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Attributes in Gramps


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The thinking behind dividing things into events and attributes was the following:

The attributes are for something permanent, or at least somewhat permanent: eye color, blood type, etc. Usually you would have not more than one of each attribute type for a person/family/etc.
In contrast, the events have a time frame associated with them. It does not have to be a fixed date, can be e.g. a span. So it is not unheard of people changing religion, property, and residence, etc. Each of those can be associated with the time period, and there can be many of the same type.
Fig. .1 Attribute Editor - Dialog - default

Does it make sense? I know this does not correspond 100% with GEDCOM, but we try to do what makes sense rather than just implementing a poorly written standard. Re: (Gramps-users) Events & Attributes, and column widths. From: Alex Roitman - 2006

In case the attribute needed is not present in the predefined selection list, it can be defined by typing its name in the attribute name field. There is no clear boundary between attributes and events. Some will prefer having "Occupation" as an attribute, with no timespan; others, or in other situations, might find using an event more convenient.

  • The advantage of an attribute is that you can attach source citations to it.
Tags are not really intended to store genealogical data.

Strategies for leveraging Attributes

  • Use Custom Filters in combination the Set Attribute Tool (a third-party addon) to migrate data to Attributes. (Example: search Event descriptions for 'influenza', 'grippe', 'pneumonia'. Set an 'epidemic' attribute to 'possible')
  • Types Cleanup Tool (a third-party addon) Attributes are organized with Custom Types. Periodically consolidate Attributes labeled with synonymous (or misspelled) Custom Types.
  • Customize reports to include leverage Attributes. Learn to use Rules for groups to avoid the "underscored blank" placeholder for when an Attribute is absent.

Discussions about Gramps attributes in general