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#1 Helen

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 02:40 PM

I am trying to decide if I want to keep my free-form sources for the census or change to templates. What are the pro's and con's of each?

Pro free-form
I can use the sources and citations that download in a ancestry gedcom with a little cleanup.


Pro Template
????


Bruce went to a lot of trouble to make the templates. There must be some good reason for using them.

Helen

#2 Nettie

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 02:57 PM

I am trying to decide if I want to keep my free-form sources for the census or change to templates. What are the pro's and con's of each?

Pro free-form
I can use the sources and citations that download in a ancestry gedcom with a little cleanup.
Pro Template
????
Bruce went to a lot of trouble to make the templates. There must be some good reason for using them.

Helen

Helen, the genealogy world [guru's] has made a big deal out of correctly doing the sources and citations. I am a lurker on the e mail for professionals and there has been/is a lot of discussion on the right way to do citations. There are also many discussions on this forum on the issue of census templates [which ones to use] verses free form.

EE has a lot of templates for Census records and if you use them, you need to decide how you want them to be in your narrative.
Templates Pros: Consistency in the way they are written and easy to fill in.
Templates Cons: In my opinion too many choices

I have moved mine from the free form, as I like the consistency of the templates.

There are some templates in the forum 'Tips and Hints'. Bill B considers some of us Lumpers and APerson and I are two of many of them. Laura does hers differently as her choice.

But it is your choice. :)

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#3 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 03:20 PM

I think there are two major issues to think about:

  • If you decide to go with Evidence Explained type of templates rather than Free Form, what do you plan to do about all your old templates that are free form? Do you plan to convert them all by hand, leave them alone as a legacy that's too hard to convert, or what?
  • Irrespective of conversion issues, do you really want to go with the Evidence Explained type of templates, or do you want to go with something simpler?
I'm still using free form templates for everything, but I still consider on a regular basis whether I want to change to the new Evidence Explained type of templates or not. When I first read Evidence, I was very excited and I follow most of the suggestions included therein. But when I later read Evidence Explained, well.... first of all I don't think it's something you can really read. It's much too long, much too detailed, and much too complicated. It's just overwhelming. If you choose to go with Evidence Explained, then I think you have to treat it as a reference book where you look up specific citation issues on an as needed basis rather than reading the book from cover to cover.

I do not find the Evidence Explained templates at all comfortable to use. I don't think the issue is that I just need more training and education on how to use them. Both from my educational background and from my professional career, I know how to do research and I know how to do citations. I don't quite know why I have so much trouble with the Evidence Explained style of templates. They just feel like a fingernail on a chalkboard or something. And yet I keep telling myself that Elizabeth Shown Mills is the acknowledged expert and I am not, so I had better get with the program. So I continue to keep an open mind about changing over to the new templates.

Jerry

#4 TomH

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 03:32 PM

Some of my observations:

Free-Form:
  • You can freely write it the way you want within the constraint that the description of the Master Source is always reported first in the foot/endnote and is followed by the details of the citation.
  • That said, the lack of constraints means your citation style can be all over the map unless you exercise self-discipline. E.S. Mills' guidelines generally won't fit without significant adaptation.
  • Is easy to copy citations provided by the source provider (as in your example using Ancestry.com)
  • Exports to 3rd party software via GEDCOM more reliably or transparently than the templated sources; that said, Free Form is a simple 4-field template: Master Src Footnote, Mstr Src Short Footnote, Bibliography and Page. Only the long Footnote MS field and Page are exported via standard GEDCOM; the Short FN and Bibl are RM specific.
  • I sometimes use a RM template or custom template to draft a citation and copy the resulting FN, SFN and Bibl to a text editor, rearrange to consolidate the MS stuff and the Source Detail stuff into separate sections and then copy the revised results to the Free Form. In the FF Source Comment, I will identify the template used and possibly copy the unmodified result of that draft for reference.
Templates:

  • resultant footnotes and bibliography entries conform in style to guidlines created by E.S. Mills and some others
  • choosing a template type can be daunting if your source does not obviously conform to one of the 437 built in
  • customising a template can be daunting; there is a template form editor and sentence template language syntax to get your head around (the latter similar to fact sentence template syntax so learn one and you are well down the road for the other)
  • lumping vs splitting, i.e., where do you draw the line between what is in the Master Source (yellow pane of Edit Source) and in the Source Detail (green pane)? If you disagree with the division adopted for a built-in template, you will have to revise a copy into a custom template.
  • cannot copy 3rd party citations readily - must parse into parts that correspond with template fields
  • Export via GEDCOM can result in a rather garbled and badly punctuated source and page
If your database is only ever going to be outputted to reports and websites that RootsMagic can generate, then the templated sources can provide citations that are more compliant with E.S.Mills et al, i.e., that might be seen as a superior result. If, instead, you intend to rely on 3rd party software for certain kinds of reports having citations, then you will be better off, for now at least, with Free Form.

An outstanding enhancement request is for a utility to convert sources from one template type to another, the most important and practicable of that, in my view, would be to convert from templated sources to Free Form with user control over the punctuation. Ideally, it should be just another sentence template that would override the hard-coded conversion that is done on export to non-RM specific GEDCOM.




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#5 Helen

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 05:21 PM

Thanks for the answers.

I have been working on templates, learning to use them and to make my own. Even checked out APerson's "simplified citation templates" on the tips forum. But I already have hundreds of Census files, both media and transcribed documents for my family. I had created very Mills' like footnotes before I bought EE. Then all of the lumper/splitter arguments made me want to become a Lumper, well, more of a Laura type Lumper. Since I'm going to have to change, this seemed like the best time to make a decision on templates.

My problem is that I want to do it my way and still have it easy. Tom, You have given me some new information. I did not realize that "Only the long Footnote MS field and Page are exported via standard GEDCOM; the Short FN and Bibl are RM specific." This will make a difference in my free-form footnote or in the template I choose. I will spend some time thinking about it. If anyone else wants to weigh in please do.

Helen

#6 KenCRoy

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 06:22 PM

Thanks for the answers.

I have been working on templates, learning to use them and to make my own. Even checked out APerson's "simplified citation templates" on the tips forum. But I already have hundreds of Census files, both media and transcribed documents for my family. I had created very Mills' like footnotes before I bought EE. Then all of the lumper/splitter arguments made me want to become a Lumper, well, more of a Laura type Lumper. Since I'm going to have to change, this seemed like the best time to make a decision on templates.

My problem is that I want to do it my way and still have it easy. Tom, You have given me some new information. I did not realize that "Only the long Footnote MS field and Page are exported via standard GEDCOM; the Short FN and Bibl are RM specific." This will make a difference in my free-form footnote or in the template I choose. I will spend some time thinking about it. If anyone else wants to weigh in please do.

Helen


That might be have been an RM decision on exporting only the long title. Other programs export both a long and short title, as well as Author and Publication information.

Because of the lumping made by RM into the Free Form template when importing PAF data that was separated into separate fields for Author, Publication, Book Title, and so on, a RM-exported GEDCOM no longer matches what was imported into TNG from PAF on my web site, which is one of the reasons I am still using PAF.

The other reason being is that it takes a lot less time to enter data in PAF, although I am currently using both programs in parallel, as I continue to evaluate, which means it takes 3-4 times as long to make corrections or new additions to my data.

Trying to convert the Free Form information into other templates is a nightmare that one should not have to go through just because they changed software programs. The over abundance of templates to do the same thing is approaching the ridiculous. Some of us have been waiting for over 2 years for a promised source conversion utility, but if it is like other conversion attempts made by other genealogy programs in the past and requires confirming changes to 25,000+ records, will not be worth the man-time required to do the conversion. Computers were supposed to make our lives easier but appear to have had the opposite effect.

One should be able to use a genealogy program to track their genealogy research and not have to learn completely new formatting syntax for tracking information sources. Never mind that most genealogy software does not allow you to source specific pieces of information within a fact and that you have to manually track that in Notes.

#7 KenCRoy

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 10:37 AM

That might be have been an RM decision on exporting only the long title. Other programs export both a long and short title, as well as Author and Publication information.

Because of the lumping made by RM into the Free Form template when importing PAF data that was separated into separate fields for Author, Publication, Book Title, and so on, a RM-exported GEDCOM no longer matches what was imported into TNG from PAF on my web site, which is one of the reasons I am still using PAF.

The other reason being is that it takes a lot less time to enter data in PAF, although I am currently using both programs in parallel, as I continue to evaluate, which means it takes 3-4 times as long to make corrections or new additions to my data.

Trying to convert the Free Form information into other templates is a nightmare that one should not have to go through just because they changed software programs. The over abundance of templates to do the same thing is approaching the ridiculous. Some of us have been waiting for over 2 years for a promised source conversion utility, but if it is like other conversion attempts made by other genealogy programs in the past and requires confirming changes to 25,000+ records, will not be worth the man-time required to do the conversion. Computers were supposed to make our lives easier but appear to have had the opposite effect.

One should be able to use a genealogy program to track their genealogy research and not have to learn completely new formatting syntax for tracking information sources. Never mind that most genealogy software does not allow you to source specific pieces of information within a fact and that you have to manually track that in Notes.

In fairness to RootsMagic, I just ran a test of what is exported versus what was exported from PAF for the same source. RootsMagic does export both the TITLE and short title as ABBR and exports a lot more information than PAF did.

The only issues are the way Author (AUTH) and Publication (PUBL) was merged into the Title field and not preserved as separate information and the truncation of the NOTE information resulting in a garbled URL link

Exported from RootsMagic

0 @S207@ SOUR
1 ABBR Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Canadiennes
1 TITL Cyprien Tanguay, Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Canadiennes - D
2 CONC epuis La Fondation de la colonie jusqu'a nos jours
2 CONT (1871)
1 _SUBQ Cyprien Tanguay, Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Canadiennes - D
2 CONC epuis La Fondation de la colonie jusqu'a nos jours
1 _BIBL Cyprien Tanguay. Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Canadiennes - D
2 CONC epuis La Fondation de la colonie jusqu'a nos jours
2 CONT . 1871.
1 NOTE Also available as PDF files <a href="http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/dico
2 CONC Genealogie/" target="_blank">online</a>
1 _TMPLT
2 TID 0
2 FIELD
3 NAME Footnote
3 VALUE Cyprien Tanguay, Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Canadiennes - D
4 CONC epuis La Fondation de la colonie jusqu'a nos jours
4 CONT (1871)
2 FIELD
3 NAME ShortFootnote
3 VALUE Cyprien Tanguay, Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Canadiennes - D
4 CONC epuis La Fondation de la colonie jusqu'a nos jours
2 FIELD
3 NAME Bibliography
3 VALUE Cyprien Tanguay. Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Canadiennes - D
4 CONC epuis La Fondation de la colonie jusqu'a nos jours
4 CONT . 1871.
1 REPO @R20@


versus exported from PAF

0 @S208@ SOUR
1 REPO @REPO2@
1 TITL Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Canadiennes - Depuis La Fondation de la colonie jusqu'
2 CONC a nos jours
1 AUTH Cyprien Tanguay
1 PUBL 1871
1 NOTE Also available as PDF files <a href="http://bibnum2.banq....icoGenealogie/" target="_
2 CONC blank">online</a>


Note that the source numbers are different so the source number from PAF on import was not preserved.

At the time I created the RootsMagic database, there were unresolved issues with a direct PAF import. Unfortunately, since the problem tracking database from the last 2 years was wiped out, I don't recall exactly the issue I had opened, since I had only kept the ticket number and not a complete description of the problem.

Looking at this now, I wonder how many other notes were truncated on import???

#8 TomH

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 12:10 PM

... I just ran a test of what is exported versus what was exported from PAF for the same source. RootsMagic does export both the TITLE and short title as ABBR and exports a lot more information than PAF did.

Ken, the TITL tag marks the value exported from the long footnote field of the free form source; the ABBR tag marks the Source Name, NOT the value from the short footnote field. That value (what you call the short title) is not exported by RM. When you re-import the GEDCOM into RM4.1.1.4, the Source Name, long Footnote and Page fields are transferred with the loss of character formatting (e.g. italics); the Short Footnote and Biblography fields are filled with the same value as the Long Footnote (no differences). If the GEDCOM export has the RM Specific checkbox checked, then the source is transferred to another RM database transparently (or at least without any obvious imparement). That`s because Free Form is a template and templates are not exported without Extra details (RM Specific) checked.

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#9 KenCRoy

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 12:11 PM

In fairness to RootsMagic, I just ran a test of what is exported versus what was exported from PAF for the same source. RootsMagic does export both the TITLE and short title as ABBR and exports a lot more information than PAF did.

The only issues are the way Author (AUTH) and Publication (PUBL) was merged into the Title field and not preserved as separate information and the truncation of the NOTE information resulting in a garbled URL link

Exported from RootsMagic

versus exported from PAF

Note that the source numbers are different so the source number from PAF on import was not preserved.

At the time I created the RootsMagic database, there were unresolved issues with a direct PAF import. Unfortunately, since the problem tracking database from the last 2 years was wiped out, I don't recall exactly the issue I had opened, since I had only kept the ticket number and not a complete description of the problem.

Looking at this now, I wonder how many other notes were truncated on import???

Well, it appears that Source NOTE truncation also happens on a direct PAF import. Not too cool...

#10 KenCRoy

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 02:10 PM

Well, it appears that Source NOTE truncation also happens on a direct PAF import. Not too cool...

As TomH has pointed out in my other post on truncation from RootsMagic export, the information is all there, just that the split for the CONC was made differently. Sorry for any confusion I caused.

The lack of Author and Publication is still a deficiency, but only because of the way RootsMagic structured the Free Form template, which does not provide those separate fields.

#11 TreeTraverser

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 02:44 PM

Helen, I advise you stick with free-form citations until the bugs are worked out of source templates. The main problem is, you will not be able to use your source citations outside of RootsMagic. There is no simple solution to the problem, and that's probably why it's taking so long to fix. If you're interested in the esoteric details of the problem, you can see my blog entry about it.

#12 Vyger

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 03:36 PM

  • If you decide to go with Evidence Explained type of templates rather than Free Form, what do you plan to do about all your old templates that are free form? Do you plan to convert them all by hand, leave them alone as a legacy that's too hard to convert, or what?

I read somewhere recently that Bruce was working on a conversion utility for free form to template but until I can find it again that will have to remain a rumour.

Having said that it does make good sense and would help the genbealogy community greatly if sources became more standardized.

We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

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#13 Renee Zamora

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:55 AM

I read somewhere recently that Bruce was working on a conversion utility for free form to template but until I can find it again that will have to remain a rumour.

Having said that it does make good sense and would help the genbealogy community greatly if sources became more standardized.

Yes, Bruce is working on a Source Template Conversion Utility. He has publicly announced this during the webinars. No date yet when it will be available.
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#14 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 10:58 AM

Yes, Bruce is working on a Source Template Conversion Utility. He has publicly announced this during the webinars. No date yet when it will be available.

This probably sounds counter-intuitive, but I hope that such a utility will go both directions. That is, I hope that it will convert free form sources to templated sources and also that it will convert templated sources to free form sources. Of the two, I think the latter is actually far more important.

Jerry

#15 Romer

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:50 PM

As with this RM4 topic and others, importance very much depends on how you've structured your data and/or intend to use it.

For instance, if you'd entered sources/citations as free-form in versions prior to importing to RM4 and wanted to move to templated forms or if you didn't intend to export GEDCOM data of templated forms to third-party applications, the opposite sentiment could be reached. Those whose data used the templated structure and also use third-party applications would obviously feel very differently.

Do I remember correctly from the webinar that the utility would work in both directions? It's been a while, so I'm not sure if it was mentioned or if I'm imagining it. :blink:

#16 Renee Zamora

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:10 PM

Do I remember correctly from the webinar that the utility would work in both directions? It's been a while, so I'm not sure if it was mentioned or if I'm imagining it. :blink:

I'm not sure if Bruce mentioned in the webinar if the utility will work in both directions. I can confirm that the enhancement request to do so is in our tracking system. So, Bruce is aware of the need and desire for it.
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#17 TomH

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 09:37 PM

Ken wants to add Author and Publisher to Free Form - then it would no longer be Free Form. TreeTraverser argues in his blog that RootsMagic does not export citations, only templates; that could be said of all GEDCOM exports from all software if one examines the GEDCOM standard.

What might satisfy Ken would be an option in the GEDCOM export that would split out the Author and Publisher values from templated sources but he will continue to be disappointed that that cannot be done from the Free Form as it is now and must basically remain if it is to continue to be called that; he might be better off using the template Book, Basic Format for all his sources and wish for the corollary, that all GEDCOM imports go into that template.

What TreeTraverser says is a deficiency in RootsMagic is actually a limitation of the GEDCOM standard - it does not specify the use of named variables in Source titles so no software that is intended to deliver a GEDCOM compliant file that is reasonably compatible with other software should include them. RootsMagic 4 erroneously did so at an early stage and that was subsequently corrected.

GEDCOM 5.5 specifies a Source_Record is " used to provide a bibliographic description of the source cited" and having the following types of entries:
n  @<XREF:SOUR>@ SOUR  {1:1}
    +1 DATA        {0:1}
      +2 EVEN <EVENTS_RECORDED>  {0:M}
        +3 DATE <DATE_PERIOD>  {0:1}
        +3 PLAC <SOURCE_JURISDICTION_PLACE>  {0:1}
      +2 AGNC <RESPONSIBLE_AGENCY>  {0:1}
      +2 <<NOTE_STRUCTURE>>  {0:M}
    +1 AUTH <SOURCE_ORIGINATOR>  {0:1}
      +2 [CONT|CONC] <SOURCE_ORIGINATOR>  {0:M}
    +1 TITL <SOURCE_DESCRIPTIVE_TITLE>  {0:1}
      +2 [CONT|CONC] <SOURCE_DESCRIPTIVE_TITLE>  {0:M}
    +1 ABBR <SOURCE_FILED_BY_ENTRY>  {0:1}
    +1 PUBL <SOURCE_PUBLICATION_FACTS>  {0:1}
      +2 [CONT|CONC] <SOURCE_PUBLICATION_FACTS>  {0:M}
    +1 TEXT <TEXT_FROM_SOURCE>  {0:1}
      +2 [CONT|CONC] <TEXT_FROM_SOURCE>  {0:M}
    +1 <<SOURCE_REPOSITORY_CITATION>>  {0:1}
    +1 <<MULTIMEDIA_LINK>>  {0:M}
    +1 <<NOTE_STRUCTURE>>  {0:M}
    +1 REFN <USER_REFERENCE_NUMBER>  {0:M}
      +2 TYPE <USER_REFERENCE_TYPE>  {0:1}
    +1 RIN <AUTOMATED_RECORD_ID>  {0:1}
    +1 <<CHANGE_DATE>>  {0:1}
Only the first line is mandatory; every other line is optional and limited to one or any number (M).

All software builds a citation footnote using some or all of the values from a Source_Record and those from the Source_Citation that points to it. A Source_Citation has the following structure:
n SOUR @<XREF:SOUR>@    /* pointer to source record */  {1:1}
    +1 PAGE <WHERE_WITHIN_SOURCE>  {0:1}
    +1 EVEN <EVENT_TYPE_CITED_FROM>  {0:1}
      +2 ROLE <ROLE_IN_EVENT>  {0:1}
    +1 DATA        {0:1}
      +2 DATE <ENTRY_RECORDING_DATE>  {0:1}
      +2 TEXT <TEXT_FROM_SOURCE>  {0:M}
        +3 [ CONC | CONT ] <TEXT_FROM_SOURCE>  {0:M}
    +1 QUAY <CERTAINTY_ASSESSMENT>  {0:1}
    +1 <<MULTIMEDIA_LINK>>  {0:M}
    +1 <<NOTE_STRUCTURE>>  {0:M}
Each software must have some internal "sentence template" with which it combines the values from the Source_Record and Source_Citation to create a citation footnote, short footnote and bibliography. The key tag names for a citation are then just AUTH, TITL, PUBL from the Source_Record and PAGE from the Source_Citation. Tags of any other name than those found above are non-standard and may be ignored (and in most cases probably are). RootsMagic exports many proprietary tags having a leading underscore in the name. Likely, only RootsMagic can recognise them on import.

When exporting a GEDCOM, RootsMagic does not export its proprietary tags if the checkbox Extra details (RM specific) is unchecked. Thus exported sources must fit into the GEDCOM standard structure. That's where we run into some problems because there are so few GEDCOM tags to which the data can be mapped, especially when you consider there are some 437 different templates in RM4, some of which have as many as 17 fields. Moreover, some source types have nothing that corresponds to an author, a publisher, a title or a page number. Apparently, while PAGE is the only tag to which Source Details can be mapped, it is RM strategy to map all Master Source fields (except for Free Form just the Footnote field) to solely the TITL tag; was that because of careful consideration of how other software handle imported citations or just an easy way out? For templated sources, the TITL is composed from the Footnote sentence by parsing out the Source Detail fields, which are then concatenated with semi-colon separators in the order they appear in the Edit Citation form into the PAGE field.

The results are:
  • Because templated sources also generally intermingle the order of Master Source and Source Detail fields, an exported citation bears only passing resemblance to a RM footnote.
  • Parsing of the Footnote sentence into the TITL export is sometimes faulty
  • The concatenation of Source Detail fields into PAGE often looks crude and sometimes confusing
  • Free Form citations export more consistently with the way their RM Footnotes appear than other types of sources
  • Other software that may use a book type of source corresponding directly to the GEDCOM tags will only receive values from RM solely via TITL and PAGE into their matching fields; AUTH and PUBL fields remain empty (Ken's complaint)
  • No Short Footnote is exported from a Free Form source or from a source using any other template
  • Other software cannot synthesize a Short Footnote of the form [Author:Surname], [Page] from sources imported from RM
  • No Bibliography entry is exported; other software receive only the value of TITL to put into a Bibliography

What can be done within the limitations of GEDCOM to improve the situation?
  • For every Source Template, have sentence templates for AUTH, PUBL, TITL and PAGE exports - no more faulty programmatic parsing of the Footnote sentence template and blunderbuss concatenation of Source Details. That would help with points 2, 3, 5, 7, 8
  • Add a Source Template that directly maps to the GEDCOM standard for plain GEDCOM imports - no more import by default into Free Form, thus preserving AUTH and PUBL values separate from TITL.
  • Enhance the Free Form template to have a Short Page field to go with the Short Footnote field in forming Short Footnotes (I know - this has nothing to do with GEDCOM but it would improve RM's own Short Footnotes when the Page value is very wordy for a complete full citation - figured it can't hurt to repeat it).

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#18 APerson

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 05:27 PM

I've finally got a little time on my hands again and have been working on genealogy. As already mentioned in this thread, I developed my own approach to citing sources and have been using it, exclusively, since I created it last December. For my purposes, I've been very, very pleased with it as I no longer have to "think" and I'm also very happy with my results. At this point, I'll eventually convert all of my own data to use the format but that could take a very long time.

I first started working my genealogy back in the 70s and by the 80s started entering my data in to a computer (I believe that PAF was probably my first problem). Citing sources has always been a nightmare and, over the years with the advent of the Internet, things have only become more complicated. When I published my family history, back in 1995, I was able to document my sources rather consistently, except the process was quite complicated. Since then, the lack of consistency between software applications has only made a mess out of my data and I eventually put aside genealogy for a while because I had to redo my data and the software programs only messed things up even more. When I found RootsMagic, about two years ago and noticed their great use of templates, I thought I had finally found a solution but, unfortunately, there were far too many decisions that still had to be made just to cite sources. I also tried (and I REALLY tried) to use Elizabeth Shown-Mills "Evidence Explained" but, again, it is FAR too complicated and, again there are a bazillion templates that need to be used and or created.

Finally, I realized that EE was too "messy" and created my own approach. I guess that I am a "lumper" but the most important thing for me is that I want just two things: 1) to be able to cite all sources CONSISTENTLY with a MINIMAL amount of effort (I'm VERY neurotic about citing sources as they are the only way to build a reputable genealogy), and 2) they need to give the reader a fairly reasonable chance of finding the source again (although, due to the nature of genealogical research, there are a LOT of non-traditional sources that are unique and held by private parties). I ended up trying to create just ONE template that would work for all sources. So far, that has worked very well for me and I haven't found any situations, so far, where they haven't worked. One thing that I did do, in order to make data entry easier, was to create three smaller templates from the "master template". All of the fields for each of these templates (e.g., traditional sources, non-traditional sources, and census records) are contained in the master template but only fields that might be relative to these three types of records are included. Hope that's not too confusing.

Anyway, Renee graciously posted them here: https://sites.google...e/rm4templates/

So far, I've only made very MINOR changes (which do not alter, in anyway, the way in which that ones already posted function) to those that I'm actually using. I'm about to write out my ideas (perhaps as a small book with examples) to show how they're used but I have a lot on my plate - I'm an old guy - EARLY 50s :) and returned to school three years ago to work on a Ph.D. (yes, it's nearly killed me but I just finished my classes a week ago). I still have the worst to come (I'll spare the details but hope to start my dissertation sometime in the fall) and it will be at least another year to year and a half before I'm done. There just aren't enough hours in the day to do fun stuff! Hope this helps.

Jeff

#19 Nettie

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 06:56 PM

Jeff. "I'm an old guy - EARLY 50s :)"


You are young compared to some of us and your thinking is great. I enjoy reading what you and Jerry have been doing. Adding Laura's imput, helps the rest of us with what we are doing. I have been at this since my second child started kindergarten in 1968 and no computers. Really working hard to get all my data on/in RootsMagic which I really like compared to other software.

Good luck & keep plugging away completing the rest of your schooling. Takes a lot to go back to school. Wish I had gotten my master's but with three little ones that was hard to do, back in those days. :)

Genealogy:
"I work on genealogy only on days that end in "Y"." [Grin!!!]
from www.GenealogyDaily.com.
"Documentation....The hardest part of genealogy"
"Genealogy is like Hide & Seek: They Hide & I Seek!"
" Genealogists: People helping people.....that's what it's all about!"
from http://www.rootsweb....nry/gentags.htm
Using FO and RM since FO2.0 


#20 Jack

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 07:25 PM

My understanding is that a source citation is simply to provide sufficient information so that anyone reading the sourced fact will be able to go directly to that source and confirm the fact for themselves. There are many, many ways to create a source that will do exactly that.

I refuse to use the templets in RM4 because they are so many of the same type and I never know which to use. I have found myself spending valuable time trying to figure out which one to use, choosing one then finding out after I had almost finished that it was asking for info that was not included with the source.

My exposure to RM4 came through FO to RM3 to RM4. I have hundreds of free form citations that will not get rewritten merely to conform to the templet.

If I cannot figure out how to write a free form citation, I use the online "Son of Citation Machine" at http://citationmachine.net/ and let it create the citation for me.
Jack

a posteriori