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_UID in GEDCOMs


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#1 Guest_Guest_Les_*_*

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 07:55 PM

I'm using Rootsmagic V. 2.03. When I export the database to a gedcom, the gedcom contains many (hundreds?) _UID entries such as:

_UID 27ACE363CA3ED711900FF9FD6B6752460891
_UID 2AACE363CA3ED711900FF9FD6B6752460BC1
_UID 7CACE363CA3ED711900FF9FD6B6752465DE1

The series of numbers and letters are different for each other.

I can see them with a GEDCOM Viewer I have. When I import the gedcom into TMG, the UID items show up as event tags. However, when I import the gedcom back into Rootsmagic, I don't see any evidence of the _UID items.

Can anyone tell me what these _UID items are, why Rootsmagic inserts them into a gedcom, and how I can get rid of them? Thanks for your help.




#2 Alfred

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 08:17 PM

It is the Unique Identification Number. Each person in a RootsMagic or FOW 10 Database has one.
PAF started using them first, I think.

That way your database and anyone who is transferred via GEDCOM from it to another RootsMagic database will have that number and you can merge using the SHARE MERGE, which only looks at that number.

If another program doesn't use them yet, I think they probably will start to in the future.

Alfred

#3 aplucinik

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 08:25 PM

That _UID number is a unique identifying number assigned to each individual in the database. It's used by RM to keep track of who is who, etc. Also used by RM for doing merges in the database. When you add a person to your database, RootsMagic assigns a unique ID to the person, which will never be assigned to any other person in any other RootsMagic database (yours or someone elses).

I'm not familiar with TMG so I can't tell you why it imports _UID tagged data as an event. I don't know if this is a shortcoming of TMG or even whether the _UID tag is supposed to be universally recognized by other genealogy programs. Perhaps someone else in this forum can enlighten us.

#4 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 12:03 AM

QUOTE(aplucinik @ Mar 13 2006, 07:25 PM) View Post

I don't know if this is a shortcoming of TMG or even whether the _UID tag is supposed to be universally recognized by other genealogy programs. Perhaps someone else in this forum can enlighten us.


the _UID tag is "supported" by the gedcom 5.5 standard, but not "required", if that makes sense. Some programs use it, many do not.

In my opinion, it is smart and a good thing if your program (RootsMagic in this case) genertates, imports and/or exports these numbers. It means the computer can keep unique track of each record, and that means for less fuss and human intervention for future merges, which is almost always a good thing. It will also be useful if you ever send your data out to various services online. If your data showsup elsewhere and later comes back to you, you will be able to identify it (well, your program will for you!).

One thing about PAF is although it appears to be the first to offer these _UID tags, it doesn't accept _UID numbers generated by other programs. In fact, it will generate new ones and overwrite the old if you import a "foreign" _UID, which defeats the purpose. But RootsMagic is not so picky, and will accept and use _UID's from other programs such as PAF.

#5 zhangrau

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 08:28 PM

QUOTE(Guest @ May 12 2006, 11:03 PM) View Post

the _UID tag is "supported" by the gedcom 5.5 standard, but not "required", if that makes sense. Some programs use it, many do not.


Alfred and Bruce,
This is still confusing to me. If RM automatically creates a UID for each individual, then why do I need to creat a separate REFN? Why can't I just use the UID for reference purposes? I see many databases in the Ancestry World Tree Project that show the UID, so it's obvious that some program is generating and including those UID's in the GEDCOMs submitted to Ancestry.
I'm using RM 3.2.2 - the current version. I've searched the Help file, but that didn't enlighten me.
Any more advice and info available for us?
Thanks,
Gary

#6 Alfred

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 11:34 PM

Because the number is 36 characters long, I don't suppose that many people would care to use it as a reference number.

But if anyone does, and they have Word, or another text editor with a good search and replace, they can edit a GEDCOM file and add the UID to their REFN field.


Export a GEDCOM of all people iand all facts and data.
Open teh GEDCOM file with Word, (I have 2000:)
Search for:
"1 _UID ^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^?^p"
-- (that's 36 ^? combinations followed by the paragraph character ^p)
--( there could be other ways to include the 36 characters, but this one worked for me.)
Replace with:
"^&1 REFN ^&"

-- REPLACE ALL ---

Now you should have duplicate line following the _UID, but with '1 REFN ' preceding it.
To remove the '1 -UID " from the reference number line,:
Search for:
"1 REFN 1 _UID "
and replace with:
"1 REFN "

Save the file as plain text and import it into a new, empty database.

(OR, you could have exported and worked on a minimal GEDCOM, no notes, sources, multimedia etc and reimport it into the original database and do a share merge on it.)


If I haven't goofed up the typing too much, it should work, It did for me just now, I checked! wink.gif
Alfred

#7 zhangrau

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 01:58 AM

QUOTE(Alfred @ Jul 3 2006, 10:34 PM) View Post

If I haven't goofed up the typing too much, it should work, It did for me just now, I checked! wink.gif

OK, this sounds like it should work, but it's a ONE TIME FIX. As the database continues to grow (more individuals added), the process would have to be repeated, and then there would be duplicates of the REFN fact for pre-existing records.

Why can't the UID be displayable, selectable, sortable, etc.?

#8 kbens0n

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 03:16 AM

QUOTE(zhangrau @ Jul 10 2006, 03:58 AM) View Post

Why can't the UID be displayable, selectable, sortable, etc.?

Maybe because it's a 36-digit number? That would seem "impractical" for display... in dialogs, fields, select boxes, or onscreen, not to mention in charts, reports and lists.

Can you imagine having to enter 36 digits (with no set "scheme" of understandable "easy to remember" correlation --> because each is randomly unique) in order to make use of it in the User Interface?

Now, if the sequence(s) of digits applied to family structure in some intuitive or discernable way... perhaps.
So, I guess that might be why it is not displayable, selectable, sortable, etc.?
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