No prompt for a reason statement when changing Death details in Family Tree
It has been explained to me previously why Death details (under the Vitals section) cannot be deleted - as is possible for all other Vitals data. However, this creates a problem in that the only option if the details are found to be incorrect is to "blank out" the existing inputs, whereby there is no prompt for a reason statement.
Of course, this could be added and "saved", either before or after a change, then (optionally) deleted from the "Reason This Information Is Correct" field. At least this ensures some reason for the change finds its way into the Change Log.
As long as the Death detail can't actually be deleted (as is the case with the Delete option that exists against the other Vitals fields) I must admit I can't see a way of addressing this inconsistency when it comes to amending / deleting Vitals data.
I find it strange that I have never seen this issue raised (other than many years ago, when I did mention it on the GetSat forum). Does it not bother any other users - and is there a possible way of improving the current method of changing / removing Death details?
Removing death details is treated the same as any other change because it's shown the same as any other change: the "reason" and "last changed" fields will still be there, whether that change filled the "death" field or emptied it. Deletion of other conclusions is treated differently, with a popup reason box, because that action results in a different display: the removed conclusion will no longer have a "reason" and "last changed" field.
In other words, the two "reason" boxes serve different purposes. The one on the Death conclusion -- and all of the other entered conclusions -- is a reasoning box: it shows next to the current value, without the antecedents or context, so it's not a "reason I took this action", but a "reason I came to this conclusion". What you enter in a deletion's popup, on the other hand, will only be visible in the change log, so it's a change reason: "why I took this action", not "why this conclusion is correct".0
Paul W ✭✭✭✭✭
Naturally I follow your conclusions on this issue, but suppose still can't see why we can't delete a Death in the same way as the other vitals. We would not be saying the person did not die, in the same way as deleting a Birth is not saying they were not born. The Delete option should just act as a way of completely removing existing information (preferably with a reason statement - e.g. "relates to another person of same name") instead of "blanking-out" and entering new details - which you can do with the other vitals, of course (instead of using "Delete").
So, perhaps (in spite of being told previously this was impossible) I should really be asking for a Delete button to be added to the Death area, so there can be consistency in the way we present our reasoning for why we are removing the current value and, subsequently, why we are adding the new one.
BTW - I wonder what you - and other users - do when you completely change the death details: do you add a reason statement for removing it, "Save" (so the comments appear in the change log), then leave the comments there, or erase them - so just the added reason statement for the new details remains visible?0
This is an interesting question that point out a couple of things that were probably a bit of a programming challenge that led to the inconsistency in how death information is deleted.
When a person is created in Family Tree, there are three things that have to be done to be able save the information:
- There has to be something in either the First Names or Last Names field.
- The gender flag has to be set.
- The living/deceased flag has to be set.
When editing a person, you cannot completely remove the name (had you noticed there is no delete option on the name just like there is not on the death information?), you cannot take away the gender flag, and you cannot take away the living/deceased flag. Everything else on a record can be completely deleted.
The design quandary might have been whether to have the living/deceased flags and the death information as one data set or two. Having it as two data sets would have allowed a delete link on the death information just like any other piece of data (except the name). But it would also have meant that we'd have to open two editing boxes to completely enter death information, one for the flag and one for the information. It could also have been more complicated to make sure someone marked living did not have a death date and place.
However, despite these considerations, it does seem it should be possible to have a delete button in the Death editing pop up that erases the death date and place, prompts for the usual explanation for deleting it, and does not touch the living/deceased flag so does not really delete all death information in the same way that we can delete all birth information to the point of having a totally blank data field with the +Add link. This would mean writing a completely different delete routine rather than just using the one used everywhere else.
Maybe they though it would be strange to have a delete link that would be there even when there was no information that could be deleted. But it seems it should be possible to have it there but greyed out and inactive when no death date and place were entered.2
Especially with the new layout's addition of source-tagging for the Other Information section, I almost never use the "stay-put" reason boxes. That is, I very seldom enter a "reason I came to this conclusion". I feel such statements are redundant or unnecessary if the source of the conclusion is correctly attached. (The only exception to this is when I enter the source as a reason, instead of creating an entire citation consisting of the date and participants of a conversation, for example.)
I haven't needed to delete a death conclusion in quite a while, so I'm not certain how I would handle it. If it was the result of a conflation or misidentification, I'd probably end up writing something on the collaboration tab: such errors generally take more than one action to fix, and the reasoning/evidence can be too complex for a single reason box. I might make a reference to the note/discussion in the death conclusion's reason box, as a sort of mini-alert.0