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  • #11796

    I have noticed for the first time over the last few days that autocomplete on place names is sometimes rather erratic. For example, I have just started to enter “22 Victoria Road, Wilton, Salisbury, Wiltshire”. I got as far as “22 Victoria Road, Wilton, Salisbury ” and the autocomplete suggestions that appeared are shown in the attached screen shot 1. I went a little further, entering the first three letters of Wiltshire, and the autocomple dropdown list was as shown in screenshot 2. This seems to be new. I have a feeling something has changed recently to cause this.

    Ron in France Website: kiwitrees 3.3.11; PHP 8.0.14

  • #11799

    Yes, your observation is correct. The “something” that has happened recently is the release of the latest version (3.3.8). Apologies that this one somehow got missed on the “Changes” list. I’ll try and think of a brief explanation I can add there.

    What has changed is that autocomplete (on places only) attempts to suggest a previous entry based on the second word (after a comma and space) rather than only on the first part as before.

    That facilitates entry of new places that belong in a “higher level” place that already exists.

    A simple example would be trying to enter “Middle Wallop, Devonshire, England, United Kingdom”. Previously if you had plenty of other places in “Devonshire, England, United Kingdom”, but not Middle Wallop, you would have to type the entire place name, simply because it couldn’t find any entries starting with “Middle Wallop”.

    Now, you can type “Middle Wallop, Dev”, and it will suggest you mean in “Devonshire, England, United Kingdom”.

    Like all autocomplete suggestions, it is only that. How many you get listed depends on how many matching places you have. In my experience I find it best to keep a close watch on the developing list, and select the nearest suggestion as soon as you see it, rather than adding more characters than perhaps necessary. “Less is more”!

    In the case you suggest, I think the use of “Wil” twice in the address (Wilton and Wiltshire) causes complications, and then later the existence of Salisbury in both the UK and Zimbabwe/Rhodesia only adds to the complexity.

    There are other “autocomplete ” algorithms in kiwitrees that produce similar, though less structured responses. For example, I commonly add citations to Births, Marriage, or death sources like “District: Bromley, Vol: 1b, Page: 1234, Date: 1923 Oct-Dec“. This format is extremely common in my tree, so finding a match I can use (even if not/never identical) is pointless. As soon as I type “District” I will get thousands of possible answers. So I deliberately type just “brom 1b dec” That will never get me a match, as it is rare to repeat the exact same citation, but it might (e.g.) get me “District: Bromley, Vol: 1b, Page: 999, Date: 1910 Oct-Dec“, so I select that and quickly just change the page number and year. Saves me a huge amount of typing. In this case autocomplete searches for three distinct character strings, giving me results that only contain all three.

    My personal kiwitrees site is
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