[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Software recomendations

Peter chamdo4ever at gmail.com
Mon Dec 29 15:42:03 PST 2014

On Mon, Dec 29, 2014 at 5:53 PM, Gary Warner <garyw555 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Peter,
> Two quick comments and a question:
> 1.   I have never seen any software program that is identical on two
> different operating systems.  In addition, it takes a great deal of effort
> to create more than one version of any software.   Would the effort not be
> better spent on a single version of the software- just LINUX if you like?

Well, again, that's one of the advantages to Open Source -- the source
code is not limited to one programmer, or one team of programmer's at
one company to work on it.... it's only limited by all the
programmer's in the world who take interest in that specific software.
So Gramps (and other Open Source software like Firefox, Google Chrome,
LibreOffice, Thunderbird Mail, VLC media player, etc.) all have
versions that run on Windows, Mac, and Linux. This is already turning
into a big digression on Open Source (which was not my intention and I
apologize for that), but that's the very nature of Open Source is that
the code is open so it can be designed to work on any platform that
anyone needs it on as long as any programmer in the world who cares
about it wants to take it on. Open Source software is truly "free."

> 2.  Legacy will run on a Mac, but you have to use an emulator like Parallels
> to do so.

And that's an expensive emulator at that! Open Source software runs
natively on Windows, Mac, and Linux -- at no monetary cost, with no

> 3.  If you do not use gedcom, how do you share your data with anyone else?

Ahh, but I do use Gedcom! Just not as the only means (and certainly
not the definitive means) of sharing data. If I were uploading my data
from Gramps to Ancestry or another site, I would of course do a Gedcom
export and it would likely serve Ancestry, etc. just fine. But I would
not begin to pretend that a Gedcom export contained every scrap of
data that I have in my database. My database is filled with details
that are beyond the capabilities of the Gedcom format. I store them in
Gramps -- and in Gramps' own open database format -- my data is

I can share my data in other formats, but I'm well aware that there
will be some loss. My Gramps database is my definitive database as it
is Open Source.

If I need to share data with my cousin, just some core information,
Gedcom will likely work just fine. But if he needs every scrap of
detail that is beyond the Gedcom standard's abilities (like
witnesses), well, then he's going to need to install Gramps.... which
of course he can do since it runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux... and
there is no monetary cost. he just needs to download it. If he's
running Legacy on Windows, he could run Gramps side by with Legacy and
import the witness information (that Gedcom can't handle) manually.
Or, better yet, could raise his concerns with Legacy developers and
ask them to create a function that can import Gramps data. Or, since
Gramps own source programming code is completely open, my cousin or
anyone he could appeal to people with programming skills to try to
make a free app that can convert Gramps data to Legacy... but that's
of course extremely difficult since Legacy is closed source and not
"free" in that sense...


> Gary
> On 12/29/2014 2:35 PM, Peter wrote:
>> And two more cents from me: Legacy users are limited to running their
>> software on Windows. Good Open Source software runs on Windows, Mac,
>> and Linux and is uninhibited by operating systems. Can you really be
>> sure that anyone who wants to access all of your data is going to be
>> using Windows?
>> I started using Gramps on Windows while The Master Genealogist was
>> still my primary genealogy software. I also tinkered with it on a Mac,
>> but it wasn't until I began using Linux as my primary OS that I
>> converted my TMG database and Gramps became my primary genealogy
>> software.
>> And let's face it Gramps also was developed by genealogists, for
>> genealogists and they also are extremely responsive to users comments
>> and suggestions. They have their own bug tracking site and mailing
>> lists, truly letting users control the direction the development of
>> the software takes.
>> In response to one of Earl's comments, I have to say that I went from
>> using primarily closed software a decade ago to now using almost
>> entirely Open Source software (I have some excellent image scanning
>> software which is indeed closed source...) -- I find my user
>> experience to using Open Source to be superior in every respect (not
>> the least of which is security)... but that I guess is all just
>> personal taste.
>> Again, I like to truly "own" my genealogical data... and I feel it
>> should be free in every respect, not just monetary. Open Source
>> software (in my case, Gramps) will always provide that -- I don't
>> think that closed source proprietary software like Legacy can say the
>> same.
>> Peter
>> On Mon, Dec 29, 2014 at 5:06 PM, Earl Schultz
>> <Earl.Schultz at telusplanet.net> wrote:
>>> Legacy was developed by genealogists and they are extremely responsive to
>>> customer comments and suggestions.  I've had many chats with them about
>>> things I'd like to see or bugs and frequently they make changes to the
>>> software.  Their Gedcom and ability to export a number of other ways makes
>>> transferring data much easier.  And I love the ability to correct
>>> misspellings, etc. in the entire database (12000 people) with only 2 clicks
>>> because of their Master Lists which Gary mentions.
>>> Peter makes a good point about using open source software but it does not
>>> make the software better, just that the software can be changed, adapted
>>> and/or improved by many people so you don't lose anything if a company goes
>>> out of business.  If Legacy were to go out of business, I'd shop around and
>>> then export to the new software when I was ready.  No need to hurry as the
>>> software still works.
>>> I have used several open source software in the past.  None have been as
>>> good as the software I've paid for.  I have not tried Linux which I do hear
>>> is very good.  However, my son who is a system developer and uses Linux
>>> tells me I can't run some of my software easily so I've not switched.
>>> I do recommend Legacy to everyone.  It is extremely good software for a
>>> genealogist and likely will meet all your needs for less cost than many of
>>> the other commercial brands.
>>> If you are switching from FTM to Legacy or some other program, you should
>>> know that FTM makes that conversion more difficult because of their format.
>>> The sooner you switch the easier it will be.  If you want more conversion
>>> tips, contact me directly.
>>> Earl
>>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Message: 1
>>> Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2014 15:11:19 -0500
>>> From: Peter <chamdo4ever at gmail.com>
>>> To: Germans SGGEE <ger-poland-volhynia at eclipse.sggee.org>
>>> Cc: MIKE MCHENRY <maurmike1 at verizon.net>
>>> Subject: Re: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Software recomendations
>>> Message-ID:
>>> <CALr1thWKqPtCBOhrsRU7uDMHatk6tWRsVdRAKcqe4TwY8TrA+w at mail.gmail.com>
>>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>>> Hi Mike,
>>> Like I mentioned in my response to Richard, I was a user of The Master
>>> Genealogist for many years, but finally converted my TMG database to the
>>> Gramps software earlier this year ( https://gramps-project.org ).
>>> There's a handy little software called tmg2gramps which was extremely
>>> helpful to me in that regard. There is no denying that using tmg2gramps
>>> takes a bit of effort, but I found it to be worthwhile as I was able to
>>> import all of my TMG data to Gramps with little or no loss. Details of using
>>> tmg2gramps can be found here:
>>> https://gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=Import_from_another_genealogy_program#tmg2gramps
>>> Hope that helps,
>>> Peter
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