We have Tom's DeadEnds data model, that he is very happy with. We have Mike's SFT data model that he is very happy with.
We've got the original GEDCOM, which is better than most people think, because it has many features that they don't know about. There is no need to re-write what works.
We've got the GEDCOM 6.0 XML Draft which was a valid first attempt by the LDS people to update GEDCOM.
Then we've got GRAMPS, GenTech and a host of other models.
We can argue concepts until we are blue in the face. But until the models are compared right down to the individual Entity/Element/Tag level and translated back to a common form (e.g. GEDCOMish), possibly with concrete examples to make everything clear, then I'm afraid we won't be able to objectively decide what's best and what's not.
Some proper evaluation will need to be done.
1. Balancing Long-term vision and short-term needs - I don't want to commit to a short-term, incremental or stop-gap solution for today's realities without understanding what the future direction is. That said, I don't know that it's possible to immediately advocate for a data model that supports the research process (i.e., embraces evidence, deliberations, analysis, etc). We must understand where we're going first and have a plan on how to get there from where we are.
2. Embrace of a "scholarly genealogy" approach - Rather than just adding some places in a data model for more analysis, I feel we have to explicitly change the focus of genealogy data from the conclusions we have in today's software to an evidence-centric model. Such an approach is more truly in keeping with today's best practices. Many people advocate the need for more explicit evidence, but these approaches are mostly supplements to a conclusion model. Anyway, that's my opinion right this minute.
These are my 2 biggest concerns at the moment.
I am not sure there is a rush on any of this. That is NOT to say that what we are doing is not important, because it is.
How long have we been working on this project?
How long has the current GEDCOM been "broken"?
The issue, for me at this time, is that we don't have all of the right players at the Wiki Table.
We need software developers and we need the Scholarly Genealogists at the table.
As an End User of one program, GeneJ as End User of another program are only two users, and how many other computers based programs are there, not to mention web based applications.
You technical folks are doing an awesome job of "putting stuff out there", but I think we have a long way to go before any decisions are made.
In my opinion, we need to take our time, weight the positive and negative effects of what we are about, with everyone at the table,
My 2 cents on this.
So far what I've seen on the technical side is a lot of talk on technical things that make assumptions on where we're headed that I don't think are necessarily correct. Regarding having the right people at the table, frankly, if we haven't even decided where we are headed yet, we're not in any danger of trying to get there without any particular point of view at the table.
Also, this is going to be a renegotiation at every step of the way. This is not a strictly linear process. As we move further along and more people become involved, we're going to end up going over every assumption over and over again. This is going to be particularly true once we get to the stage of having a basic concept in mind.