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An important part of any wiki is the ability to see the history of changes to a page. Since pages are collaborative, you need to know who edited what.

There are a variety of Activity Feeds on WikiTree that track changes and alert you to them. The most fundamental is the Changes page for a particular profile.

Access the changes page by clicking the Changes tab on any profile. Here you will see items organized by date and time that describe a change by a particular WikiTree member.


Details of Changes

Most items in an Activity Feed will be linked to a page with additional details. Technically, these are called "difference pages". They show the difference between the information on a profile before and after the change.

Here is more on how to interpret them.

"Edited the Biography"

Changes to the text/narrative.

Look for changes in red, with +/- indicators for additions and deletions.

"Edited the Status Indicators"

Changes to status, such a change from "uncertain" to "certain" for a data field.

"Edited the Data"

Changes to a data field, such as Birth Date and Birth Place. Clicking on "edited the data" will show you what changes were made to the fields.

"Added [Person] ..."

Creation of a new person profile as a relative.

"Merged [Person] ..."

A merge of one profile into another.

When you click on the merged-away person's name, you go to that profile's Changes page. This shows changes to the profile up to the time it was merged.

Untracked Changes

Not all changes that affect a profile are tracked. Some things modify part of a profile, or how it is displayed to some audiences, but do not appear in the change history. For example, adding someone to a profile's Trusted List is not tracked.

We don't track all changes because we don't want to crowd Activity Feeds. If a feed includes too many changes, important ones may get overlooked.

Moreover, some changes affect hundreds or even thousands of profiles at the same time — profiles that may all be followed by the same members. For example, adding, editing, or removing a DNA test can affect thousands of connected family profiles. This would overwhelm an Activity Feed (and weigh down our systems, technically).

Here are meaningful changes that are not tracked as history items, along with some explanation and notes for advanced WikiTreers.

  • If an attached photo has a new comment or edit. (We would like to report comments and significant changes to images attached to profiles a member is watching, but this is complex because images can be attached to multiple profiles. We therefore only report a few basic image changes and those that directly affect a particular profile, such as changes to a background image. Other image changes are reported only in the image's own change history.)
  • If a person's marriage is edited via their spouse. (A marriage is always tracked on one spouse or the other, but not on both. This would be a duplicate history item in most contexts, like with merges.)
  • If a merge status is changed, or a rejected match is added proactively. (Merge proposals and merge proposal rejections are tracked.)
  • Privacy Level changes. (This is one we may want to start reporting. One issue is that with the bulk privacy changes tool hundreds or even thousands of profiles can be changed at the same time. If someone changes 1,000 profiles to Private, maybe we do want that to crowd some Activity Feeds. On the other hand, do we want to count that as 1,000 contributions for the member? Whatever is tracked as an edit is counted as a contribution.)
  • Profile Manager changes, if done in bulk or indirectly. Direct Profile Manager changes are tracked.
  • If a DNA test is added for the person or a DNA test of a relative is connected.

All of the examples above do not appear in the change history, but they do affect the "Last modified" date on a profile. This date can be used as a clue to look for one of the above, but it does add confusion.

If you would like to discuss a change to one of the above please post in G2G and we'll link the discussion from here.

This page was last modified 19:24, 8 October 2021. This page has been accessed 13,967 times.