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(fwd) Re: Chronology software/database?

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  • Ray Murphy
    ... It wouldn t be hard to write a Visual Basic stand-alone program to do this. I m no expert with VB but I ll help to get the ball rolling. What about a few
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 22, 2009
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      --- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, Steve Hayes <hayesstw@...> wrote:
      >
      > On Wed, 22 Jul 2009 00:27:43 -0400, in soc.history.moderated Steve Hayes
      > <hayesmstw@...> wrote:
      >
      > On Tue, 21 Jul 2009 16:14:07 -0400, phuile <phuile@...> wrote:
      >
      > >I am looking for a chronology software that allows me to input dates
      > >and notes on historical events and can store these data and display it
      > >in a timeline or similar ways. The graphical display is not as
      > >important as the fact that I can insert dates and events randomly and
      > >the software/database would store them and display them in a
      > >chronological sequence. Search function is important too. I would also
      > >need to be able to say, search for a period and see what events are
      > >around that period.
      > >Does anyone know of anything like this? I know of several "timeline"
      > >programs but they are too graphically and not as much a notes-link-to-
      > >database type of tool I need.
      >
      > I have long felt the need for such software, which I think would be useful for
      > historians, biographers, family historians, local historians and others.
      >
      > I tried to develop such a database in MS Access, and hoped that people who
      > were more into softwere development would help me refine and test it, but i
      > couldn't find anyone else who was interested.
      >
      > I've discussed it in the past in soc.genealogy.computing.
      >
      > The database has three main tables -- Events, People and Places.
      >
      > Events are entered so that they can be sorted chronologically, with a brief
      > description.
      >
      > The Places database could show what events took place in a particular place.
      >
      > The People database would show people involved in the event, and in what
      > capacity they were involved -- participant, witness, host, guest etc.
      >
      > I still feel the need for such a program, and I'm sure many others would find
      > it useful too, but I'm not a software developer, so I can just describe the
      > kind of thing I want.
      >
      > In the absence of that, however, I've found askSam to be a useful program for
      > research notes.
      >
      > http://www.asksam.com/

      It wouldn't be hard to write a Visual Basic stand-alone program to do this. I'm no expert with VB but I'll help to get the ball rolling.

      What about a few of us trying to design something on this group?
    • Steve Hayes
      ... I think that that would be an excellent idea! If you look at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gensoft/files/DevSoft/ you will find Access tables and a
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 22, 2009
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        On 22 Jul 2009 at 9:24, Ray Murphy wrote:

        > --- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, Steve Hayes <hayesstw@...> wrote:
        > > I've discussed it in the past in soc.genealogy.computing.
        > >
        > > The database has three main tables -- Events, People and Places.
        > >
        > > Events are entered so that they can be sorted chronologically, with a brief
        > > description.
        > >
        > > The Places database could show what events took place in a particular place.
        > >
        > >
        > > The People database would show people involved in the event, and in what
        > > capacity they were involved -- participant, witness, host, guest etc.
        > >
        > > I still feel the need for such a program, and I'm sure many others would
        > > find it useful too, but I'm not a software developer, so I can just describe
        > > the kind of thing I want.

        > It wouldn't be hard to write a Visual Basic stand-alone program to do this.
        > I'm no expert with VB but I'll help to get the ball rolling.
        >
        > What about a few of us trying to design something on this group?

        I think that that would be an excellent idea!

        If you look at

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gensoft/files/DevSoft/

        you will find Access tables and a description of them for such a program,
        which could be a starting point for discussion and development.


        --
        Steve Hayes
        E-mail: shayes@...
        Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/stevesig.htm
        Blog: http://methodius.blogspot.com
        Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
        Fax: 086-548-2525
      • Ray Murphy
        ... RM: I ve had a look at those two files. Yes, we could build something that is very easy to use in MS Access, but most people wouldn t be able to open it
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 22, 2009
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          --- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Hayes" <hayesstw@...> wrote:
          > On 22 Jul 2009 at 9:24, Ray Murphy wrote:
          > > --- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, Steve Hayes <hayesstw@> wrote:
          >>>I've discussed it in the past in soc.genealogy.computing.
          >>>
          >>>The database has three main tables -- Events, People and Places.
          >>>
          >>>Events are entered so that they can be sorted chronologically, >>>with a brief description.
          >>>
          >>>The Places database could show what events took place in a >>>particular place.
          >>>
          >>>
          >>>The People database would show people involved in the event, and >>>in what capacity they were involved -- participant, witness, host, >>>guest etc.
          >>>
          >>>I still feel the need for such a program, and I'm sure many others >>>would find it useful too, but I'm not a software developer, so I >>>can just describe the kind of thing I want.
          >
          >>RM: It wouldn't be hard to write a Visual Basic stand-alone program >>to do this. I'm no expert with VB but I'll help to get the ball >>rolling.
          >>
          >>What about a few of us trying to design something on this group?
          >
          >I think that that would be an excellent idea!
          >
          >If you look at
          >
          >http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gensoft/files/DevSoft/
          >
          >you will find Access tables and a description of them for such a >program, which could be a starting point for discussion and >development.

          RM: I've had a look at those two files. Yes, we could build something that is very easy to use in MS Access, but most people wouldn't be able to open it because they don't have MS Access or wouldn't be getting a free runtime version of it. In any case it might be an overkill for what the average user may need or want.

          I think the next step should be for some of us to start drawing up some imaginary scenarios so we can see what might be typically done, and how it it supposed to be combined with genealogy programs - if at all.

          We would need:
          (1) A clickable Index of people's names, with provision for a minimun of 32,000 names to start with, so that we can open a file card for that person quickly.

          (2) A clickable-List of event types so that the event is placed on the file card instantly.

          (3) A clickable-List of Person-relationships so that the person-type is placed on the file card instantly - such as mother, father, sister, pastor, priest etc.

          (4) A Date-Entry line in MM,DD,YYYY or DD,MM,YYYY or alternatively 3 small list boxes where DMY are selected.

          (5) A Place entry box or boxes, i.e. place, city, state, country

          (6) A user-defined Place-Listbox so that the user doesn't have to keep typing the same places all the time.

          (7) A Text-Entry box for biographies and detailed descriptions etc.

          (8) A human readable master CSV file - i.e. a text file with all "fields" such as name, date, place etc, separated by commas. [CSV stands for Comma Separated Values]. This would make the whole thing visible in MS Excel and MS Access and similar programs - as well as Wordpad etc.
        • Steve Hayes
          ... I thought it was possible to open such files with a program written in Visual Basic. But even if it isn t, the main purpose of the Access tobles is for
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 23, 2009
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            On 22 Jul 2009 at 13:12, Ray Murphy wrote:

            > RM: I've had a look at those two files. Yes, we could build something that is
            > very easy to use in MS Access, but most people wouldn't be able to open it
            > because they don't have MS Access or wouldn't be getting a free runtime
            > version of it. In any case it might be an overkill for what the average user
            > may need or want.

            I thought it was possible to open such files with a program written in Visual
            Basic.

            But even if it isn't, the main purpose of the Access tobles is for discussing
            the fields and relationships, and seeing which is the best way of doing
            things.

            Another possibility might be to use the Open Office Base program, which is
            free, but a stand-alone app written in Visual Basic would be better.

            > I think the next step should be for some of us to start drawing up some
            > imaginary scenarios so we can see what might be typically done, and how it it
            > supposed to be combined with genealogy programs - if at all.

            I don't think it should be combined with genealogy programs, though it would
            be useful if it could import data from genealogy programs (via GEDCOM?) to
            save retyping, and also export data in a form that could be exported to
            genealogy programs.

            But the essential feature of this program is not that it is lineage-linked
            but that it is event-based, and includes social relationships -- work
            colleagues, friends, casual acquaintances etc. and even people that the
            subject doesn't know at all -- for example, if the subject (of a biography)
            witnessed a presidential inauguration ceremony, the president could be
            included even if thee president and the subject had never spoken to each
            other.

            >
            > We would need:
            > (1) A clickable Index of people's names, with provision for a minimun of
            > 32,000 names to start with, so that we can open a file card for that person
            > quickly.
            >
            > (2) A clickable-List of event types so that the event is placed on the file
            > card instantly.

            > (3) A clickable-List of Person-relationships so that the person-type is placed
            > on the file card instantly - such as mother, father, sister, pastor, priest
            > etc.
            >
            > (4) A Date-Entry line in MM,DD,YYYY or DD,MM,YYYY or alternatively 3 small
            > list boxes where DMY are selected.

            In my sample tables I made the date field a text field, with dates to be
            entered in the form YYYY-MM-DD, so that if the month and day are not known it
            can still be sorted with a simple sort by entering something like 1372-00-00
            or 1684-05-00. I know genealogy programs have other ways of dealing with the
            problem, but those algorithms are beyond my computing skills.

            >
            > (5) A Place entry box or boxes, i.e. place, city, state, country

            > (6) A user-defined Place-Listbox so that the user doesn't have to keep typing
            > the same places all the time.

            Yes, and a Memo field for description of the place, and notes of changes of
            name, if any. It would be up to the user to decide which name to use, e.g.
            Danzig or Gdansk.

            > (7) A Text-Entry box for biographies and detailed descriptions etc.
            >
            > (8) A human readable master CSV file - i.e. a text file with all "fields"
            > such as name, date, place etc, separated by commas. [CSV stands for Comma
            > Separated Values]. This would make the whole thing visible in MS Excel and MS
            > Access and similar programs - as well as Wordpad etc.

            Yes, and for import as well as export.



            --
            Steve Hayes
            E-mail: shayes@...
            Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/stevesig.htm
            Blog: http://methodius.blogspot.com
            Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
            Fax: 086-548-2525
          • Steve Hayes
            On Thu, 23 Jul 2009 11:05:20 -0400, in soc.history.moderated Steve Hayes wrote: ... It can be done, provided one remembers to enter
            Message 5 of 6 , Jul 23, 2009
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              On Thu, 23 Jul 2009 11:05:20 -0400, in soc.history.moderated Steve Hayes
              <hayesmstw@...> wrote:

              On Wed, 22 Jul 2009 17:01:41 -0400, Marvin <physchem@...> wrote:

              >phuile wrote:
              >> I am looking for a chronology software that allows me to input dates
              >> and notes on historical events and can store these data and display it
              >> in a timeline or similar ways. The graphical display is not as
              >> important as the fact that I can insert dates and events randomly and
              >> the software/database would store them and display them in a
              >> chronological sequence. Search function is important too. I would also
              >> need to be able to say, search for a period and see what events are
              >> around that period.
              >> Does anyone know of anything like this? I know of several "timeline"
              >> programs but they are too graphically and not as much a notes-link-to-
              >> database type of tool I need.
              >> Thanks for any advice.
              >>
              >I think it could be done with a spreadsheet, and a graphics
              >program if the graphing capability of the spreadsheet
              >software isn't adequate.

              It can be done, provided one remembers to enter dates in a TEXT field (and not
              as dates), in the format yyyy-mm-dd.

              That means that if the month and day are not known, on can enter 1347-00-00,
              for example, and it will still sort correctly.

              Most spreadsheets cannot correctly handle dates in the date field for more
              than a centurry ago, and they have problems with dates like c1500.

              I have revived discussion of this in the genealogy software discussion forum
              at:

              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gensoft


              --
              Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
              Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/stevesig.htm
              Blog: http://methodius.blogspot.com
              E-mail - see web page, or parse: shayes at dunelm full stop org full stop uk

              --
              Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
              Web: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/stevesig.htm
              Blog: http://methodius.blogspot.com
              E-mail - see web page, or parse: shayes at dunelm full stop org full stop uk
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