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Louis Kessler’s Behold Blog » Archive for 2009

The Next Ten Years - Thu, 31 Dec 2009

2009 was a good year. I finally got the first beta of Behold out. Although the beta has a few kinks to work out, I know I'll clean those up in short order and we'll be on our way to version 1 that will lead into version 2 and editing. I couldn't have been more pleased and surprised to read that yesterday ...

The Resulting Exception Window - Tue, 29 Dec 2009

Thought I tie this up with the final display I came up with when reporting an exception. First this is what I started with in the last beta, which was Windows style and modified a bit from the default that came with EurekaLog:   And after a week of fiddling, I guess I’m happy with the way it looks ...

Back To Mailto - Mon, 28 Dec 2009

Just a followup to my last post. The Sendto method started NOT calling up my default email program. It's weird that at first it was okay and later it seemed to permanently change to always call up Outlook when my default program is Windows Mail. So it's back to MailTo. We'll try the new scheme in the next ...

Got a Little Carried Away - Sun, 27 Dec 2009

I was working on fixing the exception reporting. And working. And working... Every little alley took another twist and turn. First I had to figure out how EurekaLog was calling up your email program. Two complaints about it was more than I wanted to hear: Your debug routine fails to send the file, as it ...

Exception-ally Bad - Sun, 20 Dec 2009

I'm almost completed all the bug fixes. There is one more that involves TRichView and scrolling up with the arrow key. When you reach that horizontal line in the Everything Report, it gives an exception. There's really only about 8 lines that are needed to get this working. I've just been trying hard to ...

The Name Game - Wed, 16 Dec 2009

A GEDCOM file contains a person's name on the NAME tag. It normally looks like this: 1 NAME first middle /surname/ suffix e.g. 1 NAME John Jacob Jingleheimer /Schmidt/ II The name parts should be shown in the order given, but without the two slashes that surround the person's surname. To make this ...

Unexplainable Programming Occurrences - Mon, 14 Dec 2009

These are difficult bugs I'm being given. Fortunately, I am getting through them. I had hoped to have another beta out by now, but theres a few more fixes to do first. I had a couple of those unexplainable programming occurrences happen. The worst was after I had done those two very difficult fixes, with the ...

All Directions At Once - Wed, 9 Dec 2009

There have not been a great number of problem reports with the beta of Behold so far, but it's amazing how diverse these problems are. They cover all ends of the spectrum. Some are easy to find and others I don't know what's going on yet and require more debugging. Some are easy to fix, and others are very ...

There is NO virus in Behold! - Thu, 3 Dec 2009

Fieke who has been testing the Behold beta was startled yesterday. In the background was running the antivirus program Avast. Avast Antivirus seemed to think there's a virus in Behold. Avast kept warnings coming and then shut down Behold. Not only that, but the Behold install program was also being reported as ...

Bug Reports Coming In - Wed, 2 Dec 2009

Thank you to those who've submitted bug reports. There are six completely different bugs that have been reported so far. I'm working on them and will hopefully have fixes for them all in the next few releases. The beta releases will come out more often than the alpha's did. I hope to get an update every 1 ...

Already a Review - Tue, 1 Dec 2009

Not even out of the starting gates, and the Behold Beta already has a comprehensive review done by Tamura Jones. You can find the review at: http://www.tamurajones.net/Behold0.99.2BetaGEDCOM.xhtml but note that Internet Explorer will not open .xhtml files, so you'll need to view it with Firefox or another ...

Always Something To Go Wrong - Tue, 1 Dec 2009

The first 9 people to download trial keys all found that their Trial Key was already expired. Here I sit redfaced wondering how I let that happen. Well, I had changed the expiry from 90 days after the program was built to the new trial rule of 45 days after the key is sent for. I changed that number ...

The Behold Beta Is Now Available! - Mon, 30 Nov 2009

Finally!! Behold is once again downloadable and available to try or buy. Version 0.99.1 beta was released this morning, and version 0.99.2 beta came out this evening, after I fixed two minor issues with the "New Update Available" display and with text on the info box that still referred to the alpha. If ...

So It Goes - Sun, 29 Nov 2009

I almost got the beta out today. But it was my change to a new computer six months ago that did me in. I finished up and compiled the package. Then I had to make the install script. Whoops. I didn't have it. Had to download InnoSetup and install it. Then I had to set up all my links again because everything ...

Exceptional Exception Handling - Sat, 21 Nov 2009

For the beta, I want to fix all outstanding errors in Behold. There are certain types of errors that are of the type that can make a program crash. It will be stuck there and not continue or even allow you to close the program. Often the only way out is to use Ctrl-Alt-Delete and start the Task Manager and use ...

The Race Is On - Wed, 18 Nov 2009

We’ve been having beautiful fall weather here in Winnipeg for the last few weeks. Temperatures about 10 deg C (50 deg F). I was out yesterday at lunch for a walk and I passed by the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, a $260 million world-class museum that is currently in its initial stages of construction in ...

6 Down, 0 To Go - Mon, 16 Nov 2009

The export to HTML and RTF now works producing at least as good output as it did in the last release. So those were the 6 major things I needed to implement for the beta. All done. I started them on October 14th, so they took just over a month. Now there's just 6 small things left: Change the expiry ...

Obfuscate - Mon, 16 Nov 2009

"Obfuscate". I love that word. It sounds like you're swearing when you say it. The exporting has been going pretty well. Then I saw that the last alpha did not make URL's or e-mail addresses work when exported to HTML for the web. So it wasn't too hard to program those in. What immediately became apparent ...

5 Down, 1 To Go - Sun, 15 Nov 2009

Print Preview and Printing worked out pretty well. I got through it in about an hour and a half. I'm pleased it wasn't that much slower than the old way. For my very large test file, it previously took about 25 seconds to bring up the Print Preview. Now it takes 45 seconds. And there is optimization I can do ...

4 Down, 2 To Go - Sun, 15 Nov 2009

The last little bug in Searching is fixed. It wouldn't highlight some searches on the way back. This was tricky because the cause was not what I expected. Going backwards, I had to set it to start at the end of the current block of text. But the last item was sometimes my invisible text. In that case, the ...

The Tradeoff - Sat, 14 Nov 2009

I've made great performance improvements that you will see when the Beta is released. It is all due to virtualizing Richview and not generating the entire Everything Report at program startup. Instead, only the piece you need to see is generated. For my large test GEDCOM (24 MB, 100,000 people), it has ...

3 Down, 3 To Go - Sat, 14 Nov 2009

Whoops. What happened? I recently posted 2 down, 3 to go. But I found one other major glitch caused by the virtualization. There was my command that hid or displayed the tags you didn't want to see, as well as the one that hid or displayed reference descriptions. They both still worked, hiding and ...

What are the Chances? - Mon, 9 Nov 2009

I've always had a penchant for probability. I've loved figuring out odds and chances of things. That's why I took my undergraduate degree in Statistics before I went on into Computer Science. Today I had the utmost pleasure in going to a lecture at the University of Manitoba by Jeffrey Rosenthal, a visiting ...

Searching All Day for “Sex” - Sat, 7 Nov 2009

I made quick progress on reimplementing my Find function, until I ran into a snag. Somehow the Find wasn't correctly ignoring Behold's hidden text. Behold will hide all the tags you're not interested in. The Show/Hide button will easily make them appear or disappear as you desire. When they are shown, they ...

2 Down, 3 To Go - Sun, 1 Nov 2009

It doesn't look like any of these 5 will be easy. But, the Forward/Back keys now appear to be done and (mostly?) working. I say mostly, because I'm sure there are a few bugs still left in some strange cases I have not yet tested. Hopefully, those will come out in the Beta and I'll squash them all. I had ...

Making Genealogy Fun - Sat, 24 Oct 2009

Hop over to The Fun Theory and watch the three videos there. It's a very interesting concept that makes eminent sense. This is actually an initiative of Volkswagen. They've been very innovative in their advertising on TV lately (great commercials!) and this initiative may be an attempt for them to raise ...

Windows Logo Blues - Thu, 22 Oct 2009

I really wanted Behold to be able to get certified for the Windows Logo. I tried when Vista came around. But Microsoft frustrated me in my attempt. I've been thinking about trying again for Windows 7. But I encountered a very eye-opening post about it at Successful Software, a blog by Andy Brice that I ...

1 Down, 4 To Go - Tue, 20 Oct 2009

Finished reimplementing Instant Organize. There were two tricky parts. First, when you right-click, the cursor needs to detect where you are in the document. This used to be done by what were called Checkpoints in RichView. I had previously set Checkpoints up throughout the document. But now the entire ...

A New Roadmap - Wed, 14 Oct 2009

I've rewritten the future plans for Behold. The important steps are now the priority, and all the small things that are blocking the way are now secondary. I've taken long enough, and it's now time to take the expressway and make it happen. Beta in November. Version 1.0 in April, and Version 2.0 (and ...

Bug Solved - Moving Forward Again - Tue, 13 Oct 2009

It looks like I just may have actually squashed it and I'm quite ecstatic. Finally it's onward again. Herb's comment on my last blog entry made me rethink my Beta release plans. I was going to release it missing some functionality that was in the Alpha. But it would, as Herb says, appear "crippled". So ...

A Really Bad Bug - Mon, 5 Oct 2009

This is about the worst bug in Behold I've had to date. I've been working to solve the bug off and on for over a month and this bug is the reason why this Beta is late. It has to do with the "virtual" rendering of the RichView window. I have perfected in getting it all to quickly render, scroll down, scroll ...

Yikes, it’s October - Wed, 30 Sep 2009

That sure came fast. Still no Behold beta. One nasty bug still preventing the release. I won't go into it, but let's just say I'll either have to get it out in the next few days, or I'll have to update the dates I'm claiming it'll be out. Hopefully the former.

Can’t See It - Mon, 14 Sep 2009

To help my daughter transfer everything from her old computer to her new one, I lent her my second monitor. So it's a few days of programming without two screens. After I removed the second screen and started up Behold, it showed up in the taskbar, but not on the screen. Ooops. Behold positions itself on the ...

GenSoftReviews Glitch - Sun, 13 Sep 2009

For several weeks, noone was adding their program reviews to my GenSoftReviews site. I wondered what was happening, and last night I found there was a problem. It appeared that the Hashcash function that I was using to keep out spam comments was not working and was not permitting any entry, and that was after ...

Vacation in New York - Fri, 4 Sep 2009

Sorry, but the Beta was delayed by a much needed 8 day family vacation to New York City. I've always been intrigued by tall buildings. My neck still hurts from looking up all the time. My city of Winnipeg has 700,000 people, so it's not small. Our tallest buildings are about 30 stories and 400 feet tall. ...

Benchmarks for the Beta - Thu, 20 Aug 2009

I've done enough improvements to at least get Behold to have acceptable performance for most GEDCOMs. The fact that I was loading the entire file into Richview was the main problem. Now that Behold only loads the viewing area and a small buffer into Richview, it's a lot faster and uses much less memory. I ...

Getting Closer - Wed, 19 Aug 2009

I'm really pushing to get the Beta out. I switched tasks and finished reimplementing the ANSEL and UTF-8 input so that those character sets will be read in automatically and converted to Unicode. It is so nice to input files and see the Russian with the English with no need anymore to select the proper ...

Scrolling, Paging and Resizing - Tue, 4 Aug 2009

That's better. Now making better progress. It took only a week to implement the scrolling, paging and resizing of the new virtual view into the Everything Report. What this means is that even for extremely large files, the you will be able to resize the report very quickly, without the delay that happened in ...

The State of Genealogy Software Today - Fri, 31 Jul 2009

Disk Eastman just posted a great article in his blog: It's 2014! Do You Know Where Your Data Is? In the article, Dick talks about the ways to convert data from one program to another (primarily through GEDCOM), and then talks about what genealogy programs will in business and supported years from now. My ...

Breakthrough (at last!) - Mon, 27 Jul 2009

Finally, last night I successfully got the virtual rendering of the RichView window working. What that means is I now have a "viewport" into what looks like a complete Everything Report, but is really generated only as is needed. I've been working on this for over a month. It took a number of trials of ...

Temporarily, No Trial Download - Tue, 30 Jun 2009

Ooooh. I'm so mad. I had forgotten that it was three months ago that my old computer crashed and I purchased a new one. I upgraded to Delphi 2009 which allowed me to add Unicode earlier than I thought I would, and I was really rolling. But last week I realized that the 3 month expiry of the last alpha ...

Tough Stuff - Mon, 15 Jun 2009

I've been working very hard the last few weeks to rewrite the internals of Behold for the sake of efficiency. I've written much about the details of this work, and the Beta release of Behold has basically been waiting until I complete this. I consider this extremely important. Behold will need to load large ...

Bing - Thu, 4 Jun 2009

Have you tried Bing yet? This is Microsoft's new search tool, designed to finally compete with Google. It's actually quite good. Whether it will be able to compete with Google is a matter of intellectual debate. Search engines are good for genealogists. Most often we enter our ancestors names into search ...

Blew Them Away - Wed, 20 May 2009

My talk tonight about Behold to 40 people of the EEGS (East European Genealogical Society) here in Winnipeg went better than well. The audience was really taken by my talk of what`s wrong with genealogy software, and how Behold is doing it the right way. Other genealogy software are all big black boxes where ...

Spring Slowdown - Sun, 3 May 2009

Every Spring, there seems to be a host of interruptions that slow the progress of Behold somewhat. April was no exception. First there was the tragic end of my XP machine and the purchase and week-long setup of a new Vista machine, which I just love. Then there was income taxes to do. Our newspaper stock ...

Windows Live Writer and Pro Photo Tools - Thu, 30 Apr 2009

Instead of using the online Word Press admin area to write this blog entry, I’m doing it from my computer using another free Windows Live feature: Windows Live Writer. It is not necessarily a tool I will continue to use, but let me say I’m very impressed with what Microsoft has done. It gives the ability ...

Picture Management and Editing in Windows Vista - Tue, 28 Apr 2009

My transfer from Windows XP to Vista has been good. I like Vista much better than XP. It's easier to use, I like the organization of the directories, and it has many useful tools that I no longer need 3rd party packages for. As a genealogist and a guy who carries his digital camera wherever he goes, picture ...

PHP … MySQL … MyPHPAdmin … Oh My! - Sun, 12 Apr 2009

So it only took about 5 days to get just about everything configured on my new machine. Three days ago, I set up Delphi, got Behold compiling and found a few Vista-based bugs that I quickly squashed. I even put up a black based 2560 x 1024 background from a poster on the New Horizons mission to Pluto website. ...

I Just Don’t Get Twitter - Tue, 7 Apr 2009

Its popularity is soaring and I don't understand why. Blogs make sense to me. You write a complete story that expresses your thoughts or opinions about something that is meaningful to you, that you hope will be meaningful to others as well. They can follow you by RSS or find your your post via a search ...

Whoops. Sometimes it happens. - Sun, 5 Apr 2009

For awhile, my XP computer had started feeling a bit sluggish. I thought I'd try to clean it up ... go manualize some startup programs and do a good registry cleaning. But I got a bit too aggressive and the computer wouldn't boot up. There was some sort of driver error that it would hit before getting into ...

Fooled by the Weather - Wed, 1 Apr 2009

April Fools Day in Winnipeg, and we awaken to 3 inches of wet snow, on top of the 5 inches that was still on the ground. How do you like my daughter's April 1st snowman? Setting up the new scrollbars were problematic. That's working now, but there's still some important features that used to work but due to ...

Virtually Making Progress - Sun, 15 Mar 2009

I have attained success at making the Everything Report "Virtual". Now what appears to be a big huge report is simply only a porthole looking at the piece of the report you want to see. The speedup and reduction in Behold's memory use is dramatic. This is, of course, the way all other genealogy programs ...

Fixing Getting Things Done - Sat, 7 Mar 2009

To complete my previous post about GTD, I want to mention the fatal flaw in this methodology. Getting Things Done tells you to determine the next action you need to do for all of the stuff/projects you need to do. That is good! Once you do that that action, you can go onto the next. I've, in effect been ...

A Nasty WordPress Bug Is Now Squashed - Wed, 4 Mar 2009

This one has bugged me for six months, but tonight I finally solved it. On this Blog, there are two RSS feeds. One for the Blog Entries I make, and one for all the comments. But the RSS feed for the comments never seemed to show the comments after they were made. They seemed to appear sometime later. It ...

If you’re right handed, mouse with your left!? - Sun, 1 Mar 2009

Twenty years of using a mouse, and until I saw it I never even thought of it. I'm right handed and I've always used my right hand to hold the mouse. But then when I saw a righty doing it, it made so much sense. If a right handed person holds the mouse with their left hand, their right hand is free to write ...

Getting Things Done (GTD) - Sat, 21 Feb 2009

I always enjoy reading a good self-help book. I like to find ways to do things better and more efficiently. But it seems to me that most of the people who would best benefit from these books are the people that don't read them. I've heard a lot recently about the book Getting Things Done: The Art of ...

What I’m Following - Wed, 18 Feb 2009

The work continues on splitting Behold's Everything Report into pieces. But while I do spend a lot of time working on Behold, I also spend time keeping up to date on what else is happening out there with regards to genealogy software. Most of you know I've set up GenSoftReviews, which now pretty much runs ...

Avoiding Tangents - Sun, 8 Feb 2009

Splitting the one big routine that creates the Everything Report into pieces involved a number of challenges. The hardest thing to do is to keep myself from going off on tangents. An example of this just happened as I tried to reprogram the part that displays the titles of each section. These sections are ...

Proof of Concept - Mon, 26 Jan 2009

All's been quiet on my blog for the past two weeks as I worked to see if I could actually implement the Everything Report "virtually". What that means is that I don't actually load the whole Report into TRichView. Instead I am trying to just load the visible area into TRichView. I didn't know for sure if ...

A Brief Step Back, but Onward to Beta - Mon, 12 Jan 2009

I went a bit too fast in trying to make the major improvements. I was changing too many data structures at once and the changes required to the code to get everything working again would have been painstaking. There are so many special cases that I handled before that I'd have to reprogram. So I am taking ...

Eager for the Beta - Tue, 6 Jan 2009

There's at least one person out there eager for the beta of Behold. Tamura Jones has posted an entry titled: Behold release disappoints. Tamura's been one who very critically reviews genealogy (and other) software. He torture tests them with huge files that tear them apart. Previous alpha versions of Behold ...

Version 0.98.9.90 alpha Released - Sun, 4 Jan 2009

I'm running out of version numbers. I really am. A number like 0.98.9.90 is getting a bit ridiculous. The fact of the matter is I never expected my alpha development would have lasted so long. Just when I thought I was almost there, another bunch of changes I deemed necessary or outside delays would get me. The ...

2008 - The Year of Change - Thu, 1 Jan 2009

2008 was a year of big changes for me. In April my mother passed away, and the toughest part of it was resettling my father without her and trying to get him going as independently as possible again. At work in June one co-worker who worked 15 years with me retired, and in December, my Manager of 20 years ...

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