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Family History Information Standards Organisation
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An open, international organisation developing and promoting the use of standards in the exchange of genealogical and family history data.
An open, international organisation developing and promoting the use of standards in the exchange of genealogical and family history data.

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FHISO Board Meeting 13 March 2018

The FHISO Board met by Google Hangout on 13 March 2018 at 18:00 UTC. Subjects covered included finances, technical work, outreach, and bylaws.

The minutes of this meeting are available here: https://fhiso.org/minutes/2018-03-13/.
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New Draft Standards

The Technical Standing Committee is happy to announce that several drafts have reached the point of public draft release.

Since our last public releases in September 2016, we have been working to resolve issues identified in the last set of drafts and provide a firm foundation for additional future extensions. This release primarily provides a foundation layer on which future public-facing standards can be built.

Work continues on a full Citation Elements Vocabulary, on the Extended Legacy Format (ELF, a document model and file format we hope will be fully compatible with current uses of GEDCOM 5.5.1 but more readily extended, as discussed in the thread "Progress on ELF" last October <http://fhiso.org/pipermail/tsc-public_fhiso.org/2017-October/thread.html>), and bindings for Citation Elements in both ELF and GEDCOM-X. However, in working on these it became clear that a variety of additional foundational mechanisms were needed, which foundations are presented in the current set of drafts. While this material is not exciting, we are excited by the position these drafts put us in to be able to make more coherent progress on other, more inherently exciting standards.

The following drafts have reached the point where we would like broader comments, similar to the comment solicitations made on previous drafts of "Citation Elements: General Concepts" and "Citation Elements: Bindings for RDFa" that we circulated last June and September and "A microformat for creator's names" we circulated in April 2016. The three new and two updated drafts are:


Basic Concepts for Genealogical Standards <https://fhiso.org/TR/basic-concepts>

This is the first draft of a new standard which defines various low-level concepts, including those relating to our use of strings and IRIs. It also defines the abstract foundations of our data model. This is content which will be used in many FHISO standards and so does not logically belong in any one particular higher-level standard.


Simple Triples Discovery Mechanism <https://fhiso.org/TR/triples-discovery>

Another first draft. This defines a simple, general-purpose discovery mechanism which provides a means for internet-connected applications to access information on any unfamiliar third-party extensions which they may encounter.


The Pattern Datatype <https://fhiso.org/TR/patterns>

Another first draft. This defines a dialect of regular expressions that is readily handled by many different regular expression engines, suitable for use in discovery and basic datatype validation.


Citation Elements: General Concepts <https://fhiso.org/TR/cev-concepts>

The third draft of a standard defining the general concepts used in FHISO's suite of Citation Elements standards, and the basic framework and data model underpinning them. Some material from the second draft has been moved to Basic Concepts where it can be reused, and the definitions of many components have been tightened up significantly so they can be used with discovery; however, this draft does not include any major changes to the data model.


Citation Elements: Bindings for RDFa <https://fhiso.org/TR/cev-rdfa-bindings>

Another third draft. This standard defines a means by which citation elements may be identified and tagged using RDFa attributes within formatted citations written in HTML or XML, allowing an application to recover them in a systematic manner. This draft includes no major changes other than the addition of a new overview to processing RDFa.


A list of current drafts can be accessed at <http://tech.fhiso.org/drafts/>. Ongoing development occurs in the open on <http://github.com/fhiso>. We welcome any and all comments on these on the tsc-public mailing list <http://tech.fhiso.org/tsc-public>, and as always invite anyone who would like to be more directly involved in writing and revising documents to let the TSC know
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A new batch of draft standards is imminent -- please stay tuned. Work is quickening now that the underlying principles and technical strategy have settled down.
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BetterGEDCOM Archive

FHISO has managed to resurrect an archive copy of the BetterGEDCOM wiki -- the precursor of FHISO -- under their domain name. The pages are based on a WikiSpaces export made after WikiSpaces locked the site in 2016, and because of this it lacks style information and does not include dynamic pages (such as "Recent Changes") that WikiSpaces had been providing.

The archive may be found at:

https://archive.fhiso.org/BetterGEDCOM/

That link goes to an index page we added as part of the archiving process; the original home page may be found at:

https://archive.fhiso.org/BetterGEDCOM/HOME.html

Note that there isn't (yet) a 'search' function and so it's currently more browse- than search-able, but it acknowledges the huge effort and deep insights contributed by so many people on multiple topics, many of which FHISO has yet to revisit.
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FHISO Board Meeting 23 January 2018

The FHISO Board met by Google Hangout on 23 January 2018 at 18:00 UTC. Subjects covered included legal status, finances, technical work, outreach, bylaws, and RootsTech.

The minutes of this meeting are available here: https://fhiso.org/minutes/2018-01-23/
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FHISO Board Meeting 12 December 2017

The FHISO Board met by Google Hangout on 12 December 2017 at 1810 UTC. Subjects covered included finances, legal status, technical work, Web site, and outreach,

The minutes of this meeting are available here: https://fhiso.org/minutes/2017-12-12/
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A detailed but readable blog-post summarising FHISO’s history and recent progress may be found at: 'Thither FHISO' (http://parallax-viewpoint.blogspot.com/2017/11/thither-fhiso.html).
Thither FHISO
Thither FHISO
parallax-viewpoint.blogspot.ie
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FHISO Board Meeting 31 October 2017

The FHISO Board met by Google Hangout on 31 October 2017 at 1800 UTC. Subjects covered included finances, legal status, possible amendments to bylaws, extended organisational period, technical work, Web site, and outreach,

The minutes of this meeting are available here: https://fhiso.org/minutes/2017-10-31/.
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FHISO Board Meeting 12 September 2017

The FHISO Board met by Google Hangout on 12 September 2017 at 1800 UTC. Subjects covered include their finances, domain names, technical work, and the website.

The minutes of this meeting are available here: http://fhiso.org/minutes/2017-09-12/.
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Second Release of Draft Standards for Public Comment

A little over two months ago we released our first two draft standards on Citation Elements: one on General Concepts such as the data model, the other giving RDFa bindings for tagging citation elements in HTML formatted citations. This generated some very useful discussion on this list which identified many places where the documents could be improved. Most consequentially, we agreed to change the following three points:

1. Remove the notion of a layer identifier and defer metadata support for the time being.

2. Change all our http: IRIs to https: due to security and privacy concerns.

3. Expand the notion of a translation set into a more general localisation set to allow a combination of structured and unstructured values.

We have now applied these changes, and have also added significantly to the number of examples and explanatory notes in the documents. The new documents can be found linked from our public drafts page:

https://tech.fhiso.org/drafts/

It has taken some time to make these changes, partly because of holidays and other intrusions of real life, but mostly because the change to localisation sets had significant consequences elsewhere in the data model, many of which we discussed on this list back in July, though others only came to light during the redrafting process.

We welcome any and all comments on these drafts on the tsc-public mailing list

http://tech.fhiso.org/tsc-public

As always, we're keen to know what everyone thinks of these drafts, and the general direction we're taking.

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