Forms and page names

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The following is copied from my talk page because it seems to need a wider audience. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 00:41, February 11, 2017 (UTC)

Forms and page names Edit

When we first implemented forms with SMW, I thought "Wouldn't it be nice if contributors could just click a Create Person button, and fill in the details on the form, and have the page name calculated automatically, since that seems to be a source of difficulty". Now browsing through the SMW documentation I discover that this is possible (see "The one-step process" on that page). I have created Form:Create Person to test this: it generates the page name from the short_name, birth_date-approx, birth_year, death_date-approx and death_year properties. I can see two things going wrong:

  1. contributors seem to misunderstand "short name", so we will probably get a crop of pages called "Bessie (-)"
  2. the implementation seems to have a weakness: if there is already a page with that name, it will just get overwritten. To fix this, I have added the "unique number" parameter to the end, so we will get "John Blair Smith (1756-1799) 2" if we try to create another copy.

I have tested the form by creating John Blair Smith (1756-1799) and a couple of his sons. You might like to have a play with it too.

This is actually set up by adding a tag {{{info }}} to the form, so there is no reason that we can't make this change to the existing form, even if we do not offer it for general use. Thurstan (talk) 01:38, August 5, 2015 (UTC)

Good, I hope. (When we started SMW, that page wasn't there: )
We will also get "Bessie Marriedname", which someone will have to move.
Using the short name will also inspire a desired move for anyone with three or more names, not all of which are in the short name. (I've not looked at John Blair Smith yet.)
The unique number thing will have us looking more like WeRelate; but is it perhaps the key to automated GEDCOM upload? A program like Yewenyi's could create pages more easily if it didn't have to devise a pagename. A bot can run around the namespace once a month finding pagenames that end in a number greater than 1 and sending a message about possible duplication to every editor of each version. Downside could be that a renaming of just one of the duplicates could leave the bot with nothing to find (unless it was instructed to treat redirects as investigable pages). Tell me if this is hopeless uninformed speculation!
I don't see how we can add a tag to a form but not offer it for general use. Maybe you mean we have a parallel form that is reachable only with deliberate clicking of options.
-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 02:33, August 5, 2015 (UTC)
You ask if I had more to say about this: we don't seem to a solution to what I see as the problem: newcomers will create a page for "Bill Brown" with parents "John" and "Mary", and then create those pages from the red-links, etc. It is still not obvious to the novice how even the pages links work, as shown by some recent queries. Thurstan (talk) 05:23, July 19, 2016 (UTC)

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