TMG-L ArchivesArchiver > TMG > 2004-04 > 1082380404
From: Terry Reigel <>
Subject: Re: [TMG] Re: Roles and Gedcom
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 09:13:24 -0400
On Sun, 18 Apr 2004 19:59:33 -0400, George King wrote:
> As one who must deal with a large population of cousins,
> many of whom do not use TMG, I have a different view from
> those expressed earlier today. My view is also tempered
> by my task which is to create and maintain an association
> data base that will endure long after TMG and I have
> departed this life.
> When using TMG I try to follow the GEDCOM conventions,
> which means no roles and (almost) no witnessed events. If
> these are added later to GEDCOM, our association will try
> to adapt.
> As for sentence structures for memos I always use the TMG
> default sentences. If the default does not work, I use
> the anecdote tag. By using the default sentences, my
> successor, and TMG's successor, can always do a global
> sentence structure change by GEDCOM tag type.
> My position has not been well received by TMG-L readers.
> There's irony in this, in that several of TMG-L's best
> contributors are also active and supportive members of
> our association, although they have a different view of
> this subject. <VBG>.
Since I suspect I am one of those George refers to here, I guess I
need to speak up. <g> Given George's role as record-keeper for a
family association, I think his reasons for using TMG in a way that
facilitates GEDCOM output are entirely sound. There are few (if any)
good alternatives to GEDCOM for large-scale sharing of data, and users
who are in that position may do well to follow his advice.
I suppose one of the better alternatives is to encourage your
correspondents to adopt TMG, which George has also done -- he strongly
encouraged me to do so when I was looking for a new genealogy program
a number of years ago. <g> Thanks, George!
So it's not that I don't understand that preserving GEDCOM capability
is valuable or even necessary for some users, and it probably would be
good to recognize that more often. But for the more typical user, who
occasionally receives requests to share generally small portions of
their data, I believe the advice to avoid GEDCOM stands. Limiting your
use of TMG to features that GEDCOM well means missing many of it's
better features. And I do believe it's good practice to "encourage"
those who receive your data to re-enter it according to their own
standards, such as for naming, spelling, abbreviations, and sourcing,
just as I do with any data I receive from any source.