Question of the Week: What WikiTree improvements are on your holiday wishlist?

+37 votes
As we are excited to head into our 11th (!) year, we'd love to know what WikiTree improvements are on your holiday wishlist? If you could improve one thing about WikiTree, what would it be?
asked in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
retagged by Chris Whitten
There are a lot of stories that relate multiple people.  being able to create an event and link it to each of the people in it would be cool.  Sort of like a category, but not quite.

Maybe the Proper First Name field could say instead "Forenames", which would allow for more than one name in the field and take away the "first" name thing so many seem to dislike.  (When I was growing up, everyone had a "Christian" name, but that changed to recognise not everyone was Christian and using "first name" was more inclusive.)

Scottish census uses "Forenames", if that helps.

Oh, and maybe rename the "nicknames" field to "other names" because most of what gets entered in that field are not nicknames.

I wish that WikiTree would focus on:

1. Creating an easy-to-find "How-To" page with instructions for things such as how to add a location badge to an ancestor's profile. There are a number of times I have tried to search for how to do things and it is very difficult to find them! If needed, provide links to specific pages.

2. Create a DNA site where one can import DNA results and create matches lists. My Heritage does this and it is really nice.

3. I love WikiTree, but in many ways the whole site could be easier to navigate. How about working with experts who focus solely on modifying sites to be exceptionally user friendly? I was the head of a website development group for a state agency and this was something on which we focused heavily.


Three excellent points but first why did I get an email notification that this (your) comment had been added after my comment by Miller Rinehimer?

That name doesn't even appear on this page as far as I can tell. I would post the email notice here but G2G doesn't allow us to cut and paste inside this comment box. Why not is another good question. 

A minor "bug" I realize but I will forward my email notice to you or anyone at WlkiTree who is interested in having the site function  correctly.

Unless someone is an only child and a childless orphan, the only profile on this site that is 100% theirs is - theirs.  If you have siblings they have just as much to say about your parents as you do.  By gen 4 you have 16 profiles, but they may have hundreds of great grandchildren.

I think there needs to be more protection for hard work put in (and probably an ability to revert if it is not there).

As to the 'like it or leave it' debate, I'm not sure that is how it was meant, but seeing as it was heard that way it could have been said better.

We all feel pride of ownership in our work but these are all shared profiles.  A manager should have more ownership over the profiles they own and no matter their stature, the experts maybe need to tread more lightly on the work of newer members.

An excellent comment. I couldn't agree more. Thanks

I personally don't have a problem with first single name fields as I feel this helps prevent people putting incorrect or middle names in without being noticed.

My problem is with Profiles being set up with out some checkable source, as with a GEDCOM import that proves to wrong.

I'm with Melanie in spirit:  "wife of" and "husband of" seem a bit precious in this modern climate.  Back in the day, County Clerks often substituted the words "Consort of" in place of "husband or wife of."  I once thought this quaint and old-fashioned, but now I see it quite differently.  Sometimes the older generations were a little wiser about these things.  I guess they spent more time with their nosees to the grindstone instead of the smartphone.  Anyway, "Consort of" satisfied, as best it could, Melanie's issue (I believe).  Most dictionaries define "consort" as husband, wife, or companion, whether legal or not, and, as Oxford puts it, someone who someone habitually associates with, married or not.  I think its high time we bring that word back.

There is a profound difference between "adding details" and blundering in and making major changes that may or may not be accurate. So far no one has butchered one of my profiles. So far the only changes made have been to add sources and correct typos. As a member of less than two years I already have hundreds of profiles, more senior members obviously have thousands. Over time highly granular details that explain why a conclusion was made that Person X was the grandson of Person Y can get misplaced. No matter how well sourced something is there can still be minor details that tie everything together that can't easily be explained without writing a book. It would be nice to have some level of confidence that some well meaning member won't make wholesale changes to my painstaking work without my knowledge.

108 Answers

+4 votes
I'd find it useful if when you add a parent/sibling/child on the profile view page, it opened the add to a new tab instead of redirecting your current tab.  (i.e. if it worked the same as when you add a parent/sibling/child from the edit page)
answered by Jill Claus G2G6 (6.8k points)
+4 votes
I would find it helpful if the location fields on the screen to add a new profile had drop downs of potential locations like the profile edit screen has.  (i.e. potential matching locations with historical year ranges)

The same would also be helpful for the marriage location on the screen used to add marriage details.
answered by Jill Claus G2G6 (6.8k points)
edited by Jill Claus
+3 votes

Create an improved way to add in-line citations to text.

There are several problems with the current ref tag inline citation system, including (1) the fact that it is difficult for many new WT users to learn to use and (2) the fact that if (as is currently recommended) the full citation (with link) is inserted in the text in the first place the citation is used, the text becomes very bulky and difficult to read and edit in edit more.

As a possible solution, I suggest that edit mode have a separate window (which you could cause to pop up over the regular edit window) where you would put all the full citations. The full citations would not go in the regular edit window (although WT would continue to support that capability). You would not have to use ref tags in the citations window but would need to specify a defined term for each citation you add. Include a button to alphabetize the citations in the citation window by the defined term. To add a citation reference to the text, you would open up the citation window, find the desired citation, and drag and drop the defined term to the desired place in the text, which would insert the proper ref tags for the selected citation definition. The final appearance of the profile in viewer mode would be the same as if the full citation had been inserted in the text where first used or all the full citation definitions were put at the bottom of the profile but hidden by span tags.

The key benefits would be: (1) eliminate the need for users to learn/use ref tags, (2) eliminate the distraction/bulk of having full citations appear throughout the text in the edit window, and (3) provide the user with a easily searchable, all in one place, source citation list to use to select source citations from for use in the text.

answered by Chase Ashley G2G6 Mach 9 (97.5k points)
edited by Chase Ashley
LOVE THIS. Or something similar. I do not like seeing the full citation in the body of the text.
+1 vote
Make our work more open - explicitly use a licence (such as an Open Database licence) so that our work can be re-used - ideally as linked open data.  And restore the JSON download.
answered by Pat Reynolds G2G Crew (850 points)
+1 vote
I thought of another upgrade which would make adding a profile easier.  How about an auto populate feature where a partner site with name, dates, locations could be used to grab data and populate the fields in place of typing them in.  Something like Find A Grave where you add in the Memorial number and then go and it populates the data available for you review and acceptance.  It could even take that memorial number and set up the source for you too in the {{FindAGrave|xxxxxxxx}} fashion and then let you add anything you want after it.
answered by Gurney Thompson G2G6 Mach 5 (55.8k points)

Take a look at WikiTree-X, I think it may do much of what you want.

+2 votes
Two tings are irritating:


I would prefer to add my sources for each item when I have added or changed an item. "Date of birth" immediately followed by "source" etc. Instead, I get a machine made report in a language that most of my relatives do not use very often. In that report I am supposed to find each fact and THEN insert the relevant sources by special coding.


I keep getting a prompt to select the correct first name for each person. How am I supposed to know which name they used? 120 or more years ago many boys were given two or more first names and many girls had at least three first names. In Sweden, Jan Gustaf may have been called Jan or Gustaf or Jan-Gustaf. Even if he used the name Gustaf his name would NEVER be written as Gustaf Jan. In Swedish that combination sounds wrong; the rhythm is simply impossible.
answered by Lena Frid G2G Rookie (260 points)
0 votes
How about on every profile page there is a running calculation of the number of direct ancestors and descendants that person has, as well as the number of generations on either side? Could that be a automatic programed feature?
answered by David Frantz G2G Crew (530 points)
0 votes
Hi, I would love to have an area to put in a baptism date, and place/church but not as a required field but as optional field.  A bit like the marriage field.

Thanks Michelle
answered ago by Michelle Hodson G2G Crew (510 points)

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