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Better handling of URLs in Sources

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#1 GlenB

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 03:03 PM

Many sources these days contain a link to a web-based source such as Family Search, Ancestry, Find-a-Grave, etc etc etc.

What if these URLs could be pulled out of a more general text field and stored in their own field?

That "pulling out" might be possible to do automagically if the URL is well-structured, but even if not then manual cut and paste is OK.

Once it is in a separate field then 2 further processing options are opened up:

1 - when looking at a source for some event this field can become clickable to open up the URL in a new browser window

2 - a database validation tool could test every single URL in the database to make sure it still connects to "something", not a broken / dead link, providing a list of broken links for the user to fix.



#2 Renee Zamora

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Posted 09 December 2020 - 05:54 PM

There are WebTags for Sources. 


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#3 GlenB

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Posted 10 December 2020 - 01:04 AM

Thanks Renee. Yes, I see that. But the WebTag is associated with the person, not with the event, right?

If I am looking at a person I see the list of their events and to the right I see the Notes and Sources. Very often that source is a webpage and, if you got the source from FamilySearch (for example) the citation it provides for you contains a URL.

THAT is the URL I want to click on. I don't want to close the sources box and open the webtags dialog to see if there might be a tag that supports the event I was looking at. That's hardly easier than copying that URL out of the text box and pasting it in to my browser. After doing that a few hundred times I figured there had to be a better way.

 

And if the same source is used for 5 people (say a Census record or Immigration record) then I would have to add the same webtag to 5 people? No, I'd rather copy/paste the source to each person (making minor edits for the different person if needed) and keeping the same URL that's associated with that source for that event. And yes, I know about multiciting a source or sharing a source, but the URL I want is still embedded in a text field and not clickable.

And there may be a webtag validation checker, but I didn't see it.

 

So no, webtags don't really take the place of what I was looking for.



#4 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 10 December 2020 - 07:34 AM

I confess I have never quite grasped RM's concept of Webtags. Since it was introduced into RM, the Webtag feature has always seemed to me to be like a second set of sources that I would have to manage if I used the feature. It's like Webtags are redundant or something. I have never figured out any true rationale for the feature or why I might benefit from using it. If I remember correctly, Bruce's original Webinar that addressed Webtags didn't provide that rationale for me.

 

RM's Webtag feature is obviously a popular feature and a lot of RM users seem to find a good reason to use it. But is there a succinct and straightforward explanation for what the purpose of the Webtag feature really is and what problem it is trying to solve?

 

In addition, aren't Webtags yet one more thing that gets lost of your RM data is transferred to any other genealogy software?

 

Jerry



#5 Renee Zamora

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Posted 10 December 2020 - 11:05 AM

You can add WebTags to Individuals on the Edit Person screen, also to Places and Research Logs. There are two different areas to add WebTags to Sources. On the Master Text tab it corresponds with the Master Source. On the Detail Text Tab it corresponds with the Citation. When you import a source from Ancestry or FamilySearch it will typically have the URL to the image on the Master Text tab. Because I tend to be a lumper I add my WebTags on the Citation level using the Detail Text tab WebTag button.  


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#6 GlenB

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Posted 10 December 2020 - 05:11 PM

It looks like most/all of the sources copied from FamilySearch and some Census records etc etc have been created with a WebTag on EACH source, and that is good.

Who knew? And that's the point.

I have looked at thousands of people all with many sources attached to events and there was NOTHING that indicated to me that these WebTags were there.

Here's a workflow:

- find a person of interest and open their Edit Person screen

- there are no WebTags at the top for this person

- see that they have a Census record from 1930 and it has a source and it would be helpful to know who else is on that Census record

- open up the Source box and there's just that one source

- you can see the source name and also the free form text in the footnote, the short footnote and the bibliography

- in the footnote text you can see that there is a URL embedded there so copy and paste it in to the browser to get the details.

 

At no time did it indicate that there was a WebTag associated with that source.

 

If I were to Edit the source - which is not a reasonable thing to do when you're just reviewing the source - I still don't see any indication.

Then I select the MasterText tab and I see there is a WebTag.

Click on the WebTag button and I see the one WebTag - I can read the name, but the URL is longer than the dialog box allows so I can't really do much with it.

So now I click Edit again and I can see the whole URL, but even then it is not clickable so all I can do is copy/paste it into my Browser.

 

See how all this doesn't help one SEE that there is a URL, or DO anything useful with the URL?

 

And to go back to my 2nd request on this item - I still can't find anything that helps me find any broken links in my HUGE data table of WebTags.