Collaboration in PAF and FamilySearch

So you have the BIG idea that the Church or community needs to develop. Discuss that idea here. Maybe you just want to make a suggestion on a new forum topic. Let us know.
Scott C-p40
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 9:46 pm

Collaboration in PAF and FamilySearch

Postby Scott C-p40 » Wed May 23, 2007 11:42 am

This is my first post in this forum, and I am not very well informed about the direction the familysearch changes are headed - so I hope you'll forgive me if I'm not posting this in the most logical/visible thread. I do, however, hope this invites some useful discussion in a new direction.


First Suggestion
--------------------

[Problem]
One thing that I haven't seen discussed anywhere in the forum is - What is being done to facilitate collaborative research when there are multiple people researching actively/concurrently on connecting family lines?

A personal example to illustrate my meaning:

I am not the only person in my family doing research on our family lines, my father does extensive research as well. In a large LDS family, I am sure there are others that I'm not aware of as well - who are also doing research.

From time-to-time, my father and I like to sync-up our latest research. Anytime we want to do this we have to go through an extensive match-merge process (sometimes hundreds of names and dates) to see what is new (that the other person has been working on). PAF Insight is helpful in this process, however it still takes a lot of time to go through all of the differences between two files.


[Solution]
My suggestion is this: could it be possible to provide some sort of date-stamp tracking functionality where we could say "import everything into PAF that has been created since the last sync timestamp?" or "allow me to see each change that has been made and import only if I give permission?"

I recognize that the coding in getting this to work properly would be complex - but it would be INCREDIBLY useful. :)

In other words - be able to run a report that identifies all related entries that have changed since the time of a previous date-stamp. And then be able to perform different functions on the information tied to that report (i.e. import it automatically, allow user-moderated merging, etc.).


Second Suggestion
------------------------

[Problem]
A similar problem exists on the FamilySearch site. It makes it easy for people that are just getting started researching a line, but it doesn't make it easy to go back and see what others have added since the last time one has researched certain names or family lines.


[Solution]
It would be very useful to be able to subscribe to automated reports of other information that is being submitted on a family line

I am aware of one site that does something similar - and I find it very useful. I am subscribed to DISBYT - The Computer Genealogy Society of Sweden (http://www.dis.se/denindex.htm). One of the services that this group provides - is an annual report with membership renewal. If I upload a GEDCOM file, they provide me a report of all individuals that have some percentage (ranked on a scale of 1-5) of matching information, including contact information for the submitters.

Even though this is just a static report, it is incredibly useful - as I try to stay updated on any new information that others have researched connecting into my line.

What would be even better - is if the report could be dynamically connected to the data, so that I could see the matching information - and decide right then if I wanted to import it or not into my own file.


I am very interested to see what you think about these ideas.

scion-p40
Member
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:56 pm

Postby scion-p40 » Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:02 am

My understanding is that PAF is not being updated. You might float your suggestions to commercial genealogy software vendors. In addition to your suggestions, I'd like to have folks login when using the genealogy software so it can date stamp and ID stamp the updates. This would help me see who updated the info & have a handle on how knowledgeable he/she was at the time regarding genealogy matters.

Scott C-p40
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 9:46 pm

Postby Scott C-p40 » Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:33 am

Yes, that is a good idea. I can see some strong benefit to being able to track updates - both from a data integrity perspective, and a research help.

I haven't heard that the church isn't updating PAF. I'd be interested in learning why - if this is still a tool that is sponsored and supported by the church. Could anyone shed some light on this?

User avatar
thedqs
Community Moderators
Posts: 1038
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:53 am
Location: Redmond, WA
Contact:

Postby thedqs » Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:18 am

From what I gathered from the tech talks PAF will be phased out in the distant future to be replaced by the NSF client. Of course PAF will still be offered by the church and I think the church is hoping someone will add 3rd party software for PAF to interface into NSF.

So the client is what the church is going to be focused on while still supplying the current version of PAF.
- David

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20778
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:03 am

My personal thoughts is that PAF is a data model that dates from the dawn of the computer age - all your data is stored on your local drive. But that makes collaboration difficult. The future of genealogy is collaboration. (Think Wikipedia). While a local program may still be needed, it's time to sit down and re-do the whole thing from scratch rather then update an old program.

Secondly, the church really isn't interested in software development, unless that's what it takes to get what's needed. When PAF was originally developed, there wasn't anything suitable at an affordable price. PAF's original price of $35 was ground-breaking. Today there's a number of commercial choices at or less then that original price. There's even one that's free. Given the commercial offerings, it really doesn't make much sense for the church to spend it's limited resources trying to compete with what's already offered.

rmrichesjr
Community Moderators
Posts: 1038
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:32 am
Location: Dundee, Oregon

Postby rmrichesjr » Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:23 am

thedqs wrote:From what I gathered from the tech talks PAF will be phased out in the distant future to be replaced by the NSF client. Of course PAF will still be offered by the church and I think the church is hoping someone will add 3rd party software for PAF to interface into NSF.

So the client is what the church is going to be focused on while still supplying the current version of PAF.


Minor point of spelling: The abbreviation is NFS, for New Family Search.

RussellHltn wrote:My personal thoughts is that PAF is a data model that dates from the dawn of the computer age - all your data is stored on your local drive. But that makes collaboration difficult. The future of genealogy is collaboration. (Think Wikipedia). While a local program may still be needed, it's time to sit down and re-do the whole thing from scratch rather then update an old program.

Secondly, the church really isn't interested in software development, unless that's what it takes to get what's needed. When PAF was originally developed, there wasn't anything suitable at an affordable price. PAF's original price of $35 was ground-breaking. Today there's a number of commercial choices at or less then that original price. There's even one that's free. Given the commercial offerings, it really doesn't make much sense for the church to spend it's limited resources trying to compete with what's already offered.


There's more than one free genealogy software package. Lifelines and Gramps are free, and I think there's one called something very close to GenJ that is also free.

There have been lots of postings in several other threads in the past few months about the API that is planned for NFS and plans to allow and/or help development of at least one desktop record manager that would work with the NFS API.

User avatar
thedqs
Community Moderators
Posts: 1038
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:53 am
Location: Redmond, WA
Contact:

Postby thedqs » Fri Jun 01, 2007 4:16 pm

rmrichesjr wrote:Minor point of spelling: The abbreviation is NFS, for New Family Search.


Opps, yes I did mean NFS, just that the s key got hit right before the f key...:o

rmrichesjr wrote:There's more than one free genealogy software package. Lifelines and Gramps are free, and I think there's one called something very close to GenJ that is also free.

There have been lots of postings in several other threads in the past few months about the API that is planned for NFS and plans to allow and/or help development of at least one desktop record manager that would work with the NFS API.

Yep and we are just waiting for the specs.

Actually I've been told that where I work, OnePage Geneology, actually has them but we have been trying to get our updated program out before we focus on intergratting NFS into the project.
- David

atticusewig
Member
Posts: 308
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:48 am

Is NFS (New Family Search) API open ?

Postby atticusewig » Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:03 am

thedqs wrote:Opps, yes I did mean NFS, just that the s key got hit right before the f key...:o


Yep and we are just waiting for the specs.

Actually I've been told that where I work, OnePage Geneology, actually has them but we have been trying to get our updated program out before we focus on intergratting NFS into the project.


Just wondering if the NFS (New Family Search) API will be published openly,
or if it will be something that someone will need to get a non-disclosure aggreement
for ? If it is published openly, provided that document isn't crazy-big, would make a
fine addition to the community documents already posted on the front page of the
LDSTech site.

- Atticus Ewig

rmrichesjr
Community Moderators
Posts: 1038
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:32 am
Location: Dundee, Oregon

Postby rmrichesjr » Mon Jun 04, 2007 10:44 am

atticusewig wrote:Just wondering if the NFS (New Family Search) API will be published openly,
or if it will be something that someone will need to get a non-disclosure aggreement
for ? If it is published openly, provided that document isn't crazy-big, would make a
fine addition to the community documents already posted on the front page of the
LDSTech site.

- Atticus Ewig


There has been mention of the Church encouraging an open-source desktop record manager that would use the NFS API. If the record manager is actually open source, that would imply the API would be openly published.

User avatar
thedqs
Community Moderators
Posts: 1038
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:53 am
Location: Redmond, WA
Contact:

Postby thedqs » Mon Jun 04, 2007 12:40 pm

From what I have gathered it will be published after the entire system goes live. Just that working for BYU (which owns OnePage Geneology as a Research Project) I think we got them through the church sponsered side of that.
- David


Return to “Ideas & Suggestions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest