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Re: [gensoft] Re: Historical research database

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  • Steve Hayes
    ... I still have no idea what you mean by a file card . None of my books on MS Access mention such a thing, and none of the experts know what it means either.
    Message 1 of 32 , Dec 1, 2009
      On 1 Dec 2009 at 16:02, ray_murphy aus wrote:

      > --- 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:
      > [Snip]
      > 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
      > BAIN
      > 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
      > MESS
      > 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
      > >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.

      I still have no idea what you mean by a "file card". None of my books on MS
      Access mention such a thing, and none of the experts know what it means

      Byt if you check the diagram I posted at


      you can see the main tables and the linking tables

      > 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.

      The person-event link table should show the role of the person at the event,
      which could be in a lookup table, which the user could edit and add to.

      > 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.

      He would have a record in the "eople" table, and a link to the event. And the
      link could indicate his role at the event as "Host", "Guest", "Master of
      Ceremonies", "Speaker" or whatever.

      > 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)

      But the aim is to be able to print all the events linked to a particular
      subject (or group of subjects), or all the subjects linked to an event, or
      series of events.

      > (3) Type in the date (or have an error-free date selection system)

      Dates are one of the chief difficulties in using MS Access on its own, as it
      can't handle partial dates in date fields.

      The simplest workaround I can think of is to records dates as yyyy-mm-dd in
      text fields, which will sort them correctly, and partial dates can be 2009-00-
      00 or something similar.

      > (4) Paste-in or type the text for the Event.
      > 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.

      Again, I'm not sure what you mean by "file card".

      > 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
      > omitted.
      > 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.

      In a program like MS Access (or other relational database program) it is done
      by giving each event record a unique key field, and having a link record
      that links the event record to the person record through the key fields.
      It doesn't have to look for references in the text field at all. To link
      > >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.

      Again, I'm stilol not sure what you mean by a file card, unless you mean a
      record in a table.

      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 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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