Spelling variations?

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Spelling variations?

Martin Ewing
Maybe we've had too much discussions of names and addresses, but there is one point where I'd like guidance.  In "olden" days, it was common that a name would be spelled in various ways on different occasions.  Parents and children might use different spellings, etc.

What is the best way to recognize spelling variants?

There is the "Names" tab, but this is overkill.  Generally, I only want to allow for a surname variant.  "Also known as" would not be incorrect, but it doesn't seem to capture the situation, and in any case a new "name" is a heavyweight entity (so many options!). 

For example I have a birth record for "Bowin" and a marriage record for the same person as "Bowen".

--
Martin Ewing, AA6E
Branford, CT

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Re: Spelling variations?

Laura Mellen
I doubt this is the way a "real" genealogist would do it ;0 but I spell the surname the way that it is most of the time. For variants, I might have a remark in a note somewhere about it being spelled different in a source, etc. There is one name in my tree, FOLDENAUER, that I have seen 10 different spellings for, eek!
Laura


Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 18:02:10 -0400
From: [hidden email]
To: [hidden email]
Subject: [Gramps-users] Spelling variations?

Maybe we've had too much discussions of names and addresses, but there is one point where I'd like guidance.  In "olden" days, it was common that a name would be spelled in various ways on different occasions.  Parents and children might use different spellings, etc.

What is the best way to recognize spelling variants?

There is the "Names" tab, but this is overkill.  Generally, I only want to allow for a surname variant.  "Also known as" would not be incorrect, but it doesn't seem to capture the situation, and in any case a new "name" is a heavyweight entity (so many options!). 

For example I have a birth record for "Bowin" and a marriage record for the same person as "Bowen".

--
Martin Ewing, AA6E
Branford, CT


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Re: Spelling variations?

Martin Steer-2
In reply to this post by Martin Ewing
"Martin Ewing" <[hidden email]> writes:

> What is the best way to recognize spelling variants?
>
> There is the "Names" tab, but this is overkill. Generally, I only want
> to allow for a surname variant. "Also known as" would not be
> incorrect, but it doesn't seem to capture the situation, and in any
> case a new "name" is a heavyweight entity (so many options!).

The natural way within Gramps would seem to be to add a name with a type
which does capture the situation (e.g. overwrite whatever tag comes up
in the type field with "Variant").

If this is overkill, then a note.

--
Martin

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Re: Spelling variations?

Espen Berg-2
In reply to this post by Martin Ewing
2008/9/4 Martin Ewing <[hidden email]>:

> Maybe we've had too much discussions of names and addresses, but there is
> one point where I'd like guidance.  In "olden" days, it was common that a
> name would be spelled in various ways on different occasions.  Parents and
> children might use different spellings, etc.
>
> What is the best way to recognize spelling variants?
>
> There is the "Names" tab, but this is overkill.  Generally, I only want to
> allow for a surname variant.  "Also known as" would not be incorrect, but it
> doesn't seem to capture the situation, and in any case a new "name" is a
> heavyweight entity (so many options!).
>
> For example I have a birth record for "Bowin" and a marriage record for the
> same person as "Bowen".


In Norwegian church books the spelling of a person changes from time
to time.  The name is spelled one way when christening the baby.
Later on the baby grows up and go through a confirmation.  At that
time the name is likely to be spelled in another way (for no obvious
reason).  Perhaps the person marries some day and then a third variant
of the name is seen.  Then children are born and the father/mother
might have their name spelled in different ways for each child.

Now what do I do with that?  I try to use "normalised" names as much
as possible to make the data more tidy.  I put the name as spelled in
the primary sources in the name-tab.  For a person I might get several
records in the name-tab.

This is my way of registering.  It suits me well, but it might look
awkward for others?  We all register our own way, but some
standardisation (guide lines) would be really preferred.


Espen

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Re: Spelling variations?

Benny Malengier
In reply to this post by Martin Ewing
The name tab might look like overkill, but if you want to record it, and you want it organized, and you want to know over 15 years how it was again with the name of a distant relative, and you want to link new information to existing information, then the name tab is what you should use.

Note that when you find a person for the first time in a source with a name spelled different than what you expect, you want to QUICKLY find if other people exist with a name spelled like that.
If you do not record all naming variants in the name tab, you will not be able to do this. With the names recorded, it is as simple as typing the spelling variant in the sidebar filter in the name box, and hitting enter.
Benny

2008/9/4 Martin Ewing <[hidden email]>
Maybe we've had too much discussions of names and addresses, but there is one point where I'd like guidance.  In "olden" days, it was common that a name would be spelled in various ways on different occasions.  Parents and children might use different spellings, etc.

What is the best way to recognize spelling variants?

There is the "Names" tab, but this is overkill.  Generally, I only want to allow for a surname variant.  "Also known as" would not be incorrect, but it doesn't seem to capture the situation, and in any case a new "name" is a heavyweight entity (so many options!). 

For example I have a birth record for "Bowin" and a marriage record for the same person as "Bowen".

--
Martin Ewing, AA6E
Branford, CT

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Re: Spelling variations?

Brad Rogers
In reply to this post by Martin Ewing
On Wed, 3 Sep 2008 18:02:10 -0400
"Martin Ewing" <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hello Martin,

> There is the "Names" tab, but this is overkill.

Care to explain why?  I know it's a personal thing, and there's no
"right" or "wrong" way to use the names tab, but I'd like to understand
your reasons.

What you /could/ do is add a note to the source record citation saying
that the name is spelled differently from the usual method.  OTOH, as
Benny says, the Name tab really is the best place to add the variant
spelling.

--
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         / )           "The blindingly obvious is
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Now I found you out, I don't think you're so smart
Who Are You - Black Sabbath

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Re: Spelling variations?

Steven Birnam
Theere is an issue which has not been brought up, that I would ask to
be addressed...

My family name includes several variants, as as people with the same
family name moved from place to place, they changed the spelling
(actually, the authorities in the new location changed the spelling),
so I have a list of Grobsteins, Grobshteins, Grubstiens, Grubstajns,
Grubsztajns.

But this is not my issue - the issue is what to do when the people
crossed borders to countries where the alphabet changes - how do I, in
GRAMPS, list a person's name in multiple alphabets - firstly: Cyrillic
- as my family members moved from western to eastern Europe, and then,
farther eaat, their names were registered in Cyrillic, so all
documentation, records, and even gravestones, are in Cyrillic - but
the name still has to be linked to earlie, and later, generations, who
used the western alphabet to record the family name.

One step further - many family members record their Hebrew name (and I
prefer to avoid transliterating - I want to record the Hebrew or
Yiddish name, in the Hebrew characters) - but this does not enable me
to correctly link the namesacross the multiple alphabets (this must
also be the case for many of us who use multiple alphabets, from
Arabic, to Thai, to Chinese, to Inuit) - is there an easy solution in
GRAMPS?

Steven Birnam

On Thu, Sep 4, 2008 at 4:06 AM, Brad Rogers <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, 3 Sep 2008 18:02:10 -0400
> "Martin Ewing" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hello Martin,
>
>> There is the "Names" tab, but this is overkill.
>
> Care to explain why?  I know it's a personal thing, and there's no
> "right" or "wrong" way to use the names tab, but I'd like to understand
> your reasons.
>
> What you /could/ do is add a note to the source record citation saying
> that the name is spelled differently from the usual method.  OTOH, as
> Benny says, the Name tab really is the best place to add the variant
> spelling.
>
> --
>  Regards  _
>         / )           "The blindingly obvious is
>        / _)rad        never immediately apparent"
>
> Now I found you out, I don't think you're so smart
> Who Are You - Black Sabbath
>
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>

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Re: Spelling variations?

Martin Ewing
In reply to this post by Brad Rogers


On Thu, Sep 4, 2008 at 4:06 AM, Brad Rogers <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Wed, 3 Sep 2008 18:02:10 -0400
"Martin Ewing" <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hello Martin,

> There is the "Names" tab, but this is overkill.

Care to explain why?  I know it's a personal thing, and there's no
"right" or "wrong" way to use the names tab, but I'd like to understand
your reasons.

What you /could/ do is add a note to the source record citation saying
that the name is spelled differently from the usual method.  OTOH, as
Benny says, the Name tab really is the best place to add the variant
spelling.

Partly, it's an interface design issue.  The Name editor has many capabilities, some of which are obscure to me.  ("Group as" is apparently to accommodate language issues - gender forms, etc., but not spelling variations.)  Why should a name have a date?  Sometimes, people use different names at different times (i.e., after marriage), ok.   But spelling variants are more random. Another issue is that there are over 8 fields (boxes) that can be filled in.  Perhaps I'm just interested in specifying a nickname or an alternate spelling of the family name.  Do I need to fill in all the other fields?  Shouldn't they default to the primary name, rather than blank?

A better interface for my particular situation would allow me to point to a field like family name and specify a list of alternate spellings that I have encountered from various sources.  (Wood, Wod, Woode,...) without further ado.  Something easy, like a right-click, select "alternate spelling" and type in the name.  (Now we have to talk about 1-button OSs!)  Maybe I am suggesting the ability to add a "note" to any field in an editor panel.

The alternate Name method suggests that a person has multiple distinct identities, which is not the case here.  We are just seeing the random spelling that was common in English record-keeping in the 17th century and earlier.

--
Martin Ewing, AA6E
Branford, CT

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Re: Spelling variations?

Martin Steer-2
In reply to this post by Steven Birnam
"Steven Birnam" <[hidden email]> writes:

> Theere is an issue which has not been brought up, that I would ask to
> be addressed...
>
> My family name includes several variants, as as people with the same
> family name moved from place to place, they changed the spelling
> (actually, the authorities in the new location changed the spelling),
> so I have a list of Grobsteins, Grobshteins, Grubstiens, Grubstajns,
> Grubsztajns.
>
> But this is not my issue - the issue is what to do when the people
> crossed borders to countries where the alphabet changes - how do I, in
> GRAMPS, list a person's name in multiple alphabets - firstly: Cyrillic
> - as my family members moved from western to eastern Europe, and then,
> farther eaat, their names were registered in Cyrillic, so all
> documentation, records, and even gravestones, are in Cyrillic - but
> the name still has to be linked to earlie, and later, generations, who
> used the western alphabet to record the family name.
>
> One step further - many family members record their Hebrew name (and I
> prefer to avoid transliterating - I want to record the Hebrew or
> Yiddish name, in the Hebrew characters) - but this does not enable me
> to correctly link the namesacross the multiple alphabets (this must
> also be the case for many of us who use multiple alphabets, from
> Arabic, to Thai, to Chinese, to Inuit) - is there an easy solution in
> GRAMPS?

In terms of the organisation of your database, it seems to me that you
need to decide on a canonical form for grouping, say GROBSTEIN, and then
get gramps to group other family names under this one, using "Group as"
in the name options. I don't see that variable scripts change the
essential problem, so long as gramps supports your fonts.

My own feeling is that transcribing names into a single script would be
sensible, with other-script forms stored as variants.

--
Martin

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Re: Spelling variations?

Benny Malengier
In reply to this post by Steven Birnam


2008/9/4 Steven Birnam <[hidden email]>
Theere is an issue which has not been brought up, that I would ask to
be addressed...

My family name includes several variants, as as people with the same
family name moved from place to place, they changed the spelling
(actually, the authorities in the new location changed the spelling),
so I have a list of Grobsteins, Grobshteins, Grubstiens, Grubstajns,
Grubsztajns.

But this is not my issue - the issue is what to do when the people
crossed borders to countries where the alphabet changes - how do I, in
GRAMPS, list a person's name in multiple alphabets - firstly: Cyrillic
- as my family members moved from western to eastern Europe, and then,
farther eaat, their names were registered in Cyrillic, so all
documentation, records, and even gravestones, are in Cyrillic - but
the name still has to be linked to earlie, and later, generations, who
used the western alphabet to record the family name.

One step further - many family members record their Hebrew name (and I
prefer to avoid transliterating - I want to record the Hebrew or
Yiddish name, in the Hebrew characters) - but this does not enable me
to correctly link the namesacross the multiple alphabets (this must
also be the case for many of us who use multiple alphabets, from
Arabic, to Thai, to Chinese, to Inuit) - is there an easy solution in
GRAMPS?

The group as feature is created for this. You can group an entire family name (eg hebrew name) under another family name (eg the latin script one), or only one person.

Benny


Steven Birnam

On Thu, Sep 4, 2008 at 4:06 AM, Brad Rogers <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Wed, 3 Sep 2008 18:02:10 -0400
> "Martin Ewing" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hello Martin,
>
>> There is the "Names" tab, but this is overkill.
>
> Care to explain why?  I know it's a personal thing, and there's no
> "right" or "wrong" way to use the names tab, but I'd like to understand
> your reasons.
>
> What you /could/ do is add a note to the source record citation saying
> that the name is spelled differently from the usual method.  OTOH, as
> Benny says, the Name tab really is the best place to add the variant
> spelling.
>
> --
>  Regards  _
>         / )           "The blindingly obvious is
>        / _)rad        never immediately apparent"
>
> Now I found you out, I don't think you're so smart
> Who Are You - Black Sabbath
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
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> [hidden email]
> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/gramps-users
>
>

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Re: Spelling variations?

Brad Rogers
In reply to this post by Martin Ewing
On Thu, 4 Sep 2008 10:49:37 -0400
"Martin Ewing" <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hello Martin,

> Partly, it's an interface design issue.  The Name editor has many
> capabilities, some of which are obscure to me.  ("Group as" is

Don't use the bits that make no sense for any given "issue".

> apparently to accommodate language issues - gender forms, etc., but not
> spelling variations.)  Why should a name have a date?  Sometimes,

Why not?  I use it for variant spellings, and also, using group as, can
differentiate between two families called GREEN, but that are, AFAICT,
not related.

> just interested in specifying a nickname or an alternate spelling of
> the family name.  Do I need to fill in all the other fields?  Shouldn't

Fill in as much/little as you need.

> they default to the primary name, rather than blank?

Frankly, I prefer to have the default as blank, since GRAMPS cannot know
which field(s) are of use for your purpose.  Better to have to fill in
three fields than empty five, IMO.

> A better interface for my particular situation would allow me to point
> to a field like family name and specify a list of alternate spellings
> that I have encountered from various sources.  (Wood, Wod, Woode,...)

Can be done in the name tab, if you wish.

> without further ado.  Something easy, like a right-click, select
> "alternate spelling" and type in the name.  (Now we have to talk about
> 1-button OSs!)  Maybe I am suggesting the ability to add a "note" to
> any field in an editor panel.

There's the possibility of adding notes all over the place in GRAMPS.  In
some ways, it's possible to argue there are too many places to add notes.

> The alternate Name method suggests that a person has multiple distinct
> identities, which is not the case here.  We are just seeing the random

Not necessarily, if a Type of "Variant Spelling" is created.  Then, any
record using that particular spelling gets cited in the same place.

> spelling that was common in English record-keeping in the 17th century
> and earlier.

Oh, don't I know it.  One family in my tree has 12 variants that I know
of, and a fellow researcher claims 30 variants in one of his families.

Anyhow, thanks for explaining your reasoning to me.  I might not agree
with all of it, but it's fuel for thought.

--
 Regards  _
         / )           "The blindingly obvious is
        / _)rad        never immediately apparent"

Well you tried it just the once and found it alright for kicks
Orgasm Addict - Buzzcocks

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Re: Spelling variations?

Martin Steer-2
In reply to this post by Benny Malengier
"Benny Malengier" <[hidden email]> writes:
>
> The group as feature is created for this. You can group an entire
> family name (eg hebrew name) under another family name (eg the latin
> script one), or only one person.

The narrated web site report doesn't deal well with grouping, because it
treats the 'group as' label as the surname, and strips off the surname
itself, in both the surnames list and the individuals list. In the entry
for an individual it does the converse, and strips off the grouping
label.

This might be okay for spelling variations, but it isn't any good for
genuinely different names (such as those the OP has to deal with). In
such a case you would want to see both the grouping name and the
surname, probably on all pages.

--
Martin

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Re: Spelling variations?

Gerald Britton-2
How would one go about retrofitting names using "group as"?  I have a
family with several spelling variants.  I try to stick to the birth
name if I know it.  I have more than an hundred people in this family.
 Is there a way to apply the name grouping en masse?

On Fri, Sep 5, 2008 at 3:12 AM, Martin Steer <[hidden email]> wrote:

> "Benny Malengier" <[hidden email]> writes:
>>
>> The group as feature is created for this. You can group an entire
>> family name (eg hebrew name) under another family name (eg the latin
>> script one), or only one person.
>
> The narrated web site report doesn't deal well with grouping, because it
> treats the 'group as' label as the surname, and strips off the surname
> itself, in both the surnames list and the individuals list. In the entry
> for an individual it does the converse, and strips off the grouping
> label.
>
> This might be okay for spelling variations, but it isn't any good for
> genuinely different names (such as those the OP has to deal with). In
> such a case you would want to see both the grouping name and the
> surname, probably on all pages.
>
> --
> Martin
>
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Re: Spelling variations?

Martin Steer-2
"Gerald Britton" <[hidden email]> writes:

> How would one go about retrofitting names using "group as"?  I have a
> family with several spelling variants.  I try to stick to the birth
> name if I know it.  I have more than an hundred people in this family.
>  Is there a way to apply the name grouping en masse?
>

If you choose one e.g. "Smythe" to group as "Smith", you're asked if you
want to group all "Smythes" in the same way. I'd use it with caution.

As I said earlier, "Group as" makes for some oddities in the display of
names in the Narrated Web Site.

--
Martin

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Re: Spelling variations?

OldAl
In reply to this post by Martin Ewing
Martin,

On Thu, 4 Sep 2008 08:02:10 Martin Ewing wrote:
Sorry to be a  "Johny come late" to this thread, but in which version of
gramps and in which window, and called by what option is the "Names" tag in
the GUI of gramps?

OldAl.

> Maybe we've had too much discussions of names and addresses, but there is
> one point where I'd like guidance.  In "olden" days, it was common that a
> name would be spelled in various ways on different occasions.  Parents and
> children might use different spellings, etc.
>
> What is the best way to recognize spelling variants?
>
> There is the "Names" tab, but this is overkill.  Generally, I only want to
> allow for a surname variant.  "Also known as" would not be incorrect, but
> it doesn't seem to capture the situation, and in any case a new "name" is a
> heavyweight entity (so many options!).
>
> For example I have a birth record for "Bowin" and a marriage record for the
> same person as "Bowen".



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Re: Spelling variations?

Benny Malengier


2008/9/5 Algis Kabaila <[hidden email]>
Martin,

On Thu, 4 Sep 2008 08:02:10 Martin Ewing wrote:
Sorry to be a  "Johny come late" to this thread, but in which version of
gramps and in which window, and called by what option is the "Names" tag in
the GUI of gramps?

Part of the person editor window, at bottom part of the screen with the tags.

It is there for several years already.

Benny

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Re: Spelling variations?

Benny Malengier
In reply to this post by Martin Steer-2


2008/9/5 Martin Steer <[hidden email]>
"Gerald Britton" <[hidden email]> writes:

> How would one go about retrofitting names using "group as"?  I have a
> family with several spelling variants.  I try to stick to the birth
> name if I know it.  I have more than an hundred people in this family.
>  Is there a way to apply the name grouping en masse?
>

If you choose one e.g. "Smythe" to group as "Smith", you're asked if you
want to group all "Smythes" in the same way. I'd use it with caution.

As I said earlier, "Group as" makes for some oddities in the display of
names in the Narrated Web Site.

You should file a bug for this. One should not change one's working processes due to bugs, one should get the bugs fixed instead.

Benny


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Re: Spelling variations?

Martin Steer-2
In reply to this post by Brad Rogers
Brad Rogers <[hidden email]> writes:

> On Thu, 4 Sep 2008 10:49:37 -0400
> "Martin Ewing" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>

[snip]

>> just interested in specifying a nickname or an alternate spelling of
>> the family name. Do I need to fill in all the other fields? Shouldn't
>
> Fill in as much/little as you need.
>
>> they default to the primary name, rather than blank?
>
> Frankly, I prefer to have the default as blank, since GRAMPS cannot
> know which field(s) are of use for your purpose. Better to have to
> fill in three fields than empty five, IMO.
>

It may not be satisfactory just to leave a field blank. Say, for
example, that my uncle is Clark Kent. I want to add "Superman" as
another name for him. Leaving other fields blank, my effective choices
in the name dialogue are:

Family name = ", Superman";
Given name = "Superman,";
Family + Given = "Kent, Superman";
Patronymic = "Superman";
Prefix = "Superman";
Suffix = "Superman";
Call name or Title = no name shown under the name tab.

Note that leaving some fields blank entails comma-delimited blanks in
the display. The only reasonable outcomes are to use the Patronymic,
Prefix or Suffix fields, with unpredictable results in reports.

Family nicknames (in English) are like Superman, they don't have a
surname. I call my great-uncle "Bunt", I don't call him "Bunt Smith". In
fact, what appears to be gramps' best solution in this case is to add an
attribute:

Nickname: Bunt

This is a good result, and is reasonably intuitive for an
English-speaker, but it isn't achieved through the name dialogue. It has
a drawback, too, in that the filter sidebar now can't find "Bunt" as a
name. That is, it returns a blank display and the message, "Active
person not visible".

>> A better interface for my particular situation would allow me to point
>> to a field like family name and specify a list of alternate spellings
>> that I have encountered from various sources.  (Wood, Wod, Woode,...)
>
> Can be done in the name tab, if you wish.
>

You mean as a name note or a Family-name with type such as "Variant
spelling"?

Variations on a name are basic in genealogy, and to my mind they deserve
better solutions than gramps makes available. Certains kinds of
variation, e.g. in family names over time, belong to the family as a
whole, not to an individual. As (the other) Martin suggests, it should
be possible to add a sourced variant to a name (i.e. presumably to some
"canonical" form). As far as I can tell, gramps won't let me do this.
Instead there is the possibility of a Group-as on a canonical variant:

Steere: group as Steer
Steers: group as Steer
Sture: group as Steer
Stuer: group as Steer
...

Here you're listing (groups of) individuals under one variant, not
listing variants under one heading. Each of these is something you might
want to do, but they are differently motivated. The former is about the
display of individuals, the latter about the capturing and display of
information about names. For instance, have a look at the problems with
this solution in a Narrated Web Site (the group-as displaces the
individual's family name in lists, but is absent from individual
entries).

There are other ways these things could be done. If, for example, a
family name were an object like an event or person, it could be shared
from one entry across many individuals, together with its attributes,
variants, sources, websites, etc. Such an approach might also help to
rid gramps of the assumption, noted above, that a family name entails a
given name (and vice versa).

--
Martin

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Re: Spelling variations?

OldAl
In reply to this post by Benny Malengier
Benny,

On Sat, 6 Sep 2008 06:34:17 Benny Malengier wrote:

> 2008/9/5 Algis Kabaila <[hidden email]>
>
> > Martin,
> >
> > On Thu, 4 Sep 2008 08:02:10 Martin Ewing wrote:
> > Sorry to be a  "Johny come late" to this thread, but in which version of
> > gramps and in which window, and called by what option is the "Names" tag
> > in the GUI of gramps?
>
> Part of the person editor window, at bottom part of the screen with the
> tags.
>
> It is there for several years already.
>
> Benny

You are a gem!  All those years of Python and GUI programming and you still
answer "silly questions" (there are no really clever questions, are there?).

Many thanks - the tab is surely there on gramps 3.0.1and the type of name can
be entered at will, in the drop down list, at least instead of the 'unknown'.

Gratefully,
OldAl



--
Dr Algis Kabaila (PhD Eng)
http://akabaila.pcug.org.au/StructuralAnalysis/
------------------------------------------------


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Re: Spelling variations?

Brad Rogers
In reply to this post by Martin Steer-2
On Sat, 06 Sep 2008 12:52:18 +1000
Martin Steer <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hello Martin,

> It may not be satisfactory just to leave a field blank. Say, for

True, I won't argue about that.  OTOH, there's plenty of stuff in GRAMPS
that doesn't make "sense" all over the planet.  Naming conventions
being, perhaps, the most obvious.  "State" doesn't make sense in the UK,
for example.

> Note that leaving some fields blank entails comma-delimited blanks in

Again, true.  I wouldn't be using what generates as final output for most
things, though.  Merely a template.  GRAMPS' op is a little on the dry
side.

> Family nicknames (in English) are like Superman, they don't have a
> surname. I call my great-uncle "Bunt", I don't call him "Bunt Smith". In

Sometimes they do, but for the most part, not.

> >> A better interface for my particular situation would allow me to
> >> point to a field like family name and specify a list of alternate
> >> spellings that I have encountered from various sources.  (Wood, Wod,
> > Can be done in the name tab, if you wish.
> You mean as a name note or a Family-name with type such as "Variant
> spelling"?

Yes, either of those suffice.

> whole, not to an individual. As (the other) Martin suggests, it should
> be possible to add a sourced variant to a name (i.e. presumably to some

That's one of the things the name tab exists for, IMO.  Just because an
option of "Variant Spelling" doesn't appear in the default options list
doesn't mean you shouldn't add it.  The whole point of the adding ability
is to use it.  Admittedly, you _may_ also have to use the "Group as"
function too.

> There are other ways these things could be done. If, for example, a
> family name were an object like an event or person, it could be shared
> from one entry across many individuals, together with its attributes,

An interesting approach.  One I hadn't considered, having fallen into the
"trap" of thinking of names as 'personal' things, rather than 'event'
styled items.

--
 Regards  _
         / )           "The blindingly obvious is
        / _)rad        never immediately apparent"

Life goes quick and it goes without warning
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