TMG-L Archives

Archiver > TMG > 2002-04 > 1019771326

From: "Darrell A. Martin" <>
Subject: Re: [TMG] Genogram chart of social & biological relationships
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2002 16:48:46 -0500
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There are, as I see it, two basic problems with the suggestion that
genogram-like functions could be added to TMG. Both are important, although
neither -- *in theory* -- is insuperable.

The first, and most important, is the issue of the "one size fits all"
program. Before it would be practical to add genogram-like functions, the
TMG user community (current and potential) would have to have some idea of
what it was that we actually wanted. That idea would have to be pretty
specific, I think. Already TMG is so flexible that this list spends a lot
of time describing and discussing wildly different approaches to various
problems, such as censuses. You can just imagine trying to implement a
chart with "household snapshots" to the satisfaction of a majority of users.

Second is the issue of allocating resources. Even Microsoft has to do it.
There will be a great deal of justifiable resistance to any major addition
to TMG that delays the enhancement and stabilization of existing features.
And the resource question is not limited to programmer time, either. If
FTST is slow, and is only a sort of subset of TMG v.5, what would a
genogram-enabled TMG look like if run on the same hardware? Dealing with
that problem can take up a huge amount of energy and focus without ever
producing something "new" for users to get excited about.

These are just questions, not objections. I think in some respects the
household snapshot "thing" can be handled by a creative application of
existing tools within TMG. In other respects, perhaps the best approach is
to enhance data export to, or encourage data import by, "helper" programs
-- whether such are bundled with TMG (like VCF) or are developed by third
parties as is currently going on for web site creation or for GEDCOM
export. Eventually, of course, if the genealogical software user community
demands something, then the software that provides it will prosper and the
software that does not will falter.

It's a fascinating set of questions.


Darrell A. Martin
a native Vermonter currently in exile in Addison, Illinois

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