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Reassessing the Behold Road Map - Wed, 15 Aug 2012

Every so often, I take a step back and assess where Behold is. I always have my Future Plans that I am aiming for, but they occasionally have to be adjusted for new ideas, new trends and new objectives. A number of important things have been going on that are causing me to make small course corrections to the direction Behold will go.

First of all, let me reassure those of you who still are looking forward to my major promise: direct editing and data entry from the Everything Report. Well that is still my number one goal. That is the primary objective of Behold and will boost Behold from being just a utility program into being a full-featured genealogy program. And I’ll get there. But there are also a number of other very important ideas and concepts that I’m trying to bring to reality as well.

Right now, there’s the current version that I’m working on. The previous version of Behold, 1.0.4 was released in February. I’ve NEVER had such a long time between releases before. I got stuck for some time on the implementation of Life Events – which maybe would better be called Family Events (but that doesn’t sound nearly as sexy). These Life/Family Events will present your data to you in a better way than ever before. But it is quite different than anything you’ve seen before, and I’m a bit worried about how the reaction to it will be. Hopefully there will be way more thumbs up to it than thumbs down, because I think it’s the right way to go and I can’t see me reverting back.

The simultaneous side benefit that will be included with the Life/Family Events will be consistency/sanity checking that will check the age of the individual for each of their events and ensure that everything makes sense. All inconsistencies will be reported right there in the Everything Report where they happen. So when editing is included in Behold, you’ll be able to fix these problems almost effortlessly. And because of the degree to which I’m handling these events (including half-family, step-family, in-laws, adoptions, etc.), the consistency checking should turn out to be one of the most comprehensive available in any program. I’m very happy about this. The next version to be called 1.1 will be released soon and will include Life/Family Events and comprehensive consistency checking.

What else happened that’s affecting my future plans:

  1. Tamura Jones reviewed Behold 1.0 back in December and said ““Behold 1.5 will include GEDCOM export, and if the quality of the exported GEDCOM is as high as promised, its flexible GEDCOM import and quality GEDCOM export will combine to make Behold a must-have GEDCOM to GEDCOM conversion utility.” Well, that wasn’t on my roadmap at the time, but now it is.
  2. I attended RootsTech in February and realized that what people want most is Evidence/Conclusion modeling and Source-based data entry – so those are now in my plans.
  3. In February I got Behold certified as Windows 7 Compatible. A lot happened behind the scenes to make that a reality – and learning how Microsoft wants developers to design a program is important. I’m ready now for Windows 8 and excited for it. If a developer doesn’t keep up, he/she’ll get left behind.
  4. I’ve been staying involved and keeping up with the BetterGEDCOM, FHISO, and GEDCOM X initiatives working to produce a new genealogy data transfer standard to replace GEDCOM. The presentations of ideas, discussions, and even the disagreements and arguments have all helped to solidify my thinking about the right direction for Behold to go.
  5. Embarcadero came out with Delphi XE2. Now I actually have the potential to make Behold a 64-bit program and make it available on other platforms.
  6. I just started using a Windows Phone a few weeks ago. I realized that Behold will ultimately need to be able to work on all platforms: desktop (Windows, Mac, Unix), handheld (iOS, Android, Windows Phone), and will need to sync data online (DropBox, iCloud, Sky Drive, Google Drive).
  7. I took some photos of cemetery headstones of some of my family members with my Windows Phone. The GPS coordinates are embedded in the photos … leading to more obvious ideas.
  8. I purchased the beholdgenealogy.mobi domain a few days ago. I’m looking at some simple ways of making a mobile version of the Behold website. My head is bursting from the learning experience.

It doesn’t stop. The information gathering and planning and doing and incorporating new thinking are a big part of the software development process. I’m trying to ensure Behold will truly help you do your genealogy the right way.

It’s fun. It’s exciting. But it takes time, and there’s lots to do.

3 Comments           comments Leave a Comment

1. Brett (brett)
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Joined: Mon, 12 Jan 2009
36 blog comments, 59 forum posts
Posted: Wed, 15 Aug 2012  Permalink

The next version to be called 1.1 will be released soon.

So, how many versions have been called 1.1, or should that have been:
The next version, to be called 1.1, will be released soon —-heeheehee

But seriously, keep up the good work and the small course corrections.

I eagerly await 1.1

2. deckie49 (deckie49)
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Joined: Fri, 20 Jul 2012
19 blog comments, 2 forum posts
Posted: Sat, 18 Aug 2012  Permalink

reading this blog, i envision a program much more usable than before. as far as being disappointed with a new style of data entry, that doesn’t concern me. if it helps me manage my genealogical data in a more commonsense and rational way, i’ll get used to it! sort of like how i had to learn to give up my slide rule for those weird handheld calculators. haha!

3. Louis Kessler (lkessler)
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Joined: Sun, 9 Mar 2003
237 blog comments, 226 forum posts
Posted: Sat, 18 Aug 2012  Permalink

Thanks Brett and Deckie,

It’s the display of data with the Life/Family events shown that I hope you’ll like. When the data input finally comes, I’m sure that part will blow you and everyone else away. Source-based data entry on top of that should be just what’s needed.

I used slide rules, too. But I was much more blown away by my recent switch from from camera/cellphone combination to smartphone!


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