FamilySearch Wiki:Technical Meeting Agenda 9 November 2010

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Purpose of the meeting

  • To forge solutions with other community contributors.
  • To discuss content, technical issues, workarounds, community, site design, and strategy.

Agenda[edit | edit source]

Apologies[edit | edit source]

  • I will not be able to make the start of the meeting today. I hope to be able to join in half way through --Steve 17:59, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Recognition[edit | edit source]

Add your recognition items below

  • Kudos goes to ...

Announcements[edit | edit source]

News[edit | edit source]

News items can now be found on the Community News page in the Wiki.

Changing of the Guard[edit | edit source]

As part of the effort to broaden the volume and scope of help that contributors can get regarding the wiki, the facilitation of this meeting will change hands from the Community Services team to Tier 3 Support. I'll be introducing a member of the Tier 3 team today so the community can get to know him. RitcheyMT 19:24, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

  • Questions?
  • Comments?

Discussion Items[edit | edit source]

From the Community[edit | edit source]

  • GeoCommons, GeoHack
    GeoHack was implemented through the {{Coord}} template. GeoCommons was brought up as a place that data may be able to be extracted from for implementing embedded Google Maps. Thomas_Lerman 21:50, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Threads started:
  • Embed code in Wiki to link maps/videos
    It was brought up about YouTube embedded in a Mediawiki article. I believe it is possible, but normally disabled. I do not think we really want to do this. I believe it was only brought up because of the question whether Google Maps (or others) may be able to be embedded. I am sure it is possible to do as I have done quite a bit embedding of maps onto other pages. The main two parts that would be needed would be an extension and then all of the data to draw the boundaries, clickable areas, text, etc. I could create an extension pretty easily, but the data is not easy task (GeoCommons may be a great help though). A big disadvantage to these would probably be that external search engines would need a separate link to be able to spider to the other pages. Thomas_Lerman 21:50, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
My point with Youtube was to show that there were ways to embed things onto the Wiki without a lot of owrk to pull the content off the other page and insert it onto the Wiki. That said, I just found this video, it's the first one I've seen to directly discuss how to use the Wiki. and was made by someone who also was selling a book as you'll see, and it's a basic user-generated video too. JamesAnderson 16:42, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
There is a Google Maps extension for MediaWiki. On the description page there is a list of some wikis that use this extension. For example Fort Wiki for example Category:Arizona All. Most (if not all) seem to use the extension to place markers on a map. However the syntax of the extension does allow for areas to be drawn Looks like it could be useful particulary as the pop up information balloons can be coded to include wiki markup and therefore allow links to other pages to be included. --Steve 17:42, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I realize that your were not suggesting embedding YouTube videos in the Wiki. I was just getting the impression that a couple of others did not view it that way. You are correct that it is pretty easy to embed a video. However, it is quite a bit more work to embed a map, set up borders, and clicking going to other pages on the Wiki. That does require bringing over quite a bit of information from somewhere. I also saw the Google Maps extension just after my last post. Thomas_Lerman 03:19, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Access Codes , advertisement rules.
    The discussion page for Access Codes has a fairly lengthy discussion including proposal for Access code templates. Advertising rules would include difference between "advertising" an organization that has sponsored article(s) even though they still may sell products/services and a company advertising their products/services directly on the Wiki. Thomas_Lerman 21:50, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

From FamilySearch Staff[edit | edit source]

  • Redundant pages are inherently bad for the Wiki. Creating a page about county formation separate from the county page is confusing. Request permission to delete (State NameCounty Creation Dates and Parent Counties pages. See Talk:New York County Creation Dates and Parent Counties page for further discussion.  DiltsGD 15:26, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
If these articles where expanded to be more than just a table of dates, but widened in scope so that they could be retitled (State Name) Historical Geography. Would that be a better solution? --Steve 17:52, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Redundancy is a problem I keep running across, as well. Because it is difficult to rename/combine/delete pages, the problem multiplies. Add to that the one-off pages created by the Historical Records Collections folks, e.g., Illinois, Cook County County Birth Records (FamilySearch Historical Records) which is really a part of the broader Cook County, Illinois topic, which has a section for Vital Records. Another example would be the Newberry Library article.  There is a small section about libraries in the Cook County, Illinois article that covers the Newberry Library, and pre-dates the full article. While the full article has more details, the small section has information not contained in the full article. How should the two articles be reconciled?  This is a broader conversation, but an important one to resolve, document and communicate clearly. Regarding the New York county formation article specifically, I personally find information easier to quickly glean from tables like the New York County Creation Dates and Parent Counties page, which could/should probably be linked to a brief mention on each county article. The problem with widening the scope is that good info can get buried sufficiently that few people read long enough to find it. Lise 14:54, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Though they are redundant, SiteCatalyst reveals that the FamilySearch Historical Records pages are hundreds of times more visited than the similar pages created in the standard Wiki page paradigm [Country]>[State]>[County]. They are runoff from FamilySearch databases, which are much more popular than Wiki research guides. If we delete them, it basically removes many of the landing pages for traffic entering the Wiki. How can we capitalize on this incoming traffic and help redirect it to the pages we'd like people to see? Murphynw 15:32, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Existing articles are not updated to incorporate information about and links to Historical Records articles. Rather than suggesting that we delete the Historical Records articles, I was trying to suggest that they be more integrated into the wiki as a whole. Look, for example, at the Cook County Births article. Then check "What links here." The answer is nothing - except for the main "Vital Records" article that it was split off from, and a mention in a Community Meeting. Articles shouldn't be islands, especially articles about important resources like Historical Records Collections. Lise 17:47, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Somehow my replies posted between 17:52 and 17:59 got deleted. I agree with Lise about County Creation pages and two states are already linked - Connecticut and Rhode Island. Unable to link into New York because of a problem with topic sidebar switch to right side for unknown reasons (I searched history and no explanation for it.) Accelerate the completion of County Creation pages linking will bring it into the full scope. Secondly - HRC pages are not detailed sufficiently, much less not sufficiently linked from state and county pages, from email notifications I get. Users do not know the limitations of the indexed collections nor know there are more than 2 ways to skin the cat. (How many knew they can be searched by locality alone? Birth date alone? And the major problem right now - there's no way to limit to specific databases once you leave from this page [1] - it explodes to worldwide instead of limited to specific area. Now with the changeover from Pilot to beta and eventually final release will continue to be a problem trying to keep up unless HRC people come to their sense and use template to ease the changeovers. Dsammy 18:39, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
I am trying to keep the template you mentioned in discussions with the FamilySearch people. However, I view this as a different topic than being discussed above. Thomas_Lerman 19:11, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Agreed about HRC template being separate from this "non-issue" one. Dsammy

Be bold! Post your agenda items!

Feel free to post on the agenda any items you wish to cover during the meeting. If your item requires details or feedback, post some details on the discussion page and link to the discussion from the agenda.