[APG Public List] Genealogy Program Specifications

John H. Yates john at jytangledweb.org
Tue Nov 9 14:54:10 MST 2010

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. :-)

The sig police have paid me a visit! ;-)

John H. Yates, B.S., M.S., Ph.D. (Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Theoretical Chemistry)
New Jersey

-----Original Message-----
From: linda at fpr.com
To: John <john at jytangledweb.org>
Cc: "Elissa Scalise Powell,CG" <Elissa at PowellGenealogy.com>, apgpubliclist at apgen.org
Sent: Tue, 09 Nov 2010 16:50
Subject: RE: [APG Public List] Genealogy Program Specifications

This is not been my experience in the IT world.  To my mind, John is
describing an idealized situation.  

There is frequently a perpetual tension between the design
specifications/actual implementation and  users' actual needs.  Even in
situations where architects were designing systems to be used by other
IT professionals in the same relatively small start-up company, where
one might think everyone shared the "same" framework and understandings.
Talented designers understanding both worlds (tech tools & user needs)
are relatively rare.  Design "by committee" frequently results in a
mess, meaning it is no mean feat to include user "input" at the
requirements definition phase.

Our field is not unique in this sense.   

We are somewhat unique in that there are a lot of individual consumers
(users) who are relatively unorganized leaving the influence and power
that grows from organization primarily on the side of providers.

Thanks, Barbara, for the link to GenTech.   I knew I had seen something
a couple years ago when I was curious about this very topic.   Couldn't
remember the name, though.

Linda Gardner

> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Re: [APG Public List] Genealogy Program Specifications
> From: John <john at jytangledweb.org>
> Date: Tue, November 09, 2010 3:34 pm
> To: "Elissa Scalise Powell, CG" <Elissa at PowellGenealogy.com>,
> apgpubliclist at apgen.org
> In the IT world the specs are written by professionals with no conflict of interest, and then the programmers write to the specs, not to their interests.
> Today, we have what you say. Sadly.
> John
> Sent from my Droid X.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: "Elissa Scalise Powell, CG" <Elissa at PowellGenealogy.com>
> To: apgpubliclist at apgen.org
> Sent: Tue, 09 Nov 2010 15:27
> Subject: Re: [APG Public List] Genealogy Program Specifications
> I believe there is a fresh breeze ablowin' and from my understanding what
> you propose is what is happening. However it takes a long time to turn the
> train and many hands. RootsTech appears to be the meeting place of those who
> care to turn the tide and sit in the driver's seat of that train. And yes,
> some are even professional genealogists. <g>
> Of course one can always lead the horse to water but can you make a
> programmer drink of the waters? 
> Do we have enough metaphors? <g>
> -- Elissa
> Elissa Scalise Powell, CG
> www.PowellGenealogy.com
> CG and Certified Genealogist are Service Marks of the Board for
> Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certificants
> after periodic evaluations by the Board. 
> From: On Behalf Of John
> Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2010 3:13 PM
> I just read about this on line. Although valuable, it isn't what I had in
> mind.
> From what I see the vendors are dominant, pushing their products at
> consumers. Good to know what is available, but what I am proposing is that
> the professional genealogists take the bull by the horns and tell, formally,
> the vendors what they need to be offering. With no sales pitch interaction.
> Just technological feasibility.
> In my experience, vendors love to hear feedback, and then just offer what
> they feel like anyway.
> What I propose needs to be a body where professional genealogists are in the
> drivers seat. Not the vendors. We all see how that is working out. ;-)

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