* collaborative working: merging sources/citations

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fugu68
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collaborative working: merging sources/citations

Post by fugu68 » 29 Jul 2020 10:28

Hi,

I work collaboratively with my mother on our family history work. We each run historian in separate locations (on different continents!) and my mother (who does most of the work) maintains the master project file, which gets synchronised automatically via onedrive and syncback free unidirectionally from her PC to mine. With this arrangement, all new data gets input on my mother's PC, and I get effectively a 'read-only' copy delivered automatically every 3 hours.

We have reached the point where it would be nice for me to tackle some source entries on my own PC (division of labour), and then merge them with my mum's master project. Is it possible to export source records only, and then merge them with her 'master' project file, with citations intact? The individual record ids are obviously identical on both projects.

Grateful for any thoughts on the best way to proceed with this.

Thanks,

Andrew
Andrew Slater: researching Slater and Lewis.

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tatewise
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Re: collaborative working: merging sources/citations

Post by tatewise » 29 Jul 2020 11:16

Have you considered fully synchronising your joint Project via OneDrive in both directions?
Why is that not a feasible option?

If not feasible, then we are discussing how to migrate your source entries into your mother's 'master' Project.
However, I am not entirely clear what you mean by "source entries".
If you are adding Source records and Citations then you are also modifying Individual &/or Family records and possibly adding Repository, Note, Place & Media records, and new Media files.
So that would involve exporting all those modified or new records and files for merging into your mother's Project.
In other words, it involves much more than just Source records.

While you are updating those source entries, and until those records are merged into your mother's Project, you must take great care not to sync with her Project every 3 hours, or all your work will be undone. Full sync via OneDrive may be easier.

Is that what you were expecting would be involved?

Do you now have a better understanding of the process?
If so, then we can discuss the finer details of how to use the Export > GEDCOM File and Merge/Compare File commands.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: collaborative working: merging sources/citations

Post by fugu68 » 29 Jul 2020 11:33

Thanks for the reply, Mike.

I had decided against a full synchronisation, to prevent the possibility of both of us making local changes between synchronisations, which could lead to possible data loss (e.g. only the gedcom with the latest timestamp would be kept).
If you are adding Source records and Citations then you are also modifying Individual &/or Family records and possibly adding Repository, Note, Place & Media records, and new Media files.
So that would involve exporting all those modified or new records and files for merging into your mother's Project.
In other words, it involves much more than just Source records.
Is that what you were expecting would be involved?
Yes, that is exactly what I had in mind. I have used merge/compare successfully in the past to combine trees, so have some familiarity with the process - just wondering if there is a more streamlined way to achieve the end goal.
Andrew Slater: researching Slater and Lewis.

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Re: collaborative working: merging sources/citations

Post by tatewise » 29 Jul 2020 11:50

Let us first discuss full synchronisation via OneDrive, which may behave differently than you expect.

You and your mother are on different continents in different time zones, so simultaneous changes to the Project are unlikely.
OneDrive synchronises each file as soon as it is changed and as fast as the Internet will allow.
FH usually AutoSaves the GEDCOM file every 5 minutes.
So the OneDrive cloud store should be Up to date within minutes of any changes.

Whenever either of you signs in to your PC, OneDrive will immediately synchronise with the cloud store.
So just wait for OneDrive to say it is Up to date before you run FH and there should be no data clashes.
Anyway, there are also Backups and Snapshots to allow recovery if needed.

Does that make sense?
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: collaborative working: merging sources/citations

Post by fugu68 » 29 Jul 2020 12:12

Yes, it makes sense, but I don't have things configured that way at the moment. I am only using the cloud as scratch space for the synchronisation, not as the primary project storage space.

Projects are stored locally in c:\historian on both PCs.

syncbackfree runs as a scheduled process on Mum's PC to upload to the cloud, and then on my PC to download from the cloud to my local c:\historian folder.

I agree it may make some sense to move the primary storage location to the cloud, which would avoid the need for exporting and compare/merge altogether and would allow easy editing on both sides.

I assume if both users have the project open at the same time, updates to the GEDCOM on one PC will generate a 'this file has been modified by another application' message on the other? Knowing she tends to leave historian running 24/7, this might lead to possible confusion...
Andrew Slater: researching Slater and Lewis.

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Re: collaborative working: merging sources/citations

Post by tatewise » 29 Jul 2020 12:54

Your last paragraph is on the right lines, but potentially it can be worse than that if FH happens to update/AutoSave the GEDCOM file at about the same time on both PC.

Are you saying your Mum leaves her PC running with FH running 24/7?
For full OneDrive synchronisation to work reliably, only one copy of FH should be running at the same time.
Surely it should be feasible to persuade her to switch off her PC overnight?
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: collaborative working: merging sources/citations

Post by fugu68 » 29 Jul 2020 13:10

24/7 may be a slight exaggeration, but certainly there are times of potential overlap in working hours (UK morning/SG afternoon). The potential data clash problem was the reason I configured things this way in the first place...

Will have to give this some more thought, I think.
Andrew Slater: researching Slater and Lewis.

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Re: collaborative working: merging sources/citations

Post by tatewise » 29 Jul 2020 14:23

Yes, I see that with only a 7 hour time difference it will need some careful management.
Perhaps you need to agree days & times to update each of your copies of FH, and use the other time researching, etc.
Alternatively, use Email to determine who has control, rather like aeroplane pilots do.
i.e. When you have finished editing you send a "You have control" Email to your Mum who replies with "I have control".
Then likewise when she has finished editing to grant you control.

You must contrast that against whether your Mum can reliably negotiate the Merge/Compare File command with all its pitfalls regarding selecting the correct GEDCOM file and merging all the types of records on all its tabs.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: collaborative working: merging sources/citations

Post by fugu68 » 29 Jul 2020 14:47

Thanks for your thoughts, Mike.

It would definitely be me doing any merge/compare file commands, not Mum, if we go down that route. :D I'm might try some dummy runs on some test data, and see how it goes...
Andrew Slater: researching Slater and Lewis.

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Re: collaborative working: merging sources/citations

Post by tatewise » 29 Jul 2020 14:59

You need to think that process through.
Currently, your Project is updated to be in sync with your Mum's Project every 3 hours.

So you would have to perform your updates in a duplicate of that Project, otherwise it would get zapped every 3 hours.

You would have to perform the Merge/Compare File at a time when your Mum cannot be updating her Project.
i.e. your late evening; her sleep time; and in a 3 hour window to avoid being zapped.
You would Export > GEDCOM File from your updated duplicate Project and Merge into the copy of your Mum's master Project.
No; No; That is pointless because you still have to get the updated Project to your Mum.

Just Delete the master Project, Rename your duplicate to the master name, perform a Full Backup of that Project, and send it to your Mum to restore after she has deleted her master Project. But beware the 3 hour sync schedule.

Or maybe you are proposing to do it all by remote control of her PC?
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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