*I Quit FH for TMG

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I Quit FH for TMG

Postby ricklach » 14 Apr 2019 16:36

This is the second time that I have installed and tried to make sense of FH. As I long time user of TMG I just found things so much easier to use, enter, manipulate, report, etc., etc., etc in TMG - perhaps because TMG is a true relational database not ham-stringed by the GEDCOM model. There are some things in FH that I wish that TMG had like the media module but I am forced to quit the FH app because of a number of shortfalls that I perceive as necessary to my research - sources and citations being one of the most egregious. In TMG, I like the ability to repeat whatever I wrote in any field (up to 15 different items) at the press of a key, the ease of entering sources and citations, and a hundred other things that FH just cant do at this stage. At 73, I want to spend my time researching and writing, not figuring out the vagaries and shortfalls of new contenders. There is no comparison between the two programs period! When it comes to meeting my research and writing requirements TMG is still the champion. So it is with some regret that I am abandoning FH and staying with the tried and tested TMG until and unless something closely approximating the power and flexibility of TMG comes along.

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby Gowermick » 14 Apr 2019 17:54

Being of a similar age, I moved from Family Tree Maker to FH a few years ago, but unlike you, found the openness of FH to be a bit of fresh air. I found I was too hamstrung by the ‘hidden’ data structure and inflexibility of FTM.
Yes, FH has a steep learning curve ( especially for those of us coming from other software), but the perseverance pays off, and with the flexibility of Queries and Plugins, I don’t believe it can be bettered.

Sad you couldn’t come to grips with it, but it is what it is. Good Luck :D
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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby dewilkinson » 15 Apr 2019 15:38

I too am of a higher age and came to FH from TMG. Whilst there are a few things that were better in TMG, such as a structured places and relational citations, I think FH offers much more and I have no intention of going back. I agree with everything that Gowermick says and endorse that perseverance is required. Also you need to free your mind in order to get round a slightly different way of working with FH. At the end of the day it is a personal choice.
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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby E Wilcock » 15 Apr 2019 17:50

I did that once and couldnt.

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 15 Apr 2019 18:44

It can be hard to shift one's way of thinking from one programme to another... It's is never simple, and can require a whole new mindset (age is *not* a factor). And if it's too hard, and the new features aren't compelling, then it's best to stay with what suits you best.

I started with FH back at version 2 (at the recommendation of a friend) but have flirted with alternatives. I've returned to FH because the shortcomings I perceive have been addressed by Calico Pie or by plugins (e.g. creating sources from templates).

If you know what's important to you, and have asked here how to do it and the solutions don't match what you need, then FH isn't what you should be using.

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby AdrianBruce » 15 Apr 2019 22:38

Just as a matter of interest, to see one measure of the TMG <-> FH differences - can anyone comment on the TMG data-model in the area around Respositories, Sources, Citations and Facts?

GEDCOM and therefore FH use (stupid to try to do it in words, I know)

1. A Repository can contain many Sources.
2. A Source can be referred to in many Citations
3. A Fact can be justified by many Citations.
(Data Model Jedi will realise that the original for #2 and #3 is a many-to-many relationship btw Sources and Facts)

Conversely, as far as I can remember FTM has an extra entity, viz:
1. A Repository can contain many Master-Sources.
2. A Master-Source can describe many Sources.
2. A Source can be referred to in many Citations
3. A Fact can be justified by many Citations.

So it sticks this infamous Master-Source btw Repository and Source. Now, Master-Source is incredibly difficult to define because it simply doesn't exist in the real world - at first glance. The actual use is to provide a basic template for the ordinary Sources - thus one might define a Master-Source for the Los Angeles County 1900 Censuses - it would contain all bits that are common across all LA Co. 1900 Census Sources (i.e. household schedules) and each Source (household-schedule) would take much of its data from the LA Co. 1900 Census Master-Source.

Of course, the Master-Source seems very like what Method 2 Lumpers would create as a source-record in FH. And there is a real world entity to match Master-Source - it's a Collection (which wasn't my insight but someone else's).

Rootsmagic does similar except (so far as I recall) instead of Master-Source / Source, it has Source / Detailed-Source (respectively)

What this extra entity perhaps does is (a) lead one to Method 2 Lumping and (b) allow data for the citation to be recorded either with the Master-Source or with the Source, giving extra flexibility - perhaps.

I just wondered what TMG did if anyone (a) understands my data modelling words and (b) understands TMG? Just curiosity on my part...
Adrian

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby DonF » 16 Apr 2019 00:49

Adrian,
the TMG structure is similar to FH's, in that (to slightly modify your words):
1. A Repository can be referenced by many Sources.
2. A Source can be referred to by many Citations
3. A Tag can be supported by many Citations.
(Note TMG uses the GEDCOM term Tag, rather than FH's non-GEDCOM term 'Fact', which I've always thought of as ironic, considering FH's GEDCOM alignment. Plus, of course, a 'Fact' may not be a Fact - a better term would be 'assertion').

Of course, the above is simplistic and the devil is in the detail of what can be recorded for each repository/source/citation, which is where TMG has far greater capabilities than any other package I've analysed.

I think the 'Master-Source' concept is there in other products to try and address the 'source of a source' dilemma. Your source might be a letter from Auntie Sue, but where did she get her info from? Does she have a family bible page she won't give you a copy of? What then is the real source?

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby DonF » 16 Apr 2019 00:57

.... and I should also have added that a TMG Source can refer to MULTIPLE Repositories - that is a book can be found in multiple libraries.
This obvious real-world situation is not allowed by some packages - Legacy, for example, only allows one Repository per Source, implying every book in the world only has 1 copy stored in 1 library......

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby tatewise » 16 Apr 2019 09:24

Don, to correct a misunderstanding, Tag is a less suitable name than Fact.
The GEDCOM 5.5 specification defines a Tag in several places, but mainly Pages 9 & 16.
The tag in the GEDCOM line, taken in its hierarchial context, identifies the information contained in the
line, in the same sense that a field-name identifies a field in a database record.
The tag represents the meaning of the line_value within the context of the enclosing lines, and
contributes to the meaning of enclosed subordinate lines.
Thus a Tag identifies all GEDCOM structures (e.g. INDI, FAM, DATE, PLAC, ADDR, SOUR, NOTE, OBJE, etc) NOT just facts.
Every GEDCOM line has a level number and a Tag optionally followed by a value.
In many Help pages FH says Fact (Event/Attribute) to clarify Fact in terms of the GEDCOM entities Event and Attribute as specified around Pages 30-31. Also, in FH the Fact Type definitions specify much more that the Tag as they include Label, Abbreviation, Sentence Template, Witness Roles, and more...

Concepts such as a Source having many Repositories may be a better real world model, but makes it virtually impossible to migrate that data to another genealogy product.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby AdrianBruce » 16 Apr 2019 10:41

DonF wrote:.... and I should also have added that a TMG Source can refer to MULTIPLE Repositories - that is a book can be found in multiple libraries.
This obvious real-world situation is not allowed by some packages - Legacy, for example, only allows one Repository per Source, implying every book in the world only has 1 copy stored in 1 library......

Though this appears to be a subtle difference between the apparent TMG world-view and the GEDCOM driven view. The vast majority of genealogy software, so far as I know, work on the basis that a Source is the single (usually but not always) physical object that you consulted to get the information in question. Thus if I read the book "My Life in Kenya" using the British Library's copy, I (usually) create a Source-record for the book "My Life in Kenya" with a Repository of "the British Library". The fact that Manchester Central Library, Google Books, Bristol Library and WHS Smiths have copies is, to me, quite irrelevant since I didn't consult their copy, so they are not Sources for me, so why would I want to record the book being there? To me, wanting to record the book's availability elsewhere isn't about my genealogy - that's creating a cataloguing system - not the same thing.

Now, as usual with most things, there are bits that call my view into question. For instance, if a record office closes and its stock is transferred to another, wouldn't it be useful to record both repositories? My personal answer to that is - a note against the repository is sufficient. Apart from anything else, how do I know that the source I consulted really did move to the quoted new repository? Publicity material is notorious for not giving sufficient detail.
Adrian

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby AdrianBruce » 16 Apr 2019 10:49

Thanks for your description of TMG, Don.

DonF wrote:... I think the 'Master-Source' concept is there in other products to try and address the 'source of a source' dilemma. ...

Yeah - when I was working with the BetterGEDCOM initiative, I tried to get a definition of Master-Source and failed dismally. I even found a definition in Elizabeth Shown Mills that didn't work, being pretty woolly, which is not like ESM at all. My mapping of it to "collection" is my subsequent best attempt. I didn't think that Source-of-a-Source was what was implied although I'm sure that you could concoct displays of Master Source data that would serve that purpose.
Adrian

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby E Wilcock » 16 Apr 2019 12:02

This may need a new thread. However -

ColeValleyGirl wrote: I've returned to FH because the shortcomings I perceive have been addressed by Calico Pie or by plugins (e.g. creating sources from templates).

I agree with the view in this post Cole Valley girl.

But actually no. I have still not managed to find any info on creating sources from templates. I struggle to understand templates at all. And a search of the Plug in Store today also gives nothing.

Or are you referring only to sources entered using AS which I use very little?

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 16 Apr 2019 12:27

The Add Source from template plugin is at https://www.family-historian.co.uk/plug ... try?id=752

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby E Wilcock » 16 Apr 2019 12:37

Thank you. The odd thing is that I already had it, but it turns out that the top plugins on the pane list were invisible when the pane opened. I see now that one can lengthen the pane.
But I now see that I dont have any source Templates? Are there a standard set or does each user have to create them for themselves?

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby tatewise » 16 Apr 2019 12:40

I think the Plugins that Helen is referring to are:
Add a General Record Office Source and optionally Event
and
Add Source From Template see thread Plugin: Add Source From Template (14258)
The Plugin lets you create the templates.

But don't expect too much, as all they do is provide preconfigured text in various standard Source record fields in much the same way as AS does with its custom Templates.

BTW: The Plugins pane also has a vertical scroll bar.
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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 16 Apr 2019 12:52

There are no standard templates; you have to define them for yourself. However, Mike is being a little pessimistic when he says don't expect too much. For example, this is my template for a GRO birth certificate:

Screenshot 2019-04-16 13.48.42.png
Screenshot 2019-04-16 13.48.42.png (15.04 KiB) Viewed 274 times

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby tatewise » 16 Apr 2019 13:00

I did NOT want to give the impression that the Templates allowed you to redesign the Source record structure and add font styles such as bold, italics, underline, etc, which is what other products allow.
I believe the Template features are illustrated in just the top three boxes of your screenshot.
The layout out of all the boxes is done by Menu > Customize Data Entry and not the Plugin Templates.
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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 16 Apr 2019 13:23

The layout out of all the boxes is done by Menu > Customize Data Entry and not the Plugin Templates.


Sorry, Mike -- I don't understand -- the screenshot was from the tab to define templates within the plugin. What has "Menu > Customize Data Entry" to do with it?

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby tatewise » 16 Apr 2019 13:50

Sorry, my mistake.
So perhaps the comment should be that the Source record won't necessarily look exactly like that screenshot.
BTW: Your label says Pub Info: whereas mine says Publication Information: ?
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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 16 Apr 2019 14:04

I've customised the plugin somewhat for my own use, Mike.

P.S. I would hope the Source record wouldn't look the same -- all the token fields should have been replaced with real data in the source record :D

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby tatewise » 16 Apr 2019 14:14

I meant the layout of the boxes.
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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 16 Apr 2019 14:18

I know what you meant Mike -- I was joking.

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby DonF » 17 Apr 2019 00:47

Just to go back up this thread, if I may, to Adrian's question of why would anyone want to record a book being in more than one repository, when the important thing is that he found it in a particular library, let me give an example.
Let's say my source is a book in my own library (which is of little interest to anyone else, as they can't walk into my house and read it). But I also record that it is in my local town library, the nearest big city library and a national library. Now others know they can consult it at any of these places. More importantly I also now know that when I'm on the road doing further research, I can find this book at any one of these places for further reference, rather than having to return home to check my copy.

I'm not saying I use such a facility a great deal, but it is useful. And why should any piece of software apply arbitrary unreal restraints on what and how you record your research?

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby LornaCraig » 17 Apr 2019 09:07

I don't record a repository for a book unless it's a particularly rare book. But I do record the Publication Information, which should enable someone in the future to search to find where copies might be found.

Obviously if it's a very rare book I would record where I found it, and if I happened to know where there were some other copies I might record that information in a note, but I wouldn't feel constrained by not being able to create multiple repositories. The chances are there would be other repositories which I don't know about anyway, so it wouldn't be an exhaustive list.
Lorna

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Re: I Quit FH for TMG

Postby tatewise » 17 Apr 2019 09:18

Don asks:
Why should any piece of software apply arbitrary unreal restraints on what and how you record your research?
Now there's a question!
The answer is that all software applies constraints imposed by technical limitations, programming costs, oversights, etc.
Software developers will only implement what the market place will purchase to cover their costs.
Most genealogy software constrains users to ANSI characters &/or the English language, both very unreal.
I could give many other arbitrary unreal restraints that users have to cope with.
Unreal restraints imposed by technical standards may have compensating benefits, such as adherence to GEDCOM standards allows your research to migrate to another product, when say your chosen product is no longer available.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry


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