Monday, November 14, 2011

BetterGEDCOM statement

Today Ol' Myrt attended the BetterGEDCOM Developers Meeting to deliver the following statement:

Today I meet with you to announce I am stepping aside as moderator of the BetterGEDCOM Project to concentrate on other genealogy pursuits.  My goal today is to provide for a smooth transition and to applaud the phenomenal efforts of BetterGEDCOM participants. Here I have met talented people who have contributed worthwhile thought and a tremendous amount of time at BetterGEDCOM.

I have chosen to appoint Andy Hatchett as interim admin for BetterGEDCOM to give time for any remaining participants to reorganize as they wish. I will work with Andy tomorrow to provide for the transfer of BetterGEDCOM web properties.

Four of us set out to establish BetterGEDCOM on Nov 10th last year with the stated goal to develop an internationally-accepted standard for genealogy data archiving and transfer, and until January we were on a fact-finding mission to see who was up for the project. The subsequent organization of page moderators, development of a requirements catalog and a time line for creating a product and the institution of a sub-group project at SourceTemplates also provided ample space for bitter dispute among certain participants.

The concept of asking a volunteer organization to develop updated and forward-thinking standards for genealogy data storage and transfer was a noble one, perhaps doomed from the start. Creation of a standard and encouraging implementation by software and web developers just isn’t happening. Vendors must concentrate on meeting current customer needs.

At the very least, the BetterGEDCOM Project served to spotlight the issues with outdated genealogy file transfer protocols and lit a fire under several developers to ensure the data family historians collect about each ancestor isn’t lost as we share data with other researchers.

I wish BetterGEDCOM success as an influence in the industry, and feel fortunate to have become better acquainted with many of the members through our association this past year.

Respectfully submitted,

Pat Richley-Erickson,


  1. Thank you, Myrt, for all your service. It's a wise and brave woman who can span her genealogy from family trees to data trees.

  2. You're an amazingly generous person, Myrt.

    Do you have any opinions on that you'd be willing to share?

  3. I'll make a follow-up posting to answer your question, Chris.