21st century syncing of PAF / FamilySearch / IGI

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daztrue
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21st century syncing of PAF / FamilySearch / IGI

Postby daztrue » Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:36 am

With the upgrading of FamilySearch.org in progress, I could understand there being a hold back on PAF - although you'd think it would be better to work on them simultaniously - although I hope that's the only reason. PAF 5.2 has been around for a LONG time now, and as the creators of GEDCOM who have influenced the entire genealogical software industry, we should be leading the way. PAF's multimedia capabilities are limited and the websites it creates are reminisent of DOS days. To look at the capabilities and syncing of Family Tree Maker and Ancestry.com puts us to shame, so I'd like to know if the new, long-awaited features of the new FamilySearch site will have all that's been anticipated - and whether PAF will be upgraded in order to become more synced, not only with the site, but with multimedia, the web, and the 21st century generally.

With TempleReady about to be on FamilySearch.org, I'm expecting to be able to process a submission either by accessing a previously created GEDCOM (from any package that accomodates ordinance data/fields), or by accessing the PAF database directly (as with the TempleReady software), and preferably other packages, placing the contents of the database on view on FamilySearch, ready for selection, editing etc., and then going through the normal submission process of checking against the IGI and updating the database or creating a GEDCOM as appropriate. Another option would be to have the option to select and submit directly from PAF (without the use of a GEDCOM), and again check against the IGI online. With any option, the user would finally need to be viewing the site in order to actually make the submission over the Internet to whichever temple they choose.

As for PAF's capabilities - especially multimedia, web, syncing, searching, indexing - I'd like to know if there are going to be any drastic improvements in the near future. To look at things in perspective: at the moment, it's still not possible to identify one parent as biological and the other as adoptive; there's an option to add an image to a marriage record but no way to view it; and without the use of an add-in, it's not possible to view images of anyone other than the person in the primary position in Family View. We still can't open more than 1 database and transfer from one to another without the use of a GEDCOM. These are just a few examples of the limitations, which are so frustrating when I know that the Church could and should be leading the way. I think it was when PAF 4.x was released that it was said that it was no longer just a genealogical program, but a Book of Remembrance. Such now frequently include video and URLs, and with the age of multimedia and the Internet that we are now in, and the growth and improvement of Church sites (and expansion of genealogy online), surely the time is long overdue for PAF to be brought up to date. A simple example would be the ability to view FamilySearch.org from within PAF, check against the IGI (or other indexes) and update your database(s) etc.

As part of the upgrading of FamilySearch.org, I'd like to know how the structure of the IGI will be affected. As far as I know, on the existing site recent submissions have been dealt with differently in order to try to reduce duplication and to keep families together in the original family unit structure in which they were submitted (just as if viewing the Pedigree Resource File), rather than viewing each child individually with the parents. It's my understanding that there is an aim to 'reunite' siblings on the IGI, and if so, I'd like to know how this will be undertaken. And will any kind of record, link, or even some form of merge be performed for any duplications?

If anyone can shed any light on any of these points then that'd be great! :rolleyes:

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Postby russellhltn » Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:00 pm

The bottom line question here is what is the best use of church funds to meet it's goal? Developing PAF to become the leading free program probably isn't one of them as there are currently other (arguably better) programs being offered for free. Yes, the church has lead the ways in those areas in the past because there was a need that wasn't being fulfilled. The church will continue to lead in areas where it can best further the work. As you may be aware, the church has backed out of continuing to develop GEDCOM because continued development was no longer fulfilling the chuch's goals. I'll let you draw your own conclusions about the future of PAF.

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garysturn
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PAF Update

Postby garysturn » Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:14 pm

I have heard from several reliable sources that PAF will be updated. It makes no since to do those updates until they are sure what the final structure of NewFamilySearch is going to be. After that is finished then the most needed updates to PAF to make it Sync with NewFamilySeach will be done.

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Postby mulhollandj-p40 » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:01 am

It is my understanding that PAF will not be updated but instead things will be moved to the web with a possible desktop client. I think that what we will see in the future is more third party software, which in my opinion is a good thing.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:03 am

That is what the church seems to be trying to sponser, they provide the data and a simple and 3rd party developers provide the complex interface and more advance functions.
- David

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:31 am

mulhollandj wrote:It is my understanding that PAF will not be updated but instead things will be moved to the web with a possible desktop client.


That's been my impression as well, but when I've expressed the opinion that the new FamilySearch replaces PAF I've been told that's not true. All I gotta say is given the final end goal, the old data model of fragments of genealogy stored on individual hard drives is a horrid data model. That was just a stop gap to get things rolling until the Internet could be developed. To me the future is a single on-line collaborative system.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:59 am

I also agree that the future will be internet collabreation which a central source. What I understand is that PAF (or its replacement) will sync with the new FamilySearch, making updates and getting updates from others, and that your personal tree will be stored on the computer, while the global tree and data will be stored at the new family search.
- David

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:25 pm

thedqs wrote:What I understand is that PAF (or its replacement) will sync with the new FamilySearch, making updates and getting updates from others, and that your personal tree will be stored on the computer, while the global tree and data will be stored at the new family search.


Possible, but then that creates a whole bunch of issues in syncing. With the world moving to full-time Internet connections, that's just not the best route. Keep in mind that just because it's on FS, doesn't necessarily mean it's public. Also if your "work in progress" is on a central site, it can tell you about any possible matches it finds between other published and unpublished works.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:32 pm

I just can't throw out the lowest denominator in my thinking (those that still use dial-up) but I can see that it would be best to have a central server where everyone has their little piece and a gaint tree comes together with the server making matches and offering the user to accept its matches.
That is a feature I really want to see. I took over the family history from my mom and she hadn't worked on it for awhile and off of the FamilySearch there are tons of new links that would be great just to import a branch instead of entering the data, semi-manually.
- David

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:51 pm

thedqs wrote:I just can't throw out the lowest denominator in my thinking (those that still use dial-up)


I understand that. There will be a need for something to do local data entry and then sync. But if that's our goal, then that's penalizing those with broadband which is ever growing. In other words, we need to accommodate the lowest common denominator, but it shouldn't dictate the structure given the current environment.


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