Web based family history software

Question Get rid of GEDCOM's limitations

  • fdejaigher
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3 weeks 3 days ago #1 by fdejaigher
Get rid of GEDCOM's limitations was created by fdejaigher
Well my subject is quite clear.

I've tried many genealogical softwares, and it seems lot of them are always based around GEDCOM (and so many interpretations) !

Am I the only one who find this "strange", "incomprehensible" and even more entirely "STUPID" ?

As you can read on Wikipedia GEDCOM "is a de facto open file format specification to store genealogical data, and import or export it between compatible genealogy software.".
But don't forget who create this "data model", mainly for their needs !

Genealogy is not restricted to the limited needs of the LDS Church !

If you really want a software for Genealogy, you should consider GEDCOM as a "option" (plugin, module or extension) to import and export, not like the main structure of your software.

Today, writing an genealogical software with GEDCOM as main structure, it's like building a house starting with the roof.

Don't you think it's really time a have a software for Genealogists' needs first with more feature, and considering import and export in GEDCOM as is should be, a simple feature ? (for webtrees 3)
 

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3 weeks 2 days ago - 3 weeks 2 days ago #2 by Lars1963
Replied by Lars1963 on topic Get rid of GEDCOM's limitations
first: GEDCOM has gone way beyond the original needs of the LDS-Church. The upcoming standard 7.x is in fact no longer based on their needs.

second: GEDCOM had become the nowadays international standard for every serious genealogist around the world. It has the flexibility for almost every social culture and has only a few limitations (which hopefully will be reduced with the upcoming new standard).

third: the main purpose of GEDCOM is to have a standardized and open data exchange format. No propriertary software can forfill that need, unless it follows this standard. We can see that problem on allmost every modern other software. 

So NO, I don't think your idea is good. I even think it's a really bad idea, it would throw us back. 
Last edit: 3 weeks 2 days ago by Lars1963.

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3 weeks 2 days ago #3 by norwegian_sardines
Replied by norwegian_sardines on topic Get rid of GEDCOM's limitations
What parts of GEDCOM have restricted your use of any software program to support your genealogy needs?

What features are you looking for that are not supported by the software programs you have tried? What features are needed in webtrees that you don’t see?

I ask this because you indicate a desire to move away from GEDCOM, but offer no examples or reason for you dismay, and more so no solutions!

I’ve done genealogy for myself for over 40 years, volunteered in a non-LDS genealogy center in that time period, helped others research their family tree and even got paid for my efforts. Ive used multiple programs over those years, and participate in forums relating to genealogy and GEDCOM currently and advise some of their developers!

Please provide constructive examples and solutions to any issues you have!

Ken

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2 weeks 15 hours ago #4 by fdejaigher
Replied by fdejaigher on topic Get rid of GEDCOM's limitations
Sorry, but this time, I'll answer in french (the English version follows) :

Merci pour vos réponses, mais comme je le craignais, webtrees reste et restera trop attaché aux spécifications GEDCOM plutôt qu'aux besoins de recherches généalogiques.

Car en restant attaché à un modèle qui n'est qu'un protocole d'échange de données ferment beaucoup trop de perspectives d'évolutions comme celle mentionnée ici sur github . Ce simple exemple donné sur github reste pour moi un frein à ma volonté d'aller plus loin avec Webtrees.

Ce qui me permet de classer webtrees comme un simple visualiseur et éditeur de fichier GEDCOM et non comme une solution de recherche généalogique.

Je continuerai à suivre l'évolution de webtrees qui reste une très bonne application (la meilleure en version web de toutes celles que j'ai pu tester) .

En attendant, je poursuis ma généalogie avec une autre solution applicative qui n'est (pas encore) en version en ligne mais locale. (Donc, ne supprimez pas mon compte trop vite ;) )

Merci aux membres de l'équipe webtrees et à sa communauté de m'avoir bien accueilli aidé sur plusieurs points et surtout supporté.

Quoi qu'il en soit, longue vie à Webtrees.

English*

Thanks for your answers, but as I feared, webtrees remains and will remain too attached to GEDCOM specifications rather than to genealogical research needs.

Because remaining attached to a model that is only a data exchange protocol closes far too many prospects for evolutions like the one mentioned here on github . This simple example given on github remains for me a brake on my desire to go further with Webtrees.

This allows me to classify webtrees as a simple GEDCOM file viewer and editor, and not as a genealogical research solution.

I'll continue to follow the evolution of Webtrees, which remains a very good application (IMHO : the best web version of all those I've tested).

In the meantime, I'm continuing my genealogy with another application solution which is not (yet) in an online version, but local. (So don't delete my account too quickly ;) )

I'd like to thank the webtrees team and its community for welcoming me, helping me on several points and, above all, supporting me.

Whatever the case, long life to Webtrees

--
Fabrice

* Since I used it this time, I prefer to mention it: Translated with DeepL.com (free version)

 

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2 weeks 13 hours ago #5 by drblam
Replied by drblam on topic Get rid of GEDCOM's limitations

Because remaining attached to a model that is only a data exchange protocol closes far too many prospects for evolutions like the one mentioned here on github . This simple example given on github remains for me a brake on my desire to go further with Webtrees.

This allows me to classify webtrees as a simple GEDCOM file viewer and editor, and not as a genealogical research solution.
 
Dear Fabrice,
Don't be so quick to jump to conclusions. I often experience same situation you mentioned on github and I have no trouble handling it using webtrees.

To summarize your failure case, you have one published document (for example, a marriage record) that includes information about more than one Individual (bride, groom, maybe also parents, etc) and for each of those Individuals, there is information about multiple Facts and Events (for example, birth date, birthplace, occupation, mother's maiden name, etc).

In my tree, I follow the same convention you described, where the source is a collection of marriage records (e.g., "Registre des mariages de Lille [1948]"), and the specific marriage record (e.g., "Acte de mariage de DUPONT X MARCHAND") is a source citation. As a result, my tree has several sources (such as a census) cited by thousands of Individuals.  Years ago, under webtrees 1.7.x, this created some problems where I had trouble opening the most popular Sources pages due to resource limits...

It seems that some other webtrees users have instead chosen a different interpretation, where each specific marriage record is a separate source, and each source is cited by only a small number of Individuals and Families.  If you did that then your problem of trying to use pointers to objects instead of duplicating those objects would not exist.

Nevertheless, I don't feel like I have a problem that needs fixing.  From my earlier career I am familiar with the methods for adding footnotes and references to scholarly publications, and thus remind you of the Latin phrases "ibid" and "op cit."  Therefore, when I encounter the situation described above, i.e., a marriage document containing lots information about multiple people, I start by attaching the full source citation to the marriage event, including a stable URL in the "citation details" field and the text I copied from the document in the "text" field. If the same document also provides useful information about other Facts and Events for the same people, I simply add separate citation to the same source, without filling in all the details -- like "op cit.".  In my experience, using webtrees and printing various reports, this makes the role of the marriage document perfectly clear.

As an alternative, I would also like to point out that if you really want to use pointers and objects, you can store the information contained in the marriage document as a shared note, and link it to all the Facts and Events.

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2 weeks 8 hours ago #6 by norwegian_sardines
Replied by norwegian_sardines on topic Get rid of GEDCOM's limitations
@fdejaigher:

Thanks for your answers, but as I feared, webtrees remains and will remain too attached to GEDCOM specifications rather than to genealogical research needs.

Because remaining attached to a model that is only a data exchange protocol closes far too many prospects for evolutions like the one mentioned  here on github . This simple example given on github remains for me a brake on my desire to go further with Webtrees.


Yes, GEDCOM is not very well “normalized”. This concept has been discussed in the GEDCOM GitHub design forum, and will in the future probably be realized.

HOWEVER, if the condition you described in your link happens regularly, you could write a module similar to the “Census Module” that inputs multiple source_citations based on a single census source record. The “Census Module” takes as input a single census record based on year and country, asks for the individuals that are named in the census, and creates a new CENS tag with source_citation attached to the Source for each participant, and a NOTE record with a table of information from the census document. You can also attach an image of the census page!

This new module that you would write (or have written for you) would do for you what you want without changing anything in GEDCOM or the way webtrees uses GEDCOM internally. This would also not cause issues with other users who desire to use multiple programs that support GEDCOM preventing the dreaded user lock-in!

Ken

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1 week 1 day ago - 1 week 1 day ago #7 by jcnventura
Replied by jcnventura on topic Get rid of GEDCOM's limitations
I'd like to come out from the other side of this question. Full GEDCOM support is essential. Not sure what is the bus factor for webtrees, but I believe it is not too distant from 1 (see  github.com/fisharebest/webtrees/graphs/contributors )

Which means that most of this is on Greg's shoulders and may easily crash down if something prevents him from contributing to webtrees. I want my data to be easy to transfer to some other genealogy program without data loss. GEDCOM provides that capability, and I do not know any other data format that is supported by all the genealogy programs.

That to say, if the ability to export data via GEDCOM is lost, I'd probably stop using webtrees at that point, as I don't want my data to become hostage to vendor-specific data format. The fact that I can easily migrate out of webtrees was one of the factors why I chose to use webtrees (and PhpGedView) in the first place.
 

João Ventura - venturas.org/familytree
Last edit: 1 week 1 day ago by jcnventura.

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