Retro Genealogy

Today, we wish to announce a new unnamed project that aims to create a retro-styled genealogy program, written using an older programming language called COBOL (COmmon Business Orientated Language) that has the following features;

  • Is compliance to GEDCOM Genealogical Data COMmunication Standards 5.5,
  • Loads data fast from GEDCOM files and stores data back to GEDCOM files, using its own databases simply to store and retrieve data. This allows for the genealogy data to be freely available for other usages and is not tied to the application itself and its nuances,
  • Is optimised for GEDCOM files from Ancestry but allows for other deviations. For example, Ancestry stores notes in-line against an individual whereas other applications reference notes from an individual, subtle but important difference,
  • It should run on older computer equipment in text mode, has a small footprint in terms of program and data files being used and is fast (currently, reads and stores data from medium sized GEDCOM file in about a second).

I suppose the question has to be asked? Why bother writing an older styled application with old technology for older technology and that is reason. For people with old equipment, limited by speed or space who want speed over style, who prefer complicance over softare nuances and don’t wish to be tied to a single application.

At this stage in the development, we are focusing on the reading of data from a GEDCOM file and optimising the storage of that information, in terms of space but also in terms of ensuring the breadth of data is encompassed by the application. At time of writing this blog article, the application can read and store elementary individual information, details on families from childhood through to marriage and divorce, source and repositories and some note data. It is early days in the development so we will add further posts on a regular basis in our blog.

Lastly, it is our hope that this application can run for Windows, MacOS and Linux based equipment and will be free of charge.