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A Better way?[]

I suspect this site is not taking off as it could do because starting a page is too difficult and time consuming. I also see a problem of names clashing: there must be many John Smith (1950-?)!

I suggest scrapping the template format and just allowing free entry as on Wikipedia. I suggest that every individual should take an Identity derived from name and full birth date (Y,M,D) eg. Smith Peter Paul 19500605 In most cases this would be unique, but if not then add A,B,C etc to the end.

To start an entry for this enter Smith Peter Paul 19500605 into Search. Then, if not found, click to create the page, as in Wikipedia. Then enter any text freely, incorporating other Identities such as Mother:Smith Mary 19001230. Nothing else needed, no forms to fill in, the Wikilinks just light up as they are recognised! Any number of distant known relatives could be listed on the page, and would link if their page was present. All other info would be optional. With a bit of extra software, a tab could be clicked from any page to create a 4-level tree graphic instantly (by recognising the Mother:/Father:/Sibling:/Offspring: headers. --Lindosland 23:05, 7 Jan 2006 (UTC)

Well, the template is just a suggestion, and it's a good tool to use when creating new pages. People can certainly make any page they want, in any format. Then it's up to the sysops to either make the updates and corrections, or not as they choose.

I came here looking for a surname, Putnam, and it's not here. So, I'm looking for a way to tie it in. I know that one of the Putnam lines is a cousin of Ben Franklin, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. We'll get there eventually.

And I like the naming standard, personally. I think we'll have disamb pages, just like Wikipedia, as we grow, but we'll eventually get those worked out. Don't worry too much about it. We can do redirects whenever necessary.

Chadlupkes 19:27, 12 Jan 2006 (UTC)

Looks like I'm going to have to find a way to link it in from here. So, let's start with Ann Putnam (1679-1716) Chadlupkes 00:49, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
As I've just said, "Perfectly good start!"
But I think I see part of one of the problems Chad and Lindosland are referring to. Evidently not enough prominence has been given to the flexibility and the optional nature of the recommended template. I'll work on them. Robin Patterson 02:29, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Probably still needs work. I've looked a bit at the various wiki's doing genealogy, and concluded that for my purposes, this was the most flexible, and best set up. However, A) You probably still need an easier way to start a fresh page, and B) I believe it is still unclear to the casual user that the templates are suggestions, not requirements. Bill 7:41, 3 August 2006
I have two recommendations to make on this subject.
1. The current "People template" is highly detailed, and provides considerable information of use to users trying to create a new page. On the other hand, it requires a lot of editing to get rid of those helpful explanations when trying to set up a new page. To a novice computer user, it might be fairly daunting. I think something simpler would help people get started with this. In particular, creating a template that was a bit more straight forward would help. To this end I've created a [[1]]. It is primarily designed with my own purposes in mind, but could be adapted for other purposes. its primary advantage is that it is much more streamlined, requiring a new user to master fewer skills initially.
2. You really need a button on the toolbox that says something like "Create New Page". That button would then take you to a page where you would be given a choice of templates to select from. I would imagine you'd need sys-op privleges to do that, but if done, I think the process would be simplified considerably. However, something similar to this is present on Nhprman personal page. The main difference between this and what I'm suggesting seems to be that it doesn't give you a choice of templates. Also, its located on someone's personal page, so not many folks are going to stumble over it. Bill Willis 16:50, 4 August 2006.
I've created a page for the Wigton Walker Project that hopefully simplifies the page creation process. it uses the same routine that Nhprman used on his personal page, but gives a couple of options for creating a page according to templates. Right now I'm only using two 'templates'---one is the Wigton Walker people template

the other is not really a template but rather is designed to produce a blank page that the user can format however they wish. However, the same technique could be used for more complex templates. To tell the truth, though, I'm not sure that we really need more templates for basic data entry. At anyrate, if you want to see what I've done go to Wigton Walker Create Page. Its fairly simple, and still needs some work, but will give an idea of where this might be taken.Bill 20:42, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
I've added a section to Robin's Create Page link in the sidebar, that allows people to choose from several different people article templates, creating a page on the fly. The templates range from a blank page, to a research oriented format. The "standard" people template is in item 4. This may simplify the process of creating a new article.

Good work, Bill. (Now you may delete your paragraph "2" above that was asking for the sidebar button etc.) But in reference to the standard template you said in para "1": "it requires a lot of editing to get rid of those helpful explanations when trying to set up a new page. " - it shouldn't; it wasn't meant to; you can leave alone all the things inside "comment" tags unless one of us old hands has goofed in not closing some. Robin Patterson 06:38, 26 September 2006 (UTC)