Last week, I found two complaints about GEDCOM imports on Mantis. I reacted to both, using my own experince with the exporting programs, PAF and RootsMagic. And based on what I know, I see no reason for a follow-up there, but I want to discuss a few things here.
The first issue is, that the RootsMagic user complained about ‘garbage’ caused by Gramps, and did not realize the obvious, which is that RootsMagic has several options which can be used to suppress the export of things like tasks, note formatting, and source templates. And I know that when you suppress those, the GEDCOM export is quite clean, except when you’ve downloaded trees from Ancestry, in which case custom Ancestry tags will show up in the GEDCOM. And you can’t suppress those.
In the other ‘complaint’, about import from PAF, the user does not seem able to make himself clear, and it looks like he’s partly confused by our file selector. I can understand that, but I prefer not to engage in that, because I don’t see much positive effort on his side. He claims that he’s not a beginner, but that doesn’t really show. He also complains about a few custom tags exported by PAF, which I don’t see as very important. They’re all caught in notes, which can be easily removed after import.
I’m writing about this, because I feel that there’s a need to educate some users a bit, about choosing the right options for export, for which I gave an example on Mantis. I’m also writing, because I think that we CAN do a few things for some custom tags.
And I write that, because I have noticed that some of these are imported as events, and I find that quite annoying, especially for tags that have a single value, which can be easily imported as attributes, just like we already do for standard tags like _UID and _FSFTID. They’re both GEDCOM extensions, officially speaking, but in reality they’re standard, in the sense that many competing programs use them, including PAF and RootsMagic.
What do you think about this? Can we make an inventory of the custom tags that can be stored in attributes? I can generate some examples with Ancestry, PAF, and RootsMagic.