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Facts vs Notes and Gedcom exports

Person note gedcom custom fact notes

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#1 purple

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 06:04 AM

Colleagues,

I'm trying to become wiser with my experience!

During the process of cleaning up an import to RM from TMG, I am finding that my data seems to have transferred completely, if a bit raggedly. I am slowly working my way through and cleaning things up for presentation and uniformity. 

Will everything that I enter into RM transfer with a GEDCOM? Are there pitfalls that I should think of in advance? For all its limitations, it seems wise to try to make my personal data entry rules compatible with an export.

 

An example from my data:

I used a Research Note fact type in the past. I'm considering moving it to a "person memo" which seems a more logical and visible place for these things. I know a custom fact type transfers in GEDCOM. Can I be sure a person memo would transfer also? Is there a resource (list) somewhere that will tell (warn) me about transfer?

In this case, other considerations in this decision are sharing and sourcing these items which I can do with a fact type, but not with a note, right?

 

I value your comments and suggestions.

Jane

 

 



#2 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 07:39 AM

A very high percentage of RM data transfers well in GEDCOM, but not 100%. In some of the cases where data doesn't transfer, the problem is that RM doesn't place the data in GEDCOM. In other cases, RM places the data in GEDCOM but the receiving software doesn't receive it - or maybe receives it but doesn't interpret the data in exactly the same way as RM. It's hard to make totally general rules. Some experimentation is usually required.

 

I suspect by "person memo" you are describing what RM calls an individual note. RM's individual notes are always exported well in GEDCOM and are received well a very high percentage of the time by other software. From RM's Edit Person screen, you can get to the individual note by clicking the Note button under Person Details in the lower right part of the screen,

 

You can also get to the same individual note by clicking in the little box in the upper left part of the screen to the right of the person's name. There are three little boxes to the right of the person's name - one for the individual note, one for the individual source, and one for the individual media. If you click in the little box it will open the individual note.

 

Jerry



#3 purple

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 01:54 PM

Thanks Jerry.

Do you prefer individual memos or using a narrative type of tag note for data? I can see advantages both ways.

Jane



#4 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 06:54 PM

This is just me and shouldn't be taken as an examplar, but I seldom use RM's individual note. Instead, I have custom fact types that do nothing but insert notes into narrative reports.

 

The reasons are two-fold. One reason is so that sourcing for the note can be targeted precisely to the area of the report that is associated with the source. The other reason is to control the placement of the note in the narrative report. RM's individual note appears in narrative reports after all the information and all notes for all facts have been printed.

 

My technique is certainly not perfect because RM places the citation superscript for the "note only fact" in front of the note instead of after the note. The more general problem is that RM desperately needs a [Note] variable in its templates for fact sentences. Instead, it just automatically includes the note for every fact and it places the citation superscript in front of the note.

 

Jerry



#5 zhangrau

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 08:43 PM

I also use the Miscellaneous and some custom fact types to place info in the narrative. I used Individual Notes early on, so there are still some in my file, but even those are gradually being edited out. I don't use empty facts, however, I use a summary of the note in the fact's Description (limit these to under 100 characters for GEDCOM compatibility), which would then be followed by the more extensive Fact Note. That puts the source citation after the summary, and before the extended note.



#6 purple

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 01:24 PM

Thank you both for the feedback! In addition to the sourcing benefit, I also like the idea of being able to share a fact that contains a note. I have some notes along the lines of "this person could be the child of x or y" and then I can link the note to the child, to x, and to y.

Zhangru's suggestion about putting some text in the note description is a good one. One of my complaints about the fact notes is that you can't see the topic without clicking on the note. But your suggestion not only improves not only the awkward sourcing, but gives a reminder as to the topic of the note.

Good ideas!



#7 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 04:15 PM

I put text in the description field for a fact when it makes more sense than using the note field. The description field has the advantage that there is a [Desc] variable in the sentence template language, that you can see the text without having to open anything up, and that the description field can be a column in People View. It seems to me that this latter advantage of the description field is seldom appreciated as much as it should be and it can be hugely beneficial.

 

The disadvantage is that if you go over 100 characters in the description field, you can lose data on GEDCOM export and drag and drop without realizing you are losing data. But I am finding that for use cases where I can be confident of staying under the 100 character limit, I am switching over exclusively to the use of the description field instead of the note field.

 

For example, I have a user defined fact for recording GPS coordinates of grave sites, and GPS coordinates will always fit within 100 characters. RM's normal geo-coding facilities do not work for me for this application. To use RM's normal geo-coding facilities for individual grave sites, you have to have a unique place name or place details name for each individual grave site and the coordinates don't print in narrative reports anyway. But the description field works great for this application.

 

Jerry