Undated and unsourced profile just created

+6 votes
147 views
I thought all new profiles required a date to be entered before being able to be created.  But this one got through: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Gilbert-10372

Also why is the unsourced template not auto-created for profiles where the creator has ticked "unsourced family tree handed down" which I think some are doing as a quick way to create lots of profiles at once copied from an Ancestry tree or similar, or offline database etc.
WikiTree profile: William Gilbert
asked in WikiTree Tech by Chris Gilbert G2G6 (8k points)
Having checked it would appear dates were present when created but were deleted to leave an undated profile. I added an estimated date so that at least he is placed in time. Should removal of dates be allowed such that no date not even a before or after date appears for either birth or death entries as a minimum requirement?
No, it's not appropriate, but there is no technical block against it, as you can see.

Perhaps you could explain to the profile manager that this is not the way on  WikiTree?
I don't think there is any reason why we couldn't stop people from removing all dates from a profile... (except for living people, but the "still living" option counts as a date). I've added this to the to-do list.

2 Answers

+7 votes
Chris, thank you for finding this and also for putting the "improvements" tag on your question.  I agree that WikiTree needs to add the code to check for existence of at least one date when someone tries to change a date to blank.

I wouldn't expect it to happen any time soon, but it would be a good thing to add to the "to do" list.
answered by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (512k points)
While I do think that all profiles should have at least one date I also believe that forcing people to leave a date on a profile without at least a source would not be good. Too many times I see profiles that are made from the information about more than one person and the best way I have to handle that is to remove any data so that I can start again after at least coming to an educated guess as to who the profile is supposed to represent. Sometimes in doing that I have to remove all dates to avoid confusion.
Excellent point, Dale.  I still feel that we need to do something to ensure that each profile has at least one date, but we need to go back to the drawing board to figure out the best way to handle it.

I hate to even think about it, but maybe we need some kind of big bold banner warning that a profile is undated - the same sort of thing we now have for unsourced.  That way, we'd at least be dumping them into a category, where they could be systematically addressed by some kind of challenge.

There is already a suggestion for no dates in the Data Doctors report.

133 No Dates - Dates on relatives - Open - Unknown Status

Perhaps a facility to enter a "between" period might help such that a profile might be as broad as say between "1600 and 1650" or even "1600 and 1700"  or more to at least place them in time based on linked ancestors and/or descendants or vague sources etc.  Family Historian software and probably others allows this.
Chris, I agree it would be nice to be able to enter a date range for "between", but that would take major database change to add the extra field, as well as significant software modification to handle it.  As a result, I expect it is something that is out of the question for them to do.  There is no reason why we can't make do with checking before or after, although it's not as narrowed down as a range would be.
+10 votes
I wonder if we shouldn't give this PM the benefit of the doubt given the fact the profile is only a few hours old. The member removed the dates with a note indicating he did not know the true dates. All in all he seems to embrace the true spirit of Wikitree with his openness and refusal to use privacy levels to conceal his tree. Perhaps his commitment to Wikitree should be rewarded by some measure of collaboration rather than more rules and templates. Let's lead by example.
answered by Bill McCormick G2G6 Mach 2 (29.5k points)

I certainly was not having a go at the profile manager.  I was questioning the system that allows dates to be removed which I have seen happen before.  Also that WikiTree does not automatically add the unsourced template to profiles created ticking the "unsourced family tree handed down" box.

I did not mean to suggest you were having a go at anyone and my apologies if it seemed that was the case. I was simply attempting to suggest this was a case where we could show Wikitree to be a friendly, collaborative environment.
I found and added sources for several in this line, and it only took a few seconds longer than it would to add the unsourced template.
Thank you Dale, that is exactly the sort of spirit I'm talking about. I'd award you a badge but you already seem to have more awards than a Queen's Scout and obviously well deserved.

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