Second Design 01
There is a second area which might be a good place for formal Data Design. This area is not time critical, and is separate from the paper document solutions being discussed elsewhere. This design has the aim of revenue generation.
I will describe the specific artifacts which currently exist, and work towards the end user experience. Additional background material is at: http://otscripts.com/category/data-design/.
The Langbehn Database
This section is detailed and boring. Please bear with me because this is the entire basis of our classification system, and therefore the central point of any possible Data Design.
I receive copies of The Langbehn Database periodically on CD. It is a complete transcription of Dwight’s History of the Strong Family, containing about 29,000 names. John Langbehn, over the decades, has been transcribing the books into Family Tree Maker. This means that it’s possible to browse through family relationships and so on.
I have software for importing and displaying the database online via PHP and MySQL. The software is quite advanced, well supported, and I am quite comfortable with the underlying database table structure.
I receive new copies of the Langbehn Database as John Langbehn continues his work in progress. Online, the new version completely replaces the old version.
Each person in Dwight’s History of the Strong Family, and therefore every person in The Langbehn Database, has a Reference Number, running from 1 to about 29,000. We call this the Dwight Number after the author of the books.
This Dwight Number is the basis of our classification system. Every person in Dwight’s History of the Strong Family is a descendant, naturally, of person #1 in the book, Elder John Strong. The book was published in 1871 and therefore, of course, contains no persons born more recently than 1871.
Our genealogy focuses on all persons who descend from Elder John Strong. Everyone, therefore, can be classified as descending from someone in Dwight’s History.
In my own case, the person furthest “down the tree” is Joseph Barnard (1681-1736), with Dwight reference #27454. All descendants of that Joseph Barnard, including myself, get classified with that number, #27454.
From the end user perspective, the Langbehn Database is a way to search and explore Dwight’s History of the Strong family, with everything structured and linked along family lines. This is how people can discover that they do indeed connect to the Strong family.
From the data design perspective, this is how we can fit all other data into the right place. Suppose our end user has clicked around and found that Joseph Barnard, #27454. The plan is that page could now provide a list of all other information we have related to Joseph Barnard’s family line (descendants).
This has a revenue implication in that we’ll be showing resources available for purchase on CD.
Consider a master names list, or various documents. Each of them contains a link back to the specific person in the Langbehn Database. You find a person you seek via the master names list. This gets you to a list of all resources we have related to that person, and links you to the relevant person or ancestor in the Langbehn Database for further research and exploration.
We’ll now look at each artifact and see what we should do with it.