Forums: Index > Watercooler > Diagnostics

Bergsmit raises the issue of diagnostics. At the moment we have two:

  1. Age at death (flag raised if <0 and >110)
  2. Age mother at birth (flag raised if <10 and >60)

These show up at the bottom of the page, and problematic values are gathered at Familypedia:Diagnostics.


  1. Do we need to move the diagnostics to a more obvious and prominent place?
  2. Do we need to display a warning at the page if some diagnostics have suspect values?
  3. Do we need more diagnostics?

rtol 07:17, September 3, 2009 (UTC)

We need diagnostics, direct after editing a person- and/or personinfopage with warning if incorrect, concerning difference in age between spouses, between parents and children, so, if anybody is merging persons with the same names, can be warned if they lived hundreds of years in difference.It appeared on Familypedia and SharedTree that without any control there is merged with many persons with different ages of more than 100 years !--Bergsmit 07:26, September 3, 2009 (UTC)

We need concrete suggestions. Do you suggest?

  1. Age father at birth
  2. Age difference between spouses

What would be considered problematic? 80? rtol 09:12, September 3, 2009 (UTC)

There are tons of checks you can do that will detect errors in coding. It is common practice at wikipedia to use hidden categories to track articles with problems. Normally these are manually introduced, eg wikipedia:template:fact.
Are more quality control diagnostics possible? We can detect many other problems besides inconsistent or clearly out of range numeric and date values. For example, reflexivity- if some other article refers to the husband as a spouse, then the husband article should throw an error message that it should have this spouse parameter. Similarly with articles on children referring to parents.
Are they desirable? Yes. We might not want to annoy users with all the things that are wrong. Sometimes you want to have fun covering a lot of ground, and fix up the inconsistencies later. Folks need some positive feedback that they are getting some nice looking web pages. The other school of thought is that the best time to fix the error is immediately after it is detected. That is, before the person that knows the data looses interest in the article. Otherwise we are left with immense quality control tracking categories that no one wants to bother plowing through (not their ancestors, not their problem).
I can't make up my mind which is worse- to punish users with red text and scare them off because we thereby make it too annoying to make a decent enough article, or allow the errors in, with the knowledge that they may not be fixed for a very long long time. ~ Phlox 19:53, September 3, 2009 (UTC)
I tend towards the discrete warnings, but I seem to be the only who bothers to look at the current diagnostics.
Anyway, the property "age mother at birth" takes a double flush to compute and hence a triple flush to add a warning (hidden or not). That won't scare anyone.
Reflexivity is a good test. Am I one of my father's sons? rtol 05:15, September 4, 2009 (UTC)
  • The need to double flush is going away.
  • We could also use a property as a flag to do something like debug logging in applications. Eg: user inserts [[Verbose errors::On]] on a page. The templates then complain bitterly in multicolored text every last nit that they can think of that is wrong. ~ Phlox 20:40, September 4, 2009 (UTC)
Then we can have it both ways. rtol 06:29, September 5, 2009 (UTC)

I added "Age father at birth" rtol 06:29, September 5, 2009 (UTC)


I added three more diagnostics. Results at Familypedia:Diagnostics.

The three new tests are "am I my father's son?", "am I my mother's son?" and "am I my wife's husband?". The initial test created loads of false negatives, but I think I have removed these now. The remaining problems seem to be genuine. rtol 10:48, November 2, 2009 (UTC)

These will be detected on the sensor page. For template writers, note that these sorts of tests should not be placed on the main page or used in templates that are used on the main page for a person since they slow down the activities of regular contributors significantly. ~ Phlox 16:24, November 2, 2009 (UTC)