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GEDCOM & DnD Event Description Length Anomalies & Bugs

GEDCOM DragnDrop Import bug

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#1 TomH

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 10:32 AM

Investigating some issues with importing from The Master Genealogist v9.0.3 led me to testing what the limits are, if any, in RootsMagic on the length of the values imported from GEDCOMs into the Description field of Facts/Events (EventTable.Details). The results of the test I devised are somewhat disconcerting and show that a user is not prevented from doing things which can result in loss of data:

  • RootsMagic does not constrain the user on the length of a description (tested to 256 characters).
  • RootsMagic exports the full description in all cases, exceeding the limits set by GEDCOM 5.5 and likely those of other programs.
  • RootsMagic failed to import any of the test facts/events it exported to a plain GEDCOM (no Extra Details - RM specific) but with no error reported in the .LST file.
  • RootsMagic succeeded to transfer all of the test facts/events through Drag'n'Drop.
  • RootsMagic truncated all successfully transferred fact/event Descriptions to 100 characters (asymmetry between export and import)
  • RootsMagic moved the LDS event descriptions to Date, untruncated, on transfer by Drag'n'Drop.
  • RootsMagic is disturbed by the transferred facts/events:
    • It does not show the values under the Details column of the Edit Person screen despite being present in the Description field,
    • Individual Summary shows values if File Options > LDS Support is unchecked,
    • Individual Summary hides values for non-LDS events if File Options > LDS Support is checked.

The test was on a database of one couple. I used SQLite to add all FactTypes except DNA to the husband and family, to enable the Description field for all, and to enter into the Description field a 256 character metric. RootsMagic behaved comfortably with this data and it was exported to GEDCOM with just the LDS option and inspected. The GEDCOM was imported back into this database and to another database (all events lost in both cases). The two persons were DnDd to another database, compared and DnDd back to the original (the first DnD and rebound persons compare identically - no further changes on 2nd DnD). Thus the Original and DnDd persons can be readily compared in the same database with the same settings.
 
All_Facts_Desc_Width_original.pngEdit Person view of original person; Descriptions showing under Details for all facts. 

All_Facts_Desc_Width_after_Dn_D.pngEdit Person view of person after drag'n'drop. Highlighted fact Description showing truncation at 100th character but Descriptions are no longer appearing under Details. Strange...

All_Facts_Desc_Width_after_Dn_D_LDSnow_DAn LDS fact highlighted after DnD showing that the untruncated value originally in its Description field has now moved to the Date field, which is what is showing under Details.

 

The following added after first posting:

 

All_Facts_Desc_Width_original_Indiv_SummIndividual Summary of the original person, showing the 256 character Descriptions for each fact type.

All_Facts_Desc_Width_after_Dn_D_LDS_on.pIndividual Summary after DnD with LDS Support On.

All_Facts_Desc_Width_after_Dn_D_LDS_off.Individual Summary after DnD with LDS Support Off.


Edited by TomH, 22 August 2014 - 11:16 AM.

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#2 TomH

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 01:02 PM

RootsMagic failed to import any of the test facts/events it exported to a plain GEDCOM (no Extra Details - RM specific) but with no error reported in the .LST file.

PAF 5 (ancient, obsolete, removed from the market) imported the very GEDCOM file that RootsMagic exported but could not reimport. Its log file shows many objections and reported truncations but those fact types that GEDCOM does specify values on the fact tag line do show the string metric, and amazingly, the entire 256 characters.


Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#3 kbens0n

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 01:17 PM

Care to share the test database prior to the export and the GEDCOM you generated?

---
--- "GENEALOGY, n. An account of one's descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own." - Ambrose Bierce
--- "The trouble ain't what people don't know, it's what they know that ain't so." - Josh Billings
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K e V i N


#4 TomH

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 02:55 PM

Care to share the test database prior to the export and the GEDCOM you generated?

I'm glad you are interested. Visit this page on the SQLiteToolsForRootsMagic wiki:

GEDCOM & DnD Event Description Length Anomalies & Bugs

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#5 TomH

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:51 PM

Some prior complaints and discussions:

2012 http://forums.rootsm...ated#entry53020

2010 http://forums.rootsm...s/?hl=truncated

2009 http://forums.rootsm...ated#entry30631

etc....


Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#6 zhangrau

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 08:19 AM

Unfortunately, GEDCOM is the industry standard, but doesn't make a very good format for translating/converting databases between genealogy programs. By comparison, the RTF standard for word processing, and the IGES (International Graphic Exchange Standard) for CAD programs are much better at supporting a wide range of features used in those industries. This, of course, is NOT the fault of the RM team - the GEDCOM standard was originally released in 1987 by the LDS church: http://www.dummies.c...s-standard.html and has continued a slow development since then.



#7 TomH

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 09:38 AM

This sentence from the source you cited says it all:

 

Although GEDCOM has been a reliable standard for a while, the implementation of it in some genealogical software products has been less than ideal.

RootsMagic cannot reliably import what it exports and violates or ignores the GEDCOM 5.5 standard in some cases. This has come to a head again with the recent flurry of interest from potential emigres from the soon-to-be-discontinued The Master Genealogist. The following sentence from your source says:

 

As a result, some genealogical software developers have created products that can import files made from one software package into software that uses a different file format — without the need to save the file to GEDCOM.

The RootsMagician is reportedly working hard on direct import from TMG but that was also reported two years ago (well maybe not so "hard"). Regardless of that outcome, there remain many sources of GEDCOM files (including corresponding TMG users to whose project you cannot have direct access) for which the RootsMagic Import process should be made as accurate, reliable, compatible as it can be. And, likewise, recipients of GEDCOM from RootsMagic databases will want the same thing. Some of those recipients will be RootsMagic users' own third party website or custom chart/report or other database systems.

 

So we shouldn't just shrug our shoulders and blame GEDCOM. It is a very powerful and flexible (maybe that's a pitfall) "standard", badly or inconsistently interpreted. There are measures that RootsMagic can and should take to prevent users from falling into the traps it makes, to improve the accuracy and completeness of its importing, and to preclude it from tripping up on its own data.


Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#8 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 09:44 AM

 

RootsMagic cannot reliably import what it exports .....

 

 

RM obviously can't control the other genealogy software vendors. But surely being able reliably to import what it exports is a standard of quality to which it should aspire. This is especially true since a drag-and-drop is a GEDCOM export/import behind the scenes.

 

Jerry