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Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 12 Jan 2020 18:35
by tatewise
This thread is derived from Only Child (17359).

Beware of adding Citations to Note fields.
The GEDCOM 5.5 Errata Sheet only allows a simple link to a Source record and no Citation fields such as Assessment, Entry Date, Where within Source, Text From Source, Note, etc.
The GEDCOM Release 5.5.1 disallows source citations on Note fields altogether.
So going forward, for maximum GEDCOM compliance, I advise avoiding Note field Citations.

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 12 Jan 2020 22:49
by AdrianBruce
tatewise wrote:
12 Jan 2020 18:35
... The GEDCOM Release 5.5.1 disallows source citations on Note fields altogether. ...
Well, basically that means I can't go to 5.5.1. What a moronic, idiotic, stupid thing to do. I have lots of notes held at the individual (and family) level - properly sourced. Tamura Jones' annotated 5.5.1 says:
FamilySearch probably realised that this [citing of sources for notes] addition was a bad idea, because it allowed notes to have sources, which may have notes, which may sources, and so on, ad infinitum, and thus includes the possibility of a loop.
Well, yes it does. And it could easily be fixed by altering the spec'n to confine citing of sources for notes to those at the appropriate level in the appropriate record structure. Or other ways such as creating a citeable note-structure. Instead, they thought, "Nah, too difficult...."

Thanks Mike (he said through gritted teeth). I hadn't realised this before... Probably because I didn't think FS could be so stupid.

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 12 Jan 2020 23:41
by LornaCraig
Adrian wrote:
I have lots of notes held at the individual (and family) level - properly sourced.
Does the gedcom 5.5.1 spec actually ban source citations on these notes? Or only on note fields which are associated with facts? Individual and Family notes are attached to the whole record and when they are entered in FH via the Notes tab of the Property box the Source pane is available and invites something to be entered in it. Because the Source pane is there I nearly always use it when adding such notes!

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 10:43
by tatewise
The now formally released GEDCOM 5.5.1 disallows Citations of any form on all Note structures, including record level Note fields in any record type, Fact level Note fields, Citation level Note fields, et al :-

NOTE_STRUCTURE:=
[
n NOTE @<XREF:NOTE>@ {1:1}
|
n NOTE [<SUBMITTER_TEXT> | <NULL>] {1:1}
+1 [CONC|CONT] <SUBMITTER_TEXT> {0:M}
]

The GEDCOM 5.5 Errata Sheet changes the 5.5 Release to only allow a simple link to a Source record and no Citation sub-fields for all those same Note structures.

NOTE_STRUCTURE:=
[
n NOTE @<XREF:NOTE>@ {1:1}
+1 SOUR @<XREF:SOUR>@ {0:M}
|
n NOTE [<SUBMITTER_TEXT> | <NULL>] {1:1}
+1 [ CONC | CONT ] <SUBMITTER_TEXT> {0:M}
+1 SOUR @<XREF:SOUR>@ {0:M}
]

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 11:00
by LornaCraig
I don't suppose many people have souce citations on fact level note fields, as there wouldn't be much point. The Source can be cited against the fact rather than the fact note. But record level notes are another matter!

If FH wanted to be compatible with 5.5.1 it would have to disable the Source pane on the Notes tab of the Property box.

It appears that Note Records can still have 'whole record' Sources, so when exporting a gedcom, to produce one which is 5.5.1 compatible any record-level note fields with source citations could be converted into Note Records?

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 11:20
by tatewise
If FH wanted to be 5.5.1 compliant it would have to disable the Source pane with respect to every Note field.

Yes, any local Note with a Citation would have to be converted to a linked Note record with a Citation.

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 11:40
by Jane
It's worth remembering that 5.5.1 still allows custom extensions. So they would not need to disable anything simply record it in a different way.

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 11:50
by tatewise
True, so it might only be when exporting a compliant GEDCOM that conversion would be necessary.
Otherwise, the custom extension _SOUR 'Citations' probably would not import to other products satisfactorily.

I am already experiencing that type of problem in my Export Gedcom File Plugin when migrating from FH to GEDCOM 5.5.1 compliant products that don't accept Note field Citations. The strategy the Plugin uses is to raise the Citation one level to the parent of the local Note, usually the <whole record> or the Fact.

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 15:51
by LornaCraig
tatewise wrote:
13 Jan 2020 11:20
If FH wanted to be 5.5.1 compliant it would have to disable the Source pane with respect to every Note field....
But it's only the record level note fields which have the Source pane available. And the presence of the Source pane encourages the user to add a source. For fact notes the Source pane always refers to the fact as a whole (unless I've missed something?). So although it's possible to add a source to a fact note it's unlikely that many people will have done so.

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 16:00
by Jane
If you are concerned about sourcing Notes in 5.5.1 for migration another method is to have a "Miscellaneous" custom events, as custom events are generally accepted by other programs. I do this and source the fact and have a sentence template of simply {note}, I can put a date in to keep it in a logical place in the narrative and add sources to the fact.

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 16:06
by AdrianBruce
tatewise wrote:
13 Jan 2020 11:20
If FH wanted to be 5.5.1 compliant it would have to disable the Source pane with respect to every Note field.

Yes, any local Note with a Citation would have to be converted to a linked Note record with a Citation.
The major issue for me with Note Records (aka Shared Notes) is that, when I do a Narrative Report of the individual who is linked to a (Shared) Note Record, then citations held against the (Shared) Note Record do not appear in the individual's narrative report. I did raise this with Calico Pie some time ago. I think! The same issue occurs with the Individual Sumary Report.

This, of course, is an issue now, never mind with any theoretical compliance with 5.5.1. But if we have 5.5.1 compliance and no fix for the above, then the situation gets worse, not better, with no ability to visibly cite sources for notes anywhere.

I think Jane's two ideas above make a lot of sense.

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 16:13
by tatewise
Lorna, yes, I see what you mean.
But as Jane says, the alternative is to allow _SOUR custom citations.

So maybe FH would need a Tools > Preferences option to choose between Strict 5.5.1 Compliance and backward compatibility with Strict 5.5 Compliance, that not only impacts local Note field Citations, but also FACT versus _ATTR tags, Media structure tags TITL, FORM, FILE, etc, etc.

Yes Adrian, there are other 'things' that don't get into Reports that I have reported to Calico Pie.
Maybe the FH V7 new Report writer features will improve matters.

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 16:35
by AdrianBruce
Jane wrote:
13 Jan 2020 16:00
If you are concerned about sourcing Notes in 5.5.1 for migration another method is to have a "Miscellaneous" custom events, ...
Although it gets a bit trickier when the notes that you want to source are held against the family. Or does it? You'd have to have a plug-in to pervert individual-level notes to custom events against the individuals, so it would presumably (he said with no LUA knowledge at all) be easy to pervert family-level notes to custom events against the families.

If it ever happened, though, it'd be a hostage to fortune as Calico Pie could hardly cut off access to individual-level and family-level notes - I'd go ahead, create them (instead of the custom-event notes) under automatic citation and miss that there's no sources cited against the notes....

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 16:43
by AdrianBruce
tatewise wrote:
13 Jan 2020 16:13
... So maybe FH would need a Tools > Preferences option to choose between Strict 5.5.1 Compliance and backward compatibility with Strict 5.5 Compliance, that not only impacts local Note field Citations, but also FACT versus _ATTR tags, Media structure tags TITL, FORM, FILE, etc, etc. ...
Yes, some of that makes my brain hurt... Especially when you might care to consider that Tamura Jones is dead set against backward compatibility of that sort in his 5.5.5 if I read it right.
tatewise wrote:
13 Jan 2020 16:13
... Maybe the FH V7 new Report writer features will improve matters.
Yes. Depending on how it's done, it might be a GEDCOM extension that results in what we need (not want!) falling out quite easily if FH were to go to 5.5.1. And we need to remind ourselves that this is a problem if and only if FH goes to 5.5.1.

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 17:23
by tatewise
AdrianBruce wrote:this is a problem if and only if FH goes to 5.5.1.
Not if the genealogy world at large move to 5.5.1 because migrating from FH GEDCOM 5.5 to any other product would then become problematic unless the Tamura Jones proposal gets applied:-
I think Tamura Jones is proposing that products have GEDCOM readers for 5.5 &/or 5.5.1 &/or 5.5.5 and leaves it up to each product as to how they convert to there internal database format.

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 17:39
by BillH
tatewise wrote: ↑Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:35 am
... The GEDCOM Release 5.5.1 disallows source citations on Note fields altogether. ...
I've been reading this and have gotten myself completely confused.

So does this mean that having a 2 SOUR record under a 1 NOTE record is not supported in 5.5.1?

image1.jpg
image1.jpg (80.28 KiB) Viewed 903 times

1 NOTE 21 Apr 1899 -- Sarah Ann Snodgrass Henshaw, b. 1 Nov 1847, d. 21 Mar 1899,
2 CONT buried Green Hill Cemetery.
2 SOUR @S2200@
1 CHAN
2 DATE 6 APR 2019
3 TIME 15:58:42

If that is not what you are referring to, could someone explain in simple terms what it is that isn't supported?

Bill

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 18:26
by tatewise
Yes, that is exactly correct Bill.
Since 5.5.1 is no longer a Draft, but a full GEDCOM Standard Release dated 15 Nov 2019, what will happen if most products (maybe including FH) become 5.5.1 compliant?

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 18:40
by BillH
Wow... I use this all the time. I must have thousands of notes with citations.

If you can't have citations on this type of note, how are you supposed to document where the info comes from?

Bill

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 19:18
by tatewise
Some options have been discussed earlier in this thread.
  • Instead of a local Note use a linked Note record and add Citation to that record.
  • Create a custom Note fact to hold notes and add Citation to that fact.
  • FH introduces a custom _SOUR tag for such Citations but how will they migrate to other products?

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 19:34
by BillH
I did go back and read through the thread and saw these. I guess the first time through I was just so confused that it didn't sink in. Thinks for summarizing the options.

I understood from reading through this thread again that citations on shared notes are OK. I have never used shared notes before.

I created one for the first time. I then went to the Records Window Notes tab and found the note. I added a citation to the note there. Now when I go back to the Notes tab in the Property Box, I don't see the citation anywhere. Is there a way to easily see the source for the note?

If at some point FH decides to be 5.5.1 compliant and eliminate citations on local notes. I guess this would work for me although I can see the need for a plugin to convert all the local notes to shared notes. It might be better to keep things the way they are and use _SOUR tags.

Hopefully if FH does this they will fix the problem Adrian pointed out where citations held against the (Shared) Note Record do not appear in some reports.

Bill

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 21:13
by LornaCraig
BillH wrote:
13 Jan 2020 19:34
I created one for the first time. I then went to the Records Window Notes tab and found the note. I added a citation to the note there. Now when I go back to the Notes tab in the Property Box, I don't see the citation anywhere. Is there a way to easily see the source for the note?
You are not the first to have been confused by this. The problem is that the Source citation on the Note Record (shared note) applies just to the Note Record itself. It doesn't appear in the Notes tab of the Property Box of particular individuals or families who 'share' the note, because different individuals with links to the same Note Record could have different citation details, for example different assessment levels or text from source.

The quickest way to see the source for the note is to go to the Note Record itself by clicking the blue arrow in the toolbar of the Property Box Note tab.

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 21:52
by BillH
Lorna,

Thanks for the reply. OK... I see how that works. I'd never paid attention to that arrow because with local notes it is grayed out.

I sure prefer local notes to shared notes. Everything is much more visible when you can see it property box and source pane. Also, with local notes everything shows up in reports. I'm sure that is why I decided long ago to not use shared notes.

I hope FH doesn't do away with citations for local notes. I much prefer them.

Thanks!
Bill

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 22:51
by AdrianBruce
BillH wrote:
13 Jan 2020 21:52
... I sure prefer local notes to shared notes. ...
Bill, for what it's worth I totally agree with you, for exactly your reasons. My only problem is that I have a total aversion to repeating the content of anything so if I find that a note applies to several people (e.g. an explanation of what their employer did) then I'll create a Shared Note Record. And I'm then worrying about the pros of not duplicating text versus the cons of a lack of clarity in citing sources.

(My objection to duplication of text is that if I alter it once, I need to alter it everywhere... And I'll probably miss one...)

As I've said, I am disturbed by the prospects.

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 23:05
by jimlad68
OK, I think I am safe with my existing setup! I have no doubt there are reasons for it, but I have always found Sources/Citations verly complicated (i.e. I don't understand them). I think this topic talking about "standalone notes" not tied to a fact, or perhaps it is to multiple facts or people? it seems a strange beast to me.

So, as ever, I try to keep it simple.

[] Whenever I can I create a simple source record.
- I add the detail to one or both of "text from source" or "Note"
- I then add the source (add citation) to whatever fact it applies to. (often via AS)
[] Sometimes, rather than a source, I will just add detail the the Fact "Note"

[] I have never had the inclination or felt the need to go onto the Notes tab and add a "standalone Note" "I think" this is what this discussion is about, but not completely sure.
- I cannot see why a Source record could not do anything that a "standalone Note" could do. Perhaps my methods are too simplistic.

So, do I have any need for future worry using the above simple method?

Re: Note field Citations disallowed in 5.5.1

Posted: 13 Jan 2020 23:14
by tatewise
Jim, if you have never created a "standalone Note" then you can ignore this entire discussion, as you are unaffected.