* GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

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tatewise
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GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by tatewise » 24 Dec 2019 16:56

Reputedly the THE GEDCOM STANDARD Release 5.5.1 was published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 15 November 2019, or is this fake news ?

See https://blog.eogn.com/2019/12/24/family ... ion-5-5-1/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEDCOM panel on right.

Download PDF from https://edge.fscdn.org/assets/img/docum ... 515335.pdf.

It appears to be simply a rubber stamping exercise with no significant changes from the DRAFT version 2 October 1999.

So where will that put FH with respect to be 100% GEDCOM compliant?
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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by mjashby » 24 Dec 2019 20:06

Presumably it puts FH some way behind others that have already adopted 5.5.1 as a standard, unless the question becomes: Will FH7 be fully 5.5.1 (and possibly 5.5.5) compliant?

Of course, those that have already adopted 5.5.1, some several years ago, still have the same issues with data transfer because of differing interpretations of what the descriptors actually mean.

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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by tatewise » 24 Dec 2019 21:32

Actually, out of two dozen genealogy products that I am familiar with, only about seven support the 5.5.1 standard.
However, the patchy support for GEDCOM in general puts the few differences between 5.5 and 5.5.1 in the shade.
That also masks any differing interpretations of the specification.

A new GEDCOM Assessment of 5.5.1 lists the top 6 according to how many of 180 features are fully supported as:
  1. 95% (5.5.1) GedSite v3
  2. 94% (5.5.1) My Family Tree v9
  3. 87% (5.5) Family Historian v6
  4. 86% (5.5.1) Gramps v5
  5. 84% (5.5) Legacy v9
  6. 80% (5.5) TNG v12
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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by AdrianBruce » 24 Dec 2019 22:39

I wonder if Tamura Jones has spooked them? (See https://www.tamurajones.net/GEDCOM551An ... tion.xhtml for his annotated version of 5.5.1 and https://www.tamurajones.net/GEDCOM555Ju ... sion.xhtml for what he calls 5.5.5 - his cleaned up version of 5.5.1)

Further comments from me about FS and their relationship with projects that try to deal with GEDCOM would be libellous...
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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by Valkrider » 25 Dec 2019 10:05

V5.5.5 has received quite a bit of negative commentary but at least it is an attempt to get this ancient standard into the 21st century. It would also be nice if FISO got their act together and got ELF out there so it can be critiqued. Hopefully by the time 2030 comes around we may have a standard suitable for modern genealogical research but I am not holding my breath.

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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by tatewise » 25 Dec 2019 10:52

I'm not sure that GEDCOM 5.5.5! (17121) does anything to "get this ancient standard into the 21st century".
As Tamura Jones says: "GEDCOM 5.5.5 release does not introduce any major new features ... it's a maintenance release. "
It corrects typos, errors & contradictions, and superfluous stuff has been taken out.

A few Extended Legacy Format (ELF) drafts have been published at https://tech.fhiso.org/drafts/.
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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by Valkrider » 25 Dec 2019 11:58

Mike

He might say that it is a maintenance release BUT the analysis that was done that I read said that there were several new features that were disagreed with, maybe he doesn't regard them as major but some others do.

As to ELF there are some discussion papers out which I have read but it has a long way to go to make a meaningful standard that can be coded into new and legacy applications.

I suspect that it will take a while before the existing applications are 95%+ Gedcom v5.5.1 compliant let alone any other standard, I hope that I am proved wrong.

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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by mjashby » 26 Dec 2019 15:40

My opinion remains unaltered by all the varied assessments and reports, primarily because there is a great deal of dishonesty out there about which GEDCOM Standard is being supported by which genealogy software product.

- Any developer who states that their product specifically supports GEDCOM 5.5 and then claims compatibility with that standard, whilst also implementing 5.5.1 features but not assessing against 5.5.1 is miss-leading (potential) users/purchasers. They are in a no-man's land, supporting neither standard correctly!

- Can any standards review(er) which completely omits the reputedly "largest selling Family Tree application of all time" which supposedly supports GEDCOM 5.5.1, and doesn't even mention that software, really expect to be taken seriously?

- Any 'newer' product coming to the market place and hoping to gain users is far more likely to adopt the most recently defined standard for data import/export e.g. My Family Tree - Freeware ( https://chronoplexsoftware.com/index.htm ) and Centurial - Payware from Jan 2020 ( https://www.centurial.net/en ). It tends to be 'older' products that have difficulty moving forward because the developers inevitably have a larger job on their hands in re-programming existing features and fail to commit.

At the end of the day, what really matters is the volume of users adopting a specific standard (whether knowingly or unknowingly) rather than which products support which standards. i.e dominance in the market and standards is always directly related to the number of users, not the number of software products available. For the older members of the Forum, witness the demise of the dominant document standards that were Wordperfect/Lotus 123 and the rise of Microsoft Word/Excel.

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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by tatewise » 26 Dec 2019 18:21

OK, I give in Mervyn.
Which product is reputedly "largest selling Family Tree application of all time" and supports GEDCOM 5.5.1 ?

It cannot be FTM as that is definitely not GEDCOM compatible for either 5.5 or 5.5.1 :!:

As I said earlier, most products fail to support any GEDCOM standard very well.
They usually don't even fully support the majority of features that are common to both 5.5 and 5.5.1.
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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by JohnnyCee » 01 Jan 2020 16:22

Mervyn wrote, "Can any standards review(er) which completely omits the reputedly "largest selling Family Tree application of all time" which supposedly supports GEDCOM 5.5.1, and doesn't even mention that software, really expect to be taken seriously?"

If that comment is referring to my GEDCOM Assessment site, yes, I expect the site to be taken seriously. If Mervyn is referring to Family Tree Maker (or any other missing product), I am not deliberately excluding it. I don't use FTM and I don't have a copy of it installed. I could get a copy and install it, of course, and maybe I will. However, it's usually best for someone who knows a product well to do the review.

The site includes tools anyone can use to do a review and share the results with me so I can add it to the site. Mike Tate did the FH review, and several software authors reviewed their own products. I am happy to report that several authors reviewed their own software, discovered issues, and then released updates. There has been some discussion about what behavior is correct/conforming and what is not, and that's also a good thing.

I hope to expand assess.ged, and add more assessments including FTM, but like most people, I am hindered that pesky limit of 24 of hours in a day.

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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by tatewise » 01 Jan 2020 18:06

I too am waiting for Mervyn to reveal which product he is referring to, and as Johnny says he is welcome to perform and submit an assessment.
BTW: It cannot be FTM as that is far from compliant with either the 5.5 or 5.5.1 specifications.
I think almost all the products that have been assessed so far have a free trial version, but FTM appears not to.
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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by Valkrider » 03 Jan 2020 13:08

This is moving on the Gedcom-L group are already proposing changes.

https://genealogy.net/GEDCOM/ to download their revised version of 5.5.1. Looking at it it makes some valid (imho) changes to what FamilySearch published in November 2019.

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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by AdrianBruce » 03 Jan 2020 19:54

Valkrider wrote:
03 Jan 2020 13:08
... Looking at it it makes some valid (imho) changes to what FamilySearch published in November 2019.
Well, changes to what FS emailed out in 1999, twenty years ago, given that the FS 2019 version is identical to the 1999 incomplete and internally contradictory draft apart from the front sheet. The German document says that the group started work in 2009, so it's not quite as quick as it might appear.

Friday evening rant warning: Anybody who understands anything about processes, procedures, and document / standard revision will have been appalled at the undue reverence given to 5.5.1. It contains lots of good ideas but ...
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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by JohnnyCee » 06 Jan 2020 00:20

AdrianBruce wrote:
03 Jan 2020 19:54
Anybody who understands anything about processes, procedures, and document / standard revision will have been appalled at the undue reverence given to 5.5.1. It contains lots of good ideas but ...
I have no reverence for GEDCOM 5.5.1, but I'd far prefer that applications implement it, and default to it, rather than stick with the similarly flawed GEDCOM 5.5.

If one follows 5.5 and eschews 5.5.1, you lose several important enhancements like UTF-8 as a character set. Did you know that the 5.5 OBJE record (level 0) does not support the FILE subrecord, so it's not valid to use the OBJE record to refer to an external media item? The OBJE reference supports the FILE subrecord, but those are not shared by multiple parent records.

With the current split between programs that favor 5.5 and those that favor 5.5.1, programs have to support both. Meanwhile, many programs write 5.5.1 records in 5.5 files.

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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by AdrianBruce » 06 Jan 2020 11:07

JohnnyCee wrote:
06 Jan 2020 00:20
...
I have no reverence for GEDCOM 5.5.1, but I'd far prefer that applications implement it, and default to it, rather than stick with the similarly flawed GEDCOM 5.5.
...
And I have no argument with anyone who makes a pragmatic decision to use 5.5.1 based on reasons like you mention. In fact, I'd very possibly agree with you if I were writing software. No, my problems are with those who look no further than the name and status on the front page - witness the numbers on other mailing lists and message boards salivating over the fact that FamilySearch just issued 5.5.1 as a final version and kidding themselves that this marks the re-entry of FS into the GEDCOM "market".
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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by JohnnyCee » 07 Jan 2020 16:02

AdrianBruce wrote:
06 Jan 2020 11:07
And I have no argument with anyone who makes a pragmatic decision to use 5.5.1 based on reasons like you mention. In fact, I'd very possibly agree with you if I were writing software. No, my problems are with those who look no further than the name and status on the front page - witness the numbers on other mailing lists and message boards salivating over the fact that FamilySearch just issued 5.5.1 as a final version and kidding themselves that this marks the re-entry of FS into the GEDCOM "market".
Well, we agree there!

I'm happy they removed the DRAFT designation because that may have a small positive effect on authors implementing 5.5.1. However, it's clearly a change so trivial that even calling it trivial is overstating it.

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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by tatewise » 07 Jan 2020 20:05

I believe it is not trivial for FH, because the developers refused to consider 5.5.1 while it was a Draft Release that stated
"It must not be used for programming of genealogical software while in draft".
( Despite adopting the 5.5.1 UTF8 character encoding that is not allowed by 5.5. )

That argument is now invalid, so I wonder how Calico Pie will handle their claim to 100% GEDCOM compliance.
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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by jmurphy » 13 Jan 2020 00:12

For information about Family Tree Maker, take a look at Keith Ruggle's series Family Tree Maker to GEDCOM to Other Apps Crosswalk (Updated 26 Oct 2019) on Genealogy Tools.com.

Keith started the series when Ancestry dropped the Windows version of FTM but before it was picked up by its new developer. The newest update on the Family Historian article was 25 Jan 2016.

I don't see any posts there about Tamura Jones' 5.5.5. but Keith posted this back in 2016:

Why All Genealogy Apps Should Support GEDCOM 5.5.1 (Updated 29 Apr 2016)

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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by Valkrider » 13 Jan 2020 06:50

I have just had to rewrite the gedcom parser part of my Wordpress plugin as someone sent me a Family Tree Maker for Mac gedcom that wouldn't load. On examination of the gedcom it fails to comply with so many of the standards, both 5.5 and 5.5.1, that it should not really be called a gedcom file. However, I have made my plugin parse it and many other flavours but a week of work I could have done without.

Another very poor one that I have come across is Clooz this even allows people to have no sex doesn't even assign U as it should.

Just comments on the standards compliance.

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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by tatewise » 13 Jan 2020 11:16

Colin, you have confirmed what I have been saying for years, that most products do not implement any version of GEDCOM at all well.

On your point about SEX, neither 5.5 nor 5.5.1 requires the sex of an Individual to be defined.
c.f. FH which allows SEX to be omitted.
Yes, 5.5.1 introduces U as well as M & F as SEX values, but does not mandate the SEX tag.
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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by Valkrider » 13 Jan 2020 13:00

The problem is that Clooz creates the tag but does not put a value in it.

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Re: GEDCOM 5.5.1 Standard Release Nov 2019

Post by tatewise » 13 Jan 2020 15:11

Ah, yes, that is non-compliant.
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