* Even more Internet savy

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Even more Internet savy

Post by JoopvB » 15 May 2015 08:29

Modern genealogy can't do without Internet. FH6 supports this already in a neat way (web search window, drag and drop to sources etc.). I think a few small extras might make it even more "modern times". The following suggestions assume usage of the internal browser.

1. The web address is known, please add a button to copy it to the source record (and/or citation).

2. The best place to copy it to would be a "special field" like "web address" or something. This field is then known in the program to contain nothing or a web address that was valid on that date (the access date is also known). This information can then be used in a great number of ways: go to the address, use it in reports/generated websites as an active address (e.g. with a short name taken from a source/citation field) etc.

3. Another powerful use of the web address is a check by the software whether an address is already in the database (it could warn and ask if the data needs refreshing or something like that).

4. Plugins could be created to automatically parse a web page and propose entry (merge with data already) in the database.

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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by tatewise » 15 May 2015 10:43

The following notes are related to some of your points:
  1. On the Web Search Window cog menu there is Copy Web Address and Bookmark this page....
    The former allows the Web Address to be pasted anywhere.
    The latter adds it to the Internet > Search the Internet... list.
  2. The Repository linked to a Source allows up to 3 Website fields to be entered, and in HTML/Website Reports become hyperlinks, especially in conjunction with the Improve Website or CD DVD HTML Plugin that offers Abbreviated URL and HTML Anchor Tag conversion.
  3. Intelligent use of Repository records might effectively avoid duplication, and Queries or Plugins could find duplicates.
  4. Plugins could possibly parse websites, but since web designers habitually change their page/URL format, it would need regular updating. I know, because that problem afflicts my Lookup Missing Census Facts Plugin.
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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by JoopvB » 15 May 2015 15:08

Hi Mike,

1. I know the "Copy Web Address" and use it extensively. My point is that such an important feature (in the Internet age) should really be a button that immediately copies the whole web address (the complete link) to the source/citation (as it is, to the note field; but as I explained I strongly prefer a real "web tag" field (I name I borrowed from Rootsmagic :)). The web tag knows then it's a web tag, if you get my point).

2. See above. The repository is related to the general web address; I'm interested in the one for that specific record. A large number of sites support the complete web address to link to a specific record (e.g. WieWasWaar or Family Search).

3. You need to explain more. I don't see how a repository could help with individual records (see 2 above).

4. You've got a point, however... I also see a tendency to more maturity and stability, especially from the more "official" sites. I know of a Dutch software package (GensDataPro) that imports data straight from the WieWasWaar site (kind of an umbrella site for Dutch archives). Also there is a lot happening on the API front. So from FH perspective a general facility supporting plugins and/or API's to import/merge online data is not a bad idea

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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by tatewise » 15 May 2015 16:19

I was just checking all related features, but your basic request is valid, and is partly covered by Wish List Ref 86: Ability to add url links to entries where you can add commnets and vote.

Some might suggest the URL link should really be a Media link of some sort.

My problem with point 4. is my Lookup Missing Census Facts Plugin interacts with "official" Ancestry and FindMyPast sites who don't publish API and change their interface without much notice.
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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by JoopvB » 15 May 2015 17:16

Yes Mike, it is partly covered by nr 86, but only partly. I'd like it to be an intelligent web tag. Do things like check for doubles, have references in reports, generated websites etc.

Your other remark about an URL being a kind of Media link is interesting, but I don't yet see what that would help and where. What I certainly consider a beautiful extension of the Web Search window is something like a Media window (to show next to the property box so one can enter/transcribe data from a picture without using an external program). And, to that end support of PDF in this "Media window" would be even more helpful. And, to top it off, why not look at it as a "Windows explorer window" where one can find the files and media and pdf in whatever directory structure that one uses. If that's what you mean by generalizing the URL principle, then I am 100% behind you.

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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by tatewise » 15 May 2015 18:13

Wish List items often get amplified in the Comments to formulate an extended requirment.
But please be precise about what is required.

Explain exactly the required characteristics of an 'intelligent web tag'.

Hyperlinks from URL already appear in generated Website/HTML Reports, PDF Reports, and partly in RTF Reports.

The point about Media is there already is a Linked File tag, which could be your 'intelligent web tag' when it holds a URL, and the Media Window would display the webpage similar to the Web Search Window.

You can already display any multiple windows side by side using the Window > Tile/Arrange options. So you can have a Property Box Window and a Media Window side by side.

I don't see the advantage of opening PDF (or other media), or Windows Explorer, in an internal FH window as opposed to an external window. Although the Media Window does I think have a Windows Explorer link.

If for example, the Media was a 99 page PDF document, would you expect all the 'usual' navigation menubar/toolbar features similar to Adobe/Foxit/Nitro PDF Reader? That is where the problems start, as users would want the FH PDF Reader to be like their preferred PDF reader. Compare that with the FH Web Search Window using IE, and users complain it is not their preferred browser. It is too much to expect FH to support every browser and media tool that exists.
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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by JoopvB » 15 May 2015 19:10

Intelligent web tag:
By this I mean that a field, if not empty, is expected to hold an URL and has properties that usually belong to an URL. Also, the field should have meaning from a genealogy point of view. So an URL for references to sources, addresses, places, media etc. An URL with (in the end) as much semantic meaning as possible.

Linked file tag in Media:
Yes, I concur with this approach since it's better to extend/use what's already there then create extra bells and whistles. But this would (in my opinion) mean some kind of "upgrade" of the link tag and need a repositioning of the field. On the other hand it would nicely fit into a generalization of Internet and Windows explorer.

Windows/tile arrangement:
With some experimentation I got the Media window arranged next to the property box. But what I really meant is not the linked media window but a window like the Web search window, but then not displaying a web site but a jpg/png file to easily transcribe and enter data. (N.B. Hence my wish for a Windows explorer window).

PDF support:
Well, I am more lighthearted about it then you. Suppose the above mentioned Windows explorer window gets supported and we are able to view a scan of a document next to the property box. The next thing everybody (imho) would be enthusiastic about would be to also use it for some pdf report about somebodies research to copy and enter that data in the very same setup. And, as the current web search window is NOT a full fledged browser so does the PDF support NOT have to be full fledged as well. Just page forward/backward, goto, zoom in/out would go a long way to 99% of user requirements, I guess.

Final remark:
You wrote: "I don't see the advantage of opening PDF (or other media), or Windows Explorer, in an internal FH window as opposed to an external window". Well, I do! Just every transcription software I know of has the original text displayed as close as possible to the entry fields and not without reason. It is usually already hard enough to decypher the old documents so any possible error due to changing windows (even in a 2 screen layout) should be minimized. This is also the reason I am very enthusiastic about the web search window; it is 100% more efficient and 100% less error prone than the external browser.

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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by tatewise » 16 May 2015 13:25

Those are all good ideas.

Windows/tile arrangement:
I agree the Media Window is not as well behaved as the Web Search Window.
However, there are some display modes you might have overlooked.
Its lefthand Layout icon defaults to List and Display Panes, but Display Pane Only focusses on media images.
Then Toggle Picture/Thumbnail View allows one image to be displayed.
The record details section at the top can be shrunk quite small but does include File: and Location: links to Windows Explorer.
Finally there are all the Zoom controls.

Web Search Window tricks:
While waiting for FH to implement your ideas here are some novel techniques.
The Web Search Window can behave a bit like Windows Explorer.
In the address bar you can enter a disk folder path such as:
file:///C:/Users/Mike/Documents/
Then by double-clicking on folder icons they can be navigated.
Any such path can be remembered by using cog Bookmark this page...
So for example the Project Media folder could be bookmarked.
Unfortunately, image/document files only open in an external window, but image files can be drag & dropped into Media tabs, etc.
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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by JoopvB » 16 May 2015 13:53

Hi Mike,

I tried your Media window display settings and indeed; this helps a lot. It certainly is quite workable; thanks!

Regarding the "Windows explorer window": yes I know "the trick" to use a "browser approach" to display local files. But as you mentioned, unfortunately the files don't open in the same window. Yet, looking at it from the bright side: it suggests that the real solutions are just around the corner. :)

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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by tatewise » 09 May 2016 16:05

I know it has been a while, but I now have the task of reviewing these requests, and the Wish List.
Some of your postings seem to have strayed from the original request.

The Media Window appears to be working to your satisfaction and thus satisfies some of your requests.

I would like to treat the display of non-image Media (PDF, Word Doc, Video, Audio, etc) internally within FH as a separate request, and wonder whether you still want a Wish List entry for that? See Better support for non-image Media (13800).

Regarding URL, could Wish List Ref 86: Ability to add URL links to entries be adapted, reworded, expanded to cover your request, and incorporate the wide ranging Comments already attached?
The existing DESCRIPTION says very little, and is very vague, so I would propose adding a lot more details and examples.
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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by JoopvB » 13 May 2016 14:34

Hi Mike,

Yes, the Media does indeed fully support my needs. No extra options/modifications needed (as far as I'm concerned).

The URL wish list entry 86 is indeed kind of compact. My request woud be:

The standard source windows currently has 4 tabs: Main, Notes, Media and All. Add an extra tab: URL's, and also add beneath the notes field on the main tab an extra field for the URL's (comparable to the Notes tab and Notes window).

Allow every source to "link" to one or more (usually one) URL's by copy pasting them into the URL field. The URL field is actionable: clicking it will bring up the referenced data in the media window.

Some nice extra's might be:
1. Statistics on sites referenced (reports).
2. Checks to see if links are still alive (validation).
3. Warning for duplicate URL entry.
4. ... and many more.

Internet should, as I see it, be fully embraced and exploited. Physical archives are expensive and once digitized cost are near to 0. In Holland we've just seen the start of an "Open Archive" initiative where the Dutch archives make their databases available for free in machine readable form.

Mike is this clear enough or do we need more?

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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by tatewise » 13 May 2016 15:38

Considering the comments on Wish List Ref 86: Ability to add URL links to entries, and the existing FH capabilities, together with earlier ideas in this thread, I think there are two options, but one is an extension of the other.
  1. URL Media Records
    I am not sure there needs to be special URL tabs and fields, which pose GEDCOM 5.5 compatibility problems.
    As discussed earlier (and liked by you) it is already possible to have URL Media Records alongside all the other Media types. In old FH versions it was possible to enter URL directly into the Linked File field, but now it needs an intermediate URL Shortcut file. However, that approach allows multiple URL to be attached anywhere Media can be attached (Source, Citation, Place, Fact, Individual, Family, etc) and clicked to open the webpage. Your nice extra's could be implemented with Plugins. All that can be done now without any FH updates.
    However, it would be beneficial to restore the old FH ability to enter URL directly into the Linked File field, where the Format field would be URL, and then specific tools could offer dedicated URL features in the future, such as opening the internal Web Search Window, your nice extra's, etc.
  2. URL in Text Fields
    This is essentially the Wish List request, supported by several comments, and could be applied to all text fields such as Notes, Website, Email, Where within Source, Text From Source, etc. Since the Linked File field above is a 'text' field, then this technique could be seen as just a wider application of that same idea. FH already detects (most) URL in (most) text fields when creating CD/DVD/Website HTML report files, and a Plugin handles the rest. So it should not be a major step to detect URL in all scenarios in all dialogues, Reports, Diagrams, etc, and offer the same dedicated URL features in the future as above. In the meantime, Plugins could fill the gap, as above.
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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by JoopvB » 13 May 2016 19:41

Doesn't GEDCOM 5.5 support an URL field somewhere in the standard? Especially since Family Search itself works very well with links to there database?

I like your suggested solution from a pragmatic point of view (how to cut the crab and make it work). A few considerations:

a) My (and I assume I'm not alone) workflow: from the Internet search window I create a source (I don't use the citations part), copy the website info to the Text from Source field and the URL to the Note field. When I have a scan of a document I also copy the URL in the Note field and add the media (copied to my PC and linked to it). This workflow happens a lot (98% of the time) and any extra typing may involve errors, forgotten URL copies etc. So, an extra field beneath the Note field for the URL would be ideal (same workflow and a Note field that can be used for "real" notes). Would the solution you suggest support that kind of workflow?

b) I think that something as essential as URL's to make FH really interact with the Internet (this is what I read between the lines of the comments on wish 86) should be an integral part of modern genealogical software. No workarounds etc., just well thought through integral solutions. Depending on design or GEDCOM constraints choosing for a temporary solution with help of plugins is fine, but - from my point of view - a pending wish for FH itself. Am I right in thinking that you share that view?

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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by tatewise » 13 May 2016 21:15

GEDCOM 5.5 has no URL field. GEDCOM Draft 5.5.1 does define a WEB and EMAIL field but only as components of the ADDRess structure linked to a Fact or a Repository.
However, they are only text fields for the purpose of transferring the URL from product to product, and do not define any interactive hyperlink requirements.
  1. It is that extra URL field that poses the GEDCOM problem. The problem is that it is extra, not that it holds a URL.
    However, there are a number of workable solutions:
    1) Use labelled Notes to distinguish "real" Notes from URL
    2) Customise the Property Box to have a 2nd instance of the Note field
    3) On the Media tab while adding scan/download image, also add Media URL
    But the URL could equally be added to the Text From Source field, or Publication Info, or Custom Id, or to the Note field of the image Media Record.
  2. Yes, the FH change is to detect and action URL text as an active hyperlink and support that in any text field. Such URL must include Web addresses, Email addresses, FTP addresses, etc.
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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by Valkrider » 14 May 2016 06:45

However,one thing to remember is that url's change and the url you link to today may not be valid tomorrow. I find the url of secondary value and always use as much of the content as appropriate for the context of the record and the person I am linking the data to.

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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by JoopvB » 14 May 2016 09:44

@Colin
Yes, they do change as do telephone numbers, physical addresses and places, towns, counties etc. However, URL's from archives don't change very often, but the information on the site may change (e.g. elaboration of a transcription, an added link to a scanned document etc.) and then just clicking a link is al you need to check. And then, of course, there are the "nice extra's"(see my previous post). So, I respect you not using URL's but I love them, hence my request for better support in FH and, as with the tons of features that FH contains, all of us probably only use our own specific 10 or 20% of them.

@Mike
Your "workable solutions" seem to come close to an easy to implement and fairly GEDCOM compliant URL-implementation. I propose we add your number 1-3 to the wishlist and leave the "But..." as something to consider for Calico Pie.

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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by tatewise » 14 May 2016 13:18

We don't need to add 1) - 3) nor the But... to Wish List because they are all workable solutions now.

It is b. b) 2. and the last sentence of my original 1. that need the Wish List enhancements.
i.e. Active URL hyperlinks everywhere and your nice extra's,
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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by JoopvB » 14 May 2016 13:36

Ai Mike,

I misunderstood "labelled" :); thought you meant an extra note field with the label "URL". I see now that you meant labelled as in prefix the URL in the note field with a label (e.g. URL). Not my preferred workaround (I'd rather call it a solution without the adjective "workable" :)).

This brings me back to the start of this discussion and the core of the wish/request: integral support of URL's in FH. Maybe it helps to have a look at Rootsmagic. They have done a nice thing with "web tags". I see URL popping up (if that's what URL's do) in all newer genealogy software. So my question still is: in what wording might we get Calico Pie's attention and priority on integral support of URL's to benefit from all the "nice extra's"?

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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by tatewise » 14 May 2016 14:30

I think it will help if we draw a distinction between URI and URL.
URI is the textual representation of an Internet resource (as you might see printed on documents).
URL is an active clickable hyperlink (as typically appear in blue underlined text in web pages.)

My a. + 1) - 3) are primarily in reply to your a) workflow description.
You can add the URI text wherever you like now, but FH only supports URL hyperlinks in two scenarios:
1) On screen Media records with URL shortcuts.
2) Published CD/DVD/Website HTML pages.

What the Wish List request Ref 86 is all about is treating the URI text strings as active URL hyperlinks in any text field (just like RootsMagic web tags).

URI have a distinctive syntax, but if FH needs more clues then some keyword structure such as URL:"..." may be needed.
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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by JoopvB » 14 May 2016 15:40

I agree with the distinction and that the URI (being not more or less than a character string) may be inserted in numerous places in FH. It's essentially what I am doing right now. The extra that is needed comes from the semantics; like knowing that a BIRTH date is something we can do things with in the software (e.g. extra's :)). So my point really is how to motivate Calico Pie to "recognise"URL in their datamodel (I know it's not part of GEDCOM but they've already extended FH beyond the GEDCOM datamodel). Then "nice extra's" become available, either as built in by Calico Pie or as Plugins.

So, Mike what's the verdict? Do we stick to the wording of 86 or create an new wish that is more specific about implementing the URL into FH?

Joop

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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by tatewise » 15 May 2016 18:04

I have reworded Wish List Ref 86: Ability to add URL hyperlinks to entries to reflect our discussions, and it still seems to fit well with all the existing comments. This approach has the benefit of retaining all the existing Votes.

Is the wording OK, or have you any suggested improvements.

I am not sure whether it is worth trying to add the nice extra's at this stage, but you could add your own comments.

There is no known reliable method to get Calico Pie's attention and priority for adding new features.
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Re: Even more Internet savy

Post by JoopvB » 16 May 2016 07:59

Hi Mike,

I'm OK with the "new" 86 and hope we have found an as yet undiscovered method to get Calico Pie's attention and priority. I like your "wording" of their behavior... humor. :)

Joop

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