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Re: Historical research database

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  • ray_murphy aus
    ... [Snip] 17-Mar-1853 Orange River Sovereignty, Bloemfontein FRED GREEN & CO RETURN TO BLOEMFONTEIN FROM HUNTING EXPEDITION People: 1. Green, Fred 2. St John,
    Message 1 of 32 , Dec 1, 2009
      --- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Hayes" <hayesstw@...> wrote:
      > On 30 Nov 2009 at 10:28, ray_murphy aus wrote:

      >>[....] It looks like we need some examples to motivate us.

      >Here is such an example -- a report from the database whose >structure (field list) I posted a few messages back:


      17-Mar-1853 Orange River Sovereignty, Bloemfontein

      People: 1. Green, Fred
      2. St John, William Jones
      3. Dawson, William
      4. de Smidt, Johannes
      Sources: 1. St John, Diary, p. 63

      22-Mar-1853 Orange River Sovereignty, Bloemfontein

      People: 1. Green, Fred
      2. St John, William Jones
      3. Bain, Andrew Hudson
      4. Orpen, Richard John Newenham
      Sources: 1. St John Diary, p. 64

      31-May-1853 Orange River Sovereignty, Bloemfontein

      Last mention of Fred Green in St John's diary. On 12 July
      St John went on a trip to Harrismith, and returned on 13
      August, when the diary ends. Fred Green may have left
      Bloemfontein by then.
      People: 1. Green, Fred
      Sources: 1. St John Diary, p. 79

      21-Jun-1857 Damaraland

      Green's Hereros attended morning service conducted by
      Hahn, and in the afternoon came with young Bonfield and
      two wagon drivers to the Dutch service.
      People: 1. Green, Fred [144]
      Sources: 1. Hahn's diary

      >Now that is a flat file database, not relational, so the names of the
      >people assocated with each event were typed separately into each >record. That is the kind of duplication that a relational database >can avoid.

      RM: That duplication could only be avoided if your MS Access database
      was expanded to work like a genealogy program and include file cards
      for all the people who are mentioned in the Event-text.
      It would also require the manual creation of relationships with the a huge array of yet-to-be imagined relationship names - unless they were all just called "Event Person" or nothing at all.

      So if Barack Obama II was at a party and you wanted him mentioned,
      he would need a file card, and your list of interesting people would look the same, but with file card numbers.

      People: 1. Green, Fred
      2. Barack Obama II [No. 936]
      3. Bain, Andrew Hudson [No.1137]
      4. Orpen, Richard John Newenham [No 1489]
      Sources: 1. St John Diary, p. 64

      >The list of events was selected by the search argument "fred w3 >green", which means any record that had "fred" within three words of >"green".

      RM: There is a risk at the moment of the wrong names being be used if
      you rely on the MS Access search-code to find people, so currently all
      of the output needs to be proof-read. If however new file cards were made as needed when Event-text was being entered, and you nominated the relationship between the subject and that person then there would be less risk of errors, but errors couldn't be eliminated entirely unless you specified manually who you wanted to be included, and that would be best done by clicking on the name in a Listbox.

      So if you want error free printouts, it seems that the only way to go,
      to record events with extra descriptive text, is to:
      (1) Click on the subject's name in a Listbox
      (2) Click on the Event name from a Listbox (or type in a unique one)
      (3) Type in the date (or have an error-free date selection system)
      (4) Paste-in or type the text for the Event.
      (5) Click "Add Person" (for those mentioned in the text) and then click on their name from a Listbox - for each one of them.
      (6) Click on "Print all Events for " --
      (7) Click on the required person's name in the Name Listbox.

      The first 3 above are already in this little program that I've just written, and the next 4 could be added.

      A relational database cannot find relationships correctly all the time
      unless the relationships are set in concrete, and the only way that could be done (besides creating file cards for every person you want mentioned) is to append the Event-text (from someone's diary etc) with that person's unique file card number in the database.

      For example, instead of the diary text reading:
      "Commodore Smith attended the gathering ..."
      It could be changed to:
      "Commodore Smith [1186] attended the gathering ..."
      then when the printout is produced, you have the [1186] automatically

      The relational database wouldn't care if Commodore Smith was
      recorded as "Commodore P.J. Smith, RAN". It only needs his number
      to know that he needs to be mentioned as a person of interest at an event.

      I suppose strictly speaking there *IS* no (personal) relationship for a relational database to find on your behalf. The program merely wants
      to know "Do we print this person or not - as a person worth mentioning every time the name pops up in Event-text?" If it sees a number in the Event-text in brackets, then it knows that the preceding name needs to be added at the end of the Event-text. The hard part for the program could be figuring out where the name actually began in the text if it wasn't identical to the file card name.

      >I could also select all records referring to Bloemfontein, whether >Fred Green was involved or not.

      RM: If Bloemfontein was given a file card and a number, and that number was seen in any of the Event-text during the 'printout-search' then it could print everything for that particular event, but you would need to manually delete all the irrelevant text before and after the mention of Bloemfontein.

    • ray_murphy aus
      ... [....] ... [....] [Update] A much better version of the VB program has been uploaded to the Files section of this group s website. It s called GENEVENTS2
      Message 32 of 32 , Dec 12, 2009
        --- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, "ray_murphy aus" <raymurph@...> wrote:
        > --- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Hayes" <hayesstw@> wrote:
        > >
        > > On 3 Dec 2009 at 19:11, ray_murphy aus wrote:
        > >
        > > > --- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Hayes" <hayesstw@> wrote:
        > >

        > RM: I've already got that test VB program working and displaying all the required events, sources and people, but as it turned out, it didn't need MS Access or its complex linkage system at all.
        > The user-interface being used would be the same under any system,
        > and irrespective of what was happening in the background with tables,
        > linkages or arrays.



        A much better version of the VB program has been uploaded to the Files section of this group's website. It's called "GENEVENTS2"

        It can be used to store literally anything that one could ever imagine because users can add their own categories for Events, Facts or Relationships between people.

        Any date system can be used, but if full automatic sorting is required for print-outs, then we need to use the YYYY,MM,DD format. If however some dates are not in the correct format (and order in a printout) then they can be simply re-positioned by Copy/Paste in the print-out panel.

        If "Connected People" are required for event descriptions, then just click on their names and they will be automatically inserted.

        If Sources of information are required for events etc, then they simply need to be entered with the event.

        The program has a concise Help section in the Menu, so most questions will be answered there.

        This latest version should make it easy for anyone to create a database with a SUITABLE 5.5 Gedcom and start seeing future potential or current weaknesses with the system.

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