Posts tagged ‘Diacriticals’

April 22, 2013

Ancestry Adds Diacriticals to Their GEDCOM Exports — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Diacriticals, #GEDCOM

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

AncestryFixed

Left – Ancestry fixed (diacriticals) • Right – Data missing diacriticals before fix

Ancestry.com ,  you must forgive Stanczyk. With the cacophony of the Terroristic Bombing at the Boston Marathon, The Fertilizer Explosion in West, TX, Chinese Earthquake and so many big news stories that kept my attention, I had neglected to read your email.

This week Ancestry fixed at least two of my bugs. I cannot test the other bug. Let me back up a bit. Long time readers may remember my blog article, “Thinking About @Ancestrydotcom ‘s GEDCOM” from (1st-March-2013). In that article, I asked Ancestry.com to fix three things:

  1. CHAR tag in their GEDCOM export
  2. Support diacriticals ex.:    ą ć ę ł ń ó ś ź ż   (in proper Polish nouns)
  3. Phantom Notes ???

I am here to publicly THANK YOU, Ancestry.com  for taking my tweets at (Twitter: @Ancestrydotcom ) and fixing these problems. I assume #3 was fixed too, but I have no way to test your fix (as I had deleted the offending comments in March). But I am here to tell the INTERNET that Ancestry.com took my tweets and opened a ticket and fixed the bugs!

Now my diacriticals which I entered into my Ancestry.com family tree were exported from Ancestry.com website, downloaded to my laptop, where I examined the GEDCOM file in gVIM (I am still a techy at heart) and saw the new CHAR tag in the GEDCOM file!

I then imported the GEDCOM into RootsMagic (which I knew supported diacriticals) and voila there was my data all proper in RootsMagic!

AncestryFixed_UTF8Ancestry used a value of UTF-8 for the CHAR tag. This allowed me to keep my diacriticals on the export. So now my Family Tree in Ancestry and my Family Tree in RootsMagic can have identical data. I no longer lose my valuable work from Ancestry (or have to re-enter the data on my laptop).

So I hope  my readers follow my example and Tweet at Ancestry. You too can help improve their software, when you find bugs and request bug fixes. I hope my fixes help other genealogists (like the many Polish genealogists who read this blog). NOW we have diacriticals. See they are a kindly 800 lb. (362.87 kg) Gorilla of the genealogy world. That is why I am a subscriber — they value me as a customer.

THANKS AGAIN, Ancestry!

–Stanczyk

4/22/2013

March 2, 2012

Diacritical Redux – Ancestry GEDCOM — #Genealogy, #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

As Stanczyk, was writing about the GEDCOM standard since #RootsTech 2012, I began to pick apart my own GEDCOM file (*.ged). I did this as I was engaged with Tamura Jones (a favorite foil to debate Genealog Technology with). During our tête-á-tête, I noticed that my GEDCOM lacked diacriticals???

What happened? At first I thought it was the software that Tamura had recommended I use, but it was not the problem of that software (PAF). So I looked at the gedcom file that I had imported and the diacriticals were missing from there meaning, my export software was the culprit.

I looked at the GEDCOM’s  HEAD tag and the CHAR sub-tag, and it said “ANSI” [no quotes] was the value. That is not even a valid possible value! According to the GEDCOM 5.5.1 standard [on page 44 of the FamilySearch PDF document]:

CHARACTER_SET:= {Size=1:8}
[ ANSEL |UTF-8 | UNICODE | ASCII ]

Who is this dastardly purveyor of substandard GEDCOM that strips out your diacriticals (that I assumed you have been working so hard to add since my aritcle on Tuesday,  “Dying For Diacriticals“)? I’ll give you a HINT, it is the #1 Genealogy Website  — Yes,  it is ANCESTRY.COM !

Now what makes this error even more dastardly is that the website shows you the diacriticals in the User Interface (UI), but when you go to export/download the diacriticals are not there in the gedcom and unless you study things closely, you may be oblivious (as Stanczyk was for a long time) that these errors have crept into your research. I also found a spurious NOTE that I cannot find anywhere on anyone in my tree — which gets attributed to my home person (uh, me). This is very alarming to me too !!!

Tim Sullivan (CEO of Ancestry.com), I expected better of you and your website. I entrusted my family tree to you and that is what you did with my gedcom? Now I did some more investigating and I found that Ancestry does not strip ALL diacriticals. My gedcom had diacriticals in the PLAC tags and in NOTE tags. But NOT (I repeat NOT) in the NAME tags.

So Tim [pretend there is a shaky leaf here] , if you or a reputation defender or some other minion skims the Internet (for your name) here is what  I hope You/Ancestry.com will do:

  1. Do NOT strip diacriticals from the NAME tag !!!
  2.  Fix the Export GEDCOM to create a gedcom file with diacriticals in NAME tags
  3. Fix the Export GEDCOM to create a valid CHAR tag value: UNICODE, UTF-8, ASCII, ANSEL. I put them in my prioritized/preferred order [from left-to-right]. I hope you will not use ASCII or ANSEL.
  4. Run a GEDCOM validator against the gedcom file your Export GEDCOM software creates to download and fix the other “little things” too  (Mystery NOTEs ???).
February 19, 2012

Meme: #RootsTech — #Genealogy, #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

A while ago, Stanczyk bemoaned iOS5. Therefore, I owe it an update …

  • Portable Genealogy is sound – Ancestry App better than ever
  • The Camera App in iOS5 does have a zoom. In fact if you use the familiar “pinch-gesture” you can zoom in/out and the old zoom slider appears too. Also you can use the Volume Up button (on the side of the phone to take a picture — helpful when the camera is rotated.
  • Just having the iPhone was very useful during the #RootsTech conference as my note taking device. Until iPad2(3) arrived(s) and it has both WiFi/G3 (LTE) I would have been without blogging capabilities in the Salt Palace convention center when its WiFi would go down. I utilized the #RootsTech App (for iPhone & there was one for Android too).
  • In the library it was my digital  camera.
  • In fact the ImageToText App came in handy to OCR an image of text for me
  • I used the Ancestry App to enter the transcribed text from the microfilm images right into the evidence (note area) of the app of an indivividual and attached the iPhone picture too.
  • In one case, I was able to get an immediate shaky leaf as a result of my data entry — much to my disbelief (and it was correct). So I could do an immediate on-site analysis and do further microfilm searching as a result.
  • I used the Bump App to swap contact info with one genealogist. I cannot wait until all genealogists become mobile-enabled and lose my business cards altogether. Hint to RootsTech Vendors you should use Bumps too to collect user info. Why do I have to drop a business card into a fishbowl??? Do a BUMP,  get a chotsky (swag). Leave the fishbowl for  the Luddites.
  • Are you a Slavic (Czech, Pole, Russian, etc.) genealogist? Then you must be dying for diacriticals. You could add an international keyboard. But why? In iOS5, just press and hold down the ‘ l ‘ key and up will come a list including the slashed-l. Just slide your finger over onto the slashed-l to enter that. Likewise, for entering ‘S, E, A, Z, C, N, etc.’ too — works upper/lower case. Of course if you have German ancestors, you can get your umlauts too in the same fashion. That trick is a Latin Alphabet data entry trick (sorry Cyrillic or Hebrew readers — try the International Keyboard trick).
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