FreeBMD-Admins-L ArchivesArchiver > FreeBMD-Admins > 1998-09 > 0906207051
From: Graham Hart <>
Subject: Re: Dismal failure
Date: Sat, 19 Sep 1998 13:10:51 +0100
Ben Laurie wrote:
> Non-techies may struggle with the complete scheme, but surely we can
> have the simplified version (use a * for any characters you are unsure
> about) for them? The snag with simply marking the whole record, it seems
> to me, is that you then aren't giving any clue at all of what you aren't
> sure about - and worse, you aren't allowing appropriate matching for
> people doing queries. Even if we hide this stuff from (most) users, it
> seems to me we should have it in the underlying system.
Ok, no problem with that.. We can still throw them into a separate
table as well as the main one so people can go and check them for us ..
or have a field in the main table so we can search on it ..
I suppose we can have varying levels. A basic level with maybe an *
after the dodgy word/item. And a more complex level where ? can be used
replacing the letter that is dodgy, with  as possibilities for the
> One major snag, though, is that people tend to write "Smith?" meaning "I
> think it says Smith, but I'm not sure" rather than "Smith followed by
> one unreadable letter". I suppose we could use a different character for
> a missing letter (underscore?) and a question mark to indicate
Maybe we can have ? as the basic indicator as that is probably the most
intuitive, and use *&$%£" whatever as the more complex ??
Another problem with checking these is going to be, how do we identify
the real record. e.g. In the example you gave Smith?. In a particular
quarter this could refer to about 4 pages of entries. If the other
entries are not obvious, it may be impossible to check the actual
record, or identify which the real record should have been ... (if the
record is one in a sequence, then it will be easier). We may be able to
set certain rules as well... Year and Quarter should NEVER be uncertain.
I've just thought of something as well... (I'm sure we've mentioned it
before ...) I'm sure I have seen real entries with unknowns in them.
e.g. Smith, boy ... Not sure if I am being confused or not but I think
there are also genuine Smith? or Smith, ? entries ... Camilla, if you
haven't seen this just say and I'll assume I am mixing things up .. :))
> Ben Laurie |Phone: +44 (181) 735 0686| Apache Group member
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|Re: Dismal failure by Graham Hart <>|