Login to participate
  
       
Register   Lost ID/password?
Louis Kessler’s Behold Blog » Archive for 2008

Puzzle 64 - Sat, 27 Dec 2008

As I was getting everything working on my websites, I got an email from someone who had just requested a trial key. It was sent to him but it didn't work. I checked and I found that the new site was producing different trial keys than the old site. I couldn't imagine how that could be. Maybe the date on the ...

New Webhost - Sat, 27 Dec 2008

For the last few months, my Behold site has had hiccups. There were times when pages loaded very slowly or were inaccessible. I was in chat sessions with IXWebhosting's technical support a half a dozen times in the last two weeks to say my websites: beholdgenealogy.com and gensoftreviews.com were not ...

This Blog has Won A GeneaBlog Award - Sat, 20 Dec 2008

It's nice to be recognized. Tamura Jones has awarded his Geneablog Awards and he named my Behold Blog as the "Deepest Genealogy Development blog". Mine was one out of 9 Blog Awards that he presented. I was familiar with 5 of the others and have to agree with his selections. I started this Blog back on ...

BOM-biddy BOM - Tue, 16 Dec 2008

Unicode files and files in many other characters sets often start off with a few special characters call the BOM (Byte Order Mark). This makes it easy for Windows or other programs, like Behold, to figure out the character set and display the text correctly. GEDCOM files are files like any other. If they are ...

The Best Genealogy Software Reviews - Sun, 14 Dec 2008

There is a recently redone site by Tamura Jones called Modern Software Experience that has posted the most comprehensive and accurate reviews of Genealogy software that I have ever seen. He doesn't pull any punches and tells it like he sees it which is something this field of programming really needs. So ...

It’s All the Rage - Tue, 2 Dec 2008

I've been at a conference for a couple of days. It's on for a few more. But I'm doing it from the comfort of my computer at home. Embarcadero, the new owners of Delphi, are hosting the 3rd CodeRage conference from Dec 1 to 5. It is just like any other conference with one difference. It is online. This is ...

What the Hash - Thu, 27 Nov 2008

With optimization of the "smaller" 95,000 person GEDCOM resulting in a load time of less than one second, I didn't think that simply counting the number of tags by type of tag should add 2 additional seconds to the time. There are over 1.4 million tags to count into 100 different tag types. I also count ...

Success! - Mon, 24 Nov 2008

I was able to get Behold to load the 317 MB GEDCOM file! Instead of loading in each line, I loaded each level 0 structure as a line. Fewer lines meant less accumulation of the internal Delphi overhead for a line (made up of pointers, counts, etc.) The bottom line is that it loads in about 900 MB of RAM, ...

Reaching the Limit - Sat, 22 Nov 2008

I tried loading a 317 MB GEDCOM file. (Go to: http://www.prpletr.com/Gedcoms.htm and download Good, Engle, Hanks Family Gedcom). Ran out of memory. It happened during the ANSI to Unicode conversion. So I dissected that routine and did the ANSI to Unicode conversion, 4 MB at a time. This now enabled it to ...

Follow the Yellow Brick Road - Thu, 20 Nov 2008

Now where will this path lead me? Two posts ago, I thought to convert to using XML as my internal data structure, since it's equivalent to GEDCOM and I had an XML library available. The library wasn't bad, but when I looked closer at it, I saw it was effectively using a simple tree structure. So then I ...

Unicode at Last! - Thu, 13 Nov 2008

With Unicode supposedly in place in Behold, I wanted a real example to test it. I found a small simple GEDCOM file with Hebrew text mixed through it. Hebrew is tough because not only did it have special characters, but Hebrew prints from right-to-left. I found out a couple of things. First you need a Unicode ...

XML is GEDCOM; GEDCOM is XML - Mon, 10 Nov 2008

My attempts to speed up the core of Behold led me to lean towards using the DISQLite3 database package. The expectation was that it would perform better than the b-tree structure I developed in prehistoric times for handling the internal data. But I may have discovered something even better. XML (Extensible ...

Power Debugging - Sun, 9 Nov 2008

The upgrade to the new Delphi-2009 compatible ElPack did not come without its share of pain. A few essential features of Behold were not working. First, my development version of Behold could not read the .bho files that were created by earlier versions. That was because those Behold files were written with ...

My Stack Has Overflowed - Fri, 7 Nov 2008

There's a great new site where programmers go to ask programming questions and get answers called Stackoverflow. It is beautifully set up and has become extremely popular. I signed up 16 days ago and quickly became infatuated with it. I asked a couple of specific Delphi related questions. To my surprise, ...

Back to a table format - Wed, 5 Nov 2008

Some of you may remember back to Version 0.98.6 of Behold (August 2006). The Everything Report had a slightly different look. People were listed in a table. The first column contained the person's ID number, and then there was one column for each generation. The table had subtle thin lines, that I thought ...

Online Exchange Rate Gotcha’s - Sat, 1 Nov 2008

Be careful when purchasing software online if its price is listed in a currency that is not your own. It is most convenient to let them convert the software price to your currency. And you should expect a good conversion rate, but sometimes they pad it. I went to purchase my upgrade to ElPack from LMD's ...

Interesting Twists - Sun, 26 Oct 2008

It's only as you start doing something, that you discover a better way. I started trying to remove the ElPack components that were in Behold. I added them several years back to do little things that Delphi 4 back then couldn't do. My expectation was that most of these extras have by now, 10 years later, ...

Patched Together - Sun, 19 Oct 2008

A lot of small steps are required. Delphi 2009's method of connecting to the help file has changed, and I had to find out how to get that going. Some of my internal string constants had to be changed to Unicode, and it took awhile to track that down. The timing routine I included previously no longer works. ...

Programmers of Today do it Differently - Fri, 17 Oct 2008

My purchase of Delphi books yesterday made me think about programming styles. I'm from the old school, I had physical hard-copy encyclopedias I actually read and browsed through. I went to the library when I needed reference material I didn't have at home. And I learned programming from books. Programmer of ...

Delphi Knowledge Updating - Wed, 15 Oct 2008

A lot has changed in the 10 years between Delphi 4 and Delphi 2009. When I first purchased Delphi 2, I spent maybe a year learning it, and on upgrade to Delphi 3 and then to 4, I had to learn what was new. I have a whole shelf of Delphi books, 14 of them now that I look, but none is newer than Mastering ...

Profilers and Memory Debuggers - Mon, 13 Oct 2008

I used two tools with Delphi 4 to help optimize Behold and check for memory leaks. GpProfile by Primoz Gabrijelcic (hence the Gp) was a free profiler for Delphi 2, 3, 4 and 5. I used it quite a bit for optimizing Behold and especially the guts of TRichView. Many of the improvements I found for TRichView I ...

Dreaming Up Chandler - Sun, 12 Oct 2008

I've had a book for awhile that I purchased and until now didn't get a chance to read. I started reading it this week. It's called "Dreaming in Code" by Scott Rosenberg. It's the story of an innovative software project called Chandler and the trials and effort involved in its development. I like to read these ...

Gotta Break It to Make It - Sat, 11 Oct 2008

I did not expect to make an easy transition from Delphi 4 to Delphi 2009. The Unicode changes in D2009 are known to cause incompatibilities and require changes. A lot has changed and it is a big jump. None-the-less, I still held out the hope that maybe I might be able to compile Behold under D2009, work my ...

Version 0.98.9.9 alpha Released - Tue, 7 Oct 2008

I've released what hopefully is the last alpha version of Behold. I've gone through 3 years of figuring out exactly what Behold should be and now I think it's quite well defined. The last 10 months of that have been slowed by the website makeover. But now it's time to take the next step. There's a major ...

New Roadmap - Fri, 3 Oct 2008

I love the word "roadmap" when it refers to a software development plan. I've now updated Behold's Future Plans page, and you'll again be seeing me check off the items as I do them and use my little programmer icon to indicate what I'm currently working on. I have a few items to finish off and then I'll ...

Don’t Believe It until You’ve Researched It - Thu, 2 Oct 2008

This blog title could very well have started an article about genealogy research, but in this case I'm talking about a quick websearch I did to find a fast database package for Behold. In yesterday's blog post, I mentioned Accuracer by AidAim. They had posted how fast their database was and even gave ...

Back to Development - Wed, 1 Oct 2008

Today I started back at development of Behold. It felt good to tackle some of the issues users found and reported to me over the last few months. I'm going to work on these first, and get another release out in a few weeks with some corrections. I've had a lot of time over the last 8 months of website ...

GenSoftReviews - Wed, 24 Sep 2008

It's up! It really only took about 3 weeks, so that's not too much time out of Behold's schedule, but I've been wanting to change my Genealogy Software links page into an interactive review site for a long time. I've redirected my Genealogy Software Links page there, and I've sent out Press Releases to a ...

Unsupported Genealogy Software - Mon, 15 Sep 2008

I've almost got the new Genealogy Software Review site ready. I spent the weekend entering data, information about over 100 genealogy programs from my Genealogy Software Links page. I've still got a couple of hundred foreign-language programs, online programs and utilities to enter and then its done. But I ...

May have been a Server Issue - Thu, 11 Sep 2008

About 10 minutes ago, my site slowed to a crawl - all pages, not just the Blog and Forum. I went into a live chat with IXWebhosting support. To my amazement, their Admins did something (would not tell me what) and bango, the site was fast again. It took less than 10 seconds, so it wasn't a server restart. I ...

Performance Issues … Again - Thu, 11 Sep 2008

No sooner than I think everything's going smoothly, after I finished up my post last night, I discovered that the Blog and Forum were bogging down again. One second response or less to display a webpage should be the norm. Two seconds should be the worst-case maximum. Four is too long. 10 is unbearable and ...

Final Web Page Up plus a Surprise Project - Wed, 10 Sep 2008

I've finished the new Behold Download page, so now all the Behold site webpages are now at beholdgenealogy. The download page was trickiest because I had to change all the scripts to PHP and convert the Access database to mySQL. There's still a few tweaks left (like getting it all to look the same in IE6), but ...

Yet another Task - Sat, 30 Aug 2008

Earlier this week, I finished and put up two of the last three webpages for this new site. Those were the Feedback and Buy Now pages. All that was left now was the Download page. That was going to be the trickiest because it involves a few web scripts and programs to allow calculating and emailing the trial ...

Delphi 2009 (Tiburon) - Wed, 27 Aug 2008

The programming language I use for Behold is Delphi. I originally started over 10 years ago with Fortran, moved to Turbo Pascal, then Delphi 2 (1996), upgraded to Delphi 3 (1997) and finally stuck with Delphi 4 (1998) which I'm still using today. So I haven't upgraded to Delphi 5, or Delphi 6, or Delphi 7 ...

Hypertext Indented Narrative - Fri, 15 Aug 2008

A wonderful article was pointed out to me. It is something I had missed over the years, by Mark Humphrys in 2000, titled: "Hypertext Indented Narrative" pedigree format: Adapting the Burke's Peerage format for the Web or: How to draw indefinitely large family trees by hand". What Humphrys has taken the ...

New Website Pages and Version 0.98.9.8 alpha - Sat, 9 Aug 2008

Finally, I've converted most of the Behold over to the new design and onto the beholdgenealogy.com domain. I hope you like it, especially the more "forceful" delivery about what Behold is that I have given on the home page. The Home, For You, Screenshots, FAQ, History, Future, Blog and Forum pages are ...

The Blog and Forum are Now Complete - Mon, 4 Aug 2008

I have now finished off everything I wanted to do with the Behold Blog and the Behold User Forum. They are integrated nicely and now have all the features I want. With their use of WordPress and bbPress and a solid PHP/mySQL base and large opensource user community supporting them, they should do me quite well ...

PHP Timezones - Wed, 30 Jul 2008

I've had to figure out 100 different puzzles to get the Blog and Forum going. An example is figuring out how PHP determines the time in different timezones. It bothered me to see that both WordPress and bbPress display times only in terms of either Greenwich Mean Time or in the local time where the Server is ...

The Wonders of SQL and the mySQL database - Tue, 29 Jul 2008

I'm just finishing up the last few changes to the Forum and Blog and they should be incorporated into the live versions very soon. Over the past few weeks, my customization (maybe I'm overdoing the customization a bit, but there's no use in going back now) has led me to write some new Forum pages. In ...

The Forum is Finally Up - Thu, 17 Jul 2008

The Behold User Forum is now open again. I’ve not implemented everything into it yet, but it is quite functional and should now allow public conversations about Behold again. It feels great to finally get it up. Now instead of me developing it in the dark, it can be used while I put the final sets of ...

A Week of Programming - Sun, 6 Jul 2008

Finishing up the main screens for the Forum wasn't hard. Yes, that only took about a week. But I'm the type who is a bit too much of a perfectionist. I saw too many little things that could be changed. And there were a number of differences between the Blog and the Forum that would be better if they were ...

Moving Forward - Fri, 20 Jun 2008

I've been quiet (on this blog) for the last few weeks. What I've been doing is taking some time to optimize this new blog the best it can be. I've removed some plugins that are expensive in terms of loading time, implemented caching correctly, optimized database calls, and tweaked some internal slowdowns in ...

Just When I Thought It Was Over … - Thu, 5 Jun 2008

I had been working to convert my old blog at lkessler.com to my new website style. I really was. Then all I did was come back to see this blog to make sure the style was the same and I was astounded - the blog was fast again! I couldn't believe it. I thought IXWebhosting's servers were just too loaded and ...

This is the Last Post on My New Blog - Mon, 19 May 2008

It's been a frustrating week and decision time. I've tackled every problem along the way to get WordPress working the way I want it. But the one thing that kiboshes it all has happened. WordPress is too slow. I didn't expect this. As I developed it on my home computer, I was consistently getting 0.5 second ...

Version 0.98.9.7 alpha - Mon, 12 May 2008

Nothing at all new in this version. I had to get it up because all non-purchased versions expire today and require upgrading. For the past two years, I have code-signed both the program and the install file. That ensures that the code has been untampered with since I created it so no third-party has added ...

WordPress Upgrade to 2.5 Caused Major Problems - Sun, 11 May 2008

I had set up everything fine on my own computer, and the upgrade of WordPress from 2.3 to 2.5 seemed to go okay. Then I uploaded it to the live beholdgenealogy website and that's when troubles started. I fixed some things, but I'm leaving the blog in a bad state tonight (1:40 a.m., and I've got to get to ...

To Upgrade or not to Upgrade: that is the Question - Wed, 7 May 2008

I spent many painstaking hours setting up this blog under WordPress version 2.3.3. While I was developing it, version 2.5 of WordPress had come out, but I couldn't upgrade at that time because my Newsletter plugin (which I haven't finished implementing yet) wasn't compatible. So when I made this new blog ...

Leaving a Legacy - Sat, 26 Apr 2008

I'm off tomorrow to a five day leadership training course. In preparation for the course, we're reading the book A Leader's Legacy. Right off the bat, the book puts you into the thinking of what type of legacy you'd like to leave. Of course, I immediately turn that into thinking about Behold. Up to now, ...

What I Have Done to this Blog - Wed, 23 Apr 2008

It's taken me a number of months to prepare the moving of my Behold site to beholdgenealogy.com, finalize the design of the new pages, and do the work to change everything over, starting with my blog. What has taken so long? Well, like everything else I do, I like to ensure everything works well. You can see ...

First Blog Problem - Not emailing - Tue, 22 Apr 2008

Well, I discovered a major problem. Somehow the PHP Wordpress code is not emailing when it needs to. That means that noone can register or get their lost password sent to them until I fix this. Those of you who have registered on my old forum can login and post comments using your old userid and password, ...

Back to it - Mon, 21 Apr 2008

Mom passed away last Monday. I feel she's with me wherever I am. I hope this feeling never goes away. But it's time to hanker down, finish this new site and get back to Behold again. So this entry in my blog will be the start of my new site, and I'll try to now proceed with at least some progress every ...

Delay - Fri, 11 Apr 2008

About a week ago, my Mom took very ill, advancing into her final days with terminal lung cancer. So I have not worked on the new site or Behold and it will be at least a week before I get back to it. My Mom is 84, has had a full and satisfying life and has said she is ready to go - it is her time. She is a ...

Arrrgghh!! Still at it. - Sun, 30 Mar 2008

Every day for the last three weeks, I thought getting the new blog up was imminent. Needless to say, it isn't up yet. It has been a real learning experience, interesting, but very frustrating. I've solved a hundred little problems along the way, and I'm still not quite there yet. My last checks with ...

Last Post on this Blog — Hopefully - Wed, 5 Mar 2008

I've finally got through all the technical glitches so now WordPress and bbPress will work together very nicely. Now its just a matter of polishing up the various pages and putting them up. I'm first going to concentrate on getting my new beholdgenealogy site up, and I'll convert the old site bit by bit. ...

Creating a Community - Sun, 24 Feb 2008

Slower than I hoped, but I am working through the WordPress/bbPress integration. This is very important to me, since I'll be melding the Behold Blog and the Behold User Forum together into what I hope will attract a "community" of Behold users and others who are interested in Behold. I'm trying to make it a ...

Version 0.98.9.6 alpha - Wed, 13 Feb 2008

There's a new version now up. For non-purchasers of Behold, Behold had only 4 days left until it expired. So I needed to release a new version, even though all it has new is 2 small bug fixes. I didn't realize until now how long this site redevelopment has been taking. It's now two months and still isn't ...

Back to Forum Five - Tue, 12 Feb 2008

Yes, I had planned on going to Simple Forum. I'm still very impressed by it. But, I wanted to customize it to my site and change not only the appearance (which can easily be done through CSS), but also the content of what is included and where. Unfortunately, although the PHP code is all available, it is ...

Six Forums - Fri, 8 Feb 2008

Forum. Forum. Forum. Forum. Forum. Forum. The current forum software I use on my site is Broadboard, a VBScript ASP forum that has worked quite well. But it's author stopped maintaining it several years ago, and it uses Microsoft Access as a database, which may limit it in the future. Also, it does not ...

Creating a Photo Gallery - Thu, 31 Jan 2008

With Photoshop Elements, I expected it would be able to create a photo gallery from the 300 pictures and 15 videos I took from my Nashville trip that I could put on my website to share with my relatives. It can, but only as a Flash-based gallery. I didn't want that, but I wanted a gallery that my relatives ...

Two Things Learned - Wed, 23 Jan 2008

3 great days in Nashville. 2 lousy days in airports. But it was a great getaway. After taking the listing I had of that side of the family, I realized a couple of things: (1) The research I have done and questioning of older ancestors many years ago was quite comprehensive. There was not much our ...

Going to a Family Event - Wed, 16 Jan 2008

My wife and I are leaving for Nashville Tennessee for the weekend. My wife's first cousin's youngest daughter is getting married. We're really looking forward to this little getaway, and a bit of a break from our -20 C temperatures. Of course, family events are always great for adding a bit more to the ...

How Secure are Your Passwords? - Fri, 11 Jan 2008

Article warning: If you are paranoid about everything, you should avoid reading this article or it may ruin the Internet for you. I started converting the Behold Forum over to bbPress. The first thing I had to do was convert all the registered users. To my horror, I discovered that my old Forum stored the ...

Integration, Not Once, But Twice - Tue, 8 Jan 2008

Last night I managed to install Vanilla and using about a dozen different articles from the web, integrated it correctly with WordPress. I was very pleased. Then this morning, I found that I had missed that fact that the Open Source groups using Wordpress have been working on their own light Vanilla-like ...

Newsletter Blues - Mon, 7 Jan 2008

Happy New Year everyone! I've worked hard and really customized Wordpress to look and work exactly as I'd like. It's ready to go as soon as I get the rest of the site up. One of the next tasks was to replace the mailing software that I was using to send out my Behold News to people who had purchased or ...

You are currently browsing Louis Kessler’s Behold Blog archives for the year 2008.

 

Archives