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Louis Kessler’s Behold Blog » Archive for 2010

Version 0.99.17 beta Released - Mon, 27 Dec 2010

A few important changes in this release: I implemented two new features: an important enhancement to the way references are displayed, which now includes the date and place of the event where available. Also now I have full support for the input of FTW Text files including some important changes to the FTW ...

The Impetus To Move Forward - Sun, 19 Dec 2010

I've added a few features I think are important to Behold that will be out in the next release. In so doing, and talking about them on this blog, I received a few emails from some people already using Behold. They said that the new features sound great, but they'd really like me to get version 1.0 out and ...

Enhancing the References - Thu, 16 Dec 2010

This is another feature I personally knew I needed, and wanted to get into Behold before the next release. Behold has a number of "Detail" sections that are generated for you at the end of the Everything Report. This can include Place Details, Note Details, Repository Details, Source Details, as well ...

BetterGEDCOM - Tue, 7 Dec 2010

There are hundreds of genealogy programs and almost all of them use GEDCOM to for importing and exporting their data. GEDCOM (which stands for GEnealogical Data COMmunications) was developed near the beginning of time and the last revision (5.5.1) was drafted about 15 years ago. It provides a data definition to ...

Getting Those References Together - Sun, 28 Nov 2010

Part of my delay over the last month was due to my thinking that I had to make a database change. I wanted all individual references of the same type to be grouped together. What that means is, for example, lets say you found your grandparents' wedding invitation list. You have 60 people invited to the ...

Rumble, rumble … - Sat, 20 Nov 2010

As you may have noticed, there has not been much happening on this blog in the last month, and the last Beta of Behold was released onSeptember 6. I haven't vanished. I've been here and working hard (other than a week's vacation) and ran into my recursive link roadblock again. If you search this blog for the ...

When Awards Are Not Awards - Sat, 16 Oct 2010

It's always nice to get recognition. So when I received the following email, I was at first surprised and pleased: Dear Louis, Congratulations! Jean here, and your blog, Louis Kessler's Behold Blog, was determined to be an essential part of our resources, and has received our Top Genealogy Blogs award ...

Windows User Experience - Fri, 15 Oct 2010

Just about the most important aspect of any genealogy program - actually any computer program at all - is the user interface. The tools and commands that the interface provides must make the program seem familiar, its features be obvious, and its capabilities be discoverable. Windows users get used to ...

The Domain Name Game - Tue, 28 Sep 2010

In the very beginning, I decided that "Behold" should be the name of my genealogy program. It gives the right connotation ("Look here and let all your data unfold") in an almost biblical manner, it is rememberable, it's short, and it's a non-copyrightable real word, so I don't have to be worried about getting ...

Question Mark Before Email In Text Format - Mon, 20 Sep 2010

For about a week, I had been sending out emails with a question mark at the beginning. So I would type:  “Hello John,” and in the email sent, it would appear as “?Hello John,”. That not only looked dumb, but also made me feel like a moron after I found out they went out that way. The problem was ...

Supporting FTW TEXT - Sat, 11 Sep 2010

As I work through some of my test files, I came across some files that were in my "to handle one day" folder. These were created by some older versions of Family Tree Maker for Windows (FTW) that created something that looks similar to GEDCOM, but instead of the nice short tags GEDCOM has, it uses its own long ...

Version 0.99.16 beta Released - Mon, 6 Sep 2010

Last version, the help file inadvertently got disconnected. It has now been reconnected. Maybe that was good, because the help file is about 3 years old, but actually most of it is still quite relevant. The Help file is, of course, the last thing I'll finish prior to Version 1.0, so that all the screenshots ...

Version 0.99.15 beta Released - Sun, 29 Aug 2010

I added a couple of new visible things to Behold. The birth to death years are now shown in the Name Index which was a user request. I could add lots of information there, or none as I had it. But this seems the best compromise as it helps identify the person when there are several identically named people ...

UnMessify the Message Mess - Fri, 20 Aug 2010

Let's see. In early alpha I had a log file where the error messages went. At the end of alpha, I had got rid of the log file and put the messages in the File Information area of the Everything Report. Then in the beta, I flip-flopped yet again and recreated the messages file. So what is this teeter totter ...

Bits du Jour and Omega Sync Pro - Mon, 16 Aug 2010

I found out about Bits du Jour several years ago. It is a website where software developers offer their software at a discount price, but for just one day only. Often the discount is 30%, 50%, or more. A few weeks ago, I ran into it again, and this time I decided to subscribe to their RSS feed so I could ...

How To “AutoOrganize” On Who You Want - Sat, 14 Aug 2010

Yes, as I mentioned two posts ago, I took out AutoOrganize. The only people who it might affect are the ones where AutoOrganize had picked the person that they want, but that person is not the first person in the GEDCOM file, so Behold will no longer pick them. If that is your case, here is what you can do ...

Your FamilyTree Magazine Reviews Behold - Sat, 14 Aug 2010

Several weeks ago, many people who were downloading Behold noted that they heard of it from Your FamilyTree magazine. I went to our bookstores here in Winnipeg and searched for that British magazine, but we tend to get overseas magazines rather late, and the latest issue I could find was the April issue. I ...

Version 0.99.14 beta Released - Fri, 13 Aug 2010

I needed to get a new version out fast. My last blog post says how I left one statement too many in the RelativesThroughMarriage routine. And the post previous to that says how I out-thought myself with my AutoOrganize function. So you’ve got a new version, for the first time in years, that has changes in ...

Oh No Relations - Tue, 10 Aug 2010

It seems that I left a statement in Behold that I shouldn't have in the last beta. I placed an "Exit" at the beginning of the RelativesThroughMarriage routine to skip that routine to do some testing. I forgot to take it out when I built beta 13. So the current beta will not produce the Relatives Through ...

Un-AutoOrganize - Sun, 8 Aug 2010

One of the first features I put into Behold was the AutoOrganize function. That was in Version 0.90.1 alpha, way back in 2005. I thought it was a great feature. It went through all the people, determined how many generations their tree had on their father's and mother's side, and took the parents of the person ...

Version 0.99.13 beta Released - Wed, 4 Aug 2010

Finally we're getting somewhere. I'm whittling away at the "future plans" list that needs to be done prior to Version 1.0. I can almost (but not quite) see the end and the new beginning. Of significance for this lucky number 13 beta, is that there are some subtle changes you may or may not notice. Either ...

The Value of Memories - Fri, 23 Jul 2010

My daughters got back last week from a trip they went on together. In the evening, on the last day of the trip, one of my daughters was looking at the 500 or so pictures she had taken during the trip and … “Memory card error”. Panic set in. I tried to reassure her over the phone that we could still ...

Version 0.99.12 beta Released - Thu, 22 Jul 2010

This version includes several changes and fixes, especially to ensure the proper input of large (> 32MB) GEDCOM files. For a complete list of changes this release, see the Behold History page. Next on tap will be getting those darned recursive links finally implemented properly. I've finally figured out ...

Version 0.99.11 beta Released - Tue, 13 Jul 2010

A new version is out. Lots of fixes and small but necessary improvements that won't be easy to find unless you know where to look. But somehow everything will feel a little smoother and the report be better. Go to the Behold History page for a complete listing of the changes. This beta took a couple of weeks ...

What I Do - Fri, 9 Jul 2010

Thomas MacEntee at GeneaBloggers maintains a list of Genealogy Blogs, currently with over 1,100 blogs in it including my Behold blog. He proposed a meme. Until today, I hadn't ever heard of the word "meme" and I still don't really know what it is. None-the-less, Thomas suggested that we genealogy bloggers ...

No News Is Good News - Mon, 5 Jul 2010

I haven't blogged in a while. That's because I've been busy working on Behold. I could have blogged a dozen times already, since I've made a dozen important improvements, but I hadn't simply because I was excited to get onto the next one. Originally, my main task was to handle recursive links properly. I ...

Had To Try It - Wed, 23 Jun 2010

I've been using StackOverflow for almost a year and a half. It's a tremendous tool for me as a programmer. Whenever I have a programming problem that I can't find a simple solution to myself or via a 10 minute Google search, I post my question there, and other programmers step up to answer my question. Then ...

Why Genealogy Is Everyone’s Solemn Duty - Tue, 1 Jun 2010

Genealogy is not only a wonderful hobby that anyone can do that gives you a personal knowledge of your roots, but it is also a social hobby that requires that you meet and talk to your relatives and others who may have information. And it is a fascinating ever-growing detective mystery that you’ll never ...

First Behold Newsletter in Awhile - Sat, 29 May 2010

I've finally got the Behold Newsletter out. After almost three years of dormancy, my system was finally ready to send something out to all the Buyers and Tryers of Behold. I'm hoping to send out something once a month or so. The content will depend on what is relevant at the time, but I'll try to make it ...

Version 0.99.10 beta Released - Mon, 24 May 2010

Only two releases later, and this one I'm VERY pleased with. See the Behold History page for a list of the changes. All outstanding problems I know of are fixed, and this beta version is the first that I can say that it finally produces as good (if not better) an Everything Report as did the last alpha ...

Obscurity Is The Key - Sun, 23 May 2010

Behold is again getting to the point where most of the bugs in it are fairly obscure. The average person using Behold with their average GEDCOM file should find mostly everything working right. If they look closely, there might be what I'd call "obscure" bugs - special cases of GEDCOM being handled a bit oddly ...

Version 0.99.9 beta Released - Wed, 19 May 2010

A few important fixes to this version. At least the source references should for the most part be working, and I'm hoping that all the issues reported to me by users of Behold are now fixed. If not, please let me know and I'll address them first. The complete list of changes in this version is on the Behold ...

Not a Good Beta - Sun, 16 May 2010

The last beta release was not a good beta. I don't mean that in terms of what I added to it. I've made a lot of fixes and improvements. But it's not a good beta because I added a bad bug. It seems that all the Source references don't display correctly any more. I hadn't noticed that before I released it. I ...

Version 0.99.8 beta Released - Thu, 13 May 2010

Finally, and it's taken too long to get this one out, a new beta of Behold. Please upgrade if you are using an older version. This one fixes up a lot of niggly things, and I think the the virtualization of the Everything Report is finally rock-solid. I can't seem to break it any more. Just about every abend ...

Trying to get the next release out - Sun, 18 Apr 2010

I've wanted to release this beta version for some time now. It's been over 2 months and that's too long between betas. This version is so much better than the previous in many ways: No memory leaks, logfile (not everything in it yet but its mostly there) and separation of program loading from just reorganizing. ...

Memory Hogging - Sun, 11 Apr 2010

When I cleaned up the memory leaks, I thought I had fixed much of Behold's memory handling. But then I started finalizing the log file (the last thing before the next beta release) by adding a memory reporting line and I was a little surprised at what still seemed like too much memory use. It went back again ...

Working Away - Sun, 4 Apr 2010

With the memory leaks all cleaned up, I went to work on splitting the processing into to parts: Loading the data and organizing the people to produce the Everything Reports. That's now done and will be included in the next beta release. So whenever you Instant Organize, reorganize, or change families you're ...

A Few Circles - Sun, 28 Mar 2010

I've been looping back on myself a bit. I said in my last blog post that I'll send out the newsletter. But then I decided to wait until the next Beta release. The next beta release will include the log file, elimination of memory leaks, and a new location for the sample files in the user's AppData directory ...

Html2Text - Wed, 17 Mar 2010

A good way to set up an e-mail newsletter is to use html formatting. Html is formatting to look more like web pages and you can make a very nicely designed newsletter with it. The unfortunate problem with that is many people turn it off or have it turned off, sometimes for security issues. When html e-mail ...

Almost Newsworthy - Sat, 13 Mar 2010

Two and a half weeks it took. But finally, I've got a decent Newsletter system set up that should work. I cancelled Dewahost (they were nice about it - but I still wonder why they never responded to my queries) and signed up with LuxSci's High Volume SMTP service. Then I went about trying to set up some ...

Newsletter Ready: No One To Send It - Wed, 24 Feb 2010

After I got phplist up and working, and I cleaned my old survey respondents email addresses up, I purchased a Dewahost’s SMTP service package to send the mail. They were recommended by Plimus (who processes Behold purchases for me) and do mailing lists for Plimus, so I assumed that was a good enough reference ...

Verifying Email Addresses - Not So Easy - Sun, 14 Feb 2010

Before the first Alpha of Behold came out in March 2005, I had a survey up which you can still see at archive.org. (Don't you just love the color I used to use?) Between 1997 and 2004, 685 of the people who filled in that survey said "Yes" to the question "Does the concept of a program like Behold interest ...

List Mania - Thu, 11 Feb 2010

Since the Version 0.99.7 release a few days ago, I have been trying to set up the Newsletter again. That died even before I switched web hosts, because the mailings started canning out after about 500 were sent. I needed something more robust, and after the change to a PHP/MySQL backend on the new Behold ...

Version 0.99.7 beta Released - Sat, 6 Feb 2010

I'm always up for a challenge, and I've always enjoyed the challenge of a GEDCOM torture test. Most Genealogy programs claim they have no limits, but eventually every program will run out of something -array capacity, memory or time or maybe it just wasn't written to handle a certain type of complexity. So I ...

Sometimes You’ve Got To Get It Wrong Before You Can Do It Right - Mon, 1 Feb 2010

When I virtualized the Everything Report, I created one routine to write out the various parts of the report. It could send the results various places: to the Report itself, to the HTML export, to the Rich Text File export, or into plain text for the purpose of simple searching. So I figured I could reuse ...

Log Rolling - Wed, 27 Jan 2010

There was another feature I used to have in Behold that just has been knawing at me. It actually is important that it be put back in now while the time is ripe. Basically, when Behold reads a GEDCOM, it may find problems with the GEDCOM file. I've now added the listing of the problems to the file ...

Genlighten Notices Me - Mon, 25 Jan 2010

I've written this blog on a regular basis for many years. I'm not really sure who the audience is, since we're talking not about just genealogy, or genealogy software, but programming and all that I'm involved in regarding Behold. So it's really nice when someone else can write up what my blog is about even ...

Version 0.99.6 beta Released - Sun, 24 Jan 2010

I decided it was important at this juncture to change the data structure to include the GEDCOM data exactly as it is in the file and to change the structure from lines-based to records-based. Previously I had taken some shortcuts and internally modified some of the GEDCOM lines to make processing easier later. ...

Stability is the Beta key - Sun, 17 Jan 2010

What I'm working towards in these first few Betas is Behold's stability. By that, I mean Behold should never crash. It should not result in a system error that prevents Behold from continuing which may require you open Windows Task Manager to stop it. These system errors are called "exceptions". The last ...

Version 0.99.5 beta Released - Fri, 15 Jan 2010

Only 8 days later, but a new version was needed for a couple of important fixes: Scrolling should now all work properly without errors. And users signing up with a user name of 5 or fewer characters no longer will get an error when trying to enter it into the Info box in Behold. I also had problems ...

CONC Me On The Head - Sun, 10 Jan 2010

Ah, the CONC tag. It stands for Concatenate the line. It is put in a GEDCOM file to split a long line. For example: 2 NOTE This is a note that is sp 3 CONC lit on two lines. The note will be put together and the word "split" will be reformed as one word. That is the way it is clearly defined in GEDCOM. ...

Version 0.99.4 beta Released - Thu, 7 Jan 2010

Here's a quick and needed release. Unfortunately the web update feature of Behold in 0.99.1 through 0.99.3 beta of Behold was not working on Vista or Windows 7. The web update downloads the behold-setup file to the Program Files directory where Behold is. Unfortunately, Vista and Windows 7 do not allow a ...

Version 0.99.3 beta Released - Tue, 5 Jan 2010

New beta is out. I recommend everyone upgrade ASAP. I was not happy with the first beta. It had a number of errors that would crash the program. I believe I have fixed all that have been reported and additional ones that I have found, so the new beta should be much more stable than the previous. But first ...

GenSoftReviews User Choice Awards - Sat, 2 Jan 2010

I thought I'd let the readers of this blog be the first to know: Tonight I put up a new page on my GenSoftReviews sight. It's a User Choice Awards page, to recognize the genealogy software programs that are rated well by their users. I tabulated the rating scores of the programs with 10 or more user reviews, ...

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