* GEDCOM 7.0

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tatewise
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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by tatewise » 08 Jun 2021 12:13

Also, check out the Louis Kessler blog posted by Helen.
He says "there are also many others not listed who contributed as well (myself included) as FamilySearch has been reaching out to all developers for their input."
Also "it really is (Ms) Pat Richley-Erickson and Russ Worthington who deserves a big thanks. It’s their initiative that ultimately led to this."

In the earlier RootsTech presentation slides they suggest FH has been involved, so have CP been consulted?

However, don't knock GEDCOM 7.0 as I believe it is a significant step forward. Not perfect but a step in the right direction.
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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by Valkrider » 08 Jun 2021 12:24

tatewise wrote:
08 Jun 2021 12:13
However, don't knock GEDCOM 7.0 as I believe it is a significant step forward. Not perfect but a step in the right direction.
It is a shame that they didn't go further with this new specification, I understand that there were some contributors who wanted to take it further and others who wanted to step it back so we have probably got the best compromise available. However, I agree with Mike that when it is widely implemented it will help all of us.

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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by Mark1834 » 08 Jun 2021 13:17

Indeed - I will agree with my two fellow 65+ European heritage male friends that the technical standard and the process by which it is developed are two different subjects ;).
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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 08 Jun 2021 13:34

Mark1834 wrote:
08 Jun 2021 13:17
Indeed - I will agree with my two fellow 65+ European heritage male friends that the technical standard and the process by which it is developed are two different subjects ;).
Perhaps, but the process has some impact on the outcome... not all processes are created equal. :P

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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by AdrianBruce » 08 Jun 2021 14:40

Albert Emmerich of GEDCOM-L is, so far as I know, German, since the GEDCOM-L group is long established in Germany and German genealogy.

Uri Gonen of MyHeritage appears to live in Canada. MyHeritage is based in Israel.

And as Helen says, Tony P is Notts born and (so far as I understand) living in Ireland.

Frankly, I'm simply impressed that something coming out of FamilySearch has actually managed to cast its net wider than Utah...

Can anyone notice any differences between 7.0.0RC and 7.0.1? The new one appears to be a few pages longer and (nearly) starts with a new reference to licensing the stuff, which is promising in that it appears to recognise that other people might want to use it. It's Apache License, Version 2.0 by the way (see https://tldrlegal.com/license/apache-li ... pache-2.0)), though my instinctive reaction was I thought that was for software - but maybe it works just as well for a standard.
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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by tatewise » 08 Jun 2021 14:51

I think Louis Kessler's blog explains in the first few paragraphs why it is 7.0.1 and also why it skipped from 5.5.1 past 6.0 to 7.0.

I have not yet looked, but given that reasoning, there is probably no difference between 7.0.0RC and 7.0.1.
P.S.
I've compared the Contents pages and 2.9 Language & 2.10 Media Type have been added and the start of 3 genealogical structures is reorganised. Otherwise, they look the same, but I have noticed some minor rewording of some sections.
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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 08 Jun 2021 15:14

AdrianBruce wrote:
08 Jun 2021 14:40
Frankly, I'm simply impressed that something coming out of FamilySearch has actually managed to cast its net wider than Utah...
Baby steps. At least (I assume, I haven't checked) we are no longer saddled with an LDS-flavoured view of the family (although that was fixed in 5.5 or 5.5.1 I think). But I wonder if the standard for Names has been made significantly less 'Western-centric', ditto for Relationships -- I note there are Project Teams on both subjects and wonder if they've managed to cast the net widely enough for contributions).

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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by tatewise » 08 Jun 2021 15:45

Helen, can you explain "an LDS-flavoured view of the family" please.
I haven't spotted any changes to FAMily record structure from 5.5 to 5.5.1 to 7.0.1 that affect the view of the family.

Likewise, the PERSONAL NAME STRUCTURE has changed very little except for the option of names in a foreign language.
What Relationships are you referring to?

See my Re: GEDCOM 7.0 Wed 24th Feb 2021 for my summary of the significant changes.
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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by NickWalker » 08 Jun 2021 16:05

I have to say it just made my heart sink to see the amount of work that would be required to deal with this and to have to change from using rich-text to HTML, etc. I suspect it would be a major update for Family Historian to be able to handle this. Perhaps this is the point where FH stops trying to use the latest Gedcom as it's native data structure and moves to an exporting model.
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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by tatewise » 08 Jun 2021 16:23

I'm not sure I fully understand your point Nick.
The FH rich-text format is not strictly GEDCOM 5.5.1 compatible as it has extra tags such as _FMT, _LINK_I, _LKID, etc.
They have to be translated to be understood by other products, which is why the ... Export > GEDCOM File... command has options to Exclude [[private]] notes and Convert notes to plain text.
So it already has a partial exporting model that could add a Convert notes to HTML option, which is what my Export Gedcom File plugin and the GedSite import code currently have to do.
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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 08 Jun 2021 16:37

tatewise wrote:
08 Jun 2021 15:45
Helen, can you explain "an LDS-flavoured view of the family" please.
I haven't spotted any changes to FAMily record structure from 5.5 to 5.5.1 to 7.0.1 that affect the view of the family.
As I said, I thought it was fixed in 5.5 or 5.5.1 -- the very narrow view that a family unit consists only of a man and a woman.
MARR {MARRIAGE}:=
A legal, common law, or customary event of creating a family unit of a man and a woman as husband and wife.

FAM {FAMILY}:=
Identifies a legal, common law, or other customary relationship of man and woman and their children, if any, or a family created by virtue of the birth of a child to its biological father and mother.
I was using it as an example of the way the worldview of the people drawing up a standard can affect the standard. Yes, there are/were ways around it, but they reduced the ability to transfer data between programes.
Likewise, the PERSONAL NAME STRUCTURE has changed very little except for the option of names in a foreign language.
So, still Western-centric then. And not even including all Western naming practices.
NamePersonal = nameStr
/ [nameStr] "/" [nameStr] "/" [nameStr]
Looks so promising, until they introduce the concept or surname, family name or "the like". They're assuming such a thing exists: "The character U+002F (/, slash or solidus) has special meaning in a personal name, being used to delimit the portion of the name that most closely matches the concept of a surname, family name, or the like" There are cultures which don't have such a concept, and no doubt you will say 'just leave it out then' but it's still representative of a particular worldview that it's considered the norm to have a surname or analog. And some cultures have two legal surnames... which somebody might want to use to report/query whatever. Spanish names for example.
What Relationships are you referring to?
Family organisations that are not simple couples. For example, there are cultures where a family unit consists of many brothers all married to the same woman -- this is not a number of couples but a single multi-person family. You might also consider LDS Polygamous families, which are recorded as multiple parallel couples in Gedcom, even though that might not be the reality on the ground.

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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by Mark1834 » 08 Jun 2021 16:54

Given that FH7 has only just come out, RM8 is still in labour, and FTM 2021/22 (or whatever) is probably feature-locked by now, I can't see GEDCOM 7 getting any major traction with the desktop apps until at least the middle of the decade. Who knows where the desktop/cloud/web balance will be by then.
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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by NickWalker » 08 Jun 2021 18:13

tatewise wrote:
08 Jun 2021 16:23
I'm not sure I fully understand your point Nick....
Well in every version of Family Historian so far it has used the latest GEDCOM model (admittedly only 2 so far) and added additional tags to extend the functionality to fill in gaps. So, for example, FH had its own method for dealing with file references but when 5.5.1 was released this was changed to use the method described by 5.5.1. So I think it would be a departure from what CP have done in the past if they were, for example, to stick with using their own method of recording rich text rather than using the HTML method specified in the Gedcom 7 spec. I've not looked at version 7 closely so I don't know if there are other changes which would cause similar dilemmas.
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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by Mark1834 » 08 Jun 2021 18:22

Helen makes a good point. The 30-something Indian-born engineer who took over my projects when I retired told me that she didn’t have a surname before she enrolled in Rice University for her PhD. She took her father’s name as her surname in the US just to fit in with local custom and practice.
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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by tatewise » 08 Jun 2021 19:24

Helen, your definitions for MARR and FAM are taken straight out of GEDCOM 5.5.1 so still one male and one female.
GEDCOM 7.0 has moved on to recognise same-sex partners and says:
The FAM record was originally structured to represent families where a male HUSB (p.69) (husband or father) and female WIFE (p.84) (wife or mother) produce CHIL (p.62) (children). The FAM record may also be used for cultural parallels to this, including nuclear families, marriage, cohabitation, fostering, adoption, and so on, regardless of the gender of the partners. Sex, gender, titles, and roles of partners should not be inferred based on the partner that the HUSB or WIFE structure points to.
The individuals pointed to by the HUSB and WIFE are collectively referred to as “partners”, “parents” or “spouses”.
...
Family structures with more than 2 partners may either use several FAM records or use ASSOCIATION_STRUCTURE (p.38) to indicate additional partners.
Unfortunately, the NAME structure has not moved on significantly.

Nick, currently the HTML does not go very far:
text/html uses HTML tags to provide presentation information. Applications should support at least the following:
◦ p and br elements for paragraphing and line breaks.
◦ b , i , u , and s elements for bold, italic, underlined, and strike-through text (or corresponding display in other locales; see HTML §4.5 for more).
◦ sup and sub elements for super- and sub-script.
◦ The 3 XML entities that appear in text: & , < > . Note that &quote; and ' are only needed in attributes. Other entities should be represented as their respective Unicode characters instead.
Supporting more of HTML is encouraged. Unsupported elements should be ignored during display.
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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by NickWalker » 08 Jun 2021 19:45

Well that's the minimum html that has to be supported. If FH moves to full Gedcom 7 as its built in data format then presumably it would need to support tables, hyperlinks, etc. to allow all existing rich text functionality to be supported.
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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by AdrianBruce » 08 Jun 2021 20:12

Re the Family - there's a sort of multiple facet thing that's going on here and it isn't clear to me how anyone intends to resolve it. There are actually 3 facets:
  • GEDCOM v5 & v7, etc.;
  • FamilySearch FamilyTree (FSFT) - the single Wiki-style tree with one profile for everyone who has ever lived (hopelessly optimistic, of course but that's the simple explanation);
  • GEDCOM-X - sort of, in some fashion, the description of the data to be exchanged on the API between "desktop" programs and FSFT (the exact relationship between GEDCOM-X and the data format of the API is not clear to me);
FSFT has been modified to accommodate single-sex families. As with Family Historian, some of the data items retain their previous names, but it is basically do-able, even though single-sex families will not go forward into the religious part of FamilySearch. Whether GEDCOM-X accommodates such families I've no idea, but if the desktop software moves to such concepts, and FSFT has already done so - then surely the bit in the middle should. Eventually. Sometime. Anyway, it may be a fudge (because it is) but GEDCOM 7 does say:
Sex, gender, titles, and roles of partners should not be inferred
based on the partner that the HUSB or WIFE structure points to.
Re "Family organisations that are not simple couples..."
Certainly, units such as "many brothers all married to the same woman" don't match the current GEDCOM concept of Family. But trying to modify the current GEDCOM Family to cope with such units will, I suggest, cause as many sins of commission in the future as there are sins of ommission now. What's needed, I believe, is the concept of a social family (in several flavours) as well as, and as distinct from the current biological family concept. That way the polygamous (or polyandrous) group can be recorded as a social family, while the biological families can keep the current couple format. (Because biology still works on just two parents).

I also can't get too excited about the name issue. A lot of it can simply be resolved by manually deciding what (if anything) goes in between the // on a case-by-case basis. Mark's engineer colleague could have a name with an empty // to start with, followed by a second name with her father's surname in that position. The serious issue there is not what goes in it, but that we can't (yet) date names! (I will swear that we got dated names into GEDCOM-X but it clearly hasn't gotten into the heads in FS). Though I would also add that we should have name types that identify childhood names that cannot be used in adulthood, and lifetime names that cannot be used after death (some Australian Aboriginal names?) But extra name types are simple - just add them to the list - it's the processing to implement those rules in report, queries, etc, that's hard and is outside FS's competency (FSFT aside).
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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 08 Jun 2021 20:45

I agree that some of the issues are already resolved (I actually said it was resolved, but same-sex marriage seems to act like a beacon in discussions) and there are ways of fudging the other issues. I am demonstrating why the standard isn't a standard for World genealogy but a standard for genealogy of people like us plus people who are willing to pretend to be like us.

What worries me about the fudges is that they cast groups of people (some of them quite close to home) into the 'marked state' (look it up) or as 'other': there are us normal people for whom the standard works and those weird people over there who will have to work around it. And I'm not saying the people who worked on the standard didn't have the best of intentions but very often you don't know what you don't know, and asking somebody very like you may not help at all.

I'll get off my soapbox now as I'm no longer paid to run diversity training or workshops on Writing the Other.

One final PS. Adrian the marriage arrangement I mentioned is biological family. All the children are three quarter siblings related by biology to all the parents. The only social relationship is the relationship between the wife and her husbands but that's true of any marriage.

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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by Mark1834 » 08 Jun 2021 21:01

AdrianBruce wrote:
08 Jun 2021 20:12
Because biology still works on just two parents.
Not necessarily - mitochondrial DNA donation babies have DNA from three parents, and females will pass this on to their offspring. Now there’s a challenge for GEDCOM (or maybe not, as it’s not licensed in the US)... :D
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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by AdrianBruce » 09 Jun 2021 09:47

Mark1834 wrote:
08 Jun 2021 21:01
AdrianBruce wrote:
08 Jun 2021 20:12
Because biology still works on just two parents.
Not necessarily - mitochondrial DNA donation babies have DNA from three parents, and females will pass this on to their offspring. ...
Oh bother. I was trying not to indulge in my usual sin of adding extra text, so thought about mtDNA donation but discarded it. However (for the second time, tut tut) I forgot about the fact that mtDNA is passed on, so in this case, it will indeed result in children with DNA from three different parents.
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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by AdrianBruce » 09 Jun 2021 10:16

Helen - re
the marriage arrangement I mentioned is biological family. All the children are three quarter siblings related by biology to all the parents.
Yes - I agree with that but we are, I suggest, using the term "biological family" in two different ways. I used that term to refer to the child and their two biological, DNA supplying parents (mtDNA issues aside) plus any full siblings of the child. If you like, I concocted that term because it is fundamentally based around the Family entity in the existing GEDCOM model (though needing changes to cope with mtDNA and etc, etc)

Your particular biological family is what I'd refer to as a social family since, although the children are indeed biologically related to both their father and his brothers, those brothers are not their biological father supplying half their DNA.

I happen to believe that the social family is as worthy of recording in GEDCOM as the biological family. For instance, why on earth should the grannies (usually) who sometimes play such a tremendous role in raising children not get recognised in GEDCOM?

I'm not wedded to the terms "biological" and "social" - I just thought the terms might be useful.

PS - if a couple marry but have no children - is that, in my terms, a biological family as per existing GEDCOM - or a social family? I'll get back to you on that... later... much later.
PPS - adoptive children are parts of social families, though can be in a biological family with one of their social parents. So conversion of existing data to fit my ideas might be challenging.
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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 09 Jun 2021 10:18

ColeValleyGirl wrote:
08 Jun 2021 20:45
All the children are three quarter siblings related by biology to all the parents. The only social relationship is the relationship between the wife and her husbands but that's true of any marriage.
Thinking about the DNA aspects of this is doing my head in. The children are all three-quarter siblings... and their fathers are all three-quarter siblings ad (for practical purposes) infinitum. A child may not receive DNA directly from an uncle, but the DNA they received from the sperm-providing father has a huge overlap with their uncles' DNA.
if a couple marry but have no children - is that, in my terms, a biological family as per existing GEDCOM - or a social family? I'll get back to you on that... later... much later.
So I shouldn't hold my breath?

We need a whole new set of terminology for this stuff -- I'm not sure the term 'biological family' or 'social family' are useful any more. Is a family consisting of two same-sex parents and a child conceived by egg donation biological or social? I'd much rather settle for the term family, to denote a multi-generational grouping of people recognised as a family in the culture where they live. But eventhat has problems -- one-parent family is obviously OK, but does it include tha absent father or not?

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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by tatewise » 09 Jun 2021 10:50

Are we in danger of diverging away from the impact of GEDCOM 7.0 on genealogy products?
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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 09 Jun 2021 11:00

tatewise wrote:
09 Jun 2021 10:50
Are we in danger of diverging away from the impact of GEDCOM 7.0 on genealogy products?
We're having a valid discussion about what the standard could do but hasn't... which will have an impact on genealogy products.

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Re: GEDCOM 7.0

Post by Mark1834 » 09 Jun 2021 11:04

Probably - I think the takeaway from this is that GEDCOM works tolerably well for recording Western-style family relationships up until about the end of the last century (coincidentally, exactly the markets where genealogy software is currently sold), but something fundamentally different will probably be needed in the future when we are all dead and buried...
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