Friday, February 4, 2011

How did the RootsMagic 4 Source Citations Look in Legacy Family Tree 7?

Continuing the Seaver Source Citation Saga for at least one more day (grin - I have nothing else to blog about, it seems)...

After seeing what the GEDCOM file created by RootsMagic 4 for the Isaac Seaver Birth Fact in RootsMagic 4 (see Peeking at RootsMagic 4 Source Citations in a GEDCOM File - Post 1), I imported the small GEDCOM file into Legacy Family Tree 7 to see how that program handled the Free-form Source citations and the RM4 Template Source citations. 

The Legacy screen showing the Free-form Source for the Birth Fact is here:


The Source citations created for this Fact are:

Footnote/Endnote Citation:
Systematic History Fund, Vital Records of Westminster, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Worcester, Mass.: F.P. Rice, 1908), Page 83.
Subsequent Citation:

Systematic History Fund, Vital Records of Westminster, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Worcester, Mass.: F.P. Rice, 1908), Page 83.
Bibliography:

Systematic History Fund, Vital Records of Westminster, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Worcester, Mass.: F.P. Rice, 1908).

The Legacy Screen for the RM4 Template Source for the Birth Fact is here:




The Source citations created for this Fact are:

Footnote/Endnote Citation:
Systematic History Fund, [i]Vital Records of Westminster, Massachusetts, to the end of year 1849[i] (Worcester, Mass.: F.P. Rice, 1908), Page 83.
Subsequent Citation:
Systematic History Fund, [i]Vital Records of Westminster, Massachusetts, to the end of year 1849[i] (Worcester, Mass.: F.P. Rice, 1908), Page 83.
Bibliography:
Systematic History Fund, [i]Vital Records of Westminster, Massachusetts, to the end of year 1849[i] (Worcester, Mass.: F.P. Rice, 1908).

As you can see, the [i] (see the Update at the bottom - the indicator is actually the braces < > around the "i") indicator that was in the GEDCOM file created by RootsMagic is in this citation.  Legacy has an option to italicize the source title and if I check that, then the Source screen looks like this:




The Source citation with the "italicize the title" option on is:

Footnote/Endnote Citation:
Systematic History Fund, [i]Vital Records of Westminster, Massachusetts, to the end of year 1849[i]> (Worcester, Mass.: F.P. Rice, 1908), Page 83.
Subsequent Citation:
Systematic History Fund, [i]Vital Records of Westminster, Massachusetts, to the end of year 1849[i] (Worcester, Mass.: F.P. Rice, 1908), Page 83.
Bibliography:
Systematic History Fund, [i]Vital Records of Westminster, Massachusetts, to the end of year 1849[i] (Worcester, Mass.: F.P. Rice, 1908)..


Oops.  It italicized the entire Source - Author, Title and Publication information, not just the Title.  And it didn't recognize the [i] indicator. 

As shown above, the Legacy Family Tree 7 import of the GEDCOM created by RootsMagic 4 seems to lose all formatting of the citation.  There is no difference between the Footnote/Endnote citation and the Subsequent Citation.  The Bibliography citation drops the Source Detail, as it should.

At least the process of doing a RootsMagic 4 GEDCOM export and then importing it into Legacy Family Tree 7 doesn't mangle the resulting source citation.  That is encouraging!  That wasn't the case with Family Tree Maker 2011. 

Here's the GEDCOM file code for the two Birth sources (the second one has the italicize option on) created by Legacy Family Tree 7 from the small Isaac Seaver file noted above:


0 @S8@ SOUR
1 ABBR Systematic History Fund, Vital Records of Westminster, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849
1 TITL Systematic History Fund, Vital Records of Westminster, Mass
2 CONC achusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Worcester, Mass.: F
2 CONC .P. Rice, 1908)
1 REPO @R5@

  
1 _PAREN Y
0 @S10@ SOUR
1 ABBR Westminster VRs
1 TITL Systematic History Fund, <i>Vital Records of Westminster, M
2 CONC assachusetts, to the end of year 1849</i> (Worcester, Mass.
2 CONC : F.P. Rice, 1908).
1 _ITALIC Y
1 _PAREN Y

You can easily see that all of the Source information from this GEDCOM output came through using only the TITLe tag for the source.  The Italicize option in the second citation is denoted in the GEDCOM code by the 1 _PAREN Y and 1 _ITALIC Y tags in the code. 

My guess is that all of the special GEDCOM coding created by RootsMagic 4 was lost in the import of the file into Legacy Family Tree.  That was the case also in the import of the FTM2011 GEDCOM into Legacy Family Tree 7, and the import of the Legacy Family Tree 7 GEDCOM into RootsMagic 4.


The conclusion that I seem to be driving toward is this:

Using the Evidence! Explained source templates in all of the software programs I've worked with (FTM 16, FTM 2011, Legacy Family Tree 7, RootsMagic 4) results in source citations that work fine in the program they are created in, but any special formatting is lost when they go through a GEDCOM export/import process. 

Therefore, I should use the Source Templates as guidelines to create Free-form source citations so they, at least, don't get mangled badly when I export them to another software program or to an online family tree.


Obviously, there are other software programs that may be able to read the special Source citation coding created by FTM 2011, LFT7 and RM4 - I've heard that The Master Genealogist can read coding from several other programs, but I'm not using TMG yet.

Now - there is a project called the
Build a BetterGEDCOM with a group of knowledgeable people (developers, programmers, users) trying to improve the GEDCOM standard.  One of the major problems identified early in this project was that Source Citations are one of the major problems, because the genealogy software developers have created their own GEDCOM tags when exporting their EE quality citations.  The EE quality citations transfer when the import is to the same program, but they don't work well when exporting to another program.

 I have some thoughts on how the Build a BetterGEDCOM folks could craft a solution that would work across all software programs, but the software program developers, and the online family tree developers, would have to sign on to using a revised standard.  I want to share my thoughts with the BGB folks first, however, and the programmers there may have better ideas on how to do it.


UPDATED:  I continue to have formatting problems in Blogger when I copy and paste the source citations out of the software programs.  Please bear with me as I fix them (if possible).  I figured it out - I replaced the italicize indicator that is in braces (< > - next to M and ? on keyboard) with the [ ] brackets in the citations.

4 comments:

Daniel Dillman said...

Randy, this is a great series of posts! It may be highly technical and over the heads of many, but it's a very important thing to investigate and report on as it affects the ways we all share data. You've got the tenacity to do this. The BetterGEDCOM folks are watching your posts, so hopefully there will be some improvement down the road in the form of a new standard.

lkessler said...

Randy:

The less than and greater than signs are special HTML delimiters.

You should try replacing the less than sign with the four characters: &LT; (ampersand-L-T-semicolon), and the greater than sign with the four characters: &GT; (ampersand-G-T-semicolon).

Louis

Debbie Blanton McCoy said...

Randy, thank you for your work on this. I have been frustrated by the same problem when trying to export my information from Legacy into FTM and RootsMagic. I would definitely consider switching to a different program if that program would allow the source template information to transfer correctly when using a GEDCOM. I hope more people will speak up to let the companies know that they would like to see this fixed.

Connie said...

"I hope more people will speak up to let the companies know that they would like to see this fixed."

I'm not sure the software companies can fix the problem, at least not very easily. As I understand it, the issue is with GEDCOM, which is quite outdated and not designed to handle the EE style source citations. It is not a problem with Legacy or any of the other programs, per se.

While I have not tried it recently, my experience is that citations developed in RootsMagic become more mangled when transferring to Legacy than do Legacy citations when they are transferred to RootsMagic.

I would love to be able to use both programs, but have decided I will stick with Legacy at least for now because of this issue. I have never lost source data transferring to RootsMagic, but the information is not in the appropriate sequence.