the enforcement of explanations

+3 votes
395 views

If the proposed alteration concerning the explanation of your actions ref the profile must be entered into The Box or you cannot save your labors is implemented, what changes in your current productive work flow do you think you will implement in order to continue your good work? 

Mind you, this alteration is not yet implemented.  

The ones most affected are the PM who "save frequently" of course, since they must each time enter a comment or they would not be able to save their information. This sort of enforcement (Save or Else) would encourage them to change their methods.

But all who are active at WT will be affected in profile creation and development activities

I am most like going to create the profile and then save with one source such as family tree or find a grave.  Given time and strength (LOL) any additional information about this person will have to be done on a note page "outside" and then copy&paste into the profile at some later date. My file folders will bulge and my profiles will resemble Twiggy. Huh. 

A certain percentage of PM who took note of the proposal have indicated they might just go elsewhere but since there are waves of newcomers each month, attrition would not cause WT to close its doors. 

in The Tree House by Susan Smith G2G6 Pilot (269k points)
Thank you for alerting me to this terrible proposal. I've voted no (and I'm now following the policy tag).

Also consider, Matthew, what alternative approaches you might want to use in the creation of profiles and in editing, given there MIGHT be this new policy -- which is by no means a certainty.  You options depend in some part on what methods you now use, of course. I've been examining my own in "forward thinking" mode. LOL

99% of my explanations would be bio updated and therefor totally useless.

Well, then, instead of intentionally being useless, why don't you make your explanations a little more helpful?  Like 'added married surname' or 'added birth location' - nothing lengthy, just helpful.
Where is this proposal so I can read it? Can you provide a link to it? This is alarming.

10 Answers

+6 votes
If implemented, it would have no effect on my doing DD corrections, as I already enter an explanation for each one, and don't think it will make a difference on merges.

What will (already has) come to an abrupt stop is working on Biographies and creating new profiles. I like to use inline sources and can only do it, saving after every change.   Even if not implemented, now knowing that WikiTree frowns on that practice, I will no longer work on biographies.
by Patricia Roche G2G6 Pilot (399k points)

Patricia, biography writing and profile creations ... you'd not be the only one who would be slowed down or who would simply ceased production. This is an example of Unintended Consequences -- although one PM did point out, perhaps more than one pointed it out, that one could do the work in a note pad, and when satisfied, copy&paste it into the profile. 

I'm either going to collect what I can before I tire, adding it as I go, comment, then save and walk away or I can develop a fuller version on a note pad and copy&paste it in, comment, save and walk away.  

Have no idea whether this <unprintable> policy change on explanations WILL be implemented but I decided rather than fume over a "maybe", do some forward thinking on my options "just in case"

Imagine that I could learn to adapt a way to continue working on biographies, if there is a change, but the issue of Chris pointing at us biography builders as the financial drain, killed my desire to continue.  There are soooo many things they encourage, that create thousands of useless saves and we, biography builders, are the problem????  Have tried to continue with my current project since reading that post and can feel tears well up, every time I open the profile, so close it.

@ Patricia heart heart heart

I wish I could make you feel better.  Please don't stop your very important work.

Patricia, keep in mind that this PROPOSED policy change from optional to mandatory explanatory comments has not so far occurred. It's still a "maybe". 

I'm not sure Chris specifically named BioBuilders, and I'm not sure who mentioned "frequent savers" -- we're not encouraged to point fingers of BLAME at anyone at WT which I am sure Chris knows.  Personally I think this is the least attractive Suggested Improvement I have ever seen at WT. 

Such a mandatory requirement on "explanatory comment before saving or no saving occurs" would impact any PM who saves frequent whether they are BioBuilders or merely being thorough in their profile creation or development (such as myself). 

In the realm of cyber tech frequent saving is a survival tactic since so many things can occur that would lead to a loss of material already gathered / entered --  I could probably list nearly a 100+ events that could occur that would blow off  work accomplished given the opportune moment when time and space and physics join and permit 

The basic Ideal I have is to consider my options of alternative methods for creation and editing.  So far the use of an outside note pad seems the most viable.  In your case the use of an outside note pad and then -- after your work on the Biography is concluded -- c&p it into the profile seems suitable. You could then save as frequently as necessary. 

If you have no note pad you can instead place the material into an email TO YOURSELF and still work at your leisure with frequent saves to Drafts 

+15 votes
I don’t think anyone will go elsewhere in the end, at first I thought it’s not helpful for me? but it is a minor inconvenience when adding to you own managed profiles; and it is part of our honour code, and that means we should state what we are doing on others profiles.

With respect, I think you should probably post this on Chris’s thread, just so the conversation is joined up. Starting another thread might be confusing for people considering which way to vote.

Lizzie :-)
by Lizzie Griffiths G2G6 Pilot (109k points)

Lizzie, this post is "forward thinking", looking at Plan B thinking, pondering possible solutions, assessing "what if ....". 

It's where I'm at. I'm not at all in favor of this new proposed Policy Chris proposed (as a consensus, I think, of various suggestions for improvements). 

However, I also recognize that if it is, it will affect me, and I'll have to change my methods in profile creation and development -- or watch my b.p. spike far too many times at the frustration ... I am one of those "save frequently" people as I develop the profile and the interruption of having to enter each an every single time some comment .... I know me, what I'm like. 

I can agree there won't be a massive "walk out" of active PM, they have invested too much time and labor. 

+6 votes
None. I do anticipate however that since I can only type so much in a day before my arms become useless due to a chronic condition, my number of edits would go down somewhat. I'd have to listen to my arms and therefore I'd do less edits overall. This would have an impact on the frequency of editing my own (4.7k of) profiles. Currently, they have all been edited in the last 2 years, but it takes continual daily effort to keep it at that and I have not been explaining basic changes on those, like correcting typos, slight rewording and adding sources because it is self-evident in the changes log, in order to get more done. I would probably orphan more profiles and create less new ones in order to keep under two years.
by Gillian Causier G2G6 Pilot (219k points)
+8 votes
If I am forced to put an explanation every time I save, I will put a general standard version, which will pop up after I type the first letter to click it. But to have to do that is idiocy in first place as there is the Changes Tab where every little change to profiles is recorded.

Edit: Entered the little word IS to make the last sentence have sense.
by Jelena Eckstädt G2G6 Pilot (446k points)
Yes, each change is saved on the Changes tab.  But think of the Feeds you get.  I keep mine on my Nav Home Page; others get theirs sent to them.  All it says on there is

Name edited the biography of whateverprofile.

It might just as well say:
"Name edited the biography of whateverprofile, and if you want to see what they did, go to the profile, then the Changes tab, and have a look."

If they had put something in the explain-your-changes box, it would say:
"Name edited the biography of whateverprofile (added married surname)."
That way you would know what they did without all the rigmarole of clicking through and through and through.
+14 votes
I already do that - saving frequently, but adding an 'explanation' EVERY TIME I SAVE.  The explanation may be very short, like 'added ONS sticker' or 'added married surname', but I explain every time I save already.  So there will be no change for me, other than a huge sigh of relief when I can see what other people are doing without having to go into the profile, into the Changes tab, into the 'edited by' - and THEN I can see.
by R H G2G Astronaut (1m points)
Yes, it will certainly be a lot easier to follow the contrib feed when the number of contributions goes drastically down. Most of the enforced comments will probably amount to "See Change Log for details" or something to that effect, so don't expect too much.

In the end, I sincerely don't believe that Chris will go forward with this idea, when he realizes that he's actually shooting himself in the foot.
Yes, each change is saved on the Changes tab.  But think of the Feeds you get.  I keep mine on my Nav Home Page; others get theirs sent to them.  All it says on there is

Name edited the biography of whateverprofile.

It might just as well say:
"Name edited the biography of whateverprofile, and if you want to see what they did, go to the profile, then the Changes tab, and have a look."

If they had put something in the explain-your-changes box, it would say:
"Name edited the biography of whateverprofile (added married surname)."
That way you would know what they did without all the rigmarole of clicking through and through and through.
+8 votes
The biggest changes for me will be that I'll add an explanation for edits to profiles I manage.  I don't have a problem with that, it's no big deal to type "added obituary" or "1870 census."  

Also won't be able to forget to add the explanation when working on others' profiles.
by Nan Starjak G2G6 Pilot (238k points)
+7 votes
Wouldn’t slow me down a bit, as I (now) put an explanation for every modification of a profile, whether one of my creation or an existing one. The existing ones get a fuller explanation.

Following Jelena, many of mine for my profiles are standard, using,  for example, 1880 census from the pop-up menu.
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (1.8m points)
What popup menu?
The one that comes up when I type the first letter or number in the explanation field.
Oh .. you mean your own personal autofill for forms.  Gotcha.
"own personal"?  You mean everyone does not have those the same way?

What I have on my autofill is NOT what Pip has on his, or you have on yours, therefore "personal".  It also varies between computers.

It is not the same as the location whatsit, which is predetermined to be the same for everyone.

Once I thought about it for a minute I realized it was, thanks Melanie - now i remember -  it is what I have entered before

When one keeps coming up that you don't like, scroll down and hit shift+delete and it will remove it.  When I'm data doctoring and one keeps coming up again and again it is useful.  When I'm done and it comes up and gets in the way, I delete it.

If this proposal does go I believe that the program "Auto text expander 2" and others like it will become very popular.  With this extension/add-on/plugin, you put in a shortcut term, say "1111" and up pops a pre-entered field.

For example, I coded "qqq" to auto-fill {{Unsourced}}.  When I see an unsourced profile, I just click above the bio line and hit qqq and the profile is instantly unsourced before the change.

I intend to add:

111 = typo
222 = bio development
333 = category change/update
444 = source added

etc etc.  You could even make them easier to remember using ALL CAPS:

SOURCE = source added
TYPO = typo correction
CATEGORY = category change

and so on and so on.  You are only limited by your imagination.

SJ, the extension you mention above doesn't seem to have very good reviews (2+ in 19 reviews). Any problems that you've encountered using it?
Works great for me, very consistent and always works.

Looks like the old version worked in Outlook and the new version doesn't and the Outlook users have all downvoted it.  So, if you don't use Outlook, it is pretty much all 4 and 5 stars.

And this isn't the only program; any auto-fill program is a boon for WikiTree.
+8 votes
No affect on how I work, as I try to do it anyway. I appreciate that it will give me more info on my activity feed, and perhaps save me going to see what was done when no explanation was given.
by Bobbie Hall G2G6 Pilot (148k points)
+2 votes
Horrible, dreadful, abomination!

It would probably inhibit me from saving as much as I should, and so I would end up losing a lot more text, causing cursing and rage.

Where can I vote NO?
by Lois Tilton G2G6 Mach 5 (53.6k points)
Vote registered, thanks
+6 votes
Where is this proposal? Why  is everyone so upset?  I mean what is the big deal - just say what you did while you are in there!  I know it helps me to remember where I am at in the sequence of what additions I am making to a particular profile, for example: I did the first three census sources for this profile, I have two more
by Navarro Mariott G2G6 Pilot (143k points)
www.wikitree.com/g2g/929640/should-change-explanations-be required

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