Death and Birth problems with Character Date constraints


I need to define a characters lifespan by “was 25 when she gave birth to daughter 1” and “died in this event”.

I add constraint number one (automatic adjustment is checked like recommended) and the mother’s birthday is assigned correctly.

I then want to add her death date by setting “end” in the same date constraints tab of her character panel to “equals start of” the event.

What I expect to happen is that the birth and death dates are now set and I can see how old she was when she died at said event.
Instead, her birth date gets overwritten with the death date, too!

Why is that and how can I define her lifespan depending on the start of her daugfhter and the death event (accident)?
I guess it has something to do with duration defaulting to zero seconds, but still…My expectation is that I could define the lifespan through a set of constraints. This is especially important when going from a brainstorming mindmap with relative dates to an absolute timeline…!

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Currently when resolving constraints, it does not change the duration of the event, instead it changes the start/end date. This was set this way as this is a common use in project management, where the length of the task is fixed, but the start/end date will need to move based on constraints related to other task. This would be why you are seeing this behaviour.

However we are aware that there are many users that would like duration to be adjusted, as in your case, so it is something we plan to look at in the future.

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Thank you for your quick and helpful reply!

I see, so atm it’s not meant to be used that way. That helps a lot, because I can change my approach, now.

Looking forward, however, to when this might become a bit more flexible in the future :slight_smile:

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Hi @muratkayi … I’m looking for this same sort of thing, I think. I’m trying to add birth events tied to death events, knowing that the person was x years of age at the time of death. Do you have suggestions on how to do this based on how you resolved it yourself?


For the time being I saw no other way than to let go of one of the constraints and build one of them manually instead of relying on AT to change the duration. As I was in the early stages of planning, this wasn’t a problem for me, but I don’t know how flexible you are.

I am, however, eagerly awaiting an update where this is handled more flexibly, possiblity through a toggle or just by specifying which kind of AT use case you are creating.

Sorry I can’t be more helpful, I just played the cards I was dealt, kinda

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Thanks for your speedy reply. :grinning: That sounds similar to what I’ve been doing, so I’ll keep at it.

Warning: ramble ahead

We have use cases for this in the project management world, too. Default in that world is, indeed, as Jess stated, that duration remains static. But, of course, there are those times when a date on one item gets moved, and the duration of another item is impacted to be shorter (usually, and often meaning long work days and/or overtime to compensate) or longer (ha!).

And it could certainly apply within the genealogy world, as well (which I thought you were describing until I re-read your initial question. :wave: fellow character-wrangler).

I have scenarios like yours, where I know the age and would like to have the start date calculated and have any adjustments by a constraining item (e.g., death event) keep that person’s duration static by adjusting the date for start (prior event) or end (subsequent event) accordingly. 'Cause yes, we work in the future, too, right?

Then I have scenarios like I described above with project management, where it would be best if the duration could be adjusted. I’m tracking data points for a novel wherein people might continue to exist after death and where reincarnation and immortality are possible. To handle this insanity, I add events for birth, death, and any rebirths or subsequent deaths. Then, I created new event types of lifespan and afterdeathspan. I constrain those new types to the start/end of the birth, death, and rebirth events for the associated person. Then I just keep manually adjusting each Person record to reflect birth date (first), duration, and death date (last, if applicable) as needed. I’d much rather be able to adjust the events constraining the overall start and end of the Person and have the duration of that person auto-adjust accordingly.

All-in-all, I think it would be great to be able to lock any one of the start/end/duration combo items in an event as an alternative to the current option of locking all three of these at once. So, we could pick duration on one, end date on another, start date on yet another, and all (current option) on still another. Such an implementation might make resolving conflicts a little more hairy, though, so maybe it could be an “advanced” option in settings that someone has to intentionally enable with an appropriate use-at-own-risk-of-frustration disclaimer. :crazy_face:

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Awesome food for thought in your birth/rebirth considerations!

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