Wednesday, July 18, 2012

FHISO or GEDCOM X, Oh My!

DearREADERS,
It would appear from this observer's view that FamilySearch has done nothing but back peddle from FHISO affiliation in favor of their own GEDCOM-X. Even Ancestry has joined in support of the independent standards organization. FHISO as a standards organization cannot create a 'genealogy data sharing' product, but can hold the standards high for developers to follow, as with other internationally-recognized standards organizations in main stream technology. 

Unfortunately, this choice of action on the part of FamilySearch smacks of elitism.

PROMPTINGS
Randy Seaver just posted Genea-Musings: "Whither FHISO and GEDCOM X? Observations and Commentary" lamenting that six months have passed, and there appears to be little progress developing across-the-board 'genealogy data transfer protocols' that all genealogy technology companies can embrace.
 "The unveiling of FHISO (Family History International Standards Organisation, www.fhiso.org) at RootsTech 2012 in February was a highlight of the conference, as was the announcement of GEDCOM X by FamilySearch as a replacement for GEDCOM."

WHY IS THIS ISSUE IMPORTANT?
Consumers and developers cannot afford to have a single entity create the file sharing standard. We have seen how terribly this has worked with FamilySearch not updating it's GEDCOM standard in 15 years. Since that time, many other genealogy software programs and websites have gained acceptance. No longer is FamilySearch the answer to every genealogist's questions.

Without an independent FHISO-like standards organization, there can be no compliance enforcement. All genealogy technology developers should have a FHISO rep to ensure compliance.

Compliance enforcement is an issue with the current GEDCOM standard being only loosely adhered to by software developers who can effectively pick and choose which GEDCOM components they wish to embrace. The result is consumers are held hostage by some individual software programs, because to export data to a different program means data scrambling and/or data loss.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
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2 comments:

  1. Is GEDCOM-X meant to be a transfer method between programs and individuals for the purpose of easy sharing OR a method of programs and on-line sites to 'link' into the FS Tree.

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  2. Dear Myrt, you hit the nail on the tail with your last sentence, which should be repeated throughout genealogy-blogdom: "The result is consumers are held hostage by some individual software programs, because to export data to a different program means data scrambling and/or data loss."

    In my opinion this is the core of the continuing server and programming problems at the two most-frequented data/tree shops. Which hardly anyone is really talking about except some end-users on more or less isolated message boards.

    Thank you for your continuing, sensible posts.

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