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Is a custom "death" fact type possible?


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#1 wfb

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 07:07 PM

Folks,

I've added a custom "death" fact type that I call "death2". I don't have any trouble entering data for this new fact type, and the narrative reports look fine. HOWEVER, RootsMagic doesn't seem to realize that the person associated with the "death2" fact is actually dead! In other words, the death date in the "Pedigree" and "Family" charts for that person remains blank.

Is there, perhaps, some "code" or "flag" that I need to set when defining my "death2" fact type in order for RootsMagic to properly recognize a "death" event?

Many thanks,
Wayne

#2 Romer

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 07:50 PM

Wayne, be sure to use the standard Birth, Christen (substitute for Birth date if no date entered there), Death, and Burial (substitute for Death date if no date entered there) facts, as they're used for various other purposes within the program.

You can always modify the standard fact default information via Lists > Fact List (or the narrative sentence for a specific person's fact via Customize Sentence in the Edit Person screen). Be aware that modifying via Lists > Fact List will change the info for everyone already using that fact, however.

#3 wfb

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 01:29 PM

Romer,

Thanks for the info, but I'm afraid you have just confirmed what I suspected! Namely, it seems that certain built-in "facts" contain RootsMagic-specific code that can't be duplicated when setting up user-defined "facts". It really is a shame, though, that RootsMagic doesn't include a "copy fact type" option that would work something like the "copy source" option. IF such an option existed it would seem that copying the "Death" fact would copy all the special code needed by RootsMagic to properly handle the fact that someone died.(This option would also be helpful, I assume, for the built-in "Birth", "Christen", and "Burial" facts.) Oh well, perhaps that will be an option in RootsMagic 5.0!

Thanks again,
Wayne

#4 Romer

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 01:39 PM

Wayne, out of curiosity, what is the purpose of your alternate death fact? Is it set up significantly differently than the standard version, and do you use it for some people and the standard version for others (or just the alternate version for all)?

If the functionality about which you're asking is something that's very important for you to have, certainly submit your idea in the Wish List forum for possible consideration. It could be stated more generally to possibly attract more appeal by perhaps requesting some sort of setting that substitutes elements (such as date) of a particular fact of your choosing for Birth when it's not available and another for Death (or none at all if you wanted to avoid any substitution). As mentioned previously, elements of Christen and Burial are currently being used as proxies for Birth and Death by default, respectively.

#5 wfb

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 02:46 PM

Romer, I set up an alternative "death" fact just to make the wording of a death event read a bit better in a narrative report. Depending upon the cause & location of the death, it was sometimes better (in my mind, anyway) to change the location of [Desc] within the sentence. As a "workaround" I've modified the standard "Death" fact to have [Desc] where it seems to work best for most cases...

Thanks for mentioning the Wish List - I'll see what I can come up with!

Wayne

#6 Romer

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 03:17 PM

In the interim, another possibility that you might want to consider would be to modify the standard Death sentence to read the way that you'd most typically want it to appear, then override it in the Edit Person screen for an individual person's Death fact via the Customize sentence facility for those instances in which something different might be better. My guess is that most users are handling it in that way.

Depending upon how you're wanting the sentences to read, you may be able to use the Sentence Template Language to make it general enough to cover multiple scenarios. If you need help in doing so, feel free to post the way that you'd want your sentences to read given which pieces of information you have available to you in each case, and someone can likely provide guidance as to whether it can be accomplished via a single template and how to compose it. A current limitation is that IF functionality isn't currently explicitly provided, which could be hampering you. I believe that it's been requested on the Wish List, so we'll see if it may eventually make the cut.

#7 bienia

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 01:10 PM

I've modified the global 'death' fact type to read:
[person]< [desc]|died>< [date]>< [placedetails]>< [place]>.
The key is the < [desc]|died> simple switch. The default without any text in the Description field would be the word "died". However, if there is any text in the description field, that text replaces the word died. In some cases, I include the word died in the description field. Now I can create sentences like:

He was murdered in 1847...

He was hit by a car and died three days later on 23 Jul 1859...

He died from scarlet fever on 15 Dec 1935...

In each case what is shown above in bold is the contents of the description field.

In any of these examples, I could use the Customize sentence facility to move the date to different locations within the template for variety.
-----------
Bill Bienia

RootsMagic Tips sheets: www.CobblestoneLegacies.com/resources.htm

#8 wfb

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 01:08 PM

bienia,

Thanks very much for your helpful suggestion! I can see that your approach using a simple switch could be applied to other "fact" types in addition to "death". For the time being, though, I've settled on the following global "death" template:

[person] died< [Date]>< [person:Age]>< [Desc]>< [PlaceDetails:plain]>< [Place:short]>.

I can see that your approach would allow for more flexible sentences, so I will look into adding a "switch" to my template.

Thanks again,
Wayne