Home > Meetings > Developers Meeting > 2011-11-28 (Nov 28)


Andy Hatchett, Geir Thorud, Robert Burkhead, Tamura Jones, Dovy Paukstys, Louis Kessler, GeneJ Composer.
Absent by notice: Roger Moffat


a. Kessler on track, releases Behold
b. RootsMagic v5 released
c. Andy Hatchett has created his Go-To-Meeting account and will begin sponsoring the Developers Meetings next Monday. (TY Andy.)


ITEM 1: Behold release (added item)
Louis Kessler updated the group on his successful Behold release. He commented about a few release-related blogs and discussions.
Positive comments from Andy about his experience importing material to Behold. Louis described irregularities he discovered in some GEDCOMs exported by other programs.

ITEM 2: Update about International Citations work
Geir's "...data model for sources and citations" will be posted to the wiki today; discussions about the presentation should continue on the wiki.
Some discussion about the need for BetterGEDCOM to support simplified approaches to documentation. Discussions will continue on the wiki.

ITEM 3: Update about SourceTemplates.org work
Dovy has returned from his holiday travel he will have more to report after re-connecting with his team.

ITEM 4: Update about "Developing the Organization"
The ad-hoc committee continued work on Clarke 4. The presentation last week was felt too detailed; currently being revised.
Next group meeting will be Wednesday morning; Dovy hopes Earl Mott will be able to attend that meeting.

FYI Items:

Tamura highlighted RootsMagic's webinar tomorrow (Tuesday) about the new features in v5.
Over the weekend, Wm Flight (GenBox developer) posted notice to the GenBox list about continued progress on the next version.

The meeting opened at 10:00 a.m.; adjourned at 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time (US)
Submitted by GeneJ. Corrections welcome--just click "Edit" on the upper right hand corner of the page or begin a discussion topic.


WesleyJohnston 2011-11-28T12:58:46-08:00
I have booked my passage to RootsTech. There was some discussion about coordinating in SLC the day before RootsTech or some similar arrangement. Is this still going to happen?
GeneJ 2011-12-08T19:20:58-08:00
You go Louis! --GJ
Andy3rd 2011-12-08T20:54:21-08:00
Great Job Louis! Hope you win!
GeneJ 2011-12-10T19:25:58-08:00
FYI. Apparently just a little controversy in RootsTech 2012 land. Folks are referring to it as a ban on booksellers. Any number of blogs and postings on Twitter, FB and G+.

Link to Myrt's blog

Link, thanks to Roger, to diagram of the exhibit hall layout

James Tanner's blog article, "Baffling Decision by RootsTech 2012"
WesleyJohnston 2011-12-11T05:29:08-08:00
There is something about that genealogysstar.blogspot.com that is poison for Internet Explorer on my computer. It froze the thing up -- looking very much like it was in a tight infinite loop. I rebooted and was working fine doing other things ... until I decided to again have a look at that web site. And the same thing happened.
louiskessler 2012-01-30T19:10:23-08:00

Behold did not make it into the top six finalists of the RootsTech Developer Challenge. :-(

See: http://www.beholdgenealogy.com/blog/?p=912

GeneJ 2012-01-30T19:11:57-08:00
Louis ...

You and Behold are tops in our book! --Andy and GJ
louiskessler 2012-01-30T20:22:17-08:00

Andy and GeneJ:

Thanks. Wish you guys were going to be there.

I'll be blogging every night. And I should be at next Monday's meeting.

NeilJohnParker 2012-01-30T22:58:54-08:00
Louis, how do I access your blog.

Neil Parker

louiskessler 2012-01-30T23:41:02-08:00



GeneJ 2012-02-01T10:57:27-08:00
OOoO, and lookie here. The Family History Information Standards Organisation, FHISO, will be participating in RootsTech 2012. We hope those attending this important conference will join us in the featured presentations listed below:

“Family History Information Standards Organisation (FHISO) – What It Is, and How to Get Involved”

Presented by Robert Burkhead
Date: Friday, February 3, 2012
Time: 12:50 p.m.
Place: Room 258

“Sources, Citations, Metadata” (panel discussion)

Hosted by Ancestry Insider; Robert Burkhead (FHISO) and Louis Kessler (Behold) will be panelists
Date: Friday, February 3, 2012
Time: 4:15 p.m. (90 minutes)
Place: Room 257
WesleyJohnston 2012-02-09T17:29:12-08:00
I have to share this idea that I had at RootsTech for a phone app. I had already been thinking that we could eventually have a conference badge that had a chip with our family tree and some way of broadcasting this, so that if someone else from the conference was nearby had one or more of the same people, we would both receive an alert.

But during the Ancestry.com luncheon on Saturday, which was focused on mobile genealogy, it dawned on me that expanding the Ancestry phone app would actually be a better way of doing the same thing. So when the Q&A began, I made this suggestion for an app. Clearly it is pushing the technology and would take some doing, but I think it is a doable app.

So it would give me an option in the Ancestry app to broadcast my tree in the immediate area (may need GPS to deal with this), so that if someone else has similar checked that option in their app, then our trees would be compared and if any matches were found (just like Ancestry's leaf finds other potential family trees on Ancestry - so something they already do, though not within the limits of a cell phone's processor), then we would both receive an alert that would give each other the other's phone number and name and list the matching people ... and of course beep our cell phones with an audio alert.
bamcphee 2012-03-03T01:49:55-08:00
I have looked across BetterGEDCOM Wiki and Blog and FHISO web and blog.

I cannot locate a report of the presentation 'Family History Information Standards Organisation (FHISO) – What It Is, and How to Get Involved'.

I am interested in reading how it went, the follow on results and other details.

Could someone point me to the correct location please?
Andy_Hatchett 2011-11-28T13:35:28-08:00
I would hope so. I had planned to attend but it doesn't look like that will be possible so I'll have to settle for whatever they put on the web like I did last year.

I do wish the RootsTech website would show which events will be webcast in addition to the other info there.
louiskessler 2011-11-28T17:34:42-08:00
I wanted to present at RootsTech. I submitted to their Call for Presentations four proposals:

1. GEDCOM - Past, Present and Future

2. Organizing Your Source Material - On the Computer and Off

3. Finding the Right Genealogy Software for You

4. The Technological Demands of Today's Genealogy Software.

I waited several months and finally got a form letter saying:

  • Thank you for your recent presentation proposal for RootsTech Conference
  • 2012. Unfortunately, we must decline your proposal, based on its
  • relevance to the topic areas of the RootsTech Conference and the
  • overwhelming number of speaker applications.

I inquired as to why they thought my four proposals were not very relevant for Roots Tech.

They said: "I think part of reason is that your proposals came into the system as "See Above for the 4 Titles." Could you please email me the four session titles as we did not receive them."

So I did send the original proposal in to them again. That was back in August.

I never heard back from them.

Anyone know why I got the discourtesy of not getting any reply, even a "no" reply back from them?

WesleyJohnston 2011-11-29T02:13:39-08:00
I've never been to RootsTech but decided to go mainly because I would probably regret not going and always wonder what I would see there. Is it entirely a product of FamilySearch? And if so is there some bias involved that really is making the conference more for their benefit than for the general benefit? Is there a need for a conference of this type that is free of bias -- much as we BetterGEDCOM is seeking to become the standard bearer, independent of any organization or company?
WesleyJohnston 2011-12-01T00:34:35-08:00
I see a real existential issue for BetterGEDCOM in the blurbs for Ryan Heaton's talks.

There are two talks:

1 - A New GEDCOM: Project Scope, Goals, and Governance
The GEDCOM standard is stale. What does a new GEDCOM initiative look like? What is its scope and goals? How is the project governed?

2-A New GEDCOM: Tools, Syntax and Semantics
The GEDCOM standard is stale. What would a new GEDCOM look like in terms of its syntax and semantics? What tools would be made available to promote and apply it?

If BetterGEDCOM is not the answer to his question "What does a new GEDCOM initiative look like?", this would be a major problem for BetterGEDCOM.
Andy_Hatchett 2011-12-01T01:08:39-08:00
As I can't attend RootsTech, I *really* hope these two talks are webcast.

I'm most interested to see just what Family Search's ideas are.

I seriously doubt that BetterGEDCOM will be extolled as *THE* answer to his questions, but it may be mentioned as one group working to provide answers to his questions.
ttwetmore 2011-12-01T05:31:32-08:00
Be very afraid.
Andy3rd 2011-12-03T06:24:47-08:00
I took a look at the RootsTech presentation schedule. If I were attending I believe the following are the ones I would try to attend:

Software Forecast 2.0: What Genealogists Need for the Future At last year’s RootsTech conference “Software Forecast” presented a full list of software, plug-ins, and other tools needed for genealogists. How far have we come? Explore solutions developed over the past year, issues that remain unresolved, and a new set of needs for the future during this year’s software forecast. Developer D. Joshua Taylor

Future of FamilySearch Family Tree With the changes occurring in FamilySearch, what is the future of new.familysearch.org (the family tree) and how will it fold into the FamilySearch website. How will the family tree be improved to allow users to correct data and make the site the most correct place of sourced genealogical conclusions? How will FamilySearch deal with the current issues around the family tree such as disputes, combining and separating, discussions, getting others to change the data, interacting with record managers and collaboration? User Ron Tanner

Citation Principles for Tech Creators Meeting the citation needs of genealogists goes beyond copying the templates from Elizabeth Shown Mills’s Evidence Explained. This session explains citation principles that technology creators can exploit to more fully meet their customers’ needs. Developer Robert Raymond

A User’s Perspective: Developing a Universal Metadata Structure for Genealogical Content Providers With a complicated world of for-profit and non-profit content providers, the need for a universal metadata structure is overwhelmingly apparent. The need to produce content that interacts with genealogical databases, social networking resources, and mobile technologies is essential to maintaining relevancy within the genealogical marketplace. Come listen to one perspective on the need for such a structure and its necessary components. User D. Joshua Taylor

A New GEDCOM: Project Scope, Goals, and Governance The GEDCOM standard is stale. What does a new GEDCOM initiative look like? What is its scope and goals? How is the project governed? Developer Ryan Heaton

A New GEDCOM: Tools, Syntax and Semantics The GEDCOM standard is stale. What would a new GEDCOM look like in terms of its syntax and semantics? What tools would be made available to promote and apply it? Developer Ryan Heaton
louiskessler 2011-12-03T08:45:48-08:00

That is an interesting list of topics.

What can we do to get some of those presenters to get involved here at BetterGEDCOM?

Andy_Hatchett 2011-12-03T09:04:23-08:00

Short of large amounts of money or threats of bodily harm, I've no idea!
ACProctor 2011-12-03T14:27:03-08:00
I can lend you a baseball bat. Might come in useful, and a bit cheaper (in the short term anyway) :-)
GeneJ 2011-12-08T16:42:59-08:00
FamilySearch/RootsTech link:

Dick Eastman's blog article:
Developers: Solve a Family History [Challenge] and Win $5,000 at RootsTech
louiskessler 2011-12-08T19:20:10-08:00
I just submitted Behold:

louiskessler 2011-11-28T17:23:25-08:00
We had a fair bit of discussion during the meeting about my opinion that the source reference needs to be separated from the citation and the citation templates.

But one exhibit that GeneJ displayed during the meeting that impressed me the most was the Zotaro which had the source types across the top (artwork, audioRecording, blogPost, book, etc) and had the attributes down the left (accessDate,blogTitle, bookTitle, callNumber, date, etc.)

I think this is exactly what needs to be in BetterGEDCOM, but it must be the Source Types and Attributes needed for Genealogy, for Shown Mills, for Lackey, and for any other citation methods that might be used.

But we can be smart about it. Attributes such as blogTitle and bookTitle can both be "Title", since the Source Type then infers what the title is about.

Citation templates would then be simple. They would define how to order and format and punctuation the attributes for a source type, under different conditions.

GeneJ 2011-11-29T20:21:13-08:00
RootsMagic v5 Webinar
I attended this well presented Webinar tonight, "What's New in RootsMagic 5." There are a number of new features including the Research Manager, Timeline View, CountyCheck and Media Tagging.

These new features will be of interest to many BetterGEDCOM members. Of note, the changes impact how research tasks are recorded and accessed, how digital media is entered, accessed and tagged, how source detail research notes are entered (what we think of as the citation text field is now "Research Notes"*).

Following the presentation, there was a poll to survey which of the new features users were most excited about. Research Manager was the highest rated, followed by Media Tagging, CountyCheck and Timeline view.

I would imagine there will be many reviews and blog articles posted shortly covering the new features. Also, RootsMagic makes many of its webinars available for later viewing at the link below, so those who were not able to attend tonight's webinar may be later able to download a recording later.

*Fully titled, "Research Notes (summary, transcription, extraction or text from the source)."
Andy_Hatchett 2011-11-29T21:02:59-08:00
I also attended this webinar; and while it was well done there was one point in it that had me screaming at my monitor...

In my mind there is a *VAST* difference between Research Notes and Citation Text and I don't see how conflating the two will serve any useful objective.
GeneJ 2011-11-29T21:35:20-08:00
Ooo, yes. In discussing the rationale, Bruce referenced Elizabeth Shown Mills preferences.
GeneJ 2011-11-30T12:51:08-08:00
Randy Seaver posted a nice blog today featuring the new Research Manager in RootsMagic 5.


Pssst. RM can export the Research Manager to GEDCOM using a custom tag
louiskessler 2011-11-30T18:11:07-08:00
Does anyone have a RootsMagic 5 GEDCOM yet with the Research Manager stuff in it?
GeneJ 2011-11-30T18:12:22-08:00
Not yet here, Louis. Maybe by the weekend.
Andy_Hatchett 2011-11-30T18:32:37-08:00
I probably won't buy RM5 until after the first of the year - too many irons in the fire right now. :)
Andy_Hatchett 2011-11-30T20:53:25-08:00

Randy Seaver has done a blog with an example ...

louiskessler 2011-11-30T22:01:04-08:00

I see. I commented and I say "Ugh!".

We'd better get BetterGEDCOM out fast before RootsMagic destroys what's left of GEDCOM.

Andy_Hatchett 2011-11-30T22:11:39-08:00

Look at it this way...
If RM destroys what is left of GEDCOM then *everyone* is going to need BetterGEDCOM more than ever!
Andy_Hatchett 2011-11-30T22:39:42-08:00
A small test...

ok- I took that bit of GEDCOM code from Randy's blog and pasted it into a very small GEDCOM and it looked like this:

2 VERS v 7.04.0000
2 VERS 5.5
1 DATE 1 DEC 2011
2 TIME 00:22
1 FILE C:\Users\AndyHatchett\Documents\The Master Genealogist v7\rm5-rlog-test2.ged
1 NAME Submitter Name
0 @I1@ INDI
1 NAME Matilda Jane /Talley/
2 SOUR @S2@
3 PAGE Year: 1880; Census Place: District 10, Clay, Tennessee; Roll: 1248;Famil
4 CONC y History Film: 1255248; Page: 307B; Enumeration District: 14;Image: .
2 DATE 26 NOV 2011
2 DATE 1852
2 PLAC Tennessee
2 SOUR @S2@
3 PAGE Year: 1880; Census Place: District 10, Clay, Tennessee; Roll: 1248;Famil
4 CONC y History Film: 1255248; Page: 307B; Enumeration District: 14;Image: .
2 DATE 1880
2 PLAC District 10, Clay, Tennessee, United States
2 SOUR @S2@
3 PAGE Year: 1880; Census Place: District 10, Clay, Tennessee; Roll: 1248;Famil
4 CONC y History Film: 1255248; Page: 307B; Enumeration District: 14;Image: .
2 DESC William Knapp and parents
2 NOTE Collect all evidence relating to the life of William Knapp (1775-1856), i
3 CONC ncluding vital, census, newspaper, military, and other records.
3 CONT Collect evidence of William Knapp's parents.
3 DATE FEB 1988
3 GOAL Parents of Sarah (Knapp) Auble, wife of David Auble
3 SOUR Betty (Carringer) Seaver Family Papers
3 RSLT David Auble obituary and Catherine Knapp obituary indicates that David'
4 CONC s in-laws and Catherine's parents were William Knapp and Sarah Cutter.
0 @I2@ INDI
2 DATE 26 NOV 2011
0 @S2@ SOUR
1 TITL 1880 United States Federal Census
1 ABBR 1880 United States Federal Census
1 AUTH Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
1 PUBL Name: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com OperationsInc, 20
2 CONC 10. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of JesusChrist of Latte
2 CONC r-day Saints © Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve,Inc. All rights rese
2 CONC rved. All use is subject to the limited;
1 REPO @R1@
0 @R1@ REPO
1 NAME Ancestry.com
1 ADDR http://www.Ancestry.com

I then imported that GEDCOM into TMG 7.04 and here is the error log:

=== The Master Genealogist v 7.04.0000 GEDCOM Listing File ====

Import of C:\Users\AndyHatchett\Documents\RM5-RLOG-TEST3.GED

Errors (*) and Warnings:

Line #

41 Warning : Unknown level 2 tag..
42 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 DATE FEB 1988
43 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 GOAL Parents of Sarah (Knapp) Auble, wife of David Auble
44 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 SOUR Betty (Carringer) Seaver Family Papers
45 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 RSLT David Auble obituary and Catherine Knapp obituary indicates that David'
46 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
4 CONC s in-laws and Catherine's parents were William Knapp and Sarah Cutter.

Note that TMG routinely ignores the following types of information
during an import:
Family Numbers
Family Changed Date
Source Changed Date

Version: v 7.04.0000
Version: 5.5
GEDCOM Destination: GED55
Date: 1 DEC 2011
Time: 00:22
Character Set: ANSI
Name of GEDCOM File: C:\Users\AndyHatchett\Documents\The Master Genealogist v7\rm5-rlog-test2.ged

Submitter's Name: Submitter Name