The Family Web
News and Updates2005-04-09
I've written a tutorial, "Family Web and XSLT", on how to generate Family Web webpages from XML data files using XSLT. I'm also wondering if the next step is to investigate using Web Ontology Language (OWL).1999-08-01
If anyone is interested in joining an electronic mailing list to discuss the creation of an XML-based Family Web format, please register here.
Genealogy Web Format"Family Web" is a suggested public-domain format for displaying genealogical ties on the World-Wide Web (WWW) using the HyperText Markup Language (HTML). Optimized for speed in traversing genetic links and automated family tree construction using web-based search programs, the Family Web format can be more efficient than the traditional family tree charts when using hypertext links.
An example can be viewed at
DefinitionA "Family Web" page is a genealogical web page dedicated to a single individual containing hypertext links to similar pages for the individual's genetic parents and children.
Webs versus TreesFamily tree structures allow for a detailed view of a portion of an individual's genetic line at a glance. Unfortunately, mapping the entire family tree on a single page is impossible for most individuals. "Family Webs", however, use hypertext links to just the nearest nodes, the genetic parents and offspring. When combined with the hypertext capabilities of the WWW and HTML, it becomes relatively easy to document one's lineage and add links as research uncovers new ancestors. In addition, by placing this information on the WWW, genealogists have access to powerful automated search programs and the cooperation of others in the same pursuit. It is likely that many Family Webs will suddenly expand as a crucial link is discovered on a distant Web server and individual Family Webs merge.
Family Web FutureAnyone can build their own Family Web with just a basic text editor and enough knowledge about HTML as provided in example Family Web pages. What I would expect to see in the future, however, is public-domain downloadable or on-line programs with data entry forms to allow the rapid generation of Family Web pages with ease. Also, I expect automated web-based search engines to be developed that will reconstruct a visual, perhaps even multi-dimensional, family tree by gathering the basic node-to-node connections off of publicly-available Family Webs. I plan to write such programs and release them to the public-domain. However, as the Family Web format is an open, flexible standard, feel free to write your own programs and forms to speed the process along or to improve upon existing utilities. If you do, please be sure and let me know via e-mail so that I can create a link to your application from this page.
Format SuggestionsThe easiest way to implement the Family Web format suggestions is to simply copy another Family Web page and modify the individual-specific data. An example is available at http://www.alumni.caltech.edu/~croft/familyweb/David_Wallace_Croft.html .
These format suggestions are merely suggestions. If you have some ideas to contribute, please contact David Croft.
That is the entire suggested format at this time. Again, feel free to contact me with any ideas or questions. A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) is available. A list of related links is also available.
Remember, a Family Web is distinguished from a family tree in that it dedicates a single web page to each individual which uses hypertext links to the nearest nodes, the genetic parents and children. Good luck and love your family!
If you would like to be added to the Family Web mailing list
for announcements and discussion regarding this proposed
public domain standard format, feel free to drop me an
The volume of messages on the list is expected to be minimal.
You can also enter your e-mail address below to receive
automatic notification whenever this web page is updated. Please
note that this is separate and apart from the mailing list.
If you would like to be added to the Family Web mailing list for announcements and discussion regarding this proposed public domain standard format, feel free to drop me an e-mail note. The volume of messages on the list is expected to be minimal.
You can also enter your e-mail address below to receive automatic notification whenever this web page is updated. Please note that this is separate and apart from the mailing list.