Forums: Index > Watercooler > Templates update


It turns out that Thurstan and I have invented very similar wheels: {{Ahnentafel/5}} and {{Showfacts ahnentafel}}. The same thing happened with the adjustments to {{showinfo children}} for siblings and {{showinfo siblings}}. In order to avoid duplication of work, it would therefore be good to use this forum to announce new templates for general use, and significant adjustments of old templates. rtol 05:35, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Agreed; it would be good; better than giving each one a separate forum. But it would be much better if people were given an easy way to find this forum. Currently "No pages link to Forum:Templates update.". I'll make an effort. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:52, 14 July 2009 (UTC)


What order should they be listed in? — Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:52, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
No answer in 8 months, so I'm going to start by grouping them. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:58, April 19, 2010 (UTC)

One-click shortcut for four templates[]

A few of the commonest are now one click away. See the green jigsaw-puzzle pieces at the right of an edit box if you are using Wikia's standard skin and not using the "Widen edit box" editing preference). (We can't have more than four there.) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:53, January 21, 2013 (UTC)




Changed so that it uses SMW rather than parser functions. rtol 05:35, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

{{Ahnentafel/5}} is only a list rather than a chart, but it is good for someone whose ancestors all have their own Familypedia pages, until we get the /tree pages working properly. I have temporarily changed the standard /tree coding so that it displays that instead of nothing. Robin Patterson (Talk) 13:22, February 25, 2011 (UTC)
I'm pleased to see that a working SMW tree has now been the second substitute. These trees are the only things available if you want an SMW list, right? I had one working fine for David Cameron, but I wanted to reduce from 5 to 4 and found that "/4" has been replaced by a message saying it's obsolete. What's obsolete about it? --- Robin Patterson (Talk to me) 05:39, March 4, 2011 (UTC)
It used the "/info" page templates {{get}}, {{get father}} etc. I am glad to see that you have fixed it to use SMW templates. Thurstan 05:52, March 4, 2011 (UTC)



This and the lower-numbered ones (which User:Afil has been tidying up) produce trees but require manual insertion of data. Good if most of someone's ancestors do not have their own pages. However, once you have this in place the creation of those pages is very easy if you work your way up from the base person, at which time the /tree subpage will do the job more easily and update automatically. Robin Patterson (Talk) 13:22, February 25, 2011 (UTC)

Showfacts ahnentree[]

{{Showfacts ahnentree}}

Shows 6 generations in a tree, using SMW. Is a bit slow. rtol 05:35, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

The trouble is, it doesn't display an ahnentafel, it displays a tree, so it is not a "drop-in" replacement for the /info page version. I did know about yours when I made my edit. Thurstan 06:14, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Moved to {{Showfacts ahnentree}}. rtol 07:26, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
That last statement makes no sense, on the face of it. "Moved [{{Showfacts ahnentree}}] to {{Showfacts ahnentree}}" - I guess the heading was changed. I like the template anyway, so thanks! — Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:52, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Ten points for solving this problem: Herbert III of Meaux (c950-995)/ahnentafel. The template does not work properly. The template's code does. rtol 05:35, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

I have reduced the level of nesting of the templates, which seemed to have exceeded the limit, so that the top generation did not appear. However, this example also suffers from this problem. Thurstan 01:23, March 31, 2011 (UTC)

Recently I checked "what links here" for {{Showfacts ahnentree}}. The first article I looked at had the template but the relevant paragraph on the article was blank. Robin Patterson (Talk to me) 08:33, February 27, 2011 (UTC)

One of the above as basis for /tree pages[]

One is currently being used on our standard tree pages as a substitute while we hope the original can be fixed. Subject probably deserves more discussion, e.g. which, if any, make high demands on servers. Robin Patterson (Talk to me) 08:33, February 27, 2011 (UTC)

showfacts tree02[]

As foreshadowed about, we have been using {{showfacts tree02}} as our expensive substitute. I have just created {{showfacts tree02 test}} as a test for a new version, which uses an lua module I have created to reduce the number of queries issued, with updates by rtol to set some new properties. We would like to release this soon, and I would like everyone to try the test version. Thurstan (talk) 03:17, April 13, 2015 (UTC)

Seems OK for Charlemagne/tree. Thank you for the work. Does the reduction mean we can reintroduce images and/or the additional generation? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:56, April 13, 2015 (UTC)
Okay then, I have replaced {{showfacts tree02}} with the new version. I note that the new properties are broken by pagenames containing commas: I leave that as a task for another day. Thurstan (talk) 21:46, April 13, 2015 (UTC)

Notable family[]

{{Notable family}} gathers {{Show VIA}}, {{Show VID}} and {{Show FCD}}. It displays notable ancestors, notable descendants, and descendants who contribute to Familypedia. rtol 07:19, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Nice idea. I see it's on a few hundred pages already. And I'm pleased to see that it's categorized. How much does it cost in terms of loading time or other hidden features? — Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:37, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
It's six simple SMW queries. Very fast so. rtol 18:16, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
I've fixed the template. If you think that someone is a Very Important Ancestor, put [[Category:VIA]] on their sensor page. If you think that someone is a Very Important Descendant, put [[Category:VID]] on their sensor page. If you are a contributor to Familypedia, put [[Category:FC]] on your sensor page. rtol 20:33, July 2, 2010 (UTC)
The last feature is now demoed at Agnes Mary Ockenfels (1912-2008) rtol 05:18, July 3, 2010 (UTC)
Phebe Constance Forlong (1862-1936) is not showing her notable descendant although her son's page is showing him and I have subsequently republished her son's page then republished hers. What's wrong? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:18, January 24, 2013 (UTC)
If someone is important to his or her ancestors, won't he or she be important to his or her descendants too? And vice versa? Let's combine those two in Category:VIP. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:23, March 25, 2013 (UTC)

Coefficient of inbreeding[]

Being tested. Diagnostics at project:Statistics/SMW tidbits. rtol 12:00, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Not there now. I've asked where it is. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:28, February 22, 2017 (UTC)

Age mother at birth[]

Now fixed. Results at Age mother at birth. Diagnostics at project:Statistics/SMW tidbits. We have one 4-year-old mother. rtol 12:00, 22 July 2009 (UTC)


{{topancestors}} displays one's most remote ancestors. As this can be rather many, it should be on a separate /topancestors subpage.

Partial demo at: Richard S.J. Tol (1969-)/topancestors rtol 18:27, April 15, 2010 (UTC)

Tested that this is robust to inbreeding. rtol 07:47, April 29, 2010 (UTC)

Note that this creates a query that lists all descendants of a particular topancestor. Can be massive, so beware. rtol 18:56, April 15, 2010 (UTC)

Is that every ancestor in every line? Would that just list every ancestor who was also "Urancestor"? If so, why the need for all the intermediate subpages (except where someone wants to show an ancestor's topancestors)? — Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:52, April 18, 2010 (UTC)
This property is chained. Your topancestors are the topancestors of your father plus those of your mother. You therefore have to do all generations in the right order. There is no alternative in the current software. rtol 06:08, April 18, 2010 (UTC)
So a topancestors page takes its information only from the parents' topancestors pages. Fair enough. But if you add a newly discovered parent to a topancestor, you surely don't have to delete and recreate all the topancestor pages below the new person's topancestor page??
I suggest you examine more closely my suggestion that your search for any topancestors might be simpler if you queried whether each of your listed ancestors (on the sensor page) was also an Urancestor.
Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:48, April 19, 2010 (UTC)


Notable family[]

See above.

Showfacts descendants[]

{{Showfacts descendants}} is a "sort of" mirror image of {{showfacts tree02}}. It should be placed on PAGENAME/descendants. It creates a numbered list of children and grandchildren, and a link to the descendants' page of the grandchildren. Demo at Jacob Tol (1870-1920)/descendants. rtol 07:01, January 16, 2010 (UTC)

Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond (1672-1723)/descendants looks odd: it looks like the template doesn't like page names with commas in them. Thurstan 07:55, January 16, 2010 (UTC)
I put in children and grandchildren. Adding great-grandchildren is easy, but may be messy. rtol 11:40, January 16, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I looked at Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (1872-1970), and it seems I am only getting the first "group" of children: is that how it works? Thurstan 21:48, January 16, 2010 (UTC)
g1 and g2 for testing. g3 and higher is repetitive code. Will add when all is fine. rtol 05:15, January 17, 2010 (UTC)

(Further discussion on its talk page)

Person, other[]

Showfacts person[]

We seem to have a new version of (some part of) the SMW software, so that the "formedit" buttons no longer work. I have deployed a new version of {{Showfacts person}} to fix this. Changes I have made:

  1. revert to "red links", rather than "green buttons" (easily changed back if there is consensus)
  2. set sex on creating mother and father
  3. pass across wedding1_address when creating spouse

As always, everybody please test. Thurstan (talk) 06:52, July 15, 2015 (UTC)

I like them all and have noticed nothing wrong. I prefer the red links - you couldn't "copy" the green buttons. Thanks for all your work again. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:10, October 29, 2015 (UTC)
Just two out of three - take away the spouse addition: if a spouse shows anything except "true" for the wedding, he or she will show nothing else. See Mary Peglar (c1705-), where I have just deliberately deleted everything about the wedding except "true" and the year, and now the year is all that shows. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:23, November 7, 2015 (UTC)
I don't understand your objection for two reasons:
  1. you seem to be saying that if you change the values that are set, then the values displayed change. I thought that was the way it is supposed to work. What are you expecting that you are not seeing?
  2. My change to the template was in the way the "red-links" for spouses work: you are talking about an existing page, so there should be nothing different here. There is no dynamic synchronization between existing spouse pages (is that what you are expecting? We have never attempted that). This is why we need separate "union" pages for wedding information.
Thurstan (talk) 21:17, November 7, 2015 (UTC)
OK, sorry, I must have had some senior moments because I was sure I had seen wedding data items automatically filling the corresponding fields of a spouse page. But a further edit of Mary Peglar (c1705-) (followed by several flushes) has proved that it doesn't happen now. Ideally it should - on the principle of minimising double-entry, as we do for children. You say we need separate "union" pages for wedding information; does "need" mean "now have and must keep" or "would really like to have"? If it's the latter, clearly I agree. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:31, November 8, 2015 (UTC)
It means something like "was mooted originally, but given up as too hard". This would be good to have, but we have failed to hide the complexity of the implementation details so far. This one would really be a "bridge too far" I think. Thurstan (talk) 23:05, January 11, 2016 (UTC)
I've seen where the wedding details get filled in: when you click a spouse red link in an infobox. (So not such a "senior moment" as I feared.) But lately the filling-in has not been happening even for clicking a parent. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:28, February 22, 2017 (UTC)

I have updated {{Showfacts person}} so that when you click a "redlink" father, mother or Spouse / partner (1), we "urlencode" the page name. This fixes the bug whereby question marks in these links created truncated page names. Thurstan (talk) 23:05, January 11, 2016 (UTC)

Spouse links[]

Robin Patterson has asked that the spouse1-redlink logic be extended to cover spouse2 as well. I find that the SMW software now has a "formredlink" keyword which simplifies the coding that we require, so I have created a test version {{Showfacts person test}} which will bring up Form:Person for redlinked parents, spouse1 or spouse2. I don't know if there is a serious need to extend to later spouses. I have discovered that the failure of the "pre-fill" mentioned just above (February 22, 2017) does not happen in "preview" mode, so if you really want to use it, you edit the original page, preview it, and click on the redlink on the preview. As ever, please test and report back. Thurstan (talk) 03:35, December 1, 2017 (UTC)

Going well so far. "Preview" discovery is brilliant. Birgitte Eva Henriksen (1946) from husband's preview got filled fields for given name, surname, spouse, and wedding details but wrong sex. (Sick computer has taken 6 minutes to write this paragraph) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:37, December 8, 2017 (UTC)
Sex was not passed accross - I have added it since it is easily done. Thurstan (talk) 02:45, December 9, 2017 (UTC)
Thank you. Mostly that has worked since. But today I created Hilda Blanche Carrel (1886-1964) from her husband's preview and she got classed as "Male". Her two name fields and his name were in place as expected. I forgot to check whether she got the wedding details. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 22:30, December 17, 2017 (UTC)
The change is still only in the test version. Since everyone seems happy, I will update the production verion. Thurstan (talk) 22:35, December 17, 2017 (UTC)

"Major release"[]

It looks like this is growing into a major release: I expect the test version will soon contain:
Thurstan (talk) 21:21, December 13, 2017 (UTC)
Titles would want to be added to the simple form, then? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 22:30, December 17, 2017 (UTC)
Since everyone seems happy, I will update the production verion now. Thurstan (talk) 22:36, December 17, 2017 (UTC)
Thank you. All working well since, until now: John Currin (1822-1908) started from daughter's infobox and unsurprisingly shows no pre-fills. Forgot to use the preview! Lesson learned (again). -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:21, December 20, 2017 (UTC)
Well, the SMW bugs defeat us again: the "urlencode" work-around to fix the "page names with question-marks" SMW bug does not work with "formredlink" (it requires the "unencoded" name for the existence test, and then the "encoded" name in the URL). I will return to the "formlink" version with an explicit existence test. However, because of the "rename/redirect" SMW bug, I will use "ifexists" rather than an SMW query. Also the Property:Joined with display is not correct, so I will remove it pending further work. I will update {{Showfacts person test}} this afternoon. Thurstan (talk) 01:02, January 1, 2018 (UTC)

Parents when creating child article[]

It would be good if you could set parents when creating a person from a children box. Could be fiddly though: the box has one of the parents listed only with short name or long name. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:23, November 7, 2015 (UTC)

The number of "ifexists" queries when there are 55 kids, or even when just 24, is probably too expensive. Thurstan (talk) 02:45, December 9, 2017 (UTC)
But I'd click just a single child's name, wanting to create a form-based page for it with parents shown. How do other kids affect it? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:29, December 10, 2017 (UTC)

Showfacts children[]

I have just released a new version of {{Showfacts children}} to fix the problem discussed at Forum:Year not a number. Thurstan (talk) 02:57, December 30, 2016 (UTC)

Good work. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:29, December 10, 2017 (UTC)


{{Given}}: "Creates a page about a given name with a link to Wikipedia and a table of detail about Familypedia people who have the name set" -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:14, January 17, 2013 (UTC)

I added a parameter variants=variant1+variant2+... rtol 12:31, February 2, 2011 (UTC)

Good one! -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:47, January 17, 2013 (UTC)


{{Showinfo siblings}} Shows siblings and half-siblings, using SMW. rtol 05:35, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Should we rename it "Showfacts siblings"? I would like to see it made a standard template on the person-page preload, sitting just above {{Showfacts children}}. Lots of people like to show siblings on a page for an individual, and we should encourage users to do it the easy way. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:37, October 16, 2010 (UTC)

Renamed {{Showfacts siblings}}. I've incorporated it in Form:Person/preload but I don't like it in those thirteen columns. Look at Addams Stratton McAllister (1875-1946), which is the example I give on the talk page of the template. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:47, January 24, 2013 (UTC)

Why are you trying to use this otherwise unused template, rather than {{Showfacts siblings via}}, which is used on many hundreds of page? Thurstan (talk) 19:50, January 24, 2013 (UTC)
Because none of the guys who are familiar with such matters had bothered to suggest the better one in the three years since this section was started. Thanks for the update. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:04, January 27, 2013 (UTC)

To show siblings (manually or programmatically added) on an individual's "facts" article, replace any similar-looking heading or template with the new improved {{Siblings}}. It displays a heading; it then tabulates recorded children of either or both of the parents who have their own facts pages, although if the father's page showed no children you may need to add the mother's pagename as a parameter, e.g. {{Siblings|Jane Doe (1888)}}. You can manually add info about siblings below that.

Since there are still links to this old template, I have deleted it and replace it with {{Siblings}}. Thurstan (talk) 02:14, April 25, 2020 (UTC)

Person sortkey[]

{{Person sortkey}}: Another Thurstan invention. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:53, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Template:SMW templates[]

{{SMW templates}} gathers {{Set age at death}}, {{Set age mother at birth}}, {{Set number of descendants}}, {{Descent Charlemagne test}}, {{Inbreeding test}}, {{Coefficient of Inbreeding}}, {{set ahn}} and {{set dsc}}.

{{SMW templates}} should be placed on all pages that omit {{info categories}}. rtol 23:26, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

It's now part of the standard Sensor page (incorporated in {{Sensor}}) so as not to slow the loading of person-articles. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:12, April 4, 2010 (UTC)
Since April 2010 it has gained more templates; see for the current list. It would be good if some knowledgeable person could use the doc page to list the components (with brief explanations of any whose names are not self-explanatory). -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:45, November 8, 2015 (UTC)


When you are querying sensor pages but want to display the article names alone, {{Sensor2Page}} may be just the ticket. If its documentation isn't clear enough to fit your situation, have a look at how it is used in Descendants of Charlemagne (Generation 10) or ask its author, User:rtol.

Same name[]

The old disambiguation code does not work for SMW. I therefore created {{same name}}. The intended use is to create a page "John Smith" and put {{same name|John|Smith}} on the page. This would then create a list of all John Smiths. Demo on my granddad and his namesakes. rtol 19:07, April 2, 2010 (UTC)

Now incorporated in an improved hndis page that includes the residual info pages and manual entries. Room for more improvements, but the idea was just what we wanted. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:12, April 4, 2010 (UTC)
The indefatigable User:Thurstan has upgraded a similar template to make it even easier: see whether {{subst:SimilarPerson|first name|surname}} works satisfactorily for you. It's meant to be almost identical. You can't immediately add people who are mentioned on the wiki but don't have their own pages yet, nor add links to variant names. However, because it's a "subst" template you can add them on your next edit. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:07, January 17, 2013 (UTC)
There's a shortcut "SPN" to replace "SimilarPerson", and Familypedia's extended row of edit tools above the edit box has a tool (the second of the curly-bracket icons) that lets you put the {{subst:}} template in place with one click, then you type SPN|first name|surname, and that's all that you need. With the recent addition of a "List" parameter, you can include in the same initial page-creation a list of people who are mentioned on the wiki but don't have their own facts pages yet - or you can leave them until the second edit. Today's further improvement by Thurstan pushes the explanation paragraph down almost out of sight so that searchers can see some of the listed names with little or no scrolling.

Give it a try - we can use any number of these. Small caution - some pages that are just "first-name surname" are copies of Wikipedia pages redirecting to our versions; other people with that name will need a "first-name surname (disambiguation)" page (e.g.William Penn (disambiguation)), which needs a little tweaking after the first edit. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:14, April 7, 2013 (UTC)

In April 2021 I hit another Wikipedia name that matched a hndis page that I was creating. After some thought, I decided that there was no reason to create a separate "disambig" page for the non-WP people. Just include the WP-person article name (our version) after the "List=", so that readers who really want him or her will see a prominent link that they can use with only one more click. So we don't have to fiddle with a disambiguation page that needs a link from the WP person's page. I have changed the instructions accordingly. See Robert Houlton for my inspirational example. Does anyone see any fishhooks in the merger? --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:42, April 11, 2021 (UTC)

Sorry, I think I totally disagree with what you have done. When we copy a "place", or "peerage" or "history" article from Wikipedia, which links to Wikipedia person pages, we need those names to redirect to our pages. It is totally unhelpful to just link them to a "hndis" page, and the pages appear on Special:Disambiguations, rendering that report useless. Thurstan (talk) 05:53, April 11, 2021 (UTC)
Well, I have provisionally undone my edits to the hndis page pending discussion. I'm not convinced that we "need" those links to redirect. Each will display (as it does now) as a WP-name link in its article. Someone who wants to investigate one of them still has to click; doing two clicks instead of one cannot be too much of a burden. The change would be not "totally unhelpful" - just somewhat less helpful. I see what Thurstan means about Special:Disambiguations, but, as it has over a thousand listed pages (mostly pretty old) unattended to, it seems as if it's fairly useless already, and even if my proposal would add thousands more there would still be value in redirecting all of those links to the FP names if anyone wanted to bother. --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:58, April 11, 2021 (UTC)
As an example, suppose one of our contributors copies the page Capel Street TheatreWp globe tiny.gif from Wikipedia. Then any reader will find the passage:
Among the actors to appear here were: Charles Macklin, Elizabeth Younge, William Thomas Lewis, and Henrietta Amelia Leeson. The dramatist Robert Houlton wrote works for the theatre for a season, sharing the honours with Walley Chamberlain Oulton.
If they click on Robert Houlton in the quest of more information, they have to be able to guess that they have clicked a "Wikipedia link" to find the target article. This is not at all clear to a naive user. Thurstan (talk) 10:23, April 11, 2021 (UTC)

Possible duplicate[]

{{Poss duplicate}}; see Forum:Identical People. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 13:45, April 28, 2010 (UTC)


{{namesake}} shows everyone with the same first and last name. Helps to detect duplicates as well. Should this be part of the standard page? rtol 12:06, April 30, 2010 (UTC)


It seems to have the same display portion as {{Same name}} (above). What are the practical differences in where it can be used? — Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:46, May 28, 2010 (UTC)

Use in regular articles[]

Using it in ordinary articles could slow the loading, for little or no benefit. (Maybe it could be a good addition to the sensor page?) And it needs to include middle names to be really useful, because of the number of people whose commonly-used name is not the first name. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:46, May 28, 2010 (UTC)

Showfacts biography[]

{{Showfacts biography}} now picks up latitude and longitude from the pages on birth locality and death locality.


{{roots}} - To be placed on basepagename/roots. Displays the birth nation of the person and his or her ancestors' birth nations. Demo at Nicolaas Simon Korver (1856-1922)/roots. rtol 05:53, August 19, 2010 (UTC)

I suggest we scrap this, reasons being:
  • it calculates a slight variation on Property:Ancestry
  • we don't need a subpage to calculate one property: do it in the main page or in the sensor subpage
  • the coding error means that it has never worked, and nobody seems to have missed it.
Thurstan (talk) 21:28, January 17, 2013 (UTC)
It does look rather similar, though without documentation of Property:Ancestry one can't be sure. How would one display the property on an individual's page? I like the name - "roots" has more of a "ground" feel than "ancestry", which is more about people than about places. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 22:37, January 21, 2013 (UTC)


As noted in Forum:2015 software update, I have released a new version of {{footer}}, changing the processing of notes and sources. Thurstan (talk) 05:47, April 14, 2015 (UTC)

Note that it needs to be manually added to pages that are upgraded to "facts" pages. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 13:15, June 14, 2016 (UTC)

People with major events at a specific place[]

See that heading under "Places" below. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:47, January 17, 2013 (UTC)

See also section User_talk:Robin_Patterson#Born_in_etc. for inclusion of people-pages in place and year categories automatically from {{Showfacts person}}. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:49, October 24, 2013 (UTC)

No progress on that one? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:51, February 22, 2017 (UTC)

Latest development (adapted from bdm2's main template) is {{Show surname in county}}, which tabulates people with a given surname who had events in a given county (and which links to other possibly helpful categories such as "People from ..."). User needs to add surname and place as first and second parameters (until a clever programmer devises a way to bypass that - see comment at top of template). Example at Arthur in Devon. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:51, February 22, 2017 (UTC)


{{#ask: - not a template in the strict sense - is a standard introduction to an SMW query that should produce a list of person-pages that have a specific combination of facts. Example: {{#ask: [[birth_year::1940]] [[surname::Patterson]]}} produces Robin Forlonge Patterson (1940). With a few refinements, it can produce a table; see Help:Semantic MediaWiki#Demonstrations for worked examples.


This puts a person in an approximate birth year category. Could probably be programmatically included in all qualifying pages. Several potential uses. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:02, August 19, 2016 (UTC)

I think it would be more useful just to use the "date-approx" SMW property, since we can use that in our queries. Thurstan (talk) 00:26, August 19, 2016 (UTC)


Info year[]

{{info year}} puts basic info about the people of a particular year on the year's page. Demo at 1000. When rolled out consistently, this template could also be used to declare properties. Results at Familypedia fertility and Familypedia mortality. You can now do such things as {{getfact|fertility|page=1000}} to find that the answer is 2.2, that is, 105 children were born for every 1000 people alive in the year 1000. rtol 08:00, 23 July 2009 (UTC)


{{OldStyleDateDY}}. Copied from Wikipedia. Prints Old Style and New Style dates together, with a link to the explanation page. But you (or the authors of the WP article you have copied) have to work them out. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:21, March 30, 2013 (UTC)

Use of Showfacts person[]

As noted above under "People with major events at a specific place", see the section User_talk:Robin_Patterson#Born_in_etc. for inclusion of people-pages in place and year categories automatically from {{Showfacts person}}. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:52, October 24, 2013 (UTC)



{{TFOMC}} (which is short for "Template for old map categories") should be used at the top of every page of the form "Category:Old maps ..." (for all maps that are over 70 years old and therefore definitely out of copyright in the United States). It follows the carefully-designed system on Wikimedia Commons. While checking many of them today, I found the template on some but not all. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:08, October 20, 2013 (UTC)

Country facts (Wikipedia's meaning), flags, etc[]

I notice a lot of these on the only state of India for which we currently have a page copied from WP: Arunachal Pradesh. The Flu Wiki converted a couple of hundred of those, so I suggest that anyone ready to make them work here should check there first. But check the Templates Wikia too, in case it has some by then. If it hasn't, a good idea would be to mention them in the Templates Wikia forum in case one of the bright sparks who help there has ideas for improvement or simplification; then create them on the Templates Wikia before copying to here. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:12, January 25, 2010 (UTC)

Do you mean all the thousands of templates "Country data ..." (see here)? Thurstan (talk) 05:29, October 20, 2013 (UTC)
Well, I guess so, though there were under 300 on the flu wiki. See and!&to=HeadingA. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:31, October 20, 2013 (UTC)

People with major events at a specific place[]

  • {{showfacts locality}} - applies to localities; example at Wellington/people - now incorporated in {{Bdm1}}; see below. It works only from whatever facts are placed in a "locality" field. (It may manage to follow redirects but shouldn't be expected to; so try to get your locality entries matching an article name.)
  • {{show county people}} (new shortcut {{Bdm2}} - examples at Devon and Greater London/born, married, died; still in use for the county field. One day (we hope) the latter will all get too big to produce manageable pages, but they're OK at present, though Los Angeles County is potentially pretty big now, probably not all showing because few people add the county for LA locality.

They can go on the locality page if not yet so long that the article would be unbalanced; straight after "History" and before "Demographics" is a logical place. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:54, August 26, 2011 (UTC)From some time in 2012, we have:

  • {{bdm}}, which can go near the top of any "Place" (locality or county) page; it adds tabs at the top of the display, the second of which is the "/bdm" subpage (which it has thereby linked to - someone then has to create the subpage). On the subpage, place a single template, depending on whether the place is a locality, a "county" (i.e. 2nd-level nation subdivision), or a nation:
    • On a locality subpage show just {{Bdm1}}
    • On a "county" subpage show just {{Bdm2}}
    • On a nation subpage, show just {{Bdm4}}

See those templates' documentation for a little more detail. There must be scope for simplifying the county one a little: what about a redirect to {{bdm2}}? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:47, January 17, 2013 (UTC)

These, and others derived from the idea, may one day make many of our categories noticeably less useful, but the categories will still be needed for articles that don't have adequate or any SMW. Unless data entry and article creation are totally regimented, we can expect to have some contributors (including some of our most prolific) producing such slightly deficient but nevertheless valuable articles for ever. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:12, April 4, 2010 (UTC)

See also Born in Cornwall and Born in England, each of which forms the "main article" for the category of the same name. Note that a query on two properties is generally needed, because of the current lack of the above-mentioned regimentation. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:31, August 20, 2010 (UTC)

Regrettably, the "year" displays are still suffering from the intrusive commas. We need more experts in the fields of templates and SMW. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:54, August 26, 2011 (UTC)

Thurstan showed us the workaround for the "year" commas: use "date" instead! -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:33, January 9, 2013 (UTC)

Street address (recently expanded)[]

The top "place" field used to be called "Street". It's now used for other elements of "address" too: buildings and cemeteries, for example. We could use a {{bdm0}} for many of those, where they are unique, such as Christ Church Burial Ground (Quincy, Massachusetts) and Westminster Abbey. (And maybe that field should now produce links, as the four standard fields do?) Some contributors might put those places in the "locality" field. So {{Bdm0}} should maybe search in both fields. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:38, March 30, 2013 (UTC)

Template bdm and BDM[]

As explained above and now on the "doc" subpages, the template bdm creates a subpage "/bdm" of localities if it is included at the beginning of the locality page. The subpage should include the template bdm1 which actually activates the template "showfacts locality" in the subpage and also the corresponding category for the subpage. I will write the documentation page.

NOTE: Initially the subpage was created as BDM. The corresponding template was BDM and the template for the subpage was BDM1. After I had applied this system for several localities, Robin Patterson drew my attention to the fact that subpages generally had names with lower case letters. Taking this suggestion into account, I changed the name of the subpage and templates. I also corrected most of the pages where the BDM template had been used. The old templates will have to be deleted. I was not able to ascertain if all old pages have been changed (and actually don't know how to find out if there are any subpages called BDM). Afil (talk) 03:29, January 12, 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for great idea and all the work so far. I'll look into redirects or whatever we may want to integrate all. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:47, January 17, 2013 (UTC)

Eliminating the tabs[]

The tabs take up vertical space, which requires readers to scroll down sooner than they would have. And one of the tabs on each page is totally redundant. Readers don't need a tab to take them to the page they are on. That leaves only one tab that might be useful on each page. It would be good if one or both could be cut out so as to reduce the above-mentioned need for earlier scrolling.

Readers of the subpage don't need a tab to take them to the "basepage", which is shown as a link just above, in accordance with what has been a MediaWiki standard for some years. I suggest that we shorten every bdm1 and bdm2 subpage by deleting the {{Bdm}} part. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:13, January 31, 2013 (UTC)
Basepage or "Main" page
If we could replace the "Births etc" tab by a one-line message (including a subpage link) at the top of the normal part of the article, we would shorten the page a little, because the tabs take up about as much depth as two lines of text. How about it? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:13, January 31, 2013 (UTC)

Quick editing bdm, bdm1, etc[]

On the standard "source code" editing screen, you can see in a right-hand panel four green jigsaw-puzzle pieces. One is "Bdm". When your pointer is in the edit box or the Edit Summary box for a place page or its bdm subpage, click on the "Bdm" and {{Bdm}} will appear, with your pointer sitting just after the "m". If you want Bdm1, immediately type "1". -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:17, January 27, 2013 (UTC)

If you have done the above in the editing screen, hit "Tab" and you should get to the "Edit summary" (on the current Wikia layout). Again click "Bdm" and type the same number, then "Publish". Quick as a flash (and reduce scrolling on the Recent changes page). See also Familypedia:Model place page/procedure, which incorporates these in a procedure for creating then enhancing pages copied from Wikipedia. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:31, March 30, 2013 (UTC)

Parent categories[]

  • {{Evcat}} (which looks like an Andrei invention) - puts a page into two categories: one is just a "name", the other is "something in name". Example: "Died in Ohio" can be put into "Ohio" and "Died in the United States" just with {{evcat|Died|Ohio|the United States}}. You don't have to type much. Type {{evcat|||}} then drag all or most of the rest from the address bar (typing "the " for USA or Netherlands etc).

Presumably not restricted to places. How about putting John Smith (living) into "Artists" and "Born in Ohio" with {{evcat|Born|Artists|Ohio}}? Not such a good timesaver as the previous example, because you have to type everything, which is more work except - importantly - when you are "editing with form" and therefore can't do [[Category:]] with just one click. (Final comment for now - why do we have to type as many as five characters???)-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:57, October 22, 2013 (UTC)

This seems to be a version of {{EventPlaceCat}} without the sort key. Thurstan (talk) 00:15, October 23, 2013 (UTC)


{{locality}} writes a little sentence about a locality and creates categories and properties.

Note that this allows for nesting people and places. For example, {{getfact|page={{getfact|birth locality}}|Locality nation}} returns the country of birth.

That explanation is not enough for me to understand how people get related to {{Locality}}. Please expand at {{Locality/doc}}. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:31, October 31, 2010 (UTC)

The set of locality properties is pretty limited at the moment, but will grow over time. rtol 11:34, April 25, 2010 (UTC)

There is also {{locality (nl)}} which caters for the specific situation of the Netherlands. rtol 11:37, April 25, 2010 (UTC)

{{coord}} now create properties latitude and longitude, so that {{getfact|page={{getfact|birth locality}}|Longitude}} {{getfact|page={{getfact|birth locality}}|Latitude}} returns the geographic coordinates (in decimal notation as used by Google Earth) of birth. This is the first step towards automated maps of descent. rtol 10:25, May 3, 2010 (UTC)


The above could be the way into what our Kent expert, Steve, wants to see on locality pages: listing of people by their dates of arrival in and departure from a locality. I've told Steve I think we need to organize for the capture of that data as semantic properties. With any one person likely to have dates related to more than one locality, will we need something like the 1,2,3 that we use for marriages? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:31, February 16, 2012 (UTC)

See Forum:"Resided in ...". -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:41, November 7, 2015 (UTC)

Automatic migration cats[]

The Showfacts person template automatically creates the category Migrants from <birth nation> to <death nation>. The nations or countries should be indicated showing the present day country. A person born in Vienna would be indicated as being born in Austria (and not in the Holy Roman Empire, Austrian Empire, Austro-Hungary or Germany depending on the date when the person was born). Due to the changes in borders of a country, the automatic creation of this category would lead to strange results. For instance, a person born in 1920 in Ujgorod (at that time Czechoslovakia, at present Ukraine) and who died in Prague in 1985 (at that time Czechoslovakia, at present Czech Republic) would be included in the category "Migrants from Ukraine to Czech Republic" even though that person never migrated at all and was born in the same country Czechoslovakia.

The solution would be to include an option in the template, which would prevent the automatic creation of a category in case this category does not make sense in a particular case. Afil (talk) 03:16, January 12, 2013 (UTC)

We have the rudiments of a true migration system already on Form:Person. Try a preview of a standard page and read about it. See also Forum:International_migration, where we should continue this discussion. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:39, January 27, 2013 (UTC)
Template for categories[]

{{Category Migrants from country to country}} (which is not restricted to countries despite its name) has been developed by Thurstan and refined by Afil without being notably publicised. It deserves more use (and maybe a much shorter name). I've created a documentation page for it and put a couple of sections on its talk page. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 23:25, July 19, 2016 (UTC)

General navigation[]

See Forum:Upgrade_to_template_Navbox for discussion of {{Navbox}}. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:09, February 16, 2012 (UTC)


Showfacts interwikis[]

{{showfacts interwikis}} replaces {{showinfo interwikis}} on SMW pages. Phlox is the author. I tested it, and it works fine. rtol 08:03, October 8, 2009 (UTC)


{{usedwp}}. Not currently working properly. Try with Babylon and you can't get a link to the WP article but trying the "history" you get this:

404 – File not found

We could not find the above page on our servers.

So if you want to continue using it (on probably thousands of existing pages) instead of the standard {{wikipedia}} someone should fix it. {{usedwps}} may have the same problem. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 03:02, January 21, 2013 (UTC)

There seem to have been two changes: Wikipedia URLs changed to break the history link, and something (SMW?) on Familypedia broke the main link (for pages in the main namespace, with no parameter specified). I believe I have fixed both these problems: please test. Thurstan (talk) 03:39, January 21, 2013 (UTC)
Works on the first two "what links here" I tried: Sussex and Template:Commons. Thanks for fixing it. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 21:09, January 21, 2013 (UTC)


{{usedwps}}: is the history of a new template that looks like a copy of the original much-used "usedwp" but presumably displays in a smaller size, which is fine by me but I wonder why we need a new one instead of just incorporating the smaller size in the original. Maybe the author and subsequent editor would like to explain why the longer name is preferable or what the ultimate aim is. Response on its talk page? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:01, August 12, 2011 (UTC)

Responded on the talk page of the template.Afil 01:43, August 29, 2011 (UTC)


{{PersonWP}}. For pages about people who appear on Wikipedia, please use one of the relatively new templates that combine a link to Wikipedia (not just the English version) with the incorporation in a category. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:56, October 13, 2013 (UTC)

  • no format specified needs two or more parameters but is versatile.
  • {{Person-enWP}} works much like {{PersonWP}} but is a little simpler to use because it is restricted to pages where we want to acknowledge copying from just the English-language Wikipedia. {{Person-enWP|Wikipedia page name}} is the full format. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 09:26, October 28, 2015 (UTC). It does not work in the Source field even though {{PersonWP}} does; put it at the bottom of the page.

External link templates[]

Genealogics name[]

{{Genealogics name}}, redirected from {{Genealogics}}. This Wikipedia template produces a link (for example: "Charlemagne at Genealogics") to genealogics. I have enhanced it to set property:Genealogics pid when it is used on the page for the person referred to. Thurstan (talk) 04:01, June 7, 2015 (UTC)


{{Thepeerage}}. I have created this to link to ThePeerage, with the same functionality as {{Genealogics name}}. Thurstan (talk) 04:01, June 7, 2015 (UTC)


Ambiguous categories[]

Now that we have automatic creation of more category links for birth and death year and locality, we will more often encounter wanted categories like "Born in Georgia". Use {{Category disambiguation}} (which Thurstan imported in 2012) so that there's a guide for what the included categories or pages should say. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:50, October 28, 2013 (UTC)


{{Google}} gives a link to any Google search, while {{GooglePerson}} gives a link to a search for a person's first and last name. rtol 05:29, August 12, 2010 (UTC)

Bar chart[]

Copied {{bar box}} from Wikipedia. Demo on Familypedia population. rtol 18:20, 13 July 2009 (UTC)


I've reactivated {{Disputed}}. The reason for deactivating it seems irrelevant (because a page can be validly disputed even if there are only two contributors). You can add it to the top of a page that seems seriously debatable, preferably with an explanatory note on the talk page. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:08, May 22, 2013 (UTC)


{{Stub-incomplete}} (not new) can be useful when you are sure there must be more information about a person or other subject but haven't yet researched it or need someone who can (at no extra cost) search a pay-to-view site. It leaves a friendly invitation to readers. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:51, May 3, 2017 (UTC)

Lua modules[]

We now have the possibility of scripting in lua (see Help:Lua and w:c:dev:Lua templating), which will make some template tasks much easier and cheaper.

HTML decode[]

{{HTML decode}} uses Lua to expose a Mediawiki function to remove HTML entities from page names. Since the string returned by {{BASEPAGENAME}} may contain such entities, and they do not work well with SMW, this template should be used whenever a property is set or queried using {{BASEPAGENAME}}.


I have updated {{getfact}} to use (an updated version of) {{if empty‎‎}}, which in turn uses Module:If empty. This change should mean that {{getfact}} only makes one SMW query, rather than two. Thurstan (talk) 21:54, April 13, 2015 (UTC)


1. Are these templates actually subtemplates of the showfacs-person templates or are they separate ones. Afil 02:30, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

The documentation for each one should answer that question. Please query on their talk pages where it's not clear - or use "What links here". -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:40, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

2. Is there any place where the entire concept is presented. I just keep on guessing. Afil 02:30, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

Most of its threads/facets/aspects should be listed at Help:Semantic MediaWiki. It may be due for revision; discuss on its talk page if it seems to need some. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:40, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

3. There are many cases where biographical articles are copied from Wikipedia without any additional genealogical processing. As they contain none of the templates presented before, they will presumably never become part of the system. When should such biographical articles be included as a separate biography subpage. Afil 02:30, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

Copying without any additions is the easiest way to start. Many of them have since been brought into the "showfacts" system and all should be eventually. Some spend a period in a category with a name like Category:Non-showfacts articles (which I thought autocomplete would tell me the name of, but it didn't). -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:40, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

4. What is the link between the geographical articles and the genealogical ones? If we have an article on the city of Manchester, is there any way a link is created betweeen this article and a person which is born or who died in Manchester? Do these geographic articles have to have Valid name templates or not? Does the system take automatically the coordinates of the various places and does it integrate them automatically into the system or does this work only for Valid names? What about articles which have the coordinates presented as degrees and not in decimal form. Afil 02:30, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

As noted above, I think, and edited very recently, {{Show people}} does exactly that. Use of "What links here" is another way to check, though it's a bit indirect. "Valid name templates" are a way of getting existing locality names to pop up in the autocomplete of Form:Person. I'm not aware of any major work in using the coordinates yet, but I'm confident there's plenty of scope for using them programmatically. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:40, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

5. What is the use of articles which have no relation at all with the genealogy? For instance, I wondered what the use of the article Refrigerant is for Familypedia, but received no answer. Afil 02:30, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

I probably didn't notice the question. I would have cut that one off at the link stage, making it a link to the Wikipedia page. And probabl;y hundreds of others like it, where we can't conceivably add genealogical information to improve on the WP article. See -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:40, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

6. Familypedia usually uses birth and death dates. The same people, when mentioned in biographical articles, in very many cases do not have the birth and death dates and therefore the links are not operational. It takes very much time to add the birth and death dates in the various entries of the biographical articles. Can this be solved in any way, other that by redirects (which would mean that for each name of familypedia we would have to have such redirects)?. Afil 02:30, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

Please don't bother changing them in the FP articles unless you want to: it is our policy to create a redirect with the Wikipedia name, leading to the name in our standard form. (It helps get us noticed by search engines, among other advantages.) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:40, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

These are the kind of questions which make activity on Familypedia confusing. I am contributing to Familypedia for nearly a year, I have contributed with over 30,000 edits and am still not able to identify the place where I can find answers to such questions. It seems that Robin and Thurstan and Rtol know some secrets which other mortals ignore. And I suppose that if I am confused, so are many other potential contributors. This inevitably leads to misunderstandings and for many contributors could be a disincentive to further continue.

I know what a genealogy is, I am interested in the topic but I think that Familypedia could also benefit from contribution of non-initiated people like me. Afil 02:30, August 29, 2011 (UTC)

We are all somewhat non-initiated!! But we believe that the system User:Phlox built for us has great potential. Please make your own contributions to Forum:Help improve the help pages. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 05:40, August 29, 2011 (UTC)