HRE newsletter, Dec 2017

HRE progress (with video and Q&As)

We were pleased to be invited in December to make a presentation on HRE progress to the ROOTS Users Group of Arlington Virginia (RUG). Our board member John Lucas presented in person, while Robin Lamacraft and Don Ferguson answered questions on the line from Australia. We were most encouraged by the interest not only from those in the room but from the large numbers of people who tried to sign in remotely – far more, unfortunately, than the live streaming software could handle.

The links below will take you to the video presentation, and to a page of related Q&As. Our video bandwidth is limited, so if you have problem playing the video please try again later.

Watch the video

Read the Q&As

Outreach, and field-specific plug-ins

The first version of HRE will be focused on genealogy, and in particular the need to provide a way forward for researchers who currently have data ‘stuck’ in the no-longer-supported commercial program The Master Genealogist (TMG). However, HRE is designed for a wide range of historical and cultural research needs, beyond genealogy, and we envisage making a range of plug-ins available for the particular needs of researchers in specific areas. The provision of these will depend upon researchers sharing their needs with us, and on the availability of volunteer developers who can work on these specific areas.

We have started initial discussions with potential researchers in fields outside genealogy, including areas of interest to anthropologists, museum curators, and company historians, and we welcome more input.  Do please get in touch if you would like to work with us to develop a field-specific plug-in.

Output to the web, and third-party programs

HRE will support a variety of electronic and paper report formats but early versions, at least, will not include a built-in website generator. We will however be providing the capability of outputting all data in a standard XML format, from where it can be read into an external website generator. We have discussed this with a commercial developer, and we are happy to liaise with any developer, commercial or otherwise, who would like to create software that could read in and make use of our XML output.

We have been asked many times whether HRE will support some sort of GEDCOM output. The intention is that it will do so, but because GEDCOM is extremely restricted in the type of data structures it can handle, any GEDCOM output would be severely limited. Most family historians who are happy to work within the limitations of GEDCOM are unlikely to need the power of HRE.