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Why such confusing terminology + other requests?


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#1 Guest_david.harrison_*

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 02:42 PM

I find your terminology of a "master source/source details" very confusing when what you really mean is a "source/citation". in places, both in the application and in your RootsMagic 7 book, you sometimes call a citation a "citation", but at most other times you call a citation "source details".

 

Why don't you dispense with this confusing terminology altogether and call a spade a spade? I.E. especially for FTM users, and all others who are used to calling a citation a citation, please dispense with this confusing term of "source details" when you really mean a citation.

 

Thanks.



#2 Renee Zamora

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 03:44 PM

I know the source terminology can be challenging. They really are just source citations. The need to break them into sections is simply because of people wanting to reuse parts of them. If we changed the terminology we are using after 20 years of customers being used to it, they would struggle. I really don't see the verbiage changing at this point, but I will pass your comments to development for consideration.

Here is how sources are broken down.
On the Citation tab you have two section
Yellow = Master Source - it has the corresponding Master Text tab - Changes to these sections will effect every citation referencing it.
Green = Source Details - it has the corresponding Detail Text tab - Changes only effect the single usage of this citation.


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#3 Laura

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 04:09 PM

Speaking for myself as an long time user of Family Origins and RootsMagic, to me the Citation consists of 2 parts:

Master source + Source datail = Citation

I struggle with posts that only refer to Citation and don't specify if what the poster is asking about is Master sources or Source details especially if the poster is not clear about what they are asking.

On reports Speaking for myself as an long time user of Family Origins and RootsMagic, to me the Citation consists of 2 parts:

Master source + Source datail = Citation

I struggle with posts that only refer to Citation and don't specify if what the poster is asking about is Master sources or Source deetails especially when the poster is not clear about what they are asking.

On reports and Media, etc., I have to stop and remember that Cite or Citation means the Source detail.

So, my wish is the opposite, stop using Citation as the label when you mean Source detail.

If I transferred to another program the terminology would probably be just as confusing and I would have to adapt to that program's terminology.

#4 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 07:05 PM

I agree that Master source + Source datail = Citation or Master source + Source datail = Footnote is the most correct and the least confusing terminology, except that RM is not always consistent in its own use of this terminology. I do understand that another common model is Source + Citation = Footnote, but I'm not fond of the latter model despite how common it is. 

 

The problem for me with Source + Citation = Footnote is that a "source" is really not anything that's in RM or any other genealogy program. Rather, a "source" really is a physical, tangible thing that you can hold in your hand or touch like a birth certificate or a death certificate or a tombstone ---- or an image of such a thing. That's why it's common for messages in these forums to refer to images as sources rather than as images. So if a "source" is a real, tangible thing that you can hold in your hand or touch ---- or an image of such a thing ---- then it's hard for me to see how that fits into the Source + Citation = Footnote model.

 

Jerry



#5 Guest_david.harrison_*

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 02:33 PM

Can I suggest this middle ground between "do nothing at all" and "completely changing the terminology"?

 

I fully understand what a source is and what a citation is. I would recommend the following descriptions and usage in RootsMagic and in their book and online help etc.

 

1) Drop the term "Master Source" and just use "Source". After all, a source is a source is a source - plain and simple.

2) Introduce the idea that a citation is just a specific instance of a reference to a source, with additional citation specific data.

3) Replace the term "Master text" with "Source Text" and the term "Detail text" with "Citation Text".

 

I think these small changes would go a long way to clearing up any confusion as to what a source and citation are and how they are to be documented.

 

I do hope the development team can see this point of view and make these changes in the near future.



#6 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 03:56 PM

Can I suggest this middle ground between "do nothing at all" and "completely changing the terminology"?

 

I fully understand what a source is and what a citation is. I would recommend the following descriptions and usage in RootsMagic and in their book and online help etc.

 

1) Drop the term "Master Source" and just use "Source". After all, a source is a source is a source - plain and simple.

2) Introduce the idea that a citation is just a specific instance of a reference to a source, with additional citation specific data.

3) Replace the term "Master text" with "Source Text" and the term "Detail text" with "Citation Text".

 

I think these small changes would go a long way to clearing up any confusion as to what a source and citation are and how they are to be documented.

 

I do hope the development team can see this point of view and make these changes in the near future.

 

Despite my disquiet for using the term "source" for anything except a physical thing or an image of a physical thing, I suspect that a large majority of RM users would be pleased if the RM developers would adopt your suggestion. However, your suggestion hasn't gone far enough. The trouble is that there are two different pieces of text associated with a Master Source (with a source, in your suggestion) and that there are two different pieces of text associated with Source Details (with a citation in your suggestion). So you have to suggest names that make sense for people for all four of these pieces of text.

 

What we currently have with Edit Source is:

  • Master Source - Master Text tab: first note is Source Text and second note is Source Comments
  • Source Details - Detail Text tab: first note is Research Notes and second note is Comments

What we currently have under searching is:

  • text contains (searches first note in Master Source)
  • comment contains (searches second note in Master Source)
  • research note contains (searches first note is Source Details)
  • detail comment contains (searches second note in Source Details)

I personally find all these names to be very confusing, even after many years of using RM. So I'm not opposed to improvements. It's just that you have to have four different names that make sense to people, not just two.

 

Jerry



#7 RonB

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 06:47 AM

I know some of these "suggestions" are intended to be constructive criticism, but I find it very insulting to the long term users of RootsMagic when someone transfers from another software package and starts requesting changes that will accommodate what they are used to.  Sorry, but the folks who have been using RM for awhile should not be required to change their methods and terminology to accommodate someone who made the choice to switch programs, but doesn't want to be inconvenienced by learning new methods and terminology. 



#8 Guest_david.harrison_*

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 07:15 AM

Come on, don't be so died-in-the-wool. In any software program. or any other product for that matter, there is always room for improvement, simplification and making it easier to use for everyone - new and old users alike. I would have found the terminology still confusing even if I hadn't migrated from another software package.

After all, as I said before, a source is a source is a source - why call it a master source when it is just a source? And why call a citation text "Details text"? in other words, call a spade a spade, for heavens sake!

Genealogists have used the terms source and citation for many decades - why call them something different in RootsMagic?



#9 kbens0n

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 02:44 PM

You're hung up on the coupling of the words 'master' and 'source' ?

I perceive that 'master' applies to 'list'. Master Source List is a master list (ie cumulative) of all the sources. It has fields to enter a unique name, a reference number, a large swath of text from the source and comments about the source (or the swath) itself.

To me, citation details text differentiates from source master text in that details are a subset of the entirety of the source text (again cumulative from the source) and explicitly as the subset applying specifically to the info being asserted.

---
--- "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
---Ô¿Ô---
K e V i N


#10 Laura

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 10:04 AM

The bottom line goes down to is how a program labels the different entry screens and boxes for entering sources or other data. It is just that, labels.

Every program makes their choice for the labels. And, a user, new or long term, has to learn what those labels apply to in a particular program to enter sources or other data.

One program's labels are not more modern or more hip or more correct than any other programs labels.

When users change from one progrwm they have used a long time to a new program there is a learning curve getting used to the new program's labels.

So, of course, to many users the old perfect program is right and the new imperfect program is wrong.

And, of course, any old time users of the new program are fuddy duddies or old fashoned or misguided if they don't want the labels they are used to changed.

#11 Guest_david.harrison_*

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 03:55 PM

Look guys and gals. This thread doesn't need to devolve into a mud slinging contest. These threads are supposed to accept new suggestions to help improve the product. If long time users and the RootsMagic people aren't willing to embrace change and accept useful suggestions for what they are, i.e. just suggestions for improvement, then what's the point of having open forums in the first place?



#12 Laura

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 04:01 PM

You are the one that called a poster died in the wool.