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Ahnentafel Report Help Documentation Error?

Replies: 22

Re: Ahnentafel Report Help Documentation Error?

Posted: 9 Nov 2012 9:01AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 9 Nov 2012 9:05AM GMT
KathyMarieAnn wrote:
"I am not struggling with the concept of lines."

Let's just chalk that up to miscommunication then.

KathyMarieAnn wrote:
"the Ahentafel that is presently devised and has been used by genealogists for over 200 years works just fine for me."

I take your word for it, but I remind you that Curt expressed some initial confusion over the numbering system, particularly about following a particular line backward. He's not alone. When I'm looking at ancestors several generations back, it takes some effort to know which generation I'm looking at or to trace the path down to the proband or up to a progenitor. Without a chart, it either takes a lot of page flipping--or some work with a calculator, converting to binary and taking log2.

I should hope that everyone would conceptually support any improvement to FTM that would fulfill an existing shortcoming. Curt's understandable (shared) confusion, the inherent shortcomings of the Ahnentafel numbering scheme, and our communication problems on this subject all point to an unfulfilled need. The alternate numbering scheme I've discussed is an improvement over the Etzinger/Sosa-Stradonitz/Dollarhide method that FTM employs today. It labels each line uniquely and identifies each generation. It eliminates most of the page flipping and calculations. It ought therefore to be an alternative--one supported by any user in the community that's taken a few minutes to size up the need and solution.

KathyMarieAnn wrote:
"I am not convinced that the concepts being discussed here in this thread and the "Lines Pairing System" discussed in another thread will ever be implemented in FTM"

On what grounds do you base that assessment?

I can only guess myself at what guides the development of FTM, but adding the ability to use a different numbering scheme where one already exists is a trivial implementation according to my reckoning. This enhancement may not be a priority, but the time required to fulfill it may make it more attractive. After all, it's a simple way to fulfill a need by adding a capability to FTM that is lacking in competitors' programs.

I concede that silverfox's suggestion would require more work to implement, but because so much of genealogy involves working with ancestors, it makes sense to me to have more than one viable way of presenting the data. An alphabetical listing of uniquely named lines offers another logical way of looking at this data. And, as silverfox has pointed out, this isn't a new concept in genealogical publications, even if it hasn't caught on in genealogical software. Such a format might become very popular and attract or retain more customers to FTM.

Finally, I think of the replies I often get from cousins when I send them their Ahnentafels. It's usually something like, "Thanks, that's neat, but a bit hard to follow." I bet a lot of you get similar replies. The standard by which FTM publications (e.g. reports) are judged, therefore, should not be what "works just fine" for the genealogist or family historian, but also what works best for our less initiated *audiences*.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
silverfox3280 8 Nov 2012 8:25PM GMT 
Marco Scavo 8 Nov 2012 9:03PM GMT 
KATHYMARIEANN 8 Nov 2012 10:53PM GMT 
silverfox3280 8 Nov 2012 11:31PM GMT 
Marco Scavo 8 Nov 2012 11:35PM GMT 
KATHYMARIEANN 9 Nov 2012 12:26AM GMT 
Marco Scavo 9 Nov 2012 4:01PM GMT 
silverfox3280 9 Nov 2012 8:15PM GMT 
silverfox3280 9 Nov 2012 8:15PM GMT 
KATHYMARIEANN 10 Nov 2012 2:08PM GMT 
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