I like to think that our blog is fairly unique in offering an insider chronicle of the travails of building a genealogy startup. But I tend to be pretty circumspect in sharing our technical struggles, bug fixes, and product roadmap. Louis Kessler, on the other hand, let’s it all hang out. Louis is the visionary behind Behold Genealogy. For this week’s Follow Friday recommendation, I’d like to encourage you to get to know Louis and his plan to “Change the Way Genealogists Work” by subscribing to the Behold Blog.
Software that Focuses on the Output Report Instead of the Input Form
From what I can tell, Behold is designed with the end in mind, and acts more like a word processor for top-notch genealogy reports than an “enter names in a blank pedigree chart” data-gathering tool. I haven’t used Behold yet so I can’t offer a recommendation one way or the other, but I’m completely drawn in by Louis’ passion for his product and his innovative thinking about what genealogy software can and should do.
GEDCOMs, Programming, Bug Reports, Future Plans
Here are some of the topics you’ll read about in Louis’ blog:
- Arcane details of how GEDCOM files are constructed and processed (harder than you probably think!)
- Louis’ daily battles with software bugs (in Delphi no less!), much of them fought well after midnight
- His painstaking efforts to construct error messages that are helpful to his users
- The bugs he can’t fix on his own, and his humble efforts to get help from StackOverflow (where he’s also a regular contributor)
And that’s just the last few months… Louis has been at this for almost eight years!
As you can tell, I have a lot of admiration for Louis’ openness, persistence, and pride in his craft. You won’t find a lot of details of Louis’ genealogy research in his postings, but you can tell he’s channeling his love and respect for his ancestors into his software development efforts. If you want to gain a sense for the work that goes into that shrink-wrapped genealogy software you bought, the Behold Blog is a good place to get it.