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#1 Renee Zamora

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 01:14 PM

We are experimenting with individual topics and letting our users express their thoughts and suggestions for the subject. Let us know how you feel RootsMagic could be improved in the Merging area.
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#2 KenCRoy

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 03:34 PM

We are experimenting with individual topics and letting our users express their thoughts and suggestions for the subject. Let us know how you feel RootsMagic could be improved in the Merging area.

When doing Manual merges, it really would be a time saver, if we could enter the #Record number directly on the Primary person screen to go find the next person rather than having to click Select Primary Person, clicking the #Record button, then OK, and then Select. This would eliminate 4 different clicks and a couple of screen displays.

When merging two individuals, I would like to see a Check box that could be selected to Merge Spouse and likewise one for Merge Children. Some of this was documented in a separate wish list item.

When merging spouses a check box would need to exist in the Duplicate screen that allowed selecting the facts that should override the facts in the Primary person's screen. In other words, if the marriage date is better in the duplicate screen one should be able to select it rather than RootsMagic creating 2 different marriage events, that we then need to figure out how to handle. Similarly with the location.

Within the merge screens check boxes should be provided to either select facts to be merged in the Duplicate person section. If not selected, the the fact would be discarded. Likewise some capability needs to be provided to delete a fact in the Primary person section.

So more granularity is required, but without having to drill down to other screens to make it happen. PAF allowed selecting whether the event in the Duplicate person screen would overlay that of the Primary person. This was very handy because sometimes one event in the duplicate person was more accurate than in the Primary person but not all, so one did not necessarily want to do a Swap.

#3 Bill47

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 11:02 PM

I'm so very new to the software that this may not be an "informed" response, but perhaps you need the perspective of non-experts too...

What I don't like about manual merges is the cleanup required to get rid of duplicate or nearly duplicate facts. What I imagine as ideal is a display that shows the two records to be merged and what the resulting record would look like. Then, by clicking on various facts I could say which I don't want to be merged. This would, I think, allow an easy way to select which of two conflicting facts I want in my final record, of course allowing the choice of including the conflicts.

#4 Romer

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 11:51 PM

Perhaps some components of the nFS/RM4 synching/sharing interface might be of value and serve as guides in any possible improved merge interface design.

#5 terryt

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 04:59 AM

I'm so very new to the software that this may not be an "informed" response, but perhaps you need the perspective of non-experts too...

What I don't like about manual merges is the cleanup required to get rid of duplicate or nearly duplicate facts. What I imagine as ideal is a display that shows the two records to be merged and what the resulting record would look like. Then, by clicking on various facts I could say which I don't want to be merged. This would, I think, allow an easy way to select which of two conflicting facts I want in my final record, of course allowing the choice of including the conflicts.


A competitive product I use does this. I find it useful sometimes, when you know exactly all the details of the individual you are merging. But when one imports a bunch of data from sources like AF, IGI, etc from oldFamilySearch, or PRF Magnet, or import from newFamilySearch, or other gedcoms from the internet and you don't really know what is correct, you are just looking for people that may require further researching, it would be helful to either have checkboxes to choose the facts, AND/OR a separate checkbox that says "put unused facts in the notes". Otherwise you can lose what is perhaps good research.

#6 terryt

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 05:28 AM

My $0.02 worth!

I did put some of these suggestions somewhere else on the wish list, but seeing as we now have a specific merge topic let me state them again.

1. When I click swap, then merge, please put me back to where I came from in the duplicates list, not the top!
2. I would like to be able to right click for a manual merge from the "count tree" function (and update of course) so I can fix all my orphan trees, especially those of one person.
3. I would like to be able to right click for a manual merge from the index in RM explorer.
4. I would like to be able to end with a specific name, in addition to starting with one, so I can concentrate on problem areas in my data. I haven't fouund that using a starting name helps much... Of course, I would expect to see all potential duplicates which relate to those names.
5. I would like to be able to sort the "potential duplicates" by name COlumn, also so that I can concentrate on specific people.
6. I would like to be able to tell RM what % probability to stop at, ie only show me potential duplicates where the probability is more than 20%.
7. I would like to be able to remove multiple entries on the "not duplicates" list, either via a checkbox or select shift or select ctrl.
8. I would like to have a database integrity check function as part of RM so I check my data after a merge, in preference to using SQLite.

#7 terryt

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 05:49 AM

My $0.02 worth!

I did put some of these suggestions somewhere else on the wish list, but seeing as we now have a specific merge topic let me state them again.


Apologies for reply to my own post, duh!

I remembered while doing some merges... I know we can select whether we want LDS data in our database, quite frankly I don't care whether LDS data shows up in the merge window, I think it just takes more space on the screen... Others may think different.

#8 KenCRoy

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 06:27 AM

Perhaps some components of the nFS/RM4 synching/sharing interface might be of value and serve as guides in any possible improved merge interface design.

Since a lot of us have never see the new Family Search, it is difficult to assess whether this would add any value.

#9 Romer

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 10:09 AM

Ken, I've never used nFS, either, but have seen some of the RM4 tutorials/webinars to get an idea. Latest one, "FamilySearch Made Easy with RootsMagic", can be found at http://www.rootsmagic.com/webinars .

#10 Nettie

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 11:51 AM

Since a lot of us have never see the new Family Search, it is difficult to assess whether this would add any value.


I also do not use new Family Search and especially to download to RM4. I have found data is not documented properly... B)

Genealogy:
"I work on genealogy only on days that end in "Y"." [Grin!!!]
from www.GenealogyDaily.com.
"Documentation....The hardest part of genealogy"
"Genealogy is like Hide & Seek: They Hide & I Seek!"
" Genealogists: People helping people.....that's what it's all about!"
from http://www.rootsweb....nry/gentags.htm
Using FO and RM since FO2.0 


#11 Romer

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 01:35 PM

Nettie, you're referring to the accuracy of what the public has entered into nFS to document sources/citations of facts, relationships, etc? If so, the RM4 Share feature allows you to pick and choose what information you'd like to bring down to your RM4 database, if any. You can always just sync individuals between RM4 and nFS without ever sharing data, as well.

Sorry for veering further off-topic here!

#12 Vyger

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 08:13 AM

Ken, I've never used nFS, either, but have seen some of the RM4 tutorials/webinars to get an idea. Latest one, "FamilySearch Made Easy with RootsMagic", can be found at http://www.rootsmagic.com/webinars .

Firstly I think pinning this topic has been successful and hope we can work through other "hot wish topics" in the future.

Romer is correct and that NFS merge did open up further thinking for me also even though I don't have NFS access.

It's been great to watch this subject so far and hear the views of some relatively new Forum members. If they are also relatively new to RM I believe this fresh thinking is far more valuable than that of us dinosaurs who begin to have trouble thinking outside the box.

The checkbox answer was one that I put forward before and seems to be on the minds of other users also. I had thought that checkboxes on the Primary and Duplicate person facts which were populated by default would be the answer and then the user could uncheck any "yellows" to allow the more accurate fact to remain. This is quite often then one fact has year only or approximated date and the other is exact, or one Place is Place only whereas the other includes Place Details.

It's easy for me to think of ways the existing UI could be enhanced and would at least need to show Media, Notes and Source options and I plan to through together a mock up for further discussion. I must admit I have not had any spark of inspiration as regards a completely new UI, I have thought of hover expansion where a source and media could be shown in some fashion, also drop down functionality for facts to show more detail.

Certainly the check box option to prevent unwanted duplication is desirable, I will continue to read this thread and wait for that spark of imagination. :blink:

We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

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#13 Alfred

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 08:57 AM

I wish that there were a column for the Record number in the left window of the RootsMagic Explorer so that when doing a manual merge it would be easier to choose the correct person as the duplicate.

I know, it is listed in the right window panes, but I now have to select from the left then check what shows up in the right, if it is wrong, I have to select another one etc.

A Record number column in the RootsMagic Explorer would also help me in places other than just the manual merge.
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#14 KenCRoy

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 10:20 AM

I wish that there were a column for the Record number in the left window of the RootsMagic Explorer so that when doing a manual merge it would be easier to choose the correct person as the duplicate.

I know, it is listed in the right window panes, but I now have to select from the left then check what shows up in the right, if it is wrong, I have to select another one etc.

A Record number column in the RootsMagic Explorer would also help me in places other than just the manual merge.

Adding Record Number input fields to both the Primary person and Duplicate person merges would also greatly simplify the steps one has to go through to manually merge 2 people who you know are the same person, but may have name variations.

As one gets older, one does not necessarily remember the record number shown on one screen by the time they get 2 screens deep trying to find the person into the current merge process. It's a pain to have to write everything down to accomplish this.

#15 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 10:55 AM

1. I would start by getting rid of SmartMerge and ShareMerge altogether. They both leave duplicate facts behind with no record of where the duplicate facts may be. It makes it virtually impossible to do a proper cleanup, and it makes it virtually certain that you are going leave duplicate facts in your database that you don't really want.

2. Sort of repeating what I said in #1, the only merges that a rational user should ever do are Duplicate Search Merge and Manual Merge. In the case of Duplicate Search merge, a new option should be added to be able to match on duplicate UID values in addition to duplicate AFN numbers and REFN numbers. This capability would replace ShareMerge. SmartMerge would implicitly be replaced by Duplicate Search Merge.

3. I guess it's a matter of style whether cleanup is accomplished before or after the merge. For example, suppose there are two separate individuals in my RM4 database who are really the same John Doe, one born "about 1845" and the other born "3 Jul 1845". Some users are requesting a before the merge cleanup where you can select "3 Jul 1845" as the date to keep before the merge even takes place. And similarly, the "about 1845" birth fact might say "Anderson County, Tennessee" whereas the "3 Jul 1845" birth fact might simply say "Tennessee" and maybe you should be able to choose the place ahead of time as well. I actually don't mind the current after the merge style of cleanup, especially considering that there might be other differences such as in the birth note or the birth source, etc. My sense is that I can see what is going on more easily after the merge than before the merge. And I can already do the edit of the individual to do the cleanup from within the merge workflow itself without having to exit the Merge.

4. I really like to do all the merging of a family together. Having merged John Doe, I may end up with duplicate parents and duplicate siblings, and I want to take care of doing all the required merges for the family before doing anything else. As long as I'm doing Manual Merges, staying within the family is pretty straightforward. After merging John Doe, he is usually the highlighted person. So I do a Tools -> Merge -> Manual Merge on him even though he is already merged, but bear with me second. From within the Merge dialog, it's an "easy to do but hard to describe" process to select John's parents and/or siblings for merging, one person at a time. And I really want to do them one at a time so that they get cleaned up appropriately.

5. That brings us back to Duplicate Search Merge. It's a wonderful concept, but it does not lend itself to doing all of the required merges for a family together. Having used Duplicate Search Merge to merge my duplicate John Does, the Duplicate Search Merge workflow wants to take me to the next individual in its list. And the next person in the list may be some Elizabeth Smith who is totally unconnected to the John Doe family. So my response is to exit the Merge dialog after finishing with John Doe so I can finish any required merging of the Doe family. But when I exit, I'm not taken to John Doe. Rather, I'm taking to some "random person". Well, it may be a person I have recently visited. I haven't figured out the algorithm. But it's certainly not John Doe. So I have to go through the hassle of positioning myself at John Doe so I can do the rest of the required merges for the Doe family. And it really may be a hassle if I have many John Does in my database. (I make note of the fact that doing a merge on somebody does *not* place them in the list for the History Sidebar). So I would like Duplicate Search Merge to do one of two things. 1) Having merged an individual, provide navigational assistance to merge any duplicate siblings and parents, rather than going of to the next person in the list, or 2) at a bare minimum, after merging an individual and exiting the Merge workflow, leave the merged individual as the highlighted person in the main View.

Jerry Bryan

#16 Vyger

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 11:49 AM

This is a great discussion on what is a very important feature designed to make data more concise to everyone’s satisfaction including NFS. I would really encourage everyone to watch the Webinar that Romer linked to, if you don't have time then download it and jump in around 29:20 and 49:50 to help broaden your thinking. ;)

I kinda agree with Jerry on point 2 although I have used both Smartmerge and Sharemerge. Smartmerge would not be so inviting IMO if DSM was improved; Sharemerge is great except that any slight change in the Place for example results in a duplicate fact. Those are the problems I am hoping might receive a universal solution through this thread.

I am primarily thinking here of DSM and how it could be improved, after all it is our main UI for merging, the problem is removing that need to jump in and out of Edit Person every time to check and alter data. The checkbox option is certainly the way forward in my opinion with checkboxes also for Sources, Notes and Media on a separate Details Screen. I have added my own thoughts and some screen graps from the video at the bottom of my own web page here (précis below) and look forward to further user discussion.


Some very usefull merge functionality used in the New Family Search features can be seen below. This includes checkboxes to select the information you wish to perserve. As Rootsmagic will automatically merge complete GREEN data we as users only need to worry about YELLOW and RED data which will add unwanted duplication to any merged individual.

So what about Sources, Media and Notes, users usually merge everything as they don't want to lose any of their valuable research. This also gave me concern as to how it might be handled and again after watching the Rootsmagic Webinar on New Family Search the answer almost exists in a pop up screen such as that for Ordinances as seen below. A similar two pane screen could show Sources which already exist on both Primary and Duplicate individuals. That could be followed by Media where the screen could display the file name of any Media, or a small or large thumbnail depending on the users preference. Finally the bottom of the screen would show any fact Note and also allow copy & paste functionality so users could selectively copy and paste portions of notes.

All the Source, Media information should be viewable in more details by clicking a "detail" button or "i" button alongside while the fact Note should show in it's entirety in the bottom of each pane. Checkboxes alongside each item in both the left and right panes would allow users to decide what information to preserve in the merge and prevent unwanted duplication getting carried over.

Rootsmagic have recently started actively asking users for their opinions on selective features so we can only hope that the various user wishes to make this feature better come to reality in the near future.


Edit :

Bill47 - I like the idea of a preview of the merged record.

Various others - The record number in RM Explorer would be helpful, personally I would prefer it as an option and in a column and not just tagged onto the name.

Jerry - Re SmartMerge and ShareMerge, I have used these and never known a case of wrongly merged records so they do work. The problem is that those records resulting from the Sharemerge and SmartMerge process are buried somewhere in the database and always need tidied in some way. It's a very easy task for RM to create a log of the resulting record numbers after SmartMerge or ShareMerge, in other words the newly merged records, and allow users to review the results of the process afterwards and maybe over a period of time.

We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

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#17 terryt

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 01:54 PM

I also do not use new Family Search and especially to download to RM4. I have found data is not documented properly... B)


True, but it serves as a good guideline to research!

#18 terryt

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 02:09 PM

Have been doing a bunch of merges lately. I liked the idea of (optionally) seeing what the merged records would look like.

A lot of merging I do is educated guesswork (a bit like playing Master Mind if you go back that far) and I would love to have a little checkbox that I could click to remind me that I must come back and check this particular record sometime!

Another thing I would like is to be able to undo the merge (just the individual one) I have just done...

Looking back at the suggestions on this topic I think a lot of us are saying the same things in different ways because of our perceptions. Perhaps if RM are thinking of implementing any of these suggestions they may want to articulate them before doing any coding so we can comment, along the lines of Steve Covey's talking stick. I have found many programmers are not the people who use the software.

#19 DaveConrad

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 02:13 PM

I'm so very new to the software that this may not be an "informed" response, but perhaps you need the perspective of non-experts too...

What I don't like about manual merges is the cleanup required to get rid of duplicate or nearly duplicate facts. What I imagine as ideal is a display that shows the two records to be merged and what the resulting record would look like. Then, by clicking on various facts I could say which I don't want to be merged. This would, I think, allow an easy way to select which of two conflicting facts I want in my final record, of course allowing the choice of including the conflicts.



I agree totally. After a record is merged, some parts of the data cannot even be deleted. I would like to be able to drag and drop wanted data between both windows and totally delete what I don't want.

#20 Vyger

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 03:37 PM

A lot of merging I do is educated guesswork (a bit like playing Master Mind if you go back that far) and I would love to have a little checkbox that I could click to remind me that I must come back and check this particular record sometime!

I had wished before for right click > Add > To-Do Item on the various screens. In line with To-Do enhancements this might be an answer to your wish within the existing structure.

I have found many programmers are not the people who use the software.

I would agree to an extent, a systems analysist would look at every operation and question every keystroke as a time saver. On the two first webinars I noticed Bruce make repeated operations which should have been unecessary or at least only done once. Through doing these webinars I would hope he has a notebook to hand and works to overcome these annoying clitches as he becomes aware of them. The two I noticed were :

1. Repeated adjustment of column size when switching to the People View.

2. Repeated size adjustment to suit screen on report viewer. I know he was restricted to s small screen but maybe some still has a screen that size.

Again hopefully the webinars, preparing for them and presenting them will help highlight some niggles which should be resolved to make the program more learning and free flowing to use.

We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.6.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root