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Archiver > TMG > 2002-02 > 1013805198


From: "Ed Dunn" <>
Subject: [TMG] InterGED/Event GEDCOM
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 13:33:18 -0700


I understand that GEDCOM is designed to transfer only basic
information, and that much data exported from TMG, if it could be
done in the first place, would not be imported by other "lesser"
genealogy software programs.

However, why is the genealogy software community so reluctant to
agree on a data transfer standard? I'm fairly intelligent, but
somehow I just don't quite get it when Bob V. discusses data
integrity during export. It seems to be an obsession with
semantics, which I dare say that most TMG users don't
understand, don't agree with, or don't bother to make the
distinctions (that's why these discussions go on and on).

Way back in 1994 Commsoft (UFT) developed what was originally
called InterGED, and later called Event GEDCOM 1.1. Roots IV
(and later UFT) allowed for "nonstandard" GEDCOM tags for
events, roles, sources, etc. Virtually all data could be exported
from the UFT program, including sentence templates and even
custom events, but, of course, the only program that was designed
to import all of it was another UFT program.

As I see it, that wasn't the fault of Commsoft, but the fault of its
competitors, who could have developed their software to reject or to
import and direct the incoming data to the most appropriate place.
If the integrity of the data had been somehow *corrupted* when
imported, then the importing program would have been at fault, not
the exporting software. To claim that no adequate exporting
function can be developed because someone who receives it might
misunderstand what was intended by the original input in the
exporting program, or misdirect it, is not a valid argument, in my
opinion. That's trying to *control* what someone else does with a
program's output.

By that standard, I could argue that TMG's output reports do not
adequately reflect my intention when I entered the data on the
keyboard. That happens often <g>, but I don't argue that TMG
should, therefore, abolish any of it's reports because the output
from my brain/fingers was corrupted by what TMG did with it.

No other software developer chose to use Event GEDCOM 1.1.
Can anybody tell me why it was not a viable alternative to the
completely inadequate situation we have today? Perhaps it's the
same reason that GenBridge has not been accepted by other
software developers. They *conveniently* do not choose to agree.
It's not bashing anyone to point out that there could be a monetary
advantage involved in not agreeing.

The business philosophy more often than not is: "Hook 'em on
cigarettes; hook 'em on fatty fast foods; hook 'em on a particular
product brand." Why not: "Hook 'em on my software program."
You can make it better, but you can also "Hook 'em" so they "can't
get out."

Ed


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