In correcting one problem with Behold, I noticed that some of the NOTEs and DATA tags were not being displayed cleanly. Words were jammed together and lines did not skip to new lines where they looked like they should. Overall, Behold’s display of this data looked sloppy and unacceptable.
Researching into the GEDCOMs, I found there were two characters inserted into the values: Hex 0B (a line feed) and Hex 09 (a tab). Going through my 527 test GEDCOM files, I found there were 23 files that have these characters, generated by Legacy, RootsMagic, and PAF. It’s not much work to make this look better, and I’ll implement this improvement for the next release.
But that made me realize that there may be other “markup” as well. Markup is some type of commands embedded in a file that describe how parts of the file should be made to appear. What makes web pages work is markup that is called HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). So I thought I should see what HTML-like markup is in the GEDCOM files I have and see if I can handle that as well.
Doing so, I’ve found HTML markup in 40 of my files generated by 14 different programs. Most included only a few HTML tags for styling text, such as <b> for bold, <i> for italic, <u> for underline, <href> for a hyperlink, <br> for a new line and <p> for a new paragraph. But a few included complete web pages with all the HTML from the page under GEDCOM NOTE tag. One file I had that was created from Ancestry.com Family Trees was full of these web pages.
A few simple tags, I probably could handle relatively easily. But to reproduce entire webpages needs a heavy-duty html viewer to be embedded within my TRichView component. That is possible, but it is not a quick and simple thing. I’ve decided to leave the handling of embedded HTML until I add editing. I’m not sure yet, how much formatting control should be allowed. It is a tradeoff between simplicity and ability. My current thinking is that entire web pages should be links to html files which will be handled similar to how pictures will be handled: i.e. as files on your disk that Behold’s everything report will link to and open on a click. I may include a thumbnail preview in the Everything Report as well - but the picture handling will come later, after editing is implemented.
There is a third type of markup as well. Some programs have custom GEDCOM tags to indicate markup. I’ve only noticed two so far: _ITALIC and _PAREN. Legacy and a few other programs include them under sources to indicate how to format the source’s title. Theoretically, this would be relatively easy to implement, but I shall delay this as well, since it should be done in consistently with the way Behold will ultimately handle HTML.