Wikipedia talk:Persondata

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Are partial dates acceptable?[edit]

I have found a few templates that say "DATE OF BIRTH= November 17" i.e. It is known when they celebrate their birthday, but they keep their age secret. I am raising the question as someone who has programmed an extract from Persondata and these day/months caused me a problem. The functions I used assumed the year was the current year and I ended up with celebrities a few months old!

I think a year only or a month/year should be acceptable, but I am not sure about day/month. Is there any consensus? Periglio (talk) 12:49, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes, you have to program defensively. Wikipedia is crowd sourced, there can be any old junk in these fields. Of course you should deal with those that you can, but, for example "November 17" can mean November of the year 17 AD. (So 17 November would be better, as it is unambiguous.) But you should also find words there like "unknown" "approx" "reputed" "After" "Fl." "Circa" and ranges.
The entry you describe can reasonably be "corrected" to "unknown" or "unknown - 17 November", but you cannot rely on the format or data type, despite the efforts of the Wikipedia:Committee for getting things done. All the best, Rich Farmbrough, 06:18, 13 April 2014 (UTC).


One of the problems that Wikipedia has is the building of unsourced ancestry trees in what are otherwise well sourced articles. Some some of these go back five generations and it only takes one mistake early in the tree to invalidate large parts of it.

If {{Persondata}} was to include mother and father fields then it would be relatively easy to check an ancestry tree (or to build one). It would also allow network analysis tools to easily check for family connections which have been missed by historians and could be a useful additional source of information for them when explaining a subjects reasons for supporting or opposing notable events. -- PBS (talk) 17:27, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

PBS, Persondata is dead as Wikidata is taken over its function. Wikidata does handle family trees and has an interesting tool. The example is taken from data found on Johann Sebastian Bach's Wikidata page. Bgwhite (talk) 21:26, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
@Bgwhite: If Persondata is dead, does that mean that Waacstats (talk · contribs) is wasting their time? --Redrose64 (talk) 21:48, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
A bot was supposed to take the info in Persondata, add it to Wikidata and then Persondata could be removed. I want to say Lego was going to do that, but I'm not sure. This is also being talked about on dewiki. It's down to somebody on Wikidata to get the ball rolling in some direction. Bgwhite (talk) 22:17, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
OK then I see that my suggestion is going to have any traction as this is now an obsolete process, particularly as what I had in mind was only placing information into the fields if it could be validated by a reliable source. I can see that the database is extremely useful for answering all sorts of questions which can be teased out of the data contained within Wikiepedia pages which is not easily accessible any other way.
However although the database approach it is a useful tool checking for genealogical errors in Wikipedia both because it will throw up inconsistencies between pages (such as the mother not matching on father and child pages etc), and because such a tree can be checked against independent data sources (such as Burke), unfortunately I suspect that it is not asymmetrical, because of the old issue of "garbage in garbage out", as it appears that the database does not have the means to take into account, whether the family data is reliably sourced. I looked at at the entry in the example to which Bgwhite linked and the biography on Gottfried Heinrich Bach (a leaf) has no sources for his parentage (his entry in his mothers biography likewise is unsourced (see Anna Magdalena Bach). The biography page on his father does have a source and it is reliable, but I doubt if the database checks against that has a (list/algorithm of reliable and unreliable sources against which to check). In other words the database it is not necessarily any more accurate than an unsourced ancestry tree that appears on a page. In the short term as editors have almost certainly used other sources to draw up the tree the data extracted from Wikipedia is a useful cross check but as soon as someone draws up a tree using the tool it is of little use for validation of such trees. Perhaps longer term a tool can be produced that includes the sources (if any) when creating these types of graphs. -- PBS (talk) 10:20, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Slightly off the original topic, but I want to say that Persondata is alive and kicking. I wanted an extract of birth and death dates for my own personal use and after investigating I went for Persondata. It is the one that is widely applied and consistently updated, in particular with the less notable articles. I have made the comparison previously - Wikidata = Betamax / Persondata = VHS. I would like to see Wikidata being used but there does seem to be anything in place to keep birth/death information updated. In answer to the original question - please no more fields in Persondata - Wikidata is the way forward. Periglio (talk) 16:27, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

Phase out plan[edit]

Do we have a plan for phasing out the Persondata template once we are sure Wikidata has reached the point of being a drop-in replacement? Remember: invisible data is harmful. —Tom Morris (talk) 13:44, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Is there a plan for phasing in Wikidata? Periglio (talk) 19:17, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

users with persondata in their sandbox[edit]

I've noticed in the Category:Persondata templates without short description parameter, there are quite a few users who appear to have added the persondata template to their sandbox (so they can copy and paste it when making articles).

Is there some protocol for asking users to stop using it? or to cancel it out by using hidden text or coding boxes e.g.

<!--- {{person data}} ---> 

Msmarmalade (talk) 19:09, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Msmarmalade, it should be commented out. Just like categories are "commented" out in sandboxes. That is if the sandbox page is there long term. If a person is actively working on the page and will be moved shortly, then just wait till it is moved. Bgwhite (talk) 23:58, 1 July 2014 (UTC)