Behold Future Plans

This page is basically my ToDo list and was last updated on Sunday July 12, 2015

Shown below are my current ideas of the direction I want to go, with tasks marked as completed as I do them prior to a release.


Next: Version 2.0 beta. (Prototype of Editing!!!)

  • New: Update development system from Delphi 2009 to Delphi XE8, including upgrades of TRichView and ElPack 3rd party packages. This item has been completed
  • New: Create both 32-bit and 64-bit executables for Behold. This item has been completed
  • Fix: Corrected default action in the non-modal Find box and other non-modal boxes. This was likely a fix in Delphi between 2009 and XE8. This item has been completed
  • Impr: Extend search so that it can now find text even where parts of it are formatted differently. This capability was added to Version 12 of RichView. This item has been completed
  • New: Export to DocX (a Microsoft Word File) This item has been completed
  • Impr: Default the filename for exports to the name of the file currently loaded with the appropriate file suffix. This item has been completed
  • Fix: Get Behold to work with the new Version 7 of EurekaLog. This item has been completed
  • New: Develop a disk-based SQLite database and save it in a .bhd (Behold Data) file to be the user data file. I am working on this now
  • New: Export to GEDCOM in valid 5.5.1 format, minimizing changes necessary when the input is invalid or from a different version of GEDCOM.
  • New: Incremental implementation of the features that will be in Version 2.0.
  • New: Invite Behold users to try it out and comment and critique and suggest.
  • New: Powerful genealogy data editing capability directly through the Everything Report. Behold will become a Genealogy Word Processor.
  • New: Ribbon interface
  • New: Editing shortcuts
  • New: Add Undo/redo/repeat capability at the record level.
  • New: Auto-save to database after each record edit is completed so very little data can be lost.
  • New: Source Panel to provide instant access to and entry of the active source that any data entered will pertain to.
  • New: Source-based data entry!!
  • New: Add ability to record reasoning and proof arguments, attached to source references.
  • Fix: Get selections larger than a few pages to work.

Ideas for after Version 2.0.

Enhanced Consistency Checking

  • Web: See what consistency checking is out there now, and compare and contrast in a few blog posts.
  • New: Add user-definable age limits to specify generalized minimum and maximum ages for certain types of events.
  • New: Add menu items and tool bar icons to find the next and previous consistency message.
  • New: Process consistency messages in the background, so that file can open faster.
  • New: Display the number of consistency messages as an active number in the toolbar that shows the progress as the background detection takes place. The number will change color when the tally is completed.
  • New: Correctly load and display Event GEDCOM files.

GEDCOM Validation

  • Web: See what GEDCOM error checking is out there now, and compare and contrast in a few blog posts.
  • New: Ensure exported GEDCOM will read in without errors and will export again identically.
  • Impr: Solidify GEDCOM parsing, so that 5.5 and 5.5.1 are both handled as correctly as possible.
  • Impr: Include Error messages in the log file when the standard is not followed, and Warning message for construct that are legal GEDCOM but are ones that most programs will not be able to interpret.

Virtual Merging

  • New: "Virtual Merging": Allow identification of identical people in different files, and store this info in a Behold file. Possibly use the _UID tag for this.
  • Impr: Change the ID Numbering so that rather than using GEDCOM IDs and numbers, use Input File IDs and numbers, where the Input file can be a Behold Database file, a GEDCOM file, or other types of input file.
  • New: Automatically treat individuals in all GEDCOMs loaded into Behold with the same AFN (Ancestral File Number) tag as the same person in the Everything report.
  • New: Combine separate data records about individuals in the Everything report. (e.g. to reconstitute pedigree GEDCOMs obtained from familysearch.org)
  • New: Allow each input file to be associated with a background color, so that data from different files can be easily identified.

Technology Advancement

  • Impr: Add threading to improve speed.
  • Impr: Optimize to reduce memory use and improve speed to enable even extremely large files to be loaded as fast as possible.
  • New: Windows 10 Certification.

Mass Data Entry Features

  • New: Allow mass data entry in spreadsheet-like format to easily include data summarized in columns. This will be great for censuses and ship's records, and especially useful for one-name and one-place studies.
  • New: Include a tool to aid transcribing from the images of documents.
  • New: Provide a "smart selection" mechanism to suggest people and events that each of the spreadsheet entries might link to.
  • New: Add option to sort Sources by the user reference number (REFN) within its type, as an alternative to sorting by Title.

Picture Display and Picture Handling Capabilities

  • New: Display thumbnails of pictures in Everything Report.
  • New: Display the IPTC metadata stored inside pictures.
  • New: Export thumbnails of photos (graphic files) to HTML.
  • New: Export thumbnails of photos to RTF.

Connections to Other Systems

  • New: MyHeritage input from and maybe output to.
  • New: FamilySearch input from and maybe output to.
  • New: Other online systems (Ancestry, FindMyPast, etc.) that provide Application Program Interfaces. (Which do you want?)
  • New: Direct reading of other program databases (e.g. RootsMagic, PAF, TMG), if the demand warrents it.
  • New: Direct reading of evidence-based programs for genealogists (e.g. Evidentia, Clooz), if the demand warrants it.
  • New: Interface with mass-data entry or transcribing programs (e.g. GenScriber), if I don't build this directly in.
  • New: Reading and writing to the cloud (Skydrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.)
  • New: Reading and writing of the new FHISO standard, once they come out with it.
  • New: Reading and writing of GEDCOM X, if there's a need for it. Using the FamilySearch API is easier and likely better.

Big Wants

  • New: Include DNA and genetics information.
  • New: Privacy filtering.
  • New: Export data only up to a specific date.

Other Platforms: Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Unix

  • New: Convert to the Delphi multiplatform framework, which will allow development of Behold for other platforms.
  • New: Purchase/customize/convert 3rd party packages that Behold needs to work on the other platforms.
  • New: Convert installation routines to work with other platforms.
  • New: Convert documentation to work on other platforms.
  • New: Release Behold for other platforms.

More Things that I'm thinking could or should be included somewhere, somewhen, somehow ...

  • Impr: Change the Organize->Reload command to always be active so that the last file loaded can be reloaded.
  • New: Detect when a current file loaded has changed and indicated that it has.
  • Impr: Enhance smart sort to include a check for "Date of Import: dd Mmm yyyy" and sort those dates properly.
  • Impr: Use less memory for printing, print previewing and exporting by blocking the report, rather than generating all of it in memory at once.
  • New: Add navigation menu items and shortcuts for quick access to the previous person, next person, up to parents, up to older sibling, down to younger sibling, down to oldest child, and any others that may add convenience.
  • Impr: Allow those Organize settings that don't require data loading to only do a page refresh.
  • Impr: Add cut, copy, paste onto the right-click menu.
  • Impr: Add a toolbar icon for "Close".
  • New: Add up, down, left (to parents) and right (to next generation) navigation as keys, menus and icons.
  • Impr: Get Print Preview for large files to display right away even while the rest of it is loading.
  • Impr: Work through all my user-supplied GEDCOM test cases and make sure that the Everything Report works properly and looks good for all flavors of GEDCOM.
  • New: Add a right-click Married Names selection for a person's name anywhere, to allow specification of which spouse surnames they have taken on.
  • New: Include support for Tamura Jones' Classical Genealogy Framework.
  • New: Add a right-click option to hide any event, and a right-click option to select events to unhide.
  • Impr: Allow the Shift key or Ctrl key or Ctrl-A shortcuts to allow multiple selections in the Organize Pages and maybe include a Tick/Untick all box.
  • New: Display custom events by their TYPE tag.
  • Impr: Add custom text of "- no details" for assertions (i.e. that an event took place but no details about it), instead of just showing "Y".
  • Impr: Make sure Behold displays multiple parents appropriately.
  • Impr: Ensure that copying to the clipboard includes rich text so that pasting to any application, e.g. Word or e-mail, includes hypertext that works.
  • Impr: Ensure that everything works when multiple files are loaded using both GEDCOM and Family ordering.
  • Fix: Fix Richview's handling of wordwrap when multiple spaces are wrapped.
  • Fix: Do not pass highlight lines to exported RTF or HTML when the cursor is over it and highlighting it.
  • New: Create a Tools->Options menu item and build the Window for program options.
  • New: Finalize and Implement all Program Option settings, possibly including:
    • Different ways to display surnames.
    • Choice of Font and Font size and color.
    • Optional Title Page, and what to include on it.
    • Start with number 1 person in file as Main person.
    • Style selection of hyperlinks.
    • Style selection of the hidden tags when all tags are shown.
    • What to open on startup: a certain file, the last file opened, or no file.
    • Options on the History List; Ability to clear the History List
    • Option to print in black and white without underlining (to save your ink).
    • Option to expand places in the TreeView so that they expand level by level.
  • Impr: Rewrite of Print and Print Preview functions ... or wait until they are improved in TRichView
  • New: Allow find function to search without differentiating for case or accents.
  • Impr: Let InstantOrg optionally select both spouses as one family instead of two.
  • New: Allow specification of a "Home directory" so that relative paths for objects will work and so many full pathnames can be simplified. This home directory for each GEDCOM should be saved in the Behold file.
  • New: Allow a dropdown to select from recently accessed directories when Opening and Saving files.
  • New: Add a "User Reference Numbers" cross reference section.
  • New: Handle notes that use note indicators based on PAF conventions.
  • New: Allow sending of personalized and customized trees to your relatives with one-click!
  • Impr: Add a toolbar edit box attached to the Find icon to allow direct entry of text to be found.
  • New: Add an "Open with Behold" option for GED and BHO files for right clicks from Explorer.
  • New: Display all Relationships of every person to the reference person (or couple), even multiple relationships (e.g. cousins on two sides) or relationships through marriage, e.g. wife of 3rd cousin.
  • New: Add an option to include the specific relationship, e.g. fm-ssd (father's mother's son's son's daughter) for a 2nd cousin once removed
  • New: Add an option to include the common ancestor's name and a link to the ancestor.
  • New: Add an option to include the relationship information in titles.
  • New: Add an option to include the relationship information in the Index of Names.
  • New: Include a research log which would be implemented as a history list by date and repository and source of all changes made.
  • New: Search and display (highlight?) possible matches of people, places, events,... in multiple input files.
  • Impr: Add various Richview features to the Everything Report.
  • New: Implement automatic detection of places in the Residence, Address, and other tags and give them hyperlinks and index them with the PLAC tag places.
  • New: Add Unicode Spellchecking
  • New: Estimation of all dates.
  • New: Allow assignment of people, places or sources to one or more group-tags, e.g. neighbors, friends, etc.
  • New: Add a Group index section to display the group information and who's in what groups.
  • New: Add limits to families and groups so only desired generations above and below the selected people are included.
  • New: Allow data marked as "inconsistent" to be indicated as "verified". This tag will be saved in the GEDCOM file.
  • New: Allow the option to exclude of living people from the display, reports and export.
  • New: Data for and about Places
  • New: Allow Entry of Pets along with their Owner's Genealogies
  • New: Presentation of data as of a certain date.
  • New: Automatic generation of an RSS feed of changes made, customized for the reader's family. (This will blow your mind!)
  • New: Check for a default.bho file in the Behold directory. If it exists, use that file for the Organize defaults. If not, go back to the program defaults.
  • New: Add ability to save Organize settings as default, or to delete the default settings and go back to program defaults.
  • Impr: Change show/hide tags icon as a drop box that allows choosing between "All tags" and "useful tags" ... or put this in the Status bar. This will make it more obvious as to the importance of this feature which many users may not use enough.
  • New: Include a box for the search phrase and its history.
  • New: Autocomplete/correct capability
  • New: Provide language keyboards for easy input of characters in different languages.
  • New: Snippet library for quick input of your more common entries.
  • New: Your own numbering for sources.
  • New: Include Task Panes on the Ribbon to provide help on how to use and enter every possible type of genealogical information you may encounter.
  • New: Add an export to email or export to PDF function.
  • New: Add text/comments to bottom of photo.
  • New: Add face tagging.
  • New: Embed info into photo.
  • New: Add photo-zoom to photos in HTML and Everything Report.
  • New: Export to GEDCOM only the information displayed in the Everything Report. This way only the selected families and selected tags will be be included.
  • New: See if I can get Behold can run from a portable memory stick.

Other Interesting Ideas. (But remember, Behold's main duty is to be an efficient genealogy data editor and viewer. Possibilities here include partnering with another program that specializes in one or more of the tasks below and getting Behold to share data with it.)

  • Internationalize Behold itself, allowing the program text to be various languages. Get users to do translations. (Possibly translate the help file as well - huge job, plus maintenance issues!)
  • Task / Todo list
  • Calendar Conversions
  • Data backup functionality
  • Ability to view HTML tags (bold, italic, links, etc.) embedding within GEDCOM, but this might entail building a web browser into Behold, which is overkill.
  • Printing Address Labels
  • Timelines and/or Charting
  • Lookup place names on Google.
  • Support and generation of .kml files for input into Google Earth and other mapping tools.
  • Photo editing
  • Web info search or info match
  • Organizer type of functionality
  • Support for Smartphones and Handhelds
  • Speech Recognition
  • Text to Speech