Category: Ton-7 Source Roadmap

Categories: Ton-7

The following is not official. See Sources. --- Whitten-1 10:51, 16 February 2016 (EST)

A meta-suggestion and hypothetical road-map for dealing with sources.



Related G2G Discussions


Consolidated Wish List

  1. Make it 'easier' to cite the same work multiple times; both on many different profiles and repeatedly in one profile
  2. A drop-down list of sources or source widget
  3. Ability to use ibid. and op.cit.
  4. Avoid the limitation of using <ref ="name"> in regards of citing different page numbers
  5. A per user 'library' of sources
  6. The ability to maintain and update a source across many profiles
  7. Conform to an accepted citation format
  8. Ability to upload source material if needed, but to discourage users from uploading the same document or image multiple times.
  9. Make sources from uploaded GEDCOM more human readable
  10. Ability to categorize sources to specific events, places, organizations, etc.


  • Solution must be 'simple' enough that anyone proficient in wikitext can learn to use it
  • Any System load or maintenance concerns identified by sysops

Additional Considerations

  • Use is planned to be optional and solution may be of smaller benefit than time/effort expended in implementing
  • This duplicates work on sources completed at other sites; integration with those sites had been suggested but does not appear likely.
  • A large number of sources have already been added as Space: profiles - many are listed at Category:Sources by Name

Overall Plan

General Outline

Create one page for each source, then call the source page as a template such as {{Source:Source Title}} transcluding a formatted citation onto profiles. Parameters can be specified appropriate to each source for pages, volumes, URLs, and access dates.

Phase 1 - System Level modifications

  1. COMPLETE Installation and testing of any extension that allows templates to use basic logic such as #Switch (Parser Functions, Winter, etc).
    • This type of extension enables one source page to provide different citations based on user provided parameters. (For example, Full or short citation, displaying the correct details for a specific volume or edition, displaying in a specific citation style)
    • A future possible use would be to automatically complete large portions of a census citation such as jurisdiction based on the enumeration district (ED) specified, rather than requiring a user to provide these details.
    • A unique identifier such as a Familysearch or archives microfilm reference and roll number may similarly be able to provide appropriate collection titles, repository and location, and other details.
  2. Creation of a Namespace. (Source:) modelled on Freespace (Space:) profiles (privacy options should not be required). A separate namespace:
    • allows sources to be instantly identified in profiles
    • enables future creation of a 'source watchlist' (a.k.a personal library) feature.
    • allows for a 'what links here' functionality, effectively creating an index of profiles linked to a specific work; this could be a useful tool in identifying duplicate profiles when sources are provided.

Phase 2 - Establishing standards

  1. Develop standards for naming Source: pages and what content is suggested to be included.
    • Must remain easy to enter while also being unique to a work - or does it? If logic exists one page could potentially handle two different works of the same title.
    • Best way to handle periodicals? have user enter author(s) and article title, or index the entries? Former puts work on the user, latter is extremely difficult to implement unless electronic indexes already exist.
    • Content would likely include citations, links to digital copies, known errors, discredited works/authors, categorization.
    • While parameters can be handled per source, the names of parameters should be standardized across all sources so that they are easy to use. (p for page, v for volume, e for edition)
  2. Creating help documentation on how to format Source pages, and use them in profiles.
    • Based on the standards, a 'master template' can be created that can then be substituted onto new pages allowing new sources to be created via 'fill-in-the-blanks'.

Phase 3 - Revise pre-existing information

  1. Update pre-existing citation templates as needed.
    • Nesting a citation template under the source page (when scripting/parser functions are available) simplifies use of the source page itself.
    • Citation templates or source pages can optionally have parameters to display 'traditional' subsequent citation terms such as ibid. and op. cit. Using, for example, {{Source:Book|p=2|d=ibid}} could display "ibid.", while preserving the identity of the actual work cited if the biography is re-organized.
      • Ibid and similar terms is either not used, deprecated, or discouraged in most citation styles. CMOS still accepts its use in notes style citations. What is the accepted practice is EE?
    • some sort of math functions could allow a page offset in links to page numbers in and similar sites, so that entering a page number can link to a specific page.
  2. Edit profiles to point to the new space pages.
    • Currently there are sources stored as free space profiles, sources stored as templates, and even some stored as categories - these would eventually need to be copied and all the links from profiles updated.

Miscellaneous Potential Advantages

  1. More consistency in formatting citations makes it easier for someone unfamiliar with citations to learn to 'read' a citation and encourages imitation.
  2. Common formatting gives a professional and unified appearance; providing tools to make it easier encourages this commonality.
  3. Creation of each source can be "one and done" and then called in a 'shorthand' fashion everywhere required, easing data entry.
  4. Using nested templates a citation style can, if desired, be easily updated site wide when a citation standard changes.

Miscellaneous Potential Disadvantages

  1. Can seem overwhelming for new users to add a source - making the citation template more robust can alleviate this to some degree.
  2. Potentially having every page transcluding multiple sources may be limited by expansion depth (and create load issues?).
  3. Because of parsing sequence, using non-static templates inside the cite extension (ref tags) *might* have unforecasted problems.
  4. This would be an additional 'sub-system' to support and maintain.

This page was last modified 19:27, 10 August 2020. This page has been accessed 26 times.