Sub-events lacking. How to substitute them?

While sub-events doesn’t (and won’t) exist (in v5.2) how do you record events wich belongs to the same chain of events?

Do you add something like a prefix or a suffix text in event description, identical from one event to the other, an attribute always the same, a shared note, tags…
(And how to keep them ordered)

Then how do you report/retrieve them as a single events chain? With some filters?

(Subject which could probably be linked with sets concept I’ve seen on this discourse some days ago.)

A journey and its steps
A whole migrating family
A war and its battles then events of people in them
A railway construction and people participation in it

And may be some combination of these examples wich can interact (I’ve these cases in my genealogy):

  • a “journey” from one battle to another while a person is part of an engaged army in a war…
  • a migrating family wich migrates to construct another country new railways…

Another way to ask the question could be how to make some kind of story telling with events chaining? Relating them globally. But before, how to register them to do that

Besides the Emigration and Immigration events when migrating between countries, I have created Port of Departure, Port of Transit and Port of Arrival for non immigration events. Additionally, I have found Ocean Cruise for a few records when a relative departed and returned to the same port.

One example of how I do something for a person’s military career, is to have a list of Military Service events with the Description detailing things like Enlistment, Basic Training, Duty Station, Deployment, etc. While not sub events, it does present a nice list for the person.

Here is a post from another thread you may find of interest…

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There’s an interesting tool called RunningReality that expands on the concept of Events with something they describe as Factoids.

The RunningReality server option only allows for a shared reality. (The dreaded WorldTree approach where you have little ability to limit data mangling.but where it has a few alternative reality functions.) But their App appears allows the local storage and control desired by Gramps community.

Our events are like beads on a string, where the string is a time line. (Where date type Spans are wider beads and Ranges are range of motion for loosely connected beads.) But where Gramps has a very primitive string functionality with no weaving with other strings. And Gramps does not include a global timeline already woven into a fine mesh with which to interact.

The factoids approach attempts to describe how to weave the strings into the fabric of a reality.

As an example, one set of factoids might describe the history of a military unit. And then is you have a Spanned event that makes person a member of that unit, then all the unit’s shared history is woven into your person.

They have an XML data mode for factoids. But I’m not sure where their business model is leading them. They sell lesson plans for educational use but the engine is freely available. It has Ads for in registered users but registration appears to be free.

So I am uncertain whether we want to be reliant on them… it would create a single point of failure. But expanding to leverage their Factoid approach sounds interesting.

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Another series of Event that would benefit from Main-Sub Events is the process of apply for Citizenship.


I have tried earlier to write about my workflows that includes other open source and free software, how my workaround is at the moment, and why Main-Sub Events would be a great feature for Gramps, but I got verbally beheaded because of it, so I don’t dare to write anything more about how to do thing, how to use other software in companion with Gramps or how Gramps could benefit from a few really useful features.

But until something change, it is possible to create a workflow for this in Obsidian, using it as a research log tool, and use some of the plugins, i.e. the timeline plugin, them mindmap addin and the Juggl addin to create visual reports and graphs for the research, and link the markdown documents to Gramps objects as media files… that way you will at least have research environment where the Events are connected.
It is also possible to do it in Foam, Joplin, Zettlr or Scrivener, or in graph tools like Tulip, Cytoscape, Constellation or Gephi… For a long time I used Freeplane Mindmap for it, but it was troublesome to reuse the information, so now I use a set of the mentioned software in combination with Zotero.

It is also possible to do in Segrada by building nested tag networks for different events…

There is multiple other open source research tools where you can create sub events etc.,
But the job to get data from any of this tools into Gramps is a huge amount of work if you don’t have programming experience…

The simplest way to register and have an overview of Main-Sub Events is to use a timeline software like Aeon Timeline, or The Timeline Project (if you want to have your data on your local computer)

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I looked at Running Reality a while back, but never found a good way to reuse the data, only export formats I found was images, video and embedded html… no data export formats…
It looked like a useful software except for that…

Have you found a way to do it somehow?

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Not yet. The docs indicate that the app saves the data locally in their XML format. And that it downloads a world dump from the server. Dunno how it decides what subset of data to include in the dump.

And data may be inbound only if you limit yourself to only using the server.

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Yes, I think it is most of all a research “publishing tool”, both the server and the desktop…

His focus seems to be on generating customized interactive history lessons… where students can explore how environmental (socio, political, geographic, resource availability, disease, etc.) conditions influence the flow of events.

So not so much for presenting/publishing conclusions as encouraging interactive exploration.

Although there is a hefty dose of herding visitors toward the desired conclusions.

Yeh, that is what I mean with “publishing”, to give a platform with information that can be explored by others…

Absolutely nothing negative in that, just another usage.

there is a few other similar tools created by universities and research labs around the globe, but noone that I have found that has as good interface/gui as this product.

But in a researchers workflow, this will most likely be the last software in use in a research project, to give other people access in an interactive way to the data… that’s why I called it a “publishing tool”, not as in publishing or presenting a book or article…

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I am actually starting to go in a different direction. I plan to limit specific events to those that were important from the perspective of the individual or family. That means, for example, that I will have Residence events but no Census events. Of course, I will still rely heavily on census data for citations, not only for the place of residence but some of the other details as well. While the census is very important to genealogists as a data source, I don’t want to treat it as part of the family history, because I think most members of a given family were not even aware of it when it occurred, and the one person who gave the information to the census-taker or, in more recent years, filled out the form, probably forgot all about it very soon afterwards; it was probably even less memorable than filing their income taxes.

On the other hand, if there were sub-events available, then I might treat Residence as a high-level event (with some time span, where I know it) and Census as a lower-level event at a point in time.

I havent gotten to the point yet where I add census yet (tried to look for other things instead)

But I think I wouldnt add the census as its own event, I would have it as a media, and add it as a source to other events that the census mentions. For example source for an occupation or residience event.
Or I may do that and its own event, not sure yet but probably the first.

I very much would want sub events existing tho.

The Event activity is actually being Enumerated. It takes place on a day in a place but really only has the enumerator and interviewees as actual Primary participants. So it definitely qualifies as an ‘Event’ for those people on the sheet.

But it was rare that the enumerator properly identified the interviewee. In the US, they were supposed to put a circled ‘x’ to mark that person.

I choose to use the custom role ‘Dependent’ for the other family members. And ‘Boarder’, ‘Servant’, et cetera for others as indicated.

I will just say that Main-/Sub Event and Event for Places with or without recursive data collection… and in addition recursive hierarchal registration of Sources would have been great features as research and analyzing tools…

but maybe it should be called recursive hierarchal registration of Event, same way as with places today, so there was no artificial limits in how a user could use this…

The system already works well for Places, it would work as well for Events and Sources in a usability point of view…

Drilling up and down in a database that way can give answers that can’t easily be seen in a table or list view or in a direct relation familytree.

Aeon Timeline 3 is out…
The feature added vs. version 2 just blow me away…
It cost some money and is just for Windows and Mac, and not Open Source, but WOW, just WOW…

No problems with unlimited Nested Events. very configurable… sync with Scrivener, might as well be a good companion to Gramps for those in need of an advanced timeline tool…
It can export to a readable json format and pdf, csv, and multiple image format…
for those interested: https://timeline.app/

Just a tips for those working with timelines and/or Nested Events…

My wish list for the Utopian research tool just grow with a line… :rofl: