[APG Public List] best mac genealogy program

linda at fpr.com linda at fpr.com
Fri Nov 12 08:40:58 MST 2010

Larry wrote:

>I don't see a need to have source citation templates in a gen program, so that's not a problem for me.  Some simple way to attach >source citations to facts fills my needs.  I think there's too much potential of ending up with something that doesn't match the >purposes that I create source citations for, when you fill in blanks in some template.  

I agree.  Sometimes it seems to me that the presence or absence of
source templates is given unjustified weight when evaluating  software,
no matter what style or system those templates model.   As you wrote,
Larry, different output purposes call for different formats. In
addition, citation models do change and evolve.

What I'd like in my genealogy software regarding sources:

-for a given fact, attaching clearly the relevant sources.  I have
figured out a way to do this to my satisfaction in Reunion.   In Reunion
a source is attached to the entire event (not the date part, or place,
or memo field).   So I create "evidence" notes for my events, for
example "BirthEvidence".   A note field is free text and can be
referenced exactly the way one would in a word processor.   The
information I store in the associated event field is my current
"conclusion" based upon the evidence note contents.   I assign no
sources to the event itself.  For me, this approach makes it easier for
me to remember what tidbit came from what source and how it contributes
to my overall thinking for that event.   There are other software
programs that offer the ability to attach sources to each component of
an event.  At first glance this capability was very attractive and I had
a serious case of sour grapes regarding Reunion, but I've come to feel
that my written analysis evaluating my use of the multiple sources is
more important to me, and I no longer feel that Reunion's sourcing of
events is a serious weakness for me.  For me, it's not a weakness at

-the ability to define templates.   Simply for reducing repetitive work.
 Reunion offers this in spades.  The user can define new source fields
and templates very easily.    It's pretty flexible.  Probably the only
thing I'd like to add is the ability to have more than one free text
field associated with a source.   Obviously not for output purposes, but
I use the one available free text field for descriptive and evaluative
purposes. For some sources it's getting quite lengthy and it would be
nice to have a bit more structure.

-the ability to share templates with another user.  This capability
makes it possible for someone other than the software developer to 
provide template sets for specific citation models, if they want to.  If
I remember correctly, this is now possible in Reunion, although I have
not used it.  This ability bypasses the whole issue of the software
itself offering the templates.  <g>

-the ability to structure sources hierarchically.   Especially, in this
day of online providers offering digitized versions of microform and
print publications, I'd like to be able to describe the microform (or
print publication)  *once*.   describe the online rendition *once*.  
and then, if I have changes to make to the original source, I would only
have to do it once, and not have to go to each of the various online
sources and make the same change in several places.   Likewise, there
are two different levels of description/evaluation--one for each
publication environment.   Reunion does not offer this capability. 
Sources are a flat database, with no ability to specify relationships
between sources.   

-the ability to define output formats for sources   So I could define
what I want for a "Source Entry" or "Reference Note" (if we're talking
EE) or whatever citation model I'd like to use when I run a report.  
Reunion does not have this capability.   The field order reflects that
in the source template, separated by commas, the whole thing ended with
a period.   On a field level the user can specify text to precede the
field contents, or field formatting (italicized or in quotes, for
example), or indicate that a field shouldn't be printed at all, but it's
somewhat time consuming to change the format for one specific report and
then change it back to "normal."   For information on individuals and
families, Reunion users can define report formats indicating what fields
(events, facts, notes, etc) are to be included and in what order.    It
would be great if the same formatting power were available for sources,
but Reunion does not offer it.    

In general I like how Reunion offers its users a great deal of
flexibility, if they wish to use it.   I wish Reunion offered more
flexibility with respect to sources.  So I'd rather the developers spend
their energies on those types of features, rather than creating and
maintaining a set of source templates--a task better suited to a
knowledgable and motivated user.  IMO

Larry, I'll be interested to hear what you think after you've tried out
the demo.   I've never used any other genealogy software so I have
absolutely no basis for comparison.

Linda Gardner

More information about the APGPublicList mailing list