TMG-L ArchivesArchiver > TMG > 2002-07 > 1026909864
From: Greg Vaut <>
Subject: Re: [TMG] Exporting Witness Tags
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 08:48:56 -0400
References: <F57rBoe2U8QVjp3b6uI00006818@hotmail.com> <F57rBoe2U8QVjp3b6uI00006818@hotmail.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Well said. I liked your cigar box analogy.
In a similar vein, Buckminster Fuller (architect, etc.) once said
If you were drowning and a grand piano came floating along, your might hang on
to the floating piano and be saved, but it does not mean that a grand piano is
the best design for a life preserver.
Bob Velke wrote:
> Gene said:
> >>Of course it's the fault of TMG. WIT2NOTE can do it and UFT can do it by
> >>making everyone connected a principal. Witnesses could also be exported
> >>to GEDCOM from TMG if the developers wanted to allow it.
> As others have pointed out, we have had this discussion before and I don't
> think that anything new is going to come of it. But rather than let others
> mischaracterize my opinion for those that are new, let me restate it.
> GEDCOM is not designed to communicate every type of genealogical data. If
> you start with that misimpression then you are sure to be
> disappointed. GEDCOM is designed to communicate very limited and specific
> types of genealogical data and structured witness records are not among
> them. It is designed to communicate raw data in a structured way - which
> is not the same as a narrative report or other construction from that
> data. Yes, other programs manipulate and corrupt the raw data in various
> ways (as Gene describes above) in order to cram data into a GEDCOM
> file. The issue comes down to whether or not it is appropriate to thus
> manipulate the evidence in order to force it into a container that is not
> designed to hold it.
> A cigar box is not an appropriate container for shipping bowling
> balls. That isn't to say that it CAN'T. But if you crush the bowling
> balls into powder so that they "fit," then are you still shipping bowling
> We limit our GEDCOM export to those data types for which GEDCOM was
> designed and which have a reasonable assurance of being communicated intact
> (i.e., as the researcher entered them). We don't use it for anything else
> because that would require us to first crush your bowling balls into
> powder. Strangely, that very respect for the sanctity of your data is
> offered by a few as evidence that we "refuse" to respect the sanctity of
> your data. Again, that argument hinges on the completely wrong premise
> that GEDCOM is _supposed_ to transfer everything.
> Of course, if YOU crush your bowling balls (i.e., you use narratives for
> anything that GEDCOM doesn't support) or you hire someone (e.g., WIT2NOTE)
> to crush them for you, then we're happy to package the remnants for
> shipping. But, as the Post Office would say, the difference between you
> crushing them and us crushing them is not a subtle one.
> It is really frustrating that GEDCOM isn't designed to do some things. It
> is even more frustrating that so far the alternatives to GEDCOM are few
> (e.g., using programs that support direct transfers, sending reports
> instead of raw data, not transferring those data types, not entering those
> data types in the first place, etc.). We aren't unsympathetic to the issue
> but "I've got 20,000 of them and I really want to transfer them with
> GEDCOM" doesn't change those realities. We publish our file specifications
> precisely so that people can develop utilities like WIT2NOTE and John
> Cardinal's Utilities that manipulate data in ways that exceed our
> responsibility to preserve your data as you entered it.
> Bob Velke
> Wholly Genes Software
> PS: The LDS has not claimed that they no longer "support" GEDCOM (whatever
> "support" means in this context). They have said that they DO intend to
> continue developing the ways in which it is represented (e.g., XML). They
> have said that they don't intend to change the data types that it
> recognizes (i.e., the data model). That means that GEDCOM is likely to be
> around for a long time but it will never be designed to communicate
> structured witness data.
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|Re: [TMG] Exporting Witness Tags by Greg Vaut <>|