Reset to default - footnotes

I am working with modified source templates. I have a number of cases where I want to alter the grammar/structure of footnotes/bibliography for the template. However I already have many defined master sources and citations which are based on that template. I know I can go in to the Customize screen for footnotes and individually use the Reset to Default option to “force” the new grammar/structure layout to be applied and replace the old footnote. However as far as I know that option can only be applied to a single citation at a time.

Is there any mechanism where I can force the new layout to be applied to every citation where the master source uses the same template. I am fully aware that doing so would also override any customisations but that does not matter in this case.

There are two separate issues here.

The first issue is that no, there is not a way to force a new Source Template layout to be applied to every citation that uses that Source Template. The way I have described it is that you have to go back and “touch” each citation. Starting with RM8, at least RM now supports reusable citations so that the number of citations that have to be “touched” is many fewer than it was in RM7 and previous versions.

The second issue is that the Reset to Default does not actually do what you think it does. Namely, you think it turns the citation into a citation that is no longer customized. It doesn’t. It leaves the citation as being a customized citation. It just changes the current customization text to be the same as would have been there if no customization had ever taken place. That may sound like the same thing, but it’s really not the same thing at all.

I think this is either a bug or a design flaw in RM’s Reset to Default tool. I don’t know if the RM developers have accepted that this is a problem. What happens is that the tool does restore the text, but it doesn’t not turn off the fact that the citation has been customized. The citation text is correct but it’s no longer really under control of the template. That’s what I think is the bug or the design flaw. I think using the tool should leave the citation as no longer being customized.

I realize that the concept of “touching” a citation is a little vague. I’m not 100% sure what minimal action is required on my part to cause RM to re-evaluate template data and reproduce an updated citation sentence. Sometimes it seems like just looking at a citation in an RM screen like the Edit Person screen is enough. But sometimes it seems like I need to make a trivial change to the citation data, save the change, and then change the data back and save it again. If the bug or the design flaw in the Reset to Default tool could be corrected, then the use of the tool would serve the function of “touching” the citation to cause a new Source Template layout to be applied. That still begs the question of a tool to “touch” all citations under the control of a new Source Template layout.

When I was first playing with this issue, I ended up with a few citations that were customized and I was unable to turn off the fact that they were customized from within the RM user interface. So I wrote an SQLite script to turn off the customization of those few scripts I had customized more or less by accident. But SQLite scripts require programming, and most RM users are not programmers.

By the way, I think that user defined Source Templates are a great feature of RM. But it’s disappointing that if I need to change a comma or a space in the template that the change doesn’t automatically apply to all uses of the template.

Thanks for the explanation of the subtleties of customisation. I don’t actually do any footnote or bibliography customisation (at least not intentionally). I had just noticed that using the reset to default option in that screen would force a re-write using the updated template. However what you are telling me says I am actually inadvertently marking my footnotes/biblios as customised. That does seem like a bug (or at least an oversight) to me.

Perhaps I need to figure out a way to do a group touch (although I fear that sounds like something that could get me arrested :slight_smile: )

Agreed. As a retired database guy myself it seems like a change at the template level should automatically ‘cascade’ through all uses of the template.

Iirc, and it’s been a long while, that example is propagated to all uses without ‘touching’. It is the addition or modification of a field definition that requires the touch of the Master Source or the Citation, depending on with which the field is associated.

This is interesting. Clearly I will need to investigate a bit further. I played with this when RM8 first came out but age and time have left me with no clear memory of how it works.

I have tried to avoid using the built in templates directly because they appear to be ‘immutable’. Instead, if I choose to use one, I make a copy. That leaves me free for make alterations after the fact. I am not looking to add or subtract field definitions, but mostly just want the option to alter grammar, markup or item order in the footnotes.