GEDCOM - A Killer XML Application?

Michael Kay M.H.Kay at
Mon Feb 9 10:14:52 GMT 1998

>I ... have learned very quickly that there
>is a *huge* amount of genealogy stuff/activity on the Web.
>Most of it revolves around a genealogy file format called GEDCOM
>that apparantly originated with the Church of the Latter Day Saints.
Yes, I've done some work on this, and have been hoping to go public, but
it's come to a bit of a standstill while other activities mroe important to
employers have taken over.

I agree with you that am XML encoding of GEDCOM (let's call it GedML?)
offers great potential benefits:

- solving GEDCOM's problems with character sets and binary objects
- allowing "rich text" in the textual fields
- providing a mechanism for cross-file linkage
- making it much easier to write GEDCOM applications
- allowing GEDCOM data to be published directly on the web, rather than
  being reformatted for publication on the web
- allowing web search engines to index GEDCOM files intelligently

I've got as far as
- writing a few notes on the design principles / rationale
- writing GEDCOM to GedML converters in both directions
- working out in principle how to enhance these to do ANSEL to UNICODE
- writing a DTD for GedML
- writing an MSXML application that creates a (partial) Java representation
of the GEDCOM object model for use by applications.

Since I'm stalled, any cooperation will be much appreciated!

Mike Kay

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