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JustTheFax

Easier data input

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JustTheFax

One feature I like about Family Tree Maker is the easy user interface, and ease of data entry.

On the Family Page view, entering, or editing anyone's name, date or location of birth, death or marriage.

A screen in TNG that allowed the same would make the process quicker.

Anytime a name is changed, a verify that a name is being changed, and if OK save it to the file,

I can add and edit much quicker in Family Tree Maker and then upload my gedcom than doing every thing in TNG.

TNG is a great way to display and share the file.

Unless I just don't understand all the data entry process for TNG, I find the process in FTM more streamlined.

Thanks

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arnold

Unless I just don't understand all the data entry process for TNG, I find the process in FTM more streamlined.

It seems to me, for your own protection, that you would want only one database for your genealogical work. Others have presented your position before and my ongoing concern is that you will soon begin to lose control of your data if you work one set of data on your computer and another set of data on your server via TNG. At some point, you will alter data in one but not the other.

If you are saying that you would only use TNG for your data, then I think you are asking for major changes in what Darrin is giving us. He keeps TNG "simple" (no offense, Darrin) by allowing us to do no more than easily convert our genealogical data maintained in a genealogical software program on our hard drive to a GEDCOM file and then upload it. We are allowed to make quick, small changes, such as changing a person from living to deceased, so that that person will appear on a website where living folks are not shown.

I think that Darrin does us a favor by keeping TNG a program which does a fine job of displaying what we have manipulated elsewhere

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JustTheFax

I agree on only one data set. Changing records in TNG, and not in FTM can only cause problems.

However FTM has limits that TNG does not. FTM will not support large files, and TNG can have files with many hundred thousand names. FTM can not even get close to that.

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theKiwi

I agree on only one data set. Changing records in TNG, and not in FTM can only cause problems.

However FTM has limits that TNG does not. FTM will not support large files, and TNG can have files with many hundred thousand names. FTM can not even get close to that.

Then get something that isn't FTM then - Legacy can support unlimited number of people - so can Reunion for Macintosh, and I'm sure many others.

Roger

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jseaman

One feature I like about Family Tree Maker is the easy user interface, and ease of data entry.

TNG is a great way to display and share the file.

Unless I just don't understand all the data entry process for TNG, I find the process in FTM more streamlined.

Thanks

Breathing life into a neglected topic ...

I too really like Family Tree Maker's interface. It is what I started out on and it is pretty good. But I've discovered TNG and the two simply don't get along well.

I got bitten after uploading from FTM into TNG and then discovering all the photo and document links were messed up. NEVER AGAIN!!! I now do all of my data entry directly into TNG and when I need to update FTM I load the file from TNG. No errors bite me this way but I find that TNG is simply horrible for data entry.

I would very very very much like to see a new data entry (editing) interface for TNG - not a total rewrite but more of an add-on. The framework is in place for everything and it need not handle every aspect of the data entry, just the basics as in the family screen of FTM. Anything more involved could be handled with the current interface.

It doesn't have to be part of the TNG package - while I'm not that great a coder, I would be more than willing work with someone or to help underright the project.

Just my opinions ... your mileage may vary ... no warranty (express or implied) :-D

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arnold

I got bitten after uploading from FTM into TNG and then discovering all the photo and document links were messed up. NEVER AGAIN!!! I now do all of my data entry directly into TNG and when I need to update FTM I load the file from TNG. No errors bite me this way but I find that TNG is simply horrible for data entry.

(1) You might want to give it another try. When I do Data Import, I click on All Current Data and do *not* click on Import Media If Present. I believe that my photos were messed up when I *initially* clicked on Import Media If Present.

(2) If you take advantage of the backup features of TNG and back up the correct files, you can bring the photos and links back and all is fine.

(3) TNG is not meant to be used for data entry. Small changes are easy. Big changes require a genealogical software program.

Just my opinions ... your mileage may vary ... no warranty (express or implied)

That goes for (1) above, in case my memory has gone bad and I am giving you faulty information.

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jseaman

(1) You might want to give it another try. When I do Data Import, I click on All Current Data and do *not* click on Import Media If Present. I believe that my photos were messed up when I *initially* clicked on Import Media If Present.

(2) If you take advantage of the backup features of TNG and back up the correct files, you can bring the photos and links back and all is fine.

(3) TNG is not meant to be used for data entry. Small changes are easy. Big changes require a genealogical software program.

If I try it again and mess up the links to images and documents again as bad as last time, I will drop the whole program - totally unacceptable - I have too much time invested in individual links, family links, alternate descriptions, etc to even consider risking them again!

I have used TNG's back up options - also, my webhost does daily backups (overwritten every 24 hours) - and I personally do a manual backup of all files and the sql database (using ftp and mysql-front) after every large spurt of work. I just don't trust backups - or more specifically I don't trust in my ability to do a restore! Verifying that the restoral worked on all the nooks and crannies would be a large effort in itself.

TNG was certainly not designed as a data entry program - but it has all the abilities. A new front end for it can be designed that could mimic whatever genealogy program you choose. This could be completely independent of existing TNG code - or use snippits of it as convenient.

Just some thoughts that could make a great collection of code much easier to use!

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KarterJK

Revisiting this topic

It seems to me that in reading the opinions here, it basically comes down to two different trains of thought

1. you have those that wish to maintain an online database

2. and those that dont

and TNG is a software program that elegantly parses the data into a visual web display

while both views have valid points, I guess for me it came down to one ultimate decision.

We use no other software (Legacy, Family Tree Maker, etc) for input

the reason is that several family members all help to find, input and maintain the database.

Because we all reside in different areas of the globe. TNG was the one platform solution.

An exported GEDCOM file and backup of the main database (stored offline), meet backup requirements

For our family - the goal was to allow a way for all of us to keep in touch (a web-site seemed logical)

Allowing us to see and learn who our distant ancestors, current aunts, uncles, and cousins were/are

The hope is that our children and their childrens children, etc. will continue to maintain the database

and help keep them in touch and grounded.

While Darrin has done an outstanding job, still TNG's biggest drawback is the learning curve.

It is a bit difficult in understanding the input relationships of individual info, family, places etc and how they inter-connect.

My greatest hope is, that this being a PHP project, future persons will continually help to develop addons and help make future revisions. Personally, I feel TNG (price-wise) is the best bargain on the market.

But, it could use (as all programs) some improvements in making it easier to use.

Thanks Darrin for a great job, I hope TNG has a long long long genealogical shelf life

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rdmorss

My greatest hope is, that this being a PHP project, future persons will continually help to develop addons and help make future revisions.
This would only happen (on the scale you're talking about) if TNG were an open-source project. But it isn't (and I don't expect that to change). The kinds of add-ons being suggested on these forums require deep PHP knowledge, intimate familiarity with scores of TNG scripts and TNG's database structure, and many hours of coding, beta testing, and support. No one is going to invest the necessary time and knowledge to do this for free unless the core program is also free and open.

Moreover, I don't believe it is legal to modify Darrin's copyrighted code and/or create an add-on that modifies it, and then release the mod publicly. (OK if done privately - fair use - but not for public consumption.) Don't quote me on this: I am not a lawyer.

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KarterJK

Moreover, I don't believe it is legal to modify Darrin's copyrighted code and/or create an add-on that modifies it, and then release the mod publicly. (OK if done privately - fair use - but not for public consumption.) Don't quote me on this: I am not a lawyer.

Perhaps you are correct. I may have misunderstood the area on this forum for sharing of mod addons and theme requests...

Wouldn't be my first time of not understanding...

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rdmorss
I may have misunderstood the area on this forum for sharing of mod addons and theme requests...
That's a good point. The license.txt file simply says: You (the software owner) may make changes to the code as desired, but you may not redistribute any part of the software under any name for any price.

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Rainer

I totally agree with KarterJK.

My reason to select TNG as family database was the abiity, to involve more than one person into the administration of the family data. In the past, one person was appointed to edit all the family data. From time to time the results have been printed as a booklet - and there have been hundreds of hints on errors and missing information.

May be that I'm in a special situation: My family has founded a family council in 1848, which has continously collected the data of more than 2,500 offsprings of <a href="http://www.merkelstiftung.de">Paul Wolfgang Merkel </a>(1756 to 1820), more than 1,500 living today. We have collected a family tree since anno 1020 (29 generations until now) with more than 20,000 persons. It's almost impossible for one person to maintain this amount of data. That's the reason for TNG.

The second reason, of course, is to publish the actual family data to all family members.

I hope that there will be a better data entry facility in TNG to avoid multiple local data bases. I have written down my ideas in <a href="http://www.tngforum.us/index.php?showtopic=1580">"the big picture of TNG"</a>

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arnold

We have collected a family tree since anno 1020 (29 generations until now) with more than 20,000 persons. It's almost impossible for one person to maintain this amount of data. That's the reason for TNG.

Dick Weber, The Sprague Project developer has by himself entered by hand over 252,000 persons. And tomorrow morning I will be importing a new GEDCOM file which will take us over 254,000 persons.

TNG is a program which allows us to show our genealogical work in a wonderful, graphical manner. I sincerely hope that Darrin leaves TNG at that. There are many, many genealogical software programs which are designed to enter and manipulate genealogical information. These programs, however, are weak on displaying the genealogical information on the Internet.

IMHO, we have a perfect marriage. Such a marriage should be left alone.

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Guest nbflint

IMHO, we have a perfect marriage. Such a marriage should be left alone.

From my experience, no marriage is perfect; even in the software industry evey marriage has work to be done. If part of your customer base is hammering for something different, then someting is still lacking. With the power of php, the internet, and Darrin's genius, I think we'll see him release a solution that actually improves the beauty of the graphical display for geneological data and increase the data input capabilities of TNG. They are separate entities and if treated as such can and will co-exist quite nicely. I do not think TNG should ever be changed to rely solely on it's own interface for data entry, nor do I think it should be dependant on other software for the task.

About the license. The way I understand it you can redistribute any of Darrin's code, but you can distribute a file detailing the changes you made to achieve a certain purpose. This works good for minor add-ons, but major add-ons would be unrealistic.

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arnold

From my experience, no marriage is perfect....

Your experience saddens me.

Legacy, which we use, is very good for what it does. TNG, which we use, is very good for what it does. The two programs do different things. There is *no* good reason for the two to attempt to duplicate what the other does. That would be a waste of time and energy. And a poor use of money.

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Guest nbflint

There is *no* good reason for the two to attempt to duplicate what the other does.

The good reason that you're missing is that not everyone wants to use separate programs. It's great that using Legacy and TNG works for you but to assume that it works for everyone is narrow minded.

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arnold

Nicholas,

While you may not want to use many separate programs to do many different jobs, there are many good reasons for doing so. TNG is a wonderful program for displaying genealogical information on websites. Many of us think that TNG is the best. TNG is program which fills the Internet displayvoid that the large genealogical programs are deficient in.

We have over a quarter of a million names in our database. We have been on the Internet for ten years. The best thing that happened to us was reading about TNG. We "tested" TNG for several months before we brought it on-line. Again, it was the perfect marriage.

So, while it would be ideal to use only one program, that is not how life is. We should not ask, nor expect, Darrin to change direction and redesign TNG so that it can do what Legacy and other genealogical programs do.

TNG fills a niche market and should stay what it is.

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Guest nbflint

Arnold,

I understand and respect very much that TNG and Legacy fill your needs for geneological data and display. If that were my situation I would probally encourage Darrin not to change a thing in fear that any changes might upset what you've described as a perfect marriage.

By all means, if that is Darrins inclination then so be it. But there are geneological users out here looking for something more. If TNG doesn't provide it we'll look elsewhere and someone will provide it. That's the beauty of the world we live in.

Best of luck.

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Rainer

... There are many, many genealogical software programs which are designed to enter and manipulate genealogical information. ...

IMHO, we have a perfect marriage. Such a marriage should be left alone.

As I mentioned earlier I need a facility which enables data entry by more than one person. For me, the only solution is a central database with internet access. And that's TNG.

Other important features are: Immediate check of edited data by other family members at different locations, reduction of synchronization effort.

Arnold, do you know a software that allows data entry by some people into a common database :?:

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waltreams

May I suggest a slight variation of this theme? TNG's code is (and should be) the legally protected property of Darrin. Add-ons, etc are nice but may conflict with future releases of TNG since Darrin has no obligation to make his changes continue to work with the add-on, theme, etc.

In terms of data entry and manipulation, the SQL database can be manipulated by a completely different set of php scripts tthat share NO code with TNG's core and therefore are not affected by any changes to TNG - unless Darrin changes the database structure.

What I suggest is a complementary "program" that uses/manipulates the same data set. This script set could be open source but would be useless without TNG. This would help to promote/propogate TNG because we would have a suite that allows collaboration, rather than single researchers.

my .02

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William

It seems to me, for your own protection, that you would want only one database for your genealogical work. Others have presented your position before and my ongoing concern is that you will soon begin to lose

I'm confused! Easily done, I know.

I thought that the Sprague Project used two databases:Legacy and TNG?

William Douglas

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arnold

I thought that the Sprague Project used two databases:Legacy and TNG?

Sorry that I was not clear. Yes, there are two databases: One is kept in Legacy on our hard drive and the other kept in TNG on our ISP's server. They two databases do completely different things for us.

Legacy database: This is the database we use to do our everyday work. We add new names to it, we add new facts to it, we use it to print reports when people ask us questions. It is the database we work from.

TNG database: This is the database that TNG uses to graphically present on the Internet what is in our Legacy database on our hard drive. From our Legacy database, we create a GEDCOM file which we import into TNG. We make no changes to the database in TNG. We do not refer to the TNG database.

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