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Louis Kessler’s Behold Blog » Blog Entry           prev Prev   Next next

Monday, August 8, 2005 - Mon, 8 Aug 2005

I’ve almost finished links back to individuals and families. This is a very strange construct that is allowed by GEDCOM, and is used in particular by Family Tree Maker but not in a very important way. FTM gives extra description on Child tags using its own custom _MREL and _FREL tags to state what the relationship to the mother and father is. All the FTM test cases I have contain the value of “Natural” (which occurs over 900 times in my test cases) and the only other value which occurs just once is “Unknown”. Very strange indeed, and seemingly more annoying than useful. I suspect most people would want to hide this if its value is “Natural” since it will just get in the way.

But the important thing is the construct itself. It works like a Source tag, where the reference to the source gives more detailed information (like the page number or specific part of a source - aka the “citation”). The difference is that the extra detail is added to the child with a description and link back to the parents. This basically reverses the direction of the link, rather than adding it to a new reference section like the list of Sources.

Other programs may use this extendable concept for the Child, Wife, Husband, Parents (FAMC) and Marriage (FAMS) tags. So I did need to make sure I could handle it. It took a week of tweaking to get it working bit by bit, but it works nicely now.

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