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Color Coding Events

Color Coding Events

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#1 Rick Landrum

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 10:23 AM

As part of my RM database housekeeping I would like to have the ability to color code specific events. I would use this to "flag" events that need further research for confirmation. I have not found this feature, only the ability to flag persons or groups.

 

My current method is to enter a text flag in the prefix field {I don't use prefix for any other purpose) and then group all persons with that flag. I then color code the group to signify some future action is required. However, this only identifies the people/group and does not highlight the event needing action.

 

For example:

I find a birth date for a person in say an unsourced public family tree. I go ahead and post the date to my tree

 and flag the person's prefix field with a code (say (W) meaning "in work"). I then color code the group with say "yellow". Now I can quickly tell that the person has "unfinished research", but I do not know where or which event. 

 

If the given event could be color coded, this in combination with the grouping, would make it a snap to identify what needs work.

 

Is this possible today?

 

Does anyone have an alternative method to accomplish this?

 

(Note: I know how to use the ToDo's but that gets pretty involved and data entry intensive. I just want something that will give me quick visual clues and the abiity to search).

 

Any help appreciated

Rick


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#2 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 12:32 PM

If you are not using the Description field for anything else, I think it would serve your purpose. Some fact types don't have the Description field enabled by default, but it's easy to enable. I'm actually using the Description field for many fact types, so this wouldn't meet my need. The Description field has the advantage that it can be a column in People View.

 

You could have a new, dummy fact type that says "more work needed". I actually do use this technique. The dummy fact type wouldn't be attached to any particular fact, but it could have a note field and a Description field that you could search on, and the Description field would be visible in People View and could be used to make groups.

 

You could have a new, dummy Master Source that you cite to any any specific fact that needs more work. I would probably just use the Free Form source template and type into the "page" field and/or the citation note fields the information about what work needs to be done. The dummy Master Source could be used to make groups, but unfortunately RM buries sourcing type information pretty deeply into its user interface. Early reports are that RM8 might improve this situation but I will remain skeptical until I can actually play with RM8. What I'm really looking for is like a People View type of access to sourcing information and for sourcing information to be available in something like Custom Reports.

 

What's really needed is some additional data fields for each person that could be flags, that could be used for Color Coding and People View, that could be displayed via Custom Reports, etc. TMG has this feature, and RM does not.

 

Jerry

 



#3 TomH

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 05:15 PM

Another workaround would be to change the fact type to a custom one with the same name appended by, say, a question mark. If proven later, change it back to the proper name.

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#4 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 07:17 PM

Another workaround would be to change the fact type to a custom one with the same name appended by, say, a question mark. If proven later, change it back to the proper name.

 

This is an idea that I had not thought of before, and which is really quite brilliant. Among other things, the custom fact type could be included or excluded in, for example, GEDCOM export or narrative reports.

 

Jerry



#5 Renee Zamora

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 07:12 AM

You could use the Proof setting on the fact level and set it to Disputed. It will place a red line through it helping you to see what fact you are needing to resolve with further research. 


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#6 Rick Landrum

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 10:08 AM

Jerry, Tom, and Renee -
Thank you for the quick responses. These are all excellent suggestions. After thinking it over, and trying various tests, I'm thinking that the best solution for me is as follows:
 
1) Create a dummy "Research Status" fact.
2) Load it with no date (automatically sorts to the end of the persons profile).
3) If research is complete, leave as is. The sentence template states "Research Complete".
4) If research is not complete, use the "proof-disputed" function to "cross through" and "color red" the dummy fact. Change it back when research has been completed. (You also have to add something to the dummy fact description field if you want to use the "People View" to see the status of the idividual. Otherwise it will be blank.)
5) Also use the "proof-disputed" function to identify any regular facts where more research is needed. This can be combined with the "To-Do" function, if desired,  to capture what research is needed.
 
These ideas will really help me to make some sense out of the chaos...... :wacko:
 
Thanks again,
Rick

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#7 Rick Landrum

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 02:39 PM

Here is a PS to my last post on this topic...
 
After a few days of trying the different methods suggested, I have found there are a few problems (at least for me). If you create a "dummy" fact, you first of all have to add it to the person's profile, and then you have to populate the fact detail to allow for sorting in the People view. If the status of your research changes, you have to revisit the "dummy" fact and change the detail to reflect the change.
My original problem was trying to find a way to highlight events that need additional research. The "dummy" fact does not do that per se. In addition, the "dummy" fact transfers to other platforms, such as Ancestry.com.
 
A refinement of my original method would go something like this -
1) place a flag in the person's "prefix" field. (ie - √, meaning "research considered complete", or W - meaning "research is still in work". (this field does not transfer to Ancestry.com). Change the flag as needed when status changes. Very fast.
2) create groupings based on these flags to allow sorting in the "People" view. (have done this and it works great). Groupings also work well to generate reports showing status.
3) use the "quick groups" tool to add or delete the person to or from the appropriate group, depending on status. (this also works great).
4) Use the "Proof - Disputed" tool to highlight facts/events in the persons profile that need additional research/work. Toggle off when work is complete. (this suggestion I like a lot - it really helps).
 
I realize this is a work around, but it makes reviewing my tree(s) much easier and faster. I may find issues with this going forward, but so far it seems to be working well. It would be great if RM added some sort of similar functionality.
 
Thanks again to all
Rick

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#8 Kamolga

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 03:49 AM

I use about in front of the date: abt 17 Feb 1865 means I need to search sources for the fact. About is used only for 'lack of reliable source' and if I find a source with a different date,  I record the source and put the about date in the notes with a question mark, to know it used to be an option.

 

As I never use suffix, I put an * in it when I am not sure of the relationships. I opted for the suffix and not the prefix (also not used) because I can see them in the left pane. John Smith * means I do not have an official source to confirm he is the father or son of the person in the tree and if he is born abt 7 Oct 1800 it means I have no official proof he is born on that day. Typically a birth or marriage certificate will take the abt and * out since the relationships are described and dates mentioned. I use SQL to group my proven relationships apart from the *, as well as people with unproven facts (from shared trees at 99%) using something like

FROM EventTable
WHERE Date LIKE '%.A+%'

Recently I realised I had to add medias to many sources citations that had been validated (no more * and abt). I used SQL to put / in the suffix of all required and made a group of those people called /. I would have gone for something like |Add media| in the notes and make a group of them but that is more work to delete manually |Add media| from the notes than / from the suffix whenever I added the media. I do work with a code like |...| in notes if I know I will take weeks to work on the group (I do not want / in suffix for so long).

(For the record, I faced a bit of disappointment on that 'add media process' though: if I add a pdf file to a birth citation, the pdf is not associated to all citations of that birth (I copy such citations in person and parents sources). I had to erase the previously copied citations and paste the updated one each time. For a wedding certificate, that is much more times). 

I would still love event colouring even a simpler version if not possible: I would like to have birth, marriage, death to step out, so bold for those 3 would already be handy, or the ability to colour residencies when working specifically on residencies (even if no address, I like to add residencies of villages where people lived), so a specific colour would help instead of searching them in sometimes very long lists of events to determine if I already entered them.


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#9 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 08:19 AM

 

(For the record, I faced a bit of disappointment on that 'add media process' though: if I add a pdf file to a birth citation, the pdf is not associated to all citations of that birth (I copy such citations in person and parents sources). I had to erase the previously copied citations and paste the updated one each time. For a wedding certificate, that is much more times). 

 

This exemplifies why I became an extreme source splitter. I didn't want to become an extreme source splitter, and I fought it with everything I'm worth. But RM ultimately made it necessary. http://forums.rootsm...reme-splitting/

 

Since my initial message about extreme source splitting, the problems managing citations in RM have remained and I have improved and enhanced my processes for sources. FTM has a feature called shared citations that seems to solve the problem, and I hope that someday RM may embrace such a feature. Problems that source splitting solve include correcting errors and omissions in source notes and correcting errors and omissions in source media.

 

One obvious disadvantage of source splitting is that you lose the ability to reuse the Source part of the Source + Citation model (the Master Source + Source Detail model, using RM's terminology). But as I have continued evolving my processes, I have realized that all I have to do to "reuse" existing source data is to start a new source by copying an existing source that is very similar to the new one I am making.

Another obvious disadvantage of source splitting is that you end up with an enormously long list of RM's Master Sources. I manage this with very rigorous and disciplined naming conventions for Master Sources. It would help enormously if the Master Source list were searchable and filterable instead of using the "smart type ahead" feature that is so common throughout RM. I really hope the "smart type ahead" feature is abandoned in RM8 and is replaced by searching and filtering of lists. We shall see. It would also help enormously if RM would support tree like structures in the Master Source list (and in other lists such as the place list) - a tree node for census sources and a tree node for birth sources and a tree node for marriage sources, etc. - then below that a tree node for 1850 censuses, a tree node for 1860 census, etc. - or however you want your tree structure set up. Such a tree structure concept would fit hand and glove with searching and filtering of lists.

 

But in the bigger picture, I have begun to question the whole Source + Citation model of sourcing that is so universal throughout all of genealogy, not just in RM. What really matters is what RM calls the Footnote Sentence. So what we sort of have is Footnote Sentence = Source + Citation and the Source + Citation model is just a way to get to the Footnote Sentence. And indeed, it's beginning to seem me that what RM calls the Footnote Sentence is actually the Citation. So why don't we just call it that? The Source is the Evidence which is the Media File, and the Citation is just sort of a link - a human readable link, not a computer link - to where the Media file was found. That's beginning to seem to me to be a better model, and that is what my process for extreme splitting has evolved into.

 

Jerry



#10 Kamolga

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 12:07 PM

A simple extract of a wedding in Belgium (so Record #123456 of National Archive - Marriage let's say, National Archive - Marriage being the master source), would be copied in husband (person) sources, his family (he makes with new wife) sources, his parents sources (since they are on it and it proves he is their son), his birth event sources (also on it), his marriage event sources (that they share), wife sources, her parents sources, her birth event sources...and sometimes you have witnesses, often occupations and residencies of the spouses and their parents. Creating a source each time is counter productive isn't it? I always type exactly what is written on the source and have a complex referencing to see what is in without having to 2x click the sources. 

Still I do not understand why if I change #123456 to #123457, it will update everywhere but if I add a media it does not.

I think I could make a list of citations using medialinks in SQLite and from there add the medialink to anything using a citation but this is quite complicated because of the types (easy for events but I do not know how exactly it is set up for person and family sources, would need to run dummy queries to find out) and amount of tables concerned. I plan to add quite a lot medias to citations so might be worth the headache.

My first project will be to copy all the MediaPath from MultimediaTable  (like C:\...\RootsMagic\Multimedia\...) to excel and run a macro to list  all the files (in all subfolders) from the map and compare...I think I have a few files in there I forgot to link in RM. I could also identify broken links ad fix them.

 

I have been trying to keep master sources small, so I do not have to search...and for future analysis as well since I do not want to select 25 master sources to know who already as a birth certificate. I could have a master source per location where Birth certificate was made (each postal code basically) but my input is referenced in a manner that I can identify which certificates have been made in Antwerp district for example, so that if I go to Antwerp I can print a list of all the references (e.g. #123456, book 3, page 45 from VillageA) I would like to copy (so more than 100 years old in our legislation) thanks to SQL. So I found a way to keep master sources small thanks to research notes and SQL to filter from that field.

As a result I just type the first letters and find my master source but if I had been coding such a software, when you add a source to a birth event, you would have the most used master source for birth events preselected in the limited list of all the master sources you have already used in birth events (that is how I code my userforms in VBA or Access, I guess there should be a way to achieve this in their language). I would then add a "All master sources" button if you need to select one you have already used in another event type (the list as we see it today). A way for the user to create categories is an other good option...anyway going through the list as we have today is not up to their standards regarding data entry.


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#11 Rick Landrum

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 12:54 PM

You could use the Proof setting on the fact level and set it to Disputed. It will place a red line through it helping you to see what fact you are needing to resolve with further research. 

Thanks Renee,

TIhis is a function that I had previously overlooked. I was thinking it was only for confirming proof of an event etc. However, it can be used, as you suggested, to "color code" additional research needed, by fact/event. I noticed the red strike through does not carry over to the "People View" (obviously), but I am trying this technique in combination with it. I created a group called "Research Still In Work". I selected the color code field and selected "Red". Now I use the "Quick Group" function to assign the person to this group if any events/facts have been coded "Proof/Disputed". This color codes the person in the "People View" making it easy to spot those persons with more work needed. When you open the person's profile you can see the events/facts that were also coded red by the "Proof/Disputed" function. Once all items have been worked, you just change the color for the person to a different color and the person disappears from the "Research Still In Work" group.

Appreciate the help

Rick


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#12 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 01:28 PM

Still I do not understand why if I change #123456 to #123457, it will update everywhere but if I add a media it does not.

 

 

I do not understand all 100% of your workflow, but here is what seems to me to be the case. Your #123456 apparently is being stored in the Master Source. Hence, if you change it to #123457, the change propagates to all Master Source + Source Details combinations for that data.

 

Your media file is apparently being stored in the Source Detail. Actually, RM refers to this as tagging the media to the Source Detail because the media is not actually stored in RM at all. The tagging dialog in the RM user interfaces refers to Source rather than Master Source and to Citation rather than to Source Detail just to be confusing. Be that as it may, changing anything that's stored in or tagged to the  Source Detail only affects that particular Source Detail and not any other Source Details that may be exact copies of it. That's part of the craziness that led me to become an extreme source splitter.

 

You may or may not be tagging media to the Source Details on purpose. RM is probably doing it for you without you realizing it. For the various text associated with Master Source + Source Details in the Edit Source screen, it's very clear which text is Master Source (it's in yellow) and which text is Source Details (it's in green). But there is no such clarity associated with the media. For one thing, you can't even see the media in the Edit Source screen until you click the Media tab. And once you click the Media tab, all the yellow and green stuff goes away. The only way you can tell which part of Master Source + Source Details the media is linked to is to look at the icons in the right hand pane. The icons for Master Source media and for Source Details media are identical except that the icon for Source Details also has the word "Cite" next to it. It's a very weak visual cue.

But the data entry is even worse. In the media screen, there is a tab where you can choose to see media for Source only, for Source and Detail, and for Detail only. This is for displaying information with respect to a particular media file which is already tagged to your database and that you have highlighted. But the same tab influences the Add Media function. If the Source only option is active, Add Media adds only to Source (Master Source). If the Detail only function is active, Add Media adds only to Detail (Source Detail). If the Source and Detail function is active, Add Media adds only to the Detail (Source Detail) and not to the Source (Master Source). This may be working as designed, but to me it is a serious bug. So I suspect you are doing an Add Media with the Source and Detail function enabled, and your source is only being added to the Detail when in fact you expected it to be added to the Source.

 

Jerry