Re: GEDCOM to JSON-LD: Request for Feedback

On Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 12:36 PM, <> wrote:

> I'm new to the list but would love your feedback on our effort to convert
> and serialize GEDCOM data [1] as JSON-LD. Take a look at our research notes
> and source code here:
> We're particularly interested in approaches to representing content and
> nested nodes. This is the beginning of our effort, but we wanted to get the
> larger community involved now to get a better sense of the challenges other
> groups have faced when fitting certain data models into JSON-LD.

What do you hope to achieve by doing this?  GEDCOM's rather baroque
low-level syntax is one of its least troublesome weaknesses.  Converting to
JSON or XML or another low level syntax doesn't address any of its
fundamental problems (e.g. lack of PLACE as first class object).  I've used
(and written) a bunch of GEDCOM converters and all the good ones are
source-aware because there is so much variability among implementations as
well as a large number of extensions that vendors had to make to transfer
all the data types that their customers were interested in recording.

For all its problems, GEDCOM is the only common data format used by
genealogy programs.  If you convert to JSON-LD without fixing the data
model, you've lost all that compatibility.  If you design a new data model,
you'd need to not only get the software implementors to buy into it, but
get the support of the Mormon church, the 800-lb gorilla in the genealogy
space.  That's just not going to happen.  They've carved this space out to
ignore as they see fit.

Perhaps there's an underlying motivation for this effort that I'm missing,
but, on the surface, it doesn't make any sense to me.


Received on Wednesday, 22 April 2015 17:11:29 UTC