GENBOX-L Archives

Archiver > GENBOX > 2004-03 > 1079037090


From: "Michel Vuijlsteke" <>
Subject: RE: [GENBOX] sourcing wizard
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2004 21:31:30 +0100
In-Reply-To: <CHEMKKAJHOKJPIEOPLKDAEOCFAAA.clcasper@sprynet.com>


Cheri,

I think you're confusing a number of different ideas :)

The scenario for a wizard I proposed is just for adding *one* citation, to
whatever assertion, be it a complete event or just a date, a place, etc.

Then there's Paul's idea to have a list of possible items to be found on a
given source type. That is indeed a very culture-bound thing, but that
doesn't mean it shouldn't be considered. As far as I understand it, it's jut
a simple checklist, to make sure you haven't missed any information.

My personal opinion is that Genbox is incredibly user friendly, totally
straightforward and very easy to use. But I can understand that that's just
because I'm a IT professional. I can see that for an inexperienced user, let
alone a novice genalogist, the program is going to be *way* too difficult.
And then you've got a very limited set of options: dumb down the interface,
make a newbie/experienced user switch, alienate new and inexperienced users,
or provide them with excellent context sensitive help and a number of
wizards.

Michel

-----Original Message-----
From: Cheri Casper [mailto:]
Sent: donderdag 11 maart 2004 21:12
To:
Subject: RE: [GENBOX] sourcing wizard

Paul - I think even for adding citations, that a wizard is going to be
impractical. Michel listed several items that could be found on a marriage
certificate, however, I've not seen any of those items on a US marriage
certificate, certainly not mine. Again, I think accounting for cultural
differences is going to make this impractical. Additionally, supposing that
one could devised and used. Will this yield a citation to every fact or if
all facts are cited, will this revert to an Event citation? How will the
program know that you indeed want a separate citation for every fact for an
event (which might be someone's preference) versus an event-level citation?
What if you forget and add it to every fact but really only want an Event
level one? I just see a lot of questions and ramifications.

I just see too many issues for this to be implemented in a practical manner.
IMHO there are other places that I would like to see Bill focus his
attention . . . namely making the search/query feature more user friendly
and adding some items to the search capabilities.

CheriC


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul J. Harris [mailto:]
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2004 7:53 AM
To:
Subject: RE: [GENBOX] sourcing wizard


Cheri,

I have to agree with you here. I think a Wizard approach to 'creating' a
source is too structured for the requirements. That task should probably be
left to us non-wizards. <g>

Much of this discussion has actually centered more around a Wizardly
CITATION. What I think might be more useful to all levels of users would be
a wizardly approach to 'mining' a source. That is a term I have used to
describe what it is I do WITH a source. I 'mine' information from it, then
document that 'mining' process by creating citations. I use a checklist to
make sure I don't overlook anything in the source and that I create all of
the necessary citations. If the user could define their own 'Wizards' for
each source type that would prompt you for the citations you define for that
type, and track your progress on creating them, that could become an
invaluable tool.

Paul

-----Original Message-----
From: Cheri Casper [mailto:]
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2004 10:01 AM
To:
Subject: RE: [GENBOX] sourcing wizard


Michel - How would a wizard accommodate the various types of sources that
are culturally unique? For example, UK censuses are -- it is my
understanding -- quite unique from US censuses. Likewise with a variety of
records. I think there are monumental implications of trying to create a
wizard to handle such a breadth of sources and allow for such differences.
CheriC

-----Original Message-----
From: Michel Vuijlsteke [mailto:]
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2004 3:18 AM
To:
Subject: [GENBOX] sourcing wizard


I don't have that much else to do :) so I thought I'd flesh out my wizard
idea a bit.

Here's how I would see a wizard that would guide a user to add source
information to an assertion.

Step 1. Explain the process, choose existing source or new source.
For existing sources: show last x used (10?) + "More...", and/or allow
typing in the combobox, continue with step 2.
For new sources: create the new source first (see below), then continue

Step 2. Format the citation
a. Show what the citation looks like (as in primary citation on formatting
tab). Ask if this is specific enough to find the necessary support for the
assertion. If not, add "where in source" information + refresh preview b. Do
you want to add an introduction to the citation, e.g. "Birth date can be
deduced from" or "Name variation as seen in signature on"? If so, add "lead
text" + refresh preview.
c. Do you want to add an annotation, e.g. "Additional information in the
margin" or "Very poor quality copy"? If so, add "annotation" + refresh
preview.

Step 3. Support level and credibility
a. How much does the source (name) support you assertion (detail)? Radio
buttons for the differrnt support levels + short explanation b. How much
credibility do you attach to the source? Radio buttons for the differrent
credibility levels + short explanation c. Do you want to briefly explain why
you believe the cited source is relevant to the current assertion? This
information is for your own personal research purposes, and does not
normally appear on output reports. You can store here the reasons why you
assigned a low/high support level or low/high credibility, or the facts
extracted from the source that you think make your case, or personal
reminders of work yet to be performed. If so, add "rationale" info.

Step 4. Surety
Show the assertion and list all different citations for the assertion
(highlight the latest one).
"With all these citations, how sure are you of this assertion?" Radio
buttons for surety levels + explanation.

Step 5. The end
Showa final preview of the assertion + footnotes.
Offer the chance to manually fine tune: open citation and source window.

Now there are a few obvious problems, mostly because in "normal use" you
tend to sometimes go back and fort between the citation and the source, so
if you see there's something wrong in step 2 you'd have to be able to go to
the source definition to change the formatting-- and the wizard should
abviously be in a modal window, so you can't do anything else than the
wizard unless you close it.

I also don't really see how you could make a good wizard to add new sources,
because any (hard coded) wizard is going to have to depend on the
(non-modified!) existence of certain sources.

What I *can* see however, is source wizards for certain common types f
sources. In Belgium those would be birth/death/marriage civil records,
baptism/burial/marriage church records, photos, interviews, books, etc.

Michel


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==== GENBOX Mailing List ====
To join this list, send an email to with the
word "subscribe" as the subject line. Then email your messages to
and they will appear on this list.

==============================
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Collection with an Ancestry.com free trial. Click to learn more.
http://www.ancestry.com/rd/redir.asp?targetid=4930&sourceid=1237



==== GENBOX Mailing List ====
To join this list, send an email to with the
word "subscribe" as the subject line. Then email your messages to
and they will appear on this list.

==============================
Gain access to over two billion names including the new Immigration
Collection with an Ancestry.com free trial. Click to learn more.
http://www.ancestry.com/rd/redir.asp?targetid=4930&sourceid=1237


==== GENBOX Mailing List ====
To join this list, send an email to with the
word "subscribe" as the subject line. Then email your messages to
and they will appear on this list.

==============================
Gain access to over two billion names including the new Immigration
Collection with an Ancestry.com free trial. Click to learn more.
http://www.ancestry.com/rd/redir.asp?targetid=4930&sourceid=1237




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