Merge and missing ID's


Derek Heritage
 

When I merge 2 people, I'm left with an unused number. Being pedantic, I would like to use that ID number for a new person I am entering. So,
a) Is there a way I can find out the numbers of the unused ones.
b) Why doesn't FH use them, anyway? Legacy always used the next available lowest number, why doesn't FH?
I am NOT going back to Legacy!
Derek Heritage


Adrian Bruce
 

On Sun, 30 Oct 2022 at 16:08, Derek Heritage <fhnugp22@...> wrote:
When I merge 2 people, I'm left with an unused number. Being pedantic, I would like to use that ID number for a new person I am entering. So,
a) Is there a way I can find out the numbers of the unused ones.
b) Why doesn't FH use them, anyway? Legacy always used the next available lowest number, why doesn't FH?

 Well, I can also count myself as pedantic at times (Honours Degree in Maths, career in IT, etc.)

So in a slightly tongue in cheek manner, I'd respond:
1. You don't (currently) actually use the Id number when you create a new person - you can't, as in, there's no means to access / enter it. Interestingly, I just tried adding a couple of new individuals, deleting them, then closing FH. When I reopened FH and added some more new individuals, they avoided the Id numbers that I'd previously added and then removed. So the algorithm is more than just - what's the last number on file and add one. The last number used must be held somewhere outside the basic GEDCOM structure.

2. Presumably it must be possible to output the Id on a query and then process it outside FH to detect missing numbers?

3. Why doesn't FH (re-)use them? I'd need to think myself into Calico Pie's shoes but I strongly suspect that their aim was to create a robust numbering system - if numbers are re-used, that opens the door for any extract made X weeks ago to set up a false correlation if the extract were ever re-used against the *current* GEDCOM. Imagine trying to do something with an extract saying that Family A consisted of individuals X, Y and Z - but Z has been turned into a totally different person. Potential for disaster... What might that extract be? No idea - my principle is based on defensive coding. Conversely two extracts made at different times, including the id numbers would be robust as number 123 would be the same person in each.

So I suspect it's a defensive design decision - no more.

Adrian


colevalleygirl@colevalleygirl.co.uk
 

Following up on what Adrian said, you can use Tools > Record Identifiers to mess around with record identifiers.  The first thing you’ll see is an explanation of why this isn’t a good idea.

 

From: family-historian@groups.io <family-historian@groups.io> On Behalf Of Adrian Bruce
Sent: 30 October 2022 16:42
To: family-historian@groups.io
Subject: Re: [family-historian] Merge and missing ID's

 

On Sun, 30 Oct 2022 at 16:08, Derek Heritage <fhnugp22@...> wrote:

When I merge 2 people, I'm left with an unused number. Being pedantic, I would like to use that ID number for a new person I am entering. So,
a) Is there a way I can find out the numbers of the unused ones.
b) Why doesn't FH use them, anyway? Legacy always used the next available lowest number, why doesn't FH?

 

 Well, I can also count myself as pedantic at times (Honours Degree in Maths, career in IT, etc.)

 

So in a slightly tongue in cheek manner, I'd respond:

1. You don't (currently) actually use the Id number when you create a new person - you can't, as in, there's no means to access / enter it. Interestingly, I just tried adding a couple of new individuals, deleting them, then closing FH. When I reopened FH and added some more new individuals, they avoided the Id numbers that I'd previously added and then removed. So the algorithm is more than just - what's the last number on file and add one. The last number used must be held somewhere outside the basic GEDCOM structure.

 

2. Presumably it must be possible to output the Id on a query and then process it outside FH to detect missing numbers?

 

3. Why doesn't FH (re-)use them? I'd need to think myself into Calico Pie's shoes but I strongly suspect that their aim was to create a robust numbering system - if numbers are re-used, that opens the door for any extract made X weeks ago to set up a false correlation if the extract were ever re-used against the *current* GEDCOM. Imagine trying to do something with an extract saying that Family A consisted of individuals X, Y and Z - but Z has been turned into a totally different person. Potential for disaster... What might that extract be? No idea - my principle is based on defensive coding. Conversely two extracts made at different times, including the id numbers would be robust as number 123 would be the same person in each.

 

So I suspect it's a defensive design decision - no more.

 

Adrian

_._,_._,_



Sheila Bryant
 

Thank you Adrian - I've found having "missing" ID numbers niggling me
for years. The "gaps" just annoyed me.

That reusing ID numbers is just asking for trouble seems blindingly
obvious now you point it out - I'd just never thought of it before
now!

Kind regards

On Sun, 30 Oct 2022 at 16:43, Adrian Bruce <abruce6155@...> wrote:

On Sun, 30 Oct 2022 at 16:08, Derek Heritage <fhnugp22@...> wrote:

When I merge 2 people, I'm left with an unused number. Being pedantic, I would like to use that ID number for a new person I am entering. So,
a) Is there a way I can find out the numbers of the unused ones.
b) Why doesn't FH use them, anyway? Legacy always used the next available lowest number, why doesn't FH?

Well, I can also count myself as pedantic at times (Honours Degree in Maths, career in IT, etc.)

So in a slightly tongue in cheek manner, I'd respond:
1. You don't (currently) actually use the Id number when you create a new person - you can't, as in, there's no means to access / enter it. Interestingly, I just tried adding a couple of new individuals, deleting them, then closing FH. When I reopened FH and added some more new individuals, they avoided the Id numbers that I'd previously added and then removed. So the algorithm is more than just - what's the last number on file and add one. The last number used must be held somewhere outside the basic GEDCOM structure.

2. Presumably it must be possible to output the Id on a query and then process it outside FH to detect missing numbers?

3. Why doesn't FH (re-)use them? I'd need to think myself into Calico Pie's shoes but I strongly suspect that their aim was to create a robust numbering system - if numbers are re-used, that opens the door for any extract made X weeks ago to set up a false correlation if the extract were ever re-used against the *current* GEDCOM. Imagine trying to do something with an extract saying that Family A consisted of individuals X, Y and Z - but Z has been turned into a totally different person. Potential for disaster... What might that extract be? No idea - my principle is based on defensive coding. Conversely two extracts made at different times, including the id numbers would be robust as number 123 would be the same person in each.

So I suspect it's a defensive design decision - no more.

Adrian
--
Sheila


Trevor Rix
 

Don't worry about the ID numbers. Family Historian looks after those automatically. There is no useful method for a user to reuse an ID, and no need to do so anyway.
 


Mike Tate
 

See also the FHUG Knowledge Base article on Record Identifiers:

https://fhug.org.uk/kb/kb-article/record-identifiers/

That summarises how they are used and displayed, alternative Ids, etc.

 


Brian Horridge
 

Derek
Family Historian stores the last-used numbers of all data types (individuals, families, sources etc) in a custom line at the start of the Gedcom file .  This is updated with any new numbers allocated when you save the changes.  If you quit without saving the changes the new numbers will be available next time.  A while ago I was playing around and ended up with a lot of unused numbers .  As I knew what I was doing I manually changed the Gedcom file line in a simple text editor.
Brian

Sent via BT Email App



From: Derek Heritage <fhnugp22@...>
Sent: 30 October 2022 16:08:46 GMT+00:00
To: family-historian@groups.io
Subject: [family-historian] Merge and missing ID's

When I merge 2 people, I'm left with an unused number. Being pedantic, I would like to use that ID number for a new person I am entering. So,
a) Is there a way I can find out the numbers of the unused ones.
b) Why doesn't FH use them, anyway? Legacy always used the next available lowest number, why doesn't FH?
I am NOT going back to Legacy!
Derek Heritage


Lorna Craig
 

I would just like to emphasise what others have said, as it's really important.   If you do renumber the record IDs it will cause problems with any saved Charts, Books, and Internet Data Matching. If you don't use any of those, you can take the risk.  Otherwise don't do it!!!


Vyger
 

I use several programs and non of them reuse RINs, I make reference to RINs throughout my research, this would just be a mess.

I had no idea Legacy FT did reuse RINs, sounds hard to believe but I never liked or used the program in earnest.


On Sun, 30 Oct 2022, 17:39 Lorna Craig via groups.io, <l.m.craig=ntlworld.com@groups.io> wrote:
I would just like to emphasise what others have said, as it's really
important.   If you do renumber the record IDs it will cause problems
with any saved Charts, Books, and Internet Data Matching. If you don't
use any of those, you can take the risk.  Otherwise don't do it!!!






Adrian Bruce
 

On Sun, 30 Oct 2022, 17:28 Brian Horridge via groups.io, <brian.horridge=btinternet.com@groups.io> wrote:
Derek
Family Historian stores the last-used numbers of all data types (individuals, families, sources etc) in a custom line at the start of the Gedcom file .  ...

So it does, Brian. I'd never noticed that - though in my defence, if I do open my GEDCOM file in a text editor (and lots of warnings about that!) then the first screen is full of my lists - after which I search for the record I want to ponder over, so I miss the last used data. 

Adrian 


Edward Sneithe
 

Very interesting. I will need to look at this to see if there  is any benefit to me in knowing this information like it lists all my lists an all participants in those lists.

On Sunday, October 30, 2022 at 04:07:09 PM EDT, Adrian Bruce <abruce6155@...> wrote:


On Sun, 30 Oct 2022, 17:28 Brian Horridge via groups.io, <brian.horridge=btinternet.com@groups.io> wrote:
Derek
Family Historian stores the last-used numbers of all data types (individuals, families, sources etc) in a custom line at the start of the Gedcom file .  ...

So it does, Brian. I'd never noticed that - though in my defence, if I do open my GEDCOM file in a text editor (and lots of warnings about that!) then the first screen is full of my lists - after which I search for the record I want to ponder over, so I miss the last used data. 

Adrian 


Paul Tanner-Tremaine
 

Edward, There is a standard query Named List Members under Query-> Flags and Named Lists which is far safer to use than searching the actual gedcom in an editor.  You can use the cog to save the standard as a custom and then modify the columns, etc.


Edward Sneithe
 

I have used that query but was just interested in what else I might find useful in the GEDCOM

On Monday, October 31, 2022 at 08:33:34 AM EDT, Paul Tanner-Tremaine <paul@...> wrote:


Edward, There is a standard query Named List Members under Query-> Flags and Named Lists which is far safer to use than searching the actual gedcom in an editor.  You can use the cog to save the standard as a custom and then modify the columns, etc.