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RM field size/limits vs GEDCOM


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#1 NEreswearcher

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 01:43 PM

I know I have looked at this in the past but I can't seem to find the info now. Has anyone looked at all the fields that RM uses and map them to GEDCOM fields?

 

For instance how big is the description field and how is that exported to GEDCOM? It seems that RM will allow more data in description than the corresponding field in GEDCOM allows. That is my memory which may be compromised at this point.

 

Of particular interest would be all the fields that appear on any RM screen that holds user data.

 

Sorry if this is a redundant question since I seem to remember this from some time ago.

 

                                 max Size RM      Max size Gedcom

 

Date:                                 ??

Place:                                ??

Place Details:                    ??

Description:                  32,768

Note:                             32,768



#2 KFN

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 02:11 PM

The GEDCOM Standard version 5.5.1 specifies that only that “attribute“ type facts can have a description, which means only facts like SSN, Possessions, Occupation can have a description.  Birth, Death, Naturalization, Census, Adoption, CAN NOT have a description.

 

The size of a proper description for facts varies depending on the fact, Occupations have a max of 90 characters, while a physical description can have 248 characters.

 

A place name can be a max of 120 characters 

 

There is no such tag for place detail!

 

Date is 35 characters 



#3 NEreswearcher

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 04:27 PM

If I confine myself just to RM I tried both of your examples; Occupation and Description.

 

I was able to put close to 1,000 characters in the description field as a test. RN did not object and put out the entire 1,000 in a narrative report..

 

I was also able to exceed the 120 characters in the place field.

 

 I have yet to try an Gedcom export so i'm not sure yet how RM deals with the larger size fields.  I have  also tried large amounts of text in the note field with no ill effect in RM. Don't know yet what happens in GEDCOM but I would hope that RM would restrict content if needed.

 

My main concern is the note field and how large that can be. RN has some shortcoming on storing event data and I was thinking that structuring the note field may give me what I need

 

OK back to additional testing.



#4 KFN

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 05:18 PM

Their would be no technical limit in GEDCOM for a NOTE.



#5 KFN

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 05:29 PM

I would not worry too much about an occupation exceeding 90 characters as input to another program via GEDCOM so long as it does not exceed 248 characters (255 - 7).  Because the occupation value can only be on one line.  The GEDCOM Standard says:  

The total length of a GEDCOM line, including level number, cross-reference number, tag, value, delimiters, and terminator, must not exceed 255 (wide) characters.


#6 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 08:40 AM

I have tested RM's Description field before, but I just now ran a new set of tests.
 
RM's Description field is exported to GEDCOM in its entirety, no matter how long it is. RM does not use any kind of CONT mechanism for the Description field. Rather, it violates the GEDCOM limit on 255 characters per line and puts out the whole thing in one GEDCOM record no matter how long that GEDCOM record is.
 
When RM's Description field is imported, if the Description field is longer than 100 characters, it is truncated to no more than 255 characters and is placed in the note field for the same fact. Just to be very clear, the placing of the Description field into the Note field does not take place at 100 characters or less, and it begins happening at 101 characters. As long as the Description field is 100 characters or less, it is imported back into the Description field. Beyond the first 100 characters, no data is lost unless the length of the imported Description field exceeds 255 characters, and those characters in the Description field after the first 255 are lost.
 
If the same fact already contains a note when the Description field is moved to the Note field, the Description field is placed at the front of the existing note and is separated from the existing note by a carriage return / line feed sequence.
 
If the Description field for a fact in RM contains any trailing blanks, the trailing blanks are trimmed on export. The trailing blanks are not trimmed during data entry and they can be seen in RM's database via SQLite. But because the trailing blanks are trimmed on export, they are not seen in an import and therefore are not an issue on import.
 
I make heavy use of RM's Description field and I always keep it at 100 characters or less. I like the fact that it's available as a column in People View or as a column in Custom Reports. I like the fact that it's searchable and can be used for color coding and in the creation of Named Groups. But from this thread, it sounds like RM's Description field violates GEDCOM standards for some fact types. Therefore, I wonder if I should revisit how I use it.
 
Jerry


#7 NEreswearcher

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 10:12 AM

Thanks all

 

I have also tested field lengths and found exactly what Jerry is saying. The long description field with no use of CONC or CONT  results in a violation of GEDCOM as Jerry points out.

 

I would like to make more use of the description field to put in actual data for an event that exceeds the 90 character limit. The lack of an RM restriction will cause many people problems later on. I actually would like the description field to work just like and in addition to the note field. I know this does not work well with GEDCOM but at some point the GEDCOM issues need to be addressed.

 

It looks like there may be no restriction on the note field size unless there is an addressing problem as we go over the 32,768 limit but I can mostly work with this limit and structure my notes making use of privacy flags to separate genealogical data from actual notes. Private information can be selected or rejected at output time so my notes will not appear in a final report.

 

when is 8 going to get here. Rhetorical question



#8 Trebor22

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 10:39 AM



. I know this does not work well with GEDCOM but at some point the GEDCOM issues need to be addressed.

 

when is 8 going to get here. Rhetorical question

 

Some (or perhaps just 1?) of us are hoping RM8, when it appears, will have moved closer to the GEDCOM standard but reading these posts I have to wonder how these sorts of issues might be handled? I can  appreciate there would be many unhappy users if previously entered data was lost or  just kicked into the 'long grass' - I hope Bruce has a good plan :-)



#9 KFN

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 11:09 AM

CONC and CONT are not valid GEDCOM following an “Attribute” fact description!

 

What kind of information gets placed in the Attribute Fact Description?  Normally, from a GEDCOM viewpoint these data-points would Contain only a one word or a short sentence answering the fact, i.e. OCCUPATION = Type of occupation, SSN = the number, Possession = list of stuff.

 

Other information in a GEDCOM should either be put in a Note Field ( you can have more than one in GEDCOM) or is part of text or notes from the source or SourceCitation.

 

I realize this not what RM does but GEDCOM has other places for data, but not for sentences other than source text or notes.