• #13691

    Technically you could use it in any way you wish. There is nothing in kiwitrees code to prevent it, nor would displaying it cause any problems. BUT…. before you choose to, there are things about both it’s history and future you should be aware of.

    The difference between RFN and REFN, is in their descriptors. RFN importantly includes the phrase “within a known file“. You should ask your self what such a file might be. The LDS rarely put such phrases into GEDCOM without a reason, and equally rarely left it open for you to interpret as you like! In this case, the history is vague. There is no definition of a, or any, “known files” to link the RFN to. Nor is there any process or method for creating and maintaining such a thing in GEDCOM. It is generally accepted that LDS meant to use it similarly to Sources and Source citations, connected to each other and each with their own structure. But the “files” part of RFN was never developed. Perhaps related to the issue that GEDCOM 5.5.1 (as used by kiwitrees and most other software) was from creation in 1995 until late 2019 described by LDS as “draft”! It is no longer draft, RFN is still there, but still with no definition of “known files”. IMHO they would anyway most likely have been LDS-specific documents.

    So, given that history, what of the future? For RFN that seems to be fairly certain. In early versions of GEDCOM 5.5.2 (never actually adopted) and later GEDCOM 5.6 (only rarely adopted and never officially), RFN was completely removed.

    The next official version of GEDCOM is currently being developed (ver 7), led again by LDS. This version also completely removes RFN. REFN and it’s description remains untouched.

    IF GEDCOM 7 does becomes the new standard (and there are many who question whether this will happen), then kiwitrees will follow. It is entirely possible then that any RFN tags will be deleted, albeit with some advance warning, requiring you to manually replace them.

    My personal kiwitrees site is