. 750 or 1000 categories to address is a lot of work for just 4 or 5 people. 

The number of wanted categories is slowly decreasing since the new Category button was added to the profile editing page. Now, if you attempt to save a profile which contains a non-existent category, you will see a big red banner warning you that the category does not exist. If you choose to save anyway, you are creating a red category, which you can either create immediately or leave in red, thereby creating more work for the 4 or 5 volunteers mentioned above. Personnally - this is the way I work - if I see the red warning, I will double check that the category is right and that it should be created before going on to save the profile. Is there a typo? Can I check the likely parent category for a similar category with a different wording? I frequently create new categories for French communes, so I see this red banner a lot. But if the red banner is for a category linked to a project I'm not so familiar with, I will definitely do some research to find out if there is already an existing category. 

You mention that the records were in German prior to 1792. But you place Sundhausen in Bas-Rhin, which was only created in 1790. If you need a category for just 2 years, in my opinion it really needs to be discussed. There will probably not be a big number of profiles to fit in a category that represents 2 years of the history of a village, so perhaps a better solution could be found? The goal of categories is usually to group profiles together for a genealogical propose - they're not supposed to give information or historical context, for instance, to profiles. They're all about collaboration, so they must be simple enough that other users will be able to find them and use them. 

As for the genealogical purpose and making research, it would certainly help to know what the source is? For this area, I am only familiar with Archives du Bas-Rhin. If you enter "Sundhausen" in their search engine, you get no reply. The site only recognizes Sundhouse. So, to really help research, the important thing is to indicate that to find information on this Sundhausen (there are several places named Sundhausen), it is necessary to look up under Sundhouse. Incidentally, I sampled the pre-1792 records for Sundhouse, and found that most of them are in Latin, with only a few in German (which is why I suppose you have access to another source).

About Amt Wolfishiem - I suppose you mean Amt Wolfisheim? I'm not really familiar with these Amts, which would no longer concern Alsatian towns after their annexion by France (which in the case of Sundhouse was in 1697 at the latest). Since this one covered a territory that is now (in part) in France, I tried to look it up. The Wikipedia entry for it (in German) lists several places that were in it, but not Sundhouse or Sundhausen. It may not be a complete list though. Again,a complete list of the places that were under this Amt would be quite useful and appreciated, if you have one.

+14 votes
That statement is completely untrue. I answered to any message about EditBOT posted on Bot's page https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/WikiTree-3 or sent privately to bot or me and we always resolved the problem.

Sometimes I need to abjust the BOT's programming, often I just have to explain why there was a change.

So EditBOT collaborates. I won't explain your problem, since others did.

EditBOT aka Aleš
by Aleš Trtnik G2G6 Pilot (485k points)
But is EditBot ALWAYS you, Ales? I thought anyone could use it. I tried it once myself, but forgot how to use it. If I remembered, I would get rid of the Sundhouse categories on my profiles. Thanks!
Categories that are attached to profiles are not automatically deleted and are reviewed by humans in the categorization project. It is better for you to make contact with the WT'er who may have deleted or renamed the category and find out the reason, then work something out. This is collaboration in action!

Also, anyone can add the templates to profiles, which, in turn, will instruct the bot to follow the command, but Ales programmed the bot and runs it. There are log files and it's easy to see who did what to a category. It's not an invisible process.

If the category is only to use on one member's profiles, would not the answer be a personal category?

The Sundhouse, Bas-Rhin category is perfectly valid - I do not think redirecting it to Sundhausen would be a good solution. After all, the place is now called Sundhouse, the bilingual signs at the entry of the village are only in French and Alsatian (no more mention of the German Sundhausen) and the Archives du Bas-Rhin have all the results for this place under Sundhouse, and Sundhouse only. True, it is called Sundhausen in German, but that should not supersede the French name of the place.

In such cases Aka template can be used on both categories.
I agree, but I still wish the project was contacted before such categories are created. Duplicating all the categories for places in Alsace that have a German name different from the French one represents a huge workload, because it's not only creating them, they must be maintained and kept clean. So far I have not sensed such a keen interest in the project for that sort of thing.

EDIT - actually, I finally checked the profile in question and this person died almost 90 years before Bas-Rhin was created. So we're talking about a historical category now. We don't even know how we will handle this yet - I have ideas, but they have not been formalized or even proposed to the Categorization project.
So if this person lived during a time when this place was called "Sundhausen" by everyone, because Bas-Rhin didn't exist then we should have a category for that.

As there is a change in administration later on, it's always better to link the category to two upper categories, the German and the French one.

Isn't that how we work with categories where names are bi-lingual?
Something like that, yes, but we don't know exactly how to call the category. "Sundhausen, Elsass" would have my preference, because it can span a long period in history and can be easily nested under different administrations.

I will add a caveat though: the place was not called Sundhausen by "everyone". Many people spoke Alsatian, a dialect that has some resemblance to German but is not German, and the name is different in Alsatian. - But, making a category in Alsatian would imply building a whole category hierarchy in Alsatian; and I don't think we're ready for that.
This raises a related issue.  While the place fields are to be filled with the name as it was at the time of the event, I thought that categories were a way to group things by their current name.

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