[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Software recomendations
chamdo4ever at gmail.com
Mon Dec 29 15:18:41 PST 2014
Please see my responses inserted below.
On Mon, Dec 29, 2014 at 5:47 PM, Gary Warner <garyw555 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I understand your concern, and it is well founded, especially when either
> the sending program or the receiving program does not completely follow the
> gedcom format. Family Tree Maker is famous for using its own brand of
> gedcom file, and it creates huge messes in other programs, including loss of
> data, or muddling it so bad that it takes great effort to correct it.
> Further comments below in CAPS. I am not shouting, but need to use simple
> text enhancement, because our mail server strips out special formatting.
> On 12/29/2014 1:32 PM, Peter wrote:
>> On Mon, Dec 29, 2014 at 4:11 PM, Gary Warner <garyw555 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I like Legacy for the following reasons:
>>> 1. The standard version, which is adequate for most users, is free.
>> Free in terms of price, but not in terms of format -- Legacy stores
>> your data in their database in it's own closed, proprietary format. I
>> take great issue with this.
> LEGACY USES THE APPROVE GEDCOM FORMAT, AND AS NEAR AS I CAN TELL, DOES NOT
> VARY FROM IT. IN ADDITION, LEGACY IS BASED ON MICROSOFT ACCESS, SO IT THE
> DATA CAN BE COMPLETELY RETRIEVED FROM THE DATABASE IF ANYONE IS
> KNOWLEDGEABLE ENOUGH TO DO SO. IN THAT RESPECT, IT IS NOT CLOSED.
Well, it is closed if you use a Mac or Linux... you are limited to
Microsoft based operating oeprating systems... and the source code for
any Microsoft software that I'm aware of is locked tight and
inaccessible -- so, in that sense, it remains quite closed as far as
I'm concerned. It's possible that we are getting into the semantics of
definitions of "open" and "closed," but I think that Microsoft itself
will be the first to admit that it is indeed closed source.
FYI, here is a Wiki article that explains the fundamentals of Open Source:
>> What would happen in the unlikely event that Legacy were to go under?
>> Or development of other softwares were such that you wanted to move
>> your data elsewhere? Your data is locked into Legacy, and you're stuck
>> exporting it using the lossy Gedcom format. I've worked too hard on my
>> database to feel comfortable keeping it locked into a closed format in
>> proprietary software.
> AS NOTED ABOVE, THE GEDCOM FORMAT IS ONLY LOSSY IF THE PROGRAM RECEIVING THE
> DATA FROM A LEGACY CREATED GEDCOM FILE IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH THE GEDCOM
That may well be, but I think that the problem runs deeper than that.
It is with the Gedcom format itself. If you have good robust software,
some of that data is incapable of being exported via the Gedcom format
-- that's not a fault of the software (or maybe it is if it is closed
source!), but it's more a fault with Gedcom. Take witnesses for
instance. I know that The Master Genealogist did an excellent job of
keeping track of witnesses to events... sadly, you can have the
highest, most accurate Gedcom standards in the world, but it won't
export witness data from a database. It's just not part of the Gedcom
Hence, some very crucial information in your database (let's just uses
witnesses as one example) is locked in there if it is closed source.
> IN ADDITION, AS MENTIONED BY EARL SCHULTZ, THE PROGRAM HAS NO
> CLOCK THAT MAKES IT UNUSABLE LIKE MANY SOFTWARE PROGRAMS THAT REQUIRE ANNUAL
> SUBSCRIPTIONS TO CONTINUE TO RUN.
And I certainly salute them for that.
>> Some may be perfectly comfortable doing that, but I prefer Open Source
>> software which is completely free in terms of price AND in terms of
>> data formats. Keeping my data in an open format for which the code
>> will always be open and available, even if those who write it no
>> longer exist or choose to continue with the software. Anyone can
>> examine the source code of the database -- your data is truly free!
> YOUR DATA MAY BE FREE, BUT IF IT DOES NOT HAVE MASTER LISTS AND THE OTHER
> FEATURES I MENTIONED IN MY FIRST EMAIL, THEN YOUR DATA WILL NOT BE AS
> CORRECT AS IT CAN BE.
I agree -- your software should have as comprehensive a database as
possible, allowing you to notate every possible fact about someone
(including witnesses to events) , not to mention accurate notations,
etc. The Master Genealogist provided that, Lecacy apparently does too,
and so does Gramps.
YOU ARE, OF COURSE, FREE TO USE WHATEVER PROGRAM YOU
> WISH, BUT PERHAPS YOU WOULD BENEFIT FROM IMPORTING YOUR DATA INTO LEGACY TO
> SEE WHAT ERRORS IT FINDS?
I used Legacy well into the 2000's (I can't tell you what year I
stopped) for printing charts -- I thought that Legacy's charts were
superior to TMG's, so I would export the necessary data (via Gedcom)
and import it into Legacy strictly for printing charts. It served me
very well in that regard.
But for maintaining my definitive database of data, I'm just not going
to leave it in some closed source, proprietary software that limits
itself to only running on machines that use Microsoft software -- I'm
sorry. I think my definitive database must be kept liberated and open
and not restricted by closed source code.
>> The poor souls still using The Master Genealogist are suffering the
>> effects of closed source software right now -- security updates end
>> for TMG on 31 December 2014, and their data is stuck in a closed
>> source format. Sure, they can export it using Gedcom, but they'll also
>> lose tremendous amounts of information in their database at the same
> I AM NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE MASTER GENEALOGIST GEDCOM FORMAT, BUT IF IT
> CREATES GEDCOMS THAT ARE COMPLETELY IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE GEDCOM FORMAT,
> THEN THERE SHOULD BE NO LOSSS OF DATA.
Well, that's true and not true at the same time.... true, if you don't
keep track of extremely detailed information (like the witnesses
mentioned above), but not true if your database is full of meticulous
data that is beyond the capabilities of the Gedcom format. You can
export it in complete compliance with the Gedcom format, but the
witnesses just aren't going to be there. That's not Legacy or The
Master Genealogist's fault, it's the fault of the Gedcom standard.
>> What if that happened to Legacy? You could argue that it's
>> unlikely, but it also seemed very unlikely for The Master Genalogist
>> to go under when I first started using that software many years ago.
> AS NOTED ABOVE, IF THE COMPANY THAT MAKES LEGACY WERE TO GO OUT OF BUSINESS,
> THE SOFTWARE WOULD CONTINUE TO OPERATE WITHOUT LIMITATION.
Ahhh, but only as long as the operating system that it is running on
doesn't make any changes! Can you really guarantee that if Legacy were
to go out of business that it would still work on a version of Windows
two or three versions into the future? You can't because the source
code of Legacy AND of Windows are both closed!! Open Source software,
anyone in the world can get into the code and make any adaptive
changes going forward.
>> So, using closed source proprietary software for important data is not
>> a risk that I'm willing to take. I like to truly "own" my genealogical
>> data. I think it should be "free" in every sense... not just monetary
> THE CHOICE IS YOURS, BUT AS NOTED ABOVE, PERHAPS YOU WOULD CHANGE YOUR MIND
> IF YOU IMPORTED YOUR DATA INTO LEGACY TO SEE IF IT IS STILL ALL THERE.
> BEST WISHES IN WHICHEVER PATH YOU CHOOSE.
I no longer have a Windows machine, so I can't import my data into
Legacy at this time. But as I said, I did use Legacy some years ago
and was very impressed with it, especially with its charts.
I have been using the Gramps software on and off for some years now,
but it has been my definitive database for all my data for about 6
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