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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 know if I’ve given my reasons all together in one place. I thought I sent back a very good concise answer, and I’d like to share that with everyone. Here’s what I replied:

I’ve never liked the way almost all genealogy programs work. It’s not logical to me.

In most programs, you edit your data onto forms. You have to enter field by field. Quite often you have to go on other screens to add notes or sources. You are limited in what you can type because certain fields limit you. And you can’t see all your data on the input screens, as it is often on other
screens. For lots of data, it is a slow and tedious process.

It is then compounded by the fact that to see your data, you now have to run a report. Usually an ancestor, or descendant or family report. Often those reports don’t include all the information, and you can’t see sources and notes and other things you want. But the bottom line here is you have to generate a report to see your data.

Once you see the report, you find some data errors and note new information that you want to add. You can’t add it onto the report. You have to go back to the forms, track down where that data is (not always obvious), and edit it there. Then to see that it is correct, you have to generate the report again. Sheesh!

Behold is designed to get around that. It will be, in version 2.0, like a word processor for genealogy. You will have your report, and you will edit right on it - without restrictive forms, and with tools that will help you enter your data onto the report in a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)
manner, just like a Word Processor.

The editing will come in Version 2.0. What Version 1.0 is, is the design of the Everything Report where the editing will take place. You can see that you can make edits now to see what it will be like, but they will not be saved. The key thing is I first wanted a flexible, fast and useful Report that can be reorganized easily that has the capability of showing you ALL of your data, (or as much as you want to see) with indexes and hyperlinking within it that will make it useful for you.

I think I’ve accomplished my Version 1.0 goal. But my ultimate desire is Version 2.0 and editing … so that I can finally enter my dozens boxes of genealogy data into a program that will make me as efficient as possible.

But that’s only what I’d like Behold to do as a program. What I’d also like iis for Behold to change the Genealogy industry. In my Leaving a Legacy post, I said:

The true legacy I want to leave with Behold is really to affect a change in the way genealogists use computers to record and use their data. If, through Behold, I change the thinking of other genealogy programmers to start developing software with on-screen word-processor-like data entry with attached sources, audit trails, and virtual merging, then I will have done my job.

(Just thought I’d mention)

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