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A set of features I'd like to see in an upcoming release


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#1 AstroGuy

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 10:47 PM

I have not seen a demonstration or a thorought description of RM8, but the following are some features I hope are included:

 

a.  Diacritical marks - I would like to see the names and indices sorted in a manner that ignores the diacritical marks, like accents, tildas, etc.  As it stands today, the sorting separates and treats as different letters in different alphabetic sequence.  An option in the program file to treat as separate letters or treat as one of the 26 English letters would be helpful.

 

b.  Spell check - I would like to see the ability to spell check citations, particularly the fields for source text, source comments, research notes and 9detail) comments.  The current spell check capability allows for spell check individual notes, family notes, and fact notes.

 

c.  Additional field in facts - I would like to see a field available for all facts that is like the "Description" field; potentially an "added Description"  This field (I'll call it [Desc2] because of its similarity to [Desc] could be used to address particular, common characteristics.  How it is used would be up to the user.  Conceptually, this is similar to how sources are created (where the user has a good deal of flexibility). 

 

d.  A SQL capability, or the ability to export a specific list.  For example, to be able to generate a filtered set of the "Place List."  The Search function gives a capability to find the items, but an abililty to print a list of the items would be helpful.

 

e.  Pictures and Notes in the Place Index - When printing a narrative report, we have the option of including an index of the places (with or without details).  The database allows the user to include notes and picture of a cited place, but there is not an output report that includes that.  Providing that as an option in the output format for the narrative (and other relevant reports) would be nice.

 



#2 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 06:08 AM

a.  Diacritical marks - I would like to see the names and indices sorted in a manner that ignores the diacritical marks, like accents, tildas, etc.  As it stands today, the sorting separates and treats as different letters in different alphabetic sequence.  An option in the program file to treat as separate letters or treat as one of the 26 English letters would be helpful.

 

I don't totally understand this request. Please understand that I have played around in RM with extensions to the English alphabet, but I don't really have any names in my database that need any of the extensions. So I am not as experienced with using extensions to the English alphabet in RM as might be users who depend on such extensions.

 

The reason I don't understand this request is that RM seems already to be doing what you ask, or at least some of what you ask. For example, if you have a name containing the Norwegian letter Ø then RM seems to sort it as if it were the English letter O because the two letters look very similar. But the letter Ø is the 28th letter of the Norwegian alphabet. It is not the letter O with a slash drawn through it, and Norwegian users have asked that the Ø sort after Z as it would in Norwegian.

 

RM's data is stored in a relational database, and relational databases support what are called collating sequences. RM uses a special collating sequence called RMNOCASE that  achieves the effect of sorting together letters that look alike. For example, it sorts an Ø as if were an O, it sorts a Ü in German as if it were a U, etc. Given requests from users through the years that such letters sort as they would in their native language, I have generally believed that a good first step would simply be for RM to abandon RMNOCASE and instead adopt SQL's standard NOCASE collating sequence. The NOCASE collating sequence sorts upper case and lower case letters the same. A good second step would then be for RM to support language specific and culturally specific collating sequences.

 

So it seems to me that RM is already trying to meet your request, but it must be failing to do so in some way or other. Part of the issue might be that you mention diacritical marks. If I understand correctly, sometimes what a native English speaker would view as just a diacritical mark would be viewed by a native speaker of the other language as a completely different letter and sometimes what native English speaker would view as just a diacritical mark would also be viewed by a native speaker of another language would also view as just a diacritical mark that doesn't actually create a new letter. In the doubtful case that I remember my high school and college French correctly, diacritical marks in French are just diacritical marks and do not produce new letters. And here is one of my favorite examples. There is an Eastern European language (I think it's Romanian, but I can't remember for sure) that has a dotted i and an undotted i, and they are two different letters of the alphabet. So it's a difficult problem for RM to support lots of different languages.

 

I'm in the camp (I think!) that if for example I did need to enter a Spanish name with an Ñ that the name would sort as if the letter really were an Ñ rather than an N.

 

Jerry

 

P.S. If you really want to support Unicode properly, you would surely need to get into completely other alphabets such as Greek, Arabic, Cyrillic, Hebrew, etc. And I have no idea how a program such as RM should best support glyphic languages such as Chinese and Japanese.



#3 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 06:13 AM

b.  Spell check - I would like to see the ability to spell check citations, particularly the fields for source text, source comments, research notes and 9detail) comments.  The current spell check capability allows for spell check individual notes, family notes, and fact notes.

 

In my experience, you actually can use RM's spell check facility with all the source and citation notes. The problem is that there is no menu option available to invoke the spell checker. Instead, you have to know to push the F7 button on your PC's keyboard. Perhaps what's really needed here is a menu option for spell checking from within source and citation notes

 

Jerry



#4 Renee Zamora

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 07:56 AM

c.  Additional field in facts - I would like to see a field available for all facts that is like the "Description" field; potentially an "added Description"  This field (I'll call it [Desc2] because of its similarity to [Desc] could be used to address particular, common characteristics.  How it is used would be up to the user.  Conceptually, this is similar to how sources are created (where the user has a good deal of flexibility).

 

 

I understand the desire but I think the concern this would have is it being supported in GEDCOM and transferring to other sites. You can use the note field to extend information about the fact.

 

Confirming other items are on the enhancement request list or as Jerry as noted. 


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#5 Vyger

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 10:04 AM


c.  Additional field in facts - I would like to see a field available for all facts that is like the "Description" field; potentially an "added Description"  This field (I'll call it [Desc2] because of its similarity to [Desc] could be used to address particular, common characteristics.  How it is used would be up to the user.  Conceptually, this is similar to how sources are created (where the user has a good deal of flexibility). 

 

 

Like Renee Zamora said, all data fields need to be supported by the Gedcom standard, the Note field is.

 

There is proprietary data types in Rootsmagic which are not 100% compatible with other programs and converting on the export is simple enough but then what would you do if you were importing it again? That is one main reason a standard exists for exchanging information and data entry is not a free for all.


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