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Random Jottings from the Last 3 Weeks - Wed, 6 Jun 2012

I’ve not posted much on my blog recently, but that is not because I haven’t been doing anything. In fact I’ve been working very hard to find just the right way to get “Life Events” into Behold. I now realize this must be extended to grandparents, grandchildren, half-families and step-families.

I made five earlier attempts to implement Life Events, and each time I learned something, but decided to start over. This time I think I’ve finally got it right and will attempt to finish this part of this (long awaited) version in the next few weeks.

Then consistency checking which I mostly got done along the way, will be cleaned up, will be checked (so I’m checking checking), and then this version can be released.

The Life Events and Consistency Checking are major enough that the next version will not be called 1.0.5, but instead will be 1.1.  I was trying to avoid 1.1 because technically, I have to submit new point versions back to Microsoft to recertify for the Windows 7 Logo. But I know I didn’t add any incompatibilities, and important future versions that will need checking are forthcoming. I’ll wait until then to resubmit.

Here are some other things that have been happening:

  • I became a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists
  • I’ve been looking for a camera with GPS capabilities. So far, the lot of them take time to sync, may not give accurate results, use lots of battery power and don’t work indoors. Then I found out about the Casio EX-H20G with an innovation award winning Hybrid GPS. That’s a game changer, even though the rest of the camera is nothing special. It seems it’s been very hard to get in North America during the last year. I don’t know why. I ordered it from Henry’s and hopefully they can track it down for me.
  • Once I get my GPS camera, I’m going to re-take the 200 cemetery headstones and scores of photos of important locations in my family’s history here in Winnipeg. They’ll be GPS encoded into the EXIF info in the pictures and will be Google mappable, etc. A future version of Behold (after version 2.0) will include photo handling and will do some great things with your photo EXIF data. Hopefully I can do something with face detection, too. But because I want and need it, you can be assured that Behold will have it one day.
  • Speaking of mapping your locations, a new social site started up called uencounter.me that is map based, and allows you to mark places with dates and events. It sounds like a great site for genealogists to record the important places in our family history, and may help us find other people who are researching the same places, or who actually live near the sites you are interested in.
  • I got a surprise email from a volunteer support missionary who said she is one of hundreds from around the world who are available 24/7 to answer questions about PAF and the LDS website. She said PAF was supported and I shouldn’t say it isn’t on GenSoftReviews. So I did the test and emailed the supposed PAF support people to see if they would respond. To my surprise they do respond, and there is support. So even if there will never be a new release of PAF, they do actually provide help for the current version. I removed the “unsupported” designation that was on PAF at GenSoftReviews.
  • I took a look at the new GEDCOM X file formats (announced yesterday). Let me just say it isn’t simple. It’s not going to be easy for hundreds of old-school genealogy developers to jump through hoops and learn new tricks. It will take a few big players, other than FamilySearch, to give it some momentum.
  • Tamura Jones wrote about the GEDCOM X Converter and concluded that “The GEDCOM X file format makes GEDCOM look good.”
  • Meanwhile, lot’s of action over at BetterGEDCOM where discussions are still happening. There was concern that Wikispaces didn’t back up discussions, but the BetterGEDCOM gang thankfully found a way around that. FHISO is gaining momentum where Ancestry.com just became a founding member.
  • And I was surprised to discover a Chess Programming Wiki over at Wikispaces which is already an excellent reference tool. They even have a page for me and for my long-retired program Brute Force.
  • Search for “Behold” on Google. It’s still on the 1st results page even though there are 134,000,000 sites to choose from.

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