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My name is Jim and I was born, raised, and retired in Minnesota, USA

Paternal grandparents were from the province of Lucca, Italy hence the username Luccagenes. To be specific my grandfather was from San Filippo, Lucca, Lucca, Italy which is just outside the walled city of Lucca, Lucca, Lucca, Italy. My grandmother is from Coselli, Capannori, Lucca, Italy which is a few miles south of the city of Lucca, Italy.

About me
United States flag.png This user lives in the United States Genealogy.
en This user is a native speaker of English
Flag of Italy.png This user is of Italian ancestry.
Flag of Denmark.png This user is of Danish ancestry.
Animation6.gif This user is of Swiss ancestry.
Flag of England.png This user is of English ancestry.
Flag of Germany.png This user is of German ancestry.
Other "stuff"
Broom icon.png This user likes to cleanup the wiki.
RootsTech2013-app-icon.png This user watched the live stream of RootsTech 2015.

I can be contacted via the talk page

(until I can figure out another way)

Page Size = 27,927

MyWikiWorld links[edit | edit source]

A fantasy world where I can create alternative page designs without disrupting the actual wiki pages.   Although these pages are not sanctioned by the Wiki the objective is to make them fully functional and should be considered a "work in progress".

MyWikiWorld 01 – Main page access (Narrow version)

MyWikiWorld 02 – Main page access (WIDE version)

MyWikiWorld 03 – Minnesota page

Why am I here?[edit | edit source]

This relates to the original project that brought me to the wiki (now abandoned)
- - from a novice's point of view - March 5, 2014 (never edited a page) - -

My involvement here started with a GetSatisfaction suggestion [about Family Tree but this could also be useful for the wiki] which obviously no one would want to pursue (other than in discussion) so I guess it is up to the one that made the suggestion to see if it could possibly work (for reference see I am really out of my depth here and just trying to figure out how to use this wiki, all the while hoping my inexperience, in and of itself, is not going to be the cause of the downfall of this idea (if it won’t work that’s fine, just so it gets a fair shake).

Frustration in finding “help” on specific topics while using Family Tree and listening to others finding similar difficulties has led to the idea that a “centralized” place to find all types of learning aids might be a benefit to beginners and training experts alike. The bigger issue was that this “Help Central” would have to be accessible while one is in the middle of research or data entry and the answers had to be found quickly without significantly disrupting one’s current activities.  Now, I realize that a “help central” is far from unique on the web but they are usually related to a small scope (e.g., a directory for a town) and provide various website links.  I was looking for something more in that it had to have a specific front-end objective (easy navigation for the inexperienced  and quick infallible access; “click to find”).  Another specific back-end objective that was also desired was that the results themselves (the answers) had to be universally and directly accessible by sources inside the Help Central and to the outside world (possibly software programs).  During all this the results had to be accessible for updating as necessary (like in wiki).  Discussions led to the possibility of using this wiki (as well as the pros and cons of doing so); so anyway here we are. 

Progress reports:[edit | edit source]

Archive01: FamilyTree HelpCentral reports[edit | edit source]

The daily progress reports about learning the wiki and the project development progress (or lack thereof) from March 5th to April 4th 2014 has been moved to an archive page.

Archive02: Misc wiki involvement reports[edit | edit source]

Periodic progress reports concerning miscellaneous projects and wiki involvement from May 3rd to November 4th 2014 has been moved to an archive page.

Jan 5, 2015[edit | edit source]

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Transferred my mockup of a Minnesota page coding from the beta (still unavailable) to a sandbox page (see Minnesota ). I will continue to evaluate this page and its second level pages in MyWikiWorld.

Back in September I was playing around with a way to better control the sizing to the image maps because the current way of doing the image size changes was annoying me (to be honest, it was a pain in the …neck). After several days of searching the internet, MediaWiki, and Wikipedia I found a reference to a “Tag” function that could potentially allow the desired variable to be used. It took several more days to figure out how to get it to function properly as an input parameter since it had to accept a text phrase and not a number. All said and done; now it works perfectly. Recently, when I was in need of a small image map for the sidebar on my reconstructed “beta” page of Minnesota, I also noticed that people were making multiple copies of the same image map template (USimagemap) just to handle the different image sizes they needed. This new tag function could eliminate the need to do this, therefore I have updated the image map editor article with a section called “Trick of the Trade” and posted a link to said page on Yammer. Afterwards I found a glitch (typo) when testing the directions which was quickly fixed so all is working fine now. This should be a very useful modification for those using image maps as it is much more versatile (I may even post this fix on Wikipedia and WikiHow).

The following was posted on Community News as well:
An alternative image map sizing method. A new coding option has been developed and is now available. These optional changes will allow more versatility when sizing the image maps used on our Wiki pages. By substituting a simple wikitext code modification the image size can be controlled independently from the template itself which eliminates the need for multiple copies of the same template. These changes also allow the size of the image map to be easily changed while editing the target page. The instructions can be found in the image map help article in the section called Trick of the Trade.

I'm still anxiously waiting for the Tech meetings to be recorded and made available (not holding my breath). It sounded like Warren indicated that he may be reassigned, so should tech meeting recording be shifted under the same control as the other meetings to ensure they are recorded? Even if an engineer is unavailable the community could use the meeting to add items to the follow-up table and discuss issues or concerns (if recorded, that is). Note: The Dec 18th meeting apparently did not occur as no agenda has been posted.

LONG TERM note to self. The subject of the “watch” function being turned off if the notification email is not acknowledged has been brought up to Warren but should be pursued farther. Solution: See if the engineers can program an “automatic reboot” of the watch list after a defined time period (say, two weeks or a month). This way if someone misses an email notification or forgets to acknowledge one, the lockout will be reset so they will eventually start receiving them again. This should be doable.

SEOs on Help pages? Added SEO statement (or an article introductory statement) to the Help:Image maps article and did a search to check the current SEO statements being picked up. Yahoo does not appear to pick up Help articles but Google does. The Google search had arbitrary words from the article which was confusing and did not explain the title. I think SEOs should be added to all help articles and general articles (not just location articles) to better utilize the search engines and draw users to the articles (and the wiki) during their Internet searches.

Status of categories? Cannot see any progress but it may all be behind the scenes; don’t know. I may start to revamp my Category Quick Picks page in lieu of no apparent activity on this subject.

Seems to be little activity on Yammer for the past couple months. I don’t know if this is normal for the holiday season or year-end activity or if the activity on Yammer is slowly decreasing due to slow response times to questions (compared to Skype). Have heard nothing about SaleForce lately or even know how to access it (or if it will even be accessible by outsiders).

Feb 1, 2015[edit | edit source]

Top of page

Jan 10th

I added the Trick of the Trade information for the image maps to the MediaWiki page so anyone might find it now in an Internet search. It just so happens that I did not develop this first (I only reinvented the wheel) as I later found on a MediaWiki talk page that someone had tried to do something similar a few months before; their talk pages did not show up in the searches so at least it is searchable now.

I created a new category Category:News to organize any wiki articles that are related to “current” news reporting. I had to search a few thousand search results to find any and all of the articles that seemed appropriate (may have missed a few). One point to note is that better organization of these articles would definitely help as many overlap, too many are outdated or are no longer used, and there is no central place to find the current “News”. In the light of the desire to get the community involved I feel such centralization, possibly through Community News, would help (if that is the objective).

Future note: should a link to Community News be located on all state pages (possibly in the sidebar) and many other highly used pages, for easy access and increased exposure of the general public to possible community involvement.

A note for the future discussion at tech meeting; Special page: Special:PopularPages – can engineering add a function to refine the search to the last 30 days, last 60, last 90, etc. (instead of just the results from the beginning of the wiki). It seems that more recent periods of time would yield much more valuable information which could better show the current trends. It could also be used to generate the data necessary to plot these trends. Will bring this up after the new version is up and working (engineering wants no distractions).

Update: I brought this “request” up at the Jan 29th tech meeting and Warren said he would ask around to see it such a thing is possible. Others thought this would be beneficial as well.

I added some entries to the “Broken Links” google.doc (after I was given editing rights). I still have not figured out why the page in question, Community Center, can not be edited; most unusual*. I still have several questions related to this subject:

  • Are we supposed to record all broken links in the google.doc or just the ones we cannot fix ourselves?
  • Should we record a broken link there even if we can or have fixed it ourselves?
  • Is there a reason they want to compile such a list?
  • Do bad links (going to the wrong place or an inappropriate site) fall into this same "broken link" definition?
Update: Figured out why the Community Center page could not be edited. It turned out that the page I accessed was actually on “” and not “”. I thought this issue with the “stage” and “training” sites had been corrected but the “stage” site is still showing up. I told Warren (in an email) that this can be verified by searching “familysearch stage” to see if it is still a problem.

I sent a note to Linda concerning the Moderator/Moderator definition issue. In a nut shell, I think the state moderators should be hence forth renamed “adopters” to remove the confusion with the wording “moderator rights on the wiki”. Another possibility is to rename the “state moderators” with something like “state ambassadors”. In a related vein, the vetting of potential volunteers (individual adopters) should be eliminated if the wiki wants more volunteers. It is wrong to put restrictions on an individual since the individual volunteer is the one the wiki is seeking; not very inviting. This is especially true in the light that the societies that are adopters may stop fulfilling their obligations as well, due to personnel changes. The restrictions prior to being accepted make no sense; if the individual or the societies do not perform than rescind their status.

Added {{Outdated}} and {{merge}} templates to several articles and even got an immediate response where someone updated an English news page. Also modified the outdated ambox and posted it on several articles that were for historical reference only.

Jan 16th

Made a new template, {{Historical}}, to replace the ambox coding mentioned above. Fashioned it after the {{Superseded}} template but added extra input statement lines and had to fix an error in the coding (should use the word File, not Image). Replaced the coding with the template on many of the older pages which should be kept for historical purposes (some of the pages must be preserved as they are used when accessing the older revisions in the history tab). At yesterday’s tech meeting I asked Charles if there was an approval process for this new template; he said no.

Added SEOs to the Image map article and the Navigation basics article. Noticed a lot of articles in Internet searches are turning up with weird SEO statements that can be picked up anywhere from the article if a SEO is not the first thing at the top. I will mention it to Charles at the upcoming tech meeting.

Jan 18th

Added the {{Historical}} and {{Auto-outdated}} templates to the Maintenance Templates page in the third table labeled “Label Templates”.

Finished article “History of the Main Page” after capturing various “revision” images of the main page from 2007 to now. These were taken using the history tab, converted the screenshots, and uploaded. Added highlight notes to the article about milestones in the wiki history. Posted on Yammer asking for help to add more highlights or interesting noteworthy information; there was little response, as expected.

At one of the tech meetings Judy provided a screen display showing the “main page” in a PowerPoint presentation when it was still in the beta site (Plone software). This image was screen captured and added to the article.

Added three paragraphs to the Beginners First Step article as follows:

Even though the natural urge when starting a genealogy project is to jump right in and start collecting names of as many ancestors as possible, you should somewhat resist this urge. It can become very …

Also added (changed) SEO on the Summary and Links to read:

Need a genealogy guide to help with a family tree project? Beginners or experts, old or young, get started by taking care of the two critical steps immediately to preserve your ancestry and family history.

Made the {{Find help}} template which lists the “One on One” help options and the “Do It Yourself” checklist. Previously this was coding on several MyWikiWorld pages. Whether it ever gets used in the general population is another question.

Updated Community News and added SEO and instructions. Added links to articles in the new Category:News category. I again scoured the wiki for any other articles that should be added to this new category so added FAQ pages and others to the category.

Jan 23rd

Updated TestPage20. Removed the colored shadows which appeared to be the most contentious. Posted note on Yammer but there is no longer any interest (Thanks but no thanks). Wilma seemed to like it a little based on the comments in the contributor’s meeting of the 22nd.

Added “hints” to Image map page last week (added to Charles’ hint). One was for the “zoom” feature that is available with this new image map editor and the other dealt with overlapping areas in the image map wherein one can change the priority level by moving the preferred area higher in the wikitext coding.

On the subject of SEOs, at yesterday’s tech meeting (not recorded as Warren was not available) Charles said he brought it up but the decision was that it would be too difficult to address this issue (adding SEOs) for 80,000+ articles so it will not be pursued. My original suggestion was to tell people to add an SEO if they were on a page anyway but this is not my call. It may be a mute issue anyway because after I tried some general Internet searches again with Google and Yahoo (that the general public might use) it appeared that the wiki seldom shows up in the first 50 listings anyway; other than maybe the state pages which support has already added SEOs to. In my particular (peculiar) searches where I was seeing unusual SEO information, I was going to a lot of weird places that most Internet users would not which might explain why I was seeing it on more diverse pages. C’est la vie.

Jan 25th

I have been playing with the coding of one of the major templates in order to “modernize” it so that the {{Principles}} Navbox can be adjusted to any new design scheme (colors and attribute sizes) simply by modifying these attributes via input parameters. I was able to achieve the same thing that Caleb did on the Research Process page but made it universally changeable with more options while still maintaining the templates integrity so it could still be updated as a normal template. This is being done because using a substitution copy that is no longer connected to the template for updates seemed counter-intuitive to me. It tested out nicely and the test page has been transferred to the template in whole. These modifications are invisible to the pages (the new coding provides a template identical to the original). The changes are fully documented on the template page and I sent Caleb a copy of the replacement coding in case he is interested.

Jan 29th

Created a userbox for Giuseppe, per request, to be used by the Governance Council, plus made a new icon to be used on said Userbox (created the necessary category as well). Giuseppe found it acceptable.

Straightened out Userbox gallery as noted by Giuseppe, when he could not get them to work right. Turns out there was bad code present (actually “old” code) which was not universally modifiable. Also found additional old code in some of the sub-sub-templates and replaced it. Giuseppe indicated that it works fine now.

Added “instructions” to the Userbox page (obliviously they were needed as I did not know how to use the userboxtop templates). Also made a new template of ISO 639-1 codes and linked it to the Userbox gallery and the category page.

Completely revised and edited Rookie mistakes to remove negativity as noted on the talk page comment, plus updated response back to that user (but alas, don’t know if they are watching the page).

The tech meeting today, brought up a couple wish list items:

  • Watchpage work order has been upgraded from enhancement (per Warren) as the engineers indicated that this change should be possible. This suggested change was to have each watch in the user’s watchlist reset after one week just in case a user forgets or misses an email notification. The user must acknowledge the email or that watch is shut down permanently. At one of the contributor meetings it was reported that someone never received any more watch notifications from a page they were monitoring.
  • Brought up popular pages and “form” page: warren will check if they are possible Added an update note to the previous entry on this subject..

Feb 1st

Created the page Searching Genealogy Names in anticipation of a future link on the main page (?) in light of discussions at the Contributor’s meeting wherein it would be good to show novices, newbies, beginners (what ever you want to call us), as well as the general internet surfers that the Research Wiki is useful to them as well (first impressions!).

Modified the MyWikiWorld test “main page” by adding a box for the link above. It would be important not to turn away any user (due to frustration) if they cannot find what they are looking for. Even if they want to search for “names” the wiki should help them and not turn them away. The link to Searching Genealogy Names will lead them to a table of links that is already available on the wiki (finding these tables is the problem, the user is not the problem). That being said, end of discussion; this is me talking to myself.

Time to slow down again as I have been spending too much time on the wiki (although only half as much as I was spending on it several months ago). I have one more minor “project” to finish here and then it is time to check out if there are any MediaWiki, wikiHow, or Wikipedia contributions that could be made. Diversify!

Feb 16, 2015[edit | edit source]

Top of page

Feb 8th

I had been playing around with the wiki feedback pages only to discover that several pages already existed but were apparently abandoned back in 2012. One was a WikiProject page with two subsequent sub pages. I starded consolidating and re-organizing these pages with the intent of comparing the comments from 2012 to today to see if they were still relevant (a then and now scenario). Then another feedback page was found that was not a WikiProject. I added a feedback link to the {{Find help}} template and created another simple {{Feedback}} template that could be displayed on any page. The latter template can be adjusted up or down and to the right using input parameters so it was added to the Wiki basics page.

Moved the feedback page off the WikiProject page after consulting with Jane. Re-directed the links in the two templates, {{Find help}} and {{Feedback}} that linked to it.

The Summary page which is transcluded to the Beginners First Step article seems to work for a long article page but I did not think it would work as a quick reference help page. I then noticed a section in a help article called Wiki Editing is as Easy as 1-2-3! that was a perfect concept BUT it was a summary at the end of the article (wrong place!). If something like this was moved to the beginning of the article then the user could get all the succinct info immediately (and could check out the entire article if so inclined).

Added the “Easy as 123” condensed outline to the Help:Navigation Basics page and the Help:Image maps page. The idea behind this is that when I went back to look at the navigation basics page, I realized it was much too long and readers would never finish the whole thing (especially beginners and myself).

In a like manner, I decided to try to keep articles for beginners to between 50 and 100 sentences, like in the article Searching Genealogy Names so that the new user does not get bored or distracted before finishing it. If these “Easy as 123” sections can be kept to that length it would be perfect and this will work for everyone because it is the perfect length to get the gist of the article as well as being good when reviewing an article multiple times. I am also trying to split this outline into parts ONE, TWO, and THREE, in keeping with the 1,2,3 section title and in most cases this should be doable. I will take a look at ALL the help articles eventually to see if this would work for them as well.

Submitted a suggestion to the GC and CC (via Giuseppe) about adding more award userboxes to the wiki. Giuseppe indicated that we should do something like this but to be patient. See TestPage44 for more info.

Feb 15th

Finished the MyWikiWorld page which is a alternative page design for the Online Genealogy Records page for Minnesota. Linda critiqued it, I made adjustments, and then sent a Yammer note to Wilma for her opinion. Just throwing another option into the mix which involved collapsible tables and an extensive use of “help” icons (as I discussed at the last contributors meeting),

Found out that the internal email system for the wiki is apparently not working. I sent an email to the user who commented about the Rookie Mistakes article but I did not get the confirmation copy of the email that was requested. Further checking and having Linda check for an email I sent to her led to the conclusion that the user never received an email. This is based on the fact that Linda did not receive either of the two I sent her and I could not even send one to myself. I put a note in the Tech Meeting follow-up template for Warren to check on this.

I also identified an issue with one of the preference page checkable options that causes problems when editing a page (even in the standard wikitext editor). This was also added to the follow-up page for the Tech meeting as noted above.

Watched the live stream for the RootsTech2015 conference. There were a couple very good presentations. Created the live stream template for RootsTech2015 after I noticed that Steve created the one for those that “attended” the conference. Apparently both options were available in all but 2014 when neither userbox was created..

Feb 16th

Responded to the first feedback comment since the feedback page was reactivated and passed the information along to Jane. Also created two new pages that are associated with the feedback page: FamilySearch Wiki:Feedback response and a Feedback response template that is transcluded to the Feedback page. This latter template will be used as a log for future comments and responses.

Just have to add the Easy 1,2,3 outline to the Beginners First Step article then that should be it for a while until some other issues are evaluated (the RootsTech sessions provided a lot of food for thought).

Last revision for this USER page: 20150216232635  Luccagenes

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