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Date Calculator - long, outstanding problem

date calculator tools

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#1 Vyger

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 10:38 AM

There are two anomalies that exist in the Date Calculator and they have been reported many times in the past but still remain unresolved. When entering census records and information that gives an individual's age in WHOLE years I constantly need to adjust the start date to give an accurate result. this is simple DATE logic and currently flawed in the way RM code works.

1. When I enter an end date and an age in WHOLE years with months and days missing then the only conclusion is that the start date was somewhere between two dates in a certain year. RM gives you a precise date presuming that the WHOLE year means ZERO months and ZERO days. With census and date records the WHOLE year is most often all that is recorded and this assumption of zero months and days is incorrect.

2. When I enter a start date of Bet <date> and <date> then the only logical answer is an age in Years or an approximated age. RM currently gives the result in exact years, months and days based on the first date in the Start date, this is also an incorrect calculation.

This is a simple fix and I do hope the logic behind Date Calculator can be improved to give the correct results in the not too distant future and save myself and countless other users a lot of unnecessary typing.

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#2 Renee Zamora

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:31 PM

Vyger,

Issue 1: I actually prefer that it assumes there are zero months and dates in that calculation. Then it gives me exactly 48 years from the date I am looking at. If the person was born before that date then the age would be different. It can't assume that just the year would be correct.

Issue 2. I think it needs to base the calculation on the first date in the between range. Otherwise it would be saying the person was 49 years old when they possibly might not be.

I haven't asked the RootsMagician about this, but that might be why your "issues" haven't been fixed in my opinion.
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#3 Vyger

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:53 PM

Renee,

Maybe I stand alone on this but I prefer programs do not make assumptions. On UK census records and death registrations the age is simply recorded as the whole year so I find myself constantly changing RM's calculation to Bet <date> and <date> to provide the most accurate date notation.

I know US records quite often provide more detail in the age and this can be entered but older records mostly don't and I don't believe RM should make the assumption that the absence of information should mean ZERO months and ZERO days, but then maybe it is just me. :)

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#4 Vyger

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:13 AM

I checked two competitor handlings of this subject and really they are the same except one gives the calculated Birth Date result as "Cal 31 Mar 1853" which RM accepts as "Calc 31 Mar 1853" still setting the sort date to "31 Mar 1853". I suppose at least in that example the user has an indication that this date is not exact and is purely indicitive of other date and age information to hand.

Factually the "bet 1 apr 1852 and 31 March 1853" is the only correct answer to a man who was noted as 48 years old on the census of 31 Mar 1901 where Months and Days information is missing.

I remain very wary of entering an exact date as the result of the Date Calculator and believe some indication that the date warrants further work should be visible either by the approximation covering the whole year or prefixing with Calc. I will continue as is but it may be something the Rootsmagician may want to consider enhancing in the future to help users enter dates more accurately.

Nobody likes half baked food, so leave it in the oven and tend to it a bit longer till it's just perfect.....

 

 

Current user of Rootsmagic version 7.5.7.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 and Legacy 7.5 on Win 10

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

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#5 Nettie

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 08:30 AM

My first posting had a blue screen of death happen. :( Hopefully have fixed it.

Date Calculator tool, I use for dates with abt or cal in front of them. Example: US Death Certificates sometimes have yr mo d on them and the date the family knows. If I do the Date Calculator and it has a different date it is noted in the Citation/Detail Comments. The date has in front of it abt. Then I know I need to do more research or find another possible source.

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 


#6 Vyger

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:30 AM

This is how another program handles it and although I don't care for the graphics I note two things

Firstly, both Calendar and Calculator are on one pane so not more Tabs and extra clicks.

Secondly, when months and days are missing from a census return an exact date is not presummed by the program which I would argue is the logical choice rather than assuming missing information to be ZERO.


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Nobody likes half baked food, so leave it in the oven and tend to it a bit longer till it's just perfect.....

 

 

Current user of Rootsmagic version 7.5.7.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 and Legacy 7.5 on Win 10

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

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