Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Open Source mirage

It seems to me there are a few types of Open Source Software (OSS) contributors.
  1. The corporate employee whose employer uses OSS, and will gladly pay him/her a salary to contribute and enhance the software. Particularly to implement features required by the company. Ex: Red Hat; Linus Torvalds/TransMeta.
  2. The consultant who gives away free software, but charges for consulting and customization (WiX), or an enhanced "professional" version.
  3. The employee of a non-profit organization that receives donations (Electronic Frontier Foundation, Apache Foundation), or an academic paid by a university.
  4. The hobbyist who toils at a boring day job, but who likes to tinker evenings and week-ends.
  5. Government software funded by taxpayers (NIST; USGS).
  6. A programmer or organization funded by KickStarter or Patreon.
The point is, everybody needs to earn a living one way or another. There is no free lunch™.

There are certain types of software that lend themselves well to an OSS project: programs that are universal and used by many people:
  1. Operating Systems: Linux, FreeBSD.
  2. Web browsers: FireFox.
  3. Web servers: Apache.
  4. Software development tools: GNU, GCC, Eclipse.
  5. Common applications: Open Office word processing + spreadsheet; Gimp and InkScape graphics; TeX document formatting; Thunderbird email.
  6. Emulators: Wine.
  7. Genealogy: Gramps. (Very few people use it, consumers would rather pay for something simple to install and use).
Applications that are less "fun", on the other hand, do not attract volunteers. I once saw a disparaging comment in a forum attempting to create an open-source accounting package, "who would want to work on that boring stuff?".

Not everything is amenable to OSS. There are many applications where, if one were to publish code as OSS, the only people taking notice would be competitors who would steal the code, incorporate it into their rival apps, and never contribute anything in return.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Charting Companion shows Family Tree Maker 2017 colors in charts

The new 2017 edition of Family Tree Maker introduces exciting features, including the option to assign up to four colors to people in your family tree. You can color each branch of your ancestors, or lines of descendants, or by place of origin.

FTM 2017 was released last month.

Charting Companion fully supports the display of the FTM colors, in the Ancestor, Descendant, Hourglass, Bowtie, FractalDandelion and  Fan charts. Only Charting Companion can offer you complete display of your FTM colors.
 

FTM 2017 colors displayed in Charting Companion charts (click to enlarge)
The use of colors in FTM 2017 is limited only by your imagination. Use Charting Companion to display your FTM 2017 colors!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Trellis: the Chart With Everyone In It

One of the innovations Progeny has introduced to genealogy is the Trellis chart, "the chart with everyone in it".

trellis_bart.pngThe Trellis chart is a brand new way to tell the story of your family. It shows everyone in your family, in a way that no traditional box chart can do.

Based on research by a group of scientists, the Trellis is a diagonally-filled matrix, where rows are individuals and columns are nuclear families. Click here for more information.

The Trellis allows for interactive investigation of your family tree. With one click, you can highlight all the ancestors and descendants of an individual. Click a second person and you can see where their pedigrees intersect in a colorful display. Collapse the tree for a condensed view. Navigate up and down the tree with a simple click.
 
See review by DickEastman (registration required).  See video from original inventors of  Geneaquilts, on which Trellis is based.

Charting Companion with the Trellis is available for all genealogy programs. 


Get Charting Companion today and see your family in a Trellis! 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

How to display the new Family Tree Colors in your charts

The new 2017 edition of Family Tree Maker introduces exciting features, including the option to assign up to four colors to people in your family tree. You can color each branch of your ancestors, or lines of descendants, or by place of origin.

FTM 2017 is undergoing final testing, and will be available soon. 
 
Charting Companion fully supports the display of the FTM colors, in the Ancestor, Descendant, Hourglass, Bowtie, FractalDandelion and Fan charts. Only Charting Companion can offer you complete display of your FTM colors. 
 
Family Tree Maker colors displayed by Charting Companion

Family Tree Maker colors displayed by Charting Companion (click to enlarge)

The use of colors in FTM 2017 is limited only by your imagination. Be ready with Charting Companion when FTM 2017 hits the street!
 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Tell the story of your family as an illustrated novel

I discovered the most original and attractive way to tell the story of your family at RootsTech this year: a graphic novel, or comic book.

Il Museo del Cognome  (the Museum of Family Names) can translate your family history into a vibrant and inspiring comic book. The Museo describes it best:
How many times have you tried to imagine your ancestors faces, habits and the places where they were born? ...the way of living of your forebears, their emotional bond with the homeland and the people with whom they surrounded themselves.

Have you ever walked through the narrow alleys, visited the churches where they went to pray, seen a rusty sign of an old small shop, rummaged in the cardboard box looking for photographs, letters, family memories? These are the things that bring your roots back to life.
Passengers on the MS Vulcania, ca. 1926
Send the Museo a description of some important family events, with photos if you have them, and the Museo will turn your narrative into an exciting comic-book strip that you can share with your family. Imagine the delight in the children's eyes as their ancestry comes alive in a familiar and appealing format.

The stories can be published in English as well as Italian and other languages.

To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.