Wikipedia talk:Persondata/Archive 4

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Position of template in articles

At the moment the cumulative effect of this and this is that stub templates appear below persondata in relevant articles. For those of us who have persondata displaying by default (by monobook.css code) this looks odd, well it does to me at least. It seems much more logical to me for persondata to be the last thing visible in the body of the article, ie below relevant stubs. Any thoughts on this? Is it worth proposing as a modification to the relevant policies and guidelines? Thanks. – ukexpat (talk) 17:43, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Below stub markers sounds good to me. Gary King (talk) 20:56, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
There are technical considerations relating to the placement of {{Persondata}}. If I recall correctly (it's somewhere in the talk page archives) persondata had to be moved from between the categories and interwiki links to its current position before the categories because AutoWikiBrowser didn't like it. Per WP:LAYOUT stub templates come before interwikis, so the above proposal amounts to moving it back to the position it had to be moved from. Also, I have this vague idea that stub templates are supposed to be temporary, and are placed at the end of the article so that when it is de-stubbed, they can just "drop off the bottom," as it were. Persondata on the other hand is a permanent part of the article. From the point of view of data extraction (which is of course the motivation for persondata) the position of the template is irrelevant; any computer program will have to search through the whole text for the template anyway, so this is really just a matter of preference among the unfortunately small minority of Wikipedia editors who add persondata. Having persondata before stubs doesn't bother me. What I would be opposed to is retroactively moving persondata before stubs in the case of articles where this applies; this time could be better spent adding persondata to the half a million biographies which don't yet have it :) Dr pda (talk) 22:50, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the input folks. I was not suggesting retroactively moving the template on existing articles, but proposing a prospective change. I was not aware the AutoWikiBrowser didn't like the original positioning, but surely that's a problem for AWB's programmers to fix? While I am at it, plaudits to Dr pda for creating the script -- I use it all the time. – ukexpat (talk) 14:20, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
I also remember that the template had to be relocated to it's current location due to some technical problem. Although for the life of me, I can't remember what the problem was at this point. Kaldari (talk) 18:06, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

No reason it can't go after cats and stub tags. Since it is less human relevant it seems a good place. Rich Farmbrough, 22:31, 19 October 2010 (UTC).

Templates in the lead section of articles are not displayed in tooltip previews, and they cause strange blank spaces. This is a basic behavior of Wikipedia, and keeping that in mind is a good reason for moving Persondata to the bottom, beyond any text that would be normally displayed on the screen. Recognizing this fact, whenever I encounter any template at the top of the article other than Infoboxes and IPA pronunciation guides, I try to replace them with static text.  — QuicksilverT @ 14:47, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

Date formats

Since Persondata are supposed to be used for automated toolbuilding and classification, and not generally displayed in the articles themselves, would it not make more sense to use ISO dates (YYYY-MM-DD) for date of birth/death instead of using the Manual of Style guidelines? ISO dates would provide a better degree of standardization, and are more easily sorted, than variable data with named months in it. Rklear (talk) 16:53, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Oops, I always use ISO date format, as does DrPDA's script. – ukexpat (talk) 18:19, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
So do I. I just saw the project page today and noticed that it says otherwise. That's why I raised the question. Rklear (talk) 19:32, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
About a week ago at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Persondata#Script-extracted date of birth formatting? someone suggested the opposite viewpoint, namely that when the script produces a YYYY-MM-DD date, it should be converted to a DD month YYYY date, because of the MoS requirement which has been inserted into the instructions here! See my comments in that discussion, but basically there are always going to be multiple date formats (e.g. year only, approximate year, century only, etc) and any application of persondata is going to have to parse the date fields to make the information usable anyway (see for example all the cases treated by Wikipedia:Persondata/transform.pl). A single date format is not going to cover all situtions, nor make things easier, so it's just instruction creep to mandate one. The reason my script often inserts dates as YYYY-MM-DD is because it is just grabbing the information from an infobox; these frequently use {{death date and age|YYYY|MM|DD|yy|mm|dd}} and it was just easier when I was writing the script to extract the YYYY-MM-DD string rather than trying to convert it to month names. Incidentally ISO format dates shouldn't be used for dates before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar, so that wouldn't be an appropriate solution for persondata anyway :) Dr pda (talk) 22:46, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
The instructions for this template are seriously flawed, because any automated date handling system should have a means to distinguish the calendar in which the date is stated (for Wikipedia articles, the likely calendars are Gregorian, Julian as actually observed in the Roman Empire, proleptic Julian, and Roman Republican). There are no instructions on which calendar to use or how to indicate which calendar was used. --Jc3s5h (talk) 19:37, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree the instructions need to indicate the acceptable date formats. The German version gives detailed formats at de:Hilfe:Personendaten#Datum and also mandates only the Gregorian calendar to be used in Persondata after 15 October 1582, regardless when the country changed its calendar. For example Vladimir Nabokov has 22 April 1899 in the Persondate template and both Julian and Gregorian dates in the lede. If it helps I have added my rough adaptation of the date format table from the German help file to section Wikipedia talk:Persondata#Date format table below. Coordination with users of this meta data would be needed for some of these special cases. -84user (talk) 03:37, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
While the German version of the template help is more extensive, it's a mess, too. It gives too many options for data formatting, including date formatting, making data parsing and extraction a nightmare. The date formatting rules should be simple and unambiguous, i.e., use ISO format only where precise dates are known, with a special rule for handling pre-Gregorian dates. and Julian-to-Gregorian cutover after after 15 October 1582, as you mentioned, 84user. ISO formatting consists only of integers and dashes, and is language-neutral and absolutely unambiguous. Once one has the ISO date, it is very simple to generate language-localized date formats. I've written many programs over the years to extract and manipulate data from databases, and I know from bitter experience that data format variations and inconsistencies are the programmer's bugbear. —QuicksilverT @ 14:01, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Date format table

Here is the date format table from the German wikipedia page de:Hilfe:Personendaten#Datum, roughly translated and adapted for English by me. This could be further adapted to suit the users of the Persondata from the English wikipedia; I could not find any comprehensive definition in the talk archives. Note that the German wikipedia only has one format for dates: TT. MONAT JAHR, for example 12. Januar 1323. I left out the entry for the German-specific month of Jänner.

The fields DATE OF BIRTH and DATE OF DEATH should contain dates as they are usually written in Wikipedia, so 12 January 1323 and not TT.MM.JJJJ (eg. 12. 01. 1923). If the full date is not known, then entries such as March 1323, only 1323 or even 14th century are correct.

See also: Date conventions

Special rules, above all for imprecise and uncertain dates, appear in the following table. (Imprecise and uncertain dates have two formulations: about 777, or uncertain: 777. In the rule, the choice should be guided by the sources in the article. Therefore: circa becomes about; probably or possibly become uncertain.)

N Wrong Yes check.svg Correct Meaning and notes
[[3 April]] [[1940]] 3 April 1940 Dates should not be linked.
An article should not be edited just to correct such a link.
However, correction is desired
if the article is to be edited for other reasons.
4. 1. 1234
04 January 1234
4 January 1234 unified format,
to simplify automatic data extraction
123 Before the Common Era
123 BCE
123 Before the Christian Era
123 Before the Current Era
123 BC ditto
AD 123
123 AD
123 Common Era
123 CE
123 ditto
Early 43 BC
2nd half of 43 BC
late summer 43 BC
43 BC coarsen,
to simplify automatic data extraction
lived in late 8th and early 9th century 8th century
9th century
for DATE OF BIRTH
for DATE OF DEATH
before 837 before
is always followed by the given date
before the 18th July 837 before 18 July 837
documented 1108
begat 1108
recorded in 1108
mentioned in 1108
provable since 1108
before 1108 for DATE OF BIRTH
after 837 after
is always followed by the given date
after the 18th July 837 after 18 July 837
later than 1245
earliest 1245
presumed dead 1245
missing 1245
1245 (or later)
not before 1245
after 1245 for DATE OF DEATH
837-843 between 837 and 843 between
is always followed by the given dates separated by and
after 3 May 93 and before 5 May 103 between 3 May 93 and 5 May 103
second half of 9th Century
end of the 9th Century
between 850 and 900
6 May before 987
6 May after 987
6 May between 987 and 993
6 May around 987
the day is known, the year is uncertain
6 May 19xx 6 May 20th century
940; other sources 945
940 (or 945)
940 or 945 or should appear only between two stand-alone dates,
not between days or month names;
more than two alternatives are permitted
3 or 4 April 940
3/4 April 940
3 April 940 or 4 April 940
3 April or May 940
3 April/May 940
3 April 940 or 3 May 940
3 April 940 or 941
3 April 940/941
3 April 940 or 3 April 941
3rd/4th century 3rd century or 4th century
approximately 837
around 837
circa 837
ca. 837
c. 837
~837
about 837 about
(small) interval around the given date
born May 1705 and baptised 17 May 1705
17 May 1705 (baptism)
baptised 17 May 1705 baptised resp. buried
refers to the complete date,
this can only appear at the start
(may eventually become uncertain: )
funeral 14 June 1705
14 Juni 1705 (funeral)
14 June 1705 (burial)
buried 14 June 1705
probably 1460
likely 1460
possibly 1460
1460(?)
uncertain: 1460 uncertain
refers to the complete date,
it can only appear at the start
3(?) March 1460
3 March(?) 1460
3 March 1460(?)
possibly 3 March 1460
uncertain: 3 March 1460
uncertain: about 1111
uncertain: 1 May 999 or 1 June 999
uncertain: baptised 17 May 1705
uncertain: buried 14 June 1705
not known
unknown
 ?
Check whether
a rough entry is possible, such as
3rd century
or
3rd century or 4th century
When not: leave the field empty
the following forms should be tolerated until a definitive decision is made
333/32 BC 333/332 BC a known year of another calendar
(Greek/Islamic/Iranian/etc.),
which has been recorded as two consecutive Julian or Gregorian years
– separated by /;
not meant is:
333 BC or 332 BC;
there must be no spaces next to the /
1332/33 1332/1333
about 335/325 BC (small) interval
around the given date span;
please always place after about,
in other cases between is correct;
there must be no spaces next to the /
about 1870/80 about 1870/1880
N Wrong Yes check.svg Correct Meaning and notes

In many states – in Russia until 31 January (Julian) / 13 February 1918 (Gregorian), but also in Germany at differing times (often 18 February (Julian) / 28 February 1700 (Gregorian), – the Julian calender persisted long after the Gregorian calendar was introduced in 5 October (Julian) / 15 October 1582 (Gregorian). Without exception dates in the Gregorian calendar must be given in those Persondata templates. Dates in both calendars can remain in the article itself. See de:Umrechnung zwischen Julianischem und Gregorianischem Kalender (in German) and de:Vorlage:JULGREGDATUM (template that converts a Julian date into both Julian and Gregorian dates).

Neither of these date fields should be linked.

Here ends my adaptaption from the German wikipedia. -84user (talk) 03:37, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the effort, but see my comment under Date formats, above. The date fields — where precise dates are known — should be strictly ISO format (YYYY-MM-DD) and nothing else, for consistency and data extraction reliability. —QuicksilverT @ 13:59, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Difficulty finding your project

Hello. I was trying to find information on what "Persondata" was and came across the Persondata article, which has been deleted multiple times. After some effort and searching I finally arrived at the correct destination: Wikipedia:Persondata. It appears that several people have tried to create an article for Persondata to help others find information (perhaps after going through the same searches themselves), but the article seems controversial and is usually removed.

It looks like some people are struggling to find out what Persondata is, and are unable to easily find the Wikipedia:Persondata page. The Persondata article being repeatedly deleted looks like a symptom of this problem. Do you think you could help solve this? Please see my explanation on the Talk:Persondata page - if you have suggestions they are welcome. Thanks! --Culix (talk) 03:58, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

We avoid cross-namespace redirects. In particular from "the encyclopedia" to "the back room". Rich Farmbrough, 19:53, 28 November 2010 (UTC).
Maybe when adding persondata to an article, editors could link WP:Persondata in the edit summary. LadyofShalott 16:24, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Date format question

Wikipedia:PERSONDATA#Dates of birth and death states "Follow the Manual of Style guidelines on whether to use DD Month YYYY format or the Month DD, YYYY style when filling the |DATE OF BIRTH= and |DATE OF DEATH= fields". However, sometimes AutoWikiBrowser (and bots that use it) populate the dates in YYYY-MM-DD format.

I brought up the issue as a bug, and was told if AWB can't decide which format prevails in an article, it uses the ISO format. However, it seems that the AWB programmers would be willing to change if there was a consensus. I see that there is discussion above about date formats, but I didn't want to hide this new comment in a year-old section. Anyone want to make a suggestion? Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 04:51, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

It's perfectly fine to use YYYY-MM-DD. Rich Farmbrough, 19:52, 28 November 2010 (UTC).
I agree. -- Magioladitis (talk) 11:01, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
When possible, dates should be supplied in YYYY-MM-DD format. This is ISO standard format and can be parsed unambiguously by computers. In some cases, only the year or year and month of birth are known, or there is ambiguity about the dates — people misrepresent the date of their birth, there is no official record of the date of birth, they disappear and the date of death is unknown or uncertain, etc. These are exceptions, and unless a plan is developed to make these fields searchable with non-standard data, it's not possible to provide guidelines on how to represent it. — QuicksilverT @ 14:56, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

Uppercase parameters

I propose that we add "Parameters should be always in CAPITAL and always in the order given by the example template". Normally, I've no problem with lower/upper case but User:Rich Farmbrough keeps changing the case of the parameters. This is a measure in order not to have edit wars. Take note that older version of AWB support only uppercase parameters but it's not the important thing. The important is that mixed casing may cause problem and it's easier to detect a template if it's always written in a single way. So please help so to prevent unnecessary change of casing. -- Magioladitis (talk) 10:54, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Conversely :) I propose we deprecate the UPPERCASE parameters per guidelines on template parameters being lowercase, barring proper nouns and acronyms. Rich Farmbrough, 15:15, 7 February 2011 (UTC).
(By all means deprecate mixed case more strongly.) Rich Farmbrough, 15:18, 7 February 2011 (UTC).
Nothing lowercase parameters here Help:Template#Parameters. We use uppercase parameters exceptionally sometimes and this is an exceptional template creating non-visible text. -- Magioladitis (talk) 15:42, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Although I normally agree that we should use natural caps in templates I think in this case it should be uppercase because it is a metatemplate and not a normal template and as Magioladitis stated it doesn't cause text to appear in the article. Also given that it is on about 900, 000 articles I think we need to make it stand out as much as possible and make it as easy as possible to edit with a bot which will have a much easier time IMO distinguishing NAME and Date fields in the persondata template without confusing them with other templates if it is in upper case. --Kumioko (talk) 16:22, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Bots need to make sure the parameter is in the correct template regardless. The template can render on the page if you set your CSS to do so. And the template should not stand out in the source, rather the opposite it should be extremely low profile, perhaps should not even be on the page, this is one reason it goes at the end. Incidentally "metatemplate" is generally reserved for templates used in templates, or to make templates rather than for metadata, but I know what you mean. Rich Farmbrough, 09:59, 8 February 2011 (UTC).
Rich, if you propose to deprecate uppercase parameters are you going to file a bot request to convert the ~800,000 existing transclusions? Rjwilmsi 12:35, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Not on your life! They can just be changed as and when - on a similar scale Infobox settlement was moved 18 months ago and 90% of the 300,000 transclusions have had the rename without a dedicated task (much faster than I would have expected actually). Rich Farmbrough, 10:03, 12 February 2011 (UTC).
" The important is that mixed casing may cause problem and it's easier to detect a template if it's always written in a single way." Indeed, but this means we have to decide for one sort of casing, and that should definitely be lowercase. Lowercasing is inconsistent with other templates and bad style, it's like getting screamed at you by the template parameters. --The Evil IP address (talk) 19:01, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
I would prefer to have them uppercase, makes it a lot easier to spot templates in editing mode, the distinction with the regular text becomes clearer. Imagine if e.g. in every cite template, all parameter names were uppercase, how much easier it would be to spot them when editing afterwards? Now it is all a jumble of lowercase text, parameters, ... "Bad style" is not really relevant, they are only visible in editing mode, not in reading mode. Fram (talk) 19:18, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Given that nobody ever complained about using uppercase until a few months ago (it was pointed out, but I never saw anything saying "don't do it"), I see this as a solution to a problem that never existed. Since the template is invisible to readers, doesn't need to be updated regularly, and is already transcluded on close to 750k articles, I can't see the point. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 22:05, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree. Lowercase parameters only cause confusion at the moment and conflicts with AWB's older versions for no good reason. I insist we form a consensus against lowercase parameters for this one. We may also think of disactivating use of lowercase parameters to discourage their use. -- Magioladitis (talk) 18:20, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
People can simply update AWB. And while I don't have a massive issue with the uppercase paramter names, there is really no reason to go against the normal way of doing things, just because this template is "special". Rich Farmbrough, 02:14, 14 February 2011 (UTC).
I think most of the people here disagree with you. -- Magioladitis (talk) 16:30, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Sorry Rich but in this case I also agree that it should be uppercase. Since we are on the subject of changing things in this template I would like to see the name changed to something that more accurately reflects what it is. Rather than calling it "Persondata" I think something like Metadata Person would be more reflective of its true purpose. This would also set a standard if we create Metadatsa templates for other things in the future (buildings, Ships, animals, vehicles, etc). --Kumioko (talk) 17:00, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
It should be "Metadata person", not "Metadata Person", in keeping with Wikipedia template naming style. — QuicksilverT @ 15:03, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
Use of uppercase, lowercase or mixed case depends on how the template is designed. It isn't a matter of user preferences, aesthetics, or edit-warring. The better templates on Wikipedia convert parameters internally to all-uppercase or all-lowercase during parsing, and can thus even handle CaMel cAsE. I've encountered others don't perform these checks and will simply puke if the parameters aren't supplied in precisely the way the template demands. — QuicksilverT @ 15:03, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

Use count

We have been pegging the use of this template around 800k, however a quick scan on the database of articles, only found approximately 300k instances. I'm not sure the reason for the discrepancy. (On my end the only likely cause is a disk problem, which I really hope it isn't.)Rich Farmbrough, 02:14, 14 February 2011 (UTC).

A third report I generated today, looking at HTML comments supports the above "only 300k" hypothesis. Rich Farmbrough, 09:19, 14 February 2011 (UTC).
Odd, as Wikipedia:Database reports/Templates with the most transclusions puts it at about 748k. By "HTML comments", does that refer to the hidden comment normally found in persondata? I assume it doesn't, but I have stopped using it. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 16:32, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Rich your figure of 300k must be wrong. 750k seems to be the current correct answer. Rjwilmsi 22:03, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I am, of course, aware of both the Jarry1250's tool and the "most transcluded" page. I would simply assume that the DB dump was truncated, except that I have run other data extraction on it, which has returned the expected results. I also find, now I look a reverse discrepancy on Infoboxes, I find over 1.6 million of them, the transclusion tools come up with 848k. Again, while I would have to check historical results, it does seem to match historical results. Figures for refimprove are about the same. Rich Farmbrough, 10:25, 17 February 2011 (UTC).
Yes it does, I was not looking specifically for that comment, but simply for the most common, and two varieties hit at about 270 k and about 30k. Rich Farmbrough, 10:25, 17 February 2011 (UTC).

Moto GP?

{{helpme}} This template doesn't seem to be working - putting information about Moto GP in the templates, see e.g. Hasan of Basra. Could someone look into this please? AndrewRT(Talk) 20:30, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

I have copied this to WP:VPT, but I'll leave the Helpme up here as well. JohnCD (talk) 20:56, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Let's answer this on your own talk page, instead of here.
Moved this request to User talk:AndrewRT#Moto GP.  Chzz  ►  20:59, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Persondata as Wikipedia:Microformats

Is there some technicality that prevents Persondata from being considered part of the broader WP:Microformats effort? I may have missed something, but it appears that the typical clues that they are considered related (category hierarchy, wikiproject relationships, "see also" links) aren't there (P.S. after a second attempt I did find a "Related projects" link at WP:WikiProject Persondata). This isn't a theoretical question: I was researching the topic for purposes of a {{cite book}} discussion and I had to search separately for descriptions of the two topics. Thanks 67.100.125.207 (talk) 20:37, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Tracking categories

Bots have put this into loads of articles, which is great, but bots aren't perfect and sometimes miss information leaving fields blank even though we have the information somewhere in the article. Could we add some tracking categories to flag up if a field is left empty? Every instance should have a name and a short description, but the other fields may prove useful to track too. SeveroTC 07:12, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

I second this idea; bots always leave out the descriptions and I guess they're not easy to produce automatically. For the moment, I would stick with categories for names and descriptions, since those are the "vital" fields. Birth/death dates and places are not always known, and not everyone has an alternative name. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 22:17, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

I've tested an edit for this in the sandbox. The diff from the current template is [1]. In the test case (normal, missing name, missing description, missing both) the template behaves as intended. The categories would show up as hidden categories but that requires the creation of the categories, which I have not done. The categories would have two templates: {{Wikipedia category|hidden=yes}} and {{tracking category}}. This would mark them as hidden tracking categories within Category:Tracking categories. I'm not fussed about the names of the categories (Category:Persondata missing name and Category:Persondata missing short description in the sandbox). It's a shame not more people have not posted in the past week but I guess not many people watch this page :/ SeveroTC 14:00, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

The concept sounds reasonable - good luck! GoingBatty (talk) 16:38, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
You probably won't get a huge number of people posting here as not many people actually work with the template - I just try my best to keep Category:Biography articles without persondata category empty. The if expressions look good although I'm unfamiliar with template code, and I guess the categories could become sub-categories of Category:Biography articles needing attention. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 18:03, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

I've applied this change. I named the tracking categories Category:Persondata templates without short description parameter and Category:Persondata templates without name parameter for consistency with categories like Category:Biography articles without listas parameter. Ucucha 22:17, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Excellent - I was going to suggest the same thing. These categories make it clear there's still plenty of work to do on getting biographical metadata into articles (as well as indicating a number of articles that shouldn't have persondata in the first place.) I'll see about getting this information into Wikipedia:Persondata. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 23:47, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Wow - 497k articles requiring a short description! SeveroTC 10:43, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that's the result of having 800k persondata templates and the majority added by bots, which don't work with descriptions. Although bots and AWB could be (re)programmed to use descriptions, I doubt it'd be a simple job. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 12:20, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Maybe an AWB bot could do two separate actions:
  • If the template is missing the name but not the description, add the name as part of AWB General Fixes
  • If the template is missing both the name and the description, add the name as part of AWB General Fixes, and use an edit summary that would encourage human editors to add the description.
What do you think? GoingBatty (talk) 16:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
I see that Seth Abramson is in Category:Persondata templates without name parameter, even though the name parameter is populated properly. Looks like the Persondata was added in this edit in 2010. Could you please check your logic? Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 16:55, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Not sure what the issue was there; this edit fixed it. I suppose there may have been some hidden characters that my edit somehow removed. Ucucha 22:33, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
With regards to using AWB for names/descriptions, I've found that it, plus AWB-using bots, tend to work off of DEFAULTSORT when entering a name - if it doesn't exist, they leave the name blank. In this situation, the tool should just use the page title instead.
AWB's general fixes can automatically add the DEFAULTSORT template, which it can then use to populate the Persondata name parameter. For example, see this edit. GoingBatty (talk) 00:55, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
I just saw the tracking categories for the first time today. Thank you and curses for those.
Concerning those without the name parameter... I and a few other have been going thru Category:Biography articles without listas parameter. When I fix a page without listas, I check to see if the name parameter and DEFAULTSORT are empty or incorrect and then fix them. So, hopefully, the "without name parameter" tracking category will drop some more as I finish off listas. AWB will not add DEFAULTSORT and/or name parameter if the article is a band (it won't add persondata either for bands), article's name is one word or a name contains some Arabic words.
When I get done with listas, I'll turn my attention to those without a name parameter because they will also be missing DEFAULTSORT. I know a few other wikignomes who might work on name parameters. Bgwhite (talk) 22:46, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
As for descriptions, I doubt that can be done without some sort of automation but for the moment, encouraging more editors to get involved is a sensible step. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 00:04, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Wikilinks

Just a bit ago, User:Thorwald removed wikilinks from an article's persondata in this diff. The documentation doesn't say you can't use wikilinks (or templates). A section on this Talk page above talks a little about using links and the participants couldn't agree. If wikilinks can't be used, the doc should say so. If there are times when they can be and other times when they can't, the doc should say so. Same for templates.

According to WP:PERSON: "These fields can possibly be extended in the future, and currently it isn't necessary to provide wikilinks in them; however, these might be useful in some future application, so feel free to add them to locations if you wish." Although it doesn't address templates, that would appear to mean that wikilinks are optional.--Bbb23 (talk) 19:48, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Personally I don't think it necessary to add wikilinks to the persondata template. The point of the template isn't to be able to link the fields and I think its a bit of a reach to think that there will be a need for it in the future. However, there is no consensus at this time either way so I don't think that people should be delinking the data in the template. --Kumioko (talk) 20:04, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, adding them is a matter of discretion, but they should not be added/removed from existing templates just because a user does or doesn't like them. If and when a consensus is reached that links are useful or unnecessary, they can be dealt with then. For the moment, persondata has other, much more pressing concerns, such as the 720,000 (and rising) templates that have no descriptions. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 21:04, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Heh, I just saw someone add a description to one of the pages I watch, so that's one less.--Bbb23 (talk) 23:16, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
And by tomorrow another 50 will probably have entered the list. It isn't really possible to clear the backlog without automation, but that won't be easy. I've been mulling a possible solution (automatically assigning descriptions based on the categories an article occupies), but I don't know the first thing about programming so someone else would have to do it, plus there are certain hurdles to overcome before going ahead. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 23:37, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, was it me Bbb23? I just finished clearing out a category with the help of a bot. My next bot run will be on persondata. However, it will be limited to only sports figures as it is more straight forward if a person is a footballer, cricket player, etc. Any other category and it gets too complicated... Military figures are often politicians, painters are often engravers or sculptors. Novelists could also be poets or journalists. Politicians de-evolve from other vermin such as lawyers, criminals, ceo's, Bgwhite (talk) 23:50, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
I was thinking something similar across many categories. For example, everyone in Category:British actors can probably be described as a "British actor" without too much fuss. With any luck it will be possible to reach the vast majority of persondata templates this way, although uncategorised articles (and some special cases) may need manual oversight. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 14:34, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Vermin?--Bbb23 (talk) 22:52, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't know, there are alot of people in Category:British actors that do acting secondary. For example, David Bowie and Sting. There are just some categories that there would be too much confusion about. It is going to take come creative thinking to solve it. Bbb23, sorry about vermin. Comparing cute rabbits or squirrels to politicians is very unfair to the bunnies, squirrels, rats, mice or cockroaches. Politicians are the lowest life form of all, after my mother-in-law. Bgwhite (talk) 23:24, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
You're very funny. I hope your poor mother-in-law isn't a lawyer or a CEO. In any event, I posted a notice on her userpage so she can respond to your comments. :-) --Bbb23 (talk) 23:28, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The issue of secondary categories is what I referred to by "certain hurdles", since it's entirely possible for someone to be many things - actor, singer, director and so on. I don't know how feasible/easy it is to program descriptions for these scenarios, but I guess they'd take some of that creative thinking. There's also a need for balance here - we want to be specific enough to accurately describe a person, but not so specific that we take in everything they have ever done in their lives. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 01:39, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

If you used an edit summary along the lines of "added Persondata SHORT DESCRIPTION=British actor - please improve if needed", that would give page watchers a nudge to use something better if needed. GoingBatty (talk) 18:19, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Agree. I just saw and edit of Waacstats show up in my watchlist. It said, "Add persondata short description using AWB". It got my attention. Need to give him some kudos. He is adding it to a ton of Politicians. Bgwhite (talk) 07:36, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

ISO dates

I'm in disagreement with another editor over whether ISO dates (YYYY-MM-DD) are permitted in persondata templates. Are these acceptable, or are they not recommended? Furthermore, if they are acceptable, is it suitable to replace them with the spelled out date type used in the article? SFB 17:47, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm the one Sillfolkboy is having a disagreement over. I have never said they are not acceptable as it plainly states it in Wikipedia:Persondata. They are acceptable. Bgwhite (talk) 18:53, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
They are certainly acceptable, although I've never got into the habit of using them (if necessary a bot could convert them without major issues.) My personal preference is to use the same format that is used in the article, but changing date formats without good reason is a bad idea. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 23:14, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Template displaying

Please assist Not sure how/why, but Template:Persondata is showing on the current revision of Quantis Graves. Can anyone explain and fix this? Also, it has several fields filled in which are apparently not supported...? —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 08:53, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Unclosed earlier template, which I've now fixed. The previous IP editor seems to have mixed fields from the fight history table and persondata together. Rjwilmsi 09:07, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I've also taken the liberty of removing the extra parameters from persondata. As you say, they are not supported so they just end up bloating the template for no good reason. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 13:12, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Persondata templates without short description parameter

I don't use this template often so can I ask for some help. The Cleanup listing for WikiProject Somerset has just had 256 articles added to it under the heading "Persondata templates without short description parameter". I presume this relates to Wikipedia:Persondata#Short description. Has this suddenly become "required" or something?— Rod talk 18:59, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

That was probably the decision of whoever generated the listings, but with persondata names and descriptions are essentially the vital fields, and they have tracking descriptions because every template should have them. There might be no record of a person's birth and death dates or places, and not everyone will have alternate names, so those don't have tracking categories.
Considering that there are still a total of 690,000 templates with no descriptions, I would encourage any effort by projects or individuals to bring the total down (especially if you use AWB - which I don't.) 1ForTheMoney (talk) 22:07, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

PERSONDATA-style templates for all articles?

Why only biographies I think that it's neat that we have these extractable templates, but why does it only exist for biographies? Reading today's Signpost, there are apparently services that create micro-Wikipedia articles suitable for tweeting. Couldn't we do them one better and have our own small template format for every type of article and create a snippet-sized version of the entire encyclopedia? Why do we have this just for biographies? —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 16:18, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Who knows? Persondata is a form of metadata for standardising biographical information, but there's no reason not to extend that principle for other subjects if there's a particular need for them - in fact, Wikipedia:Persondata#Purpose says that "hopefully, this will be the first of many steps towards enriching Wikipedia with semantic content.", which we already do to an extent with microformats. Towns, villages, cities, ships, species genuses, asteroids...we have lots of articles on all of these subjects, so it would be a matter of consulting the relevant WikiProjects and agreeing on standard fields for each template. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 19:53, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
I would be interested in having metadata for Awards articles, in particular Category:Literary awards. I'm a bit overwhelmed by the Persondata page, it seems a lot of work to create a new metadata set, if it means creating another page like WP:Persondata. And there seem to be a lot of users out to tear it down, sadly. I wish there was an easier standardized way to go about it. I'm a believer in metadata and symantic wikipedia. IMO what we need is for it to be integrated directly into the Mediawiki software, it's kludgy using a template. Are there any plans for something like that in the future? Green Cardamom (talk) 18:11, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Semantic MediaWiki may well provide the answer, and it was covered in a Signpost report in April 2011. Unfortunately, the developers don't believe SMW will scale up to a website this big, and they're reluctant to allow untrusted code to run on their projects anyway. So until they do, we have to make do with templates that incorporate metadata and microformats. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 21:59, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
You can create a regular infobox template for the Awards articles. The problem with the people's articles is that they already have many different kinds of templates, so instead of standardizing all the infobox templates for people, they created a new, common one. --V111P (talk) 03:36, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Duh, thanks V111P. I should have thought of the infobox templates, the Awards infobox provides most of the fields I need. See what you mean about the special case of biography articles. Hairy situation getting hairier. Green Cardamom (talk) 07:42, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
If you want a really short "article", just pick the first sentence. If you want it to be a little longer and more useful, take the whole introduction. It's simple as that. --V111P (talk) 03:36, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, there are many different infoboxes for people as encoding all the necessary fields and parameters into a single template wouldn't really work (although that doesn't seem to have stopped anyone trying with {{infobox person}}). To make the best of the situation, efforts have been made to standardise some of the field names whenever possible, as seen here. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 14:29, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps it would be useful to add "machine readable" descriptions of each field in each template, for example in a subpage of the template. I'm not sure exactly what these "machine readable" descriptions could look like, but for example they could indicate if the particular fields should be used for "statistical analysis" and "automated categorization", to quote two of the possible uses of Persondata cited in the intro of this article. --V111P (talk) 11:26, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I admit I'm lost on what form that would take - microformats put the information into the form of HTML classes, as seen here. The HTML5 specification might also include microdata, which nests semantic data directly into a passage of text rather than through other templates, but that's a long way off if it happens at all. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 20:19, 17 November 2011 (UTC) Actually, that doesn't seem very relevant, but descriptions would still need to be parsed and interpreted. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 23:03, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Never mind, "machine readable" descriptions are probably not needed: dbpedia seems to be doing well at extracting the info from the templates: [2] (Look at 2.3 Sample Resources and 1.3 Example queries). They are unifying the template field names externally. [3] --V111P (talk) 00:30, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Follow-up question

Please clarify As pointed out above, machines are pretty good at scraping information from infoboxes and then making databases, lists, XML, etc. so why does this template exist at all when we have person-related infoboxes? Why not just make sure that we deploy those instead? —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 16:26, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

This is a fair idea and probably what will end up happening (data within infoboxes is automatically made available to DBpedia and microformats are already in place), except that a lot of shorter articles don't have infoboxes; they can overwhelm the article and often end up being a lot longer than the text, not that this stops some users adding them. Persondata, on the other hand, can be added to articles of any length as it's usually invisible and unobtrusive. Like most things, this requires editors to decide that's a good idea. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 19:02, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

"Most commonly known name"

If there is clear guidance on this, I haven't seen it... There is confusion between editors on how the "Name" parameter should be addressed in cases where entertainers, for example, have become famous using a stage name. For example, should Cliff Richard be shown, as now, as |NAME=Richard, Cliff, Sir |ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Webb, Harry Rodger (birth name)...? Should Ringo Starr be shown, as now, as | NAME=Starkey, Richard | ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Starr, Ringo (stage name)....? Obviously, those two examples are diametrically opposed to each other. If there is any guidance on this, where is it? Ghmyrtle (talk) 15:39, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Persondata#Name and titles is the relevant guideline on this, although judging from your section title I'm guessing you've already read it. I often take the article title as the most commonly known name, since that's what people are likely to search for and know the subject as. Of course this can mean that stage names will end up in the NAME field, and real names end up in the ALTERNATIVE NAMES field denoted as such. So in your example, Cliff Richard and Ringo Starr would be the NAMEs, but ultimately this is something for the editors to decide as I've never really thought about it. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 18:49, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
I think that's generally sound advice. The article title should be the most common name used anyway. SFB 19:07, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Can we stop adding the annoying, useless comment now?

I just want to suggest a couple of changes to the annoying, ugly comment that is left on a lot of the Persondata templates. That is the comment: <!-- Metadata: see [[Wikipedia:Persondata]] -->. It could be argued that this comment was useful when the template was new and people tended to delete it but now that people have had a chance to get to know it and now that we have a bot that automates the addition of it, I think the comment has outlived its usefulness and is now just taking up space. --Kumioko (talk) 22:22, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Although I don't usually remove them from existing templates, I agree that new additions do not desperately need the hidden comment. Should people ask, it is easy enough to point them to this project page. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 01:19, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
I would say that if we are there already, doing something more meaningful, then we could remove it, but I agree that simply removing them for the sake of removing them is pretty pointless. --Kumioko (talk)
AWB also adds this comment. If consensus is reached here (and the documentation changed), you may want to add a feature request to have the code changed. Good luck! GoingBatty (talk) 04:30, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, I'm not sure if thats true. I know it moves the comment but I didn't think it added or removed it. You might be right though. Will do that. --Kumioko (talk) 04:34, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
Just to clarify, AWB adds the comment when it adds the template. For example, try Ian Gardiner (musician). GoingBatty (talk) 04:37, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
Oh yeah your right thanks for clarifying. --Kumioko (talk) 19:27, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Does anyone else have any objections to dropping the comment from the Persondata template. This discussion doesn't seem to have gathered much interest so I am going to leave a notice at the village pump for expanded visisbility. --Kumioko (talk) 20:47, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Drop the comment Anyone wiki-savvy enough to understand the comment will already know how to find Template:Persondata and then Wikipedia:Persondata. -- John of Reading (talk) 08:32, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree with the points made by John of Reading. SeveroTC 11:54, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Me too. The link doesn't even need square brackets as it won't work in the editing mode anyway. Rcsprinter (talk to me) 15:12, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Remove Persondata has become standard practice now. Editors likely to misunderstand it probably won't understand {{reflist}} either (i.e. pretty low knowledge threshold). We previously had hidden comments for the reference section too, but as things become common, we can move towards dropping comments. Besides, the template's fields and context are not arcane. SFB 12:19, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree the comment is now unnecessary clutter. Dsp13 (talk) 16:25, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Since everyone that commented seemed to agree that the time has come to lose the persondata comment I went to remove it from the main page and found that someone has beaten me to it. The comment has been removed from the instructions. I will let the AWB developers now that so they can also stop adding it in the code used there as well. --Kumioko (talk) 02:10, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Is it worthwhile to develop a plan to remove the comment from the existing articles? GoingBatty (talk) 02:55, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
I think it is ok to remove it from articles if we are doing something more significant already (typo's, add or removing things, cleaning up references, etc.) but I wouldn't remove the comment if thats the only edit needed at that time. --Kumioko (talk) 03:29, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
A sensible idea - making thousands upon thousands of edits just to remove hidden comments is a waste of time, and ultimately counter-productive since I know plenty of users would take a dim view of such editing. Of course, doing it at the same time as adding descriptions would clear most of the comments out, so that's the best route forward. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 21:04, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Wonder if removing the comment could be added as a feature in Wikipedia:Persondata-o-matic? GoingBatty (talk) 03:07, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
I have added this feature in the latest version (2011-12-21), thanks for the suggestion! Dcoetzee 18:36, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

I disagree with the removal of the existing comments. Unlike all other templates persondata has no visible result on the rendered page and this makes me believe it continue be a mystery for newbies. -- Magioladitis (talk) 22:51, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

I sorta see your argument however since the addition of persondata is automated a variety of ways, if someone deletes it, someone else or a bot will just add it back. In fact we are down to a point where I dare say that there should be less than a couple thousand that don't have it (although I admit a lot still need filling in. --Kumioko (talk) 00:15, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

A few questions about names

While processing names recently I had a few points of confusion that this page doesn't seem to cover:

  • When a person has an article titled by their stage name, e.g. El-B, should I put the stage name as their name as I did here and then their real name in Alternative Names? Or vice versa?
  • Are alternative names sometimes listed surname first with a comma like the name field? Or should they never be listed so?
  • How should the names of royal figures be listed? Sometimes people just include their most well-known titles even when they are ambiguous - for example, Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon (1485 creation) is currently listed with name "Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon". But at the same time Charles I of England has "Charles I of England" listed as his name, yet nowhere in his article is he referred to as such (it seems to be there just for disambiguation).
  • I'm struggling to figure out whether to list the surname first in names in cultures I am unfamiliar with, including Indian, Malaysian, Indonesian, Arabic, Chinese, Native American, etc. people. This is forcing me to skip about half of all entries. Some guidance/background on this page would be very helpful.

Thank you! Dcoetzee 18:54, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Names are never straightforward, but I'll take the first crack at answering those questions.
  • With stage names, I usually put that in the NAME field since it's likely to be their most commonly known name, and list the real name in the ALTERNATIVE NAMES field noted as such. Of course, there'll always be exceptions but this covers most cases.
  • I use commas whenever I'm dealing with actual names. Aliases, such as stage names, should not have commas.
  • Mercifully I don't deal with many articles involving titles of nobility, for the same reason as you. For the first example I would have listed him as "Courtenay, Edward, 1st Earl of Devon" but that would probably be wrong. Charles is more difficult, and I would probably have just left it alone so a more knowledgeable person can pick it up.
  • With foreign names, although I don't know all the conventions, I try to follow the format "family name, other names" when possible. As an example, Chinese and Korean names put the family name first so they can be written as they appear (Yao Ming would be "Yao, Ming"). Overall, though, DEFAULTSORT generally sorts articles by family name so that can be followed as a guideline. Of course, If I didn't know I might take a wild stab rather than ignore the issue, since a mistake is easily fixed.
1ForTheMoney (talk) 19:40, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
"Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon" and "Charles I of England" are two different cases as one is a King and the other is a peer.
  • "Charles I of England" is the formal name of the King of England and has no last name, thus he is just referenced as "Charles" in the article.
  • A peer has a last name and is also treated different. The name should be listed in Persondata as "Courtenay, Edward, 1st Earl of Deavon" or "Thatcher, Margaret, Baroness Thatcher". In the article, "Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon" should be referenced as "Devon", but I have seen many cases were "Courtenay" would be used. They should never be referenced by their first name in the article. An exception is if they are more well known by their last name. To add to the confusion, the DEFAULTSORT value is also different for peers. See WP:PEERS on how to sort.
Foreign names are tough. But, there is a lifeline in that if the name parameter is not set, the article goes into Category:Persondata templates without name parameter and a person more knowledgeable (usually Me or User:Mandarax) sets it later. FYI on some general rules...
  • Set Indian names as if they are traditional western names.
  • Chinese/Korean/Vietnames/Cambodian, use the advice given by 1ForTheMoney.
  • Burmese/Icelandic/Malaysian have no family or last name, so list as it is spelled out. An exception is Chinese Malaysian names... treat as tradition chinese names
  • Almost all Arabic/Turkish/Native American names, that are roughly over 100 years old, list as they are spelled out as they have no family name. All hell breaks out after that and just leave blank if you are uncertain.
  • If you have a question on any name, just drop me a note on my talk page.
Bgwhite (talk) 21:24, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Persondata is not the same as DEFAULTSORT?

A few times recently I have seen the template used in such a way that leads me to believe that some users think that it is a substitute for DEFAULTSORT (for example, listing a name as Maccleavy, as one would do for sorting purposes in DEFAULTSORT, rather than McLeavy). I suggest that the documentation be updated to make this clear. – ukexpat (talk) 14:26, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

If you found this on existing examples, it is likely that it has been put there but a bot or a user running AWB as they commonly use Defaultsort to fill in the name parameter. SeveroTC 14:35, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
AWB does do this. AWB will fill in NAME parameter with the same value as DEFAULTSORT. There is currently a discussion to change its behavior at Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser#Alphabetizing "Mc" as "Mac". Bgwhite (talk) 19:24, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
In any event, AWB should not be adding the incorrect form to the PD name field, so that needs to be stopped. – ukexpat (talk) 20:56, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Ah, this probably explains why I see lots of persondata fields with the name just set to the last name. Kaldari (talk) 20:59, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
I also see persondata and DEFAULTSORT set to just the last name, but it shouldn't be AWB's fault as it does use all the names in the article's title. When I see it, it usually has been done by an editor, especially in footballer articles.
Hopefully the next version of AWB will have the Mc -> Mac issue fixed. But please chime in on the discussion about it as more people the better. Bgwhite (talk) 22:01, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
I mentioned this in the AWB discussion but I'll mention it here as well. If the decision is made to replace this I recommend doing a one time bot run to implement it. Also, does this Mac to Mc thing apply to Defaultsort and Listas functionality also or just Persondata? --Kumioko (talk) 02:21, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
A fix was committed to AWB's source code in which AWB will no longer do Mc -> Mac conversion. There is a discussion on whether to do a bot run to fix the persondata name field (Mac -> Mc) should be run or not. The link I gave above goes to the discussion. Bgwhite (talk) 18:53, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I came here to see if perhaps this template made DEFAULTSORT redundant, as they seem to me to be dealing with the same sorting mechanism for the subject's name. But that apparently isn't so? What is the difference in name-sorting routines between the two? __meco (talk) 09:04, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Good Question. There is an ongoing discussion at the bottom of this page on who uses persondata and how they use it so we can figure out what exactly the syntax the name parameter in persondata should be. DEFAULTSORT is a magic word used by the Wikimedia software to sort pages. Persondata only goes on biographies of individual people, while DEFAULTSORT can go on any page where a sort value needs to be set. FYI... the "listas" parameter in WikiProject Biography does the sorting for talk pages of biographies. Bgwhite (talk) 10:02, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Template suggestions

I am new to Wikipedia so please forgive me if these questions have come up before.

  1. Why is it so hard to make Persondata viewable? Why doesn't someone add the ability of viewing it as a gadget or something underpreferences so all a users needs to do is check a box to see it?
  2. Is it possible to add an edit link to the Persondata template like we do for navboxes? I think this would help a lot with filling this in. ShmuckatellieJoe (talk) 03:10, 11 March 2012 (UTC)


There's no reason why it couldn't be a gadget, but this is something you'd need to raise at the proposals pump. As for an edit link, obviously that requires Persondata to be visible first, but it wouldn't be as simple as editing a navbox (a conventional edit link would just take you to Template:Persondata, not to the entry for that page.) 1ForTheMoney (talk) 15:02, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. ShmuckatellieJoe (talk) 15:17, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Short Description

I've been keeping my eye on this growing backlog with some concerns. The short description parameter is missing from 500,000 articles and I would like to begin addressing the situation. However I have a couple of concerns on proper catagorization.

For foreign players of sports. Two questions exist. Should we say 'football' versus 'American football' or 'Soccer' for players of the sport? Given the worldwide scope this is a concerning issue. Secondly, should we list their nationality? Like 'Turkish footballer' or 'British footballer'? It might be easier then having thousands of entries on 'Footballer' as the description.

Certain individuals notable only for their death or have no specific notably mentioned. I was wondering how we address that. Like victims in ongoing conflicts whose death was notable for the response it garnered even if they were not notable. To pick a sensitive issue. Trayvon Martin. He is only notable for being a victim. George Zimmerman the shooter is only notable for being his killer. I'd hate to put non-neutral terms into the short description parameter to the effect of 'Victim' or 'Killer' as the description. I was thinking for people only notable for their death should be listed in a different manner, or those accused (but not convicted of a crime) should also be held to the standards of WP:BLPCRIME. Its just not a pretty way to label such individuals. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 18:59, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

First things first: this backlog is decreasing by around 5-10,000 articles a week (I keep track of the numbers), not increasing, although the number is still extremely high so I'll ignore that. Now, for descriptions, I generally prefer to use a nationality and a generic occupation - "American actor" and not "actor" or "film, television and theatre actor" to try and keep descriptions brief. Generally you should stick with what the person is really notable for, not everything they've ever done.
  • For footballers, you could disambiguate and use the term "assocation footballer" like I do to eliminate any confusion. Simply using "footballer" is probably fine for automated tools like AWB but there's no compelling reason to avoid nationalities.
  • Crime-related biographies are something I shy away from for similar reasons to you - "crime victim" and "criminal" or even "suspected criminal" carry a stigma. Generally, unless a person is notable only for the crime (or hasn't been convicted) I would use a different description, but if the crime is what makes them notable you may have to bite the bullet, figuratively speaking. 1ForTheMoney (talk) 11:59, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
I think I mis-seen growing because the cache on my other PC did not reset, I had an old WQA from April 16th as well which I had to purge. Yes it has been going down. Which is good. If only the persondata-o-matic would load I'd help out more. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 15:39, 3 May 2012 (UTC)


and, of course, always use "American football player from the USA" for players of American football. filceolaire (talk) 09:31, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
For footballers I've generally just used nationality footballer unless the main category for that nationality uses something else then I follow that, ie US, Canada and New Zealand use soccer player and South Africa uses association footballer. In terms of Criminals I agree with 1ForTheMonkey, if the person is notable predominately for the criminal act I see no problem in putting that in — Preceding unsigned comment added by Waacstats (talkcontribs) 07:23, May 8, 2012
(grumbles at the mis-spelling of his name by Waacstats) 1ForTheMoney (talk) 17:29, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
not only do a forget to sign my name but I also have a spelling mistake pointed out My sincere apologies 1ForTheMoney, no offense meant. Waacstats (talk) 15:02, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Nationality is not required and shouldn't be used unless the person's profession is related to the county, an army general or politician for example. The examples and instructions given do not mention nationality. It says "Baseball manager", "Cyclist" or "Rock musician" and not "American baseball manager". Otherwise it gets too confusing and is unneeded. For example, above was said " 'American football player from the USA' for players of American football". There is American football, Canadian football and Australian football. Saying "American football player" is for a person who plays American football. What about an American playing in Canadian football?... An American Canadian football player? How about a Canadian who has played in both? My favourite, "An Australian Australian rules footballer". I see way to many people born in one country and playing for another country. About a year ago, found a person putting "African-American", "Asian-American" and "American" for people of European or Latin descent.
Money, AWB does not, in anyway, add the short description automatically. A person has to manually add it.
But, all of this is likely moot. If Wikidata works well and stays on deadline, in theory, Persondata will no longer be needed. Wikidata will allow the same bit of info (birth date, birth place, etc) to be stored in one spot, but be used in any Wikipedia language project. More info is found here.
Waacstats or whatever artificial intelligence is behind you, thank you for adding so many short descriptions. I don't think it is humanly possible to work that fast. Bgwhite (talk) 20:47, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I never said AWB actually could do descriptions - if it could we wouldn't be having this discussion. Nor have I ever considered Persondata to be everlasting - aside from being partly redundant to microformats in infoboxes, its lifespan was always determined by how long it took to implement Semantic MediaWiki or a similiar project such as Wikidata, but I've already found a new way to waste time (another thing which AWB doesn't seem to do, unfortunately.) 1ForTheMoney (talk) 22:49, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, for the mistake on AWB. It was ChrisGualtieri who said it. Wikidata comment was for informational purposes only for everybody. Getting information on what is in store on Wikipedia is next to impossible. The latest watchlist fiasco this week is a good example. Oh, there are tons of stuff to play with around here. For me, it is talk to the wife or play on Wikipedia... back to Wikipedia work I go. Bgwhite (talk) 00:25, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Wait what did I say? I'm confused. I don't do persondata with AWB because it is slow, I don't know if you mean AWB auto-adds short description, it doesn't. AWB does copy birth dates, deaths, names... sometimes improperly if the infobox is bad, but I don't recall ever saying AWB does descriptions, I just noted that it was a pain to do them in AWB versus Persondata-o-matic. Waiting for a working version of POM actually... ChrisGualtieri (talk) 06:22, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Links in descriptions

Could somebody clarify in the instructions on the short description whether it is appropriate to put hyperlinks there? I thought no, but then saw the Persondata for Ralph Nader. Should we copy that example? Econterms (talk) 21:33, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

(split into sub-section for clarity) From the Parameters section: "...currently it isn't necessary to provide wikilinks in them; however, these might be useful in some future application, so feel free to add them to locations if you wish." Basically this means you shouldn't place them in descriptions, and quite a few people would say "don't use them at all." 1ForTheMoney (talk) 23:48, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

What about middle initials?

So at the begining the statement says:

The person's most commonly known name should be in the |NAME= field, in the following format: Family Name, Given Name Middle Names, title....

and then:

It is usually a good idea to list as much of a person's name as possible in the name field to avoid confusion with similar names. Unless it is part of a title of nobility, do not include |TITLE=; i.e., do not include honorifics such as "Dr.", "Professor", or "PhD".

Now what about middle initials -- like as is used in Jeffrey A. Hoffman and also in David L. Spector ?

In both of these the {{Persondata}} template is using the middle initial:

{{Persondata <!-- Metadata: see [[Wikipedia:Persondata]]. -->
| NAME              = Hoffman, Jeffrey A.
| ALTERNATIVE NAMES =
| SHORT DESCRIPTION =
| DATE OF BIRTH     = November 2, 1944
| PLACE OF BIRTH    = [[Brooklyn]], [[New York]]
| DATE OF DEATH     =
| PLACE OF DEATH    =
}}

and:

{{Persondata
| NAME = Spector, David L.
| ALTERNATIVE NAMES = 
| SHORT DESCRIPTION = American cell biologist
| DATE OF BIRTH = 06 December 1952
| PLACE OF BIRTH = New York City 
| DATE OF DEATH = 
| PLACE OF DEATH = 
}}

One decision could be to have the full middle name in the NAME field and then to put Spector, David L. in the ALTERNATIVE NAMES field.

Any thoughts on this ?

In the case of Spector he generally publishes papers using just the middle initial.

Jjjjjjjjjj (talk) 04:13, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

For Spector, no middle name is given in the article, so it should be NAME = Spector, David L.
For Hoffman, a middle name is given, so it should be NAME = Hoffman, Jeffrey Alan
A good example of the Alternative Name field is rappers. Rappers usually go a by a stage name, which is added in the name field. Their real name is added to the Alternative Name field. Bgwhite (talk) 08:21, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Which calendar?

The documentation does not specify which calendar to use. For example, should the birth date of George III be Gregorian or Julian? Jc3s5h (talk) 16:53, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

If the article is consistent with the style guide then I'd say that the date can just be taken directly from the article.
Like in the case of the Robert Boyle article I would assume that the birth and death dates are using the Julian calendar: (25 January 1627 - 31 December 1691) -- Boyle is English and both of these are before 1752.
However, in the case of the Albert Einstein article that must of course be in the Gregorian calendar.
So the style guide says that if these is disagreement among reliable secondary sources then a footnote should be used:

The dating method used should follow that used by reliable secondary sources. If the reliable secondary sources disagree, choose the most common used by reliable secondary sources and note the usage in a footnote.

(from Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers#Calendars)
So we see the application of this in:
I think the Isaac Newton article handles this well in the {{Persondata}} information as the dates are specified to be the Gregorian calendar.
So one rule could be that as long as there is a footnote (or indication that there are discrepancies in the secondary reliable sources) then the {{Persondata}} template data should be consistent with that by either specifying that the Gregorian date or the Julian date is being used.
This is not currently done in the George III, William Shakespeare, or Thomas Jefferson article -- but I think it's reasonable to do so.
I think that visually it might be better to put the type of calendar in parenthesis after the date.
So then the Isaac Newton article would go from:
...
DATE OF BIRTH=4 January 1643 Gregorian calendar

...
DATE OF DEATH=31 March 1727 Gregorian calendar

...

to:
 
...
|DATE OF BIRTH=4 January 1643 (Gregorian calendar)
...
|DATE OF DEATH=31 March 1727 (Gregorian calendar)
...

This has an added benefit that other comments could be put within the parenthesis if necessary.
For example -- the Christopher Marlowe article it is currently looking like this:
|DATE OF BIRTH= Unknown, baptised 26 February 1564

So -- this could be changed to:
|DATE OF BIRTH= 26 February 1564 (birth date unknown, date of baptism)

Jjjjjjjjjj (talk) 02:19, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Putting any other date in the DATE OF BIRTH field would be a very bad idea, it makes the field murky as to its contents. In addition I would only suggest date entry in its short form as the long for is much harder to parse by programs, let alone having to deal with comments.

|DATE OF BIRTH = 1564-02-26

(Jzaun (talk) 17:32, 26 September 2012 (UTC))

Using language templates?

The example on the documentation page shows the following example:

{{Persondata
| NAME              = Magellan, Ferdinand
| ALTERNATIVE NAMES = Magalhães, Fernão de (Portuguese); Magallanes, Fernando de (Spanish)
}}

That got me to thinking whether it would be a help or hindrance to use the {{lang}} templates, as follows:

{{Persondata
| NAME              = Magellan, Ferdinand
| ALTERNATIVE NAMES = {{lang-pt|Magalhães, Fernão de}}; {{lang-es|Magallanes, Fernando de}}
}}

If someone chooses to view the record, the |ALTERNATIVE_NAMES= field (in this example) would render as:

Portuguese: Magalhães, Fernão de; Spanish: Magallanes, Fernando de

As an added bonus, the text in the resulting HTML span(s) would be appropriately 'tagged' with  xml:lang=  attributes, like this:

<a title="Portuguese language" href="/wiki/Portuguese_language">Portuguese</a>
:
<span lang="pt" xml:lang="pt">
  <i>Magalhães, Fernão de</i>
</span>
;
<a title="Spanish language" href="/wiki/Spanish_language">Spanish</a>
:
<span lang="es" xml:lang="es">
  <i>Magallanes, Fernando de</i>
</span>

I could see where this would be useful, but I don't know if it would break anything? I have done this on the Bartholomew Roberts page if anyone wants to take a look... Thoughts? Thanks! Grollτech (talk) 15:35, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Help needed with Olga Puchkova article

I'm not sure how to fix this problem. The persondata template and sort tag in the article for Olga Puchkova appear to be filled out correctly, yet the hidden category Persondata templates without name parameter still shows the Puchkova article in its listing. Can anyone help or explain what's going on? Thanks, --FeanorStar7 13:23, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

I think it was the wikilink in PLACE OF BIRTH. After removing the link, it looks fine. Grollτech (talk) 17:46, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, I think you are right. The hidden category is no longer there in the latest revision of the page, which means it should be ok.--FeanorStar7 18:27, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Persondata in user space

How do we go about removing the 4 user space pages in the Category:Persondata templates without name parameter? They are all in protected pages and in cases such as User:R'n'B/birthdeath.js only require the curly brackets removing from around the Persondata notes.

Delsion23 (talk) 12:01, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

Would it work to change
<includeonly> {{#if: {{{name|{{{NAME|}}}}}} | | [[Category:Persondata templates without name parameter]] }} {{#if: {{{short description|{{{SHORT DESCRIPTION|}}}}}} | | [[Category:Persondata templates without short description parameter]]}}</includeonly>
to something like
<includeonly> {{#ifeq:{{NAMESPACE}}|| {{#if: {{{name|{{{NAME|}}}}}} | | [[Category:Persondata templates without name parameter]] }} {{#if: {{{short description|{{{SHORT DESCRIPTION|}}}}}} | | [[Category:Persondata templates without short description parameter]]}} }}</includeonly>
GoingBatty (talk) 16:49, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

What to use for animal "persons"?

We have quite a number of articles about animal "persons", i.e. their individual sports and breeding careers and such, is it ok to use this template for those or is there a better one? --Pitke (talk) 11:01, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Don't use this template, simply because they're not people. (Though since they often use the same infoboxes and categories as people, bots have gotten confused in the past.) 1ForTheMoney (talk) 02:58, 24 March 2013 (UTC)