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Welcome to my discussion forum for Behold - Categorized in: General DiscussionGeneral Discussion

13 posts. Started 19 Mar 2003 by lkessler. Latest reply 14 May 2005 by lkessler. RSS 2.0 feed for this topic RSS
1. Louis Kessler (lkessler)
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Joined: Sun, 9 Mar 2003
149 blog comments, 203 forum posts
Posted: Wed, 19 Mar 2003 Permalink
I don't expect to see much conversation here until Behold is released, but feel free to try the forum and begin discussion.

Thanks for taking an interest in Behold.

Louis
2. Keith Winans (chiefwinnie)
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Joined: Fri, 21 Mar 2003
0 blog comments, 2 forum posts
Posted: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 Permalink
I am happy to see someone seriously trying to get out a genealogy program that isn't strapped by commercial enterprise's lack of interest of straying from the beaten path. I too have tried several programs only to be frustrated by their lack of helpful features.
I need a program that will allow me to edit out and sort unwanted names from the names that I am interested in without having to painstakingly go over each name individually. Also, I want to be able to do any editing with a global effect. I want all preferences to be selectable and not hard-coded to the programmer's ideas. There are more things that I am interested in, but that is for another time.
Good luck with your work. Can't wait to get the first release.
Chiefwinnie
3. Louis Kessler (lkessler)
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Joined: Sun, 9 Mar 2003
149 blog comments, 203 forum posts
Posted: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 Permalink
Thanks Chief,

May I ask what sort of "unwanted" names you have that you need to sort out. Are they relationship based (i.e. relatives of a specific person), surname based, or something else? For what purpose are you sorting them out?

I have mixed feelings about preferences. A lot of people want everything automatic, which is the most simplistic and easiest to use. Whereas other people want total control over everything, but giving preferences everywhere adds a huge amount of complexity and confusion. I think some happy medium might be best.

For instance, some programs give you 50,000 different ways of entering and displaying dates. The GEDCOM standard (and one that doesn't allow for ambiguity) is: 21 MAR 2003. What is better here? One standard or infinite choices. Wouldn't the programmer be better off adding features that help you with your genealogy rather than adding a zillion confusing options that in the end don't really add anything?

So I'm still not sure which way I'll go, but the first version will not have many reporting options. I may add options as the need arises or as users request them, but only if they are things that will provide some needed function.

Louis


4. Keith Winans (chiefwinnie)
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Joined: Fri, 21 Mar 2003
0 blog comments, 2 forum posts
Posted: Sat, 22 Mar 2003 Permalink
Hi Louis,
The unwanted names come from imported files (gedcom, internet, Family Tree Maker CD's, etc.) and they include branches that are too far off the beaten path of my direct ancestry line. So I sort out these names and only keep the ones that apply to the surnames that I am researching.
Now as to the preferences. I guess that I left that open to much too many possibilities that weren't on my mind. What I am interested in is an index that I can set preferences as to who is associated with the master list that I am viewing. For example, if I am trying to find out which John Winans is married to Remember Baldwin and I have several of each person named the same then I need a good way of differentiating one from another. The old Reunion program would allow you to switch preferences as to the association that would show up at the bottom of the screen. If I wanted John's first wife listed, or his second wife listed, or his parents listed then all I had to do was set the preference.
My Family Tree Maker program won't allow this. All I get is the first spouse.
Another preference that I would like is to be able to make my own labels for facts and other fields.
Another preference is to be able to customize my own report. For example, if I wanted to find and then edit married couples I would want to be able to also list their parents and all spouses.
I am going to send you a list that I have been working on for a while now. It's not in a finished state yet, just jotted down notes.
Thanks for responding so soon,
Chiefwinnie


5. Louis Kessler (lkessler)
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Joined: Sun, 9 Mar 2003
149 blog comments, 203 forum posts
Posted: Sat, 22 Mar 2003 Permalink
I disagree entirely with the concept of merging other people's data into yours through import. I also very much dislike the idea of automated "matching and merging" process, which so many programs try to do and what many people think is "cool". But this is the way "junk" genealogies have been building up over time. Without any proof, people have been adding other people's errors to their own genealogies.

The problem is the unreliability of the other people's data, which is too often taken as fact. If the data is merged manually one-by-one, and each item is carefully thought about, properly sourced, and discrepancies are looked at, then maybe (just maybe) it would be acceptable.

Much better, in my mind, is to leave other people's data in their own GEDCOMs or databases. What you then need is a program (like Behold) that can read in more than one GEDCOM and organize (not merge) the data together so that you can easily reference the data from them all at once.

Sometime after the release of Version 1, and before adding editing in Version 2, I will be adding the capability to save GEDCOMs. This will allow you to organize and select the families you want from a GEDCOM and save only them into a new GEDCOM. That should allow you to prune the other trees you get.

With regards to identifying people in your index, I can see the difficulty with most programs in picking out which is the correct person. With Behold's name index, you click on the person, and the Everything Report would scroll to where that person is and you can see everything about them. Would that be good enough?

Labels for fields will be user defineable. And once editing is implemented, you will be able to add fields that are not in GEDCOM (but remember that very few programs will be able to read them in).

I don't understand the purpose of your example: to find and then edit married couples. Where do you get data just on all your married couples that will require that sort of editing? Behold is different. I am designing it to help you see your data better, and not hide it in single person forms. If you do want to filter your data, it should be to only get relatives of a certain person (so that you can send it to them), or all info pertaining to Chicago (since you might be going there), or all people with a certain surname (for one-name studies). Doing strange filters such as "all people born in Kentucky in the 1880's with one sister" does not seem useful to me. I would sooner use just a standard "Find dialog" and search through the Everything Report one-by-one and see the people in their full context as I pick them out.

I'm sorry if I might sound a little argumentative. I don't mean to. And I do appreciate your thoughts and you really are expressing your frustrations with what cannot be done with the standard type of Genealogy software that is out there. I would be very interested in seeing your list and I'd be happy to comment on it.

Louis
6. Faith Rwaga (faith)
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Joined: Sun, 5 Oct 2003
0 blog comments, 1 forum post
Posted: Sun, 5 Oct 2003 Permalink
I am doing a project on Geneology
was wondering if there is any suggestion on applications to use in designing the interface and the database its self. help help i have never done this before
Also are there other sources where i can get material from other than the internet

Any help will be highly appriciated
faith
7. Louis Kessler (lkessler)
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Joined: Sun, 9 Mar 2003
149 blog comments, 203 forum posts
Posted: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 Permalink
Faith:

You seem to be asking about how to write a genealogy program. I will e-mail you privately on this.

Louis
8. Tony Pitt (T)
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Joined: Mon, 15 Dec 2003
0 blog comments, 1 forum post
Posted: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 Permalink
Good to see someone working hard on an enterprise such as this. I look forward to being able to try V0.99 in due course.

I'm not sure I understand a couple of references you've made to "when I enable editing in V2". Could you please explain?

Thanks,
T

9. Louis Kessler (lkessler)
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Joined: Sun, 9 Mar 2003
149 blog comments, 203 forum posts
Posted: Sun, 28 Dec 2003 Permalink
Hi:

Version 1.x of Behold will be "read-only". It will read your GEDCOM files and produce the Everything Report for your use. It will not yet have the capability to edit and save your data.

Version 2.0 of Behold will introduce in-place editing, where you will be able to edit your genealogy data right in the Everything report and then save it back to a GEDCOM file. It will feel like a Word Processor, but will have very nice features for entering Genealogy data, without the restrictions and inconveniences of form-based genealogy programs. At this point, Behold will be a full-featured genealogy program (except maybe for diagramming capability) designed to help you input and use your genealogy data.

Louis
10. Kevin Ashley (KevinAshley)
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Joined: Fri, 20 Feb 2004
0 blog comments, 1 forum post
Posted: Fri, 20 Feb 2004 Permalink
Louis,

Quite a goal. I wish you success in your endeavor. I am currently happily using Family Tree Maker but have come up against two deficiencies that have made me look for another program. If your program had these, I would consider switching. These are:

1. I have all of my relatives in one large genealogy file. I wanted to share this data with some of my cousins, however they have no interest in my mother's family. In order to make a file for their use I had to make a copy of the file and then manually delete all of the persons on my mother's side. It would be very useful to me to have a program that would make separate files based on the lines I want.

2. All of the programs I have reviewed so far generate similar narrative descendent reports that include only blood relations. This may be "correct" from an NGS viewpoint, but it made a bit of trouble taking my printouts to a family gathering. You see, a lot of my relatives are not "blood" - a lot of step-children and adopted. Try explaining to your nephew why his favorite cousin does not appear on the descendent report for your grandfather. Or even better, why someone's daughter is not considered a "member" of the family. I would really like to get a standard narrative report that allowed ME to decide who is family. Including step-kids and adopted children would be a start, but even odd relationships, like my half-aunt who was raised as my sister should be able to be designated with my siblings. I think it would be fine to note these persons as step or adopted or special or whatever, but they should be able to be in the report.

This is so important that I think it could differentiate a new genealogy program from the others that are out there. Consider calling it the program for the Modern Family. What with the advent of gay marriage, somebody has to make a program that recognizes the realities of the 21st century.


11. Dave Newbury (davejo)
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Joined: Sat, 24 Jul 2004
3 blog comments, 9 forum posts
Posted: Wed, 13 Oct 2004 Permalink
Louis

I have been following progress on the blog....todays was interesting, so how close to the first issue are you now?

Dave
12. Louis Kessler (lkessler)
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Joined: Sun, 9 Mar 2003
149 blog comments, 203 forum posts
Posted: Thu, 14 Oct 2004 Permalink
Effectively, this means I have finally completed all I wanted to do with the Organize Features of Behold. I have three outstanding little things to fixup (hopefully tonight or tomorrow) and then I will get to increment my progress on the Behold home page and mark Organize Features as complete.

Then I'll next work to finish off the Everything Report and Log File and try to wrap up the user interface.

p.s. You'll be one of the first to know, since I've not mentioned it elsewhere, but I have decided to go through a Beta Test phase, and will make the Beta Test available to anyone interested. That will happen when my progress reaches 100%.
13. Dave Newbury (davejo)
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Joined: Sat, 24 Jul 2004
3 blog comments, 9 forum posts
Posted: Thu, 14 Oct 2004 Permalink
Thanks for the report

Goodie on the Beta test, I like doing that job, hoping another piece of software is due soon for testing for one of the major projects I'm project manager for

Dave

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