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#92879 One wish wishlist

Posted by GlenB on 10 February 2019 - 04:50 PM in RootsMagic Wish List

Sorry, I strongly disagree with the request.


Often enough I am working in a space that has no web connectivity. Maybe it will be suitable for RM10 when every atom on the planet has IPv6 connectivity to a pervasive web.


Also I want more personal control over my data than to trust ANY web service to be the primary repository of my data. I may choose to make part of my data live on the web when I think it's ready, or to backup my data files to web services as my 2nd or 3rd level backup. But I don't want any software company's inadvertent misconfiguration of their servers to put my data at risk of loss or exposure. I'm no Luddite nor techno-neophyte - I worked systems design and software and support for 35 years, generally solving the problems before they manifested, and I know well what we can and cannot do and the costs and pitfalls of those choices.


For me, being able to backup or upload or publish or use on the go the data as in the current RM design is entirely suitable across the multiple platforms and environments I use.


If RM went web-only I'd move to another software package.

#89610 How Merging Places works

Posted by GlenB on 13 June 2018 - 01:24 PM in Discussion

OK, sounds like it works the way I hoped it would.

I just need to pay a little more attention to the cases I tried that seemed to not behave correctly.

No details to report of a problem, yet.

Let's close this issue here.

Thanks to both of you.

#89592 How Merging Places works

Posted by GlenB on 12 June 2018 - 02:41 PM in Discussion

Wondering what is supposed to happen when I merge 2 places that each have additional place details.


If I have #1: Anytown, USA with a place detail of Protestant Church

And also #2: Anitoun, USA with a place detail of Fred's House

When I merge #2 into #1, I think I end up with Anytown, USA which has both of the 2 different place details in it.


That's OK, good even, but what about the events that had previously used those places and place details?


The event that previously happened at Anitoun, USA details Fred's House .... should it now be Anytown, USA details Fred's House?


I'm asking because I'm not sure it has done that correctly for me and I'm wondering if it is my testing or a bug or misunderstand functionality.

#93083 Master Source List mess

Posted by GlenB on 01 March 2019 - 03:39 PM in Discussion

I have been working with the Family Tree capability of adding people and citations for events to my database and now my master source list is a MESS!


It is not really a Family Tree interface problem. Whenever you import citations from any other people they are going to be a mess since I don't think most people know how to use citations.


Here's one simple example:

Master Source: Leah Olsen in household of Stephen Olsen, "United States Census, 1910"

and the footnote, short footnote and bibliography ALL say the same thing: "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch...03/1:1:M5XS-BC7 : accessed 12 February 2019), Leah Olsen in household of Stephen Olsen, Castle Dale, Emery, Utah, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 42, sheet 15A, family 251, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 1603; FHL microfilm 1,375,616.


I can live with the 3 long entries as the details of the citation, but the Master Source seriously needs work! Maybe it is just me, but I would rather that such a Master Source said only: "Census, United States, 1910".

It is attached to Leah Olsen and likely also attached to Stephen Olsen and others in the family group. They all have the same source and it is not necessary or proper to put their names in the Master Source.


Doing it as they have done results in one Master Source record per person per event and kind of removes the ability to know what all your sources are. The source in this case is a Census and it is from the United States (not Canada or the UK or ...) and it is from 1910 (not any other year). That is a unique source and the specific citation of that source identifies it in terms of the person / people and the exact place within that source where the information may be found. Can you imagine how nice your Master Source List would be:

Census, UK and Wales, 1881

Census, UK and Wales, 1901

Census, United States, 1910

Census, United States, 1920


Maybe some of you don't agree with my sense of Sources and Citations. It is open enough in RM& that you can do it almost any way you want.


Given that, what may be needed is some way to massage thousands of Master Source records to conform to the style that the user wants. Consistency has value - but my list is now a MESS!

#93096 Master Source List mess

Posted by GlenB on 02 March 2019 - 11:50 AM in Discussion

I will try to read through some lumping and splitting discussions and census template discussions, but it feels like you're all going deeper into the problem than I was aiming.


In the sample I provided above:

Master Source: Leah Olsen in household of Stephen Olsen, "United States Census, 1910"

and the footnote, short footnote and bibliography ALL say the same thing: "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch...03/1:1:M5XS-BC7 : accessed 12 February 2019), Leah Olsen in household of Stephen Olsen, Castle Dale, Emery, Utah, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 42, sheet 15A, family 251, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 1603; FHL microfilm 1,375,616.

I just want to revise the Master Source record and leave everything else alone. Change it from

Leah Olsen in household of Stephen Olsen, "United States Census, 1910"


Census, United States, 1910


As Tom notes where "the original split sources have been systematically (computer) generated" it should be possible to do this with a little parsing and rearranging.


It sounds like nothing already exists to do that, so I can go code up some SQL and see what I can manage. It may be though that the easiest way is not to actually parse but only identify records with particular strings in them and replace the whole record, ie search for all records containing "United States Census, 1910" and replace that Master Source record with "Census, United States, 1910" and do that exhaustively for each of the 30-50 or so Census types I have in my database. Having done that I will have hundreds of identical Master Source records and I'll need to understand the database structure better in order to collapse a same-named group of them into one Master Source record. Hopefully the lumping discussion will help me do that.


I'll drop the resulting script on you, Tom, for your consideration but this exhaustive approach probably won't be generally useful. I still have some work to do on the database before I get to that phase of my cleanup, so it will be a while. Thanks to Tom and Nettie for your thoughts on this.

#93110 Master Source List mess

Posted by GlenB on 02 March 2019 - 11:07 PM in Discussion

Sounds like step 1 still has to be replacing the Master Source title with non-person specific versions such as "Census, United States, 1910". I can see how to do that in SQL.


We're now deep into Step 2 where we try to collapse the same-named Master Source records AFTER moving info from the Master Source record to the Source detail record. I might need to write some non-SQL code and attach it as an executable that I can call which can do the nitty-gritty. Yup, getting more complex all the time...


These problems seem to be founded on RM having a proper relational model between sources and citations while everyone else seems to use the inelegant "bag or bytes" design.

#93102 Master Source List mess

Posted by GlenB on 02 March 2019 - 01:57 PM in Discussion

Thanks for the additional research Tom. I likely would have stumbled over such things later when I tried to figure it out. Your understanding of how these tables are structured and used by RM is a big help.


As mentioned, all this discussion now is in anticipation of one phase of my database cleanup. None of that starts for another few months. As I've been watching the mess I'm importing I've been thinking about such cleanups and how to automate them. I have a few phases to do in cleaning up places and citations/sources and date formats and simple naming conventions ... all standardizing a mash-up of stuff from others to meet my personal standards!


Some of your scripts that I've run into already have been very helpful and they have supported my belief that once something is in a database you can manipulate the HECK out of it to make it look the way you want. Fortunately, SQL is not a new language for me so ....

#93100 Master Source List mess

Posted by GlenB on 02 March 2019 - 01:06 PM in Discussion

Great advice Jerry. That's kind of how I was hoping it would work. But doing it a few times by hand is a key test before coding.


It will be easy enough to use case specific renames for the 30-50 censuses I have, and I can do that in SQL easily enough.


For merging Sources through SQL I'll piggyback on some existing scripts, I think, I hope -- needs some looking around.

#93085 Master Source List mess

Posted by GlenB on 01 March 2019 - 06:00 PM in Discussion

Sure kbens0n, always good advice. But the problem remains - lots of entries in my Master Source list that do not conform to what I think constitutes good use of the capability. How to clean up a large mess?

#91370 Cleaning up FS data

Posted by GlenB on 16 October 2018 - 03:26 PM in Discussion

Deleted the records in LinkTable as described and then ran the Database Tools in RM. Everything seems fine, and the info presented on Family Search Central makes a LOT more sense. I'm declaring success. Thanks to all for your help.

#91349 Cleaning up FS data

Posted by GlenB on 15 October 2018 - 02:26 PM in Discussion

I think this lists all the FS links that are broken:

        select extID, rmID from LinkTable where rmID not in (select OwnerID from NameTable)

I checked a couple of them and it looks right.


So I should be able to delete all those records from the LinkTable with

        delete from LinkTable where rmID not in (select OwnerID from NameTable)


But is there anything ELSE I need to do or is just deleting these records enough?

#91348 Cleaning up FS data

Posted by GlenB on 15 October 2018 - 02:07 PM in Discussion

This is mainly an SQLite question (TomH are you here?).


I had downloaded a lot of info from FS into RM. Then I developed a query to identify the ones that I did NOT need to keep and gave them all a particular colour coding. Then I used an SQLite query (Delete Many) that deleted every person with that colour coding and cleaned up all the unused fact types and places and sources etc etc etc (Delete Phantoms3). After all that, run all the database tools and RM is happy with the results, and it looks like what I was intending.


The SQLite script was developed before the FS integration and so it does not know how to cleanup the references in the tables that were added when FS integration was added. In particular, there are some entries in some table that indicates that a PersonID (which no longer exists) is matched to a particular FS ID. So I'm looking for a script that can clean up those references.  I'll go poke around in SQLite Spy and see if I can figure anything out but, if you know how to do this, please respond here!

#91354 Cleaning up FS data

Posted by GlenB on 15 October 2018 - 04:04 PM in Discussion

I don't use SQLite, but I assume that you do a backup before any database modification.


Seriously? If you used SQLite you'd see that as a FREQUENT AND COMMON warning with all the Scripts that have been published for use with RM. And I have way too many years of technical computing experience to miss that in any case.


But .... you don't know me so, thanks.

#91360 Cleaning up FS data

Posted by GlenB on 15 October 2018 - 06:12 PM in Discussion




These SHOULD be equivalent if the database has integrity since there's a 1-to-1 correspondence between NameTable and PersonTable as far as I can tell, but I think I like yours better anyway! Thanks.


I'm going to wait a little longer before trying it (and looking for unintended consequences) - just in case someone else rolls in with a suggestion.

#93810 Sometimes RM thinks there are no FS Sources

Posted by GlenB on 06 May 2019 - 04:48 PM in FamilySearch Family Tree

A refresh would be helpful for sure.


I'm not suggesting RM should detect that FS isn't sending data. I'm suggesting that RM could notice when FS sends a DIFFERENT amount of data to a repeated request. If a particular FSID gives you 22 sources on one request and the next time you make that request you get 0 sources then a refresh sounds like a good idea. No matter what comes in the next time, you have to assume it is correct and carry on. If 22 comes in then thank heavens you refreshed and cleanup whatever was confused - and the user never even knew it happened.

#93804 Sometimes RM thinks there are no FS Sources

Posted by GlenB on 06 May 2019 - 03:04 PM in FamilySearch Family Tree

Thanks, I didn't realize that refresh button had been put in the enhancement list. It would certainly help!


I still think RM is mis-counting, or maybe mis-interpreting what FS says, or stepping on its own data at some point. But even if none of that is true, RM is at least not detecting that something untoward has happened and refreshing on its own. Still, I suppose leaving it for the user to detect a possible error and giving them a way to force the refresh at least slaps a good bandage on the wound.


I would have thought that if the number of Sources changes from one display of the data to the next (ie you showed Sources(22) last time and Sources(0) this time) then it's a fair bet that something got messed up and perhaps the refresh in that case could be automated before the Sources(0) is even presented to the user.

#89894 Sometimes RM thinks there are no FS Sources

Posted by GlenB on 02 July 2018 - 05:34 PM in FamilySearch Family Tree

I have mentioned in other communications that FS Person Tools sometimes thinks there are no Sources when in fact there are some, maybe even many.


After every copy of one Source from FS to RM it seems to requery FS and regenerate the lists on both sides. That's mostly an annoying wait time and I can't think what potential problem that helps to avoid. As long as you're still working on the same person, I think we just hope that no one in FS is adding/deleting the sources for that person and the list originally queried remains. If someone were editing it, we might miss a Source (small error, low probability versus the amount of time wasted waiting for the requery). Suggestion: only requery FS if the RM user changed, added or deleted an FS source, otherwise work with the last list you retrieved from FS.


It has happened to me several times that the requery brings back zero results. If there were 22 before it didn't just gain or lose one or two, it got nothing. I wait, and wait, 15 or 30 or 60 seconds for the list to repopulate but nothing. It's exceedingly improbable that this is true and that something deleted all 22 Sources in the last few seconds. If I exit from Person Tools and go back to the RM Explorer and find that same person and click on the icon to start Person Tools from there it finds all 22 of them as expected and I can add the few I had not yet finished adding. Happens lots.

The second instance where I have seen this happen is not on a requery in the middle of moving sources from FS to RM - it is on the initial callup for a person I selected in the FS Person Tools from the list where RM tells me that FS has new information for some number of people. I was only able to prove this today (though long suspected) because some of the facts on a person were very specific and I wondered why there were no sources for them. So I jotted down the RINs, left Person Tools, went to RM Explorer, found those people and - lo and behold - there were sources, many sources, for these people. No idea why they didn't appear before. There were too many sources on several people for something in FS to have suddenly added them in the 10 seconds it took me to get back to that person and check again.

In this latter instance it happened for several people in a row, not all of whom were in the same family (so even less likely that some FS process or person was doing something to that same group at the same time). It is as though Person Tools gets "stuck" and no longer sees any Sources until I get out of it. If you can figure out what got stuck and fix that, then maybe an idea is to immediately requery anytime FS says no sources, or provide a button for the user to force a requery. That button might also be useful in the description above where I'm suggesting that you NOT automatically requery after every single copy of a source from FS to RM.

#93799 Sometimes RM thinks there are no FS Sources

Posted by GlenB on 06 May 2019 - 01:16 PM in FamilySearch Family Tree

Can we try this one again please Renee? I think I got too complicated in my post, made too many suggestions, you focused on one and I think we didn't read the same thing on that one. So .... reset. I apologize for being long-winded, but I hope it helps.


Currently running version


This happens several times during an hour of updating RM from FS using the FSPT screen for people with changes.


I am updating RM by adding a few facts from FS and a bunch of sources as well. I add the facts first, then I go to Sources to transfer over the ones I want. Let's say there are 22 Sources in FS when I start, but none yet in RM, or maybe only a few. I follow the normal clicking to scroll down and select a Source and apply it to an RM fact. Then the left side and right side of the screen refresh - I don't know if they reload, but they go blank for a moment and then the lists redisplay. That's the normal process and it repeats until I'm done. And it all gets done eventually in the majority of cases.


But in several cases an hour the sides of the screen go blank and never redisplay anything. I wait, I'm patient, but nothing. So I go back to the Share Data tab which populates as expected. Usually I Edit RM Person to see if that helps. Nothing seems to bring back the Sources which were there moments ago. At some point in all of this I notice that the Sources tab is now labelled Sources(0) which surely is not correct, but it would explain why no Sources appear on the tab! And I think it gets stuck there. If I ignore this and move on to the next person they start out with Sources(0).


If I leave FSPT and open up the person in the regular RM views, click on the FS icon to the right of the name, it displays the Share Data tab fully populated. I go to the Sources tab, which is now labeled Sources(22), and finish transferring over the Sources I wanted. So the Sources are there and FS is providing them but for some reason, RM did not see them or count them and acts as if they are not there.


At the risk of getting too complicated, I will continue, because I think it might help describe the problem.


Sometimes in FSPT looking at the people who have new information I select a person and the Share Data tab populates as expected. I look at the data and everything I have in RM agrees with what is in FS, all green, so look at the Sources tab and it is labeled Sources(0). I click on the Sources and, yup, nothing there on the FS side. So I wonder why RM thought there was new information?


Then, looking at the facts in the Share Data tab I see some pretty detailed facts - full dates and locations for more than just BMD. It occurs to me that there probably are sources for these facts that are just not being shown to me. I go back to the RM screens and click the FS icon and there it says Sources(8), showing me the 8 Sources which were not presented in the FSPT version of this same screen.


The commonality of these 2 scenarios is that the FSPT screens act as though there are no Sources when in fact there are. Whether it is RM getting lost or FS speaking in tongues is a detail for you to figure out. But there clearly IS some way for incorrect data to be presented and for the user to be unaware of that. Absent the discovery of a counting error or data over-write or misinterpreted status message, might I suggest a bit of a brute force way to at least detect the problem?


What if, when a person gets loaded into that FSPT screen you track the FSID and the # of sources off to the side somewhere. If you ever requery FS for sources (as it appears that you must be doing because if not you are simply zeroing the counter by mistake) and if the FSID matches but the # of sources does NOT, then you know something happened. Logging this could lead to understanding if it happens very often. At that point, flush all buffers and restart as if the person was just being selected for the first time from the list at the left and hope that clears it up. This might not be sufficient to solve the problem, so maybe it's just instrumenting the code to make diagnosis more effective.


Willing to discuss if this still seems not clear.

#93272 Better transfer of Sources from FSFT to RM

Posted by GlenB on 15 March 2019 - 01:29 PM in FamilySearch Family Tree

If you have matched your RM person to a FSFT person you can look at the data and transfer event facts from FSFT to RM, and you can look at the sources/citations and transfer them as well. For the sources, the mechanism could be much improved.


Right now you have to scroll through a possibly LONG list of sources (I have seen a 6 page list of 60 sources) to find the next one you want to transfer to RM, click it, select the RM event fact to apply it to and wait for an update and scroll down the list again to where you previously were. It seems that the update re-reads the updated list from RM and the entire "possibly updated, but probably not" list from FSFT. That is a long and repetitive process. What if ....


1 - there were 2 screens, one optimized to transfer to RM, and the other optimzed to transfer to FSFT? The rest of the points below are written from the perspective of the one optimized for transfer to RM, but they can easily be viewed for transfers in the opposite direction.


2 - the left side shows the RM event facts with the sources they currently use listed under them (example, a birth event fact and indented under it are two sources, one from a birth record and one from a census record). And the right side shows the FSFT sources in whatever order FSFT provides them to RM (see comment below).


3 - if an FSFT source is ALREADY in use for any fact in the RM person then it is greyed out. It can still be copied if you want to, but the greying out makes it SO much easier to see if there are sources that you have not already copied over. Perhaps the list could even be sorted with the "so far not used" sources at the top.


4 - and now to transfer sources over to RM ... no more of the click, select, wait and scroll process. Simply drag and drop from the FSFT source to the RM event fact. Could also then drag that same source to another event fact if that makes sense. Can drag and drop multiple different sources to multiple different event facts one by one. DO NOT refresh or re-sort the FSFT list because it is not expected to have changed. If you had previously scrolled down 3 screens to get to some lower listed FSFT source, you want the list to stay in that same place so you know where you are and you can continue working through the list.


5 - once ALL of the drag and drops you want are done there is an APPLY button that does all the copies from one place to the other and then re-requests and re-displays (with greying and sorting) the 2 sides so that you can decide if you are done or want to make more changes.


6 - for all scrolling through the list in both panels, make the screen sensitive to the mouse position so that if my mouse is over the FSFT side I can use the mouse wheel to move that list, and same on the other side.


6 - you should also be able to click on a source under an event fact in RM and then hit the delete key which greys it out and it will be deleted at the next APPLY. Hitting delete again will un-delete and un-grey it. Nothing actually happens till you hit APPLY.


#93274 Better transfer of Sources from FSFT to RM

Posted by GlenB on 15 March 2019 - 03:16 PM in FamilySearch Family Tree

Confirming this is on the enhancement request list. 



#89549 Reorganize matches on FS Person Tools - Sources

Posted by GlenB on 05 June 2018 - 11:08 PM in FamilySearch Family Tree

Right now when you click on the Sources Tab in FamilySearch Person Tools the left pane shows you the sources in RM and the right pane shows those in FS and you can copy from one to the other. That's great. The Sources shown are organized/sorted by Source Title then Event that it is applied to. One thing that makes it hard to do is know whether or not you have any sources applied to a particular one of your events. But here are 3 suggestions to make that whole task more "efficient".


Organize the lists on both sides by Event THEN by Source Title. So I would see a list on the left of all of the RM events I have for this person and indented under that a list of the Source Titles that have been applied to each Event. If there were no Sources yet applied to an Event I could see that. That's #1. #2 is even sweeter ... use drag and drop. Click on the Source in one pane and drag and drop it to the other pane and that would apply THAT Source Title to THAT Event. And #3 - make it possible to drag a Source to a "new" Event, one that does not yet exist in RM or (if this makes sense) in FS,


Some details - since RM can have multiple birth or death or marriage or ... events, the list on the left under RM needs to not just say Birth, but actually say Birth - date - place. And if you click on the Event line (instead of on one of the Sources under it) you get to edit the Event ... change the date or place and (if this makes sense) change the Event type. I have lots of Residence events imported from FS that really should be Census events and I have to go back after the fact and correct those one-by-one.

#89892 Make use of the History sidebar

Posted by GlenB on 02 July 2018 - 05:10 PM in FamilySearch Family Tree

On the left sidebar you can select to show the History. This appears to be a list of any person that you click on to select them from the Person Index, or in one of the views in the main part of the screen or through RootsMagic Explorer.


One other user interface place that should add to the History sidebar is the FamilySearch Person Tools where you are processing the list of people who have changes. Once you have processed a person, they disappear from the Person Tools sidebar and, unless you took notes, there is no way to go back and figure out who it was that you worked on a moment ago.


The reason this came up is that I figured out on person #4 that RM was no longer showing me the Sources associated with a person, but by then I had no way to go back and figure out which were persons #1, #2 and #3 who I should re-check.


I posted another topic here about the problem with Sources.

#93811 Odd citation when importing a source

Posted by GlenB on 06 May 2019 - 05:07 PM in FamilySearch Family Tree

Sometimes I see something like this:


RootsMagic Sources


□ ◘ Ane Fredericksen in household of Niels Christensen, "Denmark Census of 1860"

      Citation: Census

      Citation: Census

□ ◘ .... more sources and citations


and sometimes something like this:

RootsMagic Sources


□ ◘ Ane Fredericksen in household of Niels Christensen, "Denmark Census of 1860"

      Citation: Census


□ ◘ .... more sources and citations


But in all cases it goes away on the next refresh. These are not limited to Census type records, but happen on a variety of event types.

#93805 Odd citation when importing a source

Posted by GlenB on 06 May 2019 - 03:12 PM in FamilySearch Family Tree



Was that meant just to make sure nothing had got messed up in the database. All seemed to be OK, all the DB tools were happy.


I fairly often see "spurious" citations appear under a source in RM when I'm importing FS sources. They always go away on the next refresh/redisplay. I only reported this one because it was the first time I had seen some other RM person referenced in one of those citations.

#93809 Odd citation when importing a source

Posted by GlenB on 06 May 2019 - 04:43 PM in FamilySearch Family Tree

Agreed. I do run the DB tools fairly regularly. But, as I said, the spurious citation disappeared on the next refresh, not after reindexing. So perhaps the issue wasn't an index side-effect?


This supports my contention that the FSPT screen gets "confused" sometimes. There are several threads in this Forum where I point to behaviours that all suggest that might be what is happening. Situations where the page shows one thing and then after a refresh / redisplay shows another. Happens on the left side and on the right side. All of it seems related to counting how many lines of info to show under a particular heading. My years of programming suggest that "off by one" errors are among the most common yet hard to detect programming faults.


You know I would present you with a detailed "how to recreate" if I could. But the fact that I cannot reproduce it reliably doesn't mean it doesn't happen, and it happens often enough that it bothers me enough to write it up here.