IntelliShare: How To Have Your Cake & Eat It Too

by JL Beeken on 9-29-2011

Legacy Family Tree IntelliShare takes compromise, no question about it.

You have to agree on location formats, date formats, source citation formats and notes/event entry. At the very least.

Cuz thought we should go back to her idea of ‘small export files’. Even after I had written to her at great length about why that won’t work.

As she gradually cleans up and changes small sections of her family file she wants to send them, and the accompanying source documentation, to me for import into my database.

OK, that works. On her side. But I don’t work ‘in small sections’ and how do I send her my changes? Last I looked a week of working in my database amounted to over 2,000 modified people. Some of it due to photo filing, some of it MRIN changes, some of it associated locations after major alterations. Every changed location format affects every person using that location.

Cuz is hardly in the mood for merging another 2,000 people, having already done 6,500 the week before and having to wade, all over again, through all the things about the way I keep my file that she doesn’t like.

For someone far less organized them I am with way worse punctuation habits she sure is picky.

For instance, the other day I received a file from her with 20 people. Her research is sound but the first thing I had to do was clean it up because I don’t want all her other quirks polluting my main file. First, I went to clean up her Master Location list. Mysterious locations are the bane of my existence.

Well, she’s got streets in there, and that doesn’t work for me. The Geo Location list has four fields and the most obvious are City, County, State/Province, Country. I like to put streets into the Event Addresses. Since she had 4 variations of one of them I combined them all and then moved it.

Then I saw an address starting with Corn-market. Corn-market is not a city. It’s a district within a city. And it’s not Corn-market; it’s Cornmarket. I found that out after looking it up online. I even found a photo. As it turns out, cuz already knew that and she already had the photo but she didn’t tell me, so along with a few other church photos and things we’d each just spent an hour doing the same work.

My god, this is irritating.

What I came to realize is that we can’t have a shared filing system without a shared file. At least without extreme duress, especially on cuz’ side because I’m the keeper of the filing system.

But cuz doesn’t want to share a file, so I came up with another plan. We can go at this backwards. Using my family file as a starting point, I did a search for everyone with MRIN-numbered source documentation attached, exported that file and named it SHARED.

As cuz creates her small export files, she’ll send them to me. I will import them into SHARED and link the source documentation. I will also export the recent changes from my main file, import and merge them into SHARED and send her the refreshed copy.

Eventually SHARED will become THE file. At any point cuz wants to she can do one gigantic merge of her main file into it to make sure she’s got it all and I can do the same on my side and then we’re done.

Well, not exactly. Then we each pick through the entire thing altering it stylistically to suit ourselves. And then we’re done.

IntelliShare was conceived for a good reason. Because any other way is really really hard.

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