Forums: Index > Watercooler > The trouble with SMW Ahnentafeln and descendant lists

The SMW features Ahnentafel and descendants have been running for a while now. There are several advantages:

  1. Immediate overview of ancestors and descendants;
  2. Automatic detection of common descendants by intersecting Ahnentafeln in {{Common descendants}};
  3. Automatic creation of lines of descent by intersecting descendant lists and Ahnentafeln in {{Lineage}}
  4. Automatic detection of common ancestors by intersecting descendant lists in {{Common ancestors}};
  5. Automatic detection of joint ancestors of couples in {{Couple ancestors}} and auto-propertisation of consanguinous relationships in {{Inbreeding test}}.

The main disadvantage is the clumsy display of long lists of ancestors and descendants. There is a related problem. Both properties are strings. These strings get very long. If the string gets too long, the page gets too big (2 Mb) and MediaWiki will simply stop. This has been the case at two pages, Charlemagne (747-814) and Louis the Pious (778-840), but the trouble could easily spread to others.

There is a simple solution: Limit the Ahnentafel and descendant list to N generations. If N=10, we would still be able to detect 8th cousins which is stretching the definition of "family". The problem with this solution is that I do not know how to implement it. I set N=10, so that we are still able to detect 8th cousins which is stretching the definition of "family".

There may be other solutions that retain the functionality and keep within size constraints. Suggestions are appreciated.

A stop gap solution is</> We may decide to shift the Ahnentafel to /Ahnentafel and descendants to /descendants. This does not solve the problem, but we have at least 2 Mb for each, and we'd need to create a lot of new pages. rtol 07:31, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

I prefer the shift to /ancestors and /descendants (why the german ahnentafel in stead of the english ancestors; isn't this an English based site ?!--Fred Bergman 07:56, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

::This is a stop gap, but I believe Fred is in favour of having it there in any case. rtol 10:50, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

I choose negative, not for a separate page, but against mentioning at the personpage. I don't need that info, but if that is needed by someone, then at different pages ! --Fred Bergman 15:50, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Just as a remark in response to "isn't this an english based site". Well, not really. Right now english articles are clearly in the majority but that situation will not persist if SMW facts pages are successful. In fact english is prohibited in articles with the (.de) or any other language suffix. Although we are still based on info pages, some of our documentation already describes this (for instance Genealogy:Language policy). While it is true that most of our articles are in english, this will likely not be true in the near future for wikipedia sourced articles. Cross language support is in the design. If the page language is Dutch, then the design of the facts templates is to display the Dutch article name in the table when available, whether it is a place name or a person name. Some users may choose to ignore this mechanism and store tables of their own design using German names. So in an article with a (.nl) ending, an ahnentafel would be required by the manual of style to use Dutch article names in conformance not to english names but to nl.wikipedia names (eg Hendrik I van Engeland (1068-1135) (example person); and Den Haag (example place name). --2009-07-21T17:48:47 (UTC) Phlox

I can understand that Familypedia is under construction and the future must still be invented. So we can be happy that there are only a few users with small databases. Now we can quietly develop the site and experience with options. So we have time to repair without doing too much work.--Fred Bergman 18:54, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Phlox's statement that "In fact english is prohibited in articles with the (.de) or any other language suffix." is in apparent conflict with at least two sentences of the Genealogy:Language policy page quoted by way of example immediately following ("Any parts of an article ... may be in any language" and maybe even "Articles ... can be multilingual") and seems to be unsupported by anything definite on that page unless Phlox meant "English is prohibited in the names of articles with ... any ... language suffix". That requires ironing out to remove real or apparent inconsistency. Where was the prohibition first made? (I can see a flaw in it, actually.) Discussion would be best on the talk page of Genealogy:Multilingual articles, whose SMW section is still "experimental" and will be similarly ironed out in due course. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 10:47, 24 July 2009 (UTC)