Refocusing Family History Software and Capturing Research Intent

2012-10-16T19:21:26Z (GMT) by Chris Chapman
<p>The coming forth of distributed computing and modern genealogical research methods, such as the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS), have caused us to rethink some basic assumptions about the design of traditional family history software. Most current family history software focuses on saving and retrieving the \emph{current state} of the genealogical research. The research process is something that the researcher must keep track of separately, in research logs and other notes. However, moving the research process into center focus in family history software will result in better collaboration among researchers and more efficient use of research time. What needs to be modeled in family history software is not merely the vital facts, but the research process and intent.</p> <p>This paper is not intended to be a rant about the current state of family history software, but to outline how family history <em>research </em>software could help the researcher by acting as a natural part of the research process. Many of the problems of database-driven family history software exist because of the focus on data management rather than process management. Software that is driven by the research domain instead of data management will simplify the tasks of the researcher and move the emphasis from bookkeeping to quality genealogical progress.</p>