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Re: [gensoft] Re: This should prove interesting....

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  • Leif B. Kristensen
    ... Apology accepted ;-) Now that I know what you re talking about, I tend to agree. Although the worst LCD(?) factor here appears to be the GEDCOM format. Any
    Message 1 of 17 , Feb 9, 2006
      On Thursday 09 February 2006 09:27, Paul Blair wrote:
      >--- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, "pfablair" <pblair30@...> wrote:
      > > As one of those people who define present commercial genealogy
      > > software program as LCD (think back to your maths classes!), I
      > > welcome a chance to debate fresh ideas about what we might like...
      >
      > Sorry Leif (and others) - I need to be more careful. Point taken.
      > Lowest Common Denominator was what I should have typed...
      >
      > Paul - who promises to do better!

      Apology accepted ;-)

      Now that I know what you're talking about, I tend to agree. Although the
      worst LCD(?) factor here appears to be the GEDCOM format. Any program
      with a data model that deviates too much from the GEDCOM legacy model
      (note that I'm writing "legacy" with a small l) will have major trouble
      with regards to data interchange.

      During the nine years that I have been occupied with genealogy, software
      development have been utterly transformed by the open-source model. You
      can download a totally awesome relational database engine like
      PostgreSQL for free and write your own genealogy app around it in any
      of several freely available scripting languages. Back in 1997, that
      wasn't an option. Besides, a 90 MHz Pentium with a few megabytes of RAM
      would hardly have been up to the task anyway.

      About the only thing in IT that hasn't changed since then is the GEDCOM
      standard. That is still at version 5.5. And even if a better standard
      was around, I seriously doubt if the commercial genealogy software
      developers would give it any significant mindshare. With one honorable
      exception, the commercial program developers are very very concerned
      that their customers might leave them if some method of lossless data
      export existed.

      So, in the year 2006 we are dragging behind us the body of an
      interchange standard that's been effectively dead for the last ten
      years. And that's your LCD number one.
      --
      Leif Biberg Kristensen | Registered Linux User #338009
      http://solumslekt.org/ | Cruising with Gentoo/KDE
    • his_jadedness
      ... like... ... Although the ... program ... model ... trouble ... software ... model. You ... any ... that ... of RAM ... GEDCOM ... standard ... honorable
      Message 2 of 17 , Feb 9, 2006
        --- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, "Leif B. Kristensen" <leif@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > On Thursday 09 February 2006 09:27, Paul Blair wrote:
        > >--- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, "pfablair" <pblair30@> wrote:
        > > > As one of those people who define present commercial genealogy
        > > > software program as LCD (think back to your maths classes!), I
        > > > welcome a chance to debate fresh ideas about what we might
        like...
        > >
        > > Sorry Leif (and others) - I need to be more careful. Point taken.
        > > Lowest Common Denominator was what I should have typed...
        > >
        > > Paul - who promises to do better!
        >
        > Apology accepted ;-)
        >
        > Now that I know what you're talking about, I tend to agree.
        Although the
        > worst LCD(?) factor here appears to be the GEDCOM format. Any
        program
        > with a data model that deviates too much from the GEDCOM legacy
        model
        > (note that I'm writing "legacy" with a small l) will have major
        trouble
        > with regards to data interchange.
        >
        > During the nine years that I have been occupied with genealogy,
        software
        > development have been utterly transformed by the open-source
        model. You
        > can download a totally awesome relational database engine like
        > PostgreSQL for free and write your own genealogy app around it in
        any
        > of several freely available scripting languages. Back in 1997,
        that
        > wasn't an option. Besides, a 90 MHz Pentium with a few megabytes
        of RAM
        > would hardly have been up to the task anyway.
        >
        > About the only thing in IT that hasn't changed since then is the
        GEDCOM
        > standard. That is still at version 5.5. And even if a better
        standard
        > was around, I seriously doubt if the commercial genealogy software
        > developers would give it any significant mindshare. With one
        honorable
        > exception, the commercial program developers are very very
        concerned
        > that their customers might leave them if some method of lossless
        data
        > export existed.
        >
        > So, in the year 2006 we are dragging behind us the body of an
        > interchange standard that's been effectively dead for the last ten
        > years. And that's your LCD number one.
        > --
        > Leif Biberg Kristensen | Registered Linux User #338009
        > http://solumslekt.org/ | Cruising with Gentoo/KDE
        >

        I quite agree. GEDCOM is a product that has long since passed its
        sell-by date and should be removed from public comsumption... but
        until the average end-users start demanding a better data export I'm
        afraid the commercial firms will stay with it (sigh).
      • Steve Hayes
        ... While I agree that soething better may need to be developed, I disagree strongly that GEDCOM should be removed from public consumption . Many people have
        Message 3 of 17 , Feb 14, 2006
          On 9 Feb 2006 at 14:21, his_jadedness wrote:

          > I quite agree. GEDCOM is a product that has long since passed its
          > sell-by date and should be removed from public comsumption... but
          > until the average end-users start demanding a better data export I'm
          > afraid the commercial firms will stay with it (sigh).

          While I agree that soething better may need to be developed, I disagree
          strongly that GEDCOM should be "removed from public consumption".

          Many people have backed up their data as GEDCOM, using programs that are no
          longer available, and if newer programs can't import GEDCOM files, much of
          that data will be lost.

          --
          Steve Hayes
          E-mail: shayes@...
          Web: http://www.geocities.com/hayesstw/stevesig.htm
          Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
        • Paul Blair
          ... are no ... much of ... OK, grin, how about I rephrase it archive the present version for historical use, and prepare a version that more closely follows
          Message 4 of 17 , Feb 14, 2006
            --- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Hayes" <hayesstw@...> wrote:
            >
            > On 9 Feb 2006 at 14:21, his_jadedness wrote:
            >
            > > I quite agree. GEDCOM is a product that has long since passed its
            > > sell-by date and should be removed from public comsumption... but
            > > until the average end-users start demanding a better data export I'm
            > > afraid the commercial firms will stay with it (sigh).
            >
            > While I agree that soething better may need to be developed, I disagree
            > strongly that GEDCOM should be "removed from public consumption".
            >
            > Many people have backed up their data as GEDCOM, using programs that
            are no
            > longer available, and if newer programs can't import GEDCOM files,
            much of
            > that data will be lost.
            >
            > --
            > Steve Hayes
            > E-mail: shayes@...
            > Web: http://www.geocities.com/hayesstw/stevesig.htm
            > Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
            >

            OK, grin, how about I rephrase it "archive the present version for
            historical use, and prepare a version that more closely follows
            present-day trends" ?....mumble, mutter, grumble...

            Paul
          • Methodius
            ... This has come up again in the soc.genealogy.computing newsgroup, and I still feel the need for such software, and have yet to find it. We are spoiled for
            Message 5 of 17 , May 26, 2011
              --- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Hayes" <hayesstw@...> wrote:
              > And one of the things I would like is an event-based database that can pull
              > in "Person" information from your main genealogy database (to save re-typing,
              > but also allow you to add other persons.

              This has come up again in the soc.genealogy.computing newsgroup, and I still feel the need for such software, and have yet to find it. We are spoiled for choice in lineage-linked programs, but I don't know of any event-based programs that will do what I want.

              I've tried to summarise the needs in a blog post at:

              http://su.pr/2vQjRv

              and the sample database tables are available for download from the files section of this forum.

              I'm reopening this subject because I really would like to see (and be able to use) such a program before I die.
            • Sherry
              What about The Master Genealogist (TMG)? Of course, it hasn t been updated in years. No one s quite sure what s going on with it. It has been much loved by
              Message 6 of 17 , May 26, 2011
                What about The Master Genealogist (TMG)? Of course, it hasn't been updated
                in years. No one's quite sure what's going on with it. It has been much
                loved by those who want an event-based program although it's got quite a
                learning curve and newbies generally leave it for something that's not so
                difficult to use.

                There must not be enough of a demand for event-based software.

                Sherry


                -----Original Message-----
                From: gensoft@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gensoft@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                Methodius
                Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2011 12:08 AM
                To: gensoft@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [gensoft] Event-based software redux.

                --- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Hayes" <hayesstw@...> wrote:
                > And one of the things I would like is an event-based database that can
                pull
                > in "Person" information from your main genealogy database (to save
                re-typing,
                > but also allow you to add other persons.

                This has come up again in the soc.genealogy.computing newsgroup, and I still
                feel the need for such software, and have yet to find it. We are spoiled for
                choice in lineage-linked programs, but I don't know of any event-based
                programs that will do what I want.

                I've tried to summarise the needs in a blog post at:

                http://su.pr/2vQjRv

                and the sample database tables are available for download from the files
                section of this forum.

                I'm reopening this subject because I really would like to see (and be able
                to use) such a program before I die.
              • Steve Hayes
                ... I tried it a few times but couldn t get it to work -- it kept crashing my computer. But that s not the main problem. The main problem is that it is still
                Message 7 of 17 , May 26, 2011
                  On 26 May 2011 at 6:58, Sherry wrote:

                  > What about The Master Genealogist (TMG)? Of course, it hasn't been updated in
                  > years. No one's quite sure what's going on with it. It has been much loved by
                  > those who want an event-based program although it's got quite a learning curve
                  > and newbies generally leave it for something that's not so difficult to use.

                  I tried it a few times but couldn't get it to work -- it kept crashing my
                  computer.

                  But that's not the main problem.

                  The main problem is that it is still primarily a lineage linked genealogy
                  program, and isn't really designed to cope with non-family relationships.


                  --
                  Steve Hayes
                  E-mail: shayes@...
                  Web: http://hayesstw.tumblr.com/ (follow me on Tumblr)
                  Blog: http://khanya.wordpress.com
                  Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
                  Fax: 086-548-2525
                • Steve Hayes
                  ... Probably not much of a demand, no. Most of the people working on genealogy software seem to be trying to write yet another lineage-linked program, or else
                  Message 8 of 17 , Sep 4, 2011
                    On 26 May 2011 at 6:58, Sherry wrote:

                    > What about The Master Genealogist (TMG)? Of course, it hasn't been updated in
                    > years. No one's quite sure what's going on with it. It has been much loved by
                    > those who want an event-based program although it's got quite a learning curve
                    > and newbies generally leave it for something that's not so difficult to use.
                    >
                    > There must not be enough of a demand for event-based software.

                    Probably not much of a demand, no.

                    Most of the people working on genealogy software seem to be trying to write
                    yet another lineage-linked program, or else produce a replacement for GEDCOM.

                    I've never managed to get TMG to work, but I've finally managed to install
                    Gramps, which seems similar.

                    Gramps can produce a list of events, which can be listed in chronological
                    order, but it doesn't seem to be possible to link them with people or places -
                    - or rather, they seem to be linked too closely to people, so that they are
                    repeated for every person in the database, thus being redundant.

                    For example, take the baptism of A, child of B and C, sponsors D, E, and F,
                    and the person who performed the ceremony G.

                    If you list it as an event linked to those seven people, the same event will
                    be repeated seven times in the database.

                    That means the program is "person based" rather than event-based.

                    In a proper event-based program you would enter the event ONCE, and then
                    link people to it.

                    But I admit that i haven't played enough with Gramps yet.

                    Someon mentioned a program called Scrivener -- does anyone know anything
                    about it?



                    --
                    Steve Hayes
                    E-mail: shayes@...
                    Web: http://hayesstw.tumblr.com/ (follow me on Tumblr)
                    Blog: http://khanya.wordpress.com
                    Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
                    Fax: 086-548-2525
                  • Tom
                    Is it worth pointing out that calling a genealogical program events-based means only that the program treats events as records that can refer to many people
                    Message 9 of 17 , Sep 5, 2011
                      Is it worth pointing out that calling a genealogical program "events-based"
                      means only that the program treats events as records that can refer to
                      many people records or vice versa? It doesn't imply that events have somehow
                      taken primacy over person records. Events are simply elevated to a position
                      where they have first class status along with persons as an important record
                      type that the software supports.

                      There are two ways that current programs handle events in the multi-role
                      context. Some programs (Gramps is an example) assign each event to a single
                      person, but allow that event to refer to other persons. This isn't really
                      elevating the event to first class status, as each event must ultimately "belong"
                      to a person, but it does give the advantages (no duplication of info) of an
                      independent event. And then there are two programs (don't remember which
                      they are off the top of my head) that support true multi-role events. But, of
                      course, these two programs still support persons as the ultimate and primary
                      data record type of interest.

                      Tom Wetmore, Chief Bottle Washer, DeadEnds Software

                      (Scrivener is note-taking software.)

                      --- In gensoft@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Hayes" <hayesstw@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > On 26 May 2011 at 6:58, Sherry wrote:
                      >
                      > > What about The Master Genealogist (TMG)? Of course, it hasn't been updated in
                      > > years. No one's quite sure what's going on with it. It has been much loved by
                      > > those who want an event-based program although it's got quite a learning curve
                      > > and newbies generally leave it for something that's not so difficult to use.
                      > >
                      > > There must not be enough of a demand for event-based software.
                      >
                      > Probably not much of a demand, no.
                      >
                      > Most of the people working on genealogy software seem to be trying to write
                      > yet another lineage-linked program, or else produce a replacement for GEDCOM.
                      >
                      > I've never managed to get TMG to work, but I've finally managed to install
                      > Gramps, which seems similar.
                      >
                      > Gramps can produce a list of events, which can be listed in chronological
                      > order, but it doesn't seem to be possible to link them with people or places -
                      > - or rather, they seem to be linked too closely to people, so that they are
                      > repeated for every person in the database, thus being redundant.
                      >
                      > For example, take the baptism of A, child of B and C, sponsors D, E, and F,
                      > and the person who performed the ceremony G.
                      >
                      > If you list it as an event linked to those seven people, the same event will
                      > be repeated seven times in the database.
                      >
                      > That means the program is "person based" rather than event-based.
                      >
                      > In a proper event-based program you would enter the event ONCE, and then
                      > link people to it.
                      >
                      > But I admit that i haven't played enough with Gramps yet.
                      >
                      > Someon mentioned a program called Scrivener -- does anyone know anything
                      > about it?
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --
                      > Steve Hayes
                      > E-mail: shayes@...
                      > Web: http://hayesstw.tumblr.com/ (follow me on Tumblr)
                      > Blog: http://khanya.wordpress.com
                      > Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
                      > Fax: 086-548-2525
                      >
                    • Steve Hayes
                      ... Perhaps it could be seen like that, but when I say event-based I mean that the program is designed primarily for recording events. ... I ve only just
                      Message 10 of 17 , Sep 9, 2011
                        On 6 Sep 2011 at 6:38, Tom wrote:

                        > Is it worth pointing out that calling a genealogical program "events-based"
                        > means only that the program treats events as records that can refer to many
                        > people records or vice versa? It doesn't imply that events have somehow taken
                        > primacy over person records. Events are simply elevated to a position where
                        > they have first class status along with persons as an important record type
                        > that the software supports.

                        Perhaps it could be seen like that, but when I say "event-based" I mean that
                        the program is designed primarily for recording events.

                        > There are two ways that current programs handle events in the multi-role
                        > context. Some programs (Gramps is an example) assign each event to a single
                        > person, but allow that event to refer to other persons. This isn't really
                        > elevating the event to first class status, as each event must ultimately
                        > "belong" to a person, but it does give the advantages (no duplication of info)
                        > of an independent event. And then there are two programs (don't remember which
                        > they are off the top of my head) that support true multi-role events. But, of
                        > course, these two programs still support persons as the ultimate and primary
                        > data record type of interest.

                        I've only just started trying out Gramps, and it is indeed possible to enter
                        an event in the database without it's being linked to a person. I haven't yet
                        worked out how you link a person to the event.

                        But by "existing programs" you seem to have in mind "lineage-linked"
                        programs, and what I see the need for is not a way of improving lineage-
                        linked programs, but a program that does something else.


                        --
                        Steve Hayes
                        E-mail: shayes@...
                        Web: http://hayesstw.tumblr.com/ (follow me on Tumblr)
                        Blog: http://khanya.wordpress.com
                        Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
                        Fax: 086-548-2525
                      • Thomas Wetmore
                        Steve, I did assume that you were talking about the need for a genealogical program that supports events as records in their own right. Since the purpose of
                        Message 11 of 17 , Sep 9, 2011
                          Steve,

                          I did assume that you were talking about the need for a genealogical program that supports events as records in their own right. Since the purpose of genealogical programs is to record information about persons and their inter-relatintionships, I did assume that lineage-linked persons would also have to be handled by such a program. From what you say here I was wrong about your assumptions. So I agree that what I have written does not bear on your question. But if you are only interested in a program that can be used to record information about events, since role players are usually key components of events, you would need to record information about the persons playing those roles. As far as my limited gray matter can conceive things it's six of one, half a dozen of the other.

                          Maybe you could explain the kinds of events you are interested in. If you are recording information about the occurrences of eclipses of the moon, or the occurrences of major hurricanes in the western Atlantic, or even major battles in a war, you could do fine without person information. But my mind is definitely slanted in the direction of events in which persons played important and definable roles, and for events of that type I would probably only be recording info about them because of the persons who were involved with them.

                          Tom Wetmore

                          On Sep 9, 2011, at 11:39 PM, Steve Hayes wrote:

                          > On 6 Sep 2011 at 6:38, Tom wrote:
                          >
                          > > Is it worth pointing out that calling a genealogical program "events-based"
                          > > means only that the program treats events as records that can refer to many
                          > > people records or vice versa? It doesn't imply that events have somehow taken
                          > > primacy over person records. Events are simply elevated to a position where
                          > > they have first class status along with persons as an important record type
                          > > that the software supports.
                          >
                          > Perhaps it could be seen like that, but when I say "event-based" I mean that
                          > the program is designed primarily for recording events.
                          >
                          > > There are two ways that current programs handle events in the multi-role
                          > > context. Some programs (Gramps is an example) assign each event to a single
                          > > person, but allow that event to refer to other persons. This isn't really
                          > > elevating the event to first class status, as each event must ultimately
                          > > "belong" to a person, but it does give the advantages (no duplication of info)
                          > > of an independent event. And then there are two programs (don't remember which
                          > > they are off the top of my head) that support true multi-role events. But, of
                          > > course, these two programs still support persons as the ultimate and primary
                          > > data record type of interest.
                          >
                          > I've only just started trying out Gramps, and it is indeed possible to enter
                          > an event in the database without it's being linked to a person. I haven't yet
                          > worked out how you link a person to the event.
                          >
                          > But by "existing programs" you seem to have in mind "lineage-linked"
                          > programs, and what I see the need for is not a way of improving lineage-
                          > linked programs, but a program that does something else.
                          >
                          > --
                          > Steve Hayes
                          > E-mail: shayes@...
                          > Web: http://hayesstw.tumblr.com/ (follow me on Tumblr)
                          > Blog: http://khanya.wordpress.com
                          > Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
                          > Fax: 086-548-2525
                          >
                          >
                        • Steve Hayes
                          ... Of course it is important to keep track of persons. But there are already lots of good lineage-linked genealogy programs, and we are spoilt for choice in
                          Message 12 of 17 , Sep 10, 2011
                            On 10 Sep 2011 at 2:16, Thomas Wetmore wrote:

                            > Steve,
                            >
                            > I did assume that you were talking about the need for a genealogical program
                            > that supports events as records in their own right. Since the purpose of
                            > genealogical programs is to record information about persons and their
                            > inter-relatintionships, I did assume that lineage-linked persons would also
                            > have to be handled by such a program. From what you say here I was wrong about
                            > your assumptions. So I agree that what I have written does not bear on your
                            > question. But if you are only interested in a program that can be used to
                            > record information about events, since role players are usually key components
                            > of events, you would need to record information about the persons playing
                            > those roles. As far as my limited gray matter can conceive things it's six of
                            > one, half a dozen of the other.

                            Of course it is important to keep track of persons. But there are already
                            lots of good lineage-linked genealogy programs, and we are spoilt for choice
                            in that regard, so we don't really need another one.

                            Those programs are primarily for genealogy, for keeping track of family
                            relationships and so on.

                            What I have in mind is a tool for family history, and other kinds of history
                            (local history, biography etc).

                            Of course it would need to keep track of persons who are associated with
                            events (and yes, I know Gramps lets you do that too), but what I have in mind
                            is a program that would let you include six degrees of relationship if
                            necessary, which would include people like boss, colleague, friend, enemy,
                            customer, neighbour, person whose dog you ran over etc.

                            > Maybe you could explain the kinds of events you are interested in. If you are
                            > recording information about the occurrences of eclipses of the moon, or the
                            > occurrences of major hurricanes in the western Atlantic, or even major battles
                            > in a war, you could do fine without person information. But my mind is
                            > definitely slanted in the direction of events in which persons played
                            > important and definable roles, and for events of that type I would probably
                            > only be recording info about them because of the persons who were involved
                            > with them.

                            Well, say you are writing local history of a small village.

                            Of course you would want information about people, like a list of mayors or
                            equivalent, shop keepers, clergy, other influential inhabitants like doctors,
                            layers and so on, and then you would want to link them to discrete events
                            they were involved in, planning a road, erecting or demolishing a building,
                            starting or quelling a riot, establishing a library, holding a beauty pageant
                            or whatever.

                            On the web site for the forum I've put some documents showing the kind of
                            thing I have in mind -- schematic diagrams, sample tables and so on. I've put
                            them there for comment, suggestions for improvement, and keep hoping that
                            some programming fundi will help me to make them work, preferably before I
                            die.


                            --
                            Steve Hayes
                            E-mail: shayes@...
                            Web: http://hayesstw.tumblr.com/ (follow me on Tumblr)
                            Blog: http://khanya.wordpress.com
                            Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
                            Fax: 086-548-2525
                          • Thomas Wetmore
                            Steve, I think I now see my confusion. I want a genealogical program to handle my lineage linked conclusions and my record event evidence. I assumed you would
                            Message 13 of 17 , Sep 10, 2011
                              Steve,

                              I think I now see my confusion.

                              I want a genealogical program to handle my lineage linked conclusions and my record event evidence. I assumed you would want the same. I think I was wrong. I think you want a lineage linked program to handle your person conclusions, and a separate, event-based program to hold your evidence. I simply want them together in the same program.

                              Tom Wetmore

                              On Sep 10, 2011, at 4:50 AM, Steve Hayes wrote:

                              > Of course it is important to keep track of persons. But there are already
                              > lots of good lineage-linked genealogy programs, and we are spoilt for choice
                              > in that regard, so we don't really need another one.
                              >
                              > Those programs are primarily for genealogy, for keeping track of family
                              > relationships and so on.
                              >
                              > What I have in mind is a tool for family history, and other kinds of history
                              > (local history, biography etc).
                              >
                              > Of course it would need to keep track of persons who are associated with
                              > events (and yes, I know Gramps lets you do that too), but what I have in mind
                              > is a program that would let you include six degrees of relationship if
                              > necessary, which would include people like boss, colleague, friend, enemy,
                              > customer, neighbour, person whose dog you ran over etc.
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