What started out as a sample application to showcase the latest UI technology from Microsoft called Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) resulted in a sample to the genealogy community of innovation.
At the beginning of this year, the company I work for hired Vertigo Software to do a prototype application using WPF. Part of the portfolio that Vertigo shared with us during the pre-hiring phase was an end-to-end reference sample that they did for Microsoft. The exciting thing about this sample is that it is a genealogy application. Family.Show version 1 was released in April in preparation for the MIX 07 conference and version 2 was released in July.
This is not a full-fledged application and it wasn’t designed by experts in the genealogy community. But don’t dismiss it too quickly. This sample shows the imagination and innovation that can come when user interaction experts, software developers, and graphics designers work together. I especially like the different visualizations used in the application and will talk about them specifically in a future post.
Here is the feature list published by Vertigo:
- Quickly build your family tree
- Add photos easily via drag-and-drop
- Create advanced family tree visualizations with pan and zoom support
- See what your family tree looked like years ago using the Time Explorer
- Tell your family members’ story using rich editing and formatting controls
- Mine your family data with statistical filtering and sorting
- Import and export family trees to GEDCOM 5.5, a standard genealogy format
- Change the look of the entire application by choosing a different skin
Some limitations of the application are:
- Supports single birth, marriage, and death events
- No other events supported
- Doesn’t support approximate dates (Abt. 1815, Bet. Jan 1707/08 – Jan 1708/09, Bef. 1931)