Clover and Wikitree

Good news this week. Our purchase of Clover was approved and we will have our license keys in a matter of days. As of tomorrow it is going into our build and Cobertura is getting ripped out. You may recall I previously wrote about my issues with Cobertura. One problem was the latest version at the time 2.0.3 didn’t work with Powermock, even though did. And the second issue I was having with it was the lack of Java 8 support since we are close to upgrading on our project at work. Well oddly enough early in this week I saw Cobertura had a new maven plug and a new release 2.1.1. I immediately updated to the 2.7 plugin to give it a go and it promptly failed on Powermock like 2.0.3. So I didn’t feel bad at all when 2 days later I found out our Clover purchase request had been approved.

The other thing I have been messing around with in my spare time is Wikitree. Wikitree is basically a Wiki meets Ancestry. Full disclosure I am currently an subscriber. What I like about Wikitree vs Ancestry is that in theory it is 1 tree that everyone is working on. Instead of everyone having their own trees and you sort of connecting to other people researching common ancestors and pulling some of their data the goal of this project is just one tree and you link in when you meet up at common ancestors. This seems like a better model for collaboration assuming that the people with your common ancestors are open to working with you on their pages. They also seem to do privacy well which Ancestry does in that if people are alive there is a much more limited set of information that is released and the farther back you go the more information that is public. Now I have one HUGE complaint with wikitree. They don’t support SSL. Not for the entire site, nor even just the authentication page. This is pretty ridiculous in 2015. If they had it on the authentication page at least your password wouldn’t be flying in plain text, but your session could still be hijacked. At this point I think it reflects pretty poorly on any organization if they don’t support basic web security. Worse on a site like this where they purport to protect the privacy of people working on it, without actually taking the most basic of steps to do so.

Me being me I figured I would email Chris Whitten the founder of the site. And to his credit he immediately got back to me, however his response was less than satisfactory. He stated the following:

Hi Jeffrey,

We worked on implementing SSL site-wide and it was much more difficult
than expected. We could protect just your login password, if that’s
your concern.


To me this sort of is someone who fundamentally doesn’t really get it. While protecting the privacy of my login password is a good start at this point given the sensitivity of some of the information (Birth dates, Mother’s maiden names, etc), I would expect that security is a higher priority at the site, but apparently that isn’t the case. Hopefully they make it more of a priority as I would like to make it my main family tree site and migrate away from Ancestry, but if they don’t care about their members security I am not sure if I will be able to do so.

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One response to “Clover and Wikitree”

  1. a big issue i have with wikitree is the “mediation process” many people with good intentions ask for mediation but a lot of the time the one who wants to work things out is banned forever from wikitree while the offender is held in high esteem. chris whitten has not provided for an unbiased mediation process. ONE person can make a decision to ban someone and their family and friends and decide to delete their account. no oversight is give for the fair and unbiased decision to ban someone. and the ban can be accomplished for reasons that are minor. ask for documentation for a profile biography, the manager refuses. ask for mediation and the profile manager who will not give documentation is kept on board while the person who makes the request is banned. there is too much power and control to hurt people by one person who takes a side when they are supposed to be a mediator and make decisions as unbiased as possible. when is chris whitten going to address this issue and make his web page accurate by requiring solid documentation and unbiased mediation? the lack of documentation and the fictional stories of people only corrupts the integrity of the tree. a single world wide tree will never be achieved as long as the system is as it is.