History of FHISO

FHISO grew out of the BetterGEDCOM wiki which was started towards the end of 2010 by DearMyrtle, Greg Lamberson and Russ Worthington, after Myrt and Russ had problems sharing genealogical information about a mutual line. Their data had become lost or mangled in the transfer. Knowing many others shared the same frustrations, this group of dedicated technologists and users fostered the BetterGEDCOM grassroots effort. The project’s original goal was to develop a standard for genealogy data archiving and transfer that would be accepted internationally.

This grassroots effort grew into a dynamic, open forum for the exchange of ideas about different aspects of technology and standardisation. A little more than a year later, the BetterGEDCOM wiki was home to 134 members; 3,432 wiki pages had been created and more than 8,500 discussion posts made. Numerous approaches to the genealogical model had been expressed on the wiki. More importantly, personal and/or collaborative efforts have resulted in a substantial body of work.

However it was found that much of this work needed a more structured and organised environment to come to fruition. FHISO was set up in the spring on 2012 to provide that environment, and under FHISO, registered working groups will receive support, and project-level work will be managed. The Why FHISO? position paper explains how it was intended to function.

Technical planning began in earnest in 2014 with the creation of the tsc-public mailing list. Initial interest in many topics led to the creation of several exploratory groups, all of which subsequently folded as it became apparent that the people interested in commenting on a mailing list far outnumbered the those willing to actually draft potential standards. In 2016 a small group began to draft possible standards text, releasing an early draft creator’s name microformat for comment in the spring of 2016. This was followed by a more formal set of drafts on citation elements released for public comment during June 2017, and an update incorporating a round of feedback during September 2017. These can be read on our List of Public Drafts. During 2018, work began on an Extended Legacy Format (or ELF for short), intended as a backwards-compatible extension to GEDCOM.

Further information

Archive of the BetterGEDCOM Wiki
Why FHISO? position paper
Annual Report to Members for 2018
List of Public Drafts