Special Recognition 2008

GeneAward Special Recognition 2008

Most Innovative Genealogy Product of 2008: Relatives 1.0

Relatives is not just fast, it also features a deliberate innovation; its perfect handling of non-standard tags. Yes, perfect.

The GEDCOM specification allows programs to ignore unrecognised tags and many do so. Some other programs make the serious mistake of molesting your database by inserting comments for each unrecognised tag. In the first case, the unrecognised tags are lost after importing and exporting again. In the second case, the tags are lost and your database is messed up with weird comments. You do not want either.

Relatives does the right thing; it does not ignore the tag by throwing it away and it does not molest your database by inserting comments either. It will simply import each unrecognised tag as a tag and - this is the crucial bit - will export it again later. This enables round tripping of vendor-specific GEDCOM extensions. What's more, on export, all invalid GEDCOM extensions are changed into valid ones by prepending the mandatory underscore, to avoid creating invalid GEDCOM files.

If only all genealogy programs were as smart about handling non-standard tags...

Tamura Jones