* [Wish List 642] Tabulating Templated Source data fields

For Wish List Requests that have either (a) been progressed to the Wish List; or (b) been classified as duplicates, or as redundant because the requirement is already satisfied within FH and/or plugins; or (c) closed because it wasn't possible to arrive at a clear specification of the request within 15 months of it being raised.
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Mark1834
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[Wish List 642] Tabulating Templated Source data fields

Post by Mark1834 »

Issue:

When using Generic Sources, splitters can use the Sources tab of the Records Window to compare the detailed fields of related sources, and either the List all Citations for a Selected Source plugin or View > Citations to Source Record... menu option for tabulating lumped citations.

FH7 introduced Templated Sources, but with no corresponding options to display tabulated data, and no easy “out of the box” method for typical users to create them. Tabulating data from split Templated Sources requires a dedicated Query for each Source Template and having to create fairly complex Data References manually. This is described in the FH help as an advanced topic only of interest to technically-minded users. Tabulating data from lumped citations to Templated Sources is impossible without writing a new plugin, as the old List all Citations for a Selected Source plugin has not been updated for a long time and does not support Templated Source data fields.

Proposal:

FH provides a simple “point and click” option for displaying detailed data fields for either
  1. All sources linked to a selected template.
  2. All citations to a selected source.
A suggested method is via an upgraded View > Citations to Selected Source menu option, with a new option to View > Sources from Selected Template.

The tabulated data should contain existing generic source fields, plus each data field in a separate column, titled with the field name, and fully sortable either alphabetically or chronologically, as appropriate (similar to the Records Window).

I have a plugin for my own use that does much of this, and the screenshots show examples of the output to illustrate the request. I have hidden some unused columns simply to reduce the image width.

Split Source - Census.PNG
Split Source - Census.PNG (34.71 KiB) Viewed 602 times
Lumped Source - GRO Birth Index.PNG
Lumped Source - GRO Birth Index.PNG (33.88 KiB) Viewed 602 times

Unusually, I do not intend developing the plugin for general release. There are limitations to what a plugin can do, and I believe strongly that this should be built into the core app and available to all without relying on users to plug the gaps. Precedent suggests this is significantly less likely to happen if a part-solution plugin is available.
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Re: Tabulating Templated Source data fields

Post by NickWalker »

I'd support this proposal. It sounds very useful.
Nick Walker
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https://fhug.org.uk/kb/kb-article/ancestral-sources/
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Re: Tabulating Templated Source data fields

Post by tatewise »

My 'Where Used Record Links' plugin goes some way to illustrate what would be required.

Is this New Wish List Request covered by Wish List Ref 635 Better ways to find where records are used as long as the Result Set details satisfied this particular usage case for Source Template records and Source records.
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Re: Tabulating Templated Source data fields

Post by Vyger »

I dipped into Source Templates in my previous software, something I need to revisit and restructure in the future.

Templates are a great aid towards prompting specific structured data entry, the downside being the plethora of possible user created templates.

In principle I'm leaning towards the Simple Citations model or a slight variation of it. Eventually tabulating and sorting such templated data may be beneficial to my research so I support any credible ideas.

The historical problem I have seen is users always want to tweak or create new mutations of templates however fit for purpose they are.
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Re: Tabulating Templated Source data fields

Post by Mark1834 »

We get around those issues here though as the displayed fields are not hard-coded. They are the fields in the user’s template, irrespective of whether it is an FH standard one, imported from other software, or created from first principles. So users are free to tinker as much as they like!

Picking up Mike’s points, I think this is a different application. Both the existing Wish List item and the plugin are about detailed record links. The plugin in particular seems to be aimed squarely at more advanced users. The emphasis here is more on the data themselves, and builds on the existing CP approach (which I think is a good one) of providing a simpler output directly from the core application. That makes it readily accessible to all FH users, not the minority who download and use plugins.
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Re: Tabulating Templated Source data fields

Post by ColeValleyGirl »

tatewise wrote: 14 Mar 2024 10:43 My 'Where Used Record Links' plugin goes some way to illustrate what would be required.

Is this New Wish List Request covered by Wish List Ref 635 Better ways to find where records are used as long as the Result Set details satisfied this particular usage case for Source Template records and Source records.
You've lost me, Mike. What have record links got to do with Source Template Fields?
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Re: Tabulating Templated Source data fields

Post by tatewise »

Perhaps I am misunderstanding what is being requested here.

This proposal is requesting a display of detailed data fields for either
  1. All sources linked to a selected template.
  2. All citations to a selected source.
Isn't that just another way of requesting a Result Set of details for where the selected record is used?
The details in the Result Set would include all the Generic or Template fields used.
That is what the OP screenshots suggest.

That is similar to what my 'Where Used Record Links' plugin produces in its Result Set except that it only refers to templated Metafield 1 through 5 instead of using the field names.
Wish List Ref 635 Better ways to find where records are used replaces my plugin and other FH options with a consolidated built-in feature that produces a comprehensive Result Set of all the relevant details, which in the case of Source Template and Source records would include the fields requested in this later request.
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Re: Tabulating Templated Source data fields

Post by Mark1834 »

Look carefully at the first attachment. Each column is an item of data from a particular source. There are no “where used” record links anywhere. It is equivalent to the Sources tab of the Records Window, but customised on the fly according to the Source Template selected.

The second attachment is just an extension of the current View > Citations to Selected Source menu option, with added support for Templated Source data fields (and I’m deliberately avoiding using technobabble terms like metafields - yes, they’re described in the advanced part of the FH help, but it’s not everyday user language). “Where used” links are included, but only to put the data into context.

Personally, I find the links Wish List item way too complex and detailed. I see no conflict in having a completely separate and much simpler request in parallel. They have different emphasis, different language, and I suspect a different target audience.

I suggest we wait for comments either for or against the proposal from real users of Templated Sources. Without that, there’s a danger that this thread will become just another slightly tedious debate between the usual suspects about which is the preferred approach.
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Re: Tabulating Templated Source data fields

Post by tatewise »

Sorry Mark, but you are still missing my point.

How would you select the Source records in your first attachment?
I suggest that if Wish List Ref 635 were implemented, you would select the Source Template record of interest and invoke its 'Where Used' option to obtain a Result Set listing all the Source records linked to that Source Template with all the fields in the columns.

Your own proposal says "All sources linked to a selected template." i.e. where that Source Template is used, which are record links despite your assertion that links are not involved.

How would you select the Citations in your second attachment?
I suggest that if Wish List Ref 635 were implemented, you would select the Source record of interest and invoke its 'Where Used' option to obtain a Result Set listing all the Citations linked to that Source record with all the fields in the columns.

I suspect your plugin works in much the same way as above, except that it prompts for the record for which you want all the 'where used' details.
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Re: Tabulating Templated Source data fields

Post by Mark1834 »

OK, I see how you are making the connection - this could be an example of how any new "where used" link could be applied, if CP choose to go ahead with that fairly significant change, and add the additional processing needed to display Templated Source data fields correctly (which is not specifically mentioned in the request).

This additional processing is also missing from the Where Used Record Links plugin. Not only does it omit field names, but it does not deal with missing data correctly, resulting in column misalignment (so it's correct from a strict Data Reference perspective, but not useful to the user).

This is therefore a separate Wish List item. Better ways to find where records are used has its emphasis on a consistent method to identify the links, and this one requests specific processing to manage and display Templated Sources data fields correctly. We should not change the earlier request now voting has started, but this one should probably include a comment that it could be implemented in parallel with the other request.

As ever, CP will make their own judgements to implement either both, either one of them, or neither, based on what they see as the most significant benefit for all FH users, not just the relatively small number who are active here.
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Re: Tabulating Templated Source data fields

Post by tatewise »

The Where Used Record Links plugin must cope with multiple templated sources so uses Field numbers.

An enhancement could be to use template field Names when only a single template is involved.
Can you please supply an example of the missing data issue.
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Re: Tabulating Templated Source data fields

Post by Mark1834 »

Can we keep this thread on topic please - it’s a discussion of a new Wish List item to be available to all FH users, not how to modify an existing plugin for the small minority of users who would download and install what’s clearly a very technical plugin designed for advanced users.

I have revised the proposal slightly in light of the clarification of how it may relate to the existing links request. Comments invited please - and would be welcome from other users as well to get us out of this rabbit hole we’ve fallen into!

Issue:

When using Generic Sources, splitters can use the Sources tab of the Records Window to compare the detailed fields of related sources, and either the List all Citations for a Selected Source plugin or View > Citations to Source Record... menu option for tabulating lumped citations.

FH7 introduced Templated Sources, but with no corresponding options to display tabulated data, and no easy “out of the box” method for typical users to create them. Tabulating data from split Templated Sources requires a dedicated Query for each Source Template and having to create fairly complex Data References manually. This is described in the FH help as an advanced topic only of interest to technically-minded users. Tabulating data from lumped citations to Templated Sources is impossible without writing a new plugin, as neither of the methods referred to above support tabulated data from Templated Sources.

Proposal:

FH provides a simple “point and click” option for displaying detailed data fields for either
  1. All sources linked to a selected template.
  2. All citations to a selected source.
A suggested method is via an upgraded View > Citations to Selected Source menu option, with a new option to View > Sources from Selected Template.

The tabulated data should contain existing generic source fields, plus each data field in a separate column, entitled with the field name, and fully sortable either alphabetically or chronologically, as appropriate (similar to the Records Window).

Note:

This request is directed at generating tabulated data from Templated Sources. It is related to, but separate from, Wish List Ref 635, Better ways to find where records are used, as the support for Templated Source data fields requested here could be integrated into any changes made to locating and detailing record links if the two requests were implemented concurrently.
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Re: Tabulating Templated Source data fields

Post by ColeValleyGirl »

I support this proposal.
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Re: Tabulating Templated Source data fields

Post by laz_gen »

Mark

You have my support too.

I use source templates and think this would be a great asset.
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Re: [Wish List 642] Tabulating Templated Source data fields

Post by Vyger »

Wish List item 642 has been created. Please vote for it to let Calico Pie know if you wish to see this feature introduced.

Remember to filter and browse existing Wish List items and add your support where you feel it is warranted.
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