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Sentence Syntax Help Please


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#1 PollyH

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 07:18 AM

I would like this for a sentence in narrative reports (minus red front and the spell check underlines):

 

The 1927 City Directory for Oneida, New York lists Wilber Talcott Earl living at Kenwood Ave., along with his wife Miriam and his two daughters, Virginia and Joan Earl.

 

I create the following fact sentence:

 

The< [Desc]> lists [person] living <[PlaceDetails:at]>, along with his wife Miriam and his two daughters, Virginia and Joan Earl.

 

My sentence comes out:

 

The 1927 City Directory for Oneida, New York lists he living at Kenwood Ave., along with his wife Miriam and his two daughters, Virginia and Joan Earl.

 

How do I need to change the fact sentence template so that I get the Wilber's name and not the he?

 

Polly

 



#2 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 07:57 AM

[Person:Full]

 

Jerry



#3 PollyH

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 03:03 PM

Thanks Jerry. Why did [Person] give me "he"? Wouldn't I have had to put [Person:He] to get "he"? What is [Person] by itself supposed to return?

Polly



#4 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 04:20 PM

[Person] by itself rotates between various forms of a person's name to try to avoid the sentences being so boring. Suppose your person were named John Andrew Doe. For his first sentence, [Person] would say John Andrew Doe. For his second sentence, [Person] would probably say John. For his third sentence, [Person] would probably say he. I'm not 100% sure of the rotation pattern when there are a lot of sentences for the same person.

 

You can suppress the rotation in general by saying [Person:Nocycle]. You can also force a particular form of the name for a particular sentence with options such as [Person:Reverse], [Person:Given], [Person:First], [Person:Surname], [Person:Prefix], [Person:Suffix], [Person:Nickname], [Person:Casual], [Person:Poss], [Person:HeShe], [Person:HisHer], [Person:HimHer], and [Person:Full].

 

To tell you the truth, I personally have given up on try to produce non-boring sentences from RM. Indeed, even if I switched away from RM and made Microsoft Word into my genealogy software of choice, I'm by no means sure it's even possible to avoid boring and repetitive sentences. Instead, I have gone to the other extreme and I now used point form sentences. The name of a person is only listed one time and it's listed in its full form. I suspect a lot of people wouldn't like point form sentences, but they work well for me. Because my RM data has so many narrative notes associated with facts in RM, I think my reports might actually be a little less boring than more conventional sentences.  You can see an example at https://www.dropbox...._report.rtf?dl=  You can also see some discussion of how the point form sentences for RM came about at http://forums.rootsm...-for-this-year/

 

Finally, I might mention that you hardwired the text "along with his wife Miriam and his two daughters, Virginia and Joan Earl." into your sentence template. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, I have considered producing narrative reports from RM using only hardwired sentence templates that don't use any variables at all. That way I could make all the sentences read exactly they way I want them to read. But in the end, I decided against it because I think of sentence templates as being metadata rather than as being data. As such, the content of sentence templates is extremely unlikely to transfer very well if at all into any other genealogy software. The problem from your point of view if you want to stick with templates and variables is that it's hard to construct a very nice sentence such as yours with just templates and variables because RM's sentence template language is just not rich enough to provide all the needed functionality. Therefore, in addition to using point form sentence templates, I also use a lot of notes and the notes are where I can be creative and make things read pretty well. Transfer of notes between genealogy software is far from universal, but notes are much more likely than are sentence templates.

 

Jerry



#5 PollyH

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 08:53 AM

Jerry, I looked at the two URLs that you provided and was particularly interested in your process for creating informative but succinct narrative reports. I LOVE your method! I "converted" to RM from TMG (if I remember correctly, you did also) where there were MANY options for producing narratives--sometimes too many. Many of my tag sentences from TMG did not port over well, or not at all. At my advanced age, the mental gymnastics of trying to form fit my thoughts into a new, RM method of pre-described fields designed to be used in just the right order to get the anticipated result has been time-consuming and exhausting, and I'm not sure I'll live long enough to master it to my own satisfaction. I do like RM very much and will continue using it. However, I'm going to begin using your creative method immediately. Thank you for your input.

Polly



#6 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 10:46 AM

I do own a TMG license and I have played around with it a bit. But I have never really been a TMG user. Curiously, I was inspired to purchase and play around with TMG only after the demise of TMG as a supported product and only after RM developed a direct import for TMG. There were many very interesting posts on this forum from former TMG users who were switching to RM, and I wanted to get a TMG license to see what the fuss was all about. I ended up getting sufficiently into TMG that I was even invited to make RM presentations to former TMG users.

 

TMG was a very interesting product with a lot of interesting and rebellious ideas that I tend to like and to share. One of TMG's greatest strengths was its great power to produce wonderful sentences and wonderful reports. However (and this is where I probably differ with the TMG world), TMG accomplishes these wonderful sentences and these wonderful reports by tightly coupling the actual genealogical data with the metadata about how to construct sentences from that data. The coupling is so tight that it makes it very hard to extricate the data from the metadata. There was a time that I would have been fully on board with the concept of coupling the genealogical data with the metadata of how to present the data. But now I really think that the data and the metadata need to be completely uncoupled. My point form printed reports exemplify that concept.

 

Since you are from the TMG world, you are probably aware of a product called SecondSite that would do a direct import of a TMG database and produce wonderful Web sites from that data. Since the demise of TMG, the author of SecondSite has developed a new product called GedSite which will produce wonderful Web sites from GEDCOM. Because it uses GEDCOM as its input, GedSite can make wonderful Web sites using data from RM or any of RM's competitors.

 

One of the things that GedSite tries to do is to use the GEDCOM input to interpret all the metadata it can about how the data should be presented. For example, I can export GEDCOM from RM, import the GEDCOM into GedSite, and Gedsite will produce sentences on the Web site it produces for me that are identical to my sentences in RM itself. Happy, happy, happy. Except that curiously, I decided not to do it that way. The Web offers some opportunities in presenting data that simply don't work well for printed reports on paper. In addition to taking metadata about sentences from GEDCOM, GedSite includes its own sentence definition language which is somewhat similar to that of TMG and SecondSite. So I do my GedSite sentences that way, and I'm delighted with the results. The presentation of the data is superior that which would be achieved simply by using my RM sentences in GedSite. In other words, my RM sentences are optimized for paper and my GedSite sentences are optimized for the Web. The underlying genealogical data is identical.

 

I only have a few people online at a prototype site created by GedSite, but much more is coming "real soon now". You can see my prototype at http://jerrybryan.co...e/g1/p1.htm#i14  I'm especially proud of the Burial GPS fact in RM that actually becomes a link to a live Google map of the burial site. The link is towards the bottom of the GedSite page. Neither RM nor GedSite supports this burial GPS link in exactly the way I want it supported, but there are always tricks and workarounds. 

 

Once you are on the page to which I have directed you, you can click around a bit with the menus at the top of the page to see a few other people for whom I have prepared RM data for display via GedSite.

 

In the highly unlikely event that I ever switched from RM to some other desktop software as my main genealogy software, I wouldn't care and I really wouldn't want my RM sentences to be imported into my putative RM replacement. I would expect to define my sentences in the new software - full separation of data from metadata.

 

Jerry

 



#7 PollyH

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 11:35 AM

I did dip my toe into Second Site when I was using TMG as I thought I might want to share my data with my family via website, but decided with limited time and energy, my efforts would be better served if I stuck with paper reports. Since I should never rule anything out, I will keep the address for GedSite for future reference. I did learn a lot about website creation from John so maybe someday . . . 

Just one quick simplistic question (and I should already know this), how do I produce the vertical line between switches. I can't seem to find it the various libraries of symbols. Thanks again for your inspirations.

Polly



#8 PollyH

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 11:40 AM

Never mind. I found the |. 

P



#9 GeoffB

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 09:54 AM

I fully echo Jerry's enthusiasm for GedSite.  I have tried many times to use RM's built-in webite generators but - even with my (admittedly limited!) abilities with HTML - I have not found them capable of producing satisfactory results.  GedSite works very well with RM files and produces a range of different pages that can be customised to suit different needs.  The help facility gives useful assistance and guidance and there are a number of example sites to give a flavour of what can be done.  That said, many like me, will benefit from careful attention to that help and some experimentation to achieve the look you want.  I have found that this is the most satisfactory way to produce a readily usable (and easily update-able) output of your genealogical data (which can incorporate images and other media items) - either as a website or for distribution on a USB drive.

 

Perhaps RM8 will eventually incorporate similar functionality.  But, rather than reinvent the wheel, it would probably be better ensure  close compatibility between the two products.



#10 Trebor22

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 10:43 AM

I fully echo Jerry's enthusiasm for GedSite.  I have tried many times to use RM's built-in webite generators but - even with my (admittedly limited!) abilities with HTML - I have not found them capable of producing satisfactory results.  GedSite works very well with RM files and produces a range of different pages that can be customised to suit different needs.  The help facility gives useful assistance and guidance and there are a number of example sites to give a flavour of what can be done.  That said, many like me, will benefit from careful attention to that help and some experimentation to achieve the look you want.  I have found that this is the most satisfactory way to produce a readily usable (and easily update-able) output of your genealogical data (which can incorporate images and other media items) - either as a website or for distribution on a USB drive.

 

Perhaps RM8 will eventually incorporate similar functionality.  But, rather than reinvent the wheel, it would probably be better ensure  close compatibility between the two products.

I'm sure somebody will correct this if wrong but I'm under the impression RM is dropping website creation (in RM8 ?) except on its own servers, so compatibility with 3rd party products would seem to be the best option for the foreseeable future.



#11 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 01:02 PM

I'm sure somebody will correct this if wrong but I'm under the impression RM is dropping website creation (in RM8 ?) except on its own servers, so compatibility with 3rd party products would seem to be the best option for the foreseeable future.

 

RM presently supports three ways to make Web sites - pre-RM6, RM6 (which includes RM7), and MyRootsMagic.

  • The pre-RM6 style of RM Web sites has been deprecated. That means that the feature will not be improved in the future, and that the feature might or might not be included in future versions of RM. I personally don't expect the pre-RM6 style to be included in RM8, but I could certainly be wrong. The pre-RM6 style creates static HTML pages that can be hosted anywhere that can host Web sites, and the pages can be indexed by Google and other search engines. RM does not provide any mechanism for the hosting of these pages. You are on your own for finding a hosting site. The format of the pages can mimic the format of many of RM's printed reports, such as ancestor charts, descendant books, etc. The people loaded depend on the format selected and the start person.
  • The RM6 style of RM Web sites has not be deprecated. I expect RM6 style Web sites to be supported in RM8, but I certainly could be wrong. The RM6 style of Web sites loads your data to the Web without generating the HTML pages at the same time. Instead, the HTML pages are generated dynamically as the user accesses the data. The pages can be hosted anywhere that can host Web sites, and my understanding is that Google and other search engines cannot index the data. RM does not provide any mechanism for the hosting of these pages. You are on your own for finding a hosting site. The format of the pages roughly mimics the format of family group sheets or individual summary pages. You can choose which people to load.
  • The MyRootsMagic style of RM Web sites has not be deprecated. I expect RM6 style Web sites to be supported in RM8, and I doubt that I am wrong. The MyRootsMagic style of Web sites loads your entire RM database to the Web without generating the HTML pages at the same time. Instead, the HTML pages are generated dynamically as the user accesses the data. The pages can only be hosted at MyRootsMagic.com. The space is free and the available space is limited. My RM database won't fit, even if I omit the loading of images. My understanding is that Google and other search engines can index the data. The format of the pages roughly mimics the format of family group sheets or individual summary pages. Even though your entire RM database is loaded, you can specify an RM group which serves as a filter as to which people are displayed. If you wanted to avoid loading your entire RM database, you would have to drag and drop a portion of your RM database to a smaller database, and load that smaller database to MyRootsMagic.com instead of loading your your regular RM database.

Jerry



#12 TomH

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:15 PM

The RM6 style website is based on XML files for persons and families and JavaScript for dynamic generation of the html content for same.

I'm unsure whether Google can crawl either RM6 style or MyRootsMagic. I thought thst it had made progress with JavaScript pages.

Tom user of RM7550 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 bundle of RootsMagic utilities.