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Computerese spoils a narrative

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#1 DerickH

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 08:28 AM

The narrative of a report dealing with vitals lists birth, death and burials individually. When reading the report, one will encounter, for example: "He was born... He died... He was buried." I go through every report to remove the computerese. In this case, I prefer to see: "He was born... He died and was buried..." 

 

Would it not be a minor programming effort to link death and burial information in one sentence if the two facts existed? 



#2 kbens0n

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 02:03 PM

That would definitely work if... everyone who has ever died ...were buried (not the case).

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#3 TomH

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 04:11 PM

DerickH is asking for some sort of conditional override for the default sentences for each of the Death and Burial facts that replaces them with a single sentence when both facts exist. A general solution would be a switch that tests for the existence of the other fact type. I don't know if that would be a "minor programming effort"; it might be but it requires documentation revision...


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#4 Laura

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 04:35 PM

I wouldn't mind having a switch like that for the Death and Burial fact.  But, I suspect we would put the note and sources in the Burial fact unless Bruce came up with some way to take care of that if you used the sentence switch.

 

I have 17,250 people in my database with 4376 with a Death fact and 2323 people with a Burial fact.
 
You can customize the sentences on the Edit person screen and combine sentences.
 
Put all notes and sources into the Burial fact.
 
Death:
[person::given] died< [Date]>< [PlaceDetails]>< [ Place]> and was buried in
 
Burial:
<[PlaceDetails]:Plain]>< [Place]>< [Date]>< [desc]>.
Description:  was buried in Cemetery, Place, on Date
 
If you do this, you will need to select Narrative report, Options, Keep fact sentences in same paragraph.  You will have to do any other fact paragraphing manually by extra returns in fact notes or sentences for everyone in the Narrative report.
 
Or, you could enter the burial information in the Death description and print the Description at the end of the sentence.  Put the Burial note and sources with the Death fact.
 
Mark the Burial fact as Private.
 


#5 DerickH

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 04:38 PM

On a large GEDCOM I imported there were many combined death and burial facts. One problem with that is that I often do a listing of folks buried in particular cemeteries and combining them messes that up.



#6 Laura

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 04:56 PM

Combining sentences makes no difference in search. You still have 2 seperate facts.

And, if you put the burial data in the Death description, you still have the Burial fact if you linked a Burial fact. If the Burial fact was marked Private, you would need to tell other reports to print Private fact.

If you had the burial data in the Death description for everyone with a Burial fact, you could not mark the Burial fact as Private and go to Facts type list and uncheck the Narrstive report and Family Group sheet for the Burial fact.

If you are concermed about a gedcom you send someone else, don't change anything.



#7 DerickH

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 07:00 AM

I have probably gone too far with my primary database to make changes in mid-stream. I have over 175k individuals. Burials represent over 90k individuals. Facts that have combined the burial with the death fact represent about 10k individuals, due to imported GEDCOMS. If I was staring out, I would probably go with one of the of the solutions submitted here. As a retired programmer (C++), I would test for presence of both death and burial facts and do a simple combine for narrative print-out. I use a profusion of notes that are sorted by date in the order I would like to see them in the report. For the most part, my reports come out clean and anything that seems clumsy is usually because of the way I have formatted my facts. The two suggestions I recently made are personal preferences and, as far as I can tell, are about the only things that require editing in my final narrative report.

 

Don't get me wrong, Bruce has done a magnificent job (and then some) with RM. I have been with it since Family Origins 1.0 and recommend it to anyone and everyone I have the opportunity to contact.



#8 Vyger

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 04:29 AM

The two suggestions I recently made are personal preferences and, as far as I can tell, are about the only things that require editing in my final narrative report.

 

There are still various little logical things which can be done to minimize post processing on Narrative reports and they could be conditional in the report settings. I do what DerickH does with the follow on burial fact and it would seem others do also, that makes it a logical step forward and a worthwhile enhancement.

 

As already stated this is programming logic within the report builder and since this thread is about Computerese, I would like to add another I was always aware of and believed should be dealt with through conditional programming logic.

 

Each fact in the report ends with a period by default whereas Notes may be intended as follow on and start with a lower case letter like "at a weight of 9 pounds" following a birth fact. Once you view the generated report this is immediately visible as wrong so when generating the report RM report builder should see this as wrong by testing the case of the first letter of the Notes.

 

Personally I try to avoid modifying input to overcome output limitations and since output is a very important aspect of genealogy I do hope such items get some priority.


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#9 DerickH

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 07:29 AM

One fact I think we can all agree on: the output of a narrative report will never be to the liking of all users. There is a checklist of changes I refer to after running a report. The 58-page report I generated with RM7 (http://www.hartshorn...(1781-1847).pdf) took about three hours to to edit. I changed double periods to single, alter the died/buried clause, added and removed spacing, and miscellaneous other changes that might be eliminated by tweaking the program. As said before not all of our personal whims will ever be covered. Bruce has enough important work to do without constantly do for us what we can do ourselves. However, the "died at age 0" and the death and burial information, in my opinion can be accomplished quite easily. By the way, one of the corrections I make in Word is to change double periods to single. :)



#10 Laura

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 11:16 AM

The problem is. I don't want the death and burial to print as one sentence if I have a note and sources for the Death fact.

I want the Death note and sources with the Death fact and the Burial note and sources with the Burial fact.

I don't want the notes and sources jumbled together at the end of a combined fact sentence.

Even a global option for whether to combine the sentences wouldn't help much. I would opt out of combining sentences.

An option on the Edit person screen so I could choose case by case would be the only viable place to have the option for me.

Some time ago, I combined the Death and Burial sentences together with any notes and sources for both in the Burial fact as a trial and sent the Narrative report to a fellow researcher. She said she preferred seperate sentences as it was easier for her to compare the data to the facts in her database even if there were no notes and catch differences in our data. She also didn't care for the source numbers with the sentence not being seperated either.

That is something to think about depending on if the report is going to a fellow researcher or someone who just wants to read the history.

#11 Vyger

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 12:38 PM

Genealogy programs have done a good job on dealing with Computerese with alternating sentence structure etc.

 

However where a logical improvement can be identified and defined I believe it should be embraced by the programmers thereby minimizing the need post production work and generally increasing the quality of the report output for all.


“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.5.8, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5 (in order of preference)

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

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#12 DerickH

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 01:37 PM

If you don't want the death and burial in one sentence, that is your prerogative. However, that does not negate having notes for both facts. This is apples and oranges. The DEATH facts and the BURIAL facts are separate in the database. I am speaking only about the narrative report. I prefer not to see:

 

He was born...

He was confirmed...

He was married...

He was divorced...

He died ...

He was buried...

yada, yada -COMPUTERESE!!!



#13 DerickH

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 01:39 PM

Quoting:

>Genealogy programs have done a good job on dealing with Computerese with alternating sentence structure etc.

 

>However where a logical improvement can be identified and defined I believe it should be embraced by the programmers thereby minimizing the need >production work and generally increasing the quality of the report output for all.

 

AMEN!



#14 Laura

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 02:08 PM

So where are the notes and source numbers to be printed after RM combines the sentences for you?

The Death notes wouldn't be prnted right after the Death part of the combined sentence
That would break up the sentence as would the source numbers for the Death fact.

That leaves the Death and Burial notes and source numbers printing together after the combined sentence just like it works if you combine the sentences yourself now.

For me, this comes down to give me an option on the Narrative report screen or a case by case option on the Edit person screen.

#15 TomH

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 09:15 PM

If you don't want the death and burial in one sentence, that is your prerogative. However, that does not negate having notes for both facts. This is apples and oranges. The DEATH facts and the BURIAL facts are separate in the database. I am speaking only about the narrative report.

Laura's point is that if one wants the DEATH and BURIAL NOTES included in the narrative report, one would not want to combine the sentences because that then concatenates the notes, presumably after that sentence. It also places the Death footnote# at the end of the combined sentence together with the Burial footnote# and that may be an undesirable consequence. I agree with her that there has to be user control over sentence combining.

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#16 Renee Zamora

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Posted 02 March 2015 - 12:57 PM

The default sentence template for burials is: [person] was buried< [Date]>< [PlaceDetails]>< [Place]>.

 

You could change it to something else so the name or he/she doesn't appear like: Burial< [Date]>< [PlaceDetails]>< [Place]>.

 

Bill Bienia created a RootsMagic v4 Tip Sheets years ago and made it available to everyone. We haven't heard from him in a long time and his website is down. The Google Doc is still available to download.

 

http://tinyurl.com/RM4TipsSheet

 

Go through the options for Name parts and Person options until you find one you want to always have your burial fact sentence to appear as. Then just change that as the default sentence template so it used all the time.


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#17 DerickH

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 11:12 AM

Bill Bienia deserves a medal for his creation of the Tips Sheet. Perhaps some folks don't understand all of it but if properly used, it can be of immense value in creating a better narrative with the proper placements of dialogue and tags. As for you, Renee Zamora, you have been an angel with your helpful hints. I know when I see your name attached to a response, I will be getting some factual and helpful assistance with the issue at hand.

A GREAT BIG THANKS!!! :wub: 



#18 Renee Zamora

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 11:34 AM

Such sweet feedback, you made my day!


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#19 Vyger

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 11:48 AM

Bill Bienia deserves a medal for his creation of the Tips Sheet. 

 

I agree....thumbs-up.png

 

I do believe a quick narrative report preview button on the edit person screen would be beneficial and did wish for this a while back, I believe Renee logged it.


“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.5.8, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5 (in order of preference)

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

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#20 Renee Zamora

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 11:38 AM

Confirming enhancement request is in our tracking system.


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