Ruth's Genealogy

“And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.”

I have been reading in several blogs lately about a new genealogy program that is totally different from anything else available right now. It is called Family.Show and version 2.0 just came out about a week ago. It is Open Source software, and what’s important about that is…the program is free! It is being developed for Microsoft by Vertigo Software, and was actually created more to demonstrate what this type of technology can do, rather than as a program for actual use.
So, last night I decided to download it and give it a try. First I had to download .Net Framework 3.0 from the Microsoft site. The Family.Show runs on something called WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation), and you need .Net Framework 3.0 for that. Now, I have dial-up, so it took several hours for it to download (I set it up and went to bed!).
When I got up this morning, I downloaded and installed Family.Show, which went very fast, only a few minutes.
I opened the program and imported my most recent GEDCOM from my Family Tree Maker. Then…my mouth dropped open!
Wow, this is a visually-stunning program! First you are presented with an in-color, three-dimensional family tree:

This view can be zoomed in or out, each person can be high-lighted and shown in detail to the right of the tree. Images can be drag-n-dropped to this area as well as to a photos and stories section:

Here you can add photos and images of documents, and also write a biography of your person of interest. Pretty cool!
At this time, Family.Show 2.0 doesn’t allow you to document sources, so it certainly won’t replace your regular genealogy program. Apparently, it is in its early stages, sort of Beta, but wow! What a view! It also has 2 skins: black and silver. The black is more appealling, visually, but the silver is easier for my 50-year-old eyes to read!
I am quite excited about this new program! Somehow, my cynical self believes that once word gets out about this little gem and the number of downloads sky-rockets, Microsoft might just convert it to non-Open Source (you’ll have to pay for it!). But, it might still be more than worth the cost. Something to follow-up on. Until then, I’m gonna have some fun with it!


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