Profile

Cover photo
Pat Farrell
Attended VA Tech
Lives in Wayne, PA
67 followers|26,529 views
AboutPostsPhotosYouTubeReviews

Stream

Pat Farrell

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
I think one should consider a Document as a first class object in this world. The Census record is not an event, rather it is a document that records an event, just as a marriage certificate, death obit, etc. Using OO terminology, a Document has subclasses of PaperDocument, ImageOfPaperDocument, EtherOriginDocument, NotesFromOralStory, etc.

With this, a Marriage event could have many source documents from guests "I was at the marriage", or "I was best man", to scanned images of the Church certificate, possible civil permits and licenses, and collaborating documents such as Census Documents (recursively in all types) that subsequently show roles such as husband and wife.
… so to speak. Do you attach census pages to people in your tree as evidence of a birth date? If so then there is a good chance that you are currently attaching items to the wrong entities in your data. Read about the pitfall...
1
Add a comment...

Pat Farrell

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
 "millions of people who buy history books written by academic historians"  I assume your tongue is firmly in cheek. I'm pretty sure that most books by academic historians are only read by other academic historians, and they never sell in the millions. I bet you a pint they never sell in small number of thousands.  The history that I find both interesting to read, and to think about, tend to be by people who are scoffed at by academic historians. Folks like Barbara Tuchman,  Bruce Catton, Shelby Foote,  Niall Ferguson, Christopher Hibbert, etc.
1
Pat Farrell's profile photoTony Proctor's profile photo
3 comments
 
It probably comes down to training. The genealogical world has more standards of methodology than does traditional history, despite genealogy being frowned upon as any type of academic endeavour. That's probably the result of the software-driven tree model, which is now ubiquitous but devoid of any real methodology.
Add a comment...

Pat Farrell

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
The best thing about standards is that there are so many to chose from. In my experience, effective standard are possible when there is commercial industry need for a minimal common subset, or to keep out low cost competitors. SQL is a good example of the first. Every relational DBMS supports it, but no real work can be done efficiently using just "standard SQL". You have to use extensions, and now you are locked in.

Material standards are a good example of the second case. During the transition to steam power, boilers were blowing up causing huge economic loss (sunk steam boats, destroyed trains, etc.) So the industry developed standards for steel formulation that allowed engineers to design for stress and strain. It also meant that sloppy steel mills could not make the high quality steel acceptable to the standards. As the industry progressed, new higher-quality, higher strength steels were invented, processes updated, and the low quality steel mills kept out of the market.

On the specific name GEDCOM, it is owned and controlled by LDS and they have stated that they are happy with it. It meets there theological needs. No one can argue with them, the LDS knows what theological needs the LDS has. Any viable industry supported alternative standard needs an independent name. Like STEMMA
There haven’t been many discussions about data standards for a while now. What is the practicality of their development? Are there conflicting requirements? What would be a good way to proceed? In 2012, FHISO (Fami...
1
Tony Proctor's profile photoPat Farrell's profile photo
2 comments
 
I expect that FHISO is doomed to die.  The interesting thing about the SQL standard was that relational databases and relational calculus existed before Codd' book was written. They did not use SQL. But it was fairly easy to add a SQL front end to a relational DBMS, so the vendors did to add marketability.  There was a big battle at the time between DBMS philosophies, with CODASYL, inverted index, and relational all fighting it out. It turned out that claiming SQL compliance was a useful marketing ploy.
Add a comment...

Pat Farrell

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
The use of a narrative to describe a complex situation is, IMHO, a cop-out. You have simply replaced one limited encoding with a linguistic one subject to language, cultural, and social complexity. How is " 1=male, 0=female, and nothing when unknown, in order to avoid locale dependencies." better than M, F, B, Q for male, female, bi and queer? Its different, but I don't see its better. Of course, queer may be socially unacceptable in some societies, so you still have a mapping problem.
1
Tony Proctor's profile photoPat Farrell's profile photo
4 comments
 
I think we are agreeing 99%. There is also a locale that is specific to the user, say suburban Philadelphia or Jeddah Saudi Arabia.

You may remember when HIV/Aids first it the mainstream press. The early reports were the patients were from one of three groups: gay men, intervenes drug users, and Haitian citizens. Why Haitians? because culturally they could not admit that they had gay sex. So for a couple of years, we wasted medical research time focusing on why citizens of a small Caribbean island were getting the disease.
Add a comment...

Pat Farrell

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
Interesting stuff. After 40+ years of professional DBMS design, and 20 years of on-and-off use of genealogy packages, I've suddenly become interested in the philosophy of facts and sources.

Question: how do you consider "personal knowledge" as a fact/source? For example, I know that my father was named Andrew Harry Farrell, because he told me so. He told me, so I'm a primary source. But there is no written proof of this. Its something that happened over the 45+ years of my life that overlapped his life. There are lots of other facts that are similarly true to me, but questionable to some (all?) third parties. That he was born in 1910, went to Iowa State, worked as a fireman and policeman, met my mom at a Lawrence Welk dance, loved to dance and play bridge.

There is a small amount of formal records, such as US Census records from 1920 that show a boy of 10 living in Omaha. There is nothing in writing about how he met my mom.
After bringing things up-to-date regarding STEMMA V4.0 in my previous post, Our Days of Future Passed — Part I, I now want to expand on its support for narrative genealogy. When asked what this is, most people would respon...
2
Tony Proctor's profile photoHilary Gadsby's profile photoGeorge Turner's profile photo
3 comments
 
The definition of critical thinking usually includes personal observation and experience.
Add a comment...
Have him in circles
67 people
Ralph Berrett (FullMetalPhotographer)'s profile photo
abdelhak ben ali's profile photo
Michael Farrell's profile photo
Emily Farrell's profile photo
Scott Eisenberg's profile photo
Captain Juno's profile photo
Collins Deale Williams's profile photo
Photography Unfiltered's profile photo
Angela Farrell's profile photo

Pat Farrell

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
Oh, from the title, I expected this article to be about how two researchers can collaborate (do research independently) on the same person. Much like 'git' can let two software engineers work on the same code.

Why do you want only one note or one link from a particular "user"? I can see a case where you have multiple links of different strengths (degree of truthyness)
Following my previous post, Collaboration With Tears, where I suggested that some element of Isolationism is inherent in genealogy, and what criteria would make collaboration practical, I want to now describe a novel approach...
1
Tony Proctor's profile photo
 
Because the link expresses a relationship rather than being a general "note". Plus, it keeps this idea simple so that people have a fighting chance of understanding it. There are lots of elaborations I could have introduced here, but it would have been OTT for an article. It's a shame that none of the vendors saw the power of this -- effectively crowd-souring the identification of people in census returns. I did float the idea to one of the "biggies" but their so-called marketing weren't interested, and I doubt their development team could have achieved it anyway.
Add a comment...

Pat Farrell

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
I think any article about the commercial realities of a topic really needs to discuss commercialization of products in a public marketplace.

Vendors always want the minimal common subset of functionality that the customers will pay for. Until customers demand something better than GEDCOM, there is no commercial viability. After look at this topic for about 20 years, only a tiny number of users are even aware that there are issues.
1
Tony Proctor's profile photo
 
I would argue that people's perceptions of s/w are dictated by what they see, Pat. Until they see something that breaks ranks then most people find it hard to imagine something greater. Unfortunately, genealogy has been trundling along, dragging GEDCOM wherever it goes, for so long that those perceptions are firmly of a tools for maintaining databases.
Add a comment...

Pat Farrell

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
I see that your examples use a pseudo-hungarian notation, with the first letter of the XML tags carried down as the prefix, as both the tags and in the values for the tag instances. i.e. PersonRef Key='pLindseyBuckingham' Isn't that adding a lot of redundancy that is going to impact subsequent retrievals of other tag/value pairs about LindseyBuckingham?
This title of this post comes from a number of publications by Pete Frame, creator and former editor of the Britain’s first rock magazine, ZigZag, that describe the evolution of rock bands and their members. Those works were ...
1
Tony Proctor's profile photo
 
They're purely the keys for accessing entities such as Persons, Places, and so on -- they're not shown in the UI, Pat. There's a list of my prefixes at www.parallaxview.co/familyhistorydata/home/document-structure/symbolic-names, but it's only a convention I have been using in my code examples. It makes no difference at all to retrieval times as I use in-memory hashtables (and similar concepts) extensively.
Add a comment...

Pat Farrell

commented on a post on Blogger.
Shared publicly  - 
 
Tony, is there a place to download STEMMA 4.0? Any hints on languages or OS that it likes? etc.?
If you think this is about bequests, wills, estate planning, or probate then you’d be wrong. I’m afraid this is about software inheritance and how it simplifies the creation of one genealogical entity (e.g. a Citation or an E...
1
Tony Proctor's profile photoPat Farrell's profile photo
10 comments
 
I too am old. But the commercial realities of a viable standard require that it be used by at least one viable commercial product (or at least massively used open-source product).  From what I see, the typical touch-based UI is terrible, except for drawing links But that is just an engineering challenge.

Software development was a lot easier when the world was Windows and Macs were an obscure religion that you could ignore.
Add a comment...
People
Have him in circles
67 people
Ralph Berrett (FullMetalPhotographer)'s profile photo
abdelhak ben ali's profile photo
Michael Farrell's profile photo
Emily Farrell's profile photo
Scott Eisenberg's profile photo
Captain Juno's profile photo
Collins Deale Williams's profile photo
Photography Unfiltered's profile photo
Angela Farrell's profile photo
Work
Occupation
retired software designer
Employment
  • retired software designer, present
  • AMS
  • AFrame Digital
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Wayne, PA
Previously
Falls Church, VA - Arlington, VA - Blacksburg, Virginia
Story
Tagline
Professional geek, programmer since punched cards
Education
  • VA Tech
  • George Mason University
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Birthday
March 17
Relationship
Married
Stayed here last fall (2014) with about 10 other guys. Had a great time. Some of the folks were in the private rooms, and about six of us just stayed in the "bunk room" Nice place, good breakfast, includes WiFi (there is no cell coverage in Matewan, but its OK up on the mountain). Well worth the modest fee they charged. And close to the trailhead.
Public - 4 months ago
reviewed 4 months ago
Terrible experience. I spent 7 hours in this shop getting a trailer hitch installed. I paid, in advance, to FedEx in the hitch, because they didn't have it in stock. This was on Monday. When I showed up for my appointment, on time, the part was not there. They did not have the part, they did not bother to ship it out until Tuesday afternoon. After charging me $65 for fast delivery. While I waited for the part, they tried to install the wiring harness. The service tech had no idea how to install it on my car, a VW Passat. He spent at least an hour looking at instructional videos. Today, I drove to buy a trailer, and by the time I got the the trailer dealer, the electrical wiring for the hitch had shorted out. The power wire had not been tied down, it moved against he turbo-charger, and melted the insulation. Which caused a short and blown fuse. It took over an hour for the experienced guy to replace all of the wiring done by the U-Haul tech.
• • •
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Great local pharmacy. Had a special medicine in stock that nobody else carried.
Quality: ExcellentAppeal: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Its a diner, but a very good one
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
6 reviews
Map
Map
Map
I have been going to Dr O'Hara for more than 15 years. He is a great doctor. He has probably saved my life with his guidance. I do wish that the practice would not book as many patients per day, as it often feels as if the Doctor doesn't have as much time as he would like to spend with each session.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Bank is next to Greevy's Pub. Its very hard to see from Route 50 (aka Arlington Blvd) as it is in the shopping center. Its a typical local branch of a mega-bank.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago