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Source templates are "static" when modified


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#1 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 12:17 PM

I use custom source templates rather than RM's built-in templates for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that custom templates  (i.e., user defined templates) can be modified and the built-in templates cannot be modified. But I have discovered that at least in some cases the templates behave in a very "static" manner. Which is to say, a change to a source template does not seem to take effect for an existing source until and unless the source has been edited, even if no actual changes are made to the source. It seems sufficient to "edit without changing" either a Master Source or a citation as a way to fix the problem.

 

For example, I recently made a change to my custom source template for marriages. I added a text variable called [MarriageRecordType]. The old footnote sentence was

Marriage Record: <[MarriagePlace]><, [Year]><; [LicenseNumber]><; [CoupleNames]><, [WhereViewed]><, viewed [WhenViewed]>.

The new footnote sentence is

Marriage <[MarriageRecordType]|Record>: <[MarriagePlace]><, [Year]><; [LicenseNumber]><; [CoupleNames]><, [WhereViewed]><, viewed [WhenViewed]>.

I made the change so I could use the same source template for a variety of different types of marriage records, for example for marriage index records in addition to courthouse marriage records. I think that one of several problems with the built-in templates is that there are too many of them, and many of them differ from each other in very small ways that could have been handled by a switch of some sort rather than with multiple templates.  So I try to avoid the same problem with my own templates.

 

As you can see, the new version of my templates uses the [MarriageRecordType] variable as a value switch that defaults to the value Record so that the default footnote sentence starts out with the string "Marriage Record:" without the quotes, just like the old version of the template. This works fine for new Master Sources based on the new template. But for existing Master Sources based on the new template,the footnote sentence starts out with "Marriage [MarriageRecordType]:" without the quotes. To get footnote sentences for existing sources to look right, you have to edit the Master Source or one of the citations even if you don't change anything. Curiously, if you merely look at the footnote sentence for an existing source without editing it, it appears to be correct. It's only when you actually run a report and look at the actual footnotes that the footnotes are incorrect.

 

I have this vague recollection that this problem has been reported before and even that maybe Tom has an SQLite script that will fix it. But if so, I can't find the previous report of the problem.  For the time being, I have few enough Master Sources based on my source template for marriages (maybe a couple hundred of them) that I will just edit each one very briefly, but it sure is irritating.

 

Jerry



#2 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 03:27 PM

It's off the main topic of my note, but I should mention that in using my marriage template I use a very liberal and almost free form interpretation of my [LicenseNumber] variable. Which is to say I use the variable to enter the number of the marriage book, the page number from the marriage book, the actual marriage license number, or whatever else information I have that identifies how to find the license in a marriage book (or sometimes online). There are just too many different numbering variations between courthouses and even between different periods of time at one courthouse to have a complete set of variables such as [BookNumber] and [PageNumber] that would cover all the possibilities. So I just enter all the identifying info I have into the single [LicenseNumber] variable and it works great, both for data entry and also for the appearance of the footnote sentence.

 

Jerry



#3 TomH

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 01:56 PM

It's because in the Fields cell in the SourceTable or CitationTable in which the values of the fields are stored in XML, there is no XML field for your new variable until the source or citation is edited. I think this is a holdover from debugging source templates and sentence syntax before RM4 was released. I don't see any benefit to the user and I think the program should simply ignore the absence of the XML field. I had to address that in my SQLite script for bulk conversion of Free Form sources to !MyFreeForm3.

Tom user of RM7230 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 growing bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#4 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 09:52 PM

It's because in the Fields cell in the SourceTable or CitationTable in which the values of the fields are stored in XML, there is no XML field for your new variable until the source or citation is edited.

 

I meant to mention that there is a very curious symptom associated with this problem. Namely, you can look at footnote (and short footnote and bibliography) sentences from the Citation Manager screen (from the Edit Person screen) without editing the citation. When you do so, the footnote sentence looks correct. It's only when you run a report and get the footnote sentences printed as a part of a report that there is a problem. So a different process must be generating the footnote sentences in the Citation Manager than in reports.

 

Jerry



#5 TomH

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 08:05 AM

 

... So a different process must be generating the footnote sentences in the Citation Manager than in reports.

 

Jerry

I surmised the same which makes it especially galling that we still have the problem in reports for so many years. 


Tom user of RM7230 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 growing bundle of RootsMagic utilities.