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Louis Kessler's Behold Blog » Blog Entry           prev Prev   Next next

Sunday, August 5, 2007 - Sun, 5 Aug 2007

While Jennifer Jackson was reviewing Behold, she posed a question to me about my Surname Organize function. The female surnames were melded into the male surnames if the female did not have a father listed. That comment prompted me to look in more detail at what Surname Organize was doing.

The original idea of Surname Organize was to show the families organized by their ancestral surnames in alphabetical order. The purpose was for people doing a one-name study, so they could easily separate out the one name they are interested in. I couldn’t then really think of any other uses, and still can’t.

But there was a flaw in this. Everyone who has either zero or one parent could be considered an ancestral beginning. This includes all the spouses of everyone in the file, who usually don’t have their parents listed. I then realized that finding ancestral origins is only useful for family groups, when you have a starting person, and you can follow through to find all the surnames of that person’s ancestors.

All in all I’ve come to the conclusion that the Surname Organize, at least the way it is right now, does not really do the job and provide any useful purpose. It only confuses and complicates Behold. I’ve decided to take that functionality out. Auto Organize and Instant Organize will remain, and sorting by surname within families will still be available. The latter function, I believe, is closer to what is really wanted.

But by removing Surname Organize, it also removes the need to include the Surname in the numbering. So Surname numbering can be removed as well. Taking this a step further led to me wonder why to even include the GEDCOM in the numbering? Once I add “virtual merging” to Behold, one person’s info could come from two different GEDCOMs and there wouldn’t be a single GEDCOM number for a person. Better would be to include the GEDCOM in the ID when that’s displayed, and remove the GEDCOM from the numbering.

Removing all Surname and GEDCOM considerations from the Numbering Tab of the Organize Pages will greatly simplify that page. It will be much easier to understand and make Behold easier to use. So that’s what I’m going to do. It won’t take long. Removing things takes no where near as long as does adding things.

If any of you now use the current Surname Organize function for a useful purpose, please let me know what that is. I don’t want to keep the function, but I do want to ensure Behold presents your data in a form you can use.

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