Wow. Has it really been three months since we cut the last release?

Yes. Yes it has. Sad, but true.

What Happened?

As the momentum of the GEDCOM X project started gathering, we realized internally at FamilySearch that we needed to decide how seriously we were dedicated to a standard initiative. We were developing an industry standard at the same time that we were applying resources to proprietary projects and internal APIs. It soon became apparent that a reconciliation was needed.

So the GEDCOM X project was effectively put on hold as we grappled internally with some tough questions, including:

  • Are we really committed to the development and maintainance of an open industry standard?
  • What resources are we dedicating to standards development?
  • What is the timeline for the release of a standard and a viable reference implementation?

After a lot of internal disruption and realignment, we’re excited to state definitively that FamilySearch is truly committed to the development and maintenance of this standards effort. We’ve taken the time to align our internal model with the GEDCOM X standard. Announcements about a release timeline will come at a later time.

Changes Since 0.5.0

As a result of the alignment of the FamilySearch model to the new standard, there were some refinements and changes applied to the standard model that we think are better aligned to the direction of the genealogical development industry. These changes have been discussed and applied with the release of 0.6.0 and are summarized in three sections as follows.

Event, EventRole, Characteristic are Now Fact

After lengthy discussions as documented in multiple threads, it was decided that a more generic notion of the concept of Fact was more useful to genealogical developers than it was to distinguish between facts that are Events and facts that are Characteristics. The Fact is used to model a fact about the life of a person or relationship and defines properties that hold the date, place, and “value” of the fact.

While the change was largely precipitated by the conclusion model, it was decided expedient to apply consistent conceptual changes in the record model. Event, EventRole, and Characteristic were collapsed into a single Fact object. Fact is also used to model record-level fields. Analysis of the historical usage of the record model concluded that it was more useful to scope Facts to the persona or relationship than it was to have a “shared” Fact or Event that was common to all personas in the record.

Resource Definitions

The process for defining resources was formalized and an initial set of resources were defined to seed the development of a standard REST API. Annotations are used to describe resource definitions that document the relationships that resources have with other resources, the standard HTTP operations that are applicable to each resource, and the errors and warnings that are possibly when changing the state of the application.

Details still to follow….

Miscellaneous Changes