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Louis Kessler’s Behold Blog » Archive for 2011

2011 - A Very Good Year! - Sat, 31 Dec 2011

The end of another year. It's been a good one for me. In November, I celebrated my 55th birthday. On that same day, I released Version 1.0 of Behold. This year, my wife and I celebrated our 30th Anniversary. Our daughters are both in University. My father started the year in the hospital, but is now quite ...

Version 1.0.2 Released - Thu, 29 Dec 2011

There were a couple of important bugs that needed fixing. Also, an improvement to the way a spouse's maiden name and married surnames are designated. See this Forum post about it.

Version 1.0.1 Released - Tue, 27 Dec 2011

There are actually a lot of new things in this new version. It could almost be named 1.1, but I won't do that since it would require another submission to Winqual for Behold's Window's 7 Certification - which i've actually achieved, but recognition of such is being delayed by something on Microsoft's side - but ...

The Place Record in GEDCOM - Sat, 24 Dec 2011

Well, um, there is no Place record. But there should be. Currently in GEDCOM, you normally specify the place where something happened with a PLAC tag that is subordinate to an event, e.g.: 1 BIRT2 DATE 24 DEC 20113 PLAC Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada These events in GEDCOM are attached to individuals or ...

WordPress Bug on GenSoftReviews - Thu, 22 Dec 2011

I got feedback from Bob trying to add a review to GenSoftReviews. He said there was no place to add it. I took a look, and sure enough, the Add Your Review link was there, but under it was no form to enter your name, review and stars. Very strange. I tried it on my copy of the site on my own machine, and it ...

Can’t Accept PayPal (Hopefully temporary) - Sat, 17 Dec 2011

I've been using Plimus to accept payments for Behold for almost six years now. They handle the secure purchase requirements of online sales that include credit card processing, currency conversion, charging VAT and refunds, and charge a commission on each sale for those services. They also accept PayPal ...

Out on a Bad Date - Wed, 14 Dec 2011

It seems that I’ve created a series of posts about dating. First there was Sort of a Date where I discussed the problems in sorting GEDCOM dates. Then there was How About a Date? where I reviewed the GEDCOM syntax for dates and how many programs break them. While writing my FixDate function to correct those ...

The RootsTech Developer Challenge - Thu, 8 Dec 2011

Behold has been submitted as an entry to the RootsTech Developer Challenge. When I read the challenge: "Create an application or service that introduces a compelling new concept or innovation for family history." - well, there was no better description of Behold that I could have made up myself. Along ...

How About a Date? - Tue, 6 Dec 2011

Last post, I discussed what would be necessary in Behold to properly sort dates. I also wrote a bit about input of dates and output of dates. I started implementing date sorting and I was using the raw DATE value as input into Behold. I had to interpret it and fix it prior to setting up the sort ordering ...

Sort of a Date - Sun, 4 Dec 2011

Behold up to now has really not done much with the DATEs that have come in from the GEDCOM. It does look at the date value to pull out the year so it can display birth and death years in the Index of Names. And it was attempting to sort the dates in the event references in the Details sections, but in a very ...

The Version 1 Curse - Thu, 1 Dec 2011

Everybody’s leery about buying a Version 1 of anything. I am as well. Obviously, if it is Version 1, then it is a new rookie program that hasn’t been field tested and is full of bugs. And every programmer who puts out a Version 1 wants it to be perfect. The beta test was supposed to be to get all the ...

Ordering Events by Date - Mon, 28 Nov 2011

I received an email from Andy Hatchett, one of the expert users deeply involved in the BetterGEDCOM initiative. He had downloaded and tried Behold and then asked me, "How does one get the events within individuals and families to show in chronological order?". Currently, I display all the events in the order ...

Version 1.0 Released - Wed, 23 Nov 2011

Please feel free to post the following Press Release or any excerpt you want out of it. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

18, 10, 4, 2, 1 - Wed, 23 Nov 2011

In 1977, I developed the concept for the Everything Report using a primitive Word Processor. 18 years later, in 1995, I developed the first prototype of Behold, with a batch program that would read a GEDCOM file and produce an Everything Report. 10 years later, in 2005, the first publicly-available alpha ...

A Reply To Randy - Tue, 22 Nov 2011

Randy Seaver is a genealogist who I really admire and respect. I read his Genea Musings blog posts religiously as they come out. He spends more time at genealogy than most of us spend just being awake. His continual investigation into the programs he uses - Family Tree Maker, Legacy and RootsMagic hold me ...

A Plethora of Extra GEDCOM Tags - Mon, 21 Nov 2011

As it turns out, I was able to handle the RootsMagic 4.0 illegal GEDCOM tags fairly easily. There were only FIELD, TID and VALUE. I was able to simply add them to Behold's internal default tag file. The improperly used NAME field would have been a problem, but Behold displays it correctly and doesn't try to ...

6 Bad Things About Today’s Genealogy Software - Sun, 20 Nov 2011

They make you enter your data into forms and require you run reports to see (some of) your data. They are person-centric, rather than source-centric. They emphasize formatting your citations correctly, rather than documenting your sources correctly They promote merging other people's data with yours, ...

More On RootsMagic - Sat, 19 Nov 2011

My last post complained about the RootsMagic 4 GEDCOMs I had found. I decided it was important to research this further, so I opened up RootsMagic 4 (I purchased a copy when it came out) and loaded the large 156 MB GEDCOM from RootsMagic 4 that I had with 322,798 people in it. It took Behold 33 seconds to load ...

RootsMagic 4 Misbehaves! - Fri, 18 Nov 2011

About a week ago, I was sent a GEDCOM that Behold crashed on. Behold crashed on a PLAC tag with a value of: "<>" as the place. It was a small bug, easy to fix. But I noticed that this GEDCOM was from RootsMagic 4. Looking in my sample files, I only had one other RootsMagic 4 file, and I hadn't looked ...

Genealogy Programs that Meet the Windows 7 Logo Requirements - Thu, 17 Nov 2011

Yesterday's post got me wondering how many genealogy programs passed the Windows 7 Logo Requirements and are allowed to show the Windows 7 Software Logo. When I search for Windows programs at GenSoftReviews, the site indicated that there are 337 Windows programs for genealogy. Microsoft allows vendors to add ...

One Serious Attempt at the Windows 7 Logo - Wed, 16 Nov 2011

I admit, I really do want that Logo saying "Compatible with Windows 7" for Behold. Why? Well for one thing, there are very few genealogy programs (are there any?) that have it. The reason is probably that most genealogy programs are older, use legacy code, and just have too many non-standard hooks in them, ...

A Free Ride? - Tue, 15 Nov 2011

I got a few emails asking me if I was planning to have a free version of Behold. Once version 2.0 comes out with editing, people would purchase Behold and use it to create and update their genealogy. Then they would send it to relatives, but their relatives would not be able to view it because they did not have ...

Evidence and Conclusion Modelling in Behold - Sat, 12 Nov 2011

In preparation for Version 1.0, I am updating the Behold website to make sure all pages are up to date. When I got to the For You page, I added and moved around a few of the Behold benefits. But the one I needed to add was: "19. Evidence/Conclusion Modelling". I summarize it as: Problem: Your current ...

Checking Your Genealogy Data for Errors - Thu, 10 Nov 2011

I've had several people ask me questions on what error checking Behold can do. I would group errors into 4 camps: Non-Standard: There may be something wrong with your GEDCOM file that does not follow the GEDCOM standard. Behold deals with what I call "extended GEDCOM", and can handle all the extensions ...

Version 0.99.24 beta Released - Mon, 7 Nov 2011

It took about 3 months, but the User Guide (i.e. help file) for Behold is finally completed. There are 136 topics, 1,986 local links, 285 Internet links, 665 Graphics, and the chm help file has grown to 7,761,834 bytes in size, over 3 times what it was three months ago. The Behold User Guide is also available ...

Last Stage of Documentation - Sun, 30 Oct 2011

You'd think making a User Guide would be easy. But there's a bit more involved than just writing text. I was lucky enough to be starting with a partially done User's Guide that had already included the Welcome section and a fairly comprehsive Tutorial section. All that was left was to update these sections ...

My Torn Achilles Tendon After Nine Weeks - Tue, 18 Oct 2011

It was 43 minutes into my 45 minute squash match. Dove out left to make a backhand reaching around my opponent. Snap goes the heel, like a rubber band. I knew that wasn’t good as I’m there on the floor after successfully making the shot. There was no pain. I tried to get up but as soon as I put my foot on ...

Upgrade Blues - Sun, 9 Oct 2011

Upgrading your software is something you want to do often, to get new and enhanced features and bugs fixed. But it is also something that sometimes bites you back, with features that you used to use getting removed, or having new bugs introduced that now pop up when you do something that always used to ...

My Tech-Savvy Genealogist Meme - Sun, 25 Sep 2011

A relatively new Internet phenomena made up of questions determining an individual’s behaviour seems to have been coined with the term “meme” (rhymes with dream). The genealogy topic memes are both interesting and fun to fill out. For bloggers, they give an opportunity to tell people about themselves. ...

I Hate Trojans - Sat, 17 Sep 2011

Today, I was looking forward to spending a good number of hours working on Behold. My computer has been running well almost since I bought it several years ago, but this morning it was either a fake genealogy website or an email link (I'm not sure which), that ended up wasting my day. Fortunately (or should ...

Staying On Track - Sun, 11 Sep 2011

I'm continuing work on the documentation. While doing that, I've noticed a few small bugs in the program and I've been correcting them as I go. But I'm also being careful not to get too carried away. First I wondered if there was too much overlap between the Tutorial information and the Reference section. I ...

I Purchased Delphi XE2 Today - Tue, 6 Sep 2011

I didn't think it would happen so soon. I thought it was still months away. But a couple of weeks ago, Delphi XE2 became available for purchase. Today I bought the Professional Upgrade, normally $500 but 20% off because I was one of 700 attendees at an online Embarcadero Event on August 31. I don't normally ...

A Couple of Netfirms Migration Glitches - Fri, 2 Sep 2011

I had said earlier that my Netfirms site moves went fairly well. But a couple of other glitches have showed up since then that are important. First, and I just discovered this yesterday, and it's being worked on: If you go to the Behold download page and enter your name and email address and press the "Send ...

The Ideal Genealogy System - Sat, 27 Aug 2011

Randy Seaver just posted an article on GEDCOM, Software, Online Trees and Syncing in which he outlines the horrendously time consuming job he does of creating a GEDCOM file every month, transfering it to several other programs so he can use their functions and help his readers, and then send the updated ...

Version 0.99.23 beta Released - Mon, 8 Aug 2011

In 0.99.22, I removed the "View" and "View All" buttons on the Organize GEDCOMs page. What I didn't realize was that this would remove the code the viewed the GEDCOMs from the main form. The GEDCOMs couldn't be opened from Behold any more, so this had to be fixed. As punishment for this transgression, I ...

Win64, OSX, iOS and Android! - Sat, 6 Aug 2011

Behold is developed with the Delphi programming language. I've used Delphi now for about 15 years and over that time, it's had its ups and downs. In 2008 it looked like it was reaching the end of its life as Borland no longer wanted it and was having trouble finding a buyer. Embarcadero, who was basically a ...

If I Didn’t Have Genealogy As My Hobby, It Would Have Been Chess - Fri, 5 Aug 2011

I started doing my genealogy in University, but I started playing chess around grade 7. Over the last umpteen years, I have put most of my chess interests on the backburner as I instead devote my time to Behold and its development. The one grandmaster from Winnipeg, Abe Yanofsky, who was the also the very ...

Version 0.99.22 beta Released - Tue, 2 Aug 2011

Finally that's all done! Fixing the inplace-editing and making it seamless was NOT easy. Delving into a third-party's code and trying to make it work the way you want is a nasty job. Also, I got the website converted to Netfirms new servers, so that's no longer a worry for Version 1. For a list of all the ...

What About Virtual Treeview? - Wed, 20 Jul 2011

I received a personal email regarding my last blog post. I was complaining about my ElXTree component and considered using TMS's AdvStringGrid. The suggestion was that I switch to Virtual Treeview instead. I am quite familiar with Virtual Treeview. It is a highly respected component. It is OpenSource and ...

The Last Two Months - Mon, 18 Jul 2011

Two months ago, I almost had Version 1.0 of Behold ready. It was just a matter of finishing the User Guide and while doing so, fixing any last bugs I'd find. Then I ran into a roadblock. I wanted to make sure it was easy enough to edit the Tag Text and the Report Items Text. I wanted it to be easy for ...

My Netfirms Site Moves Went Fairly Well - Fri, 8 Jul 2011

Back on June 3rd, I wrote that Netfirms was going to be migrating my site. The migration stared a few days before that. I know I've got a fairly complicated account with 4 websites and 6 mySQL databases and many PHP scripts. They had two methods - automated (let them do it) or manual (I'd do it). I really ...

Aren’t Today’s Genealogy Programs Any Better? - Mon, 27 Jun 2011

I was surprised to see on GenSoftReviews, that Ultimate Family Tree got its 10th review today. It was a rating of 5 out of 5. It brings UFT's current overall time-weighted rating up to 4.04. That's enough to qualify it for a User's Choice Award if it can hang on to that until the end of the year. This was ...

In the Works - Fri, 3 Jun 2011

A bit of a status update. Three things came along that I have been handling prior to the finishing up and release of version 1.0 of Behold. First, my code signing certificate for Behold came up to its three year term and I had to renew. If only it were that simple. Paying the money was easy enough. Then the ...

What’s With Other Genealogy Software Developers? - Fri, 13 May 2011

I just finished reading Tamura Jones' latest genealogy software review on The Master Genealogist's (TMG) Public Beta 8. I've stated before that I think Tamura's reviews are the best on the web. They are full of solid sound advice that the software author should listen to, and doing so will lead to significant ...

Find The Best (beta) - Wed, 11 May 2011

I was surprised to run across a new “beta” site by accident today. It’s called Find The Best (Twitter: @Find_The_Best), and it’s a new product rating site designed to review just about anything. Their categories range from Arts & Entertainment to Technology. But what most surprised me was that I ...

The Hard Way and The Easy Way - Thu, 5 May 2011

Some of the changes I have to make to Behold are consistency checks – to ensure I’m presenting everything the same way. One example are the hints Behold provides when you hold your mouse over a menu item (on the status bar)or toolbar icon (floating hint and status bar). What I have to do is run through ...

Updated Screenshots of Behold - Mon, 2 May 2011

It's been a long time coming. The screenshots of Behold that were up on its screenshot page were taken from Behold version 0.98.7a alpha, 23 Nov 2006. Those were from my old Windows XP machine and have XP's standard blue-framed theme. I figure now that I've updated all the screenshots in the Tutorial of ...

Version 0.99.21 beta Released - Sun, 1 May 2011

Some fixes and improvements. Most important is that the detailed information in the sources was not all appearing. Now it does. The full list of changes are on the Behold History page. But this is the first part of the final leg. I'm working hard on the User Guide for Behold, which was previously called the ...

Plimus has an IE9 problem that affected my BuyNow page. - Sun, 1 May 2011

Sheesh! The things that take me away from Behold development sometimes get out of hand. But at least this one I've figured out and got a temporary workaround for it. The problem. I had a few people complain to me that they had a problem when they tried to purchase Behold from its BuyNow page.. That is a ...

Well At Least Behold Is Now Win7 Compliant - Sat, 23 Apr 2011

One of the things I've been delaying is getting Behold the "Certified for Windows 7" logo. Way back in 2007, I was turned off from getting the Vista certification when they required a Verisign certificate. Later, once I resigned myself to them not backing down on that, I found out they want a Version 1.0 and ...

Version 0.99.20 beta Released - Thu, 14 Apr 2011

I found out the glitch in the last version was more than just two shortcut keys. It seemed that most of the shortcut keys weren’t working. So this required a replacement version pronto. This change and the other few fixes in this release are listed on the Behold History page. Meanwhile, I’m doing the ...

Version 0.99.19 beta Released - Mon, 4 Apr 2011

Finally I'm getting close (I say as I rub my hands together). I've fixed all the bugs and improved all the inconsistencies that I had on my list to do prior to Version 1.0. Many of you have reported problems to me and I hope I've caught them all. I may have inadvertently missed a few, but they'll get done in ...

Solving a Bug when you have No Idea What’s Causing It - Wed, 23 Mar 2011

So you open the Find window in Behold. You open another window over Behold, but the Find window stays on top. C'mon. I'm just calling the standard Find Dialog from within Behold. It's simply: FindDialog.execute; I'm not doing anything special. This shouldn't happen. What's going on. When the going ...

Fixing a Bug in Only (!?) Six Hours - Sun, 20 Mar 2011

This final phase of getting Behold ready for release is mostly bug fixes and ensuring everything works. A bit more of this is left and then the new help files and the release. I’ve been getting pretty good at fixing bugs. Most take only a few minutes to track down, and then only a few more minutes to figure ...

Markup in GEDCOM - Sat, 5 Mar 2011

In correcting one problem with Behold, I noticed that some of the NOTEs and DATA tags were not being displayed cleanly. Words were jammed together and lines did not skip to new lines where they looked like they should. Overall, Behold's display of this data looked sloppy and unacceptable. Researching into ...

Another Month Goes By - Sat, 26 Feb 2011

It’s the end on February, and life got in the way again. So the next version of Behold won’t make it out this month. Let’s work for March now. There were a few tricky bugs I was solving, and then I got caught with a couple of weeks of distracting life-events: father in hospital, income taxes for 6 ...

Trying Out Twitter - Fri, 11 Feb 2011

I have succumbed. I never wanted to. Tweeting for tweet sake ain't sweet. So if I must, then I'll concentrate my twittles on genealogy software, Behold, and how and what genealogy programs should be. If you want to look me up or follow me, my Twitter id is: louiskessler I still prefer RSS to view tweets ...

Version 0.99.18 beta Released - Sun, 6 Feb 2011

This update was almost all bug fixes and features that weren't quite working right. Many of the these were for problems reported to me (Thank you!!!) following the last release. I'll be emailing each of you who reported something to me in December or January and let you know the status of whether or not it's ...

Bugs, Buggiers and Buggiests - Thu, 20 Jan 2011

I'm working to fix about two dozen (mostly small) things that don't work quite right in Behold that I've found and were reported to me, It seems I can classify them into three types: 1. Bugs: These are the once that take a few minutes to find, resolve, and fix. Sometimes, they may require up to an hour ...

I Have Evidence About the Future of Behold - Sun, 16 Jan 2011

I had some very interesting discussion with Tom Wetmore over at BetterGEDCOM. He's the other genealogy software developer involved with the BetterGEDCOM endeavor. Tom has been around the genealogy world for a long time. He is the original developer of the LifeLines program for Unix, maybe 20 years ago. Tom ...

What Makes You Like A Genealogy Program? - Tue, 11 Jan 2011

I just tabulated my GenSoftReview Users Choice Awards for 2010. There were 8 programs that had enough votes and an overall user rating of at least 4 out of 5. There were another 7 programs which had garnered at least 4 but hadn't yet got the 10 reviews required. They are potential award winners next year given ...

Build a BetterGEDCOM or learn GEDCOMBetter? - Wed, 5 Jan 2011

A month ago, I blogged about the BetterGEDCOM endeavor. In the ensuing month, I've gotten involved and added my two cents worth. I find I'm mostly a lone wolf in the woods. Up until a few days ago, I didn't know why my ideas were so different from everyone else. Almost all of them are of the opinion that ...

One for the Underdog - Mon, 3 Jan 2011

Tamura Jones wrote an article about my implementation of FTW TEXT. See Tamura's article on Behold FTW TEXT which is subtitled: "Lone developer embarrasses billion-dollar corporation". It's quite a pointed article pitting little me against the big Ancestry.com organization. I really hope they don't stand ...

GenSoftReviews Big Update - Sun, 2 Jan 2011

Most of today I spent updating my GenSoftReviews site. GenSoftReviews has been up for over two years, and over that time has had (as I write this) 723 reviews added, averaging almost one a day. But over the past two years, I have noticed a few things and also got a few good suggestions from people about the ...

Why Behold? - Sun, 2 Jan 2011

A couple of days ago, I received an email with this question about Behold: "after looking at it I could not figure out what I would use it for, could you tell me what need inspired you to create this software?" That was a good question, and I know I've said bits and pieces about this before, but I don't ...

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