Tag Archives: fhiso

Collaborating without having to be in sync

I’ve mentioned the Family History Information Standards Organization (FHISO) previously. It is one of two organizations, along with FamilySearch (with their Gedcom X effort), trying to define future data formats for genealogy. 

Back in March, FHISO announced an open Call for Papers in order to solicit ideas for future genealogy standards. This is the first step in the FHISO’s efforts to create new standards.
Yesterday I submitted a paper, titled Asynchronous Collaboration: A Proposal, which outlines my ideas for facilitating collaboration between different researchers, while not forcing researchers to fully merge their databases. The key here is that people can accept family trees from other people, without having to merge their entire tree into their own, and with a query mechanism for figuring out conflicts, or requesting additional information like sources and media related to individual records.
This proposal submitted to FHISO and published on my other blog, Lexigenealogy, which is where I now publish my more technical genealogy writings, as well as other technical work related to lexicography.
Keep in mind that this is a fairly technical proposal. It’s not really light reading. If you’re interested in the technical aspects of genealogy, and in furthering the creation of new technical standards, I think you’ll find it interesting.
If you’re interested, hop over to Lexigenealogy and take a look.

RootsMagic joins FHISO effort to improve genealogy standards

I’ve written before about efforts to improve genealogy standards (The Future of Sharing and Genealogy Standards, Another Look). It was in 1995 that the last real standard of GEDCOM (GEnealogical Data COMmunication), version 5.5, was released. Most genealogy programs support a draft release which was released in 1999, even though it was never finalized, called GEDCOM 5.5.1. So it’s been at least 13 years since any standard has been created that has been used for genealogy.

Earlier this year, the GEDCOM X effort was announced, but it is not yet used in any products. The other major effort, started earlier, but without the support of FamilySearch which originally created GEDCOM, is the Family History Information Standards Organization (FHSIO). Originally called BetterGEDCOM, it is an effort started by genealogists to create a new open standard for exchanging genealogy information.

In May, FHISO announced that Ancestry.com had joined as a founding member of the organization. Personally, I was hesitant to attribute as much as you might think to that announcement, as nothing in the announcement mentioned support in FamilyTreeMaker (their desktop genealogy application) nor Ancestry.com itself.

Yesterday, however, it was announced that RootsMagic had also joined FHISO as a founding member. As a major provider of genealogy software, it’s great news that they’ve joined this effort to create new standards. Without support of genealogy software companies, none of these efforts will be worth much.

Hopefully we’ll see other genealogy software companies like Millenia (Legacy Family Tree), Leister Productions (Reunion for Mac) and Incline (Ancestral Quest) will also support this effort, as well as open source efforts like GRAMPS.

UPDATE: On August 15, it was announced that WikiTree has also joined FHISO as a Founding Member. Good to see. I’m a fan of WikiTree, and its support of FHISO can only be a good thing.