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Project: Web Page/HTML-Generation Demonstration (WebTree, for short)

Purpose: To provide online demonstration of the Web pages created by varying genealogical database products, so that viewers can see the types of "automatically" generated Web sites/pages. (For the purpose of this project, a "genealogical database" product is anything marketed for data entry of family tree information; i.e., products like The Master Genealogist, Ancestral Quest, Family Origins, Brothers Keeper, etc. -- any product specifically designed for such purposes, and NOT including spreadsheet or mailing list products.)

Special requirements: A limited 200-400 entry name-set from your own files; so that you are dealing with data actually entered and maintained via the database product you are demonstrating. This will allow you to knowingly discuss the style of HTML generation -- particularly indexing -- using data with which you are familiar.

General Description:Genealogical database products have been around for years, including the original Personal Ancestral File (PAF) product of the Church of Latter-Day Saints (LDS); still in use by veteran researchers. The great interest by many in posting family data on the Web, now has software developers anxious to compete by providing HTML-generation abilities with their products. But there is no common approach to such "Web site" creation products. Like the Web itself, styles of data presentation vary greatly. Linking of names within a family tree site, making them easier/harder to track through multiple generations, is sometimes haphazard. Some products can handle photo images related to the data; others, can't. The quality of HTML created by some products, although apparently usable, varies when measured against HTML standards. The purpose of this team effort is to display online the varying output of several (hopefully, many) products. We're NOT trying to "rate" them, or make a good-bad comparison judgement.

There are at least two products in common circulation used for Web family tree pages which defy direct comparison with other products in this broad category: Family Tree Maker and GED2HTML. The former, as of last notice, required posting of data at their site, and does not create standalone HTML files. But, the offering of the site itself has attracted many users, meaning it must be included in our list.

GED2HTML generates Web pages from a GED file; depending upon the data fields used by the product creating the GED, this may cause a loss of some "special" data.

We do want to include such products in our overall project, but the volunteers tackling them will need to explain how they differ from other HTML-generation products. (As well as any other "special situation" products of which you're aware...please tell us...)

Specific tasks:

  1. Using the limited name-set noted above, use your choice of product to generate as broad a Web site as it can handle (aside from the total number of names). Keep notes of any problems you may encounter. Do no-or-minimal HTML editing of the generated pages...only such revisions as necessary to make them functional online.
  2. If necessary, create a minimal entry page for the site, purely for your own testing. ( We have a common design for such, put together by assistant WebTree Project Leader CCmahoni, at
  3. Write your own evaluation of your product of choice; a few paragraphs should be adequate. Note what you consider to be its strengths and weaknesses. Consider this to be a "work in progress." Because we will soon be able to see the results of each team member's work online, we will all be learning what to expect and not expect. Hence, your "evaluation page" will be the last one posted, prior to our #HTMLHelp team opening the overall demonstration site to general public surfing.
  4. Completion date: Hopefully, we should have no problems completing all the above individually well before June 1, leaving time for Mary Ann and I to pull all the varying demonstration pages together into a cohesive, linked "full" site before making it public.
Your immediate task: Indicate your willingness to participate in the project with an entry to me, in this HTMLHELP mailing list, noting the product (and version #) you will use. For everyone's mutual reading benefit, please don't repeat all the above. WebTree project leader Thom Foulks

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WebTree Index Page Ancestral Quest Brother's Keeper Family Origians Family Tree Maker Generations Easy Tree The Master Genealogist Ultimate Family Tree
Ahn 2.0 Cumberland Family Tree for Windows Family Atlas Family Matters GED2HTML GED2WWW GedPage 2.0 WebGED: Progenitor 2.0

These Pages are Copyrighted © 1999 By Mary Ann Hetrick & the #htmlhelp group.
The background and other images are copyrighted © 1999, by Mary Ann Hetrick. They are only used with permission for this project, and may not be copied without the expressed written permission of the artist.

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