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(fwd) Re: Chronology software/database?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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