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Louis Kessler's Behold Blog » Archive for 2015

Everything In, Nothing Out - Not Helpful for DNA. - Sat, 26 Dec 2015

Do you an amass everything you can that might be related to your genealogy research? You have books in your library. File cabinets full of articles and clippings. Closets with boxes of unsorted picture albums and scrapbooks with letters and ephemera. Videos still on VHS and super 8. You’ll get to it someday. ...

A New Notation for DNA Relationships?? - Sat, 19 Dec 2015

One thing missing that I am adding to the upcoming version 1.2 release of Behold is an indication of relationships between people. If there is one thing not easy to determine, it is how people are related to the main person (also called the proband). But just as importantly, once you know the relationship, ...

What Ancestry’s “Retirement” of FTM Really Means - Fri, 11 Dec 2015

Unless you’re a genealogist that has your head in the sand the past few days, you would have heard the big news from Tuesday that Ancestry will be “retiring” its very popular Family Tree Maker desktop genealogy software. Ancestry has always marketed their software as “the #1 selling family history ...

72 Talks on the 10th Unlock The Past Genealogy Cruise - Wed, 2 Dec 2015

It may be that the 72 talks on this #utpcruise from New Zealand to Australia are the most sessions possible to attend at a single genealogy conference ever. The cruise is a long one, 18 days, and the sessions are spread out comfortably, with none held during shore leave so everyone can enjoy the ports of call. ...

Windows 10 At Last - Sun, 22 Nov 2015

Windows 10 first released on July 29. It was a staged release, being rolled out in phases to help manage the demand. I had “reserved” my copy early, like millions of others, and was anxiously awaiting it telling me my upgrade was ready. I even tweeted this: So then I waited, and waited, and waited, as ...

Up and Down - Sat, 21 Nov 2015

My websites, beholdgenealogy.com, lkessler.com, and gensoftreviews.com have been experiencing unfortunate periods of downtime over the past couple of months. Yesterday, I put in my third ticket with Netfirms, my hosting company, about this. My first ticket was Oct 15 and I titled it:  “My sites are ...

Changing Payment Processors - Tue, 17 Nov 2015

This is why I’m switching from using @BlueSnapInc to @FastSpring to process payments for Behold. I started about 10 years ago with what was then Plimus. Plimus was founded in 2001. They were a payment processor that would accept payments for Behold on my behalf. They had a nice interface to produce a buy now ...

Behold Version 1.2 - Sun, 15 Nov 2015

I think I’ve got it right this time. Life Events have been cut down to include only the really relevant events that will be important in your research. Children and parent birth, marriage and death events are important. Siblings are as well until the person of interest gets married. Half-family, stepfamily ...

Quick Update - Mon, 21 Sep 2015

Its been a while since my last post so I wanted to let you know I’m still here. I’ve been working quite hard to finish off Version 1.1.1 which will be much, much, much better than 1.1. Hopefully not more than a couple of weeks left (but I know I’ve said that before). I’ve removed piles of code and ...

Re-evaluating Everything - Sun, 9 Aug 2015

I’ve been bothered with the worry that I may have taken Behold in the wrong direction. My original goals I believe were solid. Display the user’s information clearly and concisely in one report so that everything’s available and nicely cross referenced in the indexes. Behold was doing this task well and ...

Raising the House - Wed, 5 Aug 2015

Installing a database into Behold is a major endeavour that I am doing carefully. It is, in many ways, not unlike the work that has been going on at a house I have been passing by for the past couple of months. This is a beautiful home, about 100 years old, that supposedly was used for a movie set many years ...

Why are there so many genealogy programs? - Wed, 29 Jul 2015

This post is total plagiarism of an article just written today by Matt Sherman on the StackExchange Blog titled “Why are there so many programming languages?”  The article struck me as also being totally true when applied to genealogy software, so I am reproducing it here and just changing a few ...

Getting the Timing Right - Sun, 26 Jul 2015

One of my concerns about switching from in-memory data structures to an on-disk database has been with regards to speed. Memory is faster than disk. Writing to disk will slow things down. But it better not slow things down too much. For normal-sized genealogy files (say up to 10,000 people), everything should ...

Blog and Forum Was Down For A Bit - Thu, 23 Jul 2015

I noticed a problem in the Behold Forum last night where a post was not always showing up. Last night I attempted to fix it with somewhat disastrous results. Unbeknownst to me, I crashed both the Forum and Blog last night at 11:45 p.m. and it took me a few hours today to bring them back up today. I still ...

Always Learning New Programming Concepts and Methods - Mon, 20 Jul 2015

Most of the new concepts and tools for programming didn’t exist when I graduated from University with a Masters of Computer Science in 1980. The programming languages I worked with were FORTRAN, APL, PL/I and even Assembler. I picked up Pascal on the job and that led me to Turbo Pascal for personal use and ...

I Know Where I’m Going, But … - Fri, 17 Jul 2015

… But I don’t know what it’s going to be like when I get there. My adventure towards editing in Version 2 of Behold is a bit like the New Horizon’s mission to Pluto. They set off 9 years ago and knew where they were going. They knew how they’d get there. They even knew what they were going to do when ...

Database Design for Genealogy Data - Tue, 14 Jul 2015

There are several considerations as I structure the disk-based database for Behold. I want it to be capable of loading genealogy data from any source, I want it to be flexible, but most importantly I need it to handle the in-memory structures already in Behold. Let’s go through these considerations: Data ...

What About 64 Bit? - Sun, 12 Jul 2015

Yes, I do now have a 64-bit executable of Behold that works exactly the same as the 32-bit version. But I’m not going to release it yet. What I found out in my testing was that it was slower than the 32-bit version and used more memory. So for most people, there’s no real reason to make it available ...

Seven Years of Improvements - Sun, 12 Jul 2015

I know my last two posts were not written in English for the normal person. But I felt I had to document a bit of the work involved in just upgrading a development environment. It is complex process full of pits and valleys. Getting through it needs a machete and a torch. We programmers struggle with our ...

Getting Behold Running in Delphi XE8 - Mon, 6 Jul 2015

Last post, I updated my development tool and installed new versions of my three 3rd party applications. Now it was time to get Behold working again in the new Delphi XE8 environment. Theoretically, if all updates made to an environment are backwards compatible, then old code would just run unchanged in the new ...

Updating My Development Tool - Fri, 3 Jul 2015

I’ve been working with Delphi as my development tool for Behold since about 1996. I’m fortunate that the language has continued to be maintained and upgraded during that time, even though it changed ownership several times. The version of Delphi that I have been using to develop Behold for the past 7 years ...

Redefining Plans - Tue, 30 Jun 2015

It was really nice to get version 1.1 out. In doing so, I’ve taken into deep consideration the last line from my Living Up To Expectations post a few days ago, where I said: Maybe after 1.1 is out, I should directly track towards Version 2.0 and just do what’s necessary to make that happen. It’s ...

Behold Version 1.1 - Sat, 27 Jun 2015

I have released Version 1.1 of Behold.  It is now available on the Download page. The easiest way to upgrade your existing version is from the Help menu in Behold: select “Check Online for New Version”. For changes in this version, see the History page. I’ve changed my Future Plans page. I will ...

Living Up To Expectations - Sun, 21 Jun 2015

Today is Father’s Day. I spent a wonderful day with my family. What do I come home to, but three reviews on GenSoftReviews giving Behold terrible ratings. The first two reviews point to the very long time it is taking me to develop Behold. Both say Behold is an excellent GEDCOM reader. But the expectation ...

Complete Genealogy Data Transfer - Mon, 8 Jun 2015

Isn’t this what every genealogist wants? I thought the problem was that when you export your data from one program, the second one doesn’t read it all in. The sources may not transfer properly. Some data may come in as notes rather than as the event information they should be. Some data may just be ignored ...

Sometimes It Works … But Not Always - Sat, 6 Jun 2015

Didn’t quite make my self-imposed May 31 deadline. It was a busy week. I also got caught up in the attempt to add one last improvement into this version. I just can’t help myself. Yes, I know it’s better to get the version out first and then add the improvements later. But as I came to a screenshot I ...

Recording Your Reasoning (Proof Argument) - Thu, 28 May 2015

So I was about to to update the documentation section for Source Details, and I looked at how I had implemented this in version 1.0: Version 1.1 was unchanged from this, so I thought the update of this section would be simple. But then it struck me. I was not displaying this information correctly. In the ...

Documenting New Features - Sat, 23 May 2015

This is fun. I’m well into updating the Tutorial. I like my documentation system Dr. Explain which makes it easy to provide screenshots using callouts and makes a extremely nice user manual. I’m working hard to finish as soon as possible. I would really like to get Version 1.1 out before the end of the ...

GEDCOM Death of Spouse - Wed, 20 May 2015

As I was writing up my documentation for the release of Behold 1.1, I discovered a weird GEDCOM construct used in one of the sample GEDCOM files, Steve McCarthy Legacy.ged, that I supply with Behold. The file was created by Legacy version 5.0, and the weird construct is this: 0 @F3@ FAM 1 MARR 2 ...

At Last! Finally! All 1.1 changes appear done! - Sun, 17 May 2015

This has taken way too long and so much longer than I ever expected. It’s now almost two years since the last release of Behold (version 1.0.5.1). And it was earlier than that when I started developing my concept of Life Events as I first described in my Endless Possibilities post over 3 years ago. But ...

Is GEDCOM Good For Sources? - Thu, 7 May 2015

My interest was tweaked earlier today by a discussion between Tony Proctor and Nick Hall on the mailing list for the FHISO Sources-Citations Exploratory Group. In particular, Nick made the following statement: The problem with GEDCOM is that it heavily restricts the types of source that can be easily ...

The Future of Genealogy – 6 Predictions - Tue, 7 Apr 2015

There’s been a lot happening the past few years. As I’ve developed Behold, I’ve tried to stay aware of the trends in the genealogy field and the expectations of genealogists of their genealogy software. I was very inspired by James Tanner’s blog post yesterday titled: Expanding Our View of What is ...

Why Completing the Programming of Something New Always Takes Longer than Planned - Sat, 7 Mar 2015

It’s that unexpected exceptional case that you (of course) never expected, but then happens. I’ve been working hard the last couple of months to finish Version 1.1 of Behold. I’m so excited about it and I’ve effectively finished putting in everything I want to put in. I’ve been running through my ...

What’s happening with FHISO? - Wed, 25 Feb 2015

To the FHISO Board, TSC Coordinators and Membership, Richard Smith said on Feb 21: "Earlier this year, the FHISO Board, TSC and other stakeholders decided that designing a new conclusion-transfer format /ab initio/ was not currently a priority … and unless and until we have the resources to develop a ...

About #RootsTech 2015 - Sun, 15 Feb 2015

This year I was #notatRootsTechbutWouldHaveLikedToBe. RootsTech began in 2011 and became an annual event, held each year in February at the Salt Palace Convention Center in SaltLakeCity. It has been growing every year, starting with 3,000 attendees in 2011, 4,500 in 2012 and 6,700 in 2013. In 2014, they added ...

Close. But no Cigar. - Thu, 22 Jan 2015

My phone app says today would be my 95th day of working on Behold since I came back very motivated from Gaenovium. I’ve tried to put at least some work into Behold each day, and I likely missed fewer than 10 days over that time. I put in a significant amount of work (sometimes staying up until 2 a.m.) at ...

To Do- or Not To Genealogy Do-Over - Wed, 7 Jan 2015

It seems the Genealogy Do-Over #gendover is the hot trend of early 2015. This is the idea that most of us who started doing our genealogy long ago, did not do it the correct way. We were name collectors and took anything and everything we could find and assembled it into our tree. We did not record sources. We ...

Behold Wins a GenSoftReviews Users Choice Award - Sun, 4 Jan 2015

I’m very happy to be able to say that Behold has been given an award for being a Top Rated Genealogy Software by its users. See the official press release. The award is given to any genealogy program that users gave an average rating of at least 4 stars out of five in 10 or more reviews with at least one ...

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