Problem With Advanced Search, Family Fact, Multiple Spouses

I first encountered this problem in RM7 which is still my production RM database. But the exact same problem also occurs in RM8.

I have a custom fact called Partners which is a couple fact (a family fact). I use the Partners fact for couples who were never married. I’ve been changing the way I use the Partners fact slightly and as a consequence the note for the the Partners fact now needs to end with a couple of carriage returns and a {}. So I need to find all the Partners facts which do not end in two carriage returns and a {} so I can add the needed text.

From my perspective, I don’t need the {}. I just need to be able to end the note with a couple of carriage returns. The {} is a dummy private note which doesn’t show up in reports unless you print private notes in reports, which I never do. From RM7’s perspective, I need the {} because otherwise RM7 loses the trailing carriage returns in GEDCOM. From RM8’s perspective, I need the {} because otherwise RM8 doesn’t even support trailing carriage returns in notes at all. If you type them in, RM8’s note editor just deletes them. So I use the {} to make sure that my notes that need to end in a trailing carriage return actually end with something other than a trailing carriage return, and a {} sequence after the carriage returns seems to be the best way to accomplish this goal.

There is no real problem in either RM7 or in RM8 in entering notes with the {} or in printing notes with the {}, etc. But there is a problem in both RM7 and RM8 in finding notes which need the {} and which don’t have the {}. For example, I have set up an advanced search as follows.

      Partner => Exists => Is True

AND Partner => Note => Does Not Contain => {}

The search works properly for individuals with no spouse, namely it doesn’t find such individuals.

The search works properly for individuals with exactly one spouse, namely it finds such individuals if and only if they have a Partners fact and if that Partners fact does not include a {}.

The search does not work properly for individuals with more than one spouse. For example, I have an individual with three spouses. Let’s call him John Doe. John Doe’s spouse #1 has a Marriage fact and no Partners fact. John Doe’s spouse #2 has a Marriage fact and no Partners fact. John Doe’s spouse #3 has no Marriage fact and does have a Partners fact. Said Partners fact does have a note with a {}. Nonetheless, John Doe shows up on the list of matches for the search. John Doe’s spouse #3 only has one spouse of her own, namely John Doe himself, so she does not show up on the list of matches for the search.

I’ve long been aware that RM’s searches for couple facts are a little squirrelly because the searches have to return a list of people but the couple facts are for two people in combination. This is not the first time I have seen searches for couple facts to return strange results. I think I can picture what is going on. The “exists” test is being met for at least one of the spouses but the test results are being applied to the person instead of to the couple. Then the “does not contain” test is being met for one of the spouses that doesn’t even have a Partners fact.

This is not an earthshaking problem that I cannot work my way around, but I wish it could be cleaned up a little bit.

Haven’t tested this myself but I think you should be able to use:
Mark: Partner => Exists => Is True
UnMark: Partner => Note => Contains => {}

That does seem to work. But you have to be making a group or color coding because searching does not support marking or unmarking.

Color coding allows one to then use Search’s Find to step through them (next/prior style).

In RM8? I don’t see how to do that in RM8.

Colour code first, then search on the colour?

Yes, I understand that you can do a color coding with marking and unmarking to make the marking and unmarking into something that is searchable, whereas you can’t do the marking and unmarking directly as a part of the searching. I was really asking about the “step through them (next/prior style)” which was a feature of RM7 that is not supported in RM8. I couldn’t figure out how color coding would provide the next/prior style of searching in RM8. I don’t think it does.

Search->Person Search (Advanced)->Find->IS (Color)
The next/prior functionality in RM8 is the Up/Down arrows through the search results list combined with the edit button. Equivalent to RM7 NextPrior buttons.

RM7: Search, Person List, Find is the same as RM8: Search, Person Search-Advanced, Find. If you need to filter with Mark and UnMark that’s only in the RM Explorer that groups and color coding use. If you create a group use the People List or sidebar index to display the results.